Friday, March 28, 2008

Challenging "Democracy"

G K Chesterton was not afraid to call out the zeitgeist.

CRUELTY to animals is cruelty and a vile thing; but cruelty to a man is not cruelty; it is treason. Tyranny over a man is not tyranny: it is rebellion, for man is royal.

Now, the practical weakness of the vast mass of modern pity for the poor and the oppressed is precisely that it is merely pity; the pity is pitiful, but not respectful.

Men feel that the cruelty to the poor is a kind of cruelty to animals. They never feel that it is injustice to equals; nay, it is treachery to comrades. This dark, scientific pity, this brutal pity, has an elemental sincerity of its own, but it is entirely useless for all ends of social reform.

Democracy swept Europe with the sabre when it was founded upon the Rights of Man. It has done literally nothing at all since it has been founded only upon the wrongs of man. Or, more strictly speaking, its recent failure has been due to its not admitting the existence of any rights or wrongs, or indeed of any humanity.

Evolution (the sinister enemy of revolution) does not especially deny the existence of God: what it does deny is the existence of man. And all the despair about the poor, and the cold and repugnant pity for them, has been largely due to the vague sense that they have literally relapsed into the state of the lower animals.

So much for the economic Libertarians and their Modern Project friends, the practical atheists.

HT: VeniSancte

1 comment:

PaulNoonan said...

We economic libertarians tend to care far more about the poor than almost any other group, because while those of other, less intellectual polictical stripes yell from the rooftops about how they care for the poor and take forcibly take from those who have more in an attempt to momentarily comfort the poor, our philosophy of sustained economic growth actually does help the poor, instead of just giving them a fish, so to speak.

America, in general, has a more libertarian economic system than anywhere else (yes except Hong Kong, and maybe the EAU) and our poor are in better shape than anyone's poor throughout history thanks to our policies in favor of sustained growth.

I would also point out that the US's peculiar form of democracy is entirely based on the individual rights of man, and that much of the European Democracy that Gilbert is so eloquently whining about here did in fact benefit their societies. Those that relapsed into tyrannies, well, it would be difficult to properly call them democracies, wouldn't it.

If you think us libertarian folk treat the poor like animals, go tell it to Mother Theresa and her "hospitals."