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Why I Write

Maintaining one’s convictions in the face of all the odds.

David Solway


March 6, 2014 - 11:24 pm
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Some years back I was interviewed by Montreal’s French language daily La Presse concerning the nature and purpose of my writing and teaching. The interviewer, unlike the majority of his colleagues, had acquired a pretty decent familiarity with his subject, a rarity in today’s journalistic profession. I was surprised to learn that he had read some of my translated work, in particular a long essay in which I compared the state of Western civilization to the sinking of the Titanic. Why, he wanted to know, did I continue teaching and persist in writing articles, essays and books if I felt that the future was hopeless and there was little point in the whole enterprise.

Well, I replied, there was the little matter of earning a living. But apart from that desideratum, pedagogy and writing were by no means anomalous or contradictory, since even though I knew the vessel was foundering and could not be saved or hauled back to port for retrofitting, I was intent on helping to keep it afloat for as long as possible. Teaching and writing, I said, were essentially pumping, or bailing. I felt it worthwhile to work to delay the inevitable; better to go down later than sooner.

Things have changed. I quit teaching some time ago, convinced of the uselessness of the profession in the brain-cramped intellectual environment of a nearly defunct civilization. Such plenary impoverishment is daunting and probably irreversible. The canard of “green energy,” the massive “climate change” scam that has co-opted vast segments of the Western public, the relentless advance of blasphemy laws putting a chill on freedom of speech and debate, courts declaring that truth is no defense in cases where offense is given, the campaign against the unborn (abortion on demand) and, in some countries, the elderly (selective euthanasia), the politicized university as a locus of indoctrination rather than learning, the sentimental empowerment of the transgendered and the two-spirited who must be accorded every social benefit as if they represented the quintessence of human progress, the successful feminist war against common manhood, the setting in place of redistributive economics as a form of legalized theft, open-door immigration policies for illegal aliens or members of primitive, antithetical cultures—all these developments are signs of rampant and likely terminal intellectual and social decay.

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All Comments   (30)
All Comments   (30)
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It ain't over till it's over Mr. Solway, so keep writing. You never know what, or who, may come out of left field and change the game.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Excellent article! Depicts in very good writing, a Progressive New Left Activists view of the world..politically, socially, economically and judicially.
See, PNLA's have this sense of desperation to "change," "betterment" and "new beginnings" otherwise their "worth" isn't worth a plugged nickel.
Ask any business person! Willing to bet his Publisher is thinking about HIS profit motive. Sir, has your business (and by extension your worth) improved any? Betcha, at least 15% of all small businesses in USA will answer, "IMPROVED!" See, that''s the difference between CAPITALISM and SOCIALISM. Capitalism gives anyone an opportunity to 'command-their-future!" A "light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel" if you will! Whereas Socialism gives everyone a teeny-tiny, itsy-bitsy piece of the ever shrinking pie (this brings on hopelessness, depression and loss of self-worth). Enter this author's desperation with "his teeny-tiny piece of the itsy-bitsy ever shrinking pie.' His piece of the Pie (in his mind) is shrinking.
It's the "glass half full/half empty" conundrum. Work for recruiting Tea Party volunteers, voter registration, get-out-the-vote! Don''t be a vanquished writer, be a true capitalist, with your future ahead of each one of We The People. Vote this 2014. Support a local Article V committee for:1)term limits, 2) balanced budget and 3) return of States Rights. God Bless America. Where there's a will, There's always a way...true American Excellence.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
An analogy? Trenches in France 1914 -18?
Like years of B17s or B52s bombing nightly?
Mortars and rockets from the hills for days?
Not getting to shoot the _____s who just killed one of your guys, because they ran out of the shack NOT carrying any visible weapons?
Helpless sustained futility and fear is very draining.
But for at least for the writers and commenters, there is a small solace in both doing the "what is right", (how quaint and archaic ...) and knowing * It's not just you being you. There are some huge concerns.*
Finding the right "Deeds Not Words", (Gen Geo. Washington) is an overwhelming challenge in the intertwined mess, eh?
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
David, I appreciate your brutal yet refreshing honesty. I agree with you in all the essentials mentioned.

The only consolation I can offer is that we cannot know what productive seeds this civilizational collapse might plant for the future of mankind.

Please continue writing.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
European Christendom has to hit rock bottom...before it fights for it's own survival.

It's always darkest before the dawn.

The rise of the Nationalist Parties in Europe is something to find hope in.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
I also recommend as a topic of study The Dark Enlightenment, David. You may find much of interest there.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
David, try some Cyberpunk literature. You might find it of interest.

Perhaps start with William Gibson's Neuromancer. Bruce Sterling has interesting things to say as well.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Jesus Solway, you're even depressing me, and I'm one of the darker planets orbiting this fizzling cultural sun. One spends the time wandering about, and smiling and trying to be nice, but wanting instead to be swinging a bat. On the other hand, one revels in the glory of pissing off the believers (as in; what's the point of a philosopher who doesn't piss people off?)
Chin up. Some great crisis will turn the tables. Count on it.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes. It seems inevitable, the decline and the fall, and it is indeed largely self-willed. It is a cause for lament; if the wheel can be turned back and the West saved, I don't know.

And if some find your writing grim - well, it is. But the truths in it clarify. Whether they motivate, or just promote depression is beside the point. People can do with truths what they want; and they will.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have a feeling that European Christendom will choose life and continuance as a going concern before the end comes.

We may have to rebuild from the ashes, but we will rebuild.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment

Very interesting. Issues, we have issues...
I insist on retaining the power of speech but I have no illusions about the ultimate effect or influence of speaking out always.
Yet the candle always flickers in the darkness and never goes out, so you cannot know the ultimate effect. Maybe it's just that today's Western civilization ain't worth saving; few outside the ranks of the permanently entitled and eternally aggrieved would argue otherwise, though you'll find mountains of denial.

The wheel turns as it always has, down through time and space and across cultures. 'The 10,000 things rise and fall without cease,' in the words of the Tao Te Ching. Less abstractly, 'The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on,' says the Arab proverb. Personally, I prefer Roman pragmatism: 'If there's no wind, row'.

Whatever, take your pick. Obama and Putin aren't forever and will pass like a kidney stone. The task is to fix the damage. The electorate and gov't are dumbed-down and useless, so one wonders what a couple of hundred motivated assassins, co-ordinated under good leadership, could accomplish in a few weeks. It may yet come to that.

At some point, the navel gazing will end. Then you really will have to decide what to do. The power of the word is not its own reward unless you're a big-league narcissist.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
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