Saturday, January 31, 2004

The whole curse of the last century has been what is called the Swing of the Pendulum; that is, the idea that Man must go alternately from one extreme to the other. It is a shameful and even shocking fancy; it is the denial of the whole dignity of the mankind. When Man is alive he stands still. It is only when he is dead that he swings.

- G.K. Chesterton, 'The New House', 'Alarms and Discursions', quoted on Cross and Crown

Again, Mr C, writing decades ago, has an answer to something that bothered me for years but I couldn't articulate exactly why. The pendulum analogy is often given to traditionalists as some kind of consolation prize - 'don't worry, it'll swing back - oh, look, it's doing it now!' - but is really relativistic crap.

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