— Eric Hobsbawm, livro The Age of Extremes
Fonte: The Age of Extremes (1992), Chapter Eleven, Cultural Revolution, p.338-339
Contexto: The old moral vocabulary of rights and duties, mutual obligations, sin and virtue, sacrifice, conscience, rewards, and penalties, could no longer be translated into the new language of desired gratification. Once such practices and institutions were no longer accepted as part of a way of ordering society that linked people to each other and ensured social cooperation and reproduction, most of their capacity to structure human social life vanished. They were reduced simply expressions of individuals' preferences, and claims that the law should recognize the supremacy of these preferences. Uncertainty and unpredictability impended. Compass needles no longer had a North, maps became useless.