These women were held in the highest esteem by Kierkegaard for their devotion and patience, but the last thing he was thinking about was that they might deserve rooms of their own - pace Virginia Woolf - or political emancipation. It wasn’t that he saw no point at all in trying to cure social inequalities between men and women, or to ameliorate the living conditions of the poor - that would just have been mean-minded - but he saw that the democratic movements of his time were already trading on resentment and relativism, and that soon enough people would be taken to be good or kindly only if they espoused the correct political views. He saw that it was relatively easy to stress the equality of the lowliest - if not to act on it - and that the truest test of neighbourly love might sometimes be to show an immediate sense of the equality of the highest.He issued a memorable set of early warnings against the redefinition of human sympathy in doctrinal terms.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
... A Severed Wasp: Orwell - Woolf - Kierkegaard > David Wemyss.