Tagged: Nietzsche

Political Youth

The explosive ones. — When one considers how much the energy of young men needs to explode, one is not surprised that they decide for this cause or that without being at all subtle or choosy. What attracts them is the sight of the zeal that surrounds a cause — as it were, the sight of the burning fuse, and not the cause...

Notes On Saving Democracy

We are told in a thousand ways today that we are engaged in a global struggle to save democracy. Perhaps we are. If so, it would do us well to take a moment to ask what it is that we are trying to save, exactly, and furthermore, whether or in what sense it deserves to be saved. Democracy, we like to say, was...

Melancholy, Modernity, and the Free Soul

Kafka’s burden — the bureaucrat of practical necessity suffocated by life in the bureau — embodies in its tortured anxieties the modern diminution of the raging Heracles: Why must I, a soul full of passion, strength, and cravings for eternity, succumb to these expectations of others, to these odious priorities of daily life, to the duties of my lot, my status, my family,...

You Only Live Once

“You only live once,” as that phrase is typically used today, is the perfect practical synopsis of existentialism. The motto’s modern meaning encapsulates the fundamentals of existentialism’s philosophical, or quasi-philosophical, perspective, without all the high-minded intellectual fidgeting that was once needed to persuade people that their lives were essentially meaningless — in other words, that their lives were without essence. “You only live...

Losing Control, Gaining Control

The most dehumanizing aspect of enslavement is the sense of completely losing control of one’s essential actions, i.e., of having one’s realm of practical choice, such as it is, reduced to the inessential and transitory. The most desperate aspect of incremental enslavement is the awareness that one is in the process of losing control of one’s essential actions. The most infuriating aspect of...

Philosopher’s Luck

The best things that could ever happen to a young person today: rejection, isolation, exclusion. To be left out is to be left alone, which is the most precious gift that can be bestowed in an age of suffocating social life. To be disliked or ignored is to be spared the horizon-limiting sameness of success, i.e., fitting in, thus preserving for him nature’s...

Random Thoughts on The End of Man

Plato’s Republic belongs to a world without smartphones. Smartphones belong to a world without Plato’s Republic. The difference is that Plato’s Republic can explain smartphones, whereas smartphones cannot explain Plato’s Republic.

Every time I notice something interesting, beautiful, or fascinating, my attention is almost immediately distracted by humans interfering with my point of view.

The Long-Range Outlook

If an elected government can sweep away a nation’s founding principles, pride, and moral essence in three months, then that nation’s principles were already reduced to sand, its pride no better than a dust ball, its moral essence just a bit of dead skin. Joe Biden and his communist puppeteers have achieved nothing, in fact, that was not effectively a fait accompli. That...

The Uncomfortable Life

From Nietzsche‚Äôs Beyond Good and Evil. You want, if possible — and there is no more insane “if possible” — to abolish suffering. And we? It really seems that we would rather have it higher and worse than ever. Well-being as you understand it — that is no goal, that seems to us an end, a state that soon makes man ridiculous and...

Truths Sometimes Forgotten

Practical freedom is the best condition for the development of good men — but freedom itself is no guarantor that good men will indeed develop, any more than having a comfortable notebook and a smooth-flowing pen will inevitably produce good writing. More often than not, good writing tools have facilitated the production of mountains of sludge. What if good political conditions are analogous...