• Nietzschean Libertarianism: the how and why of the free market morality

    31 mai 2010, 20h20m par dyingdreams

  • Introduction to Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

    24 fév. 2009, 11h51m par dyingdreams

    I think Nietzsche is severely misunderstood, and for the wrong reasons. I came across something a while ago that I thought explained the matter in a way, so if you're interested in philosophy you might like it :)

    Enjoy.

    Anti-Socialism


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    Nietzsche rejects the distinction between “good” and “evil” as encapsulating a theological morality inappropriate to an age without religious belief.

    The word “good” has a clear sense when contrasted with “bad”, where the good and the bad are the good and the bad specimens of humanity. It lacks clear sense, however, when contrasted with the term “evil”. The good specimen is the one whose power is maintained, and who therefor flourishes. The capacity to flourish resides not in the “good will” of Kant (whom Nietzsche described as a “catastrophic spider”) nor in the universal aim of the utilitarians. […] It is to be found in those dispositions of character which permit the exercise of will: dispositions like courage, pride and firmness. Such dispositions, which have their place, too, among the Aristotelian virtues, constitute self-mastery.

    They also permit the mastery of others, and prevent the great “badness” of self-abasement. One does not arrive at these dispositions by killing the passions – on the contrary the passions enter into the virtuous character in a constitutive way. The Nietzschean man is able to “will his own desire as a law unto himself”. [Likewise,] Aristotle had argued that virtue consists not in the absence of passions but in a right order among them. Like Aristotle, Nietzsche did not draw back from the consequences of his anti-theological stance. Since the aim of the good life is excellence, the moral philosopher must lay before us the ideal of human excellence. Moral development requires the refining away of what is common, herd-like, “all too human”.

    Hence this ideal lies, of its nature, outside the reach of the common man. Moreover, the ideal may be (Aristotle), or even ought to be (Nietzsche), repulsive to those whose weakness of spirit deprives them of sympathy for anything which is not more feeble than themselves. Aristotle called this ideal creature the “great-souled man” (megalopsychos); Nietzsche called it the “Übermensch”. In each case pride, selfconfidence, disdain for the trivial and ineffectual, together with a lofty cheerfulness of outlook and a desire always to dominate and never to be beholden were regarded as essential attributes of the self-fulfilled man.

    The essence of the “new man” whom Nietzsche thus announced to the world was “joyful wisdom”: the ability to make choices with the whole self , and so not to be at variance with the motives of one’s action. The aim is success, not just for this or that desire but for the will which underlies them. In Nietzsche we find the Schoperhauerian will re-emerging as something positive and individual, with a specific aim: that of personal dominion over the world. […] This success is essentially the success of the individual.

    There is no place in Nietzsche’s picture of the ideal man for pity: pity is nothing more than a morbid fascination with failure. It is the greatest weakener of the will, and forms the bond between slaves which perpetuates their bondage. Nietzsche’s principal complaint against Christianity was that it had elevated this morbid feeling into a single criterion of virtue; thus it had prepared the way for the “slave” morality which, being founded in pity, must inevitably reject the available possibilities of human flourishing.

    To some extent we can see all this as a restatement in modern language of the Aristotelian ideal of practical wisdom. When combined with Nietzsche’s theoretical scepticism, it lead to the view which is sometimes called pragmatism, according to which the only test of truth is the “practical” one. Since there are no facts, but only interpretations, the test of truth of a belief must lie in its success. The true belief is the one that arguements one’s power, the false belief the one that detracts from it.

    […] Hithertho, he argued, our beliefs and the concepts used to formulate them, have had the transcendental backing of religious Faith. At no point in the conceptual scheme of civilization has the void been fully apparant behind the thin paste of our conceptions. Now, however, everything is changing. People come into the world without certainties, and between the torn shreds of our inheritance the abyss is always visible.

    In such a condition human life becomes problematic [for those unable to deal with it in an appropriate manner]. Without a radical re-construction of our worldview, which will permit the will to power on which our enterprises depend, we shall enter a peculiar spiritual desert, in which nothing has meaning or value – the world of “the last man”.

    Nietzsche has been accused of nihilism, but [those who truly grasp his meaning and the implications of his insights see] that he’s trying […] to forestall nihilism and to provide us with the weapons against it.

    [Sadly], his acute social criticism, and his ability to sniff the “will to belief” behind all ordinary beliefs and attitudes, have endeared him to radical critics of Western society, and caused him to be conscripted to secular causes – feminism, socialism, egalitarianism, “multiculturalism” – which he himself would have greeted with cavernous laughter.

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    [Excerpt from R. Scruton, A Short History of Modern Philosophy (ISBN 0415267633). For more information feel free to contact me or read what I believe to be Nietzsche’s most comprehensive and important book; Beyond Good and Evil.]
  • Join My Groups!

    22 mars 2009, 5h37m par roll51

    Hey guys! Join my groups! Here at:

    http://www.last.fm/group/Kris+Allen+%3C3
    http://www.last.fm/group/Anoop+Desai+Fans

    Thanks you!!!!!! =)
  • Atlas Shrugged 2009 Essay Contest Entry

    27 fév. 2009, 18h46m par dyingdreams

    The Differende Between Wanting To Make Versus Wanting To Have Money
    by Christophe Cieters


    As in real life, money plays more than a mere supporting role in Atlas Shrugged. Its special quality and relevance as a litmus test in both instances lies in its intrinsic implications. What it drives and why varies greatly depending on the kind of person it touches, and in doing so the under flowing currents that guide these motives are indeed one of the most important and deeply intriguing aspects of the book in its entirety. The central question one is lead to pose himself in this regard is this: what is money, and how do differing views on it reflect on the different types of men who hold them?

    The fundamental split between the two distinct and directly opposite ways in which the concept of money is defined by the heroes as opposed to the villains makes its first appearance early on in the book (45), when Phillip is complaining to his brother Hank Rearden about how hard it is to raise money for his charity; Friends of Global Progress. Phillip blames his trouble in doing so on a rampant lack of moral conscience. When Hank offers Phillip the money out of a misplaced and apathetic brotherly love, Phillip adds insult to injury by demanding to have his unearned alms in cash in order to attempt to erase all connection to Hank, so the money’s egotistical origin will not have to offend the organization’s altruistic premises. All parties involved are fully aware either way as to where the money came from, but Phillip and his friends need nothing more to allow them to blank out that which is blatantly contradictory in their poisonous combination of acceptance and indignant condemnation. Full acknowledgement of the nature of their own demeanor would necessarily lead to the collapse of their mental house of cards, which requires nothing less than constant repairs through an unwavering denial of reality and towards which they are obliged to direct all that remains of their life’s energy. By forcefully imagining that the money did not come from Hank, they hope his inalienable bond to it ends there where their wish to it begins. At the same time, unobstructed by any attempt at either subtlety or consistency, Phillip praises himself for his selfless endeavors and scorns individuals like Hank Rearden for their egotistical pursuits. In similar fashion, when Bertrand Scudder claims that money is the root of all evil and Francisco its typical product (380); he puts the basic issue very clearly.

    To the heroes, money is to values what color is to blue. The word encompasses not only itself but a wide spectrum of essential coexisting connotations and conditions, understood as such by those with color vision, and seen as useless trivialities and petty semantics by those without. The heroes make money as they make love (453), the villains have money like they have sex (824). To make is to create; but the villains can only have, rob or receive, and lack what it takes to even sustain their second-hand gains. As they have sex, they hope that by imitating the mechanical motions they can emulate the values of which those mechanics are the outward representation but, unbeknownst to them, not the causa sui.

    Likewise, the villains believe that it is the money itself which contains the values they observe in those who make it. They hope that by robbing the men who they know to be their betters of their wealth, they will at once humble and destroy them and through the money they looted get an infusion of the value they expected to have drained along with it. They are at once unable and unwilling to conceive of any other way or means to achieve greatness. Consequently, they do not regard individuals like Nathaniel Taggart as men of rightfully earned achievement, but consider them to be nothing more than successful bandits (62) who simply beat them by chance.

    When Jim asks Cheryl: “That’s what you’ve always admired, isn’t it, wealth?” (796) he is shocked to find that it is not the wealth itself which the girl admired, but the values which created it and she mistakenly attributed to him. Her only fault, and concurrently Jim’s final disgrace, was her naiveté in considering as evident to the point beyond the need for doubt that the connection between wealth and other values cannot be consciously aimed to be corrupted. In contrast with this, Jim, who has spent his life striving for the exact opposite of the girl’s believes in his desperate quest for salvation from his own inadequacy, is faced with the fact that his unearned riches cannot buy values but only short-lived illusions thereof. His and his associates’ frustrations lie in the inescapable realization that it is not the money that makes the man, but the man who makes the money. Those who they robbed proved to be beyond their power to break, and the values which they sought to steal, even though they did not grasp their meaning, did not reside in - or transfer with - the object; the money which they looted, but remained untouched within the minds of their invincible victims, hidden in plain sight all along.

    The protagonists know and understand that in the same way in which fear of death does not equate to a love of life, and a desire is not an instinct (927), money is only a value if and only if a myriad of quintessential and ultimately inseparable positive conditions are met. In short, the difference between wanting to “have” money as opposed to “making” it lies in the uncompromising distinction between the animistic notions of the primitive caveman instinct, which cowers from lightning in the unthinking belief that it is a random omnipotent rage to which it must submit itself, vis-à-vis the conceptions of the rational mind which lives and thinks by means of logic and reason, and whose only emotional response to pure energy is to proudly salute its own burning reflection with a smile.
  • Second week as top listener for Raymond van het Groenewoud

    28 mars 2007, 23h44m par libereri

    It's the second week that I'm one of Raymond van het Groenewoud toplisteners. A bit strange because he's only sixth in my weekly most listened artists.
    I guess there're just not a lot of listeners to this excellent Belgian musician.