Sunday, March 07, 2010

Wishin' and Hopin': The Tyranny of Audacious Losers

Obama is the candidate who has the audacity of hope. But in order for the exercise of mere hope to become an act of audacity -- rashly insolent, intrepidly daring, recklessly bold! -- one must first, for whatever reason, feel unusually hopeless.

For example, if one has a cold, one hopes to get better soon. Nothing audacious about that. But if one has end stage cancer, then it's pretty audacious to hope to get better. Which raises the question: is it ever really appropriate to nurture audacious hope, in particular, on the horizontal plane? For to nurture audacious hope would seem to imply the wish for a complete overturning of the order of the world, which is presumably in a hopeless state. In other words, hope only becomes audacious in a hopeless situation.

In the everyday sense of the word, to hope is "to cherish a desire with expectation of fulfillment," or "to long for with expectation of fulfillment" (Webster's). It can also mean "someone or something on which hopes are centered," such as Jesus, Obama, or Bob Dobbs.

What about audacity? On the one hand, it can imply courage, but on the other, a reckless absence of prudence -- for courage without prudence is no longer a virtue.

Now, "hope" is one of the Christian virtues, which is why it is a sin for a Christian to wallow in hopelessness or despair. The whole point is that the Christian -- and the world -- is hopeless without Christ, whose mission it was to save us from that kind of existential cosmic hopelessnes. Therefore, it seems evident that no true Christian would find Obama's message of "audacious hope" appealing, since no Christian should feel so hopeless that he would essentially cash in his vertical hopes for the horizontal fantasies of a silver-tongued leftist.

If Obama were a proper theologian instead of a freelance messiah, he might have entitled his book The Bodaciousness of Fantasy or perhaps Getting Ahead in Life With Sheer Loser Power. With regard to the latter, one has only to look at the type of person who attends a left wing rally or demonstration to know that Loser Power is a formidable force in the world. (Zombie does a wonderful job of documenting the awesome Power of Losers; the images are from her site.)

As Dr. Sanity has written, "There is no doubt that both Clinton and Obama, for all their talk of 'hope' are both heavily invested in misery and failure -- both in their economic philosophy, as well as their desire for immediate (if not sooner) surrender in Iraq.

"You would think that people with real 'hope' would see the progress in Iraq and the turnabout that has occurred in the hearts and minds of the people there. You would think that people hyping 'change' would come up with some ideas and programs that aren't beholden to an ideology that has already failed in country after country, and which has made their economies circle the drain." (Update: notice how the Obama administration has seamlessly taken credit for President Bush's success in Iraq, which is a case of political envy in action, i.e., "stealing" success that they not only played no part in, but actively opposed.)

Now, hope, according to theologian Montague Brown, is "the will that what is good might be," as in "thy kingdom come, thy will be done." It is another way of saying "may the vertical radiate into the horizontal," or my we align ourselves with the Sovereign Good. He contrasts it with wishing, which is "the desire that what one wants might be." Theologically -- and psychospiritually -- the difference could not be more stark.

Brown explains that hope "involves the conviction that, despite appearances to the contrary, truth and goodness will prevail. To hope is to commit ourselves to the betterment of ourselves and the world." We would have no problem at all with the left if they understood hope in this way, and exerted all of their effort -- body, mind, and soul -- at improving (or even governing!) themselves (first) and the world (second), instead of transferring power to the state in order to force people to do their will -- which, in the end, means being compelled to do the will of audacious losers. As Tocqueville observed almost two centuries ago, once these losers discover that they can vote themselves goodies and force others to pay for them, democracy is in peril.

While hope "looks to the future," it is "rooted in reality as it is. In this sense, hope is realistic." However, it is also idealistic, in that "it envisions the perfection of that reality." Furthermore, we must be willing to work for what we hope. Again, this does not mean transferring this responsibility to a coercive and heavy-handed state to simply take from someone else in order to give us what we hope for.

Wishing, on the other hand, "involves the fancy that... our desire will be satisfied. To wish is to invoke fortune to bring us what we want, even if what we want is not good." Wishing is a product of the lower imagination, which has no limits. If you can breathe, you can wish -- and even if you can't, you can still vote Democrat. It "has no particular bond with reality as it is," nor must one dedicate oneself to making the wish a reality. "We wish for all all sorts of frivolous and unattainable things.... [It] is easy and makes no demands on us to choose truth over fantasy or to choose good over evil" (Brown).

For example, I am very much wishing for a new Luxman amplifier, but I don't expect the state to give me one.

26 Comments:

Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Okay. You asked for it, Bob..
The wish.

3/07/2010 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger jwm said...

Ask Obamaclaus for the amplifier. As an audiophile it is your state-given right to own one. To be denied the best is to be denied your fundamental right as a music lover. You are being oppressed by low quality electronics, and injustice like that must be rectified.

JWM

3/07/2010 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I'm glad someone understands. Although my present amplifier is good, it lacks sufficient "bloom" at high frequencies, and vocals are not quite as "silky" as I deserve.

3/07/2010 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

You deserve the best amplifier, Bob. Perhaps you could apply for a grant?

In my neck of the woods, half the storefronts are closed and empty. But the local municipality offers a public class that teaches folks how to write grants.

3/07/2010 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Maybe ACORN can swing me a grant for the amp.... I'll tell them I need it for my brothel.

3/07/2010 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger debass said...

I can understand your amp desires. I've always wanted a Carver, ever since I heard a live demo of their holographic sound technology. It was as close to live as I've heard. But that was a long time ago and I'm sure some other company has come up with better sound. As a musician, I spend the money on making me sound better, so I have good bass equipment (Euphonic Audio amp and Epifani speaker) but not a stereo system.

3/07/2010 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

Personally, I am hoping for better breasts in trade for bombs. Do all women have waist lines just below their breasts? Another hope for change issue not addressed by the left. Imagine a world of waistlines, you can do it if you try.

3/07/2010 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

Taylor Guitars has recently come out with and 8-string baritone acoustic guitar. I definitely want one. Where do I submit this request?

3/07/2010 10:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Such a bass desire!

3/07/2010 10:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Actually, a bass desire would be an octave lower, wouldn't it?

3/07/2010 10:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob, are you envious of the tenured? How about the popular?

3/07/2010 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

You can't git here from there.

3/07/2010 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

"Bob, are you envious of the tenured? How about the popular?"

Why? I can be unpopular without the hassle of tenure.

3/07/2010 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

I need one of these because I was born an oppressor against my will and am therefore oppressed by my oppressor status.

3/07/2010 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Tenured AND popular.

(That psychosis will buff right out).

3/07/2010 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

Who knew that free market success and individual freedom would beget parasitic fascists?

3/07/2010 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Speaking of audacious, I've been wishing and hoping for trolls worth kicking... but hoping for something to be inflated that's never been inspired... that's audaciously hopeless. But what fun is troll ball when they're as flat as they've been this last week?

Oldest boy is leaving for bootcamp tomorrow night. Really would like something with enough air in it to kick.

Hard.

Oh well... back to wallowing.

3/07/2010 07:28:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

The source of hope, even in suffering:

"...Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."

Note how character (formed by endurance, through suffering) must precede hope. And it's because of the object and source of our hope, the very source of the cosmos itself, the solid reality of the true Word, that our hope will not disappoint! Which is why the Christian's hope is infused with expectation and patience, simply waiting for the glory to be revealed.

Needless to say, the concept of rejoicing in sufferings (i.e. oppression, for the reference is to persecution) is foreign to utopianists. Obviously, suffering itself is evil--the result of evil. But in a world infused with real HOPE, there is an end, a purpose, a joy to be reached, not only on the other side, but even in the midst of it. We have a "down-payment" of glory in the Spirit. ("...and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.")

Thank God, for much that happens this world would be senseless without the light of His hope. (So sad for a friend tonight.)

3/07/2010 11:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Political Reality Bites said...

Well Van, I'm a troll that certainly likes to take a kick. The trouble is, I'm not sure how to be worthy of the abuse.

What are you looking for in a troll?

Do you want a logical argument, some kind of compelling near-miss? Probably you like evidence quoted, links provided, etc?

Yeech. Too much work. I'm just too lazy.

The truth is, I flat out like Obama.

Security, prosperity, and a clean environment. That is what people want. You conservatives just don't get it. The truth does not matter, only the perception of the truth. Hearts and minds. Intangibles.

The left trounces you guys in the information war over and over, because you simply won't back away from an insistence on the truth, when that is in fact the last thing you want to hang on to.

Think it over. Do you want to be right, or do you want to win? You can't have it both ways.

3/08/2010 12:05:00 AM  
Blogger Brazentide said...

"What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?"

Sadly, so many people are apparently trading their souls for "Security, prosperity, and a clean environment" and walking away with nothing but change.

As you say, the left routinely wins at the marketing game - especially with so many people that actually want to be lied to. As any despot knows: Once you throw morality out the window - the rest is easy.

That said, I'm bit surprised to see there are people still on the Obama bandwagon (sans Chris Matthiews). Even most libs I know have jumped ship.

3/08/2010 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Susannah said ". More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."
Note how character (formed by endurance, through suffering) must precede hope. And it's because of the object and source of our hope, the very source of the cosmos itself, the solid reality of the true Word, that our hope will not disappoint! "

Thanks for the reminder.

troll said "Think it over. Do you want to be right, or do you want to win? You can't have it both ways."

Trolls are like fools playing Monopoly on a golden board, with silver player pieces, emerald houses and ruby hotels... who grab up all the worthless paper money and run away shouting "I won!".

"What are you looking for..."

What am I looking for? Nothing you can offer me. Listen to this,

"...sssSSSssss..... "

That's the sound of you squeezing the last bit of stale air from out of your own ball... not even worth a toe flick.

3/08/2010 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

But thanks for trying.

3/08/2010 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To Van re:

Oldest boy is leaving for bootcamp tomorrow night. Really would like something with enough air in it to kick.

Congrats on your sons service. He will make his old man proud. What branch did he join?

3/08/2010 04:19:00 PM  
Blogger Ilíon said...

Van: "Oldest boy is leaving for bootcamp tomorrow night."

Bitersweet, I'm sure.

3/09/2010 07:42:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

TigTog & Ilian,

Going into the Airforce.

Said goodbye to him this morning.

Bittersweet indeed.

3/09/2010 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Van,
Congrats, indeed for Oldest Boy. And prayers for protection, wisdom and strength to him.

3/10/2010 06:50:00 PM  

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