Place, Location, Formation

[T]here were once times when people lived in places, and there are remote locations where people still do. As I’ve tried to convey by the use of two terms, my definition of a “place” subtly varies from my definition of a “location,” such as one might find using GPS. Place implies neighbourhood and continuous history. It extends beyond family and provides the means by which an individual human is “socialized,” or as we used to say, “formed.”

Formation is a Catholic Thing, or more precisely a “traditionalist” Catholic idea, that like so many others was once generally understood. The alternative to a good formation is a bad formation; there can be no such thing as no formation at all, though in modern liberal thought an effort is made to pursue this “ideal,” working piecemeal on suggestions from the Father of Lies. The rude power of the state (including our nominally “private” megacorporations) is employed to destroy the sense of place, in every place, and thereby create a form of “New Soviet Man,” or Perfect Consumer, who will be not only “Equal” regardless of race creed and gender, but have attitudes free of prejudice, memory, knowledge, intelligence, or any inclination to resist the instructions of his computerized bureaucratic minders. All such “arbitrary” features as the place you came from will be ground into a grey soup in which the individual floats as a grey pea, subject to immolation if he shows signs of colour.

David Warren, Essays in Idleness, Television Review

Reader John @ReaderJohn
My main blog is the Tipsy Teetotaler,