Luca Fumagalli

Everything matters, except everything. Modernity, according to G. K. Chesterton, is full of events and discoveries, but what seems to be missing is a global vision of being. The liberal mentality, with its absurd claim to emancipate man from the past, has done nothing but enslave him to an even more dangerous enemy: nothingness. Everything is questioned and relativized, including good and evil.

Chesterton, to cure the ideological hangover of the world, far more dangerous than that caused by his beloved beer, wrote a revolutionary book entitled Heretics (1905). Conversion to Catholicism, at the time, was still a long way off, yet Chesterton had already embarked on the road that would lead him to Rome. The great idea of Heretics, in fact, is the invitation to recover, according to the famous Gospel metaphor, a rock on which a stable house can be built.

The author becomes a sort of tour guide and invites the reader to visit with him a unique wax museum, endless corridors where the brazen follies born from two centuries of anti-Christian dictatorship are collected. If Kipling, Shaw and H.G. Wells are just some of the intellectuals that Chesterton criticizes, the book illustrates above all a method to observe life, reiterating how important it is to fight for worthwhile ideas, those that bear fruit instead of being barren.

Chesterton challenges nihilism, atheism, anthropocentrism and all those ideologies that have done nothing but distance man from himself. At the same time he talks about the hypothesis of an ultimate immortal truth, which should be the natural result of the much trumpeted progress (science should in fact lead not to democracy but to dogma).

Heretics is therefore an ever-relevant book that deals with true love, that for perennial things.