Kenneth Smith

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, character, self-respect self-esteem, and standards

Only once one has understood the aristic ethos will one comprehend that there are many ways of mistreating or abusing another person that one cannot permit oneself, not merely because the other has rights (in his limited status, and specific to that status) and long-term needs to be properly taken care of, but also because oneself is an aristos and absolutely has to be above all such intemperate and myopic behavior. We are talking about something incomprehensible to most moderns, an ethics of character: an autonomous ethics, enforced out of one's sense of shame and guilt at not being true to oneself--not a heteronomous banausic or slavish sense of shame in the eyes of others' opinions about oneself. To have higher expectations of oneself is the decisive thing.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, slavery, capitalism, and labor

All slave labor is forced labor. So are all forms of labor where an individual has not got the educational or fiscal means to stand on his own in making a free contract with an employer, or where that capitalist has acquired the political and social as well as the economic clout to prevent evenhanded terms from being respected. What passes for the rational legal concept of a "contract" is unknown in American conditions of fact, for the vast majority of cases: most people hire their own labor out under conditions of duress, and the employer one-sidedly dictates the terms. That is how we got to a condition where the minimum wage for the working poor is not a living wage, and is getting worse and worse. Modernity is not more civilized than antiquity because it has legally abolished slavery; it is merely more modernized in recognizing that it is far, far cheaper and more prudent to rent slaves by the hour than to own them, which means you have to assume responsibility for their upkeep and care.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, gnosis, rationalism, abstractivism, logicism, phenomenology, and aristeia

Gnosis is cultured and critical evidentialism, it is "phenomenology" i.e. Aristotelian concern and respect for the actual and self-governing shape of the phenomena; it is a self-critical recognition that mind should not be arrogantly and unilaterally dictating its own preferred and self-flattering "laws" (logicism, rationalism, a-priorism, theologism, ideologism) to actuality. It is the true aristeia or wisdom or moderation (in Greek the same word, sophrosyne) over against the intellectual hyperactivism of Platonic abstractivism and its high-handed philosophical mandarinism: it is all too easy for facile or self-uncritical "mind" to spin out a self-coherent "noetocosm" that routinely and methodically purges all the polemics and trauma from its controlled noosphere. But this projected and constructed order is not something truly known or understood as true or actual, it is merely something logicistically obligatory to take for granted and to think in terms of.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, science, and modernity

Modern science precisely because of its intellectualist or unreflectively banausic predisposition has time and again bound itself into monocultural or authoritarian circumstances of institutionally enforced orthodoxy, and strictly as such-as a rigorously self-uncritical or "ordinarizing" pursuit of regularized questions within an un-thought-about framework of axiomatics or "deep science" that only extremely rare geniuses are permitted to question in their fundaments-"science" is not competent to resolve the ultimate questions that it involves itself in about the limited conceptual validity of its own covert metaphysical preconceptions or about the ultimate and actual applicability of these forms to "reality," which by grace of the dominion of the ideological system of science increasingly tends to get converted into nothing more than whatever science is predisposed to consider it to be. The autism or subjectivism of our highest accomplishments of intellect cannot be dealt with by one-sidedly banausic or "objectifying" science, which is as much as to say that for radical and structural reasons our "science" is no more than pseudoscience.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy and self-criticism

Everything should be grist for the philosopher's mill or fat for his griddle, not because everything can be or deserves to be exploited as an illustration useful to reinforcing some abstractivism or a priorism but rather because we must be perennially and in 360 degrees vigilant against the one-sidedness of the architectonic resources with which we infuse our intelligence. "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer"-and so too with the things we believe and disbelieve, trust and doubt: the more self-evident or obvious or indubitable or cogent a thesis or theme may be, the more prodigious the firepower with which it needs to get tested, and point-blank, in an undodgeable form. The ideas and values you love need to be as bulletproof as humanly possible, so anytime you can catch them off-guard, fire away.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, truth, and rhetoric

Philosophy exists in profoundest opposition to rhetoric, which is speaking for the sake of producing or controlling some effect in others' perceptions.  Philosophy is about the caustic or cauterizing effect of the truth, not the currying of sensibilities.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, media, culture, and radicalism

So successful has the ideological-political-cultural purge been executed that it is hard indeed to find vigorous liberals, and no energetic, coherent and cogent leftists at all can find expression in our controlled media and educational systems. Forget about wholesale culture- or civilization-critics like Marxists. Universities have to be purged of any "radicalism" that can see through to the roots of issues and pathologies, for the same reasons that workers have to have nascent unions aborted among them and contrarian newspapers and media have to be starved of advertising.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philiosophy, environment, rationality, humanity, thinking, banauseia, character, and delusions

No one can look either our planet or our societies in the face and imagine humans are in any respect as rational as they have been mass-bamboozled into believing that they are. All the abstractions in terms of which we "think" about ourselves are free-floating and autonomous conformisms and orthodoxies, irrationalist self-complacencies and self-flattery that manifest the disconnectivity and dissociativity typifying banauseia; we will continue past the several points-of-no-return imagining in abstracto that, of course, we must necessarily possess the faculties to reverse any mistaken policies and cure any destruction. But the problem does not lie ultimately anywhere outside our own intrinsic and self-biased idiotia, our primordial and primally blind characters. To have a character blithely oblivious to the nature and concept of one's character is the doom of the vast majority of "mankind."

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, cynicism, and thinking

"Cynicism," like "heresy" and "heterodoxy" and "atheism" and "agnosticism" and "paganism" and "heathenism," is above all else a way for organized orthodoxy's caste of official censors to encyst and segregate and thus neutralize all contrarian forms of seeing and thinking, all (necessarily implicitly) prohibited and repressed ways of exercising disruptive and iconoclastic intuition and intellection (for to analyze and explain these things too openly is to give them publicity and potential cogency when the point is to asphyxiate them).

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, values, virtue, and delusion

Every principle or virtue or form of intelligence and insight is always liable to peripeteia, i.e. to an utter reversal in value-polarities:  "freedom," "rationality," and all other banausically graspable and desirable "goods-in-abstracto" inevitably and eventually slue around to become malignancies, mind-eating and personality-snuffing cancers and obsessions.  Contrary to the delusions of Christian fideism and authoritarianism, values are inherently incapable of being presented or comprehended in an ABSOLUTE form:  a malignant or delusive mentality, a malformed personality or character, can SUBVERT anything-and of course conceal from itself utterly that it itself has such a warpage or privation.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

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