My correspondent’s second question was an unexpected one, more perplexing than the first: “Do you ever feel that you are wasting your breath? Do you think that truth will ever matter? No matter what you prove or disprove, in the end the truth will remain in the shadows of what people want to hear and want to believe.”
I agree more than I care to with this thought. It is the human wish to be told lies that keeps us where we are. A stoic realism lies at the heart of the conservative viewpoint. It is about accepting limits that are absolute, which the human condition places on human hope.
One could define the left as just the opposite: the inability to come to terms with who we are; the obstinate, compulsive, destructive belief in the fantasy of transformation, in the desperate hope of an earthly redemption.
I have watched my friends whose ideas created an empire of inhumanity survive the catastrophe of their schemes and go on to unexpected triumph in the ashes of their defeat. Forced to witness the collapse of everything they once had dreamed and worked to achieve, they have emerged unchastened by their illusions to renew their destructive utopian crusades. The society they declared war on has even rewarded them for their misdeeds. Today they are cultural navigators in the nation most responsible for their worldwide defeat. I cannot explain this dystopian paradox other than to agree that politics is indeed irrational and socialism a wish as deep as any religious faith. I do not know that the truth must necessarily remain in the shadows. But I am persuaded that a lie grounded in human desire is too powerful for reason to kill.