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G.K. Chesterton on the Rebel Skeptic

Orthodoxy: The Romance of Faith (John Lane Company: 1909), p. 73-4.

The Jacobin could tell you not only the system he would rebel against, but (what was more important) the system he would not rebel against, the system he would trust. But the new rebel is a sceptic, and will not entirely trust anything. He has no loyalty; therefore he can never be really a revolutionist. And the fact that he doubts everything really gets in his way when he wants to denounce anything. For all denunciation implies a certain moral doctrine of some kind; and the modern revolutionist doubts not only the institution he denounces, but the doctrine by which he denounces it. … In short, the sceptic, is always engaged in undermining his own mines. … Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything he has lost his right to rebel against anything.

One thought on “G.K. Chesterton on the Rebel Skeptic

  1. Steve McLeroy says:

    This is so true that a person will undercut their right to say anything by not understanding that they are against everything in the name of their own freedom. I have seen this summary become true time and again. The “Rebel Skeptic” constantly undermines their own statements. They lack logical premises to their own arguments.

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