Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Political Madness

Zonka recently sent us the following email:

The other day I read an op-ed by the Danish Cold War researcher, Bent Jensen, in Jyllands-Posten, where he wrote that a Russian friend of his recommended that he read the book The Flying Inn by Gilbert K. Chesterton from 1914, in order to understand what was going on in the European elites in general and the British elites in particular vis-à-vis multiculturalism and pandering to Islam… Naturally he was reluctant to believe that he could find any answers to the current state of affairs in a book almost a century old, however he did read it and gave a short synopsis of the book in the article.

His writing sent me looking for the book, which must have entered the public domain, and I found it online, albeit only in plain-text format that made it hard to read. So I spent most of the day yesterday putting it into a HTML format for better readability as well as reading the book… And I must say that it was an eye-opener. Not only did G.K. Chesterton have the uncanny foresight to see how Europe could be overtaken by Islam, but also describing the effete elite’s hypocrisy and double-standards to the dot.

And so I pass on the recommendations to read the book which can now be found at

Inspired by Zonka’s efforts, Henrik Ræder Clausen volunteered to translate the Jyllands-Posten op-ed into English:

The Political Madness

By Professor Bent Jensen
Director of the Danish Center of Cold War Research

We need a Danish Chesterton, writes Bent Jensen after he, on the suggestion of a Russian friend, read the G. K. Chesterton novel The Flying Inn from 1945 [Note: this is an error, the book was published in 1914]. The plot and the problems of the book appear as if taken straight out of the political-intellectual stage of Denmark, Britain and Europe of today.

Sometimes one needs to turn to the past in order to understand the present and get a notion of what is in store for the future. And frequently one needs to turn to fiction in order to gain a realistic and insightful description of what currently takes place in the real world. Sociological and political treatises don’t usually concern the most urgent problems of their time. Many are void of original thinking and suffer from a loss of reality.

A close Russian friend of mine had for quite a while encouraged me to read a devil-may-care novel by the English Catholic author G. K. Chesterton, who died in 1936. His novel, which simultaneously is a utopian piece, takes place in England at the end of the 19th century. “It will teach you what is happening in Denmark and Europe right now,” said my Russian friend. “Read it, the book is named The Flying Inn“.

I was skeptical. What relevance would an old novel from England have to the problems of Denmark and Europe today? But I discarded my skepticism and have now read The Flying Inn — and it is perfectly true: It would appear as if Chesterton is describing the present times. The book was translated into Danish in 1945, and I would imagine that back then it would have seemed weird to Danish readers — funny, but absolutely void of deeper significance. Today it reads as a revelation of wit and insight.

Briefly explained, The Flying Inn is about the ruling class and its fierce discontent with the state of the world, and in particular the way the lower classes choose to live their lives. The spokesman for the upper class is Lord Ivywood, a member of Parliament — a pale, anaemic and humorless world-improver, isolated from the British people, their faith and customs. Personally, the Lord believes in nothing except his own utopian ideas. The world is a failure, and I want to change it, as he puts it. Lord Ivywood’s opposite is a round, fierce and action-oriented captain of the navy, the red-haired Irishman Patrick Dalroy. He believes that the God’s creation is exactly how it is supposed to be. He does not believe in any of the modern rubbish about a state of world peace and eternal happiness, but finds life, with all its challenges, deficiencies and imperfections to be wonderful.
- - - - - - - - -
An important part of this earthly life is to enjoy a glass of beer, whisky or rum as thirst demands. And here we are at the core of the matter. The Higher Society has always considered the lower classes, the common people, to be vulgar. The underclass dresses wrong, eats and drinks wrong; it talks and even thinks in wrong ways. Thus it becomes an important task for the ruling classes in politics, journalism, science, and education to raise the incorrectly eating and thinking classes. It is also of utmost importance to make the lower classes abandon their love for their country and their culture — as well as their skepticism towards alien cultures seeking to intrude and dominate.

Lord Ivywood and his peers in other European countries have decided to make peace with the Islamic world — on Islam’s terms. Partly because there is profit to be made from such a peace, and partly because Islam would be good for the lower classes, for instance by curbing the ongoing drunkenness in England. Thus he becomes the prime sponsor of a law aiming at shutting down the old, public inns in England, where one goes after work for a pint or two. Unsurprisingly, the law contains a loophole that permits the members of Parliament and others of the ruling class to satisfy their own desire for alcohol.

Chesterton exposes in a sublime manner the hypocrisy, the double standards and the foolishness in the dominating layers of society. The pale Lord Ivywood, who is described as a walking corpse (and whose name contains death as well) has the notion that “debates are usually not harmful to parliamentary work.” Nevertheless, when he intends to pass yet another law to limit the harmless enjoyments of common people, he acts like a thief in the night and gets the law passed without even the slightest debate.

The book opens with a description of “a menagerie of asylum members”, that is, the major or minor fools who create a considerable share of the noise also known as “public debate”. Here we find socialists, clowns, priests, a man fooling around with cardboard boxes, someone wearing a garland of carrots around his hat, and an atheist “in a state of rabid anger”. Finally, we also find in the menagerie a Turk wearing a red fez, who explains that British civilization actually originated with the Turks, a fact utterly forgotten by the British. One of his brilliant proofs for this statement is that the British prefer turkey for Christmas. The similarity to the imams of our days is striking.

This ignorant madman is excessively popular with the higher classes. Miss Browning, a regular visitor to the Ethical Society, is fascinated by the wisdom thrown about by the moon prophet (Chesterton’s mocking label). She now believes she has understood a lot about Islam, including that everything originated in the East. A learned Englishman, Dr. Moon, has already proposed that the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral should be equipped with a hybrid of a cross and a half moon, a mooncross. When voting, Muslims must not be exposed to the humiliation of having to place a cross. Instead, half-moons are to be applied. Lord Ivywood obviously supports the proposal. He works in a diplomatic manner towards the goal of forging Islam and Christianity into a higher union, named Chrislam.

All of his would seem to be taken straight out of today’s political-intellectual menagerie in Denmark, England and Europe. Learned people have already, and with sincerity, proposed the removal of the cross from the Danish flag Dannebrog and from the Danish passports, because they offend Muslims. Muslim public holidays have been proposed. Danish children are no longer able to get leverpostej (pig pâté) and similar traditional Danish food in the kindergartens, because according to Islamic tradition they are “unclean”. A professor of law believes that compensating murder with payment to be made out in camels just might be appropriate in an old European nation. Some Danish judges consider it just fine to have Islamic symbols in Danish courts. Sharia could be just fine as well. The list goes on and on.

One of the hilarious scenes in the book is an exhibition of paintings, which have been censored because depictions of humans are forbidden according to Islam. What remains are the ornaments and decorations in eastern style. Chesterton describes the opening of the exhibition, where “the regular visitors in the marketplace of vanity” as a matter of course attend and happily endorse the censorship. The self-satisfied crowd constitute “a very small world”, though “it is exactly large enough and small enough to constitute the ruling class of a country — noticeably a country void of religion.” Anyone could easily name these self-satisfied and thoughtless regular visitors in the market of vanity in Denmark or England.

But fortunately still present in Merry Old England are simple Englishmen who do not intend to give up their traditions and culture. As mentioned, an Irish Catholic, Captain Patrick Dalroy, spearheads the public revolt against the Islamization from the upper classes. Dalroy may say that he doesn’t comprehend England or the English, but that is only a pretense. He understands and knows classical England, and teams up with his good friend, innkeeper Humphrey Pump, whose inn by the river and the apple trees has been forced into closure by Lord Ivywood — for the good of the people, of course. But the creative Irishman exploits a loophole in the law that enables himself and his English friend to travel around in England on a cart — later exchanged for a car — bearing the old inn sign, a barrel of fine rum and a big, round cheddar cheese.

According to Captain Dalroy modern man is utterly confused as to life and its meaning. He expects something never promised him by nature, and for that reason he destroys all that nature has already granted him. In Lord Ivywood’s atheistic mission houses for social improvement and salvation of the planet there is “a preachery up and down the doors” about the perfect peace, unlimited mutual confidence, universal joy and souls uniting. The atheists are hunting all joy and jolliness out of the country, says Dalroy, they discard all the old songs and good tales. They ruin the basis of friendship between men by closing institutions as the English inns. The simple Dalroy thinks, in opposition to the joyless world-improvers, that it is the intention of God that humans are meant to have some fun in their existence.

Chesterton without respect describes diplomats in this fashion: They are permitted to divulge neither knowledge nor ignorance. This is one of their tragedies. For that reason, they try to appear as if they know everything.

This is an apt description of current Danish and European politicians. They not only assume that they know everything. They also assume that it is their right to interfere with everything. They intend to regulate everything, to control everything — from the tiniest to the largest. What kind of electric bulbs that can be permitted in our living rooms. How cucumbers and tomatoes are supposed to shape themselves. Where people can be permitted to smoke tobacco. Where they are located on the roads. What they can and cannot be permitted to say. And even how the earth and the sky are supposed to behave. Actually, we do have a ministry endowed with the task of making the earth and the heavens do as they are supposed to.

The political madness is becoming all-encompassing. In Chesterton’s novel captain Dalroy saves England from the mad lord and his Islamic allies. We are in need of both a Danish Chesterton and a Danish Dalroy.

To read the complete text of The Flying Inn by G. K. Chesterton, click here.


The Unbeliever said...

I found it on Amazon for $13.50.


In a more serious vein,try "world revolution"and "secret societies"two books from the 1920,by a marvellous writer called nesta h webster which explains how we got to this madness.

Czechmade said...

I pointed to Chesterton before in my comments quoting his views on islam and Prussia - comparing both.

Nice to see Ch. again.

Unknown said...

“It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.”
~ G.K. Chesterton ; in The Cleveland Press, 3-1-1921

Mother Effingby said...

While I appreciate the effort to put this book into more readable html format, the type is so small that I can't read it at all. Also, when you try to enlarge the text, it overlaps the table of contents. What I did was go to Google reader and view the book in it original state there:

Thanks for the hard work everyone does on this site. My daughter has been reading it and writes to tell me how her eyes have been opened. Not bad for a college kid.

Zonka said...

@Jewel Atkins, The problem with overlapping is most likely a known problem with Microsoft Internet Explorer -- Try viewing it in Firefox instead.

eatyourbeans said...


hear, hear! And no doubt we have a captain Dalroy somewhere who knows his hangman 's knots.

MauserMedic said...

I now have something to read on the plane ride home back to the States. Thanks for the link, I'm looking forward to reading this.

ɱØяñιηg$ʇðя ©™ said...

As a so called "tin foil hat" I've came across the name of H G Wells quite a few times. I haven't read any of his novels, not even The Time Machine but still his name tends to pop up on conspiracy sites and forums abot the New World Order. Wells supposedly also had vast knowledge of the future erworld to be. Some of this writings must have survived or hence there would be nothing to speculate over. Howevever I'm not sure if it refers to books though, could as well be essays or articles or some such. Could be well worth looking into though.

To comment on this article, I admit I didn't know of this before. The name Chesterton rings a bell. He was mostly known for his crime/mystery novels wasn't he? Correct me if I'm wrong. By rading the article I get the picture of Chesterton as a lot more benevolent figure, that that of his peer Wells, who seemed to have been a whole darker and seemed to look forward to the coming one world police super-state.

babs said...

I just finished reading the first 7chapters and it is amazing how precient this book is to today's events.
This author reminds me of Roald Dahl.
The sad thing is that the crazy "prophet" from the east and the idiotic English MP live with us now and it isn't fiction.
I have read with tremendous interest about the demos of the Palestinian supporters as well as the fear of the Jewish communities and pro Israel supporters and all I can think is "what have we done?"
Are things really this insane? Sadly, they are.
In order to read with ease I copied the text, put it into word and increased the font size to 14. That worked very well.

Papa Whiskey said...

While reading an essay of Orwell's the other night, I ran across a passage that sums up the Ivywood mindset:

The distinction that really matters is not between violence and non-violence, but between having and not having the appetite for power. There are people who are convinced of the wickedness both of armies and of police forces, but who are nevertheless much more intolerant and inquisitorial in outlook than the normal person who believes that it is necessary to use violence in certain circumstances. They will not say to somebody else, "Do this, that, and the other or you will go to prison," but they will, if they can, get inside his brain and dictate his thoughts for him in the minutest particulars. ... the more you are in the right, the more natural that everyone else should be bullied into thinking likewise."

From "Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool," written in 1946.

Hesperado said...

"recommended that he read the book The Flying Inn by Gilbert K. Chesterton from 1914, in order to understand what was going on in the European elites in general and the British elites in particular vis-à-vis multiculturalism and pandering to Islam"

The difference between 1914 and our current time is that in Chesterton's time, the problem really was largely limited to "elites" -- whereas in our time, the problem of PC MC (politically correct multiculturalism) has become dominant and mainstream throughout Western societies, cutting across all social strata and political positions, Left, Right and Center.

This mainstream dominance is not uniform in terms of all sociopolitical issues: with some issues, it is more pronounced, with others, less so. With the issue of Islam, it is markedly pronounced. It is no longer, as it was in Chesterton's time, merely a problem of dastardly "elites". Millions of ordinary people throughout the West also feel and think, with their hearts and minds, many of the axioms of PC MC. This has been the result of a sea change in consciousness throughout the West, occurring over the past 60-odd years, in the aftermath of the trauma of World War 2 and the dismantling of Western Colonialism beginning in earnest in the 1950s.

The most injurious axiom of the PC MC paradigm is the twin axiom held by the majority of Westerners that irrationally and excessively criticizes their own white West, while at the same time irrationally elevating and defending the non-white non-West "Noble Savage". And since Muslims have become in our time, in the minds of Westerners who subscribe to the PC MC paradigm, the poster children of the Third World "Noble Savage" -- forever victims of Western "oppression" (most acute in the form of American "oppression" or Israeli "oppression") -- the problem of Islam has become the most mangled and botched in public discourse.

We are still in a situation where only a minority of us are rationally resistant to PC MC. In Chesterton's time, this sociopolitical and psychological situation was reversed.

The Hesperado

thll said...

Chesterton also made sense on economics - see 'distributism'.

Ian B said...

Well done for uploading it Zonka! Chesterton was a wise man; another excellent piece by him regarding the dark, dark underbelly of what we call these days "the left" is his book "Eugenics and Other Evils" which can be found online here.

I also found Zonka's version difficult to read though; the text is a fixed size too small for my rheumy eyes and zooming it up (in Opera) caused the fixed width <div> to disappear off the right side of the browser window. So I've modified the CSS for my own version to adapt to different monitor sizes (Zonka's CSS presumes a monitor width of 1024 pixels) and allow the user's default text size. Anyone who wants to try it out; just save the page to your hard drive, open it in a text editor, and replace the section between <style type="text/css"> and </style> with this:

body { background-color: silver; font-size: 100%; }
div.body { padding: 2px 5px 2px 5px; }
div.body h1 { margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; }
div.frame { width: 100% }
div#index {
position: fixed;
float: left;
width: 200px;
margin: 5px 0px 0px 5px;
font-size: 75%;
div.index h1 { margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; } { font-weight: bolder; color: #A00; }
div.content {
margin: 5px 0px 0px 200px;
background-color: #EEE;
border: 1px solid black;
div.middle { text-align: center; }
ol.roman { list-style-type: upper-roman; }
h2.chapter { background-color: #9CF; padding: 1px 3px 1px 3px; }
blockquote {
font-family: 'Times New Roman', Times, Arial, Sans-Serif;
white-space: pre;
font-style: italic;
font-size: 120%;
sub { font-size: 100%; }
em { text-decoration: underline; }
a img { border: none; }

which basically takes out the fixed font, narrows the menu a bit and allows the div containing the text to scale to the browser window.

Zonka said...

@Ian B, Thanks for your suggestions, I have changed the CSS to reflect most of your suggestions. Though I have put a limit to the Content-div as it would otherwise be too wide on my 1920px wide screen to be easily readable.

I hope that this will make it easier to read. Though I'm puzzled why it doesn't scale well for people reading it as it was (I had no problems using Firefox 2+3, Galeon, MSIE7 which I tested it on)...

Christian Atheist said...

Very nice work on the book.May I humbly suggest however that many public domain works are accessible in their entirety via google books. I was able to find The Flying Inn by simply entering the title into the search field.An excellent resource and one I recommend highly.

Tuan Jim said...

I cannot recommend strongly enough the American Chesterton Society - Annual membership includes a 20% off a stack of Chesterton books including the invaluable collected works volumes by Ignatius press - as well as the season sets of Dale Ahlquist's ETN show about Chesterton - "The Apostle of Common Sense."

It is most unfortunate that Chesterton is best known today for his [albeit excellent] detective fiction in the form of the Father Brown mysteries - when he was such an incredibly prolific writer on a vast number of subjects over a very long period.