Chesterton & Lewis warn against tyranny

G. K. Chesterton’s helpful assessment of fundamental liberty. By his measure, our liberty is indeed threatened.

“The free man owns himself. He can damage himself with either eating or drinking; he can ruin himself with gambling. If he does he is certainly a damn fool, and he might possibly be a damned soul; but if he may not, he is not a free man any more than a dog.” – Broadcast talk 6-11-35

Emphasis mine. Jay at STACLU has a great quote on a similar theme:

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences.” –C.S. Lewis”

Two Christ-professing Englishmen warning us from the early 20th Century, that to give up our freedom “for our own good,” is not freedom. It is acquiescing to tyranny with thumb in the mouth, iPod buds in the ear and the tv set on an endless loop of Sex and the City reruns.

We live in a world where a candidate trying to be elected president says he will talk to anti-semitic, genocidal tyrants “with no preconditions.”

It is a very strange world. In Venezuela, Hugo Chavez is instituting compulsory spying and snitching, in Russia Vladimir Putin is disappearing satirists and dissenters. In Canada, writers are being silenced for daring to discuss demographics, and in Paris an aging screen siren is convicted of hate speech for having an opinion and expressing it. In Rome, tyrants mug for the cameras (though not without protest! Go Italy!). In England, one lone bishop seems to be all that stands against the overhauling of British Common Law for something quite different.

Here in America, we see someone like the dubious Al “Entrepreneur” Gore – who will not debate or allow public discussion of dissenting opinion on the issue of global warming, thrusting his hoax forward like a determined bull, negatively influencing our economy while reaping incredible profit.

Czech president Vaclev Havel, an economist who has some personal acquaintance with the tyranny of evil men, is trying to warn us. He says the planet is not at risk, but we are.. Our liberty and our sovereignty is at risk as too many useful idiots, move forward on the legislating of an insidious lie, even as scientists are backing off on the “settled” matter.

Everywhere, substance and fact are pushed aside for amorphous sensation.

All we can do is hope that the guy everyone is actually calling a tyrant will continue to hold steady in the face of madness and political pressure. And we have no reason to think he won’t. He’s been holding steady against an incessant current, and keeping to a promise, for the past 7 years.

And we’re going to miss him when he’s gone, and no one is left to hold steady against anything.

Meanwhile, the “free” press in America, sits back quietly while voters are disenfranchised to advance a manufactured candidate of a socialist bent. H/T Larwyn.

About Elizabeth Scalia
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  • igout

    I can;t help noticing this juxtaposition of links, Anchoress:

    disappearing satirists and dissenters


    Meanwhile, the “free” press in America, sits back quietly while voters are disenfranchised to advance a manufactured candidate of a socialist bent

    It all makes me want to knock on Mr Putin’s kitchen door and ask to borrow a cup of polonium.

  • smmtheory

    I wouldn’t necessarily describe the ‘free’ press as sitting back quietly. I think they are actively assisting the disenfranchisment of voters… especially since they seem to believe their opinion is of the enlightened variety compared to us rubes that supposedly breathe without using our nostrils.

  • Papa

    > Czech president Vaclev Havel, an economist …

    Small correction: Vaclav Havel is the former President of the Czech Republic, and although he studied Economics briefly, he is a writer and dramatist by profession.

    In any case, he is a gifted humanist (in the positive sense) and his statements are always thoughtful and well-reasoned, even when I don’t agree with his opinion.

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  • procraftinate

    I’m reading Dorothy Sayers right now, and I really appreciate the clarity this group of writers had. Chesterton, Lewis, and Sayers all could be Americans warning us about our 21st century world. We ignore them at our peril.

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  • CowPi

    Here’s two more quotes from C.S. Lewis on power and tyranny (both from “The Abolition of Man”):

    “What we call Man’s power over Nature turns out to be a power exercised by some men over other men with Nature as its instrument.”

    “For the power of Man to make himself what he pleases means…the power of some men to make other men what *they* please.”

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