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Degenerate Moderns: Modernity as Rationalized Sexual Misbehavior Paperback – April 1, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 259 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press (April 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898704472
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898704471
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #917,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Gerard Reed on March 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
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!
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
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."
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By JC Canevari on August 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
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.
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28 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
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!
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24 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Albion on June 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
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.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 6, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
E. Michael Jones is erudite, expresses himself elegantly, and makes a powerful case for "Modernity as Rationalized Sexual Misbehavior". Can modernity be boiled down to this, and only this, however? I think not (which is not to imply that modernity possesses any saving graces; my contempt for this calamitous creed is at least as great as Mr. Jones'). The author's idee fixe is most explicit in his unpersuasive chapter on Picasso. According to Mr. Jones [pp.142-143], "Picasso's mutilations of the female body bespeak the modern version of human sacrifice; they presage simultaneously in a visual way the concentration camp, the abortion clinic, and the pornographic film, and may well have helped pave the way for all three." Mr. Jones' contention that there is a direct cause-and-effect nexus between Picasso's more savage depictions (and rejections) of the human and, say, abortion clinics is manifest monomania.
The bottom line? Mr. Jones is right; just not as right as he thinks he is.
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