Lessons from the Otherness

Nightworldby Timothy Lane   8/30/14
F. Paul Wilson has written a large number of books, a substantial portion of them based on the notion of a secret history of the Earth that involves a struggle for control (as part of some cosmic game) between 2 alien entities, known as the Ally and the Enemy. Both have longtime (going back long before recorded history) champions, Glaeken for the Ally and Rasalom for the Enemy. It’s an interesting and entertaining series that has now come to an end in the novel Nightworld (a rewritten version of an earlier novel). But the series, including this final volume, also has many (perhaps unintended) lessons for modern politics.

The Enemy seeks to recreate Earth as something entirely different, using what Glaeken refers to (from personal experience of what it means) as the Otherness. This can best be considered satanic or hellish, as people are finding out in Nightworld with the days shortening when they should be lengthening, bottomless holes opening in random locations, and monsters from the Otherness coming through to strike during the growing hours of darkness. In extreme form, we might consider the Enemy Leftism, with its desire to remake America into an alien society (in this case drawn mainly from Europe, which thus can be analogized to the Otherness). This makes Obama the equivalent of Rasalom.

The Enemy may be considered evil, or at least viciously inimical to life as we know it (just as Leftism is hostile to American traditions), but the Ally isn’t exactly good, or even necessarily friendly. At best, it’s relatively innocuous; the Ally (unlike the Enemy) doesn’t seek to remake Earth. This sounds rather like the Republican Party, with Glaeken (and those who help him out) being equated to the grassroots conservatives who really care about preserving the Earth instead of merely using it as a useful asset in a game. But notice that Glaeken and his friends, though well aware that the Ally is not evil, nevertheless strongly support his cause. The alternative to the Ally is the Enemy, and thus the Otherness. In much the same way, the only realistic alternative to the GOP at present is the Democratic Party – i.e., the agents of the Enemy.

There are some other interesting aspects of the struggle. In the novel Bloodline, Wilson introduced a group called the Kickers, who have “dissimilated” themselves from society and thus consider themselves morally free to act as they please. Needless to say, the sort of people eager to adopt this new tradition are the most anti-social sorts, for whom this provides a great excuse – just as liberalism (and in a different way libertarianism) does.

Another thing to note is that the Kickers and other allies of Rasalom have been led to believe that they will be assigned positions of power and influence when the Otherness triumphs. In reality, he has no intention of keeping his promise, and as the monsters of the Otherness start their reign of nightly terror, they’re learning that he has double-crossed them. Again, we have an analogy in the grassroots identity politics groups who have been riled up by a victimization/grievance mindset in order to hide the fact that the Left really offers them no real benefit.

One might also note that Rasalom has other allies, an ancient order whose members see themselves as the real elite – they’re quite confident of their superiority to others, and know perfectly well that the Kickers and other low-level allies will gain nothing from the Otherness. As Nightworld proceeds, they’re beginning to learn that they will fare no better than the Kickers (and maybe even worse, since the Kickers’ leader is a clever chap who’s preparing for a world gone crazy). I suspect that many rich liberals will someday find that a regime that loves the Occupiers has no more regard for them than Rasalom does for any of his allies.

Another important point comes up early in Nightworld. Glaeken is talking with a friend about the future as the world starts to go crazy. Because Rasalom has succeeded in playing a trick that causes the Ally to think that Earth no longer has sentient life (and thus no longer has value in the game), he seems to have the power needed to triumph (after all, even with the Ally’s help Glaeken hadn’t vanquished him, though on at least two occasions he thought he had). Now it seems hopeless, but Glaeken still can’t bring himself to give up. “I’m pretty sure we haven’t got a chance. But I’ve fought him too long to sit and around and simply wait for the end.” It’s a worthwhile lesson; how many of us really can bring ourselves to play Nero, fiddling away while our country burns down around us? I know I can’t, for much the same reason Glaeken couldn’t. (And after all, it isnt absolutely hopeless, for us any more than it was for Glaeken. In the original version, he finally destroyed Rasalom; we shall see if the same thing happens, though Wilson has said he will end the series there, though also writing a few books set much earlier.)

There are lessons here, and I think we should remember them. There can be a time for rejecting individual Republicans (I would favor defeating Thad Cochran, the most egregious example this year), if only as an example to “encourage the others” (as Voltaire said of the execution of Admiral Byng). But in the end we must realize that the alternative to the GOP is the Obamacrats, who really are the Enemy of all we hold dear. And with such stakes, no matter how hopeless it may look (and it does look that way, just as it did for Glaeken), how can we stop the fight now?

Timothy Lane writes from Louisville, Kentucky and publishes the FOSFAX fanzine.
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2 Responses to Lessons from the Otherness

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    I have some additional comments to make, having gotten further into Nightworld. One is that the supporters of Rasalom (at least in New York City itself, and probably at least some elsewhere) have now indeed learned what the wages of sin are (though Screwtape could have told them already). Another is that societal collapse leads to a moral collapse, as fewer and fewer people are willing to do their jobs and many go anti-social. Glaeken, discussing this, points out that Rasalom would fail if people stood together instead of surrendering to anarchy. Instead they will have to seek out their supernatural means of fighting him.

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    Further reading leads to some more interesting points (and very conservatives ones, I think, that are quite deliberate by Wilson). As a pair of Glaeken’s helpers discuss their situation (one had just been betrayed by her husband, and the other is explaining why that matters to everyone, not just her): “All the intangibles that link us are being destroyed. Love, trust, brotherhood, community, camaraderie, togetherness. The simple, everyday things that make us human, that make us more than just a pile of organisms, that make us larger than ourselves — they’re all going up in smoke.” He then explains further that Rasalom is destroying the outside world, but those who resist can still keep their inside world functioning: “That’s where those bonds are anchored. Rasalom can’t get inside unless he’s allowed in.” If they let fear (or other negative emotions) destroy their bonds, it dooms them: “For without them we divide into small, suspicious enclaves, which soon deteriorate into warring packs, which finally degenerate into a bunch of backstabbing lone wolves.”

    I don’t know if liberals actually want that nightmare world, but by seeking to destroy anything that separates individual from the almighty State (such as family, volunteer groups and charities, and churches), combined with the effect of increasing ethnic diversity, they succeed in atomizing the population. And in the end, identity-group politics based on victim status, combined with the entitlements state, is great at creating the zero-sum world of all against all.

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