Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Episodic Nature of Man

The sexual revolution is arguably the most extreme manifestation of the episodic nature of man. To surrender one's life to sexual pleasure meant once and for all abandoning any attempt to give one's existence a unifying meaning; this pleasure is, like no other, related to what is short-lived and ephemeral. Many wise men in the history of European thought consistently warned against the effects of the uncontrolled reign of pleasures over human life. In classical ethics pleasures were feared because they not only do not have a self-mitigating measures. These warnings were not treated with the seriousness they deserved by modern utilitarians. With the growth of consumerism this fear evaporated.

Ryszard Legutko, The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies, Adelson, tr. Encounter Books (New York: 2018), p. 109.

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