Why are the "pre-moderns" considered to have been miserable?
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They were considered miserable because they only had one outlet for their sexual urges. Prohibition of free sex was deemed responsible for wicked, miserable people.
"Mother, monogamy, romance. High spurts the fountain; fierce and foamy the
wild jet. The urge has but a single outlet. My love, my baby. No wonder these
poor pre-moderns were mad and wicked and miserable. Their world didn’t allow them to take things easily, didn’t allow them to be sane, virtuous, happy. What with mothers and lovers, what with the prohibitions they were not conditioned
to obey, what with the temptations and the lonely remorses, what with all the diseases and the endless isolating pain, what with the uncertainties and the poverty-they were forced to feel strongly. And feeling strongly (and strongly,
what was more, in solitude, in hopelessly individual isolation), how could they be stable?"
Brave New World