From the BBC coverage of the Canadian elections:

“Mr Trudeau, the 43-year-old son of late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, said Canadians had voted for real change.”

Now, you or I might think that real change might involve a prime minister whose father had not been one of the most famous and longest-serving prime ministers in Canadian history, but we would be wrong. And in fact most people who read that sentence probably thought either, “Yes! Real change! Out with the Conservatives, in with the Liberals!” or “Blast it, now that the wicked Liberals are in power things are really going to change around here.” Few probably stopped to think that real change would not look so much like its father.

Meanwhile, the United States election may well match Bride of Clinton against Son and Brother of Bush.

When did North American politics become dynastic? Perhaps it always was, and we had not noticed. And that thought caused Dr. Boli to remember something G. K. Chesterton had said, in which—as usual—he hit on something that ought to be obvious, but is not, and expressed it in terms that could hardly be improved. And even if you are a fanatical admirer of G. K. C., you may never have read this, because it was from an introduction to a collection of stories by Maxim Gorky, and you probably did not know that Chesterton wrote an introduction to a collection of stories by Maxim Gorky.

Russia has far more inherent capacity for producing revolution in revolutionists than any country of the type of England or America. Communities highly civilized and largely urban tend to a thing which is now called evolution, the most cautious and the most conservative of all social influences. The loyal Russian obeys the Czar because he remembers the Czar and the Czar’s importance. The disloyal Russian frets against the Czar because he also remembers the Czar, and makes a note of the necessity of knifing him. But the loyal Englishman obeys the upper classes because he has forgotten that they are there. Their operation has become to him like daylight, or gravitation, or any of the forces of nature. And there are no disloyal Englishmen; there are no English revolutionists, because the oligarchic management of England is so complete as to be invisible. The thing which can once get itself forgotten can make itself omnipotent.


  1. John M says:

    “The thing which can once get itself forgotten can make itself omnipotent.”

    Perhaps that’s the inspiration of the line from the movie “The Usual Suspects”: “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that – poof – he was gone…”

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