No one doubts that an ordinary man can get on with this world: but we demand not strength enough to get on with it, but strength enough to get it on.  Can he hate it enough to change it, and yet love it enough to think it worth changing?  Can he look up at its colossal good without once feeling acquiescence?  Can he look up at its colossal evil without once feeling despair? Can he, in short, be at once not only a pessimist and an optimist, but a fanatical pessimist and a fanatical optimist?  Is he enough of a pagan to die for the world, and enough of a Christian to die to it?  In this combination, I maintain, it is the rational optimist who fails, the irrational optimist who succeeds.  He is ready to smash the whole universe for the sake of itself.

– GK Chesterton, “The Flag of the World” in Orthodoxy

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