The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Few Modern Prophecies

Here are just a few prophetic comments I've come across in my reading recently...

G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) on 13 November 1926

"All centralized systems mean the rule of the few; and industrial machinery is the most centralized of all systems. If the modern American really wants to know what his fathers meant by democracy, he will never learn it from a Ford car. He must make the supreme and awful sacrifice. He must get out and walk."

Christopher Dawson (1889-1970) in 1933:
"The family is steadily losing its form and its social significance, and the state absorbs more and more of the life of its members. The home is no longer a centre of social activity; it has become merely a sleeping place for a number of independent wage-earners.

"If we accept the principles of the new morality this last safeguard [marriage's social prestige] will be destroyed and the forces of dissolution will be allowed to operate unchecked.

"Marriage will lose all attractions for the young and the pleasure-loving and the poor and the ambitious. The energy of youth will be devoted to contraceptive love and only when men and women have become prosperous and middle-aged will they think seriously of settling down to rear a strictly limited family."
And another by Christopher Dawson, also in 1933 from Enquiries into Religion and Culture):

"The central conviction which has dominated my mind ever since I began to write is the conviction that the society or culture which has lost its spiritual roots is a dying culture, however prosperous it may appear externally. Consequently the problem of social survival is not only a political or economic one; it is above all things religious, since it is in religion that the ultimate spiritual roots both of society and the individual are to be found.”
Dorothy Sayers (1893-1957) in 1954 from her Introductory Papers on Dante:

"That the Inferno is a picture of human society in a state of sin and corruption, everybody will readily agree. And since we are today fairly well convinced that society is in a bad way and not necessarily evolving in the direction of perfectibility, we find it easy enough to recognize the various stages by which the deep of corruption is reached. Futility; lack of living faith; the drift into loose morality, greedy consumption, financial irresponsibility, and uncontrolled bad temper; a self-opinionated and obstinate individualism; violence, sterility, and lack of reverence for life and property including one's own; the exploitation of sex, the debasing of language by advertisement and propaganda, the commercializing of religion, the pandering to superstition and the conditioning of people's minds by mass-hysteria and "spell-binding" of all kinds, venality and string-pulling in public affairs, hypocrisy, dishonesty in material things, intellectual dishonesty, the fomenting of discord (class against class, nation against nation) for what one can get out of it, the falsification and destruction of all the means of communication; the exploitation of the lowest and stupidest mass emotions; treachery even to the fundamentals of kinship, country, the chosen friend, and the sworn allegiance: these are the all-too-recognizable stages that lead to the cold death of society and the extinguishing of all civilized relations."
 Richard Weaver (1910-1963) in 1948 from Ideas Have Consequences:
"It may be that we are awaiting a great change, that the sins of the fathers are going to be visited upon the generations until the reality of evil is again brought home and there comes some passionate reaction, like that which flowered in the chivalry and spirituality of the Middle Ages. If such is the most we can hope for, something toward that revival may be prepared by acts of thought and volition in this waning day of the West."

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