sententiarum collectio

Tag: Chesterton

Thinking

There is a kind of work which any man can do, but from which many men shrink, generally because it is very hard work, sometimes because they fear it will lead them whither they do not wish to go. It is called thinking.

– Chesterton

Tradition

Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.

– Chesterton

Abolish religion

Abolish religion if you like. Throw everything on secular government if you like. But do not be surprised if a machinery that was never meant to do anything but secure external decency and order fails to secure internal honesty and peace.

– Chesterton

On Journalism

There never was a power so great as the power of the Press. There never was a belief so superstitious as the universal belief in the Press. Maybe future centuries will call these the Dark Ages, and see a vast mystical delusion spreading its black bats’ wings over all our cities

An entirely new and unique and dense sort of ignorance will be manufactured by a combination of censorship of the Press and censorship by the Press.

Journalism possesses in itself the potentiality of becoming one of the most frightful monstrosities and delusions that have ever cursed mankind. This horrible transformation will occur at the exact instant at which journalists realize that they can become an aristocracy.

– Chesterton

Censorship

Between newspaper stunts and newspaper suppressions on the one side, and dictatorships with their censorships on the other, it is highly probable that our immediate posterity will know less about what is going on than they did before there was a printing press.

An entirely new and unique and dense sort of ignorance will be manufactured by a combination of censorship of the Press and censorship by the Press.

G.K. Chesterton, 1935

Before removing fences…

In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.

G.K. Chesterton, The Thing, “The Drift from Domesticity” (1929)

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