Kierkegaard - The present age
K. Would hate the present age. Cyberspace is the only frontier. Couch potatoes. People boxed in. They arent’ even aware of it. There is no struggle Nothing has ever happened, nothing, will. Everyone admires eachother and all is a joke. People are excited by things, theyn they fall off the radar. I’d have lived. Done something great. None is really good and noone really bad. So people goddip. THey ambiguity of good and bad is stimulating for weaklings. pg 44-45. Like clocks that don’t ring on time. THey make sound and signify nothing. Noone liies Kings, but if a ficticious one could be established all would cheer him. They seek no religious liberator. They want the established order to continue, but realize it no longer exists. Jesus died for boredom. In a passionless age, envy unifies us. But even if you break free, you are imprisoned by the slavery around you. The escape is in religious inwardness. Ostracism is the mark of greatness. Passionless folk don’t resent. It leads to leveling . A man can lead a rebellion. He cannot lead a levelling. Even more than death, men now fear judgement. Religious is great in that it is an inward struggle. When foks do this as a group, it is sick. Jesus paid the highest price of an individual of conviction. Not so you could be content. Religion is individuality. On must learn to dominate oneslef and be ones own priest. You don’t wish Luther back. You cannot get the best things second - hand, Dont form societies. Individuality is the eternal truth. He wants an essentially religious and eternal view of life. Modern levelling requires a “phantom”. THat phantom is the public. Only when community is dead , so dead that you cannot give life to concrete realities, can the press fly “the public” as a concept. The person reading the paper is not “the public” due to lack of sponeneity. He is immediately a person . Ina public all are equal. A person is part of the public to the extent that they are not individual, not alone. People will aspire to be a part of the public; ie to be nothing at all. This makes them easy to please and manipulate and level and degrade: As folks do nothing themselves.The press is kept aroung, like a dog, to manipulate and level and amuse. If it killchases and maims and gossips folks say, “that is not my dog.” The many are victims who never get a deeper experience of life than a meaningless grin.
Passionate ages have the “principle of contradiction”. Passionate meaningful conflict. A reflective age has more scope, but less intensity. You are all, but nothing. Passionately contradicted person is true to themself. Talkativeness does away with the virtue of keeping silent. Someone who can really be silent has an innner life and their conversation isn’t scatter shot., it is one focused topic. Ones’ personal private space is his holy of holies. It should be created in the face of catastrophe. Gossip and superficial touching of subjects is due to a lack of silence. They say things are reliable. He says we shouldn’t be allowed to speak of anything that happened in the last 50 years.