GK Chesterton And The Modern Surrender

A number of not-to-important and very poor excuses stalled what would otherwise be the long watched for return to regular SoAG posting. Now, excluding other poor and halfhearted excuses, there are in my pocket a handful of posts and thoughts of protean substance which given a little effort could appear as regular posts.

GK Chesteron, if you would no nothing else about him, wrote as the late nineteenth century’s and twentieth century Bronan (RIP). Sarcastic, sardonic, a clever wit, and an astute observer.  One could fill weeks and months reading and rereading the cleverness of Chesteron and be greatly blessed for having done so, yet in a single post a discriminating judgement can present only so very little, a penance of prose for your edification.  Chesterton wrote at the precipice as a conscious observer of the maladies that transpired to tarnish the West. Here from What Is Wrong With The World which contains an entire section of commentary of feminism.

But in this corner called England, at this end of the century, there has happened a strange and startling thing. Openly and to all appearance, this ancestral conflict has silently and abruptly ended; one of the two sexes has suddenly surrendered to the other. By the beginning of the twentieth century, within the last few years, the woman has in public surrendered to the man. She has seriously and officially owned that the man has been right all along; that the public house (or Parliament) is really more important than the private house; that politics are not (as woman had always maintained) an excuse for pots of beer, but are a sacred solemnity to which new female worshipers may kneel; that the talkative patriots in the tavern are not only admirable but enviable; that talk is not a waste of time, and therefore (as a consequence, surely) that taverns are not a waste of money. All we men had grown used to our wives and mothers, and grandmothers, and great aunts all pouring a chorus of contempt upon our hobbies of sport, drink and party politics. And now comes Miss Pankhhurst with tears in her eyes, owning that all the women were wrong and all the men were right; humbly imploring to be admitted into so much as an outer court, from which she may catch a glimpse of those masculine merits which her erring sisters had so thoughtlessly scorned.

Now this development naturally perturbs and even paralyzes us. Males, like females, in the course of that old fight between the public and private house, had indulged in overstatement and extravagance, feeling that they must keep up their end of the see-saw. We told our wives that Parliament had sat late on most essential business  but it never crossed our minds that our wives would believe it. We said that everyone must have a vote in the country; similarly our wives said that no one must have a pipe in the drawing-room. In both cases the idea was the same. “It does not matter much, but if you let those things slide there is chaos ”  WE said that Lord Huggins or Mr. Buggins was absolutely necessary to the country. We knew quite well that nothing is absolutely necessary to the country except that the men should be men and the women women. We knew this; we thought the women knew it even more clearly; and we thought the women would say it. Suddenly, without warning, the women have begun to say all the nonsense we ourselves hardly believed when we said it. The solemnity of politics; the necessity of votes; the necessity of Huggins; the necessity of Buggins; all these flow in a pellucid stream from the lips of all the suffragette speakers. I suppose in every fight, however old, one has a vague aspiration to conquer; but we never wanted to conquer women so completely as this.  We only expected that they might leave us a little more margin for our nonsense  we never expected that they would accept it seriously as sense.  . . .

Veritas numquam perit,
The Poet

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3 Responses to GK Chesterton And The Modern Surrender

  1. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry that he saw it all so clearly

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