Last night I came across an article written by Stephen M. Klugewicz from the site “The Imaginative Conservative.” It struck me right to the core because I believe it is the rallying cry we need: “Stand, Men of the West.”
This is our moment, and history will remember our actions and how we did stand.
We cannot listen to the voices of defeatism nor believe the enemy is greater than us. Our cause is a just cause — it has always been — as liberty and freedom is the moral cause of mankind.
Here in our time, the enemies of liberty, foreign and domestic, seek to subjugate us, but they shall not be victorious. Every action we take, great or small, will lead to our ultimate victory. Setbacks are only temporary and will build us towards the final end: triumph.
Mr. Klugewicz writes, our conservative tendency is to revel in the nobility of lost causes. This in itself is not a bad thing at all—quite the opposite in fact. As T.S. Eliot said: “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.”
But we have not taken Eliot’s words to heart. We mistakenly look for permanent victories, political and cultural, and when they do not come, we despair. We seem not to realize that it is not permanent victories that we should seek but rather the preservation of “the permanent things,” which is victory enough.
We must learn the principle of incrementalism, something progressive socialists have used effectively.
I will leave it up to you to read the full commentary. But I do want to highlight these words, which as I ran this morning, just added a strength to my stride.
Mr. Klugewicz writes, “Western civilization is undeniably in decline and indeed its very existence is in doubt. Yet these thoughts ought not to drag us conservatives down into a morass of defeatism. Sadly, though, some conservatives are indeed calling for retreat. They say that the hour is too late, that a remnant must run to the barricades and shield itself and whatever is left of Western civilization from the barbarians at the gates.
Conservatives must not cede this hour to darkness and instead take to heart the words of King Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings:
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!”