Think of the rationale for the beginnings of the organization to which Gabriel Symes belongs (the last crusade) and the explanation given concerning the mere camp followers vs. the insiders of the nihilists:
"Naturally, therefore, these people talk about 'a happy time coming'; 'the paradise of the future'; 'mankind freed from the bondage of vice and the bondage of virtue,' and so on. And so also the men of the inner circle speak--the sacred priesthood. They also speak to applauding crowds of the happiness of the future, and of mankind freed at last. But in their mouths"--and the policeman lowered his voice--"in their mouths these happy phrases have a horrible meaning. They are under no illusions; they are too intellectual to think that man upon this earth can ever be quite free of original sin and the struggle. And they mean death. When they say that mankind shall be free at last, they mean that mankind shall commit suicide. When they talk of a paradise without right or wrong, they mean the grave.
"They have but two objects, to destroy first humanity and then themselves. That is why they throw bombs instead of firing pistols. The innocent rank and file are disappointed because the bomb has not killed the king; but the high-priesthood are happy because it has killed somebody."\ "
Then think of the fruits of National Socialism and Communism, the insistence on abortion. It is enough to chill your blood.
As a healthy antidote to that attitude, recall one of my favorite quotes from the book:
" It is things going right, he cried, that is poetical I Our digestions, for instance, going sacredly and silently right, that is the foundation of all poetry. Yes, the most poetical thing, more poetical than the flowers, more poetical than the starsthe most poetical thing in the world is not being sick."
Cheers! Next assignment for you (if you like The Man Who Was Thursday): read Chesterton's The Flying Inn (timely today!) and Belloc's The Servile State.
For Chesterton's more whimsical fiction, I recommend The Club of Queer Trades; for more serious, try The Napoleon of Notting Hill; and you must Must MUST read his collection of short stories The Paradoxes of Mr. Pond and the Father Brown mysteries.
Sorry, did I let my enthusiasm get away with me again? I *love* Chesterton.