In the Greek Heroic Age there was a shared set of values, based, one, upon war as the most noble of activities; and two, of honor and courage as the sublime values of the warrior – that a warrior was brave in battle but magnanimous, generous, giving great gifts and expecting nothing in return. Being brave, honest, keeping your word – these are the values of the Heroic Age.
In the American Modern Age there is a shared set of values, based, one, upon consuming vast amounts of shoddily-made goods; and two, of ignorance and cowardice as the vulgar values of the consumer – that a consumer is happiest and infused with endorphins at the promise of acquiring goods, and unwilling or unable to comprehend the consequences of his or her enslavement to mediocrity and vulgarity. Consuming, demanding rights to consume equally, being unaccountable and disconnected – these are the values of the Modern Age.
Thanks to J. Rufus Fears and his lectures on Life Lessons from the Great Myths. Although he doesn’t mention Pathos of Distance, every word he utters attests to its fact. How we got from the Greek Heroic Age to the American Modern Age can be summed in one concept: the slave revolt in morals.