Losing Control

We have lost the power to control things, largely because we have lost the power to oversee them; that is, to see them as a whole. The economic disasters we suffer are largely due to the operations having grown too large even for the operators.

G.K. Chesterton in the Illustrated London News, October 31, 1931

From 1905 until his death in 1936, G.K. Chesterton contributed a weekly column to the Illustrated London News. His columns have been collected in 11 volumes by Ignatius Press
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Generations and Prophets

It is an eternal truth that the fathers stone the prophets and the sons build their sepulchres; often out of the same stones. For the reasons given for execution are often the same as the reasons given later for canonization.

G.K. Chesterton in the Illustrated London News, October 17, 1931

From 1905 until his death in 1936, G.K. Chesterton contributed a weekly column to the Illustrated London News. His columns have been collected in 11 volumes by Ignatius Press
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The Fallacy of Multiple Religions

It is perpetually said that because there are a hundred religions claiming to be true, it is therefore impossible that one of them should really be true. The argument would appear on the face of it to be illogical, if anyone nowadays troubled about logic. It would be as reasonable to say that because some people thought the earth was flat, and others (rather less incorrectly) imagined it was round, and because anybody is free to say that it is triangular or hexagon, or rhomboid, therefore it has no shape at all; or its shape can never be discovered; and anyhow, modern science must be wrong in saying it is an oblate spheroid. The world must be some shape, and it must be that shape and no other; it is not self-evident that nobody can possibly hit on the right one. What so obviously applies to the material shape of the world equally applies to the moral shape of the universe. The man who describes it may not be right, but it is no argument against his rightness that a number of other people must be wrong.

G.K. Chesterton in the Illustrated London News, January 4, 1930

From 1905 until his death in 1936, G.K. Chesterton contributed a weekly column to the Illustrated London News. His columns have been collected in 11 volumes by Ignatius Press
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Socialism and Men

Let us say plainly that Socialism is not a thing fit for angels, but simply a thing unfit for men; not because men are below Socialism, but because they are above it. Because honour, and lordship of a little place,and defence of the family, and rational defiance of the powers of the world are not things of which we are ashamed; they are not weak indulgences, but natural rights.

G.K. Chesterton in the Illustrated London News, June 29, 1912

From 1905 until his death in 1936, G.K. Chesterton contributed a weekly column to the Illustrated London News. His columns have been collected in 11 volumes by Ignatius Press
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End is Always Abrupt

Everything that collapses, collapses suddenly. When I hear the Evolutionists proving that growth and decay must always be by faint gradations, I can only wonder if they have ever smoked a cigar. If they have, they must surely know how long and solidly a tower of ashes can stand, and how suddenly it ceases. I select the case of cigars because Evolutionists are, as a class, wll off. They would probably know more about cigars than they know about old boots. But the same principle of beautiful abruptness belongs, I believe, to old boots. Experts in poverty (by which I do not mean sociologists, but poor men) have told me that rotten boots will hold together with quite incredible tenacity, as cigar-ashes do. But when the boots really burst they burst like bombs. They are not merely disrupted, but destroyed; there is no doing anything with them at all. Of course, good cigars are consumed slowly and bad boots are consumed carefully; but no care or slowness in the approach makes any difference to the dramatic swiftness of the catastrophe. The beginning of the world may or may not have been evolutionary; but the end of the world won’t be.

G.K. Chesterton in the Illustrated London News, March 25, 1911

From 1905 until his death in 1936, G.K. Chesterton contributed a weekly column to the Illustrated London News. His columns have been collected in 11 volumes by Ignatius Press
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Revolutions and Words

The curse of revolution is that one often changes words without changing things. But the heavy and crushing curse of the conservative is that he actually changes the things without changing the words.

G.K. Chesterton in the Illustrated London News, April 15, 1911

From 1905 until his death in 1936, G.K. Chesterton contributed a weekly column to the Illustrated London News. His columns have been collected in 11 volumes by Ignatius Press
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