The Good Life that Turns Out to be Not So Good
Almost everywhere it is assumed that people are seeking truth, that society is literally swarming with dedicated truth seekers. The fact is that men have never in any numbers sought after truth. If we may judge peoples interests by their deeds, then of the young men and women who stream forth from our halls of learning each year the vast majority have no more than a passing and academic interest in truth. They go to college not to satisfy a yearning to discover truth, but to improve their social standing and increase their earning power. These motives are not necessarily to be despised; but they should be known for what they are, and not hidden beneath a pink cloud of specious idealism. What are people actually seeking? Of course they seek satisfaction for the basic urges such as hunger, sex and social companionship; but beyond these what? Certainly for nothing as high and noble as truth. Ask the average American what he wants from life and if he is candid he will tell you he wants success in his chosen field; and he wants success both for the prestige it brings him and for the financial security it affords. And why does he want financial security? To guarantee him against the loss of comforts, luxuries and pleasures, which he believes are rightfully his as a part of his American heritage. The ominous thing about all this is that everything he wants can be bought with money. It would be hard to think of an indictment more terrible than that.