Tagged: individual

Standing Alone

The true individual is not he who speaks with the voice of his generation, including his generation’s officially sanctioned “outsiders club,” but rather he who speaks against his generation, and especially against the officially sanctioned outsiders club. To stand with one’s group requires neither courage nor thought. To stand against one’s group requires substantial quantities of both. The true visionary is not he...

Survival of the Fittest: Teaching vs. Normalcy

Every society, without exception, tends to harden its founding presuppositions and hopes into a set of stated and unstated rules for living. Gradually, the great character and thought needed to bring a society into being give way to the forced teaching and rote learning of the simplified and simplifying rules deemed necessary to preserve that society. And this in turn reduces maturation to...

My Boycott, Part 2

In “My Boycott,” having explained my principles on the topic of boycotts in general, and in particular how and to what extent the boycott is a legitimate form of political expression, I then qualified the discussion somewhat with the following personal condition: I must note, however, that boycotting per se is not, and has never been, my cup of tea, primarily because I do not...

Conversation and the Collective

A man when alone — I mean truly alone, not merely waiting for others to arrive — occupies his own depths. He lives in ocean currents and the most profound silence. Two such deep-flowing individuals, in conversation, may hope to preserve some of that serious silence between them. For the source of all conversation — using that word in its essential, definitive sense...

When the Ovine Opine

LeVar Burton, an actor best known for roles in Roots and one of the many Star Trek rebirths, but also a longtime host of the popular children’s program, Reading Rainbow, has decided to throw his two cents into today’s mandatory moralizing about minds and works from the past that are so vastly superior to anything that can ever be produced in our era...

Sentimental Man Expresses Himself

Oscar Wilde wrote that “a sentimentalist is simply one who desires to have the luxury of an emotion without paying for it.” Wilde’s century was rife with the luxury of unpaid-for emotion, which is the special indulgence of the comfortable class. Our own time, however, has elevated this romantic weakness for claiming unearned emotion to an artform — and then, as is typical...

The Body

Modern scientific materialists are inclined, we might even say predisposed, to ask, “What is this thing you call ‘the soul,’ and why do you believe that you still need this notion, or for that matter that you have any right to assume it?” But we might just as easily turn these questions around on the moderns, and ask what they mean by “the...

The Mandatory Mind

The Biden administration, following through on a campaign promise, has issued a mask mandate for all public transportation users in America, suddenly making it a federal crime to refuse to wear a mask in a train station, airport, bus or ferry terminal, and the like. Rather than getting bogged down in questions about whether universal mask-wearing is effective against this pandemic, or even...

Nietzsche, Socialism, and Utilitarianism

Among Nietzsche’s many excellent insights into the mind of nineteenth-century socialism, here is one from his early days (1878) that particularly appeals to my way of thinking: The Socialists demand a comfortable life for the greatest possible number. If the lasting house of this life of comfort, the perfect State, had really been attained, then this life of comfort would have destroyed the...

The Individual

Most political calamities in this era of the Politics of Calamity, if one were to analyze them down to their barest elements, would prove to revolve around the problem of the lost individual. This is not surprising, since both of the defining currents of modern politics, totalitarian progressivism and strongman populism, are perspectives which systematically reject the individual soul — its natural needs...