History, for the progressive, is a bottomless source of self-regard. He reads of past men and past deeds, and thinks, “If only they were more like us!”
The obscurest epoch is today.
Not so very long ago, no adult in history had ever spoken of himself as the parent of an animal.
Ours is the Great Age of Hoaxes, its small compensation for being the Great Age of Fakes.
Flash mobs appeared from nowhere, a few years ago, and vanished as suddenly as they came.
There are no murders of great civilizations — only suicides.
The savage’s hatred of the civilized man does little harm, unless abetted by the civilized man’s hatred of himself.
The conservative stands athwart history with a radar gun, handing out the occasional speeding ticket to make quota.
Written history is mostly war, and the surest way to be remembered is to start one.
Whiggism implies boundless optimism about the future, and, less often noted, boundless contempt for the past.
We say of posthumously venerated figures that they waited generations or centuries to receive their due. It does not occur to us that they may have deserved their earlier neglect, and that it is we who have been taken in.