Philosophy, August 2nd

“In the folkish state, finally, the folkish philosophy of life must succeed in bringing about that nobler age in which men no longer are concerned with breeding dogs, horses, and cats, but in elevating man himself, an age in which the one knowingly and silently renounces, the other joyfully sacrifices and gives.” – Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

“When numerous workers work together side by side in accordance with a plan, whether in the same process, or in different but connected processes, this form of labor is called co-operation.” – Karl Marx, Capital

“Acts, to be sure, are called just and temperate when they are such as a just or temperate man would do; but what makes the agent just or temperate is not merely the fact that he does such things, but the fact that he does them in the way that just and temperate men do. It is therefore right to say that a man becomes just by the performance of just, and temperate by the performance of temperate, acts; nor is there the smallest likelihood of any man’s becoming good by not doing them. This is not, however, the course that most people follow: they have recourse to their principle, and imagine that they are being philosophical and that in this way they will become serious-minded – behaving rather like invalids who listen carefully to their doctor, but carry out none of his instructions. Just as the bodies of the latter will get no benefit from such treatment, so the souls of the former will get none from such philosophy.” – Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics

“Yet the accidents of fortune are many, and they vary in importance. Little pieces of good luck (and likewise of the opposite kind) clearly do not disturb the tenor of our life. On the other hand many great strokes of fortune, if favorable, will make life more felicitous (since they tend naturally of themselves to add to its attractions, and also they can be used in a fine and responsible way); but if they fall out adversely they restrict and spoil our felicity, both by inflicting pain and by putting a check on many of our activities. Nevertheless, even here, when a man bears patiently a number of heavy disasters, not because he does not feel them but because he has a high and generous nature, his nobility shines through. And if, as we said, the quality of a life is determined by its activities, no man who is truly happy can become miserable; because he will never do things that are hateful and mean. For we believe that the truly good and wise man bears all his fortunes with dignity, and always takes the most honorable course that circumstances permit; just as a good general uses his available forces in the most militarily effective way, and a good shoemaker makes the neatest out of the leather supplied to him, and the same with all the other kinds of craftsmen. And if this is so, the happy man can never become miserable – although he cannot be entirely happy if he falls in with fortunes like those of Priam. Nor indeed can he be variable and inconstant; for he will not be dislodged from his happiness easily nor by ordinary misfortunes – only by a succession of heavy blows, and from these he will not quickly recover his happiness; if he does so at all, it will only be at the end of a long interval in which he has attained great and splendid achievements.” – Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics

“They believed therefore, because of the good which is present in everything, that evil occurs only in an accidental way, like the punishments which good governors of cities ordain; for they are evils instituted for the sake of the good, not by primary intention. For there exist amongst good things some that can only exist with an admixture of evil, for instance, in the being of man who is composed of a rational and an animal soul. Divine Wisdom has ordained, according to these philosophers, that a great quantity of the good should exist, although it had to be mixed with a small quantity of evil, for the existence of much good with a little evil is preferable to the non-existence of much good because of a little evidence.” – Averroes, The Incoherence of the Incoherence

“Thus, communism violates the sovereignty of the conscience, and equality: the first, by restricting spontaneity of mind and heart, and freedom of thought and action; the second, by placing labor and laziness, skill and stupidity, and even vice and virtue on an equality in point of comfort. For the rest, if property is impossible on account of the desire to accumulate, communism would soon become so through the desire to shirk.” – Benjamin Tucker, Instead of a Book

“It is true, further, that equal liberty can be stamped out as coolly as anything else. But people who believe in it will not be likely to stamp it out. And Anarchists believe in it.” – Benjamin Tucker, Instead of a Book

“The baser and more contemptible the products of the time and its people, the more it hates the witnesses to the greater nobility and dignity of a former day. In such times the people would best like to efface the memory of mankind’s past completely, so that by excluding every possibility of comparison they could pass off their own trash as ‘art.’ Hence every new institution, the more wretched and miserable it is, will try all the harder to extinguish the last traces of the past time, whereas every true renascence of humanity can start with an easy mind from the good achievements of past generations; in fact, can often make them truly appreciated for the first time. It does not have to fear that it will pale before the past; no, of itself it contributes so valuable an addition to the general store of human culture that often, in order to make this culture fully appreciated, it strives to keep alive the memory of former achievements, thus making sure that the present will fully understand the new gift. Only those who can give nothing valuable to the world but try to act as if they were going to give it God knows what, will hate everything that was previously given and would best like to negate or even destroy it.” – Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

“From what I have said, I would have you infer, my precious Wiseacres, that there is a great confusion of pedigrees, and that those only appear grand and illustrious, whose representatives abound with virtue, liberality and wealth: I say, virtue, liberality and wealth, because, the vicious great man is no more than a great sinner; and the rich man, without liberality, a mere covetous beggar; for, happiness does not consist in possessing, but in spending riches, and that, not in squandering them away, but, in knowing how to use them with taste: now, a poor knight has no other way of signalizing his birth, but, the practice of virtue, being affable, well bred, courteous, kind, and obliging, a stranger to pride, arrogance, and slander, and, above all things, charitable; for, by giving two farthings cheerfully to the poor, he may shew himself as generous as he that dispenses alms by sound of bell: and whoever sees him adorned with these virtues, although’ he should be an utter stranger to his race, will conclude that he is descended of a good family. Indeed, it would be a sort of miracle to find it otherwise; so that praise is always the reward of virtue, and never fails to attend the righteous. There are two paths, my children, that lead to wealth and honor; one is that of learning, the other that of arms: now, I am better qualified for the last than for the first, and, (as I judge from my inclination to arms) was born under the influence of the planet Mars; so that I am, as it were, obliged to choose that road, which I will pursue, in spite of the whole universe: you will therefore fatigue yourselves to no purpose, in attempting to persuade me from that which heaven inspires, fortune ordains, reason demands, and above all things, my own inclination dictates: knowing, as I do, the innumerable toils annexed to knight-errantry, I am also well acquainted with the infinite benefits acquired in the exercise of that profession: I know that path of virtue is very strait, while the road of vice is broad and spacious; I know their end and issue is different: the wide extended way of vice conducts the traveler to death; while the narrow, toiled path of virtue, leads to happiness in life – not that which perishes, but, that which hath no end; and I know, as our great Castilian poet observes, By these rough paths of toil and pain, Th’ immortal seats of bliss we gain, Deny’d to those who heedless stray In tempting pleasure’s flowery way.” – Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

Published by jim

Curator of things...

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