A blog dedicated to providing quotes by and posts relating to one of the most influential (and quotable!) authors of the twentieth century, G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936). If you do not know much about GKC, I suggest visiting the webpage of the American Chesterton Society as well as this wonderful Chesterton Facebook Page by a fellow Chestertonian

I also have created a list detailing examples of the influence of Chesterton if you are interested, that I work on from time to time.

(Moreover, for a list of short GKC quotes, I have created one here, citing the sources)

"...Stevenson had found that the secret of life lies in laughter and humility."

-Heretics (1905)

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"The Speaker" Articles

A book I published containing 112 pieces Chesterton wrote for the newspaper "The Speaker" at the beginning of his career.

They are also available for free electronically on another blog of mine here, if you wish to read them that way.




Monday, July 25, 2011

"This is the essential mark of tyranny: that it is always new."

This is the essential mark of tyranny: that it is always new. Tyranny always enters by the unguarded gate. The tyrant is always shy and unobtrusive. The tyrant is always a traitor. He has always come there on the pretence that he was protecting something which people really wanted protected--religion, or public justice, or patriotic glory. Men staring at the Armada; did not watch the King; so they strengthened the King. Later when they watched the King they unconsciously strengthened the aristocracy. Again, when they attacked the aristocracy, they did not watch the big merchants who were attacking it-- and who wanted watching. All tyrannies are new tyrannies. There are no such things really as old tyrannies; there are hardly any such things as old superstitions.

There is one moral to these evident facts of history. When you look for tyrants, do not look for them among the obvious types that have oppressed men in the past--the king, the priest, or the soldier. If you do, you are merely looking at the Spanish Armada while England is being turned into a despotism behind your back. Monarchy was once a popular organ; yet it was turned against the people. Remember that newspapers are popular organs that may be turned against the people. Whatever the new tyrant is, he will not wear the exact uniform of the old tyrant.

-June 13, 1908, Daily News, "A Theory of Tyrants"

Found in The Apostle and the Wild Ducks (collection of essays first published in 1975)

2 comments:

Lauren (RoseinFaith) said...

Hey Mike,
Just read "The Man Who Knew Too Much" and wow, it was good! Horne Fisher must be the most tragic Chesterton character I've ever encountered; a little unexpected. Great stories, though, one and all. :)

Oh, sorry for not replying earlier, but "The Quiet Man" is about an Irish-American boxer who hangs up his gloves, returns to the small Irish town he was born in, and promptly falls in love and gets married--and then has to adjust to the older Irish social code and figure out how to make his marriage to a fiery-tempered red-head work. It's a beautiful movie, with a lovely message, and it's a lot of fun, too!

God bless!

Mike said...

Awesome!

And thanks for letting me know about "The Quiet Man." Sounds like it would be a great movie to watch!