Step 3 Right on Schedule

This quotation from G.K. Chesterton, posted as a comment to Glenn Greenwald’s heroic column at, is too apropos not to help circulate:

It may be said with rough accuracy that there are three stages in the life of a strong people. First, it is a small power, and fights small powers. Then it is a great power, and fights great powers. Then it is a great power, and fights small powers, but pretends that they are great powers, in order to rekindle the ashes of its ancient emotion and vanity. After that, the next step is to become a small power itself.

Meanwhile, I’m working 12-hour days at Bard trying to get all the seniors graduated. Like giving birth to dodecatuplets, only bigger. See you when the semester’s over.


  1. says

    I love this guy’s aphorisms (he seems like someone I only know through quotation, though he wrote a ton of books and poems as well, right?)
    Hits it right on the head. I mean, is fighting Al Qaeda really the same as fighting the Nazis and the Japanese AT THE SAME TIME?
    I guess it is if you think of all of Islam as the enemy, rather than the bunch of Muslim rednecks living in caves that call themselves Al Qaeda…