A Modern Malady

PREFACE TO MORALS. By Walter Lippmann. (Macmillan.)

A Modern Malady has been addressed so often and by men varying so greatly in the mater of temperament and training, but one who has read widely no longer expects anything essentially new on the subject. What one who persist persist in hoping for is fundamental activity in the discussion, and is often one's hope is betrayed; it is the majority of cases those who venture to discuss the predicament in which humanity now finds half are themselves far gone with malady mistaking their own symtoms for signs of ro-[?] intellectual and spiritual growth the malady is in the social atmosphere and relativly few are those who can re-sist a crowd persuasion at its hight

whatever fault might be found Walter Lippmann’s discussion is noted-and it is not likely to satisfy the optimists or the pessimists sanity can scarcely be questioned. Mr. Lippmann begins with what he terms “the distrustion of the ancestral order.” Regading its causes to machine industrilism and the triumph of materialistic science and showing how the modern man has lost the all sustaining sense of meaning and value life. Having lost the power to believe in some cosmic purpose that could “bind together the whole experience” and lend dificulty to his striving he is not therefore less credulous. “He does not believe the words of the gospel he believes the best advertised notion.

He does not feel himself to be an actor with a great and dramatic destiny,but he is subject to the massive powers our civilization, forced to adapt their pace, bound to their routine, entangled in their conflicts.

In the old order of compulsions were often painful but there was sense in the pain was inflicted by the will of all-knowing God. In the new order the compulsions are painful as it were, accidental, unnecessary full of mockery. The modest man does not make his peace with them.

It is not necessary to point out that this growing sense of futility related by Mr. Lippmann to the general confusion of values in our way. The diagnosis is familiar though. What the reader wants to known is what the author offers us to how one may best live, the to world being as it is and not otherwise. Even here Mr. Lippmann has nothing new to offer — and that for the reason that whatever wisdom there is in the world is old. What he has to offer is simply that which the ancient sages taught, that which has been the central idea in all great religions and is taught in scientific terms by modern psychologists. The word resignation sums up our supreme need as Mr. Lippmann sees us. To live “disinterestedly,” taking the world as it comes, schooling ourselves to expect frustration of desire, becoming truly “adult personalities,” as the psychologist would say — this, we are told, is our hope for salvation.

The principle when applied to the ills that are inherent in the fundamental facts of human existence in any age is doubtless [ wis ? ] but when applied to the artificial ills that grow out of a man-made economic system that many of the best thinkers of the world believe to be based upon a fatal fallacy surely then there is something else to say.