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SOC203 18 March 2013 Readings Durkheim- Anomic Suicide Every disturbance of equilibrium, even though it achieves greater comfort and a heightening of general vitality, is an impulse to voluntary death. - If industrial or financial crises increase suicides, it is because they are crises not because they cause poverty. No living being can be happy or even exist unless his needs are sufficiently proportioned to his means. If his needs require more than can be granted, or even merely something of a different sort, they will be under continual friction and can only function painfully. Quantity of material supplies necessary to the physical maintenance of a human. - Beyond the indispensable minimum which satisfies nature when instinctive, a more awakened reflection suggests better conditions, seemingly desirable ends craving fulfillment. Such appetites, however, admittedly sooner or later reach a limit which they cannot pass. - Nothing appears in man’s organic nor in his psychological constitution which sets a limit to such tendencies. Our capacity for feeling is in itself an insatiable and bottomless abyss. - If nothing external can restrain this capacity, it can only be a source of torment to itself. Unlimited desires are insatiable by definition and insatiability is rightly considered a sign of morbidity. Inextinguishable thirst is constantly renewed torture. One does not advance when one walks toward no goal. - To pursue a goal which is by definition unattainable is to condemn oneself to a state of perpetual unhappiness. - Thus, the more one has, the more one wants, since satisfactions received only stimulate instead of filling needs. To achieve any other result, the passions first must be limited. Only then can they be harmonized with the faculties and satisfied. But since the individual has no way of limiting them, this must be done by some force exterior to him. A regulative force must play the same role for moral needs which the organism plays for physical needs. Men would never consent to restrict their desires if they felt justified in passing the assigned limit. - They cannot assign themselves this law of justice. So they must receive it from an authority of which they accept. At every moment in history there is a dim perception, in the moral consciousness of societies, of the respective value of social services, the relative reward due to each, and the consequent degree of comfort appropriate on average to workers in each occupation. There is a certain coefficient of well-being assigned to each, according to its place in the hierarchy. - A certain way of living is considered the upper limit to which a workman may aspire in his efforts to improve his existence. A genuine regi
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