After Virtue

Tekst til bestillingsverk av James MacMillan hentet fra kapittel 18 i After Virtue: Nietzsche, Trotsky or St. Benedict (s. 263) av Alasdair Chalmers Macintyre (1981/1984) omsett til nynorsk av Are Frode Sholt (2007).

Are Frode Soholt 2007

 

AFTER VIRTUE

  VENTE P ST. BENEDIKT
       
 

It is always dangerous to draw too precise parallels between one historical period and another, and among the most misleading of such parallels are those which have been drawn between our own age in Europe and North America and the epoch in which the Roman Empire declined into the Dark Ages. Nonetheless certain parallels there are. A crucial turning point in that earlier history occurred when men and women of good will turned aside from the task of shoring up the Roman imperium and ceased to identify the continuation of civility and moral community with the maintenance of that imperium. What they set themselves to achieve instead - often not recognizing fully what they were doing - was the construction of new forms of community within which the moral life could be sustained so that both morality and civility might survive the coming ages of barbarism and darkness. If my account of our moral condition is correct, we ought also to conclude that for some time now we too have reached that turning point. What matters at this stage is the construction of local forms of community within which civility and the intellectual and moral life can be sustained through the new dark ages which are already upon us. And if the tradition of the virtues was able to survive the horrors of the last dark ages, we are not entirely without grounds for hope. This time however the barbarians are not waiting beyond the frontiers; they have already been governing us for quite some time. And it is our lack of consciousness of this that constitutes part of our predicament. We are waiting not for a Godot, but for another - doubtless very different - St. Benedict.

 

Det er alltid risikabelt trekke alt for strenge parallellar mellom ein historisk periode og ein annan, og blant dei mest villeiande er dei som er blitt trekte mellom vr eiga tid i Europa og Nord-Amerika, og den epoken d det romerske imperiet fall inn i den mrke mellomalderen. Nokre parallellar er der likevel. Eit avgjerande skilje i denne epoken var d rettskafne menn og kvinner slutta f p det romerske imperiet; dei sg ikkje lenger p det bevare imperiet som det same som oppretthalde kultur og moral. Det dei heller ville oppn ofte utan sj fullt ut kva dei gjorde var bygge nye samfunnsformer der bde moral og kultur kunne overleve skumringstida mot barbarismen. Om mi framstilling av den moralske tilstanden er korrekt, kan vi ogs slutte at vi no str ved det same skiljet. Det som betyr noko i dag er bygge nye samfunnsformer der vrt kulturelle, intellektuelle og moralske liv kan overleve den nye mrke tidsalderen vi allereie er inne i. Og om dygdene vre kunne overleve redslene fr den forrige mrke tidsalderen, er vi ikkje heilt utan von. Men i dag ventar ikkje barbarane utanfor grensa; dei har herska over oss ei god stund allereie. Vr knipe er delvis vrt  manglande medvit om dette. Vi ventar - ikkje p ein Godot, men p ein annan utvilsamt annleis p St. Benedikt.