Friday Open Comments

 

chateau-de-chambord-loire-valley-france-3

This piece of art located in the Chateau de Chambord in the Loire Valley/France is much more than your regular functional staircase. Besides the marble that already gives it a sense of grandeur, it’s the only double spiral staircase in the world, meaning that people using one helix (spiral) can never meet the ones using the other side, as the two helixes never meet. It expands over three floors and in the center there is an open air shaft that lets the natural light in.

Built in the 16th century, the staircase is rumoured to have been designed by none other than Leonardo da Vinci, due to it’s intricate shape and da Vinci’s famous golden ratio formula applied in the proportions.

Thursday Open Comments

Over the past half century, the Reagan years notwithstanding, our ruling class’s changing preferences and habits have transformed public and private life in America. As John Marini shows in his essay, “Donald Trump and the American Crisis,” this has resulted in citizens morphing into either this class’s “stakeholders” or its subjects. And, as Publius Decius Mus argues, “America and the West” now are so firmly “on a trajectory toward something very bad” that it is no longer reasonable to hope that “all human outcomes are still possible,” by which he means restoration of the public and private practices that made the American republic. In fact, the 2016 election is sealing the United States’s transition from that republic to some kind of empire.

Electing either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump cannot change that trajectory. Because each candidate represents constituencies hostile to republicanism, each in its own way, these individuals are not what this election is about. This election is about whether the Democratic Party, the ruling class’s enforcer, will impose its tastes more strongly and arbitrarily than ever, or whether constituencies opposed to that rule will get some ill-defined chance to strike back. Regardless of the election’s outcome, the republic established by America’s Founders is probably gone. But since the Democratic Party’s constituencies differ radically from their opponents’, and since the character of imperial governance depends inherently on the emperor, the election’s result will make a big difference in our lives.

After the Republic, Anthony Codevilla, 09/27/2016