Lewis on the Purpose of the State and Socialism

It is easy to think the State has a lot of different objects—military, political, economic, and what not. But in a way things are much simpler than that. The State exists simply to promote and to protect the ordinary happiness of human beings in this life. A husband chatting over a fire, a couple of friends having a game of darts in a pub, a man reading a book in his own room or digging in his own garden—that is what the State is there for. And unless they are helping to increase and prolong those moments, all the laws, parliaments, armies, courts, police, economics, etc. are simply a waste of time.

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 171.

I believe a man is happier, and happy in a richer way, if he has ‘the freeborn mind.’ But I doubt whether he can have this without economic independence, which the new society is abolishing. For economic independence allows an education not controlled by Government; and in adult life it is the man who needs, and asks, nothing of Government who can criticize its acts and snap his fingers at its ideology.

C.S. Lewis, “Is Progress Possible? Willing Slaves of the Welfare State.”

[quotes taken from Steven Gillman, “C.S. Lewis and the Meaning of Freedom,” http://tifwe.org/resource/c-s-lewis-and-the-meaning-of-freedom/]

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