Age of Anger - Loving Oneself Through Others: Progress and Its Contradictions Summary & Analysis

Pankaj Mishra
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Summary

The third chapter of Age of Anger compares and contrasts two intellectual thinkers of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment: Voltaire and Rousseau. Firstly, the author introduces the era, which had begun to turn away from “life ideals dating back to the Middle Ages” (89). Trade and consumerism were promoted on a grand scale and luxury was deemed a legitimate goal. All classes, including the lower ones, would henceforth seek to increase their wealth for the sole purpose of having more wealth. Montaigne and Adam Smith argued that the pursuit of individual economic interests would benefit the public, and that this same pursuit would become a “constructive moral and social force” (92).

Voltaire was born a commoner but felt the mismatch between his own talents and his ability to climb the social ladder of the old era, thus he hailed the beginning...

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This section contains 1,322 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Age of Anger Study Guide
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