Sins of the Fathers




The ideas of the fathers in the nineteenth century have been visited on the third and fourth generations living in the second half of the twentieth century. 

The men who conceived the idea that ‘morality is bunk’ did so with a mind well-stocked with moral ideas. But the minds of the third and fourth generations are no longer well-stocked with such ideas: they are well-stocked with ideas conceived in the nineteenth century, namely, that ‘morality is bunk’, that everything that appear to be ‘higher’ is really nothing but something quite mean and vulgar. 

To their originators, these ideas were simply the result of their intellectual processes. In the third and fourth generations, they have become the very tools and instruments through which the world is being experienced and interpreted. 

Those that bring forth new ideas are seldom ruled by them. But their ideas obtain power over men’s lives in the third and fourth generations when they have become a part of that great mass of ideas, including language, which seeps into a person’s mind during his ‘Dark Ages’. 

[E.F. Schumacher] 
Small is Beautiful, p. 73, 82




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