This is not particularly a pretty world. we have uglified what is most beautiful in it. We have come very close to losing that sense of beauty and harmony and proportion, and in the absence of that sense we won’t even be aware of what we are doing to ourselves by making our house a fitful and horrific spectacle of a place. We more or less have given up on the idea that government has a central part to play in the cultivation of the civic dimension of life. We’ve given up very much the idea that there is something so universally expressed in human nature that there are certain cultural forms capable of nurturing this nature. In our multicultural tolerance we are losing out on something that gives substance to a shared humanity. We’ve come to think of beauty as an option and the greeks knew better; it’s a necessity. And it should finally be the source of all we prize and all the might we might will in the world. To be beautiful is to be true and to be those things is to be good. That was the ancient ideal and to lose that is to live in a mechanical and meaningless and empty life.