Optimism Is Evil

News: Commentary
by David Gordon  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  February 26, 2021   

And it's an impediment to victory

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Excerpt from Chapter 15, "There Is No Room for Optimists in the Retrograde Camp," Rules for Retrogrades: Forty Tactics to Defeat the Radical Left, Timothy J. Gordon, David R. Gordon, TAN Books, 2020 (used with permission).

There is no room for optimists in the retrograde camp. Optimism is voluntary self-deception. It's for this reason that Mark Twain once barbed, "The man who is a pessimist before 48 knows too much; if he is an optimist after it, he knows too little." Times are presently so dire — the fate of the West so truly hangs in the balance — that to survey our predicament with anything less than brutal candor is suicide.

Necessity is so often the impetus for reform that if retrogrades are to have any chance of re-forging the culture as a true Christian republic, militant optimism about the state of society will have to be jettisoned. Optimism mollifies and reassures; however, one would have to be borderline schizophrenic to assess the present cultural milieu and come away reassured.


In the past half-century, we've witnessed, among other things, the universalization of abortion; the redefinition of marriage to include perverse sodomitical unions; the proliferation of drag-queen story hours (for children) at public libraries; the pornografication of movies, television, and music; a mass exodus of mothers of minor-age children out of the home and into the workplace; a divorce rate that has spiked to over 50%; an out-of-wedlock birthrate that has spiked to 40%; a trend towards legalization of euthanasia; a steadily declining birthrate; a pop-culture that extols drug-use and fornication; the metastasization of the welfare state; the dawn of the age of bi-weekly mass shootings; the steady expansion of the powers of the federal government; the heyday of the regulatory bureaucracy; and the decline of the practice of Christianity.

Optimism is every bit as much an offense against truth as pessimism; it just happens to be better tolerated because it's mistaken for charity by people of low intelligence.

What is there to be optimistic about? Absolutely nothing. The man of acumen should be aghast.

The medicine for our age is realism, nothing less. The retrograde must soberly survey the landscape, taking note of past losses and future vulnerabilities. Only then will he be able to begin addressing the crises hovering like albatrosses over the tempest-tossed seas of Western culture. Moderate conservatives have all but succeeded in painting contrived optimism as a requirement for the moral man. It's a way to cast their cowardly refusal to fight necessary battles as a virtue rather than a vice.

Don't be fooled. Optimism is every bit as much an offense against truth as pessimism; it just happens to be better tolerated because it's couched in upbeat diction and because it's mistaken for charity by people of low intelligence. See the world as it is instead of how you want it to be, and you can make it as it ought to be; see the world how you want it to be instead of how it is, and it will remain how it shouldn't be.

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David Gordon holds university degrees in political science, law and theology. He is co-author of Rules for Retrogrades: Forty Tactics to Defeat the Radical Left. Gordon is an associate copy editor at Church Militant and a co-host of the Resistance Podcast with Joe Gallagher. 
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