70 the fact these images actually do corespond to a

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Unformatted text preview: f Irish political reality to invert its use, so that the state is now to be imagined only as what has failed to flourish as a tree.” But, Macintyre also notes, that “those features of the Irish state that allow Yeats to find only a negative and condemnatory use belong to it not as Irish, but as state. They are features of the modern state as such. And hence derives my thesis that Yeats reveals to us in the images of his mature poetry the imaginative poverty not of a particular regime, but of the CEU eTD Collection structure of every modern state.”69 What allows Macintyre to make such a claim is that he belives that there are, or at least there were, political communities which would be corectly described by the images of historical continuity and tradition – “the best types of Greek polis or of medieval community – membership in which provided their citizens with a meaningful identity, so that caring for 66 Ibid, 163 Ibid, 170 68 Ibid, 171 69 Ibid, 171 67 41 the common good, even to the point of being willing to die for it, was no other than caring what was good about oneself.” 70 The fact these images actually do corespond to a certain institutional reality implies that they can be can also be used improperly, to describe an institutional reality they do not corespond to, and in that case they are used “to diguise or distort”. Since the modern state does not embody the institutional reality these images corespond to, it can only be using them as a disguise. On the other hand, Macintyre points out, it is a necessary disguise, because without it, being asked to die for the modern state would be “like being asked to die for the telephone company”71. To sum up Macintyre’s position, the incoherence in Burkean imagination lies in the fact that the modern state asks its citizens to intelectualy assess its arangments as selfinterested calculators, while at the same time asking them to foster an imaginative devotion to it, as to a community based on the common good. And the only way that Burke is able to compromise between these two imcompatible positions is that he suspended the use of sceptical reason in the area of imaginative alegiance.72 When Tamir speaks about “[t]he importance of endowing the state with a national task that creates a link between the present generation, its ancestors, and future generation, its CEU eTD Collection ancestors, and future generations”, which “helps individuals conquer their fear of death by promising them an opportunity to enter the sphere of the eternal” 73, not only is she using Burken images par exellence (while only occassionally paying tribute to the original author), but she is using them with the same purpose and in the same way that Burke did. This means that she considers them to be on the one hand neccessary, and on the other – beyond rational criticsm. However, if we accept Macintyre’s position that images can also be true and false, 70 Ibid, 163 Ibid, 163 72 Ibid, 162 73 Tamir, “Pro Patria Mori”, 233 71 42 inasmuch as they reveal or disguise the true nature of a...
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