Behold, we know what you teach: that all things recur eternally, and we ourselves too; and that we have already existed an eternal number of times, and all things with us. You teach that there is a great year of becoming, a monster of a great year; which must, like an hourglass, turn over again and again so that it may run down and run out again; and all these years are alike in what is greatest as in what is smallest; and we ourselves are alike in every great year, in what is greatest as in what is smallest.
Now I die and vanish… the soul is as immortal as the body. But the knot of causes in which I am entangled recurs and will create me again. I myself belong to the causes of eternal recurrence. I come again, with this sun, with this earth, with this eagle, with this serpent – not to a new life or a better life or a similar life: I come back eternally to this same, selfsame life, in what is greatest as in what is smallest, to teach again the eternal recurrence of all things…
Friedrich Nietzsche: Thus Spoke Zarathustra: a Book for Everyone and No-one.
So, perhaps the best argument for anything is:
You know what, you said that very same thing last time too!
Now I ask: Does this make you feel despair and powerlessness, or quite the opposite?
Filed under Books, Quotes
“We have frequently printed the word Democracy. Yet I cannot too often repeat that it is a word the real gist of which still sleeps, quite unawakened, notwithstanding the resonance and the many angry tempests out of which its syllables have come, from pen or tongue.
It is a great word, whose history, I suppose, remains unwritten, because that history has yet to be enacted. It is, in some sort, younger brother of another great and often-used word, Nature, whose history also waits unwritten.”
- Walt Whitman
From the article Deepening Democracy:
Awakening the Spirit of Our Shared Life Together by Rosa Zubizarreta.
If one looks across the expanse of history, one cannot help but notice a curious sense of identifiation between the most exalted and the most degraded; particularly, between emperors and kings, and slaves. Many kings surround themselves with slaves, appoint slave ministers… Kings surround themselves with slaves for the same reason that they surround themselves with eunuchs: because the slaves and criminals have no family or friends, no possibility of other loyalties–or at least that, in principles, they shouldn’t. But in a way, kings should really be like that too. As many an African proverb emphasizes: a proper king has no relatives, either, or at least, he acts as if he does not. In other words, the king and slave are mirror images, in that unlike normal human beings who are defined by their commitments to others, they are defined only by relations of power. They are as close to perfectly isolated, alienated beings as one can possibly come.
David Graeber in Debt: The First 5000 Years, via An und für sich.
Adam Smith taught moral philosophy at the University of Glasgow for more than ten years, and, in 1759, he published The Theory of Moral Sentiments. In this book he attempted to demonstrate that public benefits do not derive from private vices, as Mandeville’s caustic formulation in The Fable of the Bees (1714) had it. He believed, instead, that they derive from the pursuit of individual interest in socially controlled forms. In what way might it be said that individual interest is socially disciplined? Using more modern terminology, it might be argued that this occurs through the process of socialization, a mechanism that Smith labelled “sympathy.” This involves identifying with values shared with other members of society, who may approve or disapprove of our behavior. The law-based sanctions suffered by those who violate formal rules may reinforce these mechanisms. In this way, human action is shaped by society and its institutions (through formal and informal norms) and cannot be explained by a “natural” individual tendency to search for one’s own interest. Smith in other words, was not a utilitarian.
Carlo Trigilia in Economic Sociology: State, Market, and Society in Modern Capitalism. p. 21
Filed under Economy, Quotes