Thursday, June 08, 2023



G.K. Chesterton, "Our Note Book," The Illustrated London News (May 7, 1927), p. 802:
I am not at all fond of regimentation or repression; that is why I have never written a novel about Utopia, as is the case with almost all of the sinful human race who have written anything in our time. Utopia always seems to me to mean regimentation rather than emancipation; repression rather than expansion. It is generally called a Republic, and it always is a Monarchy. It is a Monarchy in the old and exact sense of the term; because it is really ruled by one man, the author of the book. He may tell us that all the characters in the book spontaneously delight in the beautiful social condition, but somehow we never believe him. His ideal world is always the world that he wants, and not the world that the world wants. Therefore, however democratic it may be in theory or in the book, it is always pretty despotic when it begins to be approached in practice through the law. The first modern moves towards any Utopian condition are generally as coercive as Prohibition. All that we call Utopia is but the rather evasive and vague expression of the natural, boyish, and romantic sentiment: "If I were King."

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