02 enero 2014

On Anarchy

One perk of my skeptical mid 20s has been my new-found grim passion for absolutes. It is the sick, like me, after all, who need a physician; the relativist who needs a law; the devil's advocate who needs a Judge. What a warm rock absolutes are, to lay one's head upon while watching the masses giggle and parachute into the abyss. In such a bitter and anti-anarchist mood did I seek out dear, dark, and wildly hopeful Chesterton.

***from The Man Who Was Thursday, chpt. 4

Being surrounded with every conceivable kind of revolt from infancy, Gabriel had to revolt into something, so he revolted into the only thing left—sanity. But there was just enough in him of the blood of these fanatics to make even his protest for common sense a little too fierce to be sensible. 
His hatred of modern lawlessness had been crowned also by an accident. It happened that he was walking in a side street at the instant of a dynamite outrage. He had been blind and deaf for a moment, and then seen, the smoke clearing, the broken windows and the bleeding faces. After that he went about as usual—quiet, courteous, rather gentle; but there was a spot on his mind that was not sane. He did not regard anarchists, as most of us do, as a handful of morbid men, combining ignorance with intellectualism. He regarded them as a huge and pitiless peril, like a Chinese invasion.   
  He poured perpetually into newspapers[, his blog, the fb,] and their waste-paper baskets a torrent of tales, verses and violent articles, warning men of this deluge of barbaric denial. But he seemed to be getting no nearer his enemy, and, what was worse, no nearer a living.
"We say that the most dangerous criminal now is the entirely lawless modern philosopher. Compared to him, burglars and bigamists are essentially moral men; my heart goes out to them. They accept the essential ideal of man; they merely seek it wrongly."
"A moment more, and you may lose the glory of working with us, perhaps the glory of dying with the last heroes of the world.”