Irreconcilable Differences, Part Three
A few more ways that I am at odds with today:
I would rather live in a world with many things to fear than in a world with nothing to fear, because the opposite preference represents the emotional state of a child — and implies the practical conditions of a slave.
It is preferable to live in a society in which people care enough about something that they could be shattered by losing it, than to live in a society in which no one cares enough about anything to feel any lasting pain at its loss.
I would rather know that I have tangibly helped five promising individuals turn toward a better way of life than enjoy the praise and rewards of a hundred thousand fans. One soul equals life; one crowd equals non-life.
I might, in the most unusual circumstances, agree to raise a glass with you. I will never “go drinking” with you. The same may be said with regard to any of the other pleasures wherewith men hide from their reason. I prefer to come by my madness honestly, unassisted by artificial replicators.
I believe there is perfection to be contemplated, and that the contemplation of complete being constitutes the essence of the theoretical life — but that there is no perfection to be instituted, and that the resignation to human imperfection constitutes the essence of the practical life. Progressivism, the tenor of our age, holds exactly the opposite view. This opposition crystallizes the difference between the philosophic life and the activist life, between wisdom and sophistry, between the desire for the good and the lust for power, between spiritual freedom and earthly tyranny.