I bought and read this book in pre-Monica 1994, and it was an eye-opener. He basically offers a coherent theory for the amazing disparities between the private behavior and thought, and public behavior and thought, of the shapers of "Modernity" and which was revealed in Paul Johnson's "Intellectuals." Much of his analysis revolves around the two ultimate alternatives in the intellectual life: "either one conforms desire to the truth or one conforms truth to desire." Some of the chapter titles characterize what this book is about: "Samoa Lost: Margaret Mead, Cultural Relativism, and the Guilty Imagination"..."Stanley and Jane's Excellent Adventure: Or, Why Politically Correct Professors Hate Western Civilization"..."Sigmund and Minna and Carl and Sabina: The Birth of Psychoanalysis out of the Personal Lives of Its Founders." I'd strongly recommend this book to anyone trying to understand the deterioration in the traditional norms and values of Western Civilization, or what has been called the "culture war."
A fascinating book analyzing the escalating relativism in our society is Degenerate Moderns: Modernity as Rationalized Sexual Misbehavior (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, c. 1993), by E. Michael Jones. Central to Jones' argument is this thesis: "There are only two alternatives in the intellectual life: either one conforms desire to the truth or one conforms truth to desire" (p. 11). Since our sexual desire is quite powerful, we all too often rationalize our sexual behavior rather than live as we ought. Though sexual sin in itself does great harm, the "most insidious corruption" to which our species falls prey is "the corruption of the mind" which accompanies the process or rationalizing it. "One moves all too easily from sexual sins, which are probably the most common to mankind, to intellectual sins, which are the most pernicious" (p. 12). That process, demonstrably evident in some of this century's most influential intellectuals, leads Jones to declare that "the verdict is clear: modernity is rationalized lust" (p. 17). The verdict is based in recent, frequently muckraking biographies. We now know formerly hidden details about the men and women whose theories have so shaped modernity. Consider first the case of Margaret Mead, for decades one of the most trusted academic anthropologists, whose Coming of Age in Samoa has been routinely cited as evidence for "cultural relativism." What's right in one culture, she argued, lauding the Samoans' sexual permissiveness, may be judged wrong in another. Recent evaluations of Mead's studies have raised a barrage of flak (items of fact) which threaten to shatter her renown. Amazingly enough, Mead only spent nine months in Samoa, taking a scant six weeks to learn the language of the people she studied!Read more ›
I will not go on attempting to explain how excellent E. Michael Jones' books are. Read them for yourself - and understand that his writing style and thought provoking content are above anything out there that speaks to the current culture "war" and the decline of Western Civilization. His work is detailed, poignant and sincere. I recommend this, and all of his writings to anyone who wishes to see beyond the standard set of garbage that is taught about modern culture and its wonders.
This book is truely one of the greatest books written in the 20th century. Anyone who reads this book with an open heart will understand that he is responsible for his behavior. This book changed my life, forcing me to confront my own sinfulness. Jones explains more about human behavior in this one little book than all of the psychologists of the 20th century combined.YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK!
In a brilliant tour de force, Jones demonstrates that while the ad hominem may be a fallacy when used right off the bat, it is a beautiful tool for debunking and explaining what would otherwise be an inexplainable intellectual theory with a fatal flaw. In otherwords, while it may be true that Keynes may be right about economics despite his disgusting sexual mores, it makes even better sense (given that one has already accepted or proven Keynes to be wrong about economics) to explain his theories as "rationalized homosexuality transferred to economics". Thus, Keynes, the consummate intellectual and debauched homo, would of course denigrate savings with the attitude, "in the long run, we are all dead anyway". What else would a physically fruitless sexual being propose? The only flaw I can find in Jones argument is that perhaps, given his own worldview, God might have used unsavory characters to achieve unique insights into reality in order to aid His people and keep them from having to suffer into that particular truth. While I took umbrage at his chapter on Luther, finding it rather trite in the sense that even most modern Catholics admit that Luther had a true spiritual experience, I highly enjoyed this book. It was eyeopening.
I really enjoyed Jones' book, but the last chapter where he rehashes old Counter-Reformation-til-the-turn-of-the-20th-century indictments of Martin Luther as a sex crazed inventor was outdated and contrived.
I also think he could have cut the Freud & Jung chapter down a bit. Other than that he makes a wonderful point about the ability of our minds to rationalize our own behavior to ourselves... and to society at large.
Good job, Dr. Jones. Keep writing books... As a Protestant I would appreciate you not reducing the Reformation to "Luther just wanted to have sex." ...that's a bit simplistic. You should know better.