Kenneth Smith

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, truth, fitness, appropriateness, qualification, humans, and illusions

Take a good long look at human beings in their actual practices and motives; bring the utmost psychological and bio-economic factors to bear on making sense of their illusions and delusions. What then would the truth have to be, such that such human beings are FIT TO KNOW IT at all, even provisionally or tentatively?

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, future, present, desire, wants, hopes, despair, futility, disillusionment, actualities, possibilities, belief, and fear

Everything that humans want or desire or hope for, every kind of external fetish no matter how remote or minor that they may premise some key part of their happiness upon, is a nerve that can be tweaked, a fear that can be toyed with -- even by oneself. Most of the "present" in human life is really subjective projections of a kind of future that one needs to believe in, in order to stave off despair or futility or disillusionment, etc. We live most of our lives in an unwitting subjunctive mood, in the unrecognized modulation from actualities into the possibilities of an always-intoxicating wish-world.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, culture, intelligence, critical thinking, society, and elitism

Do you begin to understand the mischief that self-uncritical democratist opinionizing has wrought, all across the cultural universe? NONE of our political rhetoric and religious and moral and other usages can afford to be taken at face value; all deserve to be scrutinized, to be hammered and tested as heartlessly as is rationally possible. The hard labors that our whole culture has NOT done in self-testing itself for us, WE must do as self-critical and acute individuals. Just as with our genome, so too with our noosphere: there is an overwhelming mass of non-functional or dysfunctional genetic detritus cluttering up our so-called minds. The "discriminating" intelligence by which this stuff might have gotten screened has been given a bad name (elitist, if not racist and sexist) by the psycho-social pressure groups that define the "politics of identity" (i.e. which particular segment of self-enclosing idiotists do you most immediately identify with).

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, suffering, human nature, and self-delusion

So long as human nature remains viscerally resistant to enlightenment about its own slavish and self-stupefying necessities, there will ineluctably be suffering: truly, there is some suffering that is gratuitous (having no ground in our own karma or circles of obliquely willed actions upon ourselves), but in nature even the prey brings itself to the predator willingly but unwittingly. Even in the socially and economically and legally most utopian conditions, there will remain this irreducible self-obtuseness, self-evasiveness, self-irreality, in which men forever act as their own premier and unrecognized worst enemies, the obscure causes of their own self-suffering. And for the very same reasons that this suffering is uncomprehended for its true etiology, humans will also incurably continue to project blame onto others for their own self-injuries.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, culture, religion, spirituality, happiness, iconoclasm, rationality, and masochism

Bear in mind that everything that traditionally passed as "religion" would modernly be interpreted as a form of sadism or masochism, i.e. humans deliberately spoiling their own and others' this-worldly happiness by taking a more cosmic or eternalist perspective on things; and the same holds true with the illusion- and delusion-bursting iconoclastics of philosophy, education, culture, etc. Insofar as no kind of higher culture takes root and grows except by rupturing the lower "certainties" (dogmatics, faith, visceral tribalisms, etc.) that necessarily militate against such insights, all spirituality and rationality seem like forms of self-immiseration to idiotes.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, rights, democratism, principles, delusion, morals, politics, values, duties, obligations, civilization, and society

The moral and the political are twisted together in all this like a torqued Moebius-strip: we define our political duties toward others or our rights of expectation from them in terms of the highest moral values and obligations and principles conceivable to us. But these highest moral values etc. are themselves ideologically stunted things, a bonsai-ethos that has been deformed by the contraceptive culture of the democratist Many. Do human beings have a positive and universally recognizable right to be left alone as ingrown idiotes, as self-gratifying swinish consumers, as pathetic sacks of illusions and delusions? Are ultimate rights something that the least cultured and least reflective are fit to define for themselves, much less for everyone in general? Can any civilization afford to leave its most vital principles to be framed and legislated by the least philosophically aware? When a society organizes the entire thrust of its energies and institutions to mass-produce such obtuse types, and when malleable human nature makes this organized stupefaction all too easy and efficient, how can any mere exceptional individuals do anything about such a Malthusian dynamic?

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, rights, spirituality, morality, culture, community, self-development, modernity, and society

But for the Jews this moral-spiritual issue raises the same societal problem it does for the Greeks: how can a man have the "right" to make himself spiritually or rationally destitute or retarded when this corrupts the whole quality of the culture that we all together need and depend on? If anyone wants a cloistered and closed-minded life, an anti-aristic life, let him either go off and live among the wolves--or else join the community of like-minded idiots that (alas) compose and define the basic terms of modern society.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, delusion, competency, and appropriateness

Should a reasonable person not demand that philosophy should not be foolishly purveyed before people incompetent to see the point of it, as pearls before swine? For Nietzsche is utterly correct: philosophy is only for the healthy and whole-minded, the sick it has always only made even sicker. By means of philosophy they dig themselves even deeper into their pathetic delusions. 

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, civility, and self-discipline

I regret not getting brutally forthright with human beings a hell of a lot sooner than I did. Civility and obliquity are wasted on people who will not make the effort to be harsher or stricter on their own gooey egos than they are on other people.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, wisdom, and discrimination

Offhandedly, when I consider the matter in abstracto, I might wonder how marvelous this world would be if indeed it were even possible to sell philosophy on the market. That would mean that some quorum or critical mass of intelligent minds existed who (a) understood what it really was, (b) comprehended how deformed and crippled and darkened life would be without it being developed to the utmost, and (c) recognized that there was nothing else whatsoever in all the finite world that one should not be willing to pay in order to secure one's basal principles of wisdom first, just because of the richer life that comes in their wake. Just the idea of having enough culturally literate minds to be capable of discriminating between philosophizing and sappy moralizing or vacuous feel-good rhetoric, enough to make the marketing of philosophy feasible: that would be historically and civilizationally prodigious.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

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