How could it be that with the ever growing armies of counselors and psychology “experts” the toll of broken relationships (and their fallout; depression, substance abuse etc.) is rising aggressively with no cures on the horizon? Why is it that after tens of thousands of self help books, tapes, CD’s, lectures, courses, and seminars have tried to solve our problems the problems just keep getting worse? They have not delivered, but, then why should the social gurus want to solve any problems? It would be counterproductive for them to put an end to people‘s problems, they would lose all of the power and control they have diligently worked for.
Some of us have successfully overcome our problems in life, but it is largely in spite of the “masters” not because of them.
There are many more profound social paradoxes which have cropped up in our generation which we will discuss later. For now I would like you, the thoughtful reader to ponder these ironies as we progress through the thesis of this course and put the pieces of the puzzle together. As we discover the answers the reasons will become obvious, and take shape in your mind.
The Pleasure Principle
The philosophy of pleasure was most advocated by Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) , whose utilitarianism embraced the notion that "the greatest happiness of the greatest number" was the only meaningful, scientific, consistent criterion of good and evil. (Thus excising the wisdom of wiser generations) Bentham upheld a psychological hedonism in which pleasure is the goal of all purposive behaviour. He attempted to work out a "felicific calculus" in which the value of a given unit of pleasure (or pain) could be calculated by judging it for qualities like intensity, duration, certainty or uncertainty, propinquity or remoteness, fecundity, purity, and the extent of number of persons affected.
Bentham believed that such a "felicific calculus" would be practically useful in assessing rational scales of punishment (too little pain would not deter; too much would unnecessarily detract from utility). Bentham's pleasure-pain theory was hedonistic, secular, and individualisitc. Even broadly sympathetic critics, like John Stuart Mill (1806-1873), berated it for failing to make allowance for different qualities of happiness -- "higher" and "lower" pleasures.
Crude utilitarianism thus made no allowance for self-perfection. Moreover, psychologically speaking, Mill believed that the conscious pursuit of pleasure was necessarily self-defeating.
Psychological Hedonism During the last two centuries
psychological hedonism has become the bedrock of many theories of human (and animal) behaviour, including Behaviourist psychology. Within evolutionary biology, the pursuit of sensory happiness in the guise of survival, and the survival of the fittest, forms a key mechanism.
A Basic Instinct For Sigmund Freud
(1856-1939), pleasure was a basic instinct, initially taking the form of sexual gratification or libido. Since full pursuit of the "pleasure principle" appears incompatible with civilized order, the drive of pleasure is either thwarted (causing neurosis) or sublimated into art, religion, work and other creative or productive activity. Thus Freud, and by extension modern values, in many respects reversed the priorities of earlier theologians and philosophers. They saw happiness, based on higher values, as the experience of truth, and hedonism as a kind of illusion, or at least less valuable. Freud, by contrast, saw the drive for sensory and sexual gratification as the ultimate truth about the human animal.
These views have become pervasive in modern literature, psychology, academia and even politics. These peddlers of perversion (past and present) are using the Pleasure Principle, a powerful and destructive principle virtually unknown in full by the layman to subvert the hearts and minds of our populace. To most of the uninformed it sounds avant garde, and even chic. It is anything but avant garde or chic, it is fiendish and extremely manipulative.
Most Americans (and westerners) have been seduced by it’s powerful allure without any general awareness. Surely you have noticed the glorification of casual sex, materialism, violence, alcohol, drugs, and ignorance in movies, on television, in today's “music” and advertisements. These are the signs of the Pleasure Principle at work in a self centered culture.
Surely you have been to the local stores lately and seen, if not read the popular magazine- SELF. Are you aware of what self magazine is about? You guessed it. It is all about self.
"The man who lives for self alone,
lives for the meanest mortal known." - Cinncinatus
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves..." - 2 Timothy 3(vs 1,2)
What are the signs of selfishness? Well, one is gratification or in more modern parlance, instant gratification. People want their MTV and they want it now.
Another outward manifestation of selfishness is materialism. Materialistic people are selfish, and selfish people are materialistic.
MTV appeals very much to the materialistic self. Vulgar gangster rappers are somehow held up as icons to our youth. No other culture would have made them as tremendously wealthy and famous as our self-centered, and materialistic pop sub-culture. These rappers personify superficial selfishness in the extreme with their big gold chains, expensive cars, and luxurious mansions filled with servants, and let’s not forget the scantily clad groupies. You couldn’t come up with worse role models from any other generation in all history. On this point our generation is again unfortunately unique from all others before us.
SELF-ESTEEM = SELF LOVE
One of the most damaging buzz words being crooned and crowed from the ivory towers of academia is “self-esteem” The academic “elite” know full well that when it is administered in heavy doses to immature minds the resulting outcome will be self-love. The children have been well indoctrinated as we shall see.
Another sign of a self serving culture is hedonistic slogans. Have we not become a sloganeering society? Do the following examples sound familiar?
Show me the money
Sex, drugs, rock and roll
If it feels good do it
Party on dude!
Go for the gusto
Of course there are many more, you could probably come up with a few of your own without giving it much thought.
The dangerous invasions of hedonism in popular culture have taken a heavy toll. Never in history has drug abuse, violence, unmarried pregnancies obesity and personal debt (due to materialism) been so high.
The Pleasure Principle in short goes like this: Give the first dose of pleasure, get them hooked, after the fix has worn off there will be a vacuum and thus a demand for more. But, the flesh is not content for long at this dosage and will eventually require more as the addiction to pleasure progresses. Before long you have junkies seeking higher highs chasing that initial rush which will never be filled. The pleasure fades and desire increases. The addiction becomes ever more ravenous and more extreme measures are taken to achieve fulfillment.
Those on the treadmill of the Pleasure Principle demand change from their leaders, the old ways are despised because they threaten the pleasure fix which a large portion of the public demands. They demand their pornography, materialism, drugs, unmarried sex, and government safety net.
Have you noticed that the slogans for democratic politicians almost always promise change? Bill Clinton used change in his election bid as did John Kerry. Another code word for change used today is progressive. The progressives offer a promise that change is on the way. What they really mean is that they will fight for your right to party. Tragically for many the Pleasure Principle will ultimately end in emptiness and self-destruction.
It is very much like the method used by the Eskimos to kill a wolf. The Eskimo’s take a very sharp knife and dip it into a bucket of blood. They take it out and allow it to freeze to the blade. This process is repeated numerous times until the blade is surrounded by a block of frozen blood. Then, they bury the knife in the snow with the blade up and the block of blood exposed to tempt the wolf. Upon catching the scent of the blood the wolf quickly makes his way over and begins licking the block. The more the wolf licks the bloody block the more blood is yielded and eventually the wolf becomes so ravenous in his blood lust that it doesn’t realize that it’s own tongue has been slashed off and it is gorging on it’s own blood. Soon the wolf dies of shock and blood loss gorged mostly on it’s own blood.
Like the wolf in the story above many of us have become ravenous in our hedonistic extravagances and have had to declare bankruptcy, check into some abuse program, or even worse committed suicide. This all due to the fiendish exploiters behind the Pleasure Principle.
Unfortunately modern psychology has done too little too late to counter the devastating effects of the Pleasure Principle. Sure, they have clinics for those of us who fall prey, but this is like putting an ambulance at the bottom of a cliff. If they really wanted to “help” us wouldn’t they put a fence at the top of the cliff instead of an ambulance below? In many cases the ambulance below is of no use, the patient is DOA. Societies have always put up fences before reaching the edge of the Pleasure Principle cliff, but the liberals are now tearing them down.
The very rich like the “Material Girl” Madonna were given a very large block off of which to lick, and their demise will come later than sooner. There is therefore this illusion to the rest of us in the pack that it is ok to lick the block set out by the progressives. The problem is that Madonna’s block is so thick it may last her nearly a lifetime, our blocks will not be so thick, we will reach the blade sooner than later. Don't be deceived, the Pleasure Principle will destroy everyone eventually.
Through the media’s indoctrination in the Pleasure Principle we have learned to substitute love for lust, prosperity for greed, and happiness for temporary ravenous fixes. It is time to get off the pop culture peddler’s treadmill and replace the baser motives and desires with the more noble dreams of the heart which do bring true satisfaction.
In 2002 a standardized aptitude test was given to high school students in fifteen different nations. The U.S. being one of them. As you may have heard our students did the worst out of all fifteen nations, even Ugandan students out scored us.
The interesting and telling part is the part which was unreported in the major media, and largely swept under the rug by academicians. In the math portion of the test one of the questions was “Are you good at math?” The Koreans who did the best in the world said no by 76% Our students who did the worst said yes by 68%. The difference is that the Koreans are not indoctrinated with the selfish and hedonistic feel good philosophy of self-esteem.
So, what can we learn from the example above? Self-esteem transformed them (our children) into braggarts, unable and unwilling to identify their own ignorance. The apostle Paul put it well when he wrote about the “last days” generation in Romans 1:22. “Professing themselves to be wise they became fools” Does this sound like our indoctrinated students above?
The generation known as generation X has been pre-programmed by the annointed social engineers for coming social change through the public school “curriculum.” Instead of teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic they have substituted politically correct propaganda. It’s no wonder that 40% of graduates today are functionally illiterate.
We as parents did not guard their hearts and minds, and they have been corrupted under our noses by psycho political destroyers. They love themselves too much, and are too ignorant to rationally judge or appraise their own abysmal lack of knowledge. Instead they congratulate themselves that they are so smart. Professing themselves to be wise they have become fools.
This is the direct result of feel good psychology. The fact that they feel good tells us something very important. These affected students have been converted from thinking and rational to feeling and irrational (emotional) individuals more likely to follow the dark winds of progressivism.
With maturity and reason now stunted the highway to hedonism is slickly paved.
The change agents are winning the war. What war? Howard Stern nailed it when he referred to it as the culture war. Dear reader, you may not see it as a war, but they do! They are determined to win. Get involved and make a difference! Let's put the fence back on the edge of the Pleasure Principle cliff.