High Hope and Damnable Despair: Some Words of Wisdom from Vox Day and Bruce Charlton

I don’t believe in God or Satan, but I increasingly wonder whether I should. I greatly admire and regularly learn from the writers Vox Day and Bruce Charlton, so perhaps I should adopt the Christianity that they make central to their work. At the same time, I can separate the ontics from the pragmatics in the epistemics of theistics. That is, I understand that believing in God can be useful whether or not God literally exists. Indeed, I know for myself that merely imagining a God can be useful. The concept of God clarifies and consolidates some valuable techniques of mental, moral and spiritual hygiene.

Crucial question

Even if you’re an atheist (and adiabolist) like me, you might find it useful to ask yourself of your own thoughts and deeds: Would God be pleased with these or would the Devil be cheering you on? By definition, God is the embodiment of Truth, Beauty and Goodness. He wants what’s best for you, me and every other human. Satan, by contrast, is the absolute and eternal enemy of Truth, Beauty and Goodness. He wants what’s worst for you, me and every other human. So it’s a very effective shorthand to ask who would be pleased by what one is doing or thinking: God or Satan? I’ve killed negative trains of thought by asking myself that question. And thereby snapped out of self-pity, bitterness and recrimination.   Those are bad things to have in your head – Satanic things, a Christian would say, so it’s no wonder that leftism encourages thoughts like that.

Yes, the same “God or Satan?” question applies just as much to the political as the personal. Indeed, the political is the personal, because the politics you espouse reflect what kind of person you are. Is someone interested in power rather than Truth, Beauty and Goodness? Then they will espouse leftism. And that gives leftists some big advantages. It is easier to pursue power when you don’t have to worry about truth, morality and aesthetics. This is related to the fact that it’s easier to destroy than to create. Leftism is the ideology of destruction, not creation, and that again gives leftists an advantage. They are energized and encouraged by destruction, decay and degradation – by ugliness and evil in the arts and entertainment, by the elevation of thuggish Black criminals like George Floyd to sainthood, and by the flooding of White Christian nations with unattractive, unproductive and unintelligent non-Whites.

Hope creates morale, morale wins wars

Those of us who oppose leftism are not encouraged and energized by those things. Quite the opposite. And so it’s easy to be dismayed and demoralized by them – in short, to slip into despair. But that’s where the “God or Satan?” question proves useful once again. Christianity has always taught that hope is virtuous and despair is damnable. As Vox Day puts it: “The choice is between the hope of Jesus Christ and the despair of Satan.” Despair is what our enemies want us to feel, because it does their fighting for them. As Vox Day has also said: “Hope is what generates morale, and morale is what wins wars and every other form of conflict that requires endurance.” Here are some excellent blog-posts by Day on the subject of hope and despair:

Always watch your tongue

No despair nancies

Despair will not be tolerated

The filth-pigs of San Francisco

The journey sans ticket

Biggest sting-op in US history

As he says in the first blog-post above: “Words not only describe reality, they shape reality by influencing thoughts.” Feeling despair yourself is bad enough; seeking to infect others with despair is worse still. That’s why defeatism has often – and rightly, in my opinion – been a capital offence in times of war. It’s exactly what the enemy wants you to practise. If you oppose the enemy and his ideology, why do you do his work for him?

Despair is always wrong

And if you understand the world, why do you feel despair in the first place? That’s because one essential part of understanding the world is the recognition that you don’t and can’t fully understand the world and its future course. That is, the world is too complex and you know too little of it to warrant a firm belief in one outcome or another. Despair isn’t just stupid and self-defeating: it’s egotistical. By indulging in it or encouraging it in others, we set ourselves up as something we are not and cannot be: infallible prophets and prognosticators. And if you want to understand better this aspect of the wrongness of despair, I strongly recommend a blog-post by Bruce Charlton entitled “Palantir problems… Tolkien on the evil of despair.” Here’s an extract from the post:

And – simply put – despair is always wrong because we never have conclusive reasons to give-up hope.

Despair is not based on probability, but certainty – and that certainty is always false. A high probability of a bad outcome should be called pessimism. It is not despair because it is a best guess, and estimate; and we realise that even the very improbable sometimes happens.

Note: It is vital to distinguish between despair and pessimism; and between hope and optimism.

Despair is a sin, and is always-wrong; hope is a virtue and (for a Christian) always-right. Optimism and pessimism are merely conjectural judgments about the likely future – constrained by individual ability, information and honesty…

But more fundamentally, despair is not even about strict probabilities of the future of a known situation; since we are very unlikely to be framing, to be understanding accurately, the real nature of the situation.

Even if we know a lot about a situation, we never know every-thing about it; and some specific thing (some ‘fact’) that we do Not know, may have the capacity to transform our understanding. (“Palantir problems…  Tolkien on the evil of despair,” Bruce Charlton at The Notion Club Papers, 5th January 2021)

Bruce Charlton is writing about what he calls “Tolkien’s frequent theme that it is always wrong to despair” [his emphasis]. And that theme is another of the many ways in which Tolkien’s great work Lord of the Rings (1954-5) is invaluable for White nationalists. We can do more than refresh our souls and rejoice our spirits by reading Tolkien: we can learn how to conduct ourselves in the war between the friends and the enemies of Truth, Beauty and Goodness. In one section of Lord of the Rings, one great and noble character is driven to despair by what he learns from a palantír, a crystal ball that allows the skilled and strong-minded to learn of distant events.

The character learns much, but he misinterprets what he sees, because despite his wisdom he fails to understand his own limitations. As Bruce Charlton says: “Even if we know a lot about a situation, we never know every-thing about it; and some specific thing (some ‘fact’) that we do Not know, may have the capacity to transform our understanding.”

“Westward, look, the land is bright!”

This has long been a theme of literature. In the ancient myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, Theseus’ father Aegeus, King of Athens, casts himself in despair into the sea when he sees the black sails of an approaching ship. Theseus has been successful in his fight with the Minotaur, but has forgotten to hoist the white sails that he promised his father would signal victory. So Aegeus despaired and died, misinterpreting what he saw and failing to wait for the truth. And here to end is the Victorian poet Arthur Clough (1819-61) using the power of verse to compress into a few lines what Tolkien, in his different genre, takes many thousands of words to say:

Say Not the Struggle Availeth Naught

Say not the struggle nought availeth,
The labour and the wounds are vain,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
And as things have been they remain.

If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
It may be, in yon smoke concealed,
Your comrades chase e’en now the fliers,
And, but for you, possess the field.

For while the tired waves, vainly breaking
Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back through creeks and inlets making,
Comes silent, flooding in, the main.

And not by eastern windows only,
When daylight comes, comes in the light,
In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly,
But westward, look, the land is bright!

16 replies
  1. David Schmitt
    David Schmitt says:

    “I can separate the ontics from the pragmatics in the epistemics of theistics.” Yikes. Now there is a bumpersticker slogan if I ever saw one. The article reaches a nice crescendo in its exaltation of hope and in its injunction to deliberately practice that same virtue. I might suggest that the pragmatics of the above will abandon you at the critical moment if you persist in the “separation.” I understand somewhat, if not well, the sense of control that wielding the cleaver provides and that it is a difficult is a teddy bear to abandon. But the power of pragmatics, in the final analysis, is insignificant unless one has yielded to the seamless fusion of pragmatics with the ontic. Ontics could get along just fine without what is pragmatic for you or without your recognition. The benefit, potentially, is all yours. It is worth noting that the ontic, having the personal and virtuous character that it does, means that he would probably enjoy sitting, legs crossed, for hours smoking unfiltered cigarettes and having a very long conversation with you at some outdoor ca​fé along a riverbank—forever.

    Reply
  2. James Clayton
    James Clayton says:

    Our neighbors are an evangelical Christian conference center which operates both residential and day camps in summer. They have a number of creative ways of getting-around the law, e.g., using cargo trailers with advertising painted on them and parking them where they can’t get permits for billboard advertising. Those who were dropped-off there as children that both have fond memories and don’t have heirs, leave homes and endowments to the tax-exempt corporation. As near as I can tell, the outfit has primarily Jewish lawyers for its directors: they haven’t been exactly willing to open a responsible dialogue when I’ve approached them about obeying the law and otherwise behaving responsibly. Their oil copy of a portrait of Billy Graham in their board room and a Nixon self-tape of a conversation between the two of them notwithstanding, Camp management postures as “new American ‘Judeo-Christians’” who have weaponized that formerly respectable scholarly term for the tradition that included both the Old and New Testament. Their reckless driving and amplified outdoor music particular at night in summer when the community’s bedroom windows are open are primarily what bothers the rank & file in the neighborhood about them. And so, we encourage them to respect the rule of law– teaching it by example to their charges and employees (employees to whom they reportedly provide required cafeteria meal benefits to manage to pay less than Minimum Wage). We’ve learned by example that ridicule helps highlight hypocrisy generally. We’d like not to see organizations working against the interests of the Founders’ heirs and assigns having their propaganda subsidized because they’re special.

    Judeo-Christian Values http://www.notinkansas.us/monkeys.html
    12 Ways to Use Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals Against Liberals https://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2012/04/13/12-ways-to-use-saul-alinskysrules-for-radicals-against-liberals-n917872

    Reply
  3. Jack McArthur
    Jack McArthur says:

    Spiritual despair is classed as a sin:

    Despair, ethically regarded, is the voluntary and complete abandonment of all hope of saving one’s soul and of having the means required for that end. It is not a passive state of mind: on the contrary it involves a positive act of the will by which a person deliberately gives over any expectation of ever reaching eternal life. There is presupposed an intervention of the intellect in virtue of which one comes to decide definitely that salvation is impossible. This last is motived by the persuasion either that the individual’s sins are too great to be forgiven or that it is too hard for human nature to cooperate with the grace of God or that Almighty God is unwilling to aid the weakness or pardon the offenses of his creatures, etc.
    https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04755a.htm

    That being said recall Jesus on the cross:

    About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)

    He is quoting psalm 22 which gives context to how His cry is to be understood.

    The state of Western civilisation is another matter entirely but rather than giving an overview of what is wrong could the author tell us all the good things which gives him hope and that we can all share albeit his “white nationalism” many will class as a grave sin.

    As it happens this afternoon I was telling somebody the very last words which JFK intended to speak (quoting a psalm and the gospels) in Dallas but was gunned down before he could, the CIA involvement in the assassination of a head of state three weeks before in Vietnam and the murder of General Soleimani 2 years ago.

    [JFK] We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of peace on earth, goodwill toward men. That must always be our goal – and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength. For as was written long ago, ‘Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.’”

    Reply
  4. Gerry
    Gerry says:

    Thank you very much for this. Enjoyed immensely.

    Does the Devil really exist?

    So many ways to answer especially for me as one who has had encounters similar to the prophet Daniel, but I will answer in another way and that is by way of dossiers that agencies like the CIA or the FSB , MI6 etc have compiled especially since the days of WW2. In fact, I will never forget watching a program in my youth on TV called Thats Incredible. There was this guy who came on and talked about a phenomena he captured on his 8 mil camera in the skies over San Francisco of a light brighter than the sun. He had it on film this phenomena and sent it in to the CIA and was terribly upset that he never got back a reply to his queries on the strange event and second the returned tape was a copy of the original and of such poor quality he couldn’t make out what he originally caught. This he was terribly upset about and made it known to all on this TV program.

    UFO’s have been in the news lately and it only seems to gaining greater ground with the passing of years and I do believe that agencies mentioned above have tens thousands of pages of X-Files on so much of this activity. Even NASA is getting in on it of course. Militaries
    likewise are taking an interest because well one can’t be faced with new technologies that supersede our own capabilities yes?

    Nothing however, prepared me for what is found here especially at the 10:33 mark of this video. That a man, former Statesman and Military guy with a CV like his talks like this is very telling.

    https://youtu.be/dL4NbokoVtY

    Where this is leading, well for the Christian we know exactly where its leading and we know the future, that is the great thing about the Bible, we know the end from the beginning and its no black sail.

    We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 2 Peter 1:19

    Cheers

    Reply
  5. Aimless fly
    Aimless fly says:

    Vox Day (Theodore Beale) is a shameless crypto-Jewish grifter. His father made millions evading taxes (and served jail time for threatening to kill a federal judge) and used these to bankroll Beale in various side projects none of which amounted to much. He left Minnestoa (where he grew up) and moved to Switzerland because he could see Minnesota was being diversified. Beale holds a personal grudge against Ben Shapiro because they both usee to write for world net daily and Shapiro got the coveted plum conservative influencer position Beale wanted. There is no doubt Beale is intelligent but he is just as much a globalist gatekeeper as those he would condemn. There is substantial evisence that Beale does not actually believe a good deal of what he writes. Check out the subreddit gammasecretkings.

    Reply
  6. Whit
    Whit says:

    Thanks for this. Lovely ending. It inspired my first poem of the new year. As for a genre, “off-beat Yeats”?

    A New Federalism (for Merrick Garland)

    Pray hope dispel despair
    But act to make it so.
    Do not despair the fantasies
    Insidious foe provokes:
    As the day I conjured ricin
    Then anthrax in my “lab”
    And pastoralized the New York Times
    For gentiles to take up.
    And was it mere telepathy
    That self-same afternoon
    An old-school Air Force pilot
    Found he’d had enough–
    Of one-too-many-evil whites
    Workshops to endure–
    And fired two Maverick missiles
    Inside the White House door?
    Is Merrick Garland fuming? You
    Bet your life he is! My “pornographic” fantasies
    Skew far from those prescribed.
    But HIS could use “adjustment”
    Even more than mine.
    Domestic Terrorist, really?
    The makings of a bomb?
    Ergo, 10 years in gulag
    For poems and lawn-mower gas.
    Merrick, we’d love you in your Pale
    And better all the more, the more
    You keep your Cheka
    A half a world apart.

    Reply
  7. Stoffel Makwassie
    Stoffel Makwassie says:

    This is not one of Mr Langdon’s best articles, but I don’t think it was intended to be held in the same regard as his other pieces. I thank him, though, for putting me onto Vox Day, who’s critique of the insidious Shabbos Goy and self-proclaimed genius, Jordan B. Peterson, I found enlightening. The book is entitled “Jordanetics”. Regards from the dark continent.

    Reply
  8. Barkingmad
    Barkingmad says:

    Here’s the intellectually undemanding version of these ideas:

    “When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
    When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
    When the funds are low and the debts are high,
    And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
    When care is pressing you down a bit,
    Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

    Life is queer with its twists and turns,
    As every one of us sometimes learns,
    And many a failure turns about,
    When he might have won had he stuck it out;
    Don’t give up though the pace seems slow-
    You may succeed with another blow.

    Often the goal is nearer than,
    It seems to a faint and faltering man,
    Often the struggler has given up,
    When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
    And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
    How close he was to the golden crown.

    Success is failure turned inside out-
    The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
    And you never can tell how close you are,
    It may be near when it seems so far,
    So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit-
    It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit”

    Reply
  9. Bobby
    Bobby says:

    Very good, Tobias. Thanks. Very helpful to me and I hope to others also.

    I don’t have a television, so I listen to the radio. This past Wednesday on the Mark Simone show, which is on WOR in New York City, 11am, the guest was Ann Coulter. Ann is a conservative talking head and is a frequent guest on conservative radio shows. Other than that, I don’t know much about her.

    George Soros has been a hot topic on the radio this past week due to his financing of not only the DA in NYC, Alvin Bragg, but 25 DA’s across our country’s cities. These Soros financed DA’s do not put criminal’s in jail. If they commit murder, they do everything they can to get the charges lessened. In Chicago for instance, murderers, instead of jail time, are ordered to “home confinement.”

    At one point in the interview with Coulter, Mark Simone asked her, “why is George Soros doing this?” There was a pause. Coulter then stated; “Well, I don’t know Mark Simone. Maybe we should ask his therapist?” There was another pause and Simone started to talk but then Coulter chimed in again;
    “you know,” she said, his ancestors had nothing to do with creating the greatest country in the world, it’s resentment, jealousy, hatred.” ‘Wow,’ I said to myself. Wow. I couldn’t believe she said that but she did.

    Last night on the Mark Levine show, the guest was Brent Bozell. I know nothing about Mr. Bozell. But again, the subject was Soros. Bozell was very passionately detailing the billions, yes, billions of dollars that Soros is spending to destroy our country and that something needs to be done. Bozell has something to do with the Media Research Center, MRC.org. There is a piece on the front page of that website about Soros by one Joseph Vazquez. I have not read it but I will.

    The point I’m making is that, and I have said this before, even though we have a long way to go, at times people are stepping over the line and the Jewish supremacist problem is becoming clearer. People like Coulter, Tucker with his piece on White replacement, Mollie Hemingway in her interviews about her book ‘Rigged: How the Media, Big Tech, and the Democrats Seized Our Elections.’ Many times it seems that when politics are discussed on conservative radio, the whole conversation revolves around how Jews are destroying the US, all the lead bad guys are Jewish! The host and guest usually attribute the problem to the Dems wanting power, and votes. Coulter though, as have others recently, surprisingly, crossed the line into truth.

    So, like I said, we have a long way to go, a very long way. But there is hope!

    “For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7

    Reply

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