G.K. Chesterton’s What’s Wrong With the World (pub. 1910) is epic, astounding, and hardly ever wrong.
This morning I started Part III: Feminism, or, The Mistake about Woman. Chesterton does the ol’ “compare and contrast” with regards to Female Suffrage: “should women be allowed to vote?”
G.K. in 1910 A.D. doesn’t venture an opinion; though (SPOILER) he obviously doesn’t think it will make people happier. But the thought of women voters is trifling to him, compared to other modern horrors.
Mr. Chesterton explores new ideas as a cartographer does a river. And Chesterton has a definite preference: he turns upstream. He wants to–he must–discover sources. And so he shrugs at suffrage–a single point in the river–and rather concentrates on everyone’s journey up to that point. His interest is in the nature and origin of the travelers.
He also ignores downstream of the point. He doesn’t opine on how the voyage would change if women did get the vote.
So…how does Chesterton’s thinking hold up at this point in the river, 105 years later, and after a century of women voters? Has Female Suffrage made people happier?
I’d intended to jump right in, but rusty writer is rusty. More precisely, rusty editor is rusty. And the author being parsed is the G.K. himself. So I’d better rest up.
But feel free to jump on in to WWWtWPI, comment below, and steal my thunder.
without having read CK I can’t offer robust and pointed critique.
I’ll offer that the original idea of only landowners voting had some merit, though it was too lopsided. My current day compromise, only those that pass a arduous civics test can vote, and that only if they are not receiving food stamps or some other major compensation. Felons could never vote, illegal aliens certainly never get to stay and vote, and maybe conspicuously heroic citizens get ten votes.
And they have to get to the polls on their own, not be signed up by ACORN, then the neighborhood boss comes by to collect their early vote ballot, to stick it in the mail in exchange for booze. But I can’t think of any good reason to keep women from voting.
Definitely folks on government welfare should never be permitted a vote, any more than children are allowed to determine a family’s finances. And for the exact same reason.
What?! GKC ever wrong?!? Blasphemy!
OK, kidding. Kind of. Maybe.
There’s a good blog collective called What’s Wrong with the World.
I never got the Chestertonian provenance of that till now.
That seems like a really good site.