Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Crisis of Modernity

From TAC:
Tracing the origins of eroticism, Del Noce says the ideas of sexual freedom had already been fully formulated between 1920 and 1930, beginning with the anti-rationalist Surrealist writers and then further developed by Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957). Reich died in an American prison, “almost completely forgotten,” Del Noce notes, “after having been condemned by the still moral United States.” But the “various beat and hippie movements then rediscovered him.”

Del Noce thus sees the countercultural revolution of the 1960s as the apotheosis of various long-dormant revolutionary strains. He elaborates: “The French ‘May Revolution’ was marked precisely by the hybridization of Marxian themes with Freudian themes and themes inspired by de Sade.” But he also faults the global entertainment industry and the arts, as well as the media and other powerful elites, for having participated in an aggressive “campaign of de-Christianization through eroticism.”

For the revolution against the transcendent to triumph, explains Lancellotti, “every meta-empirical order of truth” had to be abolished. Recreational sex replaced the truth of conjugal love. And the ideas of procreative sex and indissoluble monogamous marriage were destroyed since they presupposed, Del Noce says, “the idea of an objective order of unchangeable and permanent truths.”

Del Noce was clearly a highly astute observer of societal trends. But as Lancellotti points out, he also sought to understand “philosophical history”—which he insisted had to be understood given how profoundly affected the West had been by the philosophies of earlier centuries. Atheism, empiricism, historicism, materialism, rationalism, scientism, etc. had all led to the “elimination of the supernatural” and a “rejection of meta-historical truths." (Read more.)

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