Tragedy and Hope

by Carrol Quigley

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the disintegration of the middle class arose from a failure to transfer its outlook to its children
This failure can be attributed rather to the context within which the educational system has operated
The chief external factor in the destruction of the middle-class outlook has been the relentless attack upon it in literature and drama through is most of the twentieth century
A similar attack was made on self-discipline
The destruction of the middle classes by the destruction of the middle-class outlook was brought about to a much greater degree by internal than by external forces
Somewhat related to this was the influence of the depression of 1929-1933
Another element in this process was a change in the educational philosophy of America and a somewhat similar change in the country's ideas on the whole process of child training
a wholesale ending of discipline, both in the home and in school
In marriage, as in so many other things, Western Civilization has been subjected to quite antithetical theories
there appeared in Western society at least three kinds of marriage, which we may call Romantic, bourgeois, and Western
Three generations ago the bourgeois wife rarely became aware of her frustrations
Women became "emancipated" as a consequence of World War I
reversal in longevity expectations of men and women in adult life
extension of the female expectation of life faster than the male expectation, the increased practice of birth control, coeducation
from the male-dominated family to a female-dominated family
The neurological saturation of girls was faster than that of boys
radical and wholesale rejection of parental values
Everything has to be totally "casual" or today's youth rejects it
The other great weakness of the younger generation is their lack of self-discipline
They lack imagination also, an almost inevitable consequence of an outlook that concentrates on experiences without context
the American Establishment, which is so aristocratic and Anglophile in its foundation, came to accept the liberal ideology
The petty bourgeois are rising in American society along the channels established in the great American hierarchies of business, the armed forces, academic life, the professions, finance, and politics
Many of these eager workers headed for medicine
By 1960, however, big business, government civil service, and the Ivy League universities were becoming disillusioned with these petty bourgeois recruits
We need a culture that will produce people eager to do things, but we need even more a culture that will make it possible to decide what to do. Above all, we must bring meaning back into human experience
most of man's experience takes place in an irrational actuality of space-time
the thinkers of today are fumbling in an effort to find a meaning that will satisfy them
The problem of meaning today is the problem of how the diverse and superficially self-contradictory experiences of men can be put into a consistent picture that will provide contemporary man with a convincing basis from which to live and to act futindx.htm