Monday, February 23, 2009

Progressivism Never Changes


(L to R) George Bernard Shaw, Hilaire Belloc, GK Chesterton, 1928.

What with all the "change" and "hope" we've just installed in Washington, the estimable GK Chesterton on George Bernard Shaw and "progressivism" seems appropriate:


“After belabouring a great many people for a great many years for being unprogressive, Mr. Shaw has discovered, with characteristic sense, that it is very doubtful whether any existing human being with two legs can be progressive at all. Having come to doubt whether humanity can be combined with progress, most people, easily pleased, would have elected to abandon progress and remain with humanity. Mr. Shaw, not being easily pleased, decides to throw over humanity with all its limitations and go in for progress for its own sake. If man, as we know him, is incapable of the philosophy of progress, Mr. Shaw asks, not for a new kind of philosophy, but for a new kind of man. It is rather as if a nurse had tried a rather bitter food for some years on a baby, and on discovering that it was not suitable, should not throw away the food and ask for a new food, but throw the baby out of window, and ask for a new baby.”




So if we're the change we've been waiting for, do we need to throw ourselves out and start all over?

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