Sunday, March 22, 2015

GKC's Observation on the USA

'Tis a blessing to read Chesterton.

America had a great political idea, but it had a small religious idea. The spiritual vision was not wide enough for the breadth and variety of brotherhood that was to be established among men…. The nation arose not with unity of philosophy but with variety in fanaticism; with sects built on special dogmas or on the denial of special dogmas, on something that was not merely private judgment but particular judgment.--quoted at Crisis

As Ahlquist puts it, this led to the current problem.

...the latest attacks on cigarettes and beer don’t come any more from religious sects, but from secular sects. The religion is gone, only the fanaticism remains. And those who hold these “particular judgments” want to make them universal. And so all the fanaticisms clash and the culture falls into chaos because there is no unifying philosophy....

Those 'secular sects' are principally two:  one revolves around free sex, the other around materialism.  There is a third, whose current high priest is Al Gore; it is the worship of nature, which is different in degree from respect for nature.

The essay is worth the read, for Ahlquist (voicing Chesterton) also defines democracy in a way which is entirely different from the common holding.  

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