“Our national claim to political incorruptibility is actually based on exactly the opposite argument; it is based on the theory that wealthy men in assured ositions will have no temptation to financial trickery.

Whether the history of the English aristocracy, from the spoliation of the monasteries to the annexation of the mines, entirely supports this theory I am not now inquiring; but certainly it is our theory, that wealth will be a protection against political corruption. he English statesman is bribed not to be bribed. He is born with a silver spoon in his mouth, so that he may ever afterwards be found with the silver spoons in his pocket. So strong is our faith in this protection by plutocracy, hat we are more and more trusting our empire in the hands of families which inherit wealth without either blood or manners. ome of our political houses are parvenue by pedigree; they hand on vulgarity like a coat of-arms. In the case of any a modern statesman to say that he is born with a silver spoon in his mouth, is at once inadequate and excessive. He is born with a silver knife in his mouth. But all this only illustrates the English theory that poverty is perilous for a politician.”

From G.K. Chesterton’s What’s Wrong with the World.


		
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