Friday, January 4, 2013

Abraham Lincoln - Heroic Failure

I have been telling people for years that one of Chesterton's greatest essays was on "Abraham Lincoln - Heroic Failure" and nobody has ever believed me.  Thanks to the G. K. and Frances Chesterton Page on Facebook, maybe now they will ...

"But perhaps the most curious part of the contradiction is this. Americans of his own Yankee and Puritan following are always talking about Success. Worse still...l, they are always talking about men who are Bound To Succeed. It seems possible that the men Bound To Succeed were those afterwards shortened into Bounders. Certainly the portraits and descriptions of such beings richly suggest the briefer description. But Lincoln was not a Bounder. Lincoln was most certainly not a man Bound To Succeed. For the greater part of his life he looked much more like a man Bound To Fail. Indeed, for that matter, a great many of his cold and uncomprehending colleagues, right up to the very end of the Civil War, thought he really was a man bound to fail...."


Anonymous said...

This reminds me of an argument I made in class about just war doctrine.

The point I was trying to make was countries are better off losing while following the rules then winning by cheating because in the long run peace will be more likely. The losers will affect history more then the winners.

Imagine if the U.S lost a war with dignity. That would be powerful.

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