An Aesthetic Education

The specialisation and consequently the fragmentation of human nature derive from the capitalistic limitations of the modern day education. Instead of developing as a whole well-rounded individual we each have to give one-sided emphasis to a particular aspect of our being in order to get on in the world.

This is damaging when it comes to love, for love requires the integration of all our powers, we must be sensual, but also understanding; must be relaxed with our beloved but also be able to exercise a degree of self-control; we must mix spontaneity with foresight; passionate, devouring sexual desire has to be tempered with respect.

It is precisely this balance that is lost in specialisation and fragmentation of human nature when an individual is subject to an education which is confined within the framework of capitalism.

At the centre of marx’s critique of capitalism is the notion that under a capitalistic economic structure human nature becomes deformed, or ‘alienated’ from itself.

Economic relations don’t just impinge upon what we can do – as social relationships impinge, they do something more powerful and strange: economic relationships may actually limit what a human being can become.

What is wrong with capitalism is not so much that it fosters an unjust distribution of wealth but rather that it damages personalities of all those who live within it, cutting each individual off from their true nature, giving rise to internal – as well as external – obstacles to love. If we devote most of our time, and our best energies to making a living, and if in doing so we have to become highly competitive and more often than not ruthless we don’t have much left over of ourselves to love.

This is tragic when we can no longer believe a better economic system is viable.

Love, which stands as the natural goal of living, is massively subordinated to the pursuit of the means of living

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