C. S. LewisC. S. Lewis, (1898-1963), British novelist

C. S. Lewis Quote

“I believe a man is happier, and happy in a richer way, if he has 'the freeborn mind'. But I doubt whether he can have this without economic independence, which the new society is abolishing. For economic independence allows an education not controlled by Government; and in adult life it is the man who needs, and asks, nothing of Government who can criticise its acts and snap his fingers at its ideology. Read Montaigne; that's the voice of a man with his legs under his own table, eating the mutton and turnips raised on his own land. Who will talk like that when the State is everyone's schoolmaster and employer? Admittedly, when man was untamed, such liberty belonged only to the few. I know. Hence the horrible suspicion that our only choice is between societies with few freemen and societies with none.”

C. S. LewisC. S. Lewis
~ C. S. Lewis

Willing Slaves of the Welfare State, first published in The Observer on July 20, 1958

Ratings and Comments

Al, DC
  • Reply
Al, DC    9/1/14
Mike, Norwalk

I believe the happiest man is he who is inherently free. To be controlled by materialism or have a requirement of economic independence to engender a degree of happiness can only be a temporary facade. I prefer to act rather than being acted upon. Personally, when I was so economically depressed with my young family that I didn't have as much as a vehicle to sleep in, I and my family may have skipped a few meals but were richly happy together. I was not economically independent and yet provided an education outside the government's seminaries. I did not participate in any government dole and am in no way beholding to those that would be the gods of this land. Further, I remember stories from my parents and others from their experiences during the great depression; they were happier eating food raised on their own land than those patrons that succumb to the State as school master and employer.

jim k, austin tx

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of it's victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than omnipotent moral busybodies." C. S. Lewis.

Ronw13, Yachats Or

Freedom with out liberty ( Chophshiy ) from bondage and tax, is nothing more than a slave allowed to walk about on government owned land. You are only free to work for the socialistic wolves, that eat you out of house and home. Of course one is happier when his home and table cannot be taken away by a governmental body of socialistic thugs and robbers.


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