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Prospects of the Collapse of Civilization
#21
(03-09-2019, 06:29 AM)Bill the Piper Wrote:
(03-08-2019, 12:27 AM)Eric the Green Wrote: One historian I wrote made the good point that social freedoms once won, are never entirely lost. It won't happen. Sex is too primal and powerful to suppress. But maybe the obsession will be less dominant. Based on the cycles I see, though, I can't promise that the next Awakening will be much different from the previous one in regard to sex. It is clear that the next Awakening will fulfill and further brighten and perfect the last one rather than take any kind of opposing direction to it.

It's not that simple.

Life of "social freedoms" was well known in ancient Canaan, but later austere Judaism of the Patriarchs took over. Ancient Greeko-Roman civilization also had a strong Dionysian aspect. Even Pythagoras ranted against a life of "sex, drugs and rock'n'roll". Then Christianity came, and "social freedoms" were eliminated for a long time. Even before Christianization homosexuality ceased to be aspected IIRC because the women were disgusted by their husbands practising it (I'll leave the graphic reasons to your imagination)

If the transmission of AIDS is any indicator, homosexuality was an excellent conduit of sexually-transmitted disease (then gonorrhea). Christianity, like Judaism, heavily associated homosexuality with the temple prostitution of pagans, and excoriated it.

Christianity was anti-sexual (as well as anti-commercial and anti-creative) in Roman times on the ground that any activity that detracted people from Salvation was suspect. Christianity may have improved the Romans, but it also destroyed such viability as there was in Rome in its last two centuries.

As for "sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll", I'll take love, art, and classical music any time. Love gets more satisfying sex, art has no hangover, and classical music is generally richer.


Quote:What matters is the dominant value system. As long as liberal values of 18th century revolutionaries are the strongest and most popular ideology in the Anglosphere, it will be hard to make a case against a hedonistic lifestyle. As long as the USA is the leading global power, the liberal ideology will be dominant because USA was built as an epitome of liberalism. Not even Trump can change that, he would have to disown the American Revolution and founding fathers. However, if China becomes the world leader in the new saeculum, its Confucian values will take over sooner or later. Chinese values will influence us, like Western values influenced China in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The problem isn't with hedonism; it is instead with hedonism devoid of any humanistic foundation. Hedonism has always been available cheaply to economic elites in antiquity as well as modernity. Life was wonderful on the Plantation -- for the master and his immediate family. Injustice creates misery, and self-destructive hedonism suggests a Rake's Progress.

https://www.soane.org/collections-resear...s-progress

I am convinced that in the presence of so much easily-available means of achieving pleasure, we as a people need more formal education just to make wise choices in seeking pleasure so that we be less likely to resort to 'boozing and whoring'. The paradox of hedonism applies to transitory bliss such as such highs from impulse purchases, gambling, drugs, alcohol, speed, mass low entertainment, and sweets. The delights are intense, but evanescent and costly. Repeat them often enough and you go broke, compromise your health, risk sudden death from fights and vehicle collisions, and end up incredibly lonely. At the best you will be a bore, and you will be an unproductive member of society.



Quote:For the long term future, I think mankind will diversify, different sub-cultures will modify themselves in different ways and many new species will emerge. Some might opt for a Pythagorean-style ascetic intellectualism, others for techno-hedonism like the society of IM Banks' culture novels.

 I see an ebb and flow in that tendency over a time far longer than my lifetime.


Quote:I think the progressives are "cool kids", while the neoreactionaries tend to be outcasts. When gen X was young, its share of outcasts was interested in Satanism. Outcasts of all generations tend to be attracted to pathological distortions of their respective archetypes.

Outcasts trying to fit into the economic mainstream and get respect by appealing for equitable treatment (let us say blacks in the 1960s) are far more credible than people full of resentments and free-floating anger. Neoreactionaries? Nasty!

I have met Satanists, and my experiences with them make me prefer a meeting with Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses attempting to proselytize me. I can't imagine Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses putting me into a torture chamber or collecting me with other disbelievers to be mowed down by machine gun. Satanists? These people worship an entity who would destroy Humanity. Who would want to go to Hell? I certainly don't want to go where the Nazis are!

Different as Buddhism is from my heritage, I can see its merits.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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