Misanthrope in Modernity

Hello. I welcome any thoughts.

Can a Catholic individual consider themselves misanthropic towards society? I am still somewhat young and I have become more involved with my faith (possibly discerning a Vocation). Yet, the more I read about modernity (i.e. news, variety of sources) I just feel disconnected and believe that modern society and government is a total failure. And as I read more and more texts from antiquity and the medieval period, I just have this desire to live in times where people valued deep thought, intellectual discourse, and devotion to God. I mean, how do you approach this? I just dislike society, and I feel more and more disconnected by the day. Do you think this is a view among many Catholics? I am a highly conservative individual, probably near ultra-right albeit I am not a perfect person in any respect (and that does not mean that I am only devoted to one political party). I am also very pessimistic and I am not the happiest guy in the world. People frown upon such individuals in society, although I know that I usually have some impact upon others after discussing my philosophy on life.

I mean maybe I am wrong to hate modernity. But after seeing what happened with the global financial crisis, the insanity and lies of politics on both ends, and corporate media I am amazed that so few are waking up to this. And I am not talking about those like the tea party who are focused so much on lack of government and the right to capitalism. Who cares about capitalism. Should Catholics even support Capitalism? I am no marxist or socialist, but I doubt that pure capitalism holds any truth. I mean Jesus instructed the Rich Man to sell all his possessions and serve the poor; is that Capitalism? I guess I am against the Ayn Rand types. But then again there is also a Theocracy. That would be ideal.

And I know that I should not “hate” modernity. I think it is less than hate, just an intellectual view which dislikes modernity. I don’t want to judge either, for obvious reasons.

My fear is that misanthropy is just another mini consensus among those in modernity. There is the consensus of modernity, i.e. nonreligious liberal new age types. Then there might also be individuals similar to myself, simply sick of the lack of social justice in the world today. But in the end I believe, God is the ultimate judge of justice; so I take great solace in that fact and in my beliefs as a Catholic. I have no issues with my faith, it is just a pure issue with modernity and what is has tried to teach me through pure conformity of the media.

Often I think of Soren Kierkegaard, the Protestant Christian Existentialist. He is quite related, and I am sure he felt similar about society after reading some of his works.

Thanks. Any comments would be appreciated.

I am curious about what you perceive to be the lack of “social justice” in the world. Since you are a self-proclaimed “ultra-rightist”, I suppose you are not going to mention how third world countries are unfairly treated under neoliberal globalization or the Washington Consensus. Perhaps, you might mention the lack of national sovereignty resulting in free movement of capital and to a lesser extent labor, which makes it difficult for nations to preserve their culture.

I am not much of a scholar about history and politics, but I would like to say this in response:

The Lord allows us to be born in a particular time and place. He also gives us certain gifts and is faithful in increasing those gifts in us when we desire them for His glory.

So, rejoice and be glad that the Lord has placed you in this time. This is the best time for you, or He would not have placed you here. It is all for His glory, and for the good of your salvation!



Had you been born into any other time, you would not have been “you.” The “you” now breathing is a product of parental genes AND life circumstances during the formational years. Even with the same genes, born into any other period, the vastly different life profile would have led to someone physically and mentally distinct from “you.”

So longing for any earlier time period is not only fruitless but meaningless. It would not have been “you” experiencing it.

Modernity isn’t all bad; modern technology makes intellectual pursuits available to many, who in earlier times would have been slaves, or serfs, or physical laborers, or simply early dead. Because of this, there are probably more intellectuals alive now than there were in more philosophical times, although not as a percentage of the general society.

So be at peace amigo and keep using that head!!!


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.