Emilian Cioran (1911- ..)

Reading The Trouble Being Cioran my soul dissolves into the gut recognition of a European intellectual looking into the eyes of another, and my heart sinks to my shoes, realizing I am standing into the mud of American populism. The challenge to civic norms is perhaps shared by all societies in which individuals seek to redefine themselves along a more personal identity, and certainly this individualism or social individuation, the quest for freedom by the individual is a common demeanor present in different forms in American and European societies. American culture is dominated by popular expression. It is a path that West European culture has been traversing too without a point of return now. But the advances of American culture cause the challenge to civic society to pop up in perversions. These perversions are too disguised to be easily recognized as such, but they are therefore stronger and more forceful than the European sublimation of civic unrest. The rationalization of the Egos resistance is less forceful, but more convincing to the intellect. The essence of this rebellion is very similar in both American and European cultures, but the psychological subtleties differ greatly in the psychological effect an thus in form. The appeal of the European intellectual to this American repression and popular perversion is interesting, cause it shows that in the end it is more forceful than the sublimation.
Then what are those civic norms to be replaced by? Maybe the outcome of this counter culture is not to replace the established culture in total. It could be the task of critical voices to struggle free of civic norms and create new ones, not because they will be adopted but as cultural mutations that play a role in the evolution and struggle of the fittest in cultural survival.

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