We live in a world of emotional children. Teenagers, probably.
Somehow, maturity has disappeared. Restraint—gone. Better judgment—gone.
I was wrong when I wrote previously about total honesty. I’ve had a few weeks to chew on it, to read, to reacquaint myself with better thoughts and better angels. Honesty without judgment is, quite simply, selfishness.
The fact is, it only works—society only works, sociability only works—when people on all sides exercise restraint and reason. The alternative is warfare. The appeals to emotion and honesty and activism… They are how we get to where we are. To mass shootings. To ISIS. To competing claims for victimhood. To increased suffering.
You cannot have what you want. You just can’t. You can fight this until the end of your life, and you won’t change it. And the things you so permissively allow yourself feel and say and do—those things have consequences. It is no good pretending otherwise.
Some amount of self-repression is necessary. Because it is also the repression of the war, violence, hate, and narcissism that are at the core of human nature.
Once, we tried to build a society founded on reason. Perhaps we tried to be better than we are. But at least we tried. Then, we gave up on the project.