"When men have come to the edge of a precipice, it is the lover of life who has the spirit to leap backwards, and only the pessimist who continues to believe in progress."
Gilbert Keith Chesterton
(1874-1936) British essayist, critic, poet, and novelist
Illustrated London News, Nov 8, 1924
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Anonymous      
Ahh yes, too true, too true. You have to love the progressives, until they force you off the cliff with them.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Mike, with this gang running the show in Washington, off the cliff is where we are headed.
     -- jim k, austin     
    Define progress! We were headed off a cliff with the defined progress of Cheney/Bush. Thank God we have been saved! Life in these United States can be loved again!
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    Waffler, you make me smile. Cliff diving with out benefit of a parachute or water below happens here to be mandated in the U.S. by two styles, sort of a blue or a red, donkey or elephant, Lennon or Hitler. Please help me, which one is the progress of love?
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Excellent! you have to be a lover of life to move forward but if necessary also to step backwards to fight another day. The lover of life is dependent neither on Lennon or Hitler on religion or the government, but shapes progress with a force far stronger than mortal man. Mike it's not progressives that force you off the cliff but your undying attachment to your opinion. It's time we become more responsible for our own thoughts and not just use convenience to stab your fellow man.
     -- RBESRQ     
    Robert, good overall sentiment but, is it my opinion that is collapsing the economy or degrading society? No, it is the accepted religious cannons of Hitler, Lennon, collectivists and other power mongers as may exist. It is not me that is forcing my religion or will on my fellow man. My opinion is not causing a mandated cliff diver mentality. I will admit, I am a bit harsh on the pridefully ignorant acting in a capacity of stupid.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    We shouldn't have to gamble or trust in others to make it through another day. Quite the contrary, who among us would prefer to be told what is best for them rather than deciding for themselves? Arbitrary power assumes its own authority and our subservience. Living life like a losing gambler hoping the next bet will recover all his losses to date is not progress.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Mike, I am not going into a litany of who did what to who but I will commend Archer on his sentiment and ask why you thought in necessary to include Lennon in your list of power mongers. Mike and Archer your words are good but alas without substance - we need substance today - no more complaining or throwing spears. Positive criticism is now the order of the day. Had you the power, what would be your first executive order? And, remember, it must include all humanity - as Chesterton quite rightly observed, it will be the lover of life who in the end shall endure.
     -- RBESRQ     
    That is the the problem: why should anyone have that kind of power over any person. If you want to walk off the cliff on your own; well, it's been nice knowing you. Please don't drag me down to share your foolish choice. The only appropriate "executive order" would be to forever renounce that power. Everyone is now free to fail or thrive. If you find that you're a failure, you'd better make sure you made some good will along the way so that you'll have friends and family to help you out of a tough time. Otherwise, you pay the price. Just as a takeoff on Heinlein's "An armed society is a polite society," I believe that a free society is a kind society.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
    Robert, your question is to the first "executive" order. The executive branch differs greatly from the present use of the term's constitutional domain. AND; the term "order" is so philosophically misappropriated that an answer in the color that you have stroked it would almost be impossible to respond to. From the head executive position, I would give authoritative direction (a non-litany of who did what to who) to all within the domain to cease all unconstitutional acts (i.e., compelled compliance, government licensing, victimless crimes, larceny with impunity, non-recognition of inalienable rights / liberty / personal sovereignty / larceny with impunity / the laws of nature and of nature's God (Declaration of Independence).
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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