G.K. Chesterton's What's Wrong With the World is not a bit of light reading. There are heady thoughts throughout and the reader is invited to do some of the heavy lifting as well. I don't agree with all of Chesterton's conclusions either but he does have a wonderful way with words. Have you ever had an argument with someone in which you thoroughly disagreed with some of their points but admired the way they laid them out and their turns of the phrase? That is my experience with G.K. Chesterton in a nutshell.
I only picked up this volume because I read somewhere that C.S. Lewis was a devoted fan of Chesterton.
Probably his biggest thing that is wrong with the world is its habit of "altering the human soul to fit its conditions, instead of altering human conditions to fit the human soul." In other words, we conform to the arbitrary demands of society rather than making sure that society conforms to the needs of the human soul.
Tired of the "Think of the Children" mantra? So was Chesterton 100 years ago: "There has arisen...a foolish and wicked try typical of the confusion. I mean the cry, "Save the children." It is, of course, part of that modern morbidity that insists on treating the state (which is the home of man) as a sort of desperate expedient in time of panic. This terrified opportunism is also the origin of the Socialist and other schemes."
Chesterton also has several comments on education that to this 20 year veteran teacher sound grumpy, fuddy-duddy and exactly 100% right.
I rate this essay 5 stars out of 5 stars.
Reviewed on October 24, 2009.