Is bourgeois society the decline of civilization?


Hermann Hesse in his book "The Steppenwolf" (Der Steppenwolf, 1927), captures the feeling of anguish, hopelessness and bewilderment that gripped European society in the inter-war period and is a lucid analysis of the madness of a time in which the old is dying without the new being born. In this work, he scathingly criticizes bourgeois society ("the decline of civilization"), an invisible dictatorship that annuls the ideals of the primordial individual and transforms him into an uncritical, fearful and conformist being who, sedated by the compulsive consumerism of material goods, becomes larger. inescapably the ranks of a homogeneous, uniform and easily manipulated society. Thus, Hesse defines the bourgeois as “a person who always tries to place himself in the center, between the extremes, in a warm and pleasant zone, without violent storms or storms. Consequently, he is by nature a creature of weak vital impulse, fearful, fearing self-surrender, easy to rule. That is why he has substituted power for the majority regime, force for law and responsibility for the voting system. It is evident that this weak and fearful being, even though it exists in such a considerable quantity, cannot stand alone and, depending on its qualities, it could not play any other role in the world than that of a herd of lambs among wandering wolves… ”.

These reflections are still valid almost a century later, since the entry into recession of the European economies has implemented the stigma of uncertainty and disbelief in a society immersed in the culture of the Welfare State of the Western world, subsequently resulting in a traumatic shock when verifying the vertiginous transition from levels of well-being to the harsh reality of job loss and subsequent eviction, immersion in poverty thresholds and exclusive dependence on social subsidies, for which a process of catharsis and subsequent collective metanoia seems inevitable.The term Metanoia (from the Greek metanoien), would be "a rhetorical statement used to retract any statement made and correct it to focus it in the appropriate way in a new context", which translated to the current socio-economic situation, would translate as " transform the mind to adopt a new way of thinking, with new ideas, new knowledge and an entirely new attitude in the face of the irruption of the new socio-economic scenario ”.

This will imply the double connotation of physical movement (retracing the path traveled) and psychological (change of mentality after discarding the old economic stereotypes in force in the last decade) and that will have as beneficial effects the liberation of the indomitable part of the original individual (the wolf steppe) who has remained crouched in a corner of the heart, sedated and oppressed by the tyranny of consumerist manipulation of today's Western bourgeois society. Consequently, we will witness the appearance of a new individual reaffirmed in a solid critical conscience and supported by values that have fallen into disuse such as solidarity and collective outrage at the prevailing corruption and injustice and that under the slogan "forbidden to prohibit" will generate a popular tsunami denouncing the democratic, social and values deficit of the current ruling elite. Likewise, it will establish the constructive chaos that will end up diluting the opioid inhibitor of critical consciousness (compulsive consumerism) and provoke the necessary metanoia from which a new individual (Multidimensional Individual) will be born, willing to break the rules and laws imposed by the dominant establishment.