Saturday, July 18, 2009

On flattering and supporting one's enemies

The Frenchman Louis Dutens writes from 1806 on France before the Revolution:
“Formerly I went frequently to Paris: I saw often many of those who were called ‘the philosophers’. It was particularly at Madame Geoffrin’s, Baron d’Holbaek’s, and d’Alembert’s, where they principally assembled. It was there that they silently planned the destruction of religion, of the clergy, the nobility, and the government. From the year 1766, I said to the Bishops who were connected with them, ‘They detest you’; to the great noblemen who protected them, ‘They cannot bear the splendour of your rank, which dazzles them’; to the Farmers-General who upheld them, ‘They envy your riches’. These continued, however, to admire, to flatter, and to support them.”

To view one's mortal enemies as harmless and misguided pontificators is one of the many perils of life.

There is a type of magnanimous patron who seeks out his philosophical opposite. He thinks the iconoclast will remain a fringe character, like a unique exotic pet.

In many cases, this is excusable. How many coffee shop communists never take action?

Yet to love one's enemies truly, one must acknowledge the extent of their ill will.

Then one must recognize that indifference towards their increasing power and influence is no act of love, for them or for one's own.

(Quotation via Deogowulf)


Anonymous said...

Chesterton and HG Wells seemed awfully friendly.

Anonymous said...

Would you mind posting about two forthcoming Masses in Ireland for the Holy Year of Priests?

And if you could link to our blog/put us on your blogroll too that would be fantastic.

God bless you!

St. Conleth's CHA