Grasping the situation
Well, Lawrence, you have won me over. The neo-cons do indeed too often appear to be no more capable of leaving their old reservation completely than Horowitz. Half a loaf, I suppose. Or perhaps it is as you suspect that the lack of clarity in principle creates ambivalence and becomes a stalking horse.
Your blog wears me out, but it is like a car wreck I cannot take my eyes off. [LA replies: Hey, thanks a lot.]
The subjects are of the greatest importance, well thought out and written, and the understandings you post are often profound. Conservative Swede gave me insight into the relationship I had sensed but not articulated between leftists and faux Christian ideals. The idea that it is suicidal to be espousing Christian ideals without actually believing in God or Christianity is profound.
Although the atrocious Islamic behavior is always an issue here, it is plain the real discussion is always reliably framed by the issue of our own peculiar and maddening weaknesses. As power hates a vacuum, so it must be that evil hates the vacuum of weakness and insincerity. We often give our enemies the means for our own destruction.
Were these present enemies to disappear magically, the strange and powerful forces of our dysfunction would attract or create new ones immediately, for Islam and the Left are two sides of the same coin. Each hate liberty. True diversity is intolerable. It offends them to see free men sort their lives each day in the dice-roll of personal choices. Islam means submission. So does socialism.
The way to procure insults is to submit to them. A man meets with no more respect than he exacts.
By despising all that has proceeded us, we teach others to despise us.
I haven’t the heart to go on. There is virtually no end to it, is there? So, the task is to reduce everything that it is possible to reduce into principle, because the value of a principle is in the number of things it can explain. Then we might not be searching so endlessly to answer each new outrage. That, and humor. Gallows or otherwise. Irony, ridicule, scorn, and laughter. Laughter is not my strong suit, but is invaluable.
I will not ask you to keep up the wonderful work, because I don’t think you can stop.
This is a beautiful e-mail, especially the sentence beginning, “Were these present enemies…” I would make just one qualification. It is true that finding a single principle or a few principles that explain many different phenomena is indispensable in helping us see through the all-embracing fog of liberalism. But we don’t only want to reduce things to principles, after all, that’s what liberalism does. We also want to appreciate the particular qualities of particular things, which cannot be reduced to a principle.
- end of initial entry -
Before posting James W.’s comment, I wrote to him:
Thanks. There’s a lot in this. But:
> Your blog wears me out, but it is like a car wreck I cannot take my eyes off.
You’re calling VFR a car wreck?
James W. replied:
No Lawrence, you must not take me quite so literally. The allusion is only to the fascination it forces upon me. There is joy in the learning inseparable from the despair in the subject. That’s the conundrum.
Not for the first time have I left you hanging a bit. My language is sometimes not clear, for though I’m 59, writing is new to me, and time is too short as I work seven days. For simplicity’s sake, always doubt my skill and not my intent. If hope is to be had, it will be formed, refined, and make irresistible with exactly the format and content of your blog and a few others of similar character. There are no knives to be delivered in your back from this quarter.
From a safe distance I will tell you that the rather sickening lengths your enemies may extend themselves to in visiting toxicity upon your work is a sure sign you are getting to them. The emperor truly wears no clothes.
You write wonderfully, even the occasional awkward spot or mixed metaphor conveys the sincerity of what you have to say.
Also, you write:
There is joy in the learning inseparable from the despair in the subject. That’s the conundrum.What you say is close to my heart. This has always been the case for me. There is joy in grasping things more clearly, in seeing something we didn’t see before, yet also horror, since many of the things we are seeing are things that are leading to the destruction of everything we are. All I can say is, it is only by seeing these things that there is any hope of surviving and reversing the destruction.
From: Jeff in England
Subject: WE DROVE THAT CAR WRECK (FrontPage, not VFR) AS FAR AS WE COULD, ABANDONED IT OUT WEST
FRONTPAGE seems like the carwreck to me, with VFR speeding by it. But James W. meant well. Still. odd way of defining VFR, even if he didn’t mean it that way.
No, what James said is no problem at all, it’s charming and it conveys something true. Go to VFR and see the follow-up exchange between us.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 10, 2007 01:28 AM | Send