More thoughts on war and peace

From Henry Miller, Obscenity and the Law of Reflection:

As civilization progresses it becomes more and more apparent that war is the greatest release which life offers to the ordinary man. Here he can let go to his heart’s content for here crime no longer has any meaning. Guilt is abolished when the whole planet swims in blood. The lulls of peacetime seem only to permit him to sink deeper into the bogs of the sadistic-masochistic complex which has fastened itself into the heart of our civilized life like a cancer. Fear, guilt and murder – these constitute the real triumvirate which rules our lives. What is obscene then? The whole fabric of our life as we know it today. To speak only of what is indecent, foul, lewd, filthy, disgusting, etc., in connection with sex, is to deny ourselves the luxury of the great gamut of revulsion-repulsion which modern life puts at our service. Every department of life is vitiated and corroded with what is so unthinkingly labeled “obscene.” One wonders if perhaps the insane could not invent a more fitting, more inclusive term for the polluting elements of life which we create and shun and never identify with our behavior. We think of the insane as inhabiting a world completely divorced from reality, but our own everyday behavior , whether in war or peace, bears all the ear-marks of insanity. “I have said,” writes a well-known psychologist, “that this is a mad world; that man is most of the time mad; and I believe that in a way, what we call morality is merely a form of madness, which happens to be a working adaptation to existing circumstances.”

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Jesse Helms.

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