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Pride Culture Leaves NO PLACE for REAL LOVE

Michel Houellebecq's reflections on love and human life are a partial remedy in our corrupt age.

Michel Houellebecq, the great French novelist, is one of our treasures. His novels depict the problems with the sexual revolution. Sex no longer points people to love and long term attachments like marriage. Children no longer orient people toward the future and connect them to eternity. His diagnostic powers are unbelievable.

The events of the past week call to mind Houellebecq's Whatever, a book depicting two loser computer programmers who go on the road to do work and look for some girly action at night.

The book especially calls to mind a passage about Véronique, a female in the book. She subordinated everything to her ambition. She is no longer capable of love. Houellebecq's big point? The Pride mentality is inconsistent with love and enduring relations.


From the amorous point of view Véronique belonged, as we all do, to a sacrificed generation. She had certainly been capable of love; she wished to still be capable it, I'll say that for her; but it was no longer possible. A scarce, artificial and belated phenomenon, love can only blossom under certain mental conditions, rarely conjoined, and totally opposed to the freedom of morals which characterizes the modern era. Véronique had known too many discothèques, too many lovers; such a way of life impoverishes a human being, inflicting sometimes serious and always irreversible damage.

Love as a kind of innocence and as a capacity for illusion, as an aptitude for epitomizing the whole of the other sex in a single loved being rarely resists a year of sexual immorality, and never two. In reality the successive sexual experiences accumulated during adolescence undermine and rapidly destroy all possibility of projection of an emotional and romantic sort; progressively, and in fact extremely quickly, one becomes as capable of love as an old slag. And so one leads, obviously, a slag's life; in aging one becomes less seductive, and on that account bitter. One is jealous of the younger, and so one hates them. Condemned to remain unavowable, this hatred festers and becomes increasingly fervent; then it dies down and fades away, just as everything fades away. All that remains is resentment and disgust, sickness and the anticipation of death.


Truly beautiful and full of profundity. We here at Action Idaho object to a single line, namely that of love “as a capacity for illusion.” This one phrase, while not entirely undoing the overall impression, drastically limits the power of this paragraph to change culture, especially by means of changing the hearts of the intelligent and the elite.

Who among those who value the mind and its powers would wish for illusion? Perhaps a fair number. But who among that group within the group would be dumb enough to think they could trick themselves into actually embracing the illusion (even if that were, in point of fact, possible)? Far fewer. And in either case, it would send people into a false despair.

The character required for love sheds the illusions of this world in favor of the intelligible truths beyond the flesh. Calling love an illusion, as Houellebecq does, leads us back to the delusions of the sexual liberation, or at least it will lead many back to it.

He is so close, but like the negative of a photo, missing an all-important element that makes the picture real.

Love has to be real and beyond the world for this order to make the most sense.