One of the delightful little ironies of leftist “thought” that intrudes upon the gaming scene is the notion that there is no good and evil in the world, and conservatives are evil for believing otherwise. Consider the left’s religious belief in the silliness of moral equivalency, that every culture and worldview is valid, and the follow on belief that any culture or worldview that says otherwise is invalid. The culture and worldview espoused by conservatives does believe in good and evil, and strives to fight evil, and as such is the one worldview that the left will stand against.
As always, the left cannot leave a stone unturned in their fight against those who fight againt evil. Over the years they have had great success changing the way evil is presented in fantasy and sci-fi in general, and in tabletop RPGs in particular. This pernicious quisling behavior is most readily apparent when considering the evolution of the orc*. The fundamental concept of “orc” has shifted from armies of evil incarnate to just another human tribe dressed up in crude armor and funny green masks.
As with so much of fantasy literature, Tolkein first popularized the orc as a degenerate race who owes its very existence to the presence of evil. In The Silmarillion he describes their genesis as “all those of the Quendi who came into the hands of Melkor (a Satan-analog), ere Utumno was broken, were put there in prison, and by slow ares of cruelty were corrupted and enslaved; and thus did Melkor breed the hideous race of the Orcs in envy and mockery of the Elves, of who afterwards they were the bitterest foes.” There it is in black and white – orcs are corrupted at the moment of creation, their very existence driven by an innate hatred for all things good.
From the outset orcs are creatures of darkness and despair best handled with the pointy end of a sharp stick. They are literal manifestations of evil providing a clear-cut adversary for good men to fight. The notion of good men fighting clear cut battles against evil is anathema to the progressive worldview, so the fundamental concept of orcs was added to the list of ideas slated for the Memory Hole.
We could dwell once again on the progressive love for projection as seen in their attempts to slander conservatives as racist for adhering to the notion of orcs as evil. In truth, when conservatives look at a degenerate humanoid born of pure evil, they see a degenerate humanoid born of pure evil. They feel no need to humanize the beast, only a need to fight it. When progressives look at a degenerate race of pure evil, they see Africans, assume that’s what conservatives see, and then tar conservatives with their own bigotries. Progressives see a race of evil, and then rather than fight it, do what they can to twist the narrative to paint the evil as simply misunderstood. (Note that they also do this with real world human cultures such as those that encourage temporary child brides, strap bombs to pregnant women, and hang homosexuals. Countless University students have been told not to judge cultures that practice human sacrifice, the murder of infants, and even cannibalism.)
Since the 1960s we’ve seen constant pressure to repaint orcs as “noble savages” with their own proud, noble, and honorable culture who fight not for conquest for their own survival. The backstory of the World of Warcraft presents them as unwilling soldiers in the dark lord’s army who rebelled and served as the lynchpin in defeating their former demon masters. So…just another human.
And we’re supposed to be the ones who hate diversity.
A small bit of collateral damage resulting from this new understanding of the orc as humanis the underpinnings of the half-orc. Half-orcs used to be walking personifications of man’s fight against his inner evil nature. They used to provide a genuine opportunity to play a misunderstood outsider. Now? They are just humans a little stronger than normal who are what we used to call ugly but now have to say “don’t conform to modern western sensibilities of attractiveness.**”
The greater damage to the culture of tabletop RPGs, was the loss of the idea that these games could be an expression of (what should be a universal) desire to fight evil. Orcs are now just another morality tale used to remind us all that there is no good and evil in the world (except for those evil conservatives), that everyone is really a good guy deep down (except for those bad conservatives), and that RPGs should serve the political goal of ensuring that we are all diverse in the same way (by making those different from us just like us.)
As if all that weren’t enough, the deep-seated need that people have for clear cut villains didn’t disappear with the vanishing of the truly evil orcs. Wiping out the orcs just left a void in the culture that had to be filled by something else. In popular film the cultural niche of the orc has been filled by zombies, robots, and aliens. So while our orcs are now humans in green masks, you’ve got orcs wearing zombie masks. Truly, we have come far as a people thanks to the shell game false intellectualism of the left.
Next time we’ll consider what we can do to fix this sad state of affairs, and how you can approach the gaming table with the attitude of a hero ready to step into the fight of good versus evil.