Why Democracy Despises Friendship: C.S. Lewis


The Four Loves.

From C.S. Lewis, FOUR LOVES:

It is therefore easy to see why Authority frowns on Friendship. Every real Friendship is a sort of secession, even a rebellion.

In each knot of Friends there is a sectional “public opinion” which fortifies its members against the public opinion of the community in general. Each therefore is a pocket of potential resistance. Men who have real Friends are less easy to manage or “get at”; harder for good Authorities to correct or for bad Authorities to corrupt. Hence if our masters, by force or by propaganda about “Togetherness” or by unobtrusively making privacy and unplanned leisure impossible, ever succeed in producing a world where all are Companions and none are Friends, they will have removed certain dangers, and will also have taken from us what is almost our strongest safeguard against complete servitude.

Down with democracy.  Long live the Republic!

2 Comments on “Why Democracy Despises Friendship: C.S. Lewis

  1. How coincidental!
    I open this posting this morning, and read of friendship versus the State, and today the first reading from the Liturgy of the Word is Sirach 6:5-17, which is all about friendship (which the homily related to the Gospel reading Mark 10:1-12). First comes friendship, then love, then the sacrament of marriage (not to be dissolved by Man).
    The modern State also abhors marriage (as anything but a social contract between persons, easily dissolved). It also wished to demolish any and all of the “little platoons” which create bonds between atomic isolated individuals.
    I discern a pattern at work here.

    • David I thought the same thing about family when I read this. We can easily see the degradation of the family in today’s world. If we want to take it a step farther, we can look to Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World which presents the eerie image of a world where the state is completely accepted and the family is completely rejected. The book might as well have been written about a species from another galaxy: these… husks…. have fully exited their humanity. Though people like you and I can plainly see such evil for what it is, I have no doubt that there are those who would have the human race indulge these dark fantasies. The state’s hunger for power will never be satisfied until we have a brave new world.

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