A fairly serious essay by Prof. Bertonneau at Brussels titled A Lesson for Our Time in Three Late-Antique Narratives: Satyricon, The Golden Ass, and Confessions. One quote from this literary jeremiad:
Everyone has vices. Most people manage to overcome the worst of their viciousness. It therefore requires a mighty labor not to see the so-called explanations of vice as mere excuses – indeed, as lame excuses – for irredentism and indulgence. The claim of personal helplessness is the creed of people who like their vices and who will on no account reform themselves. These non-explanations nevertheless have wide currency, but so also do the indifferent notion that the self is a “logocentric” illusion and the relativistic opinion that to flout a stricture is morally equal to observing it. The political religions of the Twentieth Century all relied on – and indeed mandated – these views as part of the ‘correct” view of existence. Socialism generically predicates its own inevitability and it then necessarily also predicates the emptiness of individual determination or action. Radical restructuring of society comes upon us inevitably, the vanguard always argues; and restructuring is justified because there are whole classes of victims whose misery is supposedly not of their own making, but has impinged on them from an outside beyond the control of the afflicted. In its less acute form of the multicultural welfare state, socialism insists that victim-groups not only cannot help themselves but that they cannot actually be reformed and that it is the duty of everyone else, first, to refrain from any condemnation of counterproductive behaviors and, then, to subsidize the pathological consequences of those behaviors.
Read the whole thing. It's a good reminder about those three classic texts, too, which we all read before we had the age on us to really appreciate what the authors were talking about.
Non-technical education is wasted on the young, because they are too interested in questions about themselves than in the big questions. These books were not written for adolescents.