In the new issue of TAC, Eve Tushnet sings the praises of Dupont Circle, and along the way expresses her annoyance with the “paeans to rural community” with which she is supposedly inundated by other Americans on the right. If the American right were suffering from an undue attachment to rural life and small towns, I might be able to understand better the source of Tushnet’s irritation, but what the right suffers from is a collection of deeply misguided policies combined with an excess of praise for the very communities their preferred policies decimate and change beyond recognition. I won’t begrudge the Dupont Circle resident her local patriotism, and I can appreciate her expression of what Kennan called a “loyalty despite” rather than a “loyalty because of,” but if the city is the “human condition with the volume on high” it nonetheless remains a kind of place relatively more hostile to moderation and virtue, and it will always be the kind of place prone to an exaggeration of all those desires that man needs to keep in check if he is to remain civilized rather than merely urbanized. In the meantime, the economic and political consolidation and concentration of power that our major cities embody are real dangers that threaten the urban professional and the farmer alike.

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