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Monday, January 19, 2015

CS Lewis on Liberty and Statism

An interesting 90-minute talk concerning CS Lewis's views on the evils of statism, by the president of the CS Lewis Society of California. It's often forgotten that the third volume of Lewis's Space Trilogy, That Hideous Strength, was deeply and intimately concerned with the intrinsic evils of statism and bureaucracy, as was his Abolition of Man.

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18 Comments:

Anonymous Steve January 19, 2015 5:52 AM  

Why you fool, it's the educated reader who CAN be gulled. All our difficulty comes with the others. When did you meet a workman who believes the papers? He takes it for granted that they're all propaganda and skips the leading articles. He buys his paper for the football results and the little paragraphs about girls falling out of windows and corpses found in Mayfair flats. He is our problem. We have to recondition him. But the educated public, the people who read the high-brow weeklies, don't need reconditioning. They're all right already. They'll believe anything.

***

The physical sciences, good and innocent in themselves, had already... begun to be warped, had been subtly manoeuvred in a certain direction. Despair of objective truth had been increasingly insinuated into the scientists; indifference to it, and a concentration upon mere power, had been the result… The very experiences of the dissecting room and the pathological laboratory were breeding a conviction that the stifling of all deep-set repugnances was the first essential for progress.

***

What should they find incredible, since they believed no longer in a rational universe? What should they regard as too obscene, since they held that all morality was a mere subjective by-product of the physical and economic situations of men?

Anonymous Giuseppe January 19, 2015 7:11 AM  

I am starting to see that a Christian perspective has a powerful prophetic ability in terms of seeing the near future. Much as a detective has a better chance of knowing there will soon be another murder once he realises there is a serial killer on the lose and the killings are not at all random.

Anonymous Sensei January 19, 2015 8:06 AM  

I am starting to see that a Christian perspective has a powerful prophetic ability in terms of seeing the near future.

That is a testimony to the fact that it's dealing in actual reality.

Anonymous FUBAR Nation Ben January 19, 2015 8:11 AM  

CS Lewis would have been kicked out of the SFWA today for his anti-SJW ideas.

Anonymous VD January 19, 2015 8:40 AM  

Much as a detective has a better chance of knowing there will soon be another murder once he realises there is a serial killer on the lose and the killings are not at all random.

Precisely. As I have repeatedly written, one of the things that convinced me of Christianity's truth was the way in which it not only addresses, but explains, the problem of observable evil.

Blogger JP January 19, 2015 8:57 AM  

one of the things that convinced me of Christianity's truth was the way in which it not only addresses, but explains, the problem of observable evil.

I would pay actual money to read that book if you ever write it. I mean, I know exactly what you mean by that, but I'd still like to read your personal journey.

Blogger njartist January 19, 2015 9:13 AM  

Proverbs should be read and reread: Godly wisdom gives one clarity. Doesn't make life easy; but it does guide you.

Anonymous Giuseppe January 19, 2015 9:18 AM  

Precisely..... Observable evil.

It is probably the strongest indicator for me too. I do struggle with some of the details but only when I try to think about it in what I guess are secular or "scientific" terms.

If I actually look at things scientifically, I.e. Let the facts shape the theory...Christianity is certainly dealing with reality. I get blurry at the edges, but since everything I learn comes to me from direct experience/revelation of truth, I am, for the moment, using that to run as hard as I can towards the fight.

I have little clarity and even less understanding, but so far, the only armour and weapon that seems to work is faith. So I pray for that to become complete and unshakable, regardless of circumstance or my thoughts. My faith is still larval in its stages really, but yet, to my surprise, I note it is often more than many who profess themselves Christians or some kind of believer.

My biggest doubt generally comes from what I call the DeNiro/Irons problem. From the film The Mission. Irons' character seems to me to be closer to God. But I have no doubt DeNiro's character is closer to mine. How and when to strike then? Hesitation is losing the fight. So I wait while I learn.

The film Prisoners comes to mind. Some analogous life situations made me bereate the main character throughout the whole film. Thinking, dammit, he would have talked in full after 30 minutes...days?!? Wtf?!?

Only to reach the end of the film and realise...yes...my way would have been faster. And it would have "worked". But...I would have been more wrong. Far more. And that is my problem. I do not fear the trip into hell.

Some part of me is beginning to understand that the damage done that way is not limited to me, but I see badly here and in certain cases not at all.

So yeah. God have mercy on me, and show me the way. Show me clear, so I see, and please, without harm to those I love.

So weird.
Not that I am particularly shy, way I see it I can expose my weaknesses pretty easy cause it shows me who is who out there, and cause after they take a shot it's my turn.

And yet...
It's kinda funny I'd be pouring my spiritual heart out here, you know, on a blog by a Red savage that masquerades as a white supremacist (probably to hide his Mestizo blood). You'd think I would look for a blog with more unicorns or something.

Anonymous Gapeseed January 19, 2015 9:46 AM  

Thank you for posting this, Vox.

Blogger The Anti-Gnostic January 19, 2015 11:38 AM  

Christianity dourly predicts that humanity makes the same mistakes, over and over.
Kipling and Lewis were very wise men, perhaps among the wisest. Tolkein and the comic-opera team of Gilbert & Sullivan also deserve mention.

Incidentally, this is why Peter Jackson's failure to include the Scouring Of The Shire was unforgivable.

Blogger IM2L844 January 19, 2015 12:48 PM  

So yeah. God have mercy on me, and show me the way. Show me clear, so I see, and please, without harm to those I love.

I'm just glad to see you're searching. I've come to accept that we humans are like the proverbial monkey who doesn't understand why he should let go of the banana to insure his freedom. From our current perspective some things are perpetually beyond our ability to comprehend. The mechanics of how God, which, in my opinion, is both eternal and timeless, not contained by the universe, yet able to interact and affect circumstances across dimensions that are not comparable to or maybe not even entirely compatible with our experience and understanding of space-time, is simply unavailable to us. The how is interesting to ponder, but the why is much more compelling for me.

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler January 19, 2015 6:54 PM  

This talk about C.S. Lewis is outdated and is garbage.

First, C.S. Lewis does not have the true original Natural Law. He takes it from the Stoics. The Stoics rejected hierarchy. They did not have the natural law.

The over emphasis on individuality is another. Lewis condemns Tribe and other political entities then talks about duties to our ancestors. There is an inconsistency there. Second, Life is War. Individuals do not stand in War. Only the collective. War is somewhat based on numbers. Individuals are swept away in war. God's plan is in tribes and races, not individuality.

Third, he talks about the brotherhood of man. That is a Masonic concept. He is automatically anathemitized thru the encyclical against Masonry.

C. S. Lewis is severely damaged in his thought, or at least his political and any conclusions based on his theory of the Natural Law. You can't have a Moral Natural Law divorced from the real, original natural law.

This talk is absolute garbage.

Anonymous Giuseppe January 20, 2015 4:49 AM  

Wheeler,
I am ignoring your garbage comment as it's not backed up by a collective of thousands of others that borg-like move in unison.

And I reject your borg philosophy entirely. I'll be the lone sniper on the montain, plinking away at your rabid horde of Spartans in the field below as they hackbaway at shadows.

Anonymous Erik January 20, 2015 5:01 AM  

Shut up, Wheeler. Cease with the chronological snobbery, learn to spell "anathematized", and stop making the leaps of logic where you hold Lewis anathematized for talking about a concept which you hold to be Masonic, which incidentally is another absurdity given the distinctly pre-Masonic sources that Lewis refers to repeatedly when illustrating the Law of General Beneficence.

Blogger Steve January 20, 2015 5:41 PM  

Thanks for the reference to Lewis. Loved the space trilogy - Imagine the Son being the redeemer of other worlds. Loved Narnia as an adult. The one about the senior demon counseling the younger one made me uncomfortable. Probably because it was so true.

Anonymous takin' a look January 21, 2015 12:44 AM  

Ponerology, been around forever, though it's getting some traction in the physical sciences nowadays.

Blogger Kirk Parker January 22, 2015 3:58 AM  

Lewis is awesome, and sometimes in surprising places. He's got a fabulous, and eloquent, defense of traditional sex roles in his preface to Paradise Lost, for example.

Giuseppe: I'm delighted to see another fan of The Mission and the competing characters in it. My best friend and I play the Irons/DeNiro roles in each other's lives; frustrating at times but we're both far better off for it.

Anonymous Ryan January 23, 2015 10:19 PM  

Check out his Space Trilogy for a takedown of feminism -- primarily the third book, That Hideous Strength.

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