dudinax t1_j1kx7lb wrote

In LotR, the two main bits of "Northern Courage" are the charge of Rohirrim. From their vantage, the attack was hopeless and would lead to defeat. But they attacked anyway, and it turned out to be necessary for victory.

Second, and I think the most important, is Frodo stabbing the foot of the Nazgul. Frodo had no chance of defeating the Nazgul, and the Nazgul still delivers a mortal blow, but Frodo's attack throws it off the mark and it doesn't kill Frodo fast enough.

Aragorn's attack on the black gate is something like that, but he had a plan for victory even if he thought his chances were slim. He knew the ring at least hadn't been found.


dudinax t1_j1jva0w wrote

Tolkien expressed the idea of "Northern Courage", which is a bit chauvinist, but the idea is good: it's the courage to keep struggling even if you don't see any hope.

The basis for such courage is our own ignorance. We simply can't know for sure it's as bad as we think it is, or if it is that bad, that someone somewhere in the future won't turn things around in a way we can't imagine, and your own seemingly ineffectual behavior might in some small way help them.

You might be right, but you can't know for sure that you're right.


dudinax t1_iv66tbn wrote

To Republicans, "The Border" is short hand for scary Mexicans. They aren't even thinking about the border they actually live next to.