Tagged: independence

On Speech and Crowds

Twittering into tyranny.– The thrill of pith has been universalized, thereby infinitely diminishing the value, not to mention the standard, of pithiness. Today, men may become leaders of nations, or the favorites of millions, merely by saying “I hate them,” or “I love you,” at an opportune moment — particularly by saying it loudly, witlessly, and condescendingly. In such a universe, the man...

What Would A Man Do?

So inured have we become to our upside-down world, in which unfettered greed is the only moral law, and lust for material power and popular admiration the only understandable motives, that it has seemingly become difficult for many people even to recognize, let alone to appreciate the value of, actual manhood. Here, then, is a primer in how a man would think, if...

On the Desire for Recognition

A student recently sent me a short e-mail consisting almost entirely of this thought: “Desire for recognition from others, including co-workers, family, friends…I really hate this.” The topic is worthy of serious consideration. Let us take a moment to examine this strange but all-too-common tendency in humans, the “desire for recognition.” It is unlikely that human beings could ever completely numb themselves to...

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,...