2015-01-22 00:23:30 UTC
The worst outcome on this matter is found of course in the Iliad, in which the lovers end up dead or insane while a city gets destroyed. In this case, both love and civilization get destroyed. As we shall see, this is completely unnecessary, and better solutions can and should be found.
In English and American literature we find different solutions to this matter. In Romeo and Juliet, the lovers are sacrificed so that the families see the pointlessness of their feud and come together to work on creating a civilization. The play is a metaphor for transformation of Europe from feudalism to civilization. The tragic fate of Romeo and Juliet wakes up the clans and alerts them of how wrong they have been to go on as they had gone on for previous centuries. Love becomes the light that awakens people to the wrongness of their actions and inspires them to create a better social arrangement than had existed before.
Another direction is taken in Huckleberry Finn, where the lovers swim the river to start a life together while the clans kill each other off. In this solution, love becomes a seed of new life, while the old feudalist arrangement destroys itself. The lovers get away from a feudal order and become pioneers, creating life where life did not exist before.
Both of these are semi-solutions. In the first case, the social arrangement improves, but the lovers die. In the second case, life - and love - endures, but the clans die. I believe that there should be a full arrangement, and that is:
For love to endure and lovers to stay with each other - while the clans live together peacefully and work on creating an arrangement in which both love and civilization exist, and people have the benefits of both.
Really, I do not see why there should be a hostile relationship between love and civilization at all. It is just as possible to love someone who is a part of the civilization as it is to love someone who is not a part of the civilization, and it is just as possible for someone within the civilization to love another person as it is for someone without the civilization. I am in favor of complete solutions in which people get the benefits of dualities rather than either see these dualities being hostile to one another. And that means: Take what's right about rationalism, take what's right about romanticism, and combine them into an arrangement that makes the most of both worlds.
How do we do that? By figuring out, once again, what's right in each ideology. Rationalism is right to support science and business, wrong to condemn feeling or romance or emotional openness. Romanticism is right to support love, beauty and naturality, wrong to militate against science or business. Rather than going with either semi-solution, it should be possible to create a complete solution. And in this case this means: Both love and civilization.
Both ideologies are a reflection of underlying interests and mentalities. As with all non-valued dualities - all things, that is, of reality - there is zero correlation with moral judgment; which means that we will see the good, the bad and the neutral in both rationality and feeling, and pursuant to that in both rationalism and romanticism. This means that the two need to be seen for what they are and to maximize positive manifestations and minimizing the negative ones. Civilization, with its work of science and business, should be allowed to continue; and love should likewise be allowed so that people can have the fullest experience of one another and of life.
Nobody wants to see young lovers kill themselves, and nobody wants to see clans killing off one another. Both situations are completely unnecessary. We should be better than that. And that means, support both love and civilization and allow people to make the most of both worlds.