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Donald Davidson
1893 - 1968

American philosopher, poet, and critic, professor at Vanderbilt University, author of The Attack on Leviathan (1938) and other works. Russell Kirk called Davidson "a stalwart defender of America's permanent things during an era of radical change", and considered his The Attack on Leviathan (now published as Regionalism and Nationalism in the United States : The Attack on Leviathan) as one of the ten most important conservative books ever published.

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Regionalism and Nationalism in the United States: The Attack on Leviathan
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'You cannot turn the clock back!' is the commonest taunt of our day. It always emerges as the clinching argument that any modernist offers any traditionalist when the question is: 'What shall we do now?' But it is not really an argument. It is a taunt intended to discredit the traditionalist by stigmatizing him a traitor to an idea of progress that is assumed as utterly valid and generally accepted. The aim is, furthermore, to poison the traditionalist's own mind and disturb his self-confidence by the insinuation that he is a laggard in the world's great procession. His faith in an established good is made to seem nostalgic devotion to a mere phantom of the buried past. His opposition to the new-no matter how ill-advised, inartistic, destructive, or immoral that new may be-is defined as a quixotic defiance of the Inevitable. To use a term invented by Arnold J. Toynbee, he is an Archaist. By definition, he is therefore doomed.

1957 - from Still Rebels, Still Yankees
... modern [conservatives] prefer to grasp the particular. They want something to engage both their reason and their love. They distrust the advice of John Dewey to 'use the foresight of the future to refine and expand present activities.' ... They are learning how to meet the subtlest and most dangerous foe of humanity - the tyranny that wears the mask of humanitarianism and benevolence. They are attacking Leviathan.

1938 - from The Attack on Leviathan