Why I write about the things I write about

A valued reader tells me he does not find it interesting to read about personal controversies or about unimportant or obscure figures like John Derbyshire and Conservative Swede. He wants to read my thoughts on various topics, he doesn’t want to hear about these other people.

Here is my reply:

First, what you call “personal controversies” are not personal but attacks that I need to reply to. Granted I probably I reply too much at times.

Second, why do you include the recent thread on Derbyshire among the “personal controversies” of which you disapprove? There was nothing personal about it. It had to do with a writer who is a widely published conservative at the leading conservative magazine who is an atheist nihilist, and this is significant. His ongoing downward course resulting from his atheism and materialism is exemplary, in a negative sense. The analyses by Tom S. and Ian B. were highly interesting and worthwhile. Also, the website “What’s Wrong with the World,” co-edited by VFR commenter Paul Cella, found the Derbyshire discussion sufficiently interesting to start their own thread about it.

As for Conservative Swede, here is an intelligent person, a frequent and valued VFR commenter, in the process of dropping out of the West, and he associates VFR with the West and so he’s turning against VFR too. What would you have me do? Say nothing about this?

Yes, your point is well-taken that you don’t like to read about people who are not well known or significant.

But Swede is significant. He represented at VFR a non-Christian, but friendly-to-Christian (i.e., “culturally Christian”), friendly to America, European conservatism. Was such a thing possible? Well, Swede has crashed and burned, and the man who held up Churchill as an exemplar just a few weeks ago has now spurned Western civilization. Though Swede is not a well-known person, what has happened to this person matters. And it matters specifically from a conservative/traditionalist point of view. Our civilization is crashing before our eyes, “flesh and blood breaking down,” as Dylan said in a 1979 song. We’re trying to find our way through this. The human and spiritual drama of individual people confronting this civilizational crisis and finding a way to deal with it, or else failing to do so and crashing or surrendering, is profoundly important and interesting. I don’t know what I have to do to convey this to you.

You say you’re interested in my writings about Nietzsche, yet you’re not interested in my writings about Conservative Swede. But Swede is the working out of Nietzscheanism in real life: his rejection of God, his loss of the ability to affirm our civilization, his openly stated dislike of our civilization, followed by—his rediscovery of black culture and his new career in black entertainment!!! This is amazing stuff. I could no more not write about this than not write about all the other topics I write about that you like.

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Mark Jaws writes:

Unlike some of your other readers, I have enjoyed the focus you have put on Conservative Swede. It serves its purpose in reminding us such behavior is likely to be expected from folks such as him whose belief system is grounded mainly in materialism, utilitarianism, and nihilism. Our civilization is under multi-front attack by Moslems, Mestizos, and Marxists and is shattering in front of our very eyes. If our cherished Western ways are to survive, it will be precisely through the type of actions that occurred on Omaha Beach when the first wave of American troops were nearly obliterated by the German defenders. What saved the day on June 6th was small numbers of well-trained soldiers who kept their wits, and under the intense German fire formed themselves into ad hoc combat teams, which were able eventually to neutralize one enemy pillbox after another, and thereby allow much larger numbers of troops to come ashore. And so it will be with us. The brave and activist few will eventually move the many. And we are beginning to see the first fruit of such efforts. For example, here in Virginia local citizens have banded together to form “Help Save Loudon!,” “Help Save Manassas!” committees along with other patriotic organizations such as the Minutemen to fight the tide of illegal aliens swarming into our communities. In my opinion it is better for our cause that the summer soldiers such as Conservative Swede break ranks now, rather then later, and drift into obscurity.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 14, 2007 11:59 AM | Send

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