An Essay on Morals by Philip Wylie

By Philip Wylie

A daring and provocative indictment of our sleek international. "...this e-book will most likely offend as many various sorts of humans and as many issues of view as any oather e-book in print." - the recent Yorker

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By Philip Wylie

A daring and provocative indictment of our sleek international. "...this e-book will most likely offend as many various sorts of humans and as many issues of view as any oather e-book in print." - the recent Yorker

Show description

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The cobbler can be king in this fashion. To him that has this trifle of primordial candor, shall be given the infinite world of time and space, but to him that has it not, everything he has, though it be the world, shall be taken away, and he will decline like old millionaires, toothless, nursing, handing out the largess of St. Simeon or the ten-cent piece of Rockefeller, a peevish nothing, afraid to die, for that he had not conscience. The rich man, as Jesus said, has already inflated his ego to its outmost possibilities by the purchase of heaven on earth and there is nothing extra between the stars that can be added: Croesus' marble Nirvana and the golden halls of Midas were the entire competences of their egos and the cost of it was Eternity.

One single mistake about time has birthed the metaphysics of every civilization! We are unaccustomed, today, to the acknowledgement of such long and grievous errors. Only a few scientists have achieved the insight, the humility, for such great procedures. But we were never much accustomed to a high moral estate after we had made our first misjudgment in the mind. We thought, for instance, that the earth was flat, for some hundreds of thousands of years. The different truth was ill received and the old ignorance died so hard that it is not dead yet.

It is the individual of whom the mass is composed, and if he is of poor character, the group will have that quality. It cannot be improved at the top of the species, as communists and tories alike maintain and churchmen, too, in effect, any more than a swarm of bees or a school of fish can be improved in their natures by the arbitrary interference of a few bees or fish, however novel their behavior. However altruistic or idealist. The individual represents the whole. To be changed, he must change himself.

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