Peter Hitchens is as obdurate as his late brother Christopher but ultra pessimistic. He is in total despair that anything could be done to save England. A vast overwhelming moral and social pessimism pervades his thought. He reminds me of a French singer songwriter I once heard who shouted: “Il est de toute premiere instance que vous sachiez que c’est la fin!”.
Hitchens refers to “hordes of morons hurling themselves off buildings”, and “In between crisis and catastrophe we might as well have a glass of champagne”.
I have several objections to Hitchens. One, he is wrong. Things are not without hope of recovery. Two, he is Johnny one-note. Everything is seen through the lens of decline and fall. Three, he is the voice of despair, which is a sin. Four, he is smug in his certainty. And five, he might well be right, and my sunny disposition prevents me from seeing that this is so.
Leftists do not seem ever to change their absolutism. They appear to go from a wholly unwarranted belief in the powers of reason to transform society beneficially to a deep conviction that we at the gates of hell because of the same leftism they believe they have abandoned. The real abandonment of leftism would be signalled by a refusal to despair of man and mankind.