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

C. S. Lewis Quote

“Two wars necessitated vast curtailments of liberty, and we have grown, though grumblingly, accustomed to our chains. The increasing complexity and precariousness of our economic life have forced Government to take over many spheres of activity once left to choice or chance. Our intellectuals have surrendered first to the slave-philosophy of Hegel, then to Marx, finally to the linguistic analysts.

As a result, classical political theory, with its Stoical, Christian, and juristic key-conceptions (natural law, the value of the individual, the rights of man), has died. The modern State exists not to protect our rights but to do us good or make us good -- anyway, to do something to us or to make us something. Hence the new name 'leaders' for those who were once 'rulers'. We are less their subjects than their wards, pupils, or domestic animals. There is nothing left of which we can say to them, 'Mind your own business.' Our whole lives are their business.

I write 'they' because it seems childish not to recognize that actual government is and always must be oligarchical. Our effective masters must be more than one and fewer than all. But the oligarchs begin to regard us in a new way.”

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

bruski, naples FL



Wesley, Canton, OH

Great Quote. Willing Slaves of the Welfare State should be republished and widely circulated in our country today. Keen insight was surely the gift of C.S. Lewis.

Carol, Estero, Florida

So sad this is not only true now, it was true in 1958, and WE ARE STILL ASLEEP. Join the revolution at lp.org

Mike, Norwalk

I don't know exactly how to rate this with stars. 100 stars for poetic and literal accuracy - an observation exacting in its illuminating exposition and its understanding prose or a thumbs down, exposing what has become of the once land of the free and home of the brave.

E Archer, NYC

Wow, succinctly put. Few are willing to face the fact that the US became the dominant fascist super-power after WWII. Our nationalist spirit gets whipped up and we are willing to surrender everything to fight the hobgobln of the day -- a winning formula for the statist. It continues today as both establishment 'parties' goosestep us to totalitarianism.

Ron w13, Or

Publish, not only C. S. Lewis, but also publish and distribute, the Affidavit Of Revocation And Rescission to all sovereigns.
Murdock v. Penna., 319 U.S. 105 ( 1943 ) U. S. Supreme Court, stated : A state may not impose a charge for the enjoyment of a right granted by the Federal Constitution. As also with many more cases to quote from with in the afore mentioned Affidavit. Now is the time for the smoking gun. My attention is also brought to the Report No. 80-19A, titled " Some Constitutional Questions Regarding the Federal Income Tax Laws " published by the American Law Division of the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress, updated January 17, 1980, This decision written by Chief Justice White. I will conclude with, Live Free and Die Well.

E Archer, NYC

So here we are...

Do read the essay Willing Slaves of the Welfare State, from the link above.  It is absolutely excellent and right on target.

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

Everyone must have their turn to government and the governing of all. Government "is for everyone, or it means nothing."

Mike, Norwalk
  • Reply
Mike, Norwalk Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown 4/5/24

Sillik, where do you get all your canned circular word salads? Is there a nut house somewhere, where you get to read their billboard? 

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown
  • Reply
Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown Mike,, Norwalk 4/7/24

Mike,, Norwalk, Simple formula really, I just observe the self-centered spoiled brats, make up BS as they go, that have really nothing substantive in their lives, and perform the opposite, the resulting integrity, insight, earnestness, maturity, development just seems to lead me away from you and everyone else. Socialism is the challenge of social abilities to create independence.


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