Quote: C.S. Lewis

JulianP's picture
Submitted by JulianP on Thu, 2006-06-22 23:50

"What I want to fix your attention on is the vast overall movement towards the discrediting, and finally the elimination, of every kind of human excellence -- moral, cultural, social or intellectual. And is it not pretty to notice how 'democracy' (in the incantatory sense) is now doing for us the work that was once done by the most ancient dictatorships, and by the same methods? The basic proposal of the new education is to be that dunces and idlers must not be made to feel inferior to intelligent and industrious pupils. That would be 'undemocratic.' Children who are fit to proceed may be artifically kept back, because the others would get a trauma by being left behind. The bright pupil thus remains democratically fettered to his own age group throughout his school career, and a boy who would be capable of tackling Aeschylus or Dante sits listening to his coeval's attempts to spell out A CAT SAT ON A MAT. We may reasonably hope for the virtual abolition of education when 'I'm as good as you' has fully had its way. All incentives to learn and all penalties for not learning will vanish. The few who might want to learn will be prevented; who are they to overtop their fellows? And anyway, the teachers -- or should I say nurses? -- will be far too busy reassuring the dunces and patting them on the back to waste any time on real teaching. We shall no longer have to plan and toil to spread imperturbable conceit and incurable ignorance among men."
-- C. S. Lewis
(1898-1963), British novelist
http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quote_blog/C..S..Lewis.Quote.B211


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"I don't want to have my

Fred Weiss's picture

"I don't want to have my money scalped off me to maintain other people's children. I don't like other people; I particularly don't like their children"

Reminds me of House on the TV show "House, MD". Smiling

One of my favorite TV shows, thanks to Diana whose original recommendation got me interested in it. (And thanks to TIVO which has enabled me to easily record all of the re-runs whenever they've been shown, so I think now that I've seen all the episodes.)

I love it! That's a

JulianP's picture

I love it! Smiling That's a brilliant quote from Rowse. Thanks Derek.

Julian

Yes, excellent quotation,

Derek McGovern's picture

Yes, excellent quotation, Julian! For all his mysticism, Lewis often had a wonderful knack of pinpointing the source of Britain's post-war decay. Here's another example:

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

But my favourite putdown of British socialism remains this one by Lewis' contemporary, the historian A.L. Rowse. I posted it once before on the old Solo site, but it's well worth another read:

"I don't want to have my money scalped off me to maintain other people's children. I don't like other people; I particularly don't like their children; I deeply disapprove of their proliferation making the globe uninhabitable. The fucking idiots - I don't want to pay for their fucking." [A.L. Rowse on what he called "The Slacker State."]

Brilliant, isn't it? Not surprisingly, one of The Observer's most dutiful little socialists has quoted it as a example of how "deeply unpleasant" Rowse supposedly was.

GREAT quote, Julian

atlascott's picture

It is so refreshing to see things like this--it means that I am not going mad alone!Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur.k

Excellent quotation!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Shame Lewis became a barking mad Christian.

On the nose

Olivia's picture

"The bright pupil thus remains democratically fettered to his own age group throughout his school career, and a boy who would be capable of tackling Aeschylus or Dante sits listening to his coeval's attempts to spell out A CAT SAT ON A MAT. " [Lewis]

How perfectly observed and how sadly true - democratically fettered - what an apt term!

One of our children (age 10) has just had to have extra tuition (paid for by us) to be able to "click" to the basics of reading. When we asked her why she doesn't tell her teacher that she doesn't understand, she replied that the teacher was too busy with the special kid in the class - special as in retarded.

Yes, post-war Britain was

Ross Elliot's picture

Yes, post-war Britain was *very* busy wrecking it's last vestiges of greatness upon the altar of socialism. Lewis saw it very well.

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