Monday, January 31, 2011

Why the Left Despairs

In 1903 the young Bertrand Russell gave ultimate expression to the tragedy which is implicit in the Cartesian separation of mind from matter. Here is how he viewed life:

"That man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of though and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins – all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built."

With a worldview like this, is it any wonder that so many in the left must practice "unyielding despair!" They cannot practice the virtue of hope.

Taken for the book of Lynn White Jr., Machina Ex Deo: Essays in the Dynamism of Western Culture, Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1968, p. 60-61.

No comments:

Post a Comment