I believe in democracy because I believe in the Fall of Man. I think most people believe in democracy for the opposite reason. A great deal of democratic enthusiasm descends from the ideas of people like Rousseau, who believed in democracy because they thought mankind was so wise and good that everyone deserved a share in the government. The real reason for democracy is just the reverse. Mankind is so fallen that no one can be trusted with unchecked power over others. Aristotle said that some people were only fit to be slaves…but I reject slavery because I see no people fit to be masters.

Nevertheless, under the necessary outer covering of legal equality [there is something else.] The one who cannot conceive of a joyful and loyal obedience on the one hand, nor an unembarrassed and noble acceptance of that obedience on the other, the one who has never even wanted to kneel or bow…is one whose tap-root to Eden has been cut. But it would be wicked folly to restore this on the legal or external plane. Its proper place is elsewhere. Where we are forbidden to honor kings, we honor millionaires, athletes or film-stars instead—even famous gangsters. For spiritual nature, like bodily nature, will be served; deny it food and it will gobble poison. – C.S. Lewis


Helen said...

I never thought of it this way. What book of his did you find this quote?

83princess said...

That was a great post!

And thanks for commenting on mine!

So, you know Central Market?! Great place to shop...I miss Wegmans from Upstate NY.

David said...

helen - I'm not remembering which book it was from (I actually pulled it from a huge file of quotes I keep handy). I wanna guess Abolition of Man but I'll try to figure it out.

83p - I LOVE Wegmans. Their motto is "the customer comes second" and that's why the employees are so NICE (because they're happy).

David said...

Found it, helen. God bless Google Print - all you have to do is throw a unique phrase in there and it takes you straight to the book. The above quote comes from "Present Concerns: Essays by C.S. Lewis"

83princess said...

So you know Wegmans?!?! How awesome! It's always good to talk to someone who knows a little bit about "home".
I have a number of friends that work at Wegmans.