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The New Shadow

JRR Tolkien started writing a sequel to the Lord of the Rings.

I did begin a story placed about 100 years after the Downfall [of Sauron], but it proved both sinister and depressing. Since we are dealing with Men it is inevitable that we should be concerned with the most regrettable feature of their nature: their quick satiety with good. So that the people of Gondor in times of peace, justice and prosperity, would become discontented and restless – while the dynasts descended from Aragorn would become just kings and governors – like Denethor or worse. I found that even so early there was an outcrop of revolutionary plots, about a centre of secret Satanistic religion; while Gondorian boys were playing at being Orcs and going round doing damage. I could have written a ‘thriller’ about the plot and its discovery and overthrow – but it would be just that. Not worth doing.

I think that says as much about our World as Middle Earth. No moment of triumph ever lasts. It’s a second law of thermodynamics for societies.


  1. Paul Marks says:

    Yes Nick.

    For example, in the late 19th century and the early 1900s living standards in the West had never been higher.

    Also such things as slavery were (for the first time in history) defeated.

    Were the leading intellectuals in society happy?


    Did they want to push collectivism back further?

    Hell no.

    They (the intellectuals – the people who, in the end, push a culture down one road or another) were nearly all collectivists – either nationalist collectivists (worshipping an ever bigger national government) or they were class collectivists – longing for the rule of “the workers” and the end of private property in the means of production.

    Some were “moderates” and some were “extremists” but nearly all wanted to make things WORSE, to take the progress (in rolling back force and fear) that had been made – and flush it down the toilet (now there were flush toilets).

    And not just “economists” such as the German Historical School or the German trained Americans such as Richard Ely.

    No – it was the whole culture, art, literature, music……

    All dominated by people whose ideas were poisonous.

    Is it a natural law?

    Something twisted in human nature?

    A longing for the savage hunter-gatherer packs in which humans evolved?


    But what FIGHTS it?

    Because something does.

    Something in humans produces progress – in some times and places.

    Something – some spark of reason, and of decency.

  2. Yes the Kings would become ordinary (or even less than average people – like Louis XVI and Nicky II, who were actually weaker willed than the average person picked at random from the street, ruling monarchies are a dice throw – sooner or later you get a hopeless weakling).

    And the Revolutionary movements?

    Evil – of course evil.

    If not formally “satanic” (i.e. the worship of some evil being – like Allah) then worshipping some Earth bound collectivism – as “Social Justice” or “collective salvation”.

    For what would have (eventually) happened in Gondor – read what happened in the real world.

    The way out?

    The enraging thing is I think there is one – I think I there is a way out.

    But I can not think of it.

  3. Ljh says:

    Watching the subversion of the US constitution drom a document framed by men keen to keep the state servant of the people and absolute power impossible to achieve by balancing the different arms of government separate and in opposition, to its present implosion where a sniper on the roof of the White House trains his gun on veterans protesting the closure of war memorials to the public by pique that its emperor has not got his budgetary way, I recognise Tolkien’s plot for the sequel. Or is the present generation of corporatist politicians about to create a new Sauron?

  4. Julie near Chicago says:

    When I read the Professor’s quote, it struck me that he’d been channelling our Mr. Marks!

    Which struck me as pretty interesting. Of course, I know that you can find traces of Mr Wodehouse and also of Michael Gruber, Mr. Robert K. Tanenbaum’s former ghost-writer, in my own writing. Still, JRRT and PM do seem to me* to be somewhat on the same page. –Maybe more than “somewhat.” And then we have the luxury of reading the Sage of Kettering his own self, in the first two comments.

    Really, I think they are both Conservatives. A Conservative, to my mind, is wildly different from a Traditionalist, although he probably finds many traditions useful, and enjoyable as well; and he sees the better traditions as a source for agreement rather than contention among the members of a society, and thus as providing it with glue. A Conservative is not opposed to change in itself; but he is aware (very aware) of the danger of throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

    In contrast with the Progressive, who often seems to be altogether unaware that there even IS a baby in all that nasty sudsy water that’s probably also full of old dead skin cells and worse.

    When I was younger & even foolisher than I am now, say 10 years ago, I thought that that a “neo-conservative” was just that — a conservative but in a new way; namely, not locked into Tradition, into the old ways of doing things or looking at things solely because they were the old ways.

    And when I checked with people (even libruls) whom I knew around here, people who were educated, with Ph.D.’s and all, that’s they way they took the term too.

    Then I find out that the worst of the Coastal Cesspools, the centers of disease so to speak — Washington, D.C. and San Francisco — seem to think that neo-conservatives are Jewish former Marxist radicals. Gosh, and here I’m neither! I really found that offensive.

    Nowadays, the term is used a lot to mean “Republican Progressives,” and sometimes RINO’s, although I’m not convinced that all RINO’s are particularly hawkish. One thing the Internet mavens some to agree on, though: Neocons are backward (lacking in both Social Conscience and in high intelligence) and they ADORE war.

  5. NickM says:

    Not to put too fine a point on it but when JRRT wrote that Paul was in short trousers!

  6. I was born old,

    As for neocons – I think their “Social Conscience” is one of the main problems with them, they look to government (not to mutual aid) for so many things -, they are Social Democrats at heart.

    On war one does not have to be a neocon to see threats (indeed non neocons actually see them BETTER).

    There is (for example) a “global war against Christians” – it was a neo con who said that (they still think in terms of a few naughty “extremists”) it was Rand Paul who said that.

    And there is the Chinese threat also – and it is very real.

    The problem is that the United States of America (and I have to be brutal here) may be coming to an end – slowly, but unavoidable.

    The basic CONTRADICTIONS between having a country set up under the principle of limited government, and a modern cultural elite (in control of the education system and so much else….) who believe in unlimited government, may just be too great.

    Perhaps (only perhaps) some States can break free from the cultural decline of the United States (in part by politically breaking away), but such States (even if they are the size of Texas) are not going to be of much weight in the world.

    They will be in no position to oppose international Islam – or the power of China.

    And yet reform (the RESTORATION) of the United States as a whole appears so unlikely…..

    Perhaps the battle was lost as long ago as the 1950s – when moderate Republicans refused to join in the struggle to drive the Communists from their positions of influence, indeed (for the sake of a quiet life – and it really was no worse than that) agreed to libel and destroy those people who did try and oppose the spread of collectivist influence.

    “Who cares what happens in the schools and universities and in La La land?”

    Such “practical” people handed their children and their grandchildren over to the Reds.

  7. Short version.

    The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

    If people just want to “get on with their lives” their children and grandchildren will be slaves.

  8. NickM says:

    No, Paul,
    “getting on with their lives” is freedom. Nobody gives a flying-fuck what they do in the social sciences faculty. They are just wankers. Wankers without the ability to tackle difficult stuff like computers, sciences, engineering, foreign languages and like the hard stuff. Bellendius Maximus. Come the apocalypse you want me in your camp because I at least know the Pythagorean theorem and not some tit-end who knows Marx inside out.

  9. Julie near Chicago says:

    Nick, first comment: LOL!!

    Nick, second comment: I am much in sympathy with you here…still, “Getting on with their lives” is the exercise of freedom. In your sense, it presumes you already have freedom.

    In that, Paul is absolutely right.

    Of course, in the broader sense, “getting on with your life” ought to include walking your fences to look for breaks in the barbed wire that would let the rustlers in, and the cattle out.

    In our case, I’m afraid Paul is right. And now there’s this thing about the Dreadful Government Shutdown, in the name of which only the symbolic has been shut down, far as I can tell. It’s theater (like Yellowstone–Old Faithful), and it’s showing those dreadful non-Obamists who’s boss (like the War Memorial business).

    Speaking of which, here’s a bit from the N.Y. Times from yesterday.

    …[S]enators from both parties coalesced around a plan that would lift the debt limit through Feb. 7, pass a resolution to finance the government through Jan. 15 and conclude formal discussions on a long-term tax and spending plan no later than Dec. 13, according to one Senate aide briefed on the plan.

    But while both Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, and Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, praised the progress that was made in the Senate, it was already clear that the most conservative members of the House were not going to go along quietly with a plan that does not accomplish their goal from the outset of this two-week-old crisis: dismantling the president’s health care law.

    “We’ve got a name for it in the House: it’s called the Senate surrender caucus,” said Representative Tim Huelskamp, Republican of Kansas. “Anybody who would vote for that in the House as Republican would virtually guarantee a primary challenger.”

    There have been other showdowns between Republican lawmakers and President Obama that went to the last minute; in 2011, lawmakers reached a deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling two days before officials said a default was possible, resulting in a stock market plunge and the downgrading of the nation’s credit rating. But the real possibility that as of Thursday the government would not be able to meet its obligations prompted grim warnings of an economic catastrophe that could ripple through stock markets, foreign capitals, corporate boardrooms, state budget offices and the bank accounts of everyday investors.

    “If Republicans aren’t willing to set aside their partisan concerns in order to do what’s right for the country, we stand a good chance of defaulting, and defaulting could have a potentially devastating effect on the economy,” Mr. Obama told reporters at Martha’s Table, a Washington-area food bank. ….

    And the NYT proceeds to describe the horrors that will ensue if we don’t let the Sith, Reid, “we-have-to-pass-it-so-you’ll-know-what’s-in-it” Pelosi, et al., have the last say.

    How the bloody ‘ell did these folks get hold of the U.S.’s Political Nuclear Suitcase?!!!!!

    Don’t answer that.

    * * *

    PS. Every once in awhile I listen to Mark Levin, who is an attorney, has written some books on our political system and situation–the latest of which is The Liberty Amendments–and has a radio talk show here. I happened to catch it last night. You can listen here. In the first bit, he talks about the Constitutional limit of the Sith’s powers as “president” (if you think he properly occupies that office), and in roughly the last half-hour, which is the call-in part, he talks about the disasters to come if the U.S. defaults on its financial obligations. In between there’s plenty of trashing of Reid/Pelosi/Waxman, which of course is only the truth; still, listeners may get a little tired of it.

    The whole thing runs about an hour and 51 minutes. If you’re interested in listening to more of Mr. Levin’s shows, check out his “Audio Rewind.” Heh…for those who care, he’s had a running battle with Glenn Beck over the years, but at 100:34, he gives Mr. Beck a BIG bouquet, and also makes one of the Great Points yet again.

    And for those who’ve heard this Rational Ignorance touted by so-called “libertarian philosophers/free-market economists/allegedly-freedom-minded-elites generally” (who can’t think their way out of a paper bag — do you hear me, Cato et al.?), catch the last little bit starting about 109:13.

    PPS. Note. Just because I post an excerpt from somebody does not mean I whole-heartedly endorse every jot & tittle from the person’s or venue’s lips or fingers. :>)

  10. “No, Paul,getting on with your lives is freedom”

    Actually that is the Death Warrant for freedom Nick – it means the collectivists win AUTOMATICALLY.

    “No one cares what is happening in….” – no one cares what their children are being taught (or see on television – or watch in Hollywood films). That was my point – many thanks for confirming it.

    A few days ago I went to the opening of a new school in Kettering – and there was former Archbishop Carey (who is part of the group behind the Academy) and there was the Duke of B. (who had donated the land and so on – and after whom the school is named).

    But no one was interested in what books there were in the library – no one but me.

    They were hard core socialist books (such as the “Horrible Histories” those lie filled propaganda books aimed at brainwashing young children) – no dissenting books (none at all).

    And this is supposed to be one of the better schools founded by “right wing” people – accept they are too busy “getting on with their lives”, to notice …… well to notice anything.

    “We were just getting on with our lives” is a pathetic thing to have carved on the tombstone of the West.

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