Saturday, June 10, 2006

Saint Mugg

He was against the notion of progress, which he called "... the most pernicious delusion ever to take possession of the human mind." To believe in any sort of mechanical progress governing history by which men automatically improve and become more enlightened and humane is to confuse progress with change. Progressive materialism is the most foolish of all philosophies and requires the greatest credulity in those who hold it ... Likewise, he made clear his view that the pursuit of happiness, included along with life and liberty in the American Declaration of Independence as an "unalienable right" (added, incidentally, at the last moment in substitution for the more realistic defense of property clause) is both "fatuous" and "... responsible for a good part of the ills and miseries in the world." Once when Dr. Johnson heard a woman proclaim in his presence that she was happy, he remarked in a loud, emphatic voice that if this was so her life gave the lie to every research of humanity for she was happy without health, without beauty, without money, and without understanding.

-Ian Hunter Malcolm Muggeridge: A Life