June 30, 2011

Despair: The Supreme Theme of Progressive Politics and Art


The brilliant and insightful John C. Wright sums up the progressive worldview:

Despair can be seen in the art and literature of these modern heathens, which is why it is so ugly and ungainly: why they prefer Mervyn Peake to JRR Tolkien. You understand that a man in true despair does not long for the hope he has lost, he resents hope as a falsehood, a will o’ the wisp, and misleading or childish or unscientific. Their art and literature is based, not on an indifference to beauty, but a hatred of it. I mention the rise of movies whose only allure is to see the characters slowly and painfully tortured both physically and psychologically merely as an aside and an example. This is their world view.

One escape from the grip of despair is to cling to some pretty vision, some image in the clouds, and to pretend it is real so fiercely that one can deny the pain and emptiness that otherwise overwhelm. Ironically, this is the Leftist criticism of Christianity. They, who believe that the fairy unicorns of Gaea-friendly Green socialized welfare must save us from the bad goblins of global warming who otherwise will drown the planet next month, and accuse us, who believe in the Rights of Man as well as the Fall of Man, of being illogical and unrealistic.-- Read all @ The Unreality Principle | John C. Wright's Journal

Posted by Vanderleun at June 30, 2011 12:18 PM
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why they prefer Mervyn Peake to JRR Tolkien

I will admit to having a certain fondness for Peake's work. Not as much as for Tolkien, but I did enjoy the Gormenghast series.

Posted by: physics geek at June 30, 2011 1:22 PM

What's wrong with Peake? Gormenghast is terrific. Not as good as LOR but still very very good. I don't despair and I'm to right of Ghengis Khan

Posted by: Physicist in Boston at July 1, 2011 11:32 AM

This is one of the things I grew to hate about the Harry Potter books and later the movies: the almost pornographic relish with which the author detailed all the physical suffering of her hero. Scars that ache! Pens that cut skin! Spells that leave him battered and bruised on the ground! I think Rowling has some pretensions to writing allegory, and Potter is supposed to be a Christ-figure, but in Christianity Jesus' suffering means something. In HP, it's just ugly stage dressing; nobody is better or changed in any way because of the hero's suffering - even he doesn't change because of it. It's just ugly crap that he goes through because it's an ugly, violent world.

Posted by: Dr. Mabuse at July 1, 2011 2:43 PM

Great link. Reminds me of a post by Barbara Nicolosi several years ago about television watching that has stuck in my mind ever since-

"Our Mother would never let us watch anything that would disorder our souls"

Susan Lee

Posted by: Susan Lee at July 2, 2011 4:06 AM