Agonizomai: The More Things Change...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The More Things Change...
...the More They Stay the Same.

[Remember Yogi Berra's quip about experiencing deja vu all over again? 100 years ago, this year G.K. Chesterton had something to say about liberalism that we are still faced with today in some aspects of postmodernism.]

"What we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction; where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed. Nowadays the part of a man that a man does assert is exactly the part he ought not to assert - himself. The part he doubts is exactly the part he ought not to doubt - the Divine Reason. . . . The new skeptic is so humble that he doubts if he can even learn. . . . There is a real humility typical of our time; but it so happens that it's practically a more poisonous humility than the wildest prostrations of the ascetic. . . . The old humility made a man doubtful about his efforts, which might make him work harder. But the new humility makes a man doubtful about his aims, which makes him stop working altogether. . . . We are on the road to producing a race of man too mentally modest to believe in the multiplication table".

G.K. Chesterton (1908)


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