Sunday, September 18, 2022

"A world in which a man may be howled down for saying that two and two make four"

From essays that G.K. Chesterton wrote early in the last century:
We must first of all establish the principle that we do not want a newspaper to give us a vision of the world made perfect; we want a church for that. We do not want a newspaper to give us good news; we want a gospel for that. We want a newspaper to give us the true news, not elevating news or improving news. (The Illustrated London News, 3-06-1909)

There may have been a time when people found it easy to believe anything. But we are finding it vastly easier to disbelieve anything. (The Illustrated London News, 3-14-1914)

If free thought means that we are not free to rebuke free-thinkers, it is surely a very one-sided sort of free thought. It means that they may say anything they choose about all that we hold most dear, and we must not say anything we think in protest against all that we hold most damnable. (The Illustrated London News, 6-10-1922)

We shall soon be in a world in which a man may be howled down for saying that two and two make four, in which people will persecute the heresy of calling a triangle a three-sided figure, and hang a man for maddening a mob with the news that grass is green. (The Illustrated London News, 8-14-1926)

When somebody wishes to wage a social war against what all normal people have regarded as a social decency, the very first thing he does is to find some artificial term that shall sound relatively decent. He has no more of the real courage that would pit vice against virtue than the ordinary advertiser has the courage to advertise ale as arsenic.” (The Illustrated London News, 6-30-1928)
The quotations are from "G.K. Chesterton Quotes from The Illustrated London News, 1908-1936."

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