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100 Year-Old Wisdom November 27, 2005

Posted by Administrator in Catholicism, Cultural Pessimism, Mechanistic Relativism, Smart People.
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Back from a Thanksgiving hiatus with no computer access. So, there will eventually be the filling of various odds and ends. Not least of which is commentary on the global warming panic brought about from M. Crichton's thoroughly researched State of Fear.

BUt that is for later.

Right now I want to toss out some quotes from Mr. Gilbert Keith Chesterton from his 1905 "nightmare", The Man Who was Thursday.

Question (From Syme, a law and order type): "You wish to abolish Government?"

Answer (From Gregory, an Anarchist):(We wish) to abolish God!. We do not only want to upset a few despotisms and police regulations. . .we dig deeper and blow you higher. We wish to deny all those arbitrary distinctions of vice and virtue, honor and treachery upon which mere rebels base themselves. We hate Rights and Wrongs. We have abolished Right and Wrong."

Ooh. Where have we heard some of this stuff said recently?

Policeman (a thoroughly enlightened fellow: We say that the most dangerous criminal is the educated criminal. . .the entirely lawless modern philosopher. Compared to him, burglars and bigamists are essentially moral men. They accept the essential ideal of man; they merely seek it wrongly. Thieves respect property. They merely wish that the property become their property so that they may more perfectly respect it. But philosophers dislike property as such; they wish to destroy the very idea of personal possession. Bigamists respect marriage; else they would not go through the highly ceremonial and even ritualistic formality of bigamy. But philosophers despise marriage as marriage. Murderers respect human life; they merely wish to attain a greater fullness of human life in themselves by the sacrifice of what seems to them to be lesser lives. But philosophers hate life itself, their own as much as other people's."

Note with interest the last two: Bigamists and murderers. Even murderers recognize murder for what it is. . .yet the abortionists and euthanists do not. They make it a caricature, a euphemism, so that their own loathing of human life. . .even their own. . .is hidden. As for bigamy, see the current gay marriage brouhaha.

There is so much more. I may post some more as I skip through this delightful trove.

Keep in mind the man copyrighted this book in 1905.

That's 100 years ago, friends. Orwell published 1984 in 1949. Huxley published in 1932. Both essentially warn us of a society managed by the state that succeeds in re-defining reality to fit its own needs and desires. Not to take away from those awesome works, but Chesterton was nailing all the same ills in 1905. The primary difference is that Chesterton was not criticizing an all encompassing state. . .but is it not a bit chillingly ironic that he foreshadows Orwell and Huxley in the painting of their own nightmares? GK covers the same moral ground, the same twisting of fact into fiction and the converse. . .leaving us to consider the potentially devastating consequences for ourselves.

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