Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A Chestertonian Pill to Swallow

From the Collected Works, Volume Four, What's Wrong With the World? we have an interesting discussion about how to deal with the problems of society. I think this quote particularly apt, from Gilbert founder John Petersen.
"Chesterton insisted that we stop this initial focus on the remedy as if the body politic were a diseased patient in a hospital. He insisted that we begin instead by settling the question of what it is we want. We have to know what we are aiming for, what our goal is, or (to use Chesteron's word) what our ideals are. Unless we agree on the kind of society we think will be good, we have no chance of agreeing on the best policies to get us there."

Now this is, I believe, why our political discussions never get too far, and why our country is divided. We can't decide what it is that will be good for our society. We have a lot of ideas about how to fix various problems, but as Chesterton points out to us, we can't fix it until it's diagnosed.

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