Monday, April 02, 2012

A Paragraph to Ponder.

It’s a fact, I mused to myself, that in societies like ours sex truly represents a second system of differentiation, completely independent of money; and as a system of differentiation it functions just as mercilessly…. Just like unrestrained economic liberalism, and for similar reasons, sexual liberalism produces phenomena of absolute pauperization. Some men make love every day; others five or six times in their life, or never. Some make love with dozens of women; others with none. It’s what’s known as “the law of the market”.… In a totally liberal economic system certain people accumulate considerable fortunes; others stagnate in unemployment and misery. In a totally liberal sexual system certain people have a varied and exciting erotic life; others are reduced to masturbation and solitude. Economic liberalism is an extension of the domain of the struggle, its extension to all ages and all classes of society. Sexual liberalism is likewise an extension of the domain of the struggle, its extension to all ages and all classes of society.… Businesses fight over certain young professionals; women fight over certain young men; men fight over certain young women; the trouble and strife are considerable.

(Michel Houellebecq)

It could have come straight from Roissy.

I found it in this very good review by Benjamin Kerstein of Houellebecq's book, The Possiblility of an Island.
This visceral equation-sexuality as a system of social hierarchy-is more than a satirical revision of the war between the sexes. It is, rather, the key to Houellebecq’s own absolutism of despair. It is a dagger thrust into the heart of the ’68 generation, striking at their greatest source of pride: The liberation of the individual from social constraints on sexuality. Far from an erotic paradise, Houellebecq’s sexual revolution has created not only a world of the walking wounded, but a world in which the most intimate of human relationships has become an arena of Hobbesian brutality. It has created a life which is no longer worth living.