Current Affairs

Chesterton’s Fence

A dramatic scene.

The SOCIALIST and the YOUNG REPUBLICAN are walking together down a lush country lane chatting idly to one another. The YOUNG REPUBLICAN looks like William F. Buckley, with overalls and hair slicked. The SOCIALIST is a frizzy-haired young woman in overalls with a conductor’s cap. The SOCIALIST appears bored.

YOUNG REPUBLICAN:

… which is why, economically speaking, sea level rise actually creates greater efficiency.

The two come across a fence blocking their way. The fence is portable and could clearly be moved.

SOCIALIST:

I think you had better shut up and help me move this fence. 

YOUNG REPUBLICAN:

Not so fast my hot-headed comrade. As G.K. Chesterton once said [the letters G and K should be drawn out as long as possible]:

Have you read any Chesterton?

SOCIALIST:

No.

YOUNG REPUBLICAN:

The youth these days! [He is clearly young himself and is just being a dick.] Chesterton was offering an injunction against hasty social reform that does not consider potential deleterious consequences. The essence of conservatism is a preference for wise caution over intemperate and rash decisions.

SOCIALIST:

Uh-huh.

The two stand next to one another for some time. Birds are chirping. Nothing happens. They look at the fence. Eventually the SOCIALIST says:

SOCIALIST:

Can we move it now?

YOUNG REPUBLICAN:

Not so fast! One more minute to contemplate its purpose.

Another minute. Nothing. 

YOUNG REPUBLICAN:

Now we may move it.

The two haul the fence away. Instantly a GIANT MONSTER comes bounding down the lane on the other side of the fence. The MONSTER devours the YOUNG REPUBLICAN in one gulp leaving nothing but blood, broken spectacles, and a bowtie. The MONSTER bounds back to where it came from. This should take place within seconds. The SOCIALIST turns to the camera and winks, then continues down the trail.

END

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