Roger L. Simon

Ibsen as the father of Abbie Hoffman

On the recommendation of our Rick Ballard, I just read an essay on Ibsen by Theodore Dalrymple. With his customary brilliance, the British psychiatrist demonstrates how the Norwegian playwright was one of the key progenitors of post-modern cultural relativism.

The modernity of Ibsen’s thought hardly needs further emphasis. The elevation of emotion over principle, of inclination over duty, of rights over responsibilities, of ego over the claims of others; the impatience with boundaries and the promotion of the self as the measure of all things: what could be more modern or gratifying to our current sensibility?

What indeed? Read it all.