Occasionally, we summarise and link to articles on our website we think might be of interest to our readers. You will find the two most recent below. Older articles can be found here.
- Music and Morality – Roger Scruton
In a culture which seeks to be ‘non-judgmental’, music is no longer exposed to true criticism but only to ‘technical analysis and know-how’, even though music can have a profound impact on its devotees. Using a quote from Plato’s Republic, ‘The ways of poetry and music are not changed anywhere without change in the most important laws of the city’, the author argues that music has a profound impact on our human character and, consequently, on how our societies are governed. Pop music, which enjoys ‘a status higher than any other cultural product’, is at the centre of the argument as it is responsible for a ‘regression of listening’. The elusion of a rhythm in pop music and the fact that it is more often ‘overheard’ than actually listened to, result in a deterioration of social expressions of music – one dances at instead of with. Thus, in stressing submission, pop music could have the tacit effect of imposing a culture of ‘non-judgmentality’ on its listeners and, consequently, society at large.
- Mothers in Combat Boots – Mary Eberstadt
Although women in general may have been well integrated into military service this does not necessarily mean that mothers should take part in active combat. Before the 1970s, women with dependent children were not allowed to enlist in the military and pregnancy would prompt a discharge. Nowadays, however, the armed forces frequently send ‘mothers and soon-to-be mothers in harm’s way’. This morally questionable practice can, says the author, be traced to the scarcity of ‘warm bodies’ able to serve and, in addition, a progressive equality agenda. By pointing to numerous statistics illustrating the adverse effects on children and families of mothers in combat, the author calls for a thorough reassessment of military policies towards women.