Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Lost causes

"Stand, Men of the West!" cautions against the excessive pessimism to which conservatives are prone, noting that neither total defeat nor final victory is possible in this world. The post includes these three quotations. The first is from T.S. Eliot and the others will be recognized by Tolkien fans:
We fight for lost causes because we know that our defeat and dismay may be the preface to our successors’ victory, though that victory itself will be temporary; we fight rather to keep something alive than in the expectation that anything will triumph.

There’s some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.

A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends, and break all bonds of fellowship; but it is not this day! An hour of woe, and shattered shields, when the Age of Men comes crashing down; but it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!
And those reminded me of this:
.... I guess this is just another lost cause, Mr Paine. All you people don't know about lost causes. Mr Paine does. He said once they were the only causes worth fighting for. And he fought for them for the only reason any man ever fights for them. Because of just one plain, simple rule: Love thy neighbor. In this world full of hatred a man who knows that one rule has a great trust. You know that rule, Mr Paine. I loved you for it, just as my father did. You know that you fight harder for the lost causes. You even die for them. ..... (Mr Smith Goes to Washington)