A few weeks ago I mentioned the architect and essayist Ralph Adams Cram, an influential Old Right thinker and the subject of a recently completed two-volume biography by Douglass Shand-Tucci. I’ve now recieved a review copy of the later volume, Ralph Adams Cram: An Architect’s Four Quests and have found a journal that’s interested having me cover the book. (I won’t name any names because I’m superstitious about counting chickens before the eggs are even laid, let alone hatched.) That’ll be coming up in a few months. Meanwhile, All this has served as a good excuse for me to pull down from the shelf my copy of Cram’s 1935 essay collection Convictions and Controversies. I’d related the main point of Cram’s “Why We Do Not Behave Like Human Beings” in my last post on him, but here’s an excerpt from the essay that really gets to the heart of the matter:
What kinship is there between St. Francis and John Calvin; the Earl of Strafford and Thomas Crumwell; Robert E. Lee and Trotsky; Edison and Capone? None except their human form. They of the great list behave like our ideal of the human being; they of the ignominious sub-stratum do not–because they are not. In other words, the just line of demarcation should be drawn, not between Neolithic Man and the anthropoid ape, but between the glorified and triumphant human being and the Neolithic mass which was, is now and ever shall be.