The Tyranny of “Doing Right”

It took Jack Crooks of Black Swan Trading to point out this quote from C.S. Lewis:

“Of all tyrannies a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

Or, to put it another way:

There are endless laws. Everybody is guilty of something. And, being Anglo-Saxons, they have the idea that all of these laws should be enforced.  The only reason you are here rather than sitting in jail is because it would call even more attention to this affair. Everybody is a criminal, everybody is a suspect, because it is impossible to live there and not violate the law. It would be great if one person could come along and take the punishment for everybody. That, in a celestial sense, is what Jesus Christ did for us. He came into a world where everyone was guilty and gave them the chance to be innocent. (The left-wingers) came into an innocent world and gave everybody a chance to be guilty.

The Frenchman Pierre des Cieux in the novel Two Paths.

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