C.S. Lewis on Liberty

I recently saw this following image on the internet:


It reminds me of an excerpt from C.S. Lewis’s The Last Battle. If you are not familiar with Lewis, The Last Battle is a vision of a fantasy world, Narnia, coming to an end. The villain, an ape named Shift, has gained power over the talking animals of Narnia through a complex web of lies. One of his lies is that Aslan, who represents the true God, is the same as Tash, who represents a false demon god:

“‘And now here’s another thing,’ the Ape went on, fitting a fresh nut into its cheek, ‘I hear some of the horses are saying, Let’s hurry up and get this job of carting timber over as quickly as we can, and then we’ll be free again. Well, you can get that idea out of your heads at once. And not only the Horses either. Everybody who can work is going to be made to work in the future. Aslan has it all settled with the King of Calormen—The Tisroc, as our dark-faced friends, the Calormenes, call him. All you horses and bulls and donkeys are to be sent down into Calormen to work for your living—pulling and carrying the way horses and such do in other countries. And all you digging animals like moles and rabbits and Dwarfs are going down to work in the Tisroc’s mines. And——’

“‘No, no, no,’ howled the Beasts. ‘It can’t be true. Aslan would never sell us into slavery to the King of Calormen.’

“‘None of that! Hold your noise!’ said the Ape with a snarl. ‘Who said anything about slavery? You won’t be slaves. You’ll be paid—very good wages too. That is to say, your pay will be paid in to Aslan’s treasury and he will use it all for everybody’s good.’ Then he glanced, and almost winked, at the chief Calormene. The Calormene bowed and replied, in the pompous Calormene way:

“‘Most sapient Mouthpiece of Aslan, the Tisroc (may he live forever) is wholly of one mind with your lordship in this judicious plan.’

“‘There! You see!’ said the Ape. ‘It’s all arranged. And all for your own good. We’ll be able, with the money you earn, to make Narnia a country worth living in. There’ll be oranges and bananas pouring in—and roads and big cities and schools and offices and whips and muzzles and saddles and cages and kennels and prisons—Oh, everything.’

“‘But we don’t want all those things,” said an old Bear. ‘We want to be free. And we want to hear Aslan speak himself.'”


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