30 October 2010

The boredom of a hollow life

"In both cases, society was far from being prompted by a revision of prejudices. They did not doubt that homosexuals were 'criminals' or that Jews were 'traitors'; they only revised their attitude toward crime and treason. The trouble with their broadmindedness was not that they were no longer horrified by inverts but that they were no longer horrified by crime. They did not in the least doubt the conventional judgment. The best-hidden disease of the nineteenth century, its terrible boredom and general weariness, had burst like an abscess. The outcasts and the pariahs upon whom society called in its predicament were, whatever else they might have been, at least not plagued by ennui and, if we are to trust Proust's judgment, were the only ones in fin-de-siecle society who were still capable of passion." (The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt, 1991; page 81). 
The shift away from wholesome judgments to the extolling of perversion, the move from crime to vice and its concommitant neglect of desert, comes from a response and a reaction to the spiritual emptiness that secular society offers a disenchanted world. It is, it seems, all that a secular society is able to muster, spiritually. 
When the middle class moves from the right to the left it signals a disaffection with disenchantment and a wish to remedy the boredom of that hollow life, which is spiritually all a disenchanted world has to offer. 

No comments:

Post a Comment