Thomas Wictor

He explains me much better than I can

He explains me much better than I can

I just came across the essay “Isaiah’s Job,” by Albert Jay Nock (October 13, 2023 - August 19, 2023). Nock was an author, an educational theorist, and a social critic. He explains me far better than I ever could. After reading his essay, I now know what my purpose is.

First, Mr. Nock.


I like how he looks. His face is very enigmatic, a quality I find irresistible.

Now, don’t me wrong: Tonight’s post isn’t about how fabulous I am. It’s about why I do what I do. I couldn’t have described it until I read Nock’s essay. These are all his ideas, not mine. He nailed it.

The prophet Isaiah


Isaiah didn’t want to be a prophet.

Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.

Behold the brilliance of Albert Jay Nock.

“Ah,” the Lord said, “you do not get the point. There is a Remnant there that you know nothing about. They are obscure, unorganized, inarticulate, each one rubbing along as best he can. They need to be encouraged and braced up because when everything has gone completely to the dogs, they are the ones who will come back and build up a new society; and meanwhile, your preaching will reassure them and keep them hanging on. Your job is to take care of the Remnant, so be off now and set about it.”

I absolutely hate publicity. The last time I Googled my name was when I created my Press page, over a year ago. I never read about myself, unless the context is something I’ve written in defense of Israel. So why do I blog?

[Isaiah] preached to the masses only in the sense that he preached publicly. Anyone who liked might listen; anyone who liked might pass by. He knew that the Remnant would listen; and knowing also that nothing was to be expected of the masses under any circumstances, he made no specific appeal to them, did not accommodate his message to their measure in any way, and did not care two straws whether they heeded it or not.

As a modern publisher might put it, he was not worrying about circulation or about advertising. Hence, with all such obsessions quite out of the way, he was in a position to do his level best, without fear or favor, and answerable only to his august Boss.

[S]erving the Remnant looks like a good job. An assignment that you can really put your back into, and do your best without thinking about results, is a real job; whereas serving the masses is at best only half a job, considering the inexorable conditions that the masses impose upon their servants. They ask you to give them what they want, they insist upon it, and will take nothing else; and following their whims, their irrational changes of fancy, their hot and cold fits, is a tedious business, to say nothing of the fact that what they want at any time makes very little call on one’s resources of prophesy.

The Remnant, on the other hand, want only the best you have, whatever that may be. Give them that, and they are satisfied; you have nothing more to worry about.

I blog for the Remnant. And here’s the reason why I choose the Remnant instead of the masses.

You do not know, and will never know, who the Remnant are, nor what they are doing or will do. Two things you do know, and no more: First, that they exist; second, that they will find you. Except for these two certainties, working for the Remnant means working in impenetrable darkness; and this, I should say, is just the condition calculated most effectively to pique the interest of any prophet who is properly gifted with the imagination, insight and intellectual curiosity necessary to a successful pursuit of his trade.

Though I’m not a prophet, people find my work. I don’t have to advertise in any way. And I love impenetrable darkness. I find it comforting. As a child I was afraid of the dark, but now I see it as protection. Nobody can find me in here.


The Remnant also reacts to my writing in a way I prefer.

They take his message much as drivers take the directions on a roadside signboard — that is, with very little thought about the signboard, beyond being gratefully glad that it happened to be there, but with every thought about the directions.

This impersonal attitude of the Remnant wonderfully enhances the interest of the imaginative prophet’s job. Once in a while, just about often enough to keep his intellectual curiosity in good working order, he will quite accidentally come upon some distinct reflection of his own message in an unsuspected quarter. This enables him to entertain himself in his leisure moments with agreeable speculations about the course his message may have taken in reaching that particular quarter, and about what came of it after it got there.

Most interesting of all are those instances, if one could only run them down (but one may always speculate about them), where the recipient himself no longer knows where nor when nor from whom he got the message — or even where, as sometimes happens, he has forgotten that he got it anywhere and imagines that it is all a self-sprung idea of his own.

Again, I’m not a prophet. I’m a blogger. But everything else applies.

I blog for the Remnant.

It is a good job, an interesting job, much more interesting than serving the masses; and moreover it is the only job in our whole civilization, as far as I know, that offers a virgin field.

Yes! I’ve been called to do this, I now realize. A few times I’ve fought it, but now I accept my responsibility. Because that’s what it is: a responsibility. If I have the ability to point out the lies, then I must do so.

The Remnant deserves the truth.