Sunday, August 20, 2006

Rudimentary functions and forms,
the Parable of the Post Office

It is a most extraordinary fact that all modern talk about self-determination is applied to everything except the self. It is applied to the State but it is not applied to the very thing to which its verbal formula professes to apply. I, for one, do believe in that mystical doctrine of democracy, which pre-supposes that England has a soul, or that France has a self. But surely it is much more obvious and ordinary fact that Jones has a self and Robinson has a self.
— G.K. Chesterton, Government and the Rights of Man, Illustrated London News, July 30, 1921

2 comments:

Pietr said...

Wasn't it GK Chesterton who also said:"where there is animal worship, there is human sacrifice."?

MapMaster said...

Indeed, Sorehead. I can't find an online source for the article in which he published the dictum, but it was apparently in one of his Illustrated London News articles (see here). I'm always happy to come across another Chesterton traveller, even though his efforts to restore a sense of proportion to modern sentiments may not have a lot of currency in the blogosphere.