What if we lose?

(Note: this entry was prepared for posting yesterday, before the entry “Are we doomed?” was posted. The two entries should be read in conjunction.)

John McNeil writes:

I understand that you feel that Steyn is a defeatist because he sees no hope in the West, much like Derbyshire.

Do you have a 100 percent confidence that the Geert Wilders, Nick Griffins, and Jared Taylors of the Western world will succeed? Have you thought about the possibility that the neocon/neoliberal agenda will remain in power for the next few decades, thus ensuring the 2050 doomsday when whites will be a minority in almost every white country?

Do you see any wisdom in preparing strategies and crafting a mode of thinking for whites when they no longer have demographic security and may very well be at the mercy of Third World societies that reject Judeo-Christian morality? I realize that Derbyshire and Steyn don’t really provide constructive ideas for that scenario, they should hold their arms in resignation and engage in doomspeak. I’ve been accused on various blogs of being a defeatist, and yet I don’t believe in giving up. I do feel that the march towards globalization will continue, not deterred by any right-wing revolution. The tea party is an embarrassment, as are the “Tea Party” candidates like O’Donnell, and they have no indication that they are truly interested in saving the West. Economic issues seem to matter to them more. In many ways, this is a parallel movement of the Religious right, that focuses on a small portion of the big picture, in the Tea Party’s case, it’s taxes. The Religious right failed because it did not see the big picture, it thought abortion and gay marriage were the priority issues.

And in Europe, the EU is becoming increasingly totalitarian, and I don’t see how any nationalist movement will succeed there.

I am mentally conditioning myself for the very likely possibility that the demographic 2050 will happen, perhaps sooner. Which is why I’m trying to craft ideas for how the West can survive in such a dark time. I will be an old man by then, and hopefully I will have given myself enough time to craft a survival plan and serve as an elder who can guide his people through the wilderness.

Do you think that trying to prepare for 2050 is defeatist and unproductive? Do you think that the American/European right has a very strong chance of stopping 2050 from happening?

[10:06 a.m.: My below reply has been revised since it was first posted.]

LA replies:

When did I ever suggest anything like a “a 100 percent confidence” that our side can succeed? We do not know what will happen, and in my view it is a waste of energy speculating about whether we will win or not. All we can do is to do what we do. If we succeed, we succeed. If we fail, then Western civilization will end. Of course, all civilizations ultimately end. When they end, they leave seeds for future civilizations. Therefore, if we do lose, which I don’t expect to happen, our efforts to build up an understanding of the meaning and necessities of our civilization will not be wasted. They will become part of the collective understanding of our people and society in the future, taking forms that we cannot know now.

At the same time, given the fact that we don’t know what will happen, to consider and prepare for the possibility of defeat, in the terms in which you have put the problem, is not defeatist in my view, but prudent. Trying to imagine what kind of communities may survive the defeat and carry forward elements of our civilization even after the civilization has ended, makes sense.

The problem could be expressed in these terms. We need to proceed simultaneously on two tracks, which are different but do not contradict each other and in fact complement each other. The first track is the effort to win back our society. The second track is to build up an independent base from which we can resist the dominant liberal culture. That independent base of resistance may serve as the nucleus of the community that ultimately defeats and replaces the dominant liberal culture, or, in the event that we lose, it may serve as the nucleus for a new community and society separate from the dominant liberal culture. Either way, we resist liberalism, and we keep resisting it as long as we live.

- end of initial entry -

Buck O. writes:

It seems to me, I’ll just say that I’m convinced, that the forces in play have certain inertia and a life of their own, and that there’s no intellectual force that can stop them. I’m certain that Americans no longer have sufficient will to stop them. The continuation to completion of modern liberalism’s destruction of American and the West, and the growth and expansion of Islam’s power and authority here, on whatever timetable it chooses, won’t end, notwithstanding the torture of the one-step-forward, two-steps-back by a flashing Tea Party and our hapless and pathetic Republican party.

Your ability to project a surviving traditional conservative spirit and its precepts out into a bleak and decisive future is impressive. You seem to be always able to crack any nut thrown at you. But, I too think we are doomed. I’ll continue to look for solutions and to argue and to act for positive change, but, I always have that sinking feeling as I give it another whack: why won’t this stupid horse get up?

This article, if you haven’t already seen it, at FrontPage Magazine this morning has a number of good quotes that speak directly to this topic and the puzzle of what to do.

Quick aside: I shared a wood shop for about fifteen years. Someone had written on our chalk board a phrase that remained un-erased for over ten years. The words trailing down the board: “Life is a sucking, swirling eddy of despair, and then you die.” I laughed the first time I read it. It seems to sum up life in a simple phrase—making out the absurdity of complaining about its pain.

I don’t know why that I liked it so much. I looked to people’s reactions when they read it. If they laughed, I saw that as a good sign. If they grimaced and thought it to be stupid or horrible, I thought that was a bad sign. I’m not sure what that means.

James B. writes:

“If we succeed, we succeed. If we fail, then Western civilization will end. Of course, all civilizations ultimately end. When they end, they leave seeds for future civilizations.”

I find myself thinking more and more these days about St. Benedict, who saw the corruption of Rome and decided to head out to live in the wilderness. There he founded the movement that (arguably) ended up creating the Western world that we once knew, after the 500 year interval of the Dark Ages.

Remember, Despair is a sin. We never know what fruits God may make of our labors, or whether or not we will even live to see them. All we can do, as Dylan said, is keep on keepin’ on.

Mercedes D. writes:

Excellent posts over the past few days [here and here] springing from your comments on Steyn’s perpetual defeatist attitude [here and also here]. It is interesting to read the range of opinions coming from your readers. I think you are right to insist that we fight the good fight, even though the victory is not assured, and that embracing defeat should not be an option.

I also liked James B.’s comment about St. Benedict, and his remark that despair is a sin. His comment that “We never know what fruit God may make of our labors, or whether or not we will even live to see them,” reminded me of the conversation between Frodo and Gandalf in the Mines of Moria.

Frodo: I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.

Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.

Thank you for continuing to encourage us to take action to preserve Western Civilization and defeat the mortal threat that is Islam. I find your site invaluable.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 29, 2010 09:12 AM | Send

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