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Burke, Chesterton, Belloc, Tacitus and… Hitchens

This from the Rage Against God by Peter Hitchens,

A new elite, wealthy and comfortable beyond the fantasies of any previous generation, abandons penal codes (especially against the possession of narcotics) and abolishes marital fidelity so as to licence its own comfortable indulgence. And so it permits the same freedoms to the poor, who suffer far more from this dangerous liberty than do the rich.

Compare this with Chesterton, writing in Utopia of Usurers,

Modern broad-mindedness benefits the rich; and benefits nobody else. It was meant to benefit the rich; and meant to benefit nobody else.

Also, see Edmund Burke, who in A Vindication of Natural Society wrote,

so heavy is the Aristocratick Yoke, that the Nobles have been obliged to enervate the Spirit of their Subjects by every sort of Debauchery; they have denied them the Liberty of Reason, and they have made them amends, by what a base Soul will think a more valuable Liberty, by not only allowing, but encouraging them to corrupt themselves in the most scandalous Manner. They consider their Subjects as the Farmer does the Hog he keeps to feast upon. He holds him fast in his Stye, but allows him to Wallow as much as he pleases in his beloved Filth and Gluttony.

And then Hilaire Belloc, writing in Europe and the Faith,

For it is always to the advantage of the wealthy to deny general conceptions of right and wrong, to question a popular philosophy and to weaken the drastic and immediate power of the human will, organised throughout the whole community. It is always in the nature of great wealth… to push on to more and more domination over the bodies of men – and they do so best by attacking fixed social constraints’

And lastly Tacitus, writing in the Agricola (Book 1:21)

Inde etiam habitus nostri honor et frequens toga; paulatimque discessum ad delenimenta vitiorum, porticus et balinea et conviviorum elegantiam. Idque apud imperitos humanitas vocabatur, cum pars servitutis esset.  [ Step by step they (the native Britons) were led to things which dispose to vice, the lounge, the bath, the elegant banquet. All this in their ignorance, they called civilization, when it was but a part of their servitude.]

And to think, modern day ‘liberals’ claim it is only they who are the champions of ‘freedom’. If you set much store by any of these words, then you might be inclined to think this a complete inversion of the truth.

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