Probably Where I Learned It

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And in a Facebook discussion of Recent Events, my brother Evan pointed out this passage from That Hideous Strength:

Jane said, “I always thought it was in their souls that people were equal.”

“You were mistaken,” he said gravely.  “That is the last place where they are equal. Equality before the law, equality of incomes – that is very well. Equality guards life; it doesn’t make it. It is medicine, not food. You might as well try warming yourself with a blue-book.”

“But surely in marriage . . . ?”

“Worse and worse,” said the Director. “Courtship knows nothing of it; nor does fruition. What has free companionship to do with that? Those who are enjoying something, or suffering something together, are companions. Those who enjoy or suffer one another, are not. Do you not know how bashful friendship is? Friends – comrades – do not look at each other. Friendship would be ashamed…”

“I thought,” said Jane and stopped.

“I see,” said the Director. “It is not your fault. They never warned you. No one has ever told you that obedience – humility – is an erotic necessity. You are putting equality just where it ought not to be.”

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