Thursday, October 27, 2016

Love and the Baby Boomers

Probably the stupidest statement I've ever heard is that one has to love oneself before one can love another. This is completely ridiculous. Loving the other person has nothing to do with what you feel about yourself; it is about what you feel about the other person. Whether or not I love myself, it has nothing to do with the people I love. It is not about what I feel about myself; it is about what I feel about the other person.

Then there is the claim that if you love rationally you are loving, and if you do not love rationally you are obsessing. Also completely wrong. If that was the case, then animals could not love; and if that was the case then people in cultures that do not place priority on reason could not love. Of course both are capable of both. That is as much the case with animals as it is the case with Italians or Russians.

One claim I've heard in defense of distributing of love-hating attitudes on college campuses is that the fathers do not want their daughters to go with some lunatic. Oh, not at all. They want their daughters to go with the man they've picked out for them. We are living in India. So they've hired these monsters to destroy all the good influences in the Western civilization. Destroy romanticism; then destroy Enlightenment. And guess what comes back but the traditional Eminem-style misogyny.

Another claim that I hear on this matter is, 1960s are over. 1960s were for baby boomers; this is for others. The world does not revolve around baby boomers, however much they think that it does. 1960S was not the only time in history that such themes have been tried, nor will they be the last ones. If baby boomers decided that love was crap, that was their own fault. Baby boomers do not own love or anything of the sort. These themes have existed through all of history – for legitimate reasons – and if they decided against it then it does not mean that the rest of the world has to honor their choice on the matter.

If you have decided that love was crap, that does not mean that the rest of the world has to make the same decision. There will always be people who want love, and you will not get rid of them whatever they do. That you made some wrongful realization, does not mean that the rest of the world has to do the same thing.

Personally, I have a lot of things in common with baby boomers. I also believe that they have gone in the wrong direction. If what you want is to be validated, then by all means take their advice. But it is not the direction into which I seek to take things. Loving oneself comes across to me as masturbatory. Whereas loving another person has far more merits.

If you have decided that romantic love is crap, keep to your own “realizations.” Do not however inflict it upon others. People will always want to love and be loved, and it is in no way limited to a decade or to a generation. You decided that this is a wrong thing, keep to yourselves. Do not inflict the same wrongful generalizations upon others.

So we have had any number of people claiming that romantic love is a myth. There is nothing mythological about this; I have experienced it myself, and so have any number of others. You will not get rid of such things whatever they do; they are inherent to humanity and always will be.

In my generation, the inevitable experience of teenage rebellions has been steered against precisely the wrong things. It has been steered against beauty and love. It has been steered against rightful action taken by the government. The libertarians see correctly the potentials for wrongdoing in the government, but they fail to see the same in private power. And the sentiment against the Western civilization has been steered against romanticism, which is the most profound – and wisest – sentiment that has taken place within the Western civilization.

The millennials have a lot more of a clue. They are willing to analyzing all sorts of abuses of power that are not the government. Each generation learns from the mistakes of the preceding generation, and I hope that the millennials learn from the mistakes of the baby boomers and also from the mistake of my generation.

What we are seeing in all of these cases is a Big Lie. Present things as their opposites. If a man has love for a woman – or any number of women – present him as a misogynist. If someone is honest, present him as a sociopath. If someone is altruistic, present him as a narcissist. Misrepresent things as their opposites, and eventually people will believe you.

I do not believe that lies are a valid basis for a civilization. If you want your civilization to last, base it on things that are true. Love is one thing that is true; so are a number of others. Stop militating against things that are true. Create ones yourself.


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