Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Successful government

"THE most successful government is that which leads its subjects to the highest aim by means of the greatest freedom."

~Fr. Vincent McNabb, O.P. (1868 - 1943): "Thoughts Twice-dyed."


"The greatness of his [McNabb's]character, of his learning, his experience, and, above all, his judgement, was altogether separate from the world about him... the most remarkable aspect of all was the character of holiness... I can write here from intimate personal experience ... I have known, seen and felt holiness in person... I have seen holiness at its full in the very domestic paths of my life, and the memory of that experience, which is also a vision, fills me now as I write — so fills me that there is nothing now to say."

~Hilaire Belloc

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Control of Elections

“IF any man ventures to run independently of the two political caucuses, the difficulties in the way of his success are enormous. Generally he is severely hampered for want of money, while his official opponents have not only an inexhaustible fund to draw upon, but a fund whose sole purpose is the financing not the winning of elections. Also, though a majority of voters may actually prefer him to any other candidate, they are often afraid to vote for him, lest by so doing they should “waste” their votes: for under an absurd and dishonest arrangement, which the machine carefully preserves, no second ballot is allowed. An impartial observer may be pardoned for thinking that, even under this system, a man could hardly waste his vote more thoroughly than by giving it to the nominee of the political bosses, who, when he is once elected, must regard himself as the servant not of his constituents, but of the caucus. But British electors are not always impartial observers, and there is no doubt that the hypnotic effect of continual assurances that an independent candidate “cannot win” operates powerfully against him. Votes promised some days before the poll are in such cases continually revoked at the last moment under the influence of this “fear of wasting a vote.”

“Thus it will be seen that only three types of men find it normally possible to get into Parliament. First, local rich men who can dominate the local political organisation. Secondly, rich men from the outside who have suborned the central political organisation. Thirdly, comparatively poor men who are willing, in consideration of a seat in Parliament and the chances of material gains which it offers, to become the obedient and submissive servants of the caucus.”

~Hilaire Belloc & Cecil Chesterton: The Party System, Chap. V. (1911)

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“WHAT Darwin had supplied to Materialism in biology, Marx supplied to it in sociology; and the two combined not to form as causes but to present as symptoms, the common Materialism which in the later XIXth century was to sweep over the cultivated mind of Europe.”

~Hilaire Belloc: Characters of the Reformation.

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