From the archives:

George Grant. In Defense of North America (Communio 38: Summer 2011, reprinted from 1969).

From the text:

Indeed until recently the very absence of a contemplative tradition spared us the full weight of that public nihilism which in Europe flowered with industrial society. The elimination of the idea of final purpose from the scientific study of the human and nonhuman things not only led to the progress of science and the improvement of conditions but also had consequences on the public understanding of what it was to live. But this consequence was not so immediately evident in our practical culture as it was to Europeans. We took our science pragmatically, as if its effect on us could be limited to the external. Thus it was possible for us to move deeply into the technological society, while maintaining our optimism and innocence.

In the public realm, this optimism and innocence delayed the appearance among us of many of those disorders which in Europe were concurrent with that nihilism. . . . full text (PDF)

GEORGE GRANT (1918-1988), one of Canada’s foremost philosophers, was the author of six books, more than 200 articles, and numerous other publications. This article was originally published in his Technology and Empire (1969).