One thing & another

By my (resumed) survey of Englishmen and foreigners on Twitter, I am (sometimes) refreshed. Perhaps the world is not going permanently “to Hell in a handcart,” but has just been visiting. It seems to me that our fallen balance might even be retrieved, given sufficient leisure. The public, or at least the public elsewhere, is losing its interest in “democratic politics,” and has had its interest in violence restored — in the many creative forms. For violence is much broader than hunting and fishing, or even such activities as political assassination, which politicians have also sought to ban.

It is thanks to Twitter that I was recently informed of a saying by G. K. Chesterton (who would himself have made a great Tweet-composer, had he lived to his 140th year). I could not find it again (the turnover in Twitter is prodigious) but as I recall, Mr Chesterton was defending violence as a virtue — provided that it is not self-seeking. For selfish violence should be condemned; together with those sponsors who seek to profit from it. I am myself generally against the professionalization of violence, except where it is necessary to the practice of a fine hobby or craft.

Mary Harrington, the much-younger correspondent of the platform Substack, who styles herself the “Reactionary Feminist,” unconsciously illustrated this by mentioning the latest figures on the British Christianist terror list. These include Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, Thomas Carlyle, Joseph Conrad, George Orwell; and of course C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and anyone who has attended the Latin Mass. Those found reading in any of these areas may be convicted as being “Far Right,” according to a recent leftish report from the government bureaucracy.

These people might also be assessed as literate, which was the standard for death sentences under Cambodia’s Pol Pot. I giggle to myself, gentle reader, when I think of the many leftwing intellectuals who read one of these authors in college. Soon, we may be permitted to shoot them.

Again, the important thing is not to entertain Far Right views, which after all may be shared with the majority of the population, even in Afghanistan. The important thing is to have thought through, thoroughly and precisely, one’s views on violence. To say that one is against violence tout court,┬áreveals no thinking at all. (Surely thoughtlessness should be violently punished.)

From another Twitter thread, I gather that the closing of libraries will now accelerate in the State of Vermont. Several associated colleges in that state have decided to enforce “online learning,” which will allow them to fire unwanted library staff and pitch the many books they had accumulated to charity, or recycling. Some students and perhaps some teachers are rebelling against this diktat of the administrators, but no violence has so far been directed at them.

Neither have we seen violence when the “de-acquisitioning” process has been advanced in libraries up here; but it is cold and Canadian readers like to remain indoors. Book-burnings may even contribute to domestic heating, now that oil and gas are discouraged.

Perhaps I go beyond what I remember of Chesterton (through Twitter) in observing that violence is not, as liberals contend, inarticulate. It is rather the most articulate form of communication available to man, in many circumstances; and when combined with philosophical thought and principle, it is splendidly convincing.