We Will Not Flag Or Fail
A reader from an Australian metropolis wrote me a little while back to describe the social and emotional difficulties of being a Right-thinking outlier in an overwhelmingly, and so often unreflectively and oppressively, Leftist culture. He needed some bucking up, I thought, and so I offered the following (slightly edited) reply. I don’t think he’ll mind my reprinting it here in the hope that it might offer some comfort to others in the same lonely predicament.
Dear ____,I understand what you’re going through. I face exactly the same issues in my own relationships, all the time.It’s very hard to push back effectively. There is a tremendous soggy weight of dogma always pressing down; it’s as if you are caught under a big wet circus tent that you have to lift every time you want to stand up to speak your mind.Or perhaps the better metaphor is the one I’ve always used in the past: that we are swept along in a powerful stream, and as long as we drift with the current we don’t feel its power. Most people drift along in little groups, focusing only on each other, but some of us look at the banks of the river, and notice that we are being swept away to an unfamiliar landscape far from our home. We plant our feet on the bottom and try to grab hold of the people we care about, but immediately we feel the enormous power of the current, and it is all we can do to resist. Meanwhile our friends just think we’re acting very strangely indeed, and making things very unpleasant for ourselves and for them. It’s so much more pleasant to drift, you see, especially when everyone else is — and as soon as we put our feet down on the bottom everyone else is suddenly moving away with the current. (To them, it seems as if we are moving backward.)All I can say is to tell you what I do — how I’ve managed to live in such a condition without going mad:I tell myself that no matter what everyone else thinks, I’m going to look at the world as frankly as I can, gather my own information, and understand it as clearly as I can manage. I read a lot of history, and I learned a while back that if I want to learn the truth about history, I can’t learn it just from people writing about it now; I also have to read the books that were written while it was happening.I seek out people who are also resisting the current. They are out there, and it is important to know that they are out there.I refuse to be broken. I am blessed with reason and intelligence and wisdom, and I will not lay them aside. I will believe in myself, and I will be faithful to myself.I have friends who respect my intelligence. I try to show them a living example of someone who doubts and questions and denies their secular religion, and who is yet still a friend they can respect. This is, I think, the most effective thing I can do: to show them that a decent, intelligent man of firm moral principles can question the things they take for granted and not be struck by lightning.I want to make them doubt, even just a little, even just for a moment, the unholy doctrine of this new secular religion. If I can do that, if I can make that tiny crack in the wall, the flowing power of Truth will do the rest. I will believe that Truth is real, that it is mighty, and that it will prevail.And I write. I write for people that, like me and you, need to know there are others out there. And I do it for myself, to bind and organize my understanding.Okay, that’s enough, I think. Sorry to ramble on so. But you get the picture.As Churchill said:“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”Best,
MalcolmP.S. Be of good cheer. The tide may be turning. The great, sustaining comfort is that we are Right, and they are wrong. Magna est veritas!