Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Perfect Description

Buried in the middle of an analysis about How COVID-19 Will Test the West, Andrew Joyce writes:

Life under liberal finance capitalism is largely one of illusion, in which the prospect of real death is pushed far into the distance, both psychologically and culturally. Postmodern Western liberal culture is largely one of perpetual adolescence, in which the primary virtues are acting according to one’s individual will, identifying oneself in a hyper-individualistic manner, and expressing these identities via conspicuous consumption and behavior. We do not “live towards” Death, with a sense of purpose and a feeling that we are part of a much grander civilizational trajectory. We do not understand that Death has shaped our historical path, and that it hangs over us in ways that should direct our actions in the present.

This paragraph is in the section entitled “Life and Death under Liberalism.”  Even if you don’t read the entire article (I skimmed it, and there are some good observations throughout), take time with this entire section.

It is not important that you agree with his views of the virus; this point is about the causes of society’s reaction to it.

There was a time when Western man was concerned about his eternal life and his legacy.  He concerned himself with his ancestors, wanting to uphold their legacy; he concerned himself with his descendants, known and unknown; he concerned himself with his community; yesterday, today and tomorrow.  These concerns shaped his behavior.

No longer.

Corruption, lust and greed
Define the new nobility
Changing the course of history

-          The Gift Of Music, Dream Theater

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