Hedonism has become the basic philosophy for much of the world, not only Western civilization as many would suppose, but also else where such as China and Russia. Hedonism is the belief that the good of life is the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain, and this they construct their life by.
People have become obsessed by pleasure. It is everywhere in our mainstream culture, yet most people cannot recognize it, because they have no clue that life could have other ends. Let’s turn our attention at hip hop music. The basic ideas common to all hip hop artists are the need and desire to accumulate riches, fame, and power, and the degenerate idea that you need to own a lot of costly consumer items, such as gold chains and very big televisions.
Hip hop represents everything that is wrong with our modern culture. But it is present everywhere else as well. We have become consumers instead of citizens. So we work jobs mainly because they give us social status, and second because then we can buy more stuff. And the more luxurious items you own, the more your popularity will rise, and this will apparently increase your enjoyment of life, if we are to believe the official narrative.
Hedonism has always been the unconscious philosophy for a great part of humanity. This is because it is easy to be fooled by its simple idea. We work, and then we want to enjoy the fruits of our work, and that will make us happy. So modern society never discusses the hard parts of ethics, those parts that takes strength of character, but only how we are to become happy and satisfied.
Yet there are other ways to exist than for the sake of pleasure. We could exist instead for the sake of virtue. Combined with a study of philosophy, this will allow us to face life in a genuine and responsive way. In other words, our actions could become beneficial to ourselves and others, if only we could use our heart and reason together.
One way to start on this path, is to differ between necessary and unnecessary pleasure, because not all pleasures are bad. Pleasure is not bad in itself, but it must be a side-effect of a greater goal, and not a goal in itself. When by the wisdom achieved by the study of philosophy allows us to set things straight in our society, we are bound to experience pleasure. And pleasure in this sense is beneficial.
Necessary pleasures are those without which we could not function. Drinking and eating are two examples of this. We should drink and eat to maintain our health and wellbeing, but, aside from a few occasions once in a while, we do not need to eat luxurious food or drink wine that costs a thousand dollars a bottle.
We need to become concerned about the way we behave and carry ourselves, more than what our basic instincts tells us is right and good, or what is assumed by most people nowadays. Yes, man is by nature an animal and a brute, but he can arise by his use of reason and become something superior.
Modern society suggests that it is good to be reckless and licentious and greedy, and thereby they are simultaneously digging their own graves. But you could rise above it, and thus make the world better.