From G.K. Chesterton:

“There is one thing that I have never from my youth up been able to understand. I have never been able to understand where people got the idea that democracy was in some way opposed to tradition (which, for Chesteron = Christian orthodoxy). It is obvious that tradition is only democracy extended through time. It is trusting to a consensus of common human voices rather than to some isolated or arbitrary record…  Tradition may be defined as an extension of the franchise. Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors.  It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death.” [Orthodoxy, Shaw Edition, 1994, pp. 47-48]

1 thought on “Tradition”

  1. Robert Mackensen

    I’m an architect specializing in historic preservation. Those of us who support preservation have a saying: How can we know where we are going if we’re deprived of the opportunity to know where we’ve been? Historic Preservation, like Tradition, not only enriches, but also guides our existence, channeling toward what is good and workable, and deflecting us from repeated misadventures. In simple terms, it guards against throwing the baby out with the bathwater! – Bob

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