C.S. Lewis on “our righteous cause”

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Libertarians have an interesting relationship with C.S. Lewis. He was not, as far as I know, someone who thought of himself as a libertarian or classical liberal or anarchist. (His friend Tolkien did self-identify as an anarchist.) Nevertheless, the famously anti-religious Thomas Szasz cites Lewis’s The Abolition of Man with enthusiasm. Ralph Raico told me once that he reads Lewis’s great anti-planner novel That Hideous Strength “every other year.” David Theroux, President of the Independent Institute, is also President of the C.S. Lewis Society of California.

In a century in which many of the most famous intellectuals had horrifying political sympathies (with fascism, eugenics, central economic planning, socialism, etc.), C.S. Lewis stands out as someone who pretty consistently came down on the right side of issues. It is difficult to find other great intellectual figures from the mid-20th century like him in this way outside of our beloved circles of Austrian economists (Mises, Hayek, Roepke) and Old Rightists (Mencken, Nock, etc.)

I say all that to say that, once again, I find evidence of Lewis’s unerring instincts on political matters:

On September 10, 1939, one week after England declared war on Germany, Jack [C.S. Lewis] wrote to [his brother] Warnie, reporting how unhappy he was with an extra petition which [Rev.] Bleiben added to the Litany that morning: “Prosper, oh Lord, our righteous cause.” Jack protested to the vicar regarding “the audacity of informing God that our cause was righteous—a point on which He may have His own view”.

8:30 pm on August 20, 2009