"The inevitable end of surveillance is self-censorship."

— Peggy Noonan

C.S. Lewis on Statism

David Theroux digs into C.S. Lewis's views on government.   He comes up with a great deal of source material, and some excellent quotes, such as:
  • "We have on the one hand a desperate need: hunger, sickness, and dread of war. We have, on the other, the conception of something that might meet it: omnipotent global technocracy. Are not these the ideal opportunity for enslavement?"
  • "Aristotle said that some people were only fit to be slaves. I do not contradict him. But I reject slavery because I see no men fit to be masters."
  • "[the demon Screwtape:] Even in England we were pretty successful. I heard the other day that in that country a man could not, without a permit, cut down his own tree with his own axe, make it into planks with his own saw, and use the planks to build a toolshed in his own garden." 
Read on for more of the same...

Now you own it.

"If you are going to be picky, the place to do it is when you are making your selection."

— Douglas Wilson

Fear Not

"It is an act of homophobia to believe that people in the LGBT community are either too sinful to respond to God’s call on their life, or to believe that people in the LGBT community have a fixed nature that will never, by the blustering, unfounded, and uncharitable declarations of secular psychology, change by the power of the gospel."

— Rosaria Champagne Butterfield

Chesterton: All Things Considered

I've been reading G.K. Chesterton's All Things Considered, which is a collection of various short articles.   I'm less than halfway through, but it is already a goldmine of quotables:

  • It is so easy to be solemn; it is so hard to be frivolous.
  • These people ask the poor to accept in practice what they know perfectly well that the poor would not accept in theory. That is the very definition of religious persecution.
  • Society is becoming a secret society. The modern tyrant is evil because of his elusiveness. He is more nameless than his slave.
  • The elaborate machinery which was once used to make men responsible is now used solely in order to shift the responsibility.
  • In the end it will not matter to us whether we wrote well or ill; whether we fought with flails or reeds. It will matter to us greatly on what side we fought.
  • If we are really to find out what the democracy will ultimately do with itself, we shall surely find it, not in the literature which studies the people, but in the literature which the people studies.
  • For the two things that a healthy person hates most between heaven and hell are a woman who is not dignified and a man who is.
  • On every bookstall, in every magazine, you may find works telling people how to succeed. They are books showing men how to succeed in everything; they are written by men who cannot even succeed in writing books.
  • [T]here are only two ways (in any special sense) of succeeding. One is by doing very good work, the other is by cheating.
  • They also serve who only stand and wait for the two fifteen. Their meditations may be full of rich and fruitful things.
  • An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.
  • All injustice begins in the mind.
  • For there would have permanently sunk into every man's mind the notion that it was a natural thing for me to have a fantastic and irrational power. They would have grown accustomed to insanity.
  • [T]he man who alters things begins by liking things.
  • When people have got used to unreason they can no longer be startled at injustice.
  • Are we without the fault because we have the opposite virtue? Or are we without the fault because we have the opposite fault?
  • It is easy enough to be refined about things that do not matter;
  • Barbarity, malignity, the desire to hurt men, are the evil things generated in atmospheres of intense reality when great nations or great causes are at war. We may, perhaps, be glad that we have not got them: but it is somewhat dangerous to be proud that we have not got them. Perhaps we are hardly great enough to have them. Perhaps some great virtues have to be generated, as in men like Nelson or Emmet, before we can have these vices at all, even as temptations.
  • It is a good sign in a nation when such things [sports] are done badly. It shows that all the people are doing them. And it is a bad sign in a nation when such things are done very well, for it shows that only a few experts and eccentrics are doing them, and that the nation is merely looking on.
  • If men do not understand signs, they will never understand words.
  • [T]he chief object of education is to unlearn things.
  • [T]he more a man really appreciates and admires the soul of another people the less he will attempt to imitate it[.]
  • Why should we celebrate the very art in which we triumph by the very art in which we fail?
  • Mad Frenchmen and Irishmen try to realise the ideal. To you belongs the nobler (and much easier) task of idealising the real.
  • I would much rather be ruled by men who know how to play than by men who do not know how to play.
  • It might reasonably be maintained that the true object of all human life is play. Earth is a task garden; heaven is a playground. To be at last in such secure innocence that one can juggle with the universe and the stars, to be so good that one can treat everything as a joke—that may be, perhaps, the real end and final holiday of human souls.
  • Oh what a happy place England would be to live in if only one did not love it!