We built only for the moment, not even for the future, as we eradicated the past.
The loss of manners, he especially decried, had coincided, necessarily, with the loss of beauty in society. Nowhere, it seemed, did anyone take decorum seriously—whether in one’s soul or one’s society. If order in one’s soul leads to order in the commonwealth, disorder in one’s soul leads to the disorder in the commonwealth. The totalitarians of the present age, Kirk feared, wanted to control not only the present, but also the past and the future as well. “The totalists say that the old order is a corpse, and that man and society must be fashioned afresh, in grim fashion, upon a grim plan,” he wrote.
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2020/01/russell-kirk-beauty-civilization-bradley-birzer.html