The Fundamental Turtle of Western Civilization

Original sin is the turtle upon which Western civilization was founded. In “The World of Late Antiquity” Brown described the world of the young Augustine, a deflated world in which weddings were still priced at the older, more opulent level so that marriage had to be deferred to middle age, or even forever. Augustine’s immorality (an affectionate unmarried relationship) rose from this. It was this deflation that gave us original sin

Deflation, debt, social climbing, forced education, and immorality are all tied together, and by ruining young Augustine’s life they gave us the doctrine of Original Sin. (Attn. David Graeber).

With original sin there can be no innocent victims, and the righteous can wreak havoc just as they please. Its fundamentals live on today, even for unbelievers, as Social Darwinism (some races should die off), free market dogmatism (the unproductive should die off), imperialism (the strong should dispossess the weak), and finally the simple, unthought brutality of bandits and thugs. The evolutionary, economic, nationalist, theological, and criminal justifications for brutality are not necessarily consistent with one another, but they all are firmly grounded on that turtle.

*****

A related article of mine: Ressentiment and Schooling. Nietzsche resented being such a nice boy, but he was still nice.

The World of Late Antiquity, Peter Brown

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Published in: on October 19, 2015 at 8:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

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