You Sir, are my new hero! Amazing thread of work, thank you.

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The idea about mass-communication starting moral progress is interesting.

Historically though, the first group of people with moral norms similar to modern ones seems to have been the Pennsylvanian Quakers in the 17th/18th century. They started the abolitionist movement, were unusually not-sexist for the time, had surprisingly progressive attitudes towards childrearing etc.

I don't think Pennsylvania in the 1700s would have been especially cosmopolitan or interconnected, most of the frontier was just rural homesteads. The most morally fanatical Quaker, Benjamin Lay, was a vegetarian who isolated himself from mainstream society because of its complicity in slavery and lived in a cave.

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Jun 7, 2023Liked by David Pinsof

ThanksDavid, enjoying this. if you want a book that can spark a lot of future material for you, read The Listening Society by Hanzi Freinacht , and if you like it, his 2nd book - Nordic Ideology. it would be very interested to hear your thoughts on how the morality argument especially is taken further there and on the concept of the 'liberal innocent' and 'game acceptance' and the new ideas of metamodernism.

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Your article is hypocritically moralistic. You are implying throughout that we as Human Being ought to not be violent, intolerant, tribal, close-mined, self-righteous, etc. If morality is bullshit then there's nothing objectively "evil" about violence, rape, bigotry, narcissism, misery, hatred, child abuse, dominating others, etc and there's no particular way Humans "ought" to live at all.

"The features of our society that make us anomic and angsty—the endless superficial relationships, the lack of fierce loyalty, the feeling that we’re constantly being watched and judged—might be the very same features that keep us from killing each other."

None of those things are unique to the Modern World and have nothing to do with why the Post-WW2 world is less violent.

"Existential malaise—the feeling that everything is bullshit—might be the price of peace. I think it’s a price worth paying. In fact, I think it’s nice. "

You'd have to be a soulless shallow nihilist to actually think this. People who value peace and comfort above all else (like Utilitarians) almost always tend to be, they are the "Last Man" that Nietzsche warned about.

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"Morality emerged not as a force for good, but as a tool for social competition and domination."

why not both?

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Looks like Starbucks changed (upgraded?) their mission statement: "In everything we do, we are always dedicated to Our Mission: With every cup, with every conversation, with every community - we nurture the limitless possibilities of human connection."

Damn! That's a lot to expect from a cup.

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