The phrase "public square" evokes images of the political arena with its partisan games and intense debates over public policy. Lewis did occasionally, very occasionally, address what are ordinarily called political issues. One thinks of his reflections on the Second World War, on pacifism and belligerency, on laws regarding obscenity, and on the nature of criminal punishment. But, for the most part, Lewis is understandably viewed as a determinedly apolitical, even private, man. Indeed, in many ways he took his stand, and encouraged others to take their stand, over against politics—especially politics as dominated by the machinations of the modern State. He was on the side of reason, myth, splendor, and virtue, in the hope that such vital elements of life might "still trickle down to irrigate the dust–bowl of modern economic Statecraft." This might be called the C. S. Lewis trickle–down theory of politics.
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Trickle-Down Politics: A while back I wrote about my sort of apolitical approach to politics. Here's Father Neuhaus making a similar point about C.S. Lewis: