29 March 2012

I die, so dies the world...

"Yes, it’s the generation before mine. They’re basically heroes of their time, a time that believed in self-expression as almost a public duty. They are individualists who believe that self-expression is the most important thing. This means that what you feel inside yourself, inside you head, is the most important thing in the world. But if the world is all in your head, then when you die, the world dies with you — it ceases to exist, because you can’t express yourself. Because narcissists don’t have anything beyond themselves, apart from their children, which is why these people are obsessed with their children — they don’t have a trade union or a political party or religion. They know these people will go on beyond their death, but they won't. On the other hand, people like me who were brought up by old socialists, although I’m not a socialist, what it did instill in me is a strong belief that you work towards something that will go on beyond your own death. I mean, that’s really what you’re put on this world to do."

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"Cynicism rises to fill the emptied space of exaggerated and failed hope. It's all simple math. If you follow the money rather than the blather, it's clear that the American system is a bipartisan fusion of economic models broken down along generational lines: unaffordable Greek-style socialism for the old, virulently purified capitalism for the young. Both political parties have agreed to this arrangement: The Boomers and older will be taken care of. Everybody younger will be on their own. The German philosopher Hermann Lotze wrote in the 1870s: 'One of the most remarkable characteristics of human nature is, alongside so much selfishness in specific instances, the freedom from envy which the present displays toward the future.' It is exactly that envy toward the future that is new in our own time."

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