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Love will disappear from the face of the public world

I’m curious about a connection between this:

We know that the modern world is coming to an end . . . . At the same time, the unbeliever will emerge from the fogs of secularism. He will cease to reap benefit from the values and forces developed by the very Revelation he denies . . . . Loneliness in faith will be terrible. Love will disappear from the face of the public world, but the more precious will be that love which flows from one lonely person to another . . . . The world to come will be filled with animosity and danger, but it will be a world open and clean. –Romano Guardini, The End of the Modern World (Epigraph to Walker Percy’s The Last Gentleman)

and this:

The Social Network, the End of Intimacy, and the Birth of Hacker Sensibility by Dan Haggard
Think about the person closest to you and the connection that you have. Feel the sense of familiarity and trust. Think of the wonderful experiences your intimacy has enabled. But now imagine this intimacy is torn away. Their eyes intimate indifference. You’re just one of the billions of people to whom they could possibly devote their time. There is nothing that defines your shared connection and makes it stand apart. You’re just the tag end of an economic calculation; a move in a game that will likely never end.

Haggard’s article is long but worth the read. One of these days, I hope to get around to reading the Guardini book, too.


  1. Jonathan,

    Good connection. Intriguing.

    The word “idiot” comes from the Greek word which means a private person (lit “one’s own”) and came to mean any ignoramus isolated from the polis – that is, from current events (which doesn’t mean checking out a blog or the Drudge Report but being an active member of the city, or as Aristotle might say, being a fully invested political animal who votes, discusses, etc.).

    This word, I would submit, exactly describes what the modern gadgetry has produced – a village full of idiots. Of course, this begs the question – are we not already an ungovernable body – given that the factions no longer keep one another in check, as the Founding Fathers envisioned, but rather have spintered into such sectarian views on things (e.g. abortion, war, the common good, the role of the government, etc.) that modern Americans have already been isolated, while the gadgetry simply sustains that isolation indefinitely…?

    Think, too, of Huxley’s soma or Bradbury’s feelies. It’s all been forseen, one way or another, I suppose. And so the crisis continues….


  2. Jonathan Webb says:

    Interchangeable people, yes, pawns in a game of self-interest. As if we Americans weren’t sufficiently isolated by television and porn, now we text while we ride on the bus and text while we cross the street. At night we share interchangeable genitalia and enjoy a post-coital text instead of smoking a cigarette. Don’t you think?

    Yeah Bradbury. Remember him?

    Thanks guys.

  3. Jonathan Webb says:

    I’m going over to Drudge now.

  4. Cubeland Mystic says:

    I’ve been saying this for a long time. I’ve foreseen the end.

  5. Jonathan Webb says:

    Thanks C.M.

    Pray for us.

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