The “aesthetic” consequences of an idea offer good indications of its validity.

What is latent in an idea, covered up by appeals to sentiment or resentment, is exposed by its realization. An idea whose products are malformed, poisonous, ugly is revealed as a noxious one, irrespective of the high-minded arguments in its favor. Conversely, noble ideas are recognized by their ennobling effects. Most modern ideas that promise “emancipation” or “empowerment” have yielded freakish results. No further evidence should be needed to condemn them.

If you want to get the true measure of a civilization or a period within a civilization, examine its artifacts. It is what a civilization leaves behind when it can no longer speak except through its residue that justifies or condemns it.