Life With The Walking Dead
Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
Think on this one. Slowly. We often fashion ourselves smarter merely for having been born later than our ancestors. So we chuckle at their theories, assertions, and habits. We often assume, aided by science, that because we know more (debatable on an individual level) we know better. Hardly. To quote Newton, we see further because we “stand on the shoulders of giants.” We would not now be, and be where we are, and go where we are going, if those who came before had not come and went. Simple logic. But it is more than that. All the accrued wisdom of today, to the extent we bother to learn it, comes as a product of the past, of mistakes made and successes shared. We can go about our days thinking we have it figured out because we exist (and have the internet), but we do so at our peril. Soon enough, as Chesterton knew, we will be casting our votes and our voices with the Democracy of the Dead.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) is one of the many voices of the Dead that remind us of why we are alive. He was many, many things…Catholic, husband, friend, journalist, philosopher, theologian, soldier of the small, prince of paradox, critic, poet, and father of the Father Brown stories. He was a simple man, endlessly fascinated by what he saw, but more so by what he could not. A man of Mystery, not a mysterious man. A man who lived, loved, and left. But he did not leave us without. Some say he wrote too much, but much of what he wrote is worth reading.
“Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around.”