Daily Wisdom-isms: That Hideous Strength 2

Today’s Wisdom-ism comes from That Hideous Strength once again. The more I read this book, the more I’m convinced that C.S. Lewis was looking into a crystal ball when he wrote it. In this excerpt, Mark (the main character) discusses security and police work in the new world created by N.I.C.E. with a stern policewoman named Fairy Hardcastle. Enjoy!

Note: The passage in the second paragraph down: “For deserved was always finite” was actually printed in the book as, “For desert was always finite”.

“As regards crime in general, they had already popularised in the press the idea that the Institute should be allowed to experiment pretty largely in the hope of discovering how far humane, remedial treatment could be substituted for the old notion of ‘retributive’ or ‘vindictive’ punishment. That was where a lot of legal Red Tape stood in their way. ‘But there are only two papers we don’t control,’ said the Fairy, ‘And we’ll smash them. You’ve got to get the ordinary man into the state in which he says ‘Sadism’ automatically when he hears the word Punishment.’ And then one would have carte blanche

The Fairy pointed out that what had hampered every English police force up to date was precisely the idea of deserved punishment. For deserved was always finite: you could do so much to the criminal and no more. Remedial treatment, on the other hand, need have no fixed limit; it could go on till it had effected a cure, and those who were carrying it out would decide when that was. And if a cure were humane and desirable, how much more prevention? Soon anyone who had ever been in the hands of the police at all would come under the control of N.I.C.E.; in the end, every citizen. (Bold my addition–J.) ‘And that’s where you and I come in, Sonny,’ added the Fairy, ‘there’s no distinction in the long run between police work and sociology’.”—-That Hideous Strength

Sound familiar? It should.

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About Universal Shift

I am the Sonata Unusual. I coat myself with some obtuse angle too far below zero to become any warmer. I create motivation, activate schemas, moisten gardens with scents of natural honeydew. Construct this meaning, you sleepy flock. Silence your singing—despairing contortions out of tune. Shatter the brittle butterfly glass with your hideous wailing. I am born of my god’s imagination. When I die I shall meet him. For there are many things to discuss over tea…or scotch.

Posted on April 19, 2012, in Author, Philosophy, Religion and Spirituality, Spirituality, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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