The only way to discuss the social evil is to get at once to the social ideal. We can all see the national madness; but what is national sanity I have called this book “What Is Wrong with the World?” And the upshot of the title can be easily and clearly stated. What is wrong is that we do not ask what is right.
G. K. Chesterton, What Is Wrong with the World, London, 1910, ch. 1
In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.”
G. K. Chesterton, The Thing, London, 1929, p. 35
A man must be orthodox upon most things, or he will never even have time to preach his own heresy.
G. K. Chesterton, George Bernard Shaw, New York, 1909, p. 8