When I was a kid, I was taught by my parents that the optimist sees whiskey half empty while the pessimist sees it full. My stance was to drink whiskey, not philosophize.
This inclination came to me because of my Christian upbringing. Optimism and pessimism are only earthly, so the Christian doesn’t lose his mind for things that only impact this earthly existence. There will be no hope in heaven, but there will also be no despair. So I believe that St. Patrick will still be stashing bottles for his friends in heaven.
It is a relief to recall Christopher Dawson who, in 1952, noted that conservatives are disappointed by the West’s moral and ideological decline. He wrote that “the case of a society/class putting enormous effort into higher education and the formation of an intellectual elite, and then finding that it is to produce a spirit of pessimism, nihilism, and revolt.”
Postmodernism is a factory that produces disappointment. We believed that the end was near for nineteenth-century nihilism, but we were wrong. Postmodernism, and post-nihilism, have given rise to a new morality that does not believe in God. The nihilist’s position ultimately attacked the human nature which seeks meaning and transcendence. Instead of the promised liberation, societies are becoming more dechristianized.
These dogmas are a form of pagan religion that has a huge influence on politics, media and public opinion. This religion mixes wokeism and environmentalism, hedonisms, communisms, atheism, sentimentalism and communism. It is not surprising that Christians and conservatives succumb to the temptation of pessimism.
Consider sexual morals as an example. Although the 1968 revolution was very obscene, it was not regulated. There was no right or wrong way to participate in the sexual revolution. The idea of freedom and libertine was what I think it was. And there were no limits. Wherever limits were placed by human nature, they would be crushed by marijuana, mushrooms, or any other garbage snorted up now by the generation which, ironically, is mostly conservative.
However, today’s sexual morality does not have anything to do with freedom. However, not all things are allowed. Feminism views sexual relations as a form feminism, where men owe women a history of enjoyment. The sexual revolution and feministism may have one thing in common: a terrible selfishness. There was a time when everything would have a place in the hippie commune. Today, only things that have passed antiracism and feminism have a place.
It is not sexuality that is the most important aspect of a society, no matter how loud or conspicuously it may be. It has been a measure of the moral devastation of a civilization since Roman times. It may be because it so strongly affects conservatives’ moods. This, along with its proximity to something more serious like abortion. Optimism is being undermined by the widespread abortions and the banalization of baby murder. We Christians know that abortion is Satan’s grand altar of sacrifices.
Regardless of how much institutional and political corruption the left may lead us to believe all is lost or for that reason, it’s time to pay attention to G.K. Chesterton’s words: “Hope is hoping when things seem hopeless, or it’s no virtue at all.”
It is a fact that I have a problem with advocating optimism. The idea of fatality is enveloping and comforting. However, I also sense a struggle within the conservative Christian world against all ideologic elements. While the battle must be fought outside, we cannot lose the peace inside.
Chesterton was faced with a similar dilemma while analyzing optimism and pessimism. After several paragraphs, Chesterton decided to abandon both these attitudes. After analyzing Christian doctrine, he discovered two sinful habits in them: despair and presumption. “The heresies that have harmed human happiness have all been variations either presumption of despair; which are, in the controversies in modern culture, called optimism or pessimism.” They can both lead to hell.
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There is no danger in being optimistic or presumptive at the moment. We must remember, however, that neither fatalist Christianity nor pessimistic conservatism exist. Our reasons for optimism are often wrongly attributed the left, but it is moral superiority that we believe in.
As humans, we are all just like them. It doesn’t matter if I think I look better than Nancy Pelosi. However, our ideas and ends are better than theirs. We support tradition and freedom, and we oppose tyranny or utopia. We support national sovereignty and family, we oppose anarchy, and we always promote beauty. This is far better than wasting your political life trying get everyone to drive an electric car and eat synthetic filests.
It will be able to return to its Christian roots if Western conservatism can remain true to its Christian roots. Our faith is formed from the humiliation, torture, and murder of our Savior, King, which does not seem like a hopeful beginning. Since the time of the apostles, in those dark hours of Holy Saturday, I believe that no one has ever seen things so dire. Yet, there is still hope, laughter, and banquets that have all returned and will again.