Saturday, June 3, 2017

Chesterton on Populism

A wonderful passage by G.K. Chesterton, which Maisie Ward quotes in her biography (which is by far the best biography of Chesterton, by the way):

You have seen English people perhaps for a moment in omnibuses, in streets on Saturday nights, in third-class carriages, or even in Bank Holiday waggonettes. You have not yet seen the English people in politics. It has not yet entered politics. Liberals do not represent it; Tories do not represent it; Labour Members, on the whole, represent it rather less than Tories or Liberals. When it enters politics it will bring with it a trail of all the things that politicians detest; prejudices (as against hospitals), superstitions (as about funerals), a thirst for respectability passing that of the middle classes, a faith in the family which will knock to pieces half the Socialism of Europe. If ever that people enters politics it will sweep away most of our revolutionists as mere pedants.

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