Wisdom in a nutshell

“Now a government is secure insofar as it has God for its foundation and His Will for its guide;
but this, surely, is not a description of Liberal government.
It is, in the Liberal view, the people who rule, and not God;
God Himself is a “constitutional monarch”
Whose authority has been totally delegated to the people,
and Whose function is entirely ceremonial.
The Liberal believes in God with the same rhetorical fervor with which he believes in Heaven.
The government erected upon such a faith is very little different, in principle,
from a government erected upon total disbelief, and whatever its present residue of stability,
it is clearly pointed in the direction of Anarchy.”

― Seraphim Rose


“I believe in political equality.
But there are two opposite reasons for being a democrat

(*here CS Lewis refers to “democrat” as one who believes in democracy)

You may think all men so good that they deserve a share in the government of the commonwealth,
and so wise that the commonwealth needs their advice.
That is, in my opinion, the false, romantic doctrine of democracy.

On the other hand,

you may believe fallen men to be so wicked that not one of them
can be trusted with any irresponsible power over his fellows.

That I believe to be the true ground of democracy.

I do not believe that God created an egalitarian world.
I believe the authority of parent over child, husband over wife,
learned over simple…
to have been as much a part of the original plan as the authority of man over beast.

I believe that if we had not fallen…patriarchal monarchy would be the sole lawful government.
But since we have learned sin, we have found, as Lord Acton says,
that ‘all power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’

The only remedy has been to take away the powers and substitute a legal fiction of equality.
The authority of father and husband has been rightly abolished on the legal plane,
not because this authority is in itself bad (on the contrary, it is, I hold, divine in origin),
but because fathers and husbands are bad.

Theocracy has been rightly abolished not because it is bad that learned priests should govern ignorant laymen, but because priests are wicked men like the rest of us.
Even the authority of man over beast has had to be interfered with because it is constantly abused.”

C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory