|A realistic Bear in a realistic setting.|
Decline of the West
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.