Love and the Death of Society

A ‘modern’ life, steeped in so many distractions, is one which stays unfulfilled because it is unfocused. From the moment we enter into the world, we are beset by distractions of all kinds, sourced from technological marvels that steal the better part of life and vitality; and we think we make sense of it, but only superficially. Worthless information is processed in billions upon billions of man-hours – the wasted potential of a stagnating society bent on self-gratification. Those hours fill a void created by boredom. Here is a loveless world, where love has less meaning because life has less meaning to individuals. Ultimately, our ability to feel love - romantic love between people as well as love of doing things (which I call craftsmanship) - is ruined.

A related issue stemming from this loveless life is the creation of imaginary constructs which distort the reality of survival. It seems that when we need not run from war and conflict, we need not cherish the survival instinct. This instinct is the human rationalisation which gives rise to all the dictates of morality, which most probably spawned (in a historical sense) all other human institutions. The institutions which recognise the human right to life, or the right to equality, or other enshrined 'rights' do not have reality-warping powers. Their powers are simply that of physical coercion and moral legitimacy, but they do not make reality. That is the issue in this current generation of political correctness, where ideology seeks to create its own reality. The struggles of Mao Zedong showed us that ideology cannot change reality (reference must be made to Frank Dikotter's Mao's Great Famine). It can only invite catastrophic failure in the long-run, when the reality which is the imperative to human survival eventually brings ideology crumbling to the ground. Political correctness, I believe, is a symptom of the misuse of technology, pursuit of mindless hedonism and a fear of pain with the corresponding unwillingness to weather it.

Romantic Love
The first casualty is romantic love.

Perhaps the most important cause is the fiction of equality. There is no universal definition for this nebulous concept (what does ‘equality’ even mean?), and the word is frequently bandied about as part of liberal shibboleths. ‘Men and women are equal and should be treated so’. Equal in what? Look at the following list of attributes and discern where men and women are equal: strength, intelligence, longevity, aggression, warmth… The only thing that the average man and woman could be said to be equal in is intelligence, following decades of scientific studies. Even then, scientific opinion differs on how to define intelligence, for obviously men and women score differently in different areas of intelligence. This suggests that men and women are not so equal in intelligence after all. Other than that, men are stronger than women (physically), and women are warmer (read: more caring and nurturing) than men. There is inherent inequality in the biological makeup of men and women.

So ‘equality’ cannot be based in biology. Rather, it is used in the context of legal and social equality. It is a fiction. Make no mistake: ‘equality’ is the clarion call for the imposition of an imaginary framework to guide our lives. It is not premised on the dictates of physical strength and power, but a denial of these human truths. In saying this I do not consider ‘equality’ in any negative light; I simply show that the call for ‘equality’ is a political statement not rooted in reality.

Yet the new ‘revolution’ suggests that limitless fluidity is possible: in identity and more. To this, the previous charge of ‘imaginary’ applies and more. For if you break society down to its core components, then inequality rears its naked face: in a state of nature, where war and anarchy rule, the most powerful rules. This power can be made out of different parts physical strength, charisma and intelligence, but whether man or woman, the inequality in power remains, and is no less arbitrary. The conclusion is tautologous: the one in power is more powerful than the one who is not. The other alternative is a Communist framework which History has disproved as presenting too many opportunities for corruption to take hold.

What does this have to do with romantic love? By emphasising that men and women become united in marriage on the basis of legal equality, they take away any other tie which might keep them together except love and respect. In fact, there may be other things keeping them together, but these are considered (in the legal-fictional framework) to be incidental. Yet experience and divorce statistics show that love is a fickle thing, and where love is gone, respect follows close behind. Love cannot keep families together, much less communities and societies. Only power can do so.

Even worse, this view of romantic love (and by extension, marriage) distorts reality. Divorce suits are most of the time about financial resources (alimony) and ‘manpower’ (custody, influence over children). It is rarely about love. By premising marriage on the fiction of equality, inherent inequalities are effaced. One must recognise such inequalities, and openly make the choice between legitimising such inequality, or using power to extinguish it.

In my view, romantic love can only ever be supplementary to the reality which is the imperative to human survival. Modernity will spell the death of such love because it seeks to elevate it to an ideal in itself. Love will be destroyed or warped into unrecognisable forms, neither of which are distinct from the other.

The second casualty is craftsmanship.

This is love in a general sense. In this way, its meaning is closer to that of ‘craftsmanship’. It is love for inanimate things or abstract ideas. Not much need be said here, except for the recognition that as people become caught in the addictive cycle of ease and leisure, the urge to innovate becomes attenuated. Craftsmanship is sometimes inextricable from obsession, but they are distinct concepts (Consider Richard Sennett's Craftsmanship). The former concept denotes a mindset that is constructive and calm, while the latter is destructive, confused and agitated. Beyond mindset, craftsmanship bestows pride and deep-seated satisfaction in life.

Again, we see a corresponding vitiation of this concept in everyday life. Devotion has given way to flings and sophistication to superficiality. The minds of average men cede their power to the wonders of technology – only to atrophy, with no way of climbing the ladder again. That is not to say that craftsmanship is dead, only that it is practised by a few men, some of whom had leveraged on this to control the world.

The iconoclasm of 'modernity' (a more accurate label might be post-modernism) threatens to destroy what we consider worthwhile. While the trends which modernity has given rise to have been greatly varied in scope and tone, it is submitted that the most pernicious influence is furnished by the 'political correctness'. This is at the heart of modern 'reality-denying' movements, which if left unchecked will spell disaster.

Fuelling Political Correctness
Political correctness as an ideology is perhaps the greatest perpetrator of false realities in the modern age. Those who espouse it suggest that it might be a better world if our thoughts could somehow become reality – I believe so to, except I do not share their faith in the effectiveness of disparaging natural inequalities. Even if for a few generations Humanity could prop up society through ideas of equality and justice, the edifice will eventually collapse from the assault from more powerful and efficient societies, or reality itself. We see the ideology fueled by three main factors (among others).

Misuse of technology
It is trite that many modern men and women have no idea how to utilise modern technology. I would venture to say that a majority of people have little to no ability to programme software, nor are they likely to have knowledge of the internal circuitry of a computer. Yet these same persons remain enamoured of technology, for the marvels displayed upon modern devices tempt the mind into a never-ending cycle of fantasy, imagination and addiction. It is a false life, full of the pernicious influence of the internet, with all its boundless choice and corresponding danger. The average person then is no more than an impressionable hunk of meat.

Pursuit of hedonism
Comfort, pleasure and happiness have become the sole end of vast swathes of population. If left unchecked, its logical conclusion will be a veritable ‘Idiocracy’, except that it is unlikely that the powerful would allow themselves to become victims of complacency. The end result is written on the wall; vast swathes of human population utilised as fodder by their more discerning superiors against other players in a ‘game of thrones’. This is, of course, an exaggeration of what is already happening, and is merely an extrapolation. Yet it is a reasonable one: we see it happening routinely in the American general elections, as politicians agitate for ideals they believe in only insofar as it achieves them power. For while the weak succumb to the pursuit of hedonism, the strong can live without, and control others by virtue of their greater fortitude and charisma.

Fear of pain
This is perhaps the tritest of human truths. Men will in general avoid pain for fear of discomfort. Nevertheless, modern men and women are born into environments where it is suggested that pain can be avoided. This applies
only in liberal democracies, and there even in the bleakest neighbourhoods. For men there are not like the religious zealots of Daesh (ISIS). To them, there is still that fear of pain, which their forefathers had greater resistance against, partly for lack of technology and partly for their different world view. Fatalism has given way to unchecked optimism – that is the fatal mistake, for if one knows only to fear pain, then one can be controlled by those who can use pain.

These factors, though essential to understanding the world as it is, have been ignored by the mainstream obsession with frivolous undertakings and the intangible feelings of men. This is made even worse by the fact that it is confined to modern liberal democracies: its emasculating effects will stand in sharp contrast to the continued virility and aggression of diametrically opposed societies. The end result: conquest by others.

These effects will be explored in another article. Suffice to say that if these trends are not counteracted (whether by realists or by no-less fictional ideologies), then political correctness will be the death of society.

Frederick Yorck



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