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On The Effects Of Breaking Taboos


[Leer en español] So many of us have asked ourselves, "What is going on in our society? Why are seeing this palpable moral decay?" Others insist that we have lost our values entirely and that society is not evolving but devolving.

Of course for every opinion about doom there is another that glibly rejects those worries.

In this case resistance comes from those who preach "situational ethics" as a prime directive for life. Its premise, which is "If it feels good, do it," has in fact taken hold in the halls of power and among decision makers.

The once-youthful Baby Boomers are the main culprits - those that came of age in the latter half of the sixties and lived through the sexual revolution's explosion and rage. Young hippies at that time, they took the reigns of power in business and politics in the 80s and 90s, and they began making decisions according to their ethics. Their system of ethics was nothing more than a euphemism for modern hedonism.

It's the generation that cried: "It's prohibited to prohibit!" "Let's break all taboos!" All ideas that people like Pedro Ferriz de Con and intellectuals like Gabriel Garcia Marquez have elevated to a quasi-religious notion that "Any young person that doesn't rebel isn't actually young." 

Well, we have now broken the taboos, and we have now rebelled against everything. We did prohibit The Man from prohibiting us.

I write this in first person plural because I was part of that generation of "rebels." I know very well what took place. I lived it. No one had to tell me, and I didn't have to read about it after the fact.

I need only recall my traverse through the 1960s in order to understand what the distinguished psychiatrist Otto Dörr has just presented in his report on Chilean youth, and by extension, all youth.

"Chilean young people are ill," Dörr declares.

The reason? Dörr blames a society without limits, defined by hedonistic conceptions of life, where only the entertaining and pleasurable is good, and anything that does not entertain or give pleasure is bad.

Dörr's conclusions are perfectly applicable to my generation and probably every other. The causes just like the effects are always the same. They present themselves cyclically and they have ruined older civilizations than ours.

Never in human history has a civilization recovered once hedonism, violence and destruction of taboos come to dominate in society. Our modern society is not outfitted with anything that would make us an exception.

The psychiatrist and neurologist Otto Dörr says our youth are part of a sickened generation. This addiction to the pleasurable and aversion to all else has consequences. 

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