Chesterton: More Humane in Order to Contain More of Humanity

Thought-provoking words from Chesterton:

If the capitalists are allowed to erect their constructive capitalist community, I speak quite seriously when I say that I think Prison will become an almost universal experience. It will not necessarily be a cruel or shameful experience: on these points (I concede certainly for the present purpose of debate) it may be a vastly improved experience. The conditions in the prison, very possibly, will be made more humane. But the prison will be made more humane only in order to contain more of humanity.

-G.K. Chesterton, Utopia of Userers, Section 3: The Evolution of Prison

This is totally unrelated to what Chesterton had in mind, but alas, my thoughts carry me away: You might say the same thing about worldliness and worldly culture, which is a sort of prison if you think about it. It puts on the appearance of being humane in order to attract more humans. It wants to look civilized so it can bring in more civilians. It puts on the appearance of rescuing them from barbarism, or one of a hundred other conditions, only to lock them up in its political-correctness.


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