by Jason Stotts
It’s interesting – although I’ve had a surplus of time recently, I’ve done hardly anything constructive at all. Perhaps it’s because of the stressful and mind-numbing environment I find myself in or perhaps it’s the sheer need for a break after a full semester, although either way the net result is the same.
I find though, that when my mind is not actively engaged, that I’m am more irritable and restless – it’s as though my trapped thoughts take up a life of their own and torment my soul. When I don’t write, or read philosophy, or actively engage in philosophical discourse and arguments, that I am not truly that happy.
I think, were it not for Miriam and M. to keep my on my intellectual toes whilst I’m in the South, that I would certainly go insane.
I can’t imagine what it would be like to live as the vulgar masses do – to be a crude hedonist with no purpose other than that of Lord Harry from Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray – to be nothing more than a beastly pleasure seeker.
I see them, these people who live like beasts, these vulgar hedonists, and I cannot understand what it would be like to live as they do: I see them with their minds dulled by drugs and alcohol, groping around in the mists of confusion and ignorance, lashing out at what they see around them – why? Do they even think to ask themselves that?
How can they bear to live as subhuman? How can they disgrace their very nature with their brutish lifestyle? Is it possible that some of them know the bliss of humanity and yet turn their back on it? I shudder to think it could be so – that they could, with full knowledge, turn their back on their own humanity.
I find it weird to think that in most respects we are the same – we share common ancestry, common physiology, common DNA even! Yet we are so radically different.
What could drive them to it? What could turn a man into a hedonist? J’ne sais quoi.
However, the blackness of their souls seems to glimmer pristinely in comparison to the supposed intellectuals that preach this filth. To imagine that someone who could stand in halls of education, in the citadels of the mind and, while knowing what it is to be human, turn their back nonetheless! Oh what nauseating contempt they breed in me.
How could they be united with their rational soul and still spit upon it for mere ephemeral sensations?
Not, of course, could I ever advocate asceticism – I firmly believe that sensations and pleasure are necessary to the life of man, yet to think that in a creature that is both body and mind, that the fulfillment of only one part of our nature would be sufficient to be human is contemptible and blatantly false.
To be honest, it’s hard for me to even think of them as human – it’s depressing to think of our common humanity, to think that in a lot of respects the brute and the philosopher are one.
I wonder whether they can be saved? To do so, I imagine, would be to kill Pragmatism and Hedonism – to show them to not work, to not be proper to a human, to show them to be decadent…perhaps why we should spare religion – at least it could guilt them into being “good” little sheep.
No, I think that they may ultimately be beyond help – at least the mass of them. It was right of the ancients to introduce the schism into mankind, to break the vulgar into a completely different kind from the aristoi; their mistake was what they considered vulgar and what they considered noble. But let us correct it, let us re-establish a caste system. But this time it will not be by blood, but by choice – volition, not determinism, will put people in their place and their actions will determine their kind.