“Revolutionaries are always in the wrong, since, in their juvenile fervor for everything new, in their hopes for a better future, and a way of life built on justice, they always base themselves on theories that are abstract and artificial, making a clean sweep of living tradition which is, after all, founded on the experience of centuries.
“Conservatives are always wrong, too, despite being rich in life experience, despite being shrewd and prudent, intelligent and skeptical. For, in their desire to preserve ancient institutions that have withstood the test of time, they decry the necessity of renewal, and man’s yearning for a better way of life.
“Both attitudes carry within themselves the seeds of death. Is there, then, a third way? Another destiny for society than of always being subject to the threat of revolutions which destroy life, or reactionary attitudes which mummify it? Or is this the inevitable fate of all terrestrial cities, the natural law of their existence?
“In fact, only in the Church can we find both a Tradition that knows no revolution and at the same time the impetus towards a new life that has no end. Her theory (understood in the true sense of the word, namely ‘vision’) is based on a constant experience of Truth. Which is why she is in possession of those infinite resources upon which may draw all who are called to govern the perishable cities of this world. “
From Seven Days on the Roads of France
Father Stephen Freeman posted this quote recently from Lossky’s “account of his flight from the invasion of the Nazis into France in 1940.”