Counseling against despair

A reader writes:

I don’t know if you’re familiar with Col. Jeff Cooper, the noted firearms authority, trainer, and author. He was one of the world’s great reactionaries and I had a long personal association with him. In 1996, shortly after the reelection of Bill Clinton, he wrote me a letter that contained the following passage, which I have often thought about:

It is certainly true that people of any perspicacity tend to be pessimistic about the future. It is also true that this has always been true. However, a dim view of the future should not diminish one’s basic cheerfulness. To the question “How can you be be cheerful at a time like this?” the answer is “It is absolutely necessary to be cheerful at a time like this!” I am told that the French aristocrats went together to the guillotine with complete aplomb. This was their triumphant rebuke to the Jacobins.

I think that’s an excellent point of view and I feel your writing reflects it, for example, in your reply to Aditya B.

- end of initial entry -

The reader continues:

It was Aditya’s comment that moved me to send Cooper’s observation. I often have to remind myself to try to live by it.

Paul T. writes:

Marching with aplomb to the guillotine is all right if you have to do it, but for inspiration I prefer Gen. Patton: “No poor bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making other bastards die for their country.”

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 22, 2011 09:44 AM | Send

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