Red Pill Reading

“Truth is sacred; and if you tell the truth too often nobody will believe it.”-Chesterton
23 June 2015

Dads And Chesterton – Father’s Day Extravaganza

Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – For those modern conservatives out there that say, [mocking] “Conservatism is not always looking forward.  It’s not always looking to the future.”  Conservatism ought to be looking at what Chesterton just said.  Conservatism ought to be looking at what ought to be, not this ridiculous notion that progress is progress for progress’s sake is a good.  Check out today’s transcript for the rest….

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Begin Mike Church Show Transcript

[reading]

We often read nowadays of the valor or audacity with which some rebel attacks a hoary tyranny or an antiquated superstition. There is not really any courage at all in attacking hoary or antiquated things, any more than in offering to fight one’s grandmother. The really courageous man is he who defies tyrannies young as the morning and superstitions fresh as the first flowers. The only true free-thinker is he whose intellect is as much free form the future as from the past. He cares as little for what will be as for what has been; he cares only for what ought to be.

[end reading]

Mike:  That is deep!  I’m going to underline that.  You think about that.  You can meditate on that sentence for an entire weekend.  Back to Chesterton:

[reading]

And for my present purpose I specially insist on this abstract independence. If I am to discuss what is wrong, one of the first things that are wrong is this: the deep and silent modern assumption that past things have become impossible. There is one metaphor of which the moderns are very fond; they are always saying, “You can’t put the clock back.” The simple and obvious answer is “You can.” A clock, being a piece of human construction, can be restored by the human finger to any figure or hour. In the same way society, being a piece of human construction, can be reconstructed upon any plan that has ever existed.

[end reading]

Mike:  For those modern conservatives out there that say, [mocking] “Conservatism is not always looking forward.  It’s not always looking to the future.”  Conservatism ought to be looking at what Chesterton just said.  Conservatism ought to be looking at what ought to be, not this ridiculous notion that progress is progress for progress’s sake is a good.  Look at modernity.  Progress for progress’s sake is not a good.  Tens of millions of souls have fallen into Hell like snowflakes.  It is a travesty; which is not to say that all progress is a travesty, but this progress most certainly is.  That’s a pretty good definition of what a conservative ought to be looking for: not so much what was great with the past, although it is instructive; not to the future that we must embrace, according to some editors of certain conservative magazines, writers, etc.; but what ought to be.  What ought to be souls conforming to the beatific vision, to try and see as the ultimate supreme good, the beatific vision.  In other words, to see Heaven.  You won’t see God but you’ll see Heaven.  Back to Chesterton:

[reading]

There is another proverb, “As you have made your bed, so you must lie on it”; which again is simply a lie. If I have made my bed uncomfortable, please God I will make it again. We could restore the Heptarchy or the stage coaches if we chose. It might take some time to do, and it might be very inadvisable to do it; but certainly it is not impossible as bringing back last Friday is impossible. This is, as I say, the first freedom that I claim: the freedom to restore. I claim a right to propose as a solution the old patriarchal system of a Highland clan . . .

[end reading]

Mike:  Here’s a call to action for Father’s Day weekend.  This is directed at all you daddies.  Fathers must accept the lay ministry of being the Priest, Philosopher and King of his home, and in his community he must accept the first of those two roles in his Christian capacity or the community will fill those with non-Christian yielding not Christian results.  Chesterton reminds us of this duty in his book What’s Wrong With the World.

[reading]

Now I am concerned, first and last, to maintain that unless you can save the fathers, you cannot save the children; that at present we cannot save others, for we cannot save ourselves. We cannot teach citizenship if we are not citizens; we cannot free others if we have forgotten the appetite of freedom. Education is only truth in a state of transmission; and how can we pass on truth if it has never come into our hand? Thus we find that education is of all the cases the clearest for our general purpose. It is vain to save children; for they cannot remain children. By hypothesis we are teaching them to be men; and how can it be so simple to teach an ideal manhood to others if it is so vain and hopeless to find one for ourselves?

This is, as I say, the first freedom that I claim: the freedom to restore. I claim a right to propose as a solution the old patriarchal system of a Highland clan, if that should seem to eliminate the largest number of evils.

[end reading]

Mike:  Remember, folks, I posited last hour that Chesterton had actually given us the definition of conservatism in his book What’s Wrong With the World.  I’ll paraphrase it so that we can repeat it.  The conservative “cares as little for what will be as for what has been; he cares only for what ought to be.”  You noodle on that for the weekend.  You can noodle on that for the rest of the year.  He’s saying he reserves the right – if you say I can’t turn the clock, [mocking] “We can’t go back to the 13th century.”  Well, what were people in the 13th century doing?  They were doing what they thought they had to do to pursue the supreme good.  Those that accomplished it and did pursue the supreme good, we ought to model ourselves on them.  Ditto that for the 1st century.  Ditto that for the 20th century.  You see the word “ought”?  Back to Chesterton:

[reading]

. . . a Highland clan, if that should seem to eliminate the largest number of evils. It certainly would eliminate some evils; for instance, the unnatural sense of obeying cold and harsh strangers, mere bureaucrats and policemen. I claim the right to propose the complete independence of the small Greek or Italian towns, a sovereign city of Brixton or Brompton, if that seems the best way out of our troubles. It would be a way out of some of our troubles; we could not have in a small state, for instance, those enormous illusions about men or measures which are nourished by the great national or international newspapers.

[end reading]

Mike:  I’ve talked about that before, using the small states as an example of whether or not they would try to bomb Iran back to Xerxes II.  The answer is no.  They would have to humble and chasten themselves to realize they couldn’t do it.  That’s what Chesterton is saying here.  Of course, the newspaperists and those that call themselves conservatives, they’re going to think the exact opposite of what I’m telling you right now.  I’ll tell you everything you need to know about whether or not they’re actual conservatives.

[reading]

You could not persuade a city state that Mr. Beit was an Englishman, or Mr. Dillon a desperado, any more than you could persuade a Hampshire village that the village drunkard was a teetotaler or the village idiot a statesman. Nevertheless, I do not as a fact propose that the Browns and the Smiths should be collected under separate tartans. Nor do I even propose that Clapham should declare its independence. I merely declare my independence. I merely claim my choice of all the tools in the universe; and I shall not admit that any of them are blunted merely because they have been used.

[end reading]

Mike:  Wow.  Gilbert Keith Chesterton.  The book is What’s Wrong With the World.  I’m going to write an answer to Chesterton, channeling Chesterton, and I’m going to call it “What’s Right With the World.”

End Mike Church Show Transcript

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