North Western Winds

Contemplating it all from the great Pacific Northwest

The Four Reformers

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Robert Louis Stevenson, 1888

Four Reformers met under a bramble bush. They were all agreed the world must be changed.

“We must abolish property,” said one.
“We must abolish marriage,” said the second.
“We must abolish God,” said the third.
“I wish we could abolish work,” said the fourth.

“Do not let us get beyond practical politics,” said the first. “The first thing is to reduce men to a common level.”
“The first thing,” said the second, “is to give freedom to the sexes.”
“The first thing,” said the third, “is to find out how to do it.”

“The first step,” said the first, “is to abolish the Bible.”
“The first thing,” said the second, “is to abolish the laws.”
“The first thing,” said the third, “is to abolish mankind.”

In the 1880’s they were ‘Reformers.’ In the 1920’s and 30’s, they were ‘Planners.’ In the 1950’s and 1960’s, they were “Liberals.” Now they are “Progressives.” I know Lefties live in the moment and love things that are “new,” and “now,” etc. (even if only in name), but do you think that just maybe they are re-naming the Titanic in the hope that this time, this time for sure, it won’t sink?

Conservatives are still Conservative, however. There’s been lots of debate and movement under that umbrella, some good and some bad, but nothing as disastrous as Fascism, Communism or National Socialism. Perhaps that is because Conservatives have a better methodology. They are less likely to saw off the legs they stand on.

I’m pretty sure, btw, that Reformer number three is an engineer; I can see it in his reductionism. I also suspect that Stevenson had the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in mind when he chose to use four voices.

And speaking of the Apocalypse, I regret that I wasn’t able to join the Red Ensign bash in T.O. on the weekend. You see, I have this thing about flying. It costs money.

Speaking of the Red Ensign, Bound by Gravity has the latest roundup.

The Four Reformers is taken from The Portable Conservative Reader, edited by Russell Kirk.


Written by Curt

November 8, 2004 at 6:59 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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