New PDF release: An Essay on Morals

By Philip Wylie

A daring and provocative indictment of our smooth international. "...this e-book will most likely offend as many alternative different types of humans and as many issues of view as any oather e-book in print." - the hot Yorker

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Sample text

He calls them his faiths, convictions, loyalties, friendships, codes, beliefs, and the noble appurtenances of his soul. They are logical to him and just. He is the court and the interpreter. They are his shining armor. ) They are his weapons, too--the weapons of his righteousness. Equipped with them, he presents himself to the hard fare of his daily round. And, that he may seem estimable to his own eyes--in small, exact duplicate of the general pattern--he murders the reputation of his neighbor, starves his colleagues in his nearby slum, runs from the helpless, cheats and steals, sets up slaveries by his persecution and his bigotry, sacrifices his family through neglect to the wolves of their own vanities and avarices, pushes his daughters at the rich and the powerful that he may pimp in wealth and power, and holds around himself an iron curtain so that his conscience will remain inaudible, his instinct will not speak, and the archetype which he thrusts into unconsciousness by each miserable step will not stand suddenly before him for what it is--death, panic, murder, harlotry, epidemic, cowardice, treachery, disloyalty, the hideous retinue.

Everybody is well acquainted with the egos of his neighbors. Everybody has glimpses of the instincts underneath, too, though few bother to express the spectacle in such careful language. Everybody is inclined to take the view that instincts are altogether bad and ego's to the good--though the egos of others are usually a trifle strained and somewhat silly. We can see the vanity in others--relatives especially; a few of us occasionally catch in our own selves intimations of similar preposterous antics and this is, truly, seeing ourselves as others see us, though by analogue.

But reason ever totters before instinctual force. Infantry is still the queen of battles in the heads of many generals and in the classrooms of military institutions. The occupation and the holding of the enemy's land are still regarded as the decisive factor, though we have but recently received the surrender of an empire by radio without putting a man on the shore of the central islands and although the subsequent occupation could have been effected by unarmed freight boats landing missionaries.

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An Essay on Morals by Philip Wylie

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