Mar 7, 2011

The bourgeois mentality

"One should love his neighbor as himself," say the bourgeois, and by this they mean the well-brought-up children and now useful members of the state — those who have great susceptibility to every transient emotional flu — for one thing they mean that when someone is asked for a pair of scissors, even though he is some distance away, he will say "Righto!" and get up "with great pleasure" in order to fetch them, and for another that one will remember to pay the proper visits of condolence. But they have never felt what it means to have the whole world give them the cold shoulder, for the whole pack of social herring in which they live naturally does not permit such a relationship to occur; and then when serious help is needed, good common sense tells them that anyone who is in great need of them and in all probability will never be in a position to help them in return — he is not their neighbor.

— Kierkegaard, 1837

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