Tagged: independence

The Rise and Fall of Jordan Peterson

Jordan Peterson, Canadian professor of clinical psychology cum politically incorrect lightening rod cum global celebrity self-help guru, has, unfortunately, fallen prey to the demons of fame, self-importance, and the sense of irrational urgency — “it has to be me, it has to be now” — that attends the sudden explosion of unexpected praise and mass admiration in the life of a thoughtful but...

On Not Preaching to the Reverted

I have nothing to say today about Roger Stone’s sentencing, or Donald Trump’s almost certain eventual presidential pardon of Stone, which he will issue for no reason other than because Stone is a Trump “strategist” (aka sycophant). Nor do I have any conjectures to make about Trump’s rehiring of a very young “loyalist” (aka bootlicking groupie) as head of the presidential personnel office,...

Standing Apart

You are not better merely for standing apart — many who stand apart are only fools or fugitives. But neither can you become better until you stand apart. Those in the crowd hate the one who stands apart, because they lack the courage to risk becoming better themselves, and failing — and because they fear being left behind. Nothing angers the crowd more,...

Nietzsche on Party Politics

Apart. — Parliamentarianism — that is, public permission to choose between five basic political opinions — flatters and wins the favor of all those who would like to seem independent and individual, as if they fought for their opinions. Ultimately, however, it is indifferent whether the herd is commanded to have one opinion or permitted to have five. Whoever deviates from the five...

Ultrahydrophobicity

The Lotus Effect Living in a pond,Survival depends on one’s —Water repellence. The trick to living as a lotus leaf is to be on (or when possible slightly above) the water’s surface, and yet to remain forever dry. Even when it rains, or when the pond level rises and threatens to engulf the plant, the leaf remains resistant to harm; and of course...

Two Kinds of Freedom

They do not know you. They cannot understand. But neither do they ignore you as you wish they would. “Why don’t you live as we do?” they ask, half-perplexedly, half-critically.  You have two choices here: Drop your head, lower your voice, and reply meekly, “I don’t know”; or look them in the eye and say, “I don’t want to live your way.” “Aren’t...

Thinking of Yourself

Applause.— In applause there is always a kind of noise–even when we applaud ourselves.                                   — Nietzsche, The Gay Science (Kaufmann translation), §201. Had Nietzsche been a little older when he wrote those words, he might have said “especially when we applaud ourselves.” Applause is always partly noise,...

Thoughts on Walking in a Storm

Kathy Zhu, a University of Michigan student who was recently crowned Miss World America, has been stripped of her title because she supports Donald Trump, she commented online about the rates of black-on-black gun violence, and — perhaps most serious of all given her home state — she refused to put on a hijab at a Muslim information booth’s “try on a hijab”...

On Not Being Like Them

They will not understand you. Can you live with being misunderstood?  They will find you disappointing, frustrating, and an unnecessary burden. Can you live with being a disappointment? They will hate much of what you do, typically the very things you regard as most definitive of you. Can you accept being hated, and hated not for your accidents, but for your essence? Do...

Fear of Independence

“What if everyone joined the crowd except me? What if everyone were smiling, growling, hissing, chanting, cheering, and singing, but I were not included? What if, having grown tired or frightened of being left out — or rather, of the strain of standing apart — I should discover that they would no longer accept me at all? That I had missed my chance...