nihilism

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, nihilism, douleia, banauseia, aristeia, humanity, personality, ideology, and history

It is inscribed necessarily in human nature that the deformation or cultic-ideological ruin of personality is always more decisively and irremediably accomplished than are any of the precarious and tentative accomplishments of aristic cultivation:  in quite different senses both eudaimonically and dysdaimonically, whoever touches a formative human soul touches eternity.  Children may literally be scarred for life by traumatic abuse that was executed for the benefit of transient doulic hungers or for evaporative banausic prosperity.  And "history" is the ever-compounding consequences of such demented dyscultures and nihilist priorities, the long dark night of the traumatized soul from which one age or perhaps another may struggle to wake up.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, truth, values, culture, nihilism, moderns, and abstractivism

The "fragility of the truth" in the first place reflects the vicissitudes of the VALUE which truth inevitably has to be, a premier victim of a value-sterilized dysculture, i.e. of a licentious universe where every kind of vile and insidious way to abort what is true, right, just, good, rational, etc. has become all-too possible.  The suppression and dysmorphia of the truth are an accomplished science in banauseia, which intrinsically "respects" nothing (certainly not "truth," the most manipulable of all illusions within this subphilosophical species).  The "death of God," over two centuries ago by now, was merely the early-phase onset of a much more profound, much more structurally corrosive species of nihilism:  moderns were naively glad to be liberated from such a megalo-fuddy-duddy as the ever-prying Jehovah, and it never occurred to them to wonder just what sort of marvelous new cultural solvent had such remarkable acidic power to dissolve thousands of years of accreted religious barnacles.  What ELSE could it cleanse away or annihilate?  And really, what was it itself, the nameless new world-force of banausic "disillusionment" or Cartesian-skeptical "clarity"?  Destroying all alternative mythoi and perspectivisms and norms, what did this <abstractivism> itself have for its latent character and its covert teleological drives and its totalitarian cultural-ideological destiny?  How would it succeed in transfiguring the very modes in which we live and communicate, corrupting everything with an unspoken, unfelt, unseen, scent-free shell of dysrelatedness, a Midas-touch of an interval of distantiation or pathos of unfelt apathy toward all that is natural, human, social, historical, actual, etc.?

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, modernity, nihilism, humanity, aristeia, and nietzsche

Nietzsche's realization was astute that modernity had abolished the very prospect of humanity as ancient culture grasped it as aristeia or nobility, or even as medieval Christianity grasped it in the form of spirituality.  Modernity has, from generation to generation and from century to century, an ever-lowering ceiling of minimalist "humanity," an arrant folly of setting up the democratist "human, all too human" as if it could in any way serve as some sort of norm or standard.  It is nothing but a quivering, quavering mass of pathos, a gross form of moral and spiritual and philosophical bankruptcy:  it is one great complex of fault-lines across the superficial plaque of a veneer-culture, a mere mask of humanity over bestiality.  That is what our programmatic war against aristeia ultimately means, the systematic abolition of "man" as well considered as an honorific or value-laden concept.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, values, character, and nihilism

There is no natural or divine gift or grace or worldly privilege or economic asset that will compensate for a profound, vicious and virulent vacuum at the core of HUMAN values—and we have, as a civilization, the most massive and deliberately composed such vacuum in world-history (scientism, capitalist nihilism, radical value-neutralization or anomie).  Which is, all in all, to make of course a characteristically Greek point about values, that 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

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, war, abstractivism, conscience, scientism, consciousness, modernity, and nihilism

Just as totalitarian epochs have aptly been described as nightmare-interludes in which a society's continuity of "normalizing" self-consciousness lapses into a black pit of nescience and denial (a collective urge of wanting NOT TO KNOW--see Arendt's ORIGINS OF TOTALITARIANISM), so too with war itself, which is inevitably some species of demoniacal terrorism:  even the "victors" in a modern war are victims, dehumanized utensils for imperialist policy; and those who inflict hideous suffering on others are traumatized to the end of their lives by the horrific things they discovered they were capable of doing.  John Huston's lines from CHINATOWN--"Most people never have to face the fact that, at the right time and in the right place, they are capable of anything"--is meant as an obliquely self-incriminating insight into the covert nihilism of modern hyper-power and macro-wealth; but in truth, in essence, it is just the knife's edge of Goethe's superb aristic and contramodern verdict:  "Everything that sets our minds free without giving us mastery over ourselves is pernicious."  The quintessential dementia of modern "consciousness" is just its sheer self-abstraction from conscience, from community, from values, from religion, from culture, from purpose, and from its own reason. We have been trained to "know" banausically, to know without caring, without judging or evaluating or grasping the larger significance of anything. That is what is called "science" and "fact" and "information."

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by G. K. Chesterton on secularism, matiralism, evil, inhumanity, atheism, nihilism, and new age

"The secularists have not wrecked divine things; but the secularists have wrecked secular things, if that is any comfort to them. The Titans did not scale heaven; but they laid waste the world."

G. K. Chesterton

Contributed by: boznamedsoo

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