values

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, values, self-culture, virtue, excellence, and arete

In this world, not to be concerned with the pursuit of arete means to be doomed not just in the struggle with life but also in the struggle with other peoples: a people so facile, slack and fatuous as not to prepare to defend itself has already naively resolved to live out its existence as the enslaved subjects of others. War is omnipresent, to some a demoralizing eventual fate of all cities, and to others "the [Heraclitean] father of all things," i.e. the spur to all forms of virtue and excellence. We should be as energized and passionate about our commitment to our utmost values and self-culture as the warrior must be in learning the arts upon which his very life will depend.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, life, character, nature, society, wholes, value-judgments, values, discrimination, intelligence, options, and will

As Kierkegaard insisted from his theistic perspective, so Nietzsche also argues from his naturalistic one: whoever accepts the whole must accept as well the negative, resented, embittering, contrary elements in that whole. If life and character and nature and society truly are wholes, then everything in them is in some way essential to that whole; and we cannot grasp that whole by means of value-judgments if values are INHERENTLY DISCRIMINATORY or divisive functions of our intelligence. Values drive rifts between options, they exist for the sake of the natural powers of the will which (so to speak) needs its food cut up into willable portions or differentiated options.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, character, modernity, scientism, capitalism, truth, nature, culture, ideology, egalitarianism, hierarchicalism, libertarianism, values, principles, preconceptions, and logic

The worldview of modern scientism and capitalism are profoundly wrongheaded, rooted in an artificialism and arbitrarialism that cannot begin to see the primordial truth of the way nature actually works, in animals and in ourselves as well. All modern culture and ideology that try to disestablish these principles -- radical egalitarianism, capitalist or bourgeois materialist-artificialist hierarchicalism, arbitrarial libertarianism, etc. -- are flying in the face of the headwinds of both nature and values, the tides of human nature and human character. But these ideologies' fallacies are incomprehensible to them just because their culture systematically prohibits them from thinking about issues at the level of structural principles, of ultimate preconceptions: nothing but good pedestrian mechanical bourgeois logic, as remote as it can possibly be from philosophy.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, values, differences, oppositions, perspectives, issues, polemics, hierarchies, illusions, delusions, judgments, superiority, inferiority, rationality, objectivity, hierarchicalism, preferences, idiotia, aristeia, a

Values by their very nature tend to seed differences and oppositions, i.e. to make it possible for us to detect and appreciate the various perspectives from which issues may be seen; even though we (by a profound self-misconception) may find this psychologically and socially unpleasant, for the sake of value-intelligence we must learn to live and to thrive AMIDST such polemics, "in medias res," in utmost self-uncertainty and insecurity. Values, also by their inherent character and natural function, tend to form hierarchies; and even though our egos and appetites and illusions and delusions may resent being afflicted with judgments of rank and superiority/inferiority, again for the sake of connoisseurial and wisdom-seeking value-intelligence we have to stretch and traumatize our minds aristically to understand the rationality and objectivity of such intrinsic hierarchicalism, valid and authoritative over and beyond all that we may have cultivated as our idiosyncratic and subjectivist preferences (idiotia). Aristeia is naturally ingrained in the very nature of values; values are naturally ingrained in the very character and laws of nature.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, greeks, aristeia, values, culture, illumination, determination, life, cognoscenti, and vices

The Greeks took for granted a warrior-ethic ("aristeia," the virtues, values, culture and competence of "aristoi") not just between man and nature, and one city and another, and in the competitive contests (agones) between one person or point of view and another, but most especially between the individual mind striving for illumination and the vast surrounding obscure chaos of all that we do not know or understand or, as yet, have the resources to master. Humans from the earliest days of their lives have already planted their feet on one of two paths, one leading toward self-illumination or a determination to live life knowingly, as cognoscenti or "knowers," and one leading toward the absolute minimum of effort at illumination, a default-mentality marked by the vices of ignoranti, the countless herds of the mostly oblivious and passive who are content merely to be, to drift and be driven, not to be morally or philosophically accountable for themselves.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, moderns, values, excellence, worth, culture, fulfillment, purpose, fitness, and justification

Men who have made "life" easier and more bountiful for moderns have done nothing to make life more eminently VALUABLE, fit to be valued. We appreciate our inventors and benefactors but in truth they have done nothing whatsoever to teach us how to make ourselves more excellent, more WORTHY of freedom and life and culture. It is all very well to feed multitudes with self-replicating fishes and loaves; but the question that goes unperceived is, AS WHAT are we helping man to survive? What are we encouraging this consumer to BECOME, to AIM AT, to HUNGER AFTER as the fulfillment of the whole purpose of his living?

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, power, aristoi, society, enslavement, self-mastery, values, difficulty, and modernity

Just consider for a minute: look at the Many, the majoritarian cattle in every form of society who are governed by their own irrationalist beliefs and psychological needs and forces of social coordination with others (doxai). Taking control of the Many's always turbulent irrationalisms is child's play. They are the strata, the type most susceptible to enslavement not for accidental but for essential reasons. There is nothing whatsoever difficult in mastering or controlling them, and therefore it cannot be respected as any sort of value, especially not an aristic value. Values as ZARATHUSTRA argues are every people's ultimate concept of what is most difficult of all for them. What Nietzsche esteems, what in modern circumstances has come to seem "superhuman," is the aristic drive to accomplish what one judiciously recognizes as most difficult for oneself. "Power" is the natural reward or concomitant of those who struggle aristically to achieve the most contra-natural thing of all for human beings, self-mastery, the harnessing and knowing of the obscure forces that no one is in control of by birthright. There is no honor or valor in triumphing over defenseless and witless mentalities, regardless of the mass-numbers involved or the prodigious "power" (in the modern -- banausic -- sense) that results.

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, values, ideals, self-deception, priorities, time, and importance

People compose the schedules they do out of the priorities they have; and someone who says otherwise is deceiving himself about what he really values. The same thing applies to money that applies to time. I make a practice of watching what people do, never what they say. Whatever is important, to anyone sane, he will make a place for it; people live out their values. Values are different in this respect from "ideals," which are typically vain and effete and thus exist mostly for the sake of promoting self-delusions.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, values, prejudices, preconceptions, reason, compromise, and pandering

Values and verdicts never bother me half as much as people trying to weasel their way around them, or people compromising their reason to pander to their own prejudices and preconceptions, which they are so rarely competent to look in the face.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

Syndicate content