An homage to Chesterton

July 15, 2010

Over at Front Porch Republic, James Matthew Wilson has written an appreciative essay about our man G.K. Chesterton:

A staunch patriot and nationalist for the English way of life, Chesterton was a life-long anti-imperialist, who presumed that one of the best things about English nationality was that it was his, or our, culture; surely the Indians and South Africans of the world would themselves best appreciate their own culture for the same reason and to foist ours upon theirs would have been to vitiate both.  Rather than continuously looking to the future, to the superstitions of progress, to the rational society at last rid of local and tribal allegiances — the idols of modern socialists and liberals with their hatred of all particular attachments — Chesterton tried to sway his countrymen to look back on the life and land they already knew and loved.  They would love it even more if they did not have the anxiety and shadow of the need for bigness, growth, further acquisition hanging over them, and that darkness could be dispelled swiftly by the affections that arise from owning a parcel of land and, at the least, planting a garden and sitting by the hearth with those most dear.

The whole thing is well worth reading.

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