"Democratic Traditions are Fragile Flowers"

Apr 6, 2008, 7:03 PM |
“My background was replete with horror stories of social injustice from my grandfather, but I also knew about the behavior of Stalin and his sacrifice of thirty million to the greater good of communism.  I had intuitively understood the importance of the doctrine of the Fall–according to [G.K.] Chesterton, the one doctrine that needed no proof–but I needed to apply it more thoroughly.  Many times I sat down with students to point out that the communist formula was based on an untrue premise:  we are not reliably altruistic.  Lenin understood this when he wrote almost immediately after the Bolshevik revolution, ‘It is necessary to legalize terror.’  The people never got their utopia.  Our own democratic traditions are fragile flowers, which amongst other things need to be rooted in individual, self-imposed civic restraint.  That is only logical if the doctrine of the Fall is true.  The widespread assumption that humankind is basically good makes retraint nonsense, so it is not surprising that it has become a diminishing asset in these days of libertarianism.”

by Dr. John Patrick, Clinical Nutrition and Biochemistry, University of Ottawa from Professors Who Believe (1998)