G. K. Chesterton Beaver-Blogging!

Even a disappointed Collectivist or Communist does not retire into the exclusive society of beavers, because beavers are all communists of the most class-conscious solidarity. He admits the necessity of clinging to his fellow creatures, and begging them to abandon the use of the possessive pronoun; heart-breaking as his efforts must seem to him after a time.

From “The Superstition of Divorce” (1920)

One thought on “G. K. Chesterton Beaver-Blogging!”

  1. Bonus content in the comments!

    Chesterton’s essay on “Heretics” (over here) has Stoics and beavers in it!

    First:

    *** For the truth is that Mr. Shaw has never seen things as they really are.
    If he had he would have fallen on his knees before them.
    He has always had a secret ideal that has withered all the things
    of this world. He has all the time been silently comparing humanity
    with something that was not human, with a monster from Mars,
    with the Wise Man of the Stoics, with the Economic Man of the Fabians,
    with Julius Caesar, with Siegfried, with the Superman. Now, to have
    this inner and merciless standard may be a very good thing,
    or a very bad one, it may be excellent or unfortunate, but it
    is not seeing things as they are. it is not seeing things as they
    are to think first of a Briareus with a hundred hands, and then call
    every man a cripple for only having two. ***

    Second:

    *** Man can hardly be defined, after the fashion of Carlyle, as an animal
    who makes tools; ants and beavers and many other animals make tools,
    in the sense that they make an apparatus. Man can be defined
    as an animal that makes dogmas. As he piles doctrine on doctrine
    and conclusion on conclusion in the formation of some tremendous
    scheme of philosophy and religion, he is, in the only legitimate sense
    of which the expression is capable, becoming more and more human.
    When he drops one doctrine after another in a refined scepticism,
    when he declines to tie himself to a system, when he says that he has
    outgrown definitions, when he says that he disbelieves in finality,
    when, in his own imagination, he sits as God, holding no form
    of creed but contemplating all, then he is by that very process
    sinking slowly backwards into the vagueness of the vagrant animals
    and the unconsciousness of the grass. Trees have no dogmas.
    Turnips are singularly broad-minded. ***

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