The Conventional Lies of Our Civilization

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L. Schick, 1884 - Civilization - 364 pages
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Page 328 - ... and by which the individual is always made to feel his connection with humanity even if he is living alone on a desert island in the midst of the ocean. The imperative Must is nothing but the voice of this inward deputy or representative of public opinion. He who commits an action which he ' knows to be right even when it is to his own personal disadvantage, and he who in the fulfillment of his duty and without hope of appreciation, dies an obscure hero's death, acts thus, because he feels within...
Page 363 - As you are a part of humanity, its prosperity is your prosperity, and its sufferings your sufferings. If you do that which is good for humanity, you do good to yourself; but if you do that which is injurious to it, you inflict an injury upon yourself. A flourishing humanity is your paradise, a decaying humanity your hell."1 The poets have said as much; Lowell, Meredith, Whitman, and others.
Page 323 - When material considerations enter no longer into the contracting of a marriage, when woman is free to choose and is not compelled to sell herself, when man is obliged to compete for woman's favour with his personality and not with his social position and property, then the institution of matrimony will become a truth instead of the lie it is now, the sacred and sublime spirit of Nature will bless every embrace, every child will be born surrounded by the love of its parents as with a halo, and will...
Page 299 - ... alone was ruling supreme and the relations between the sexes, diverted from their purpose of reproducing the species, had become degraded into a source of selfish enjoyment alone, polluted by all manner of crimes, so that it seemed an abomination to the conscience of the good. When this state of things became altered, when Christianity was no longer the reaction from the moral corruption of ancient Rome, it ceased to consider it necessary to protest against the excess of immorality by an excess...
Page i - ASTOR, LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS R 1932 L, Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1884, by LOUIS SCHICK, in the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
Page 311 - ... Max Nordau, a man of high and austere ideals, a man whom nobody will accuse of a tendency to licentiousness, says in his Conventional Lies: "It may sound very shocking, yet I must say it : we can even love several individuals at the same time, with nearly equal tenderness, and we do not necessarily lie when we assure each one of our passion. No matter how deeply we may be in love with a certain individual, we do not cease to be susceptible to the influence of the entire sex.
Page 180 - ... ceased to accept literally. What are the interests and welfare of the general public to the candidate? Less than Hecuba to the player. He wishes to rise in the world and his constituents are the rounds of his ladder. He work for the community? Not much! He expects the community to work for him. Some one has described the public as voting cattle. This is a picturesque and unusually appropriate expression. Representative legislation produces conditions resembling those of patriarchal times. The...
Page 221 - Bible, showed that he appreciated this fact with honest naivete, by placing his first human beings in a paradise where they could live without any necessity for exertion, and labor, the sweat of man's brow, was the terrible punishment for their disobedience. Natural, zoological morality proclaims that rest is the highest reward of labor, and that only so much work is desirable and commendable as is indispensable to prolong life. But the robber band do not accept this idea of the case. Their interests...
Page 274 - ... and maintain social prestige, to satisfy their vanity and to enter upon the privileges and enjoyments which society refuses to the single woman and concedes to the married one. In. contracting a marriage everything is thought of: the drawing-room and the kitchen, the promenade and the watering place, the dancing-hall and the dining-room, one thing only is forgotten, the most essential of all: the sleeping-room, that sacred place, from whence the future of the family, of the race and of humanity,...
Page 216 - The favoured individual would thus be ensured a yearly income of about a hundred thousand dollars ; but none of the contributors would feel the loss of their penny. One penny! that is such a small amount that it is not worth the trouble of speaking about it. And yet such a law would elicit from the entire nation a cry of indignation. And every citizen would revolt against its arbitrary injustice. But the economical law which obliges the poorest part of the nation, the factory...

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