Monday, June 13, 2016

One Day All Shall Be Woodlands and Good Beasts Shall Rule

A realistic Bear in a realistic setting.


Decline of the West

Oswald Spengler was a pessimistic German author of the early 20th century. His most famous book is  The Decline of the West, published after WWI. Europe and America were doomed, he argued. There were natural and predictable cycles in history, and the West was starting the inevitable, long downward slide. "Optimism is cowardice," is his most famous quote.

Whatever you think of his theory, Spengler has been vindicated in his prediction. Every institution of the West is in one stage or another of collapse. This is the primary feature of the lives of people now living in the West. Family, education, politics, government, the arts, the Church, countries: all have collapsed at once. Decline and Fall of the West is no longer a prophecy, but a retrospective.

The Great Divide: Fantasy vs. Reality

The Bear wishes to focus on one aspect of this disaster, the one that affects everyone most personally. The chief characteristic of the Spenglarian man is a rejection of reality. In fact, the Bear would argue that the great divide of our time is not conservative versus liberal, but those who accept reality, and those who reject it.

Of course, one might try to start an argument, because, after all, who is the Bear of all writers, to decide what is reality? The Bear would not engage in such an argument. For one he is quite certain about reality, and has arrived at this certainty honestly. A reality-denier may feel just as certain, but he has not earned his certainty, as becomes instantly apparent if he attempts to engage the Bear. The Bear trusts he does not have to belabor this point. If anyone really doesn't get this, the Bear could address it in more detail in a future article, but would rather not, as it gets really tiresome.

But if someone is riding a unicorn, it's best to just shy away.

More practically, it is literally impossible to argue with someone who denies reality. After all, another term for an inability to recognize reality from fantasy is delusion. As Chesterton observed, if you attempt to argue with a madman, it is likely you will lose. After all, an argument supposes two people at least inhabit the same reality. When one is freed from rational thought, it is impossible to lose an argument.

Never attempt to argue with someone who has no grasp on reality.

Error Has No Rights

Accurately determining reality requires a sound mind, a significant fund of knowledge of all different types; some respect for tradition; a certain suspicion of the opinions of others; especially of popular opinion, even of experts; a keen eye for observing people; and an absence of wishful thinking. It also requires the courage to disdain others' opinion of you.

Or, in a Bear's case, instinct. That an an excellent sense of smell.

In other words, qualities most people lack today.

The Bear must make a confession. He likes his readers, truly. But he doesn't fret much about what they think of him. He has an excellent grasp on reality, one he has earned, sometimes painfully. And let's face it, he's smart. If you're reading this because you came here to read something, you're probably smart, too.

Having opinions is not for everyone. But, "Everyone has a right to his own opinion," right? Typical human egalitarian nonsense. No one has a right to be wrong. Or, if  your prefer Pope Pius IX, "error has no rights." Now there was a pope in touch with reality. Maybe there will be another one, someday.

Why not say, "Everyone has a right to poke his eye out with a fork?" The Bear supposes one could argue that was true, too.

But it is more like saying, "Everyone has a right to poke your eye out with a fork." That is because their stupid, uniformed opinion that runs contrary to reality affects the Bear here in the real world. Such people, whoever they are, emphatically do not have that right. However, we have the right and the duty to assert reality in the most real ways at our disposal. Tempered, of course by our duties as Christians.

Bears especially must remember this, as they have little patience for fools either high or low, and the capacity to do great bodily harm. This is the reality of Bears. This is why most people who are killed by Bears are deluded persons who have imagined they have made pets or performers of them. Often a denial of reality carries fatal consequences.

But the Bear supposes those who have a grasp on reality in the first place have noticed this.

One Day All Shall Be Woodlands and Good Beasts Shall Rule

Life in the sun-dappled Woodlands is sometimes pleasant, but unforgiving. Bears and other beasts cannot afford to substitute some feel-good fantasy for reality. The world is fallen. Optimism is cowardice. Bears are not cowards. Neither are Woodland Creatures. All woodlands are dark and dangerous places, and nature is red in tooth and claw.

Now that all institutions are controlled by the deluded -- the central problem of the West -- the Woodlands are covering the towns faster than Birnam Wood came to high Dunsinane's hill. The Bear gently reminds everyone that only realists survive in the Woodlands, and there are no greater realists than a Bear and his friends.

7 comments:

  1. Dear Bear,
    As one of the lowliest of Woodland creatures (I think I will identify as a wombat today), I admit I am sometimes hesitant to approach Your Bearness, knowing as I do that I am in way over my head. But even those of us far down the food chain (I’m actually classified as a pest) have our fears, doubts, and concerns. That’s exactly why we turn to you, Bear. Where else can we find superhuman strength combined with 1300 years of accumulated knowledge? Not to mention your special Bearish sense of humor.
    Frankly, Bear, some of us are getting a little frightened. The systemic collapse going on is the result of that receding sense of reality. Or is it? Which came first?
    We come to you, O Bear, in hope of answers and advice. When our spiritual leader says things such as, “There are no heretics, and if you believe there are, then you are a heretic”, we are feeling a little panicky. Especially when everyone else says they understand and agree with all this.
    So please be patient when we are a little dense, and remember, “What would St. Corbinian do?”
    Signed,
    Your friend, The Wombat

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First of all, you are Brave Captain Ernest, Marshal of the Facebook Colony, not a wombat or a pest.

      The trajectory of the collapse is not important. Certainly WWI was a watershed. The process accelerated during the later 20th century and the present one. As it proceeds, it moves more quickly to its inevitable end.

      What is clear is that all institutions of the West are in advanced stages of failure. The Bear believes it is the result of a loss of faith in all senses that gave way to the substitution of fantasy for reality. Many are realists, but the delusional control the failing institutions. Perhaps it is good that they are failing.

      Ignoring reality brings consequences. This will eventual be the undoing of the delusional in all institutions. They will scramble to maintain relevance and power, but ultimately reality will hit like an asteroid.

      The delusional will imagine a better world, and the real world will snuff them out without a thought. However, realists will survive, because realism and survive go hand-in-hand, just as sure as delusion-and-extinction go hand-in-hand.

      This the Bear has seen. His counsel is to be 100% realistic, 100% of the time, relative to 100% of subjects. This how you keep your peace. This is how you know what to do, and how to protect yourself. There is no room of sentimentality, for wishful thinking, or for arguing with the doomed. (Yet not everyone who is delusional may be doomed -- some may respond.)

      Some things, when subjected to the burning light of realism, may not survive. Things you need, loved. But if they are false, they can be of no use, and your reliance on them can only harm you in the long run. There are things we are told we must not question. It is everybody's choice what they decide to exempt from the realism test.

      There can be no contradictions in reality. If you detect a contradiction, you may wish to subject it to very close and detached observation. Or you may find it more comfortable to live with your contradictions. Personally, believing two opposite things is something the Bear has given up on, and found life to be much more pleasant.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Bear.
      I guess I make a lame Wombat anyway. The Wombat was too envious of your literacy. But he's glad you're there to help when he looks at the world and finds that understanding it is a bit like solving a Rubik's Cube hands free...

      Delete
  2. Optimism Is Cowardice.

    I am going to place this saying in my Family Crest. And also on a bumper sticker on my minivan. Perfect descriptor for Sir Puddleglum of the Marshy West.

    One of your best pieces by the way.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Talk about delusional. Check out on Brietbart what that gasbag Glenn Beck has to say. Error has no rights--you can't enshrine homosexuality and even moderate Islam and expect the world to be a better place! The only thing that will bring true peace and flourishing is the Social Kingship of Christ.

    ReplyDelete
  4. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

    1Corinthians 1:25

    ReplyDelete

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