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Lyssa
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PostSubject: Re: Challenging Atheism and Libertarianism Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:35 pm

Epicureanism, Hedonism, Libertarianism.

Laconian wrote:

With Hedonism I differentiate. Epicurius who people think it is based on wasn't a pleasure seeker for the sake of pleasure seeking at all. He was actually very ascetic and didn't even eat fish for example, because he thought it was too expensive.

This is how learning works everywhere, just an example. So the big Philosophical systems of the Academia of Plato and Aristotl and so on went under in the more struggle-full times around 200 AD and Stoicism and Epicurianism gained more support, because they understood this principle and based their teachings on it. They didn't offer such a huge system that attempted to answer all lifes questions anymore, but offered a more pragmatic view of life.

With Paganism from my opinion or little experience in that direction, you too loose interest in any "higher" but detached learning fields, such as Neoplatonism. So Paganism in my opinion includes the pleasure principle. But this may not hold true for someone, who comes from a very broken family. At least this sort of Paganism. That's why I say there are different sorts of Paganism. Someone who cannot worship his ancestors or even doesn't know his parents or something of that sort may still become a Pagan!

There are other priniciples. The "Potlatch" in Brahmanism (and elsewhere), the "Kami" in Shinto. Coulanges' Paganism isn't the only paganism.

-



Epicureanism, Hedonism, Libertarianism.


Nuances always. Epicureanism involves noting two things.


1.

Quote :

Hedonism is a positive pursuit of pleasure.
Epicureanism [from a Dionysian perspective] is a decadent pursuit of minimal pain - which means being against excessive pleasure.

Epicureanism = Pleasant living for a Pleasant life:
Epicurus wrote:
"It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and honorably and justly, and it is impossible to live wisely and honorably and justly without living pleasantly."

To Strauss, Epicureanism was the need for a stable, unfluctuating order.

McEvilley wrote:
Quote :
"ataraxia, the experience of optimal, enduring pleasure..."

Quote :
"For Stoics, again as for Buddhists and Epicureans, happiness means primarily tranquility or equanimity, not the ebb and flow of kinetic pleasures.
Epictetus does not use a negative term such as ataraxia, but the positive term, euroia, harking back to Democritus' euthumia. Euroia literally means "well-flowingness" and relates to many eastern ethical terms such as the Tao Te King's "water principle", the Anabhogacarya, or life free from conscious strivings, of the Lankavatara Sutra, and indeed to "emptiness" or "nonobstructedness" when used as psychological or ethical terms. It relates to Plato and Aristotle's idea that the unobstructed continuance of an organism is happiness, and is to be equated with Epicurus' static pleasure."
[Shape of Ancient Thought]

McEvilley wrote:
"It has recently been claimed that the Greeks did not characteristically describe happiness negatively and that therefore the type of formulation found in Epicurus' ataraxia must have come into Greece from Indian by way of Pyrrhon. But the view that negative ethical terminology was un-Greek seems far from obvious. Aristotle had referred to Greek thinkers for whom apatheia wa sthe goal, and Democritus had used the terms athambia and quite possibly the term ataraxia also. Other terms for happiness prominent in Greek philosophy include akataplexia, inability to be amazed or frightened (Nausiphanes); apatheia, inability to be distressed (Spusippus, Diogenes); aphasia, nonspeech (Sextus); arrepsia, inability to be put off balance (Pyrrhon?, Sextus); and aponia, nonlabour (Epicurus)."

McEvilley wrote:
"...phronesis, says Epicurus, "patiently searches out the motives for every act of grasping and fleeing, and banishes those beliefs through which the greatest tumult enters the mind(ap. D.L. X.129-32). Epicurus adds in the Letter to Menoeceus that "all the other virtues have come by nature from phronesis" - much as in abhidharma they all arise from mindfulness. Through phronesis the chain of impulse and action can be interrupted and, to some extent, guided."

McEvilley wrote:
"Epicurus taught that perception never errs, that "all sensations are true" (D.L.X.31-32) - much as Democritus had said, "The appearance is the truth." Cicero testified that

Cicero wrote:
"Epicurus places the criterion of reality in the senses" (De Fin. I. 22). In doing so he is as outspoken and absolute as the Buddha in the Sabba Sutta saying that "everything" consists of the six types of sense contacts. An Epicurean articulation of the point says similarly, "Man has nothing left if sensations are removed from him" (De Fin. I.29).

Error arises, then, not from perceptions but from their interpretation. Inductive generalizations based directly on perceptions are valid upto a point, but a priori conclusions - deductive or revealed - are rejected. Epicurean practice involves carefully distinguishing between a percept in itself and the interpretive or associative material that may have clustered around it in the mind:

Quote :
"The wise do not disturb themselves with empty words, but look simply at the facts of experience." (D.K.X.152)

For Epicurus, as for the Buddha of the Nikayas, the given experience is the ultimate fact which nothing can discredit; he gives the point a special dialectical twist:

"Reason cannot refute sensation since it is only valid when it is vased on sensation; and one sensation cannot refute another since all sensations are equal [i.e. factual]." (ib. 32)

"In natural science one must be ruled by the appearances themselves, not by empty axioms and law-making." (ib. 87)

Epicurus's belief that conceptual proliferation (Greek kenodoxia, empty opinion) is the source of most human suffering recalls the Buddhist doctrine of prapanca - the drive toward conceptual proliferation which is identified in many early Buddist texts as a principal root of mental disquietude.
The Buddha similarly warned against "the tendency toward proliferation in the realm of concepts", "the spreading out, expansion, and diffusiveness" of the untrained thought process, "the tendency of the worldling's imagination to break loose and run riot". [Bhikku Nanananda, Concept and Reality in Early Buddhist Thought; p. 3-4]

Like the Buddha rejecting the avyakrta, or questions which are not to be answered, and like the rejection of education for its own sake by Zen and other sects of Buddhism, Epicurus advised his followers to "Abandon all paideia" (D.L.X.6), following the Cynics in attacking Platonic mathematics and dialectics."

McEvilley wrote:
"Epicurus said he found serenity in natural science, which has its content "knowledge about causality" (D.L.X.78). From the knowledge of causality, in other words, arises peace of mind. As Strodach says, "To know the causes of things and to know that these are wholly natural is to banish groundless fears of a god or gods who work in unsearchable ways; and the conquest of such fear represenst a marked dimunition of human pain and suffering and hence is an essential ingredient of the good life.
Similarly, Kalupahana says, "
The essence of the Buddha's enlightenment... consisted of the realization of ... causal uniformity."

Says Epicurus:
Epicurus wrote:
"Happiness is bound up with causal knowldege." (D.L.X.78)

And the Buddha:
Buddha wrote:
"He who sees causality sees the dhamma." (M.I.190-191)

The purpose of the study of causality, says Epicurus, is "mental composure and self-reliance" (D.L.X.85). And Kalupahana, speaking of early Buddhism: "Knowledge of causality should go hand in hand with restraint of the senses.""

McEvilley wrote:
"Compare the Buddhist teaching called the Mirror of Dharma:

Quote :
"Whatever action... leads to suffering for oneself or others or for both, that action os bad (akusalam). Whatever action... does not lead to suffering... is good (kusalam). [M.I.414]

The passage goes on to analyza humans into four categories: those who torment (1) themselves, (2) others, (3) themselves and others, and (4) neither themselves nor others - these last being the enlightened. Epicurus arrived at this same formulation (for example at Sent. Vat. LXXIX and KD 1):
"He who has attained ataraxia torments neither himself not another."

Says Epicurus:
Epicurus wrote:
"The just man is the least disturbed by passion, the unjust man the most highly disturbed." (KD 17, D.L.X. 144)

Society would be most improved, then, by the development of ataraxia in its individual citizens. Epicurus taught a missionary zeal based on the (originally Cynic) concept of brotherly love:
"Love goes dancing round the world bidding us all awake and pass on the salutation of blessedness." (Sent. Vat. III)

"Blessedness", to makarion, is hedone / ataraxia."

Nietzsche wrote:
"The instinctive hatred of reality: a consequence of an extreme capacity for suffering and excitement which no longer wants any contact at all because it feels every contact too deeply.
The instinctive exclusion of any antipathy, any hostility, any boundaries or divisions in man's feelings: the consequence of an extreme capacity for suffering and excitement which experiences any resistance, even any compulsion to resist, as unendurable displeasure (that is, as harmful, as something against which the instinct of self-preservation warns us); and finds blessedness (pleasure) only in no longer offering any resistance to anybody, neither to evil nor to him who is evil—love as the only, as the last possible, way of life.
These are the two physiological realities on which, out of which, the doctrine of redemption grew. I call this a sublime further development of hedonism on a thoroughly morbid basis. Most closely related to it, although with a generous admixture of Greek vitality and nervous energy, is Epicureanism, the pagan doctrine of redemption. Epicurus, a typical decadent—first recognized as such by me. The fear of pain, even of infinitely minute pain—that can end in no other way than in a religion of love." [AC, 30]

Nietzsche wrote:
"The Christian is only one kind of Epicurean." [AC]

Epicurus wrote:
"Natural justice is a pledge guaranteeing mutual advantage, to prevent one from harming others and to keep oneself from being harmed."


Quote :
"...Zarathustra turns his back on the hidden Epicurean life of seclusion he has led with his friends the eagle and the serpent, wherein "he enjoyed his spirit and his solitude, and for ten years did not tire of that" (Nietzsche 1883, 121). Indeed, Zarathustra lived almost as one of the gods of Epicurus: alone, aloof, caring nothing about the fate of men. Yet Zarathustra decides to forsake his godly existence and "to become man again" because, as he says, "I am sick of my wisdom ... I need hands outstretched to receive it ... I want to give away and distribute it" -- and not for the sake of his friends, but "until the wise among men enjoy their folly once more and the poor their riches" (122). To do so, he "must descend to the depths", "become empty again", "become man again" (122).

So "the good solitude, the free, playful, light solitude" (Nietzsche 1886a, §25) is not enough for man, and neither are "moralities [that] are meant to calm him and lead him to be satisfied with himself" (§187). Nietzsche begins to perceive ominous parallels between Epicureanism and Christianity, both of which appeal to those whose "most profound desire is that the war they are should come to an end" -- for "happiness appears to them, in agreement with a tranquilizing medicine and way of thought (for example, Epicurean or Christian), pre-eminently as the happiness of resting, of not being disturbed, of satiety, of finally attained unity" (§200). No longer seeing Epicurean ataraxia as "a state of serene agitation" that comprises "the artist's and philosopher's vision of happiness" (Nietzsche 1878, §611), Nietzsche now criticizes all "ways of thinking that measure the value of things in accordance with pleasure and pain, which are mere epiphenomena and wholly secondary" (Nietzsche 1886a, §225) -- whether under the guise of "hedonism or pessimism, utilitarianism or eudaimonism" (§225). All such philosophies want "to abolish suffering" and offer an account of "well-being ... that is no goal, that seems to us an end, a state that soon makes man ridiculous and contemptible" (§225).

... "it really seems to us that we would rather have it higher and worse than ever" because it is "the discipline of great suffering" and the "tension of the soul in unhappiness" that "has created all enhancements of man so far" (§225). Those who find within themselves the "inventiveness and courage" necessary for "enduring" and "persevering" (§225) do not seek "some final state", "a negative definition of happiness", "stillness, mildness, patience, medicine, balm in some sense", "rest, stillness, calm seas, redemption from themselves", or "a certain warm narrowness that keeps away fear and encloses one in optimistic horizons" (Nietzsche 1886b, Preface to Second Edition, 34). That is the philosophy of a cautious optimism and of mere happiness rather than human nobility -- and it is thus that Nietzsche "gradually learned to understand Epicurus" and "also the 'Christian' who is actually only a kind of Epicurean".
Nietzsche argues that such a cautious optimism -- which, confusingly, he also calls "romantic pessimism" -- stems essentially from a lack of vital force, from hunger for life, from a poverty of passion, fire, and creative power. And he opposes to it his own idea of "Dionysian pessimism", which arises from an "overflowing energy that is pregnant with the future", a "super-abundance that has here become creative" (34), a "selective and cultivating influence" that is "always destructive as well as creative and form-giving" (Nietzsche 1886a, §61).

.."I have presented such terrible images to knowledge that any 'Epicurean delight' is out of the question. Only Dionysian joy is sufficient." (Nietzsche 1967, §1029)
..."that one constantly contradicts the great majority not through words but through deeds" (Nietzsche 1967, §944). Certainly such a creative soul and higher man suffers, and it is better to pity his suffering than that of the average man (Nietzsche 1886a, §225); but better yet is the attitude that Zarathustra expresses at the end of his book: "My suffering and my pity for suffering -- what does it matter? Am I concerned with happiness? I am concerned with my work." (Nietzsche 1883, 439)."

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2.

Quote :

Epicurus wrote:
"The greater the difficulty the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests."

Epicurus... "wisdom in bodily form." [Nietzsche, 1879, §224]

"The idyllic-heroism"... of Epicurus. [Nietzsche]

Quote :
"For Nietzsche, what matters is how one deals with the inevitable experiences of both suffering and happiness. He finds in Epicureanism a philosophy that gives one the perspective to overcome suffering by remaining "secure and calm" in the face of life's vicissitudes (Nietzsche 1882, §45) -- and "every individual who is calm and steady in head and heart has the right to believe not only that he has a good temperament, but also that he is in possession of a universally useful virtue and even that, by preserving this virtue, he is fulfilling a higher task" (Nietzsche 1878, §285).":

Quote :
"Yes, I am proud of perceiving the character of Epicurus differently from anyone else perhaps, and of enjoying the happiness of the afternoon of antiquity in all that I hear and read of him: I see his eye gazing out on a broad whitish sea, over the shore-rocks on which the sunshine rests, while great and small creatures play in its light, secure and calm like this light and the eye itself. Such happiness could only have been devised by a chronic sufferer, the happiness of an eye before which the sea of existence has become calm, and which can no longer tire of gazing at the surface and at the variegated, tender, tremulous skin of this sea. Never previously was there such a moderation of voluptuousness." [JW]

He bemoans the fact that in the modern world, "there is a hatred of any kind of education that makes one a solitary, that proposes goals that transcend money and money-making, that takes a long time; such more serious forms of education are usually disparaged as 'refined egoism' and as 'immoral cultural Epicureanism'" (Nietzsche 1874, 165). Comparing the Cynic and the Epicurean, Nietzsche notes that the latter "employs his higher culture to make himself independent of dominating opinions" (Nietzsche 1878, §275) and "would rather dispense" with "having an audience" (Nietzsche 1882, §306). One who is independent thus displays "a refined heroism that disdains to offer itself to the veneration of the great masses, as his coarser brother does, and tends to go silently through the world and out of the world" (Nietzsche 1878, §291). Hearkening back to the Epicurean maxim lathe biosas ("live unknown"), Nietzsche counsels one to "live in seclusion so that you can live for yourself", to "live in ignorance about what seems most important to your age", to "lay the skin of at least three centuries between yourself and today" (Nietzsche 1882, §338). In this way, one essentially emulates "the gods of Epicurus, who have no care and are unknown". (Nietzsche 1882, §277).

..."modern agitatedness ... is growing so great that higher culture can no longer allow its fruits to mature", that "from lack of repose our civilization is turning into a new barbarism", and that "one of the more necessary corrections to the character of mankind that have to be taken in hand is a considerable strengthening of the contemplative element in it" (Nietzsche 1878, §285). Note again the phrase "higher culture"; for Nietzsche, following Hegel, such culture consists of philosophy, religion, and art.

Religion has the same effect [on those of a lower rank] that an Epicurean philosophy has on sufferers of a higher rank: it is refreshing, refining -- makes, as it were, the most of suffering, and in the end even sanctifies and justifies it" (Nietzsche 1886a, §61)."

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Epicurus wrote:
“The most perfect means of securing safety from men, which arises, to some extent, from a certain power to expel, is the assurance that comes from quietude and withdrawal from the world.”

Quote :
"During the final years of his life the reactionary thinker Julius Evola had to face the question of how a  radical traditionalist was to act in a world that had evolved into the opposite of what he stood for. Evola recommended a detached life, or as the wisdom goes, “to be in the world, but not of it.” He advocated  apolitea, the withdrawal from contemporary politics and abandonment of political activism.  Instead of fighting the current age he recommended to “ride the tiger” until the tiger is exhausted."


So,

1. Epicureanism is a kind of Pagan Xt., a decadent reciprocal trust of 'good-will'.
Pleasure is Moralized as the ends and purpose of the highest kind of life.

2. The steady undisturbed-equilibrium, can be exploited in creating one's own calm world in a world of turbulence. The cultivation of a steady-character, delight in solitude, an unfluctuating calm...- within which world, within which 'garden', one can allow one's senses to develop, open and bloom out and experience the richness of life...

Nietzsche wrote:
"The meaning of our gardens and palaces (and to this extent also the meaning of all desire for riches) is: to remove disorder and vulgarity from sight and to build a home for nobility of soul.
The majority, to be sure, believe they will acquire higher natures when those beautiful, peaceful objects have operated upon them: hence the rush to go to Italy and on travels, etc.; all reading and visits to theatres. They want to have themselves formed- that is the meaning of their cultural activity! But the strong, the mighty want to form and no longer to have anything foreign about them!
Thus men also plunge into wild nature, not to find themselves but to lose and forget themselves in it. "To be outside oneself' as the desire of all the weak and the self-discontented." [WTP 941]

Nobility from the development of powerful senses flowing into rich experiences are cultivated in solitary Epicurean gardens, ithat teach "Nothing in Excess" to those evolving into a God-like nature, where the passions from powerful senses then become erratic and tumultous - why therefore it reigned popular among the barbaric/immoderate Romans;
Nietzsche wrote:
"The teaching meden agan applies to men of overflowing strength - not to the mediocre. The enkrateia" and askesis'· is only a stage toward the heights: the "golden nature" is higher. Higher than "thou shalt" is "I will" (the heroes); higher than "I will" stands: "I am" (the gods of the Greeks).
...The barbarian gods express nothing of the pleasure of restraint - are neither simple nor frivolous nor moderate." [WTP 940]
Epicureanism is not paganism, but can pave the way to a Paganism/Imperialism which is to me - self-possession.


To be seduced into learning is for the Exhausted, for Dwarves, for the Weary.

My health, My taste:
Dionysian Joy > Epicurean Delight.
Sanguine pessimism > Romantic pessimism.



Epicureanism *then* : paideia and Aristotle, etc., had already set what "virtue" and excellence and pleasure meant. So a 'pleasant-living' and a salutory brotherhood of reciprocal trust of harming no one and being harmed by none, could still be reasonable since everyone more or less had a common culture/mentality/paideia.
Now, to extract this out-of-context like the Libertarians do, politicize it today, where "pleasure" means near total vulgarity in our times, is turning man into cattle. Into dwarves.

In today's terms, the Epicurean equation 'Pleasant-living for a Pleasant Life' would be the pursuit of gross materialism, because that's what people understand by *pleasure* today. A happy life for itself - what would this mean to herd libertarians, and randian objectivists' 'rational pursuit of self-interests'  when your very rationality is defined today by J.-Xt. concepts or something that varies from culture to culture. Libertarianism then is the Relativization of Nobility; that's what I see already anyways.

If Epicureanism is already a kind of inert hedonistic Xt., Libertarians tracing themselves to 'European Greek roots'  counts for nothing. It is a Semiticism - pagan energy with Semitic mentality.

'Riding the tiger' and apoliteia and cultivating secret gardens to retreat into can only be a temporary curfew against a vulgar age - as it Exactly was originally - epicureanism was a relief measure to combat barbaric Xt. and other superstitious cults promising after-life paradises; it was not meant as a life-path or ideology. An art of 'provisional' living.


Paganism is a 'lively' joy in one's [re-presencing] self, and the affirmative interconnectedness with life.

At the basic, its a form of spiritualized politics; a self-moderating, self-possessive, self-reverential attitude, an affirmative/Dharmic outlook towards the world, putting duties before rights, a detached pursuit of power/self-multiplication than pleasure.

Historically speaking, Paganism is an umbrella term for all sorts of things that is non-Xt. coined by Xt.

See the [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]; a deconstructive pluralistic view.

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*


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PostSubject: Re: Challenging Atheism and Libertarianism Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:36 pm

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Re: Challenging Atheism and Libertarianism Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:55 am

Thanks for the quotes and links!

I don't see a relation between Paganism and Libertarianism (like you probably don't either). But since you answered my post here. I will post my latest observation on Paganism here too.

I think the opposite of Paganism may be New Age-ism. I came across this documentary

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7UlQ3N7P3k

from a Christian perspective. So one has to transfer this. I think to be modern means to be New Age-an. This New Age has infiltrated everything: from Christianity to everything. New Age-ans/Liberals are Nietzsche's "Last Men". This is the difference. Pagans are N.'s Overmen.

To the Stoicism (Apollo) and Epicureanism (Dionysos) topic, I still have to read all your quotes. There is a chapter in Spengler's "Decline of the West" also on this! That I am reading right now! (Some nice Nietzsche critique there! How N. was contrary to Stoics and Epicureans so focussed on the masses and not on the self, like those.. Also I may have misunderstood Faustianism and Apollonianism. This difference is significant. Nietzsche was faustian, the ancient greeks were apollonian for the most part. I always read Nietzsche as a social critique and not as a pagan. May stoics be more pagan than N.?)

I went by Spengler's tables, to see what school of Philosophy is suitable for this time. And he says late hellenic Stoicism. To understand Stoicism it maybe useful to understand Epicurius also. Though I'd agree that he is misunderstood by most today and Hedonism is what characterizes modernity. So if he is the father of that. I guess we'll never know.

Spengler says Socrates to be the father of Stoicism. So you can always go back. I don't want to make any concessions towards modernity or decay/decadence/hedonism. But I also don't want to be in a contra position that consums energies and that really cannot be sustained. I am still amazed by Marcus Aurelius. I would put Thorau's Walden there too. For me this is an entrance to Philosophy. I'd even like to be a "Philosopher" now, call myself that. I couldn't say that: looking at Nietzsche, Schopenhauer or Kant, because to me they seem kind of outdated in some parts. Especially the Schopenhauer and Kant in their whole big holistic approach. Not so the Stoics (and Epicurius).

I see Coulanges' book as the basis for understanding Paganism. Since all the worhsip of pagan gods came later and what today survived in those "superheros" or "idols" is made useful for the modern agenda: Collectivism, Statism or the "survival of the strongest" Capitalism of Corporatism. It has no freeing potential, like 432 hz music.

Paganism to me means being in tune with one's own being/self/ego/past. Like the resonance of the 432 hz.

Can you maybe look into how Stoicism and Paganism relate to each other? I will try to find some on that too.
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PostSubject: Re: Challenging Atheism and Libertarianism Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:35 pm

Between all those quotes, I see you posted some of yourself. You should mark that better. Because longer texts, I usually read later. Separately. If there is a quote by an other, you should also use [ quote ]. And maybe a bigger letter format, than the one suggested.

I am no romantic either. I can appreciate Wagners Ouvertures, but wouldn't listen to them regularly. I am closer to the Wagner in Goethe's Faust. The intellectual, who creates the homunculus. At least I still saw some connection a while ago.

A Scorpio can even find interesting quotes in a (shallow) Libra (like Nietzsche).

That story of Alexander got me interested. Funny. Nice Article. Thanks a lot again!
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PostSubject: Re: Challenging Atheism and Libertarianism Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:52 pm

Still haven't read all the articles you posted here, but a question:

When you use the combined term: "xtian pagan" or "semitic paganism" (in relation to Libertarianism), what meaning does "pagan" carry in this term?

Why don't you just say: "xtian"? But "pagan xtian" instead?
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PostSubject: Re: Challenging Atheism and Libertarianism Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:46 pm

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Mike Konczal

Bob Dole recently said that neither he nor Ronald Reagan would count as conservatives these days. It’s worth noting that John Locke probably wouldn’t count as a libertarian these days, either.

Michael Lind had a column in Salon in which he asked, “[i]f libertarians are correct in claiming that they understand how best to organize a modern society, how is it that not a single country in the world in the early twenty-first century is organized along libertarian lines?” EJ Dionne agrees. Several libertarians argue that the present is no guide, because the (seasteading?) future belongs to libertarians.

I’d actually go in a different direction and say the past belonged to libertarians. We tried libertarianism for a long time; it was called feudalism. That modern-day libertarianism of the Nozick-Rand-Rothbard variety resembles feudalism, rather than some variety of modern liberalism, is a great point made by Samuel Freeman in his paper "Illiberal Libertarians: Why Libertarianism Is Not a Liberal View." Let’s walk through it.

Freeman notes that there are several key institutional features of liberal political structures shared across a variety of theorists. First, there’s a set of basic rights each person equally shares (speech, association, thought, religion, conscience, voting and holding office, etc.) that are both fundamental and inalienable (more on those terms in a bit). Second, there’s a public political authority which is impartial, institutional, continuous, and held in trust to be acted on in a representative capacity. Third, positions should be open to talented individuals alongside some fairness in equality of opportunity. And last, there’s a role for governments in the market for providing public goods, checking market failure, and providing a social minimum.

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The libertarian state, centered solely around ideas of private property, stands in contrast to all of these. I want to stick with the libertarian minimal state laid out by Robert Nozick in Anarchy, State, and Utopia (ASU), as it's a landmark in libertarian thought, and I just re-read it and wanted to write something about it. Let’s look at how it handles each of the political features laid out above.

Rights. Libertarians would say that of course they believe in basic rights, maybe even more than liberals! But there’s a subtle trick here.

For liberals, basic rights are fundamental, in the sense that they can’t be compromised or traded against other, non-basic rights. They are also inalienable; I can’t contractually transfer away or otherwise give up my basic rights. To the extent that I enter contracts that do this, I have an option of exit that restores those rights.

This is different from property rights in specific things. Picture yourself as a person with a basic right to association, who also owns a wooden stick. You can sell your stick, or break it, or set it on fire. Your rights over the stick are alienable - you don’t have the stick anymore once you’ve done those things. Your rights to the stick are also not fundamental. Given justification, the public could regulate its use (say if it were a big stick turned into a bridge, it may need to meet safety requirements), in a way that the liberal state couldn’t regulate freedom of association.

When libertarians say they are for basic rights, what they are really saying is that they are for treating what liberals consider basic rights as property rights. Basic rights receive no more, or less, protection than other property rights. You can easily give them up or bargain them away, and thus alienate yourself from them. (Meanwhile, all property rights are entirely fundamental - they can never be regulated.)

How is that possible? Let’s cut to the chase: Nozick argues you can sell yourself into slavery, a condition under which all basic liberties are extinguished. (“[Would] a free system... allow him to sell himself into slavery[?] I believe that it would.” ASU 331) The minimal libertarian state would be forced to acknowledge and enforce contracts that permanently alienate basic liberties, even if the person in question later wanted out, although the liberal state would not at any point acknowledge such a contract.

If the recession were so bad that millions of people started selling themselves into slavery, or entering contracts that required lifelong feudal oaths to employers and foregoing basic rights, in order to survive, this would raise no important liberty questions for the libertarian minimal state. If this new feudal order were set in such a way that it persisted across generations, again, no problem. As Freeman notes, “what is fundamentally important for libertarians is maintaining a system of historically generated property rights...no attention is given to maintaining the basic rights, liberties, and powers that (according to liberals) are needed to institutionally define a person’s freedom, independence, and status as an equal citizen.”

Government. Which brings us to feudalism. Feudalism, for Freeman, means “the elements of political authority are powers that are held personally by individuals, not by enduring political institutions... subjects’ political obligations and allegiances are voluntary and personal: They arise out of private contractual obligations and are owed to particular persons.”

What is the libertarian government? For Nozick, the minimal state is basically a protection racket (“protection services”) with a certain kind of returns to scale over an area and, after some mental cartwheels, a justification in forcing holdouts in their area to follow their rules.

As such, it is a network of private contracts, arising solely from protection and arbitration services, where political power also remains in private hands and privately exercised. The protection of rights is based on people’s ability to pay, bound through private authority and bilateral, individual contracts. “Protection and enforcement of people’s rights is treated as an economic good to be provided by the market,” (ASU 26) with governments as a for-profit corporate entities.

What doesn’t this have? There is no impartial, public power. There’s no legislative capacity that is answerable to the people in a non-market form. There’s no democracy and universal franchise with equal rights of participation. Political power isn’t to be acted on in a representative capacity toward public benefit, but instead toward private ends. Which is to say, it takes the features we associate with public, liberal government power and replaces them with feudal, private governance.

Opportunity. Liberals believe that positions should be open for all with talent, and that public power should be utilized to ensure disadvantaged groups have access to opportunities. Libertarianism believes that private, feudal systems of exclusion, hierarchy, and domination are perfectly fine, or at least that there is no legitimate public purpose in checking these private relationships. As mentioned above, private property rights are fundamental and cannot be balanced against other concerns like opportunity. Nozick is clear on this (“No one has a right to something whose realization requires certain uses of things and activities that other people have right and entitlements over.” ASU 238).

Do we need more? How about Rand Paul, one of the leading advocates for libertarianism, explaining why he wouldn’t vote for the Civil Rights Act: “I abhor racism. I think it’s a bad business decision to exclude anybody from your restaurant — but, at the same time, I do believe in private ownership.”

Markets. The same goes for markets, where Nozick is pretty clear: no interference. “Taxation of earnings from labor is on a par with forced labor.” (ASU, 169) Nozick thinks it is likely that his entitlement theory will lead to an efficient distribution of resources and avoid market problems, but he doesn’t particularly require it and contrasts himself with end-staters who assume it will. “Distribution according to benefits to others is a major patterned strand in a free capitalist society, as Hayek correctly points out, but it is only a strand and does not constitute the whole pattern of a system of entitlements.” (ASU 158)

I sometimes see arguments about how bringing “markets” into the provision of government services makes it more libertarian. Privatizing Social Security, bringing premium support to Medicare, or having vouchers for public education is more libertarian than the status quo. Again, it’s not clear to me why libertarians would think taxation for public, in-kind provisioning is a form of slavery and forced labor while running these services through private agents is not.

You could argue that introducing markets into government services respects economic liberty as a basic liberty, or does a better job of providing for the worst off, or leaves us all better off overall. But these aren’t libertarian arguments; they are the types of arguments Nozick spends Part II of ASU taunting, trolling, or otherwise bulldozing.

Three last thoughts. (1) Do read Atossa Abrahamian on actually existing seasteading. (2) It’s ironic that liberalism first arose to bury feudal systems of private political power, and now libertarians claim the future of liberalism is in bringing back those very same systems of feudalism. (3) Sometimes libertarians complain that the New Deal took the name liberal, which is something they want to claim for themselves. But looking at their preferred system as it is, I think people like me will be keeping the name “liberal.” We do a better job with it.

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PostSubject: Re: Challenging Atheism and Libertarianism Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:18 am

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PostSubject: Re: Challenging Atheism and Libertarianism Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:45 pm

The majority have a need for God because they are child-like and have no knowledge of directing themselves. A true man, real masculinity, would defy God even if he revealed himself coming down from the clouds in a blazing chariot. True masculinity submits to nothing, nobody, and seeks only to strengthen itself mentally and physically.

How free can a philosopher truly be in any society, let alone a democracy? The masses are like vermin in the presence of the wisest minds, and the leaders of a democracy are no different than the masses themselves. Thus, masculinity associates with none except on the superficial level - this is true freedom, true strength.

Whether or not he is financially and socially successful determines his place in society. However, even the rich and those who uphold freedom as the highest of values are no more than children, swayed by any sensation and living in a dream world that they actually free. Ironically enough, it is these two groups who know have no conception of the value of austerity, and thus, will never actually be free.
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PostSubject: Re: Challenging Atheism and Libertarianism Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:27 pm

Sisyphus wrote:
True masculinity submits to nothing, nobody, and seeks only to strengthen itself mentally and physically.

A man must submit to himself. And if he does not to himself then he does to an ideal he holds. And if he has nothing then he surrenders to chaos.
Submit he does but he has a say in what he submits to.
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PostSubject: Re: Challenging Atheism and Libertarianism Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:00 pm

Sisyphus wrote:
A true man, real masculinity, would defy God even if he revealed himself
Sisyphus wrote:
However, even the rich and those who uphold freedom as the highest of values are no more than children,
So a real man desires freedom from god, yet is a child at the same time?

How do you reconcile this contradiction?

This reminds me of magnus anderson's rationale. Freedom is good, yet bad, at the same time??
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PostSubject: Re: Challenging Atheism and Libertarianism Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:11 am

Anfang: I do not submit to myself, but rather I dominate myself. If I submitted to myself, I would allow my emotions to take control, and thus submit to the despair that I feel which, only after I dominate, allows me true autonomy and freedom. Rather, I dominate these conditions, in order to bring about masculine order and self-government.

Aeon: What I was getting at is that the type of man who has a need for deity is the type of man who is childish and needs a father figure to guide him. Would you respect an adult man who still needs his father to spank his ass?
True masculinity has the burning desire to be the highest force, or at least freedom and independence from all higher forces.

Likewise, even if a person is socially powerful, like Bill Gates, or a man who cherishes his constitution and the right to bear arms and polishes his arsenal every night - neither of these man are necessarily free. Diogenes of Sinope was free, because he was free from social control, thus free from man's usual petty needs, and told even the great Alexander to move out of his way because he was blocking the sun.
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PostSubject: Re: Challenging Atheism and Libertarianism Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:57 am

Sisyphus wrote:
I do not submit to myself, but rather I dominate myself.

I see self as more than just the emotions - the part which tries to dominate is also part of the self.
I also see domination of the 'animal/limbic/emotional-self' part by the 'will' part as something which ultimately has its best interests at heart/mind. And if this is the case then this domination is also a submission.
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PostSubject: Re: Challenging Atheism and Libertarianism Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:40 pm


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PostSubject: Re: Challenging Atheism and Libertarianism Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:54 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Challenging Atheism and Libertarianism Mon Dec 07, 2015 6:44 am


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PostSubject: Re: Challenging Atheism and Libertarianism Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:15 am

We don't each live in a separate universe.
Everything we do has an effect on others, no matter how slight.

This is why I am against libertarianism. It would allow degeneracy to spread under the guise of 'freedom'. The problem with allowing people liberties to behave like the lowest of the low animals is that, because path of least resistance is easiest, it eventually becomes the norm. There is no such thing as 'allow a little bit of degeneracy, just a little bit of weakness and stupidity'. NO. Exterminate that filth down to its last particles. It spreads like wildfire. And those who once demanded tolerance for their degeneracy will now use every opportunity to attack and attempt to drag down to their level or beneath everybody who disagrees with their choices and attempts to ascend to a level above.

So yes, other people's degeneracy DOES affect me, at least the degeneracy of those under the same system as me. The more degenerate they are, the weaker they make the system, and since I am part of the system they are making me more vulnerable too, so fuck their 'freedom' to be degenerate.
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PostSubject: Re: Challenging Atheism and Libertarianism Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:35 am

Statelessness has its disadvantages…


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PostSubject: Re: Challenging Atheism and Libertarianism Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:02 pm

"It would allow degeneracy to spread under the guise of 'freedom'."

That would depend on the strain of libertarianism.

Degenerates would have a hard time of it in a libertarianism where doing is concretely bonded to the consequences of doing.
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PostSubject: Re: Challenging Atheism and Libertarianism Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:25 pm

Henry Quirk wrote:
"It would allow degeneracy to spread under the guise of 'freedom'."

That would depend on the strain of libertarianism.

Degenerates would have a hard time of it in a libertarianism where doing is concretely bonded to the consequences of doing.

And once the consequences of doing are realized, it would be acknowledged libertarianism is a dead end to sustain a healthy culture.

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PostSubject: Re: Challenging Atheism and Libertarianism Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:42 pm

"libertarianism is a dead end"

Only cuz no how, no way, will the bulk of any population willingly link autonomy with responsibility.

This is not a new thing...seems to me, since shortly after we fell out of the trees, most, in any time or place, have been lookin' to slough off consequence, make it some one else's burden.

Libertarianism is doomed simply cuz most folks are, and always have been, slack asses.

Systems that corral slack asses, or cater to them, last longer, but not forever. Simply, the self-responsible are attritioned out of existence. When the slack asses truly run the show (instead of merely benefiting from the show), the show ends....curtain falls, curtain rises: gray stage where upon sits one of Vonnegut's devolved humans from Galapagos along side one of Lovecraft's ghouls*.

Healthy culture: fundamentally, this -- to me -- means self-responsible individuals living, working, transacting, cooperating, competing with other self-responsible individuals. When is the last time such a circumstance was in play?

I'm thinkin': never (not on the large scale, not over the long haul).

The today and the tomorrow (just like most of the yesterday) belong to Al and his communitarian buddies...I don't like this...but it -- unfortunately -- is what it is.

Now: some one will call me a defeatist...I think I'm just being realistic...if the house is on fire and the fire dept. is no where to be found and -- despite your efforts -- the fire spreads, should you stay in the house, or get the hell out?

Getting out is not just physical but also psychological...your home is gone (or almost so)...disentangle from it.

"But, that's not so easy when talking about a nation or a culture!"

No, it's not, but the difficulty of de-investing doesn't negate the necessity of it.

Borrowing from Mr. Fang's notion about leeches...sometimes you gotta wear a space suit (or its abstract equivalent) to keep your juices (and brains) in place (and carry and use a friggin' big stick), and you hunker down and make do.

Load shot...  Neutral









*or Well's morlocks and eloi
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PostSubject: Re: Challenging Atheism and Libertarianism Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:51 pm

Henry Quirk wrote:
Healthy culture: fundamentally, this -- to me -- means self-responsible individuals living, working, transacting, cooperating, competing with other self-responsible individuals. When is the last time such a circumstance was in play?

I'm thinkin': never (not on the large scale, not over the long haul).

That's something which has been talked about on some TRS podcast, don't remember which one(s) though. A lot of those TRS people have come from the libertarian movements and they have become a lot more authoritarian because their reasoning is that all those liberties they would like to have in a society practically only work if the society is rather homogeneous already to begin with.

I can be relaxed and let Johnny be Johnny if Johnny is somewhat similar to me in his nature.
If he's a negroid thug it's not gonna be an enjoyable live and let live neighbourhood.
And when they dug into what produces rather homogeneous communities and dug into genetics and breeding they also came to the conclusion that 'racism' a.k.a. 'in-group bias for Europeans' is required for this.
And you need to be somewhat discriminatory and authoritarian to defend the group against other groups, be it physically or morally, intellectually and so on.
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PostSubject: Re: Challenging Atheism and Libertarianism Thu Jan 28, 2016 6:13 pm

The problem (or, mebbe it's just my problem) is a lack of physical and psychological breathing room. We're all crammed together in a closet, and the closet is gettin' smaller ever year.
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PostSubject: Re: Challenging Atheism and Libertarianism Thu Jan 28, 2016 6:31 pm

Henry Quirk wrote:
The problem (or, mebbe it's just my problem) is a lack of physical and psychological breathing room. We're all crammed together in a closet, and the closet is gettin' smaller ever year.

Some in the closet are making room for themselves on a psychological, political and also material level. They scream the loudest and are the most outraged. Rabbits.
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PostSubject: Re: Challenging Atheism and Libertarianism Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:50 am

Outsider wrote:
The state is at best something to tolerate out of necessity...

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Anytime you have a diverse population, then the organization along the path of least resistance is always going to be the lcd of the majority, that automatically reduces the state to the anaemic libertarian perspective of the functional night-watchman.

"At best", the state is an organic outcrop of the value-standards of the few and not something to tolerate, but a creative extension of our deepest immortal urge. The automatic pilot that guards and IS the template of timeless values, the heritage beyond our temporality, the example that ferments the germ of our creative consciousness. It makes possible to shoot out our best output, our history in different avatars again and again. The state at best is the germ-vitale of our cultural consciousness, our power, our reach.

No doubt your critique holds for the modern state; but the modern state is not the definitive of state per se.

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PostSubject: Re: Challenging Atheism and Libertarianism Fri May 27, 2016 2:22 am

Lyssa wrote:
Outsider wrote:
The state is at best something to tolerate out of necessity...

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Anytime you have a diverse population, then the organization along the path of least resistance is always going to be the lcd of the majority, that automatically reduces the state to the anaemic libertarian perspective of the functional night-watchman.

"At best", the state is an organic outcrop of the value-standards of the few and not something to tolerate, but a creative extension of our deepest immortal urge. The automatic pilot that guards and IS the template of timeless values, the heritage beyond our temporality, the example that ferments the germ of our creative consciousness. It makes possible to shoot out our best output, our history in different avatars again and again. The state at best is the germ-vitale of our cultural consciousness, our power, our reach.

No doubt your critique holds for the modern state; but the modern state is not the definitive of state per se.


Michael Walker/Dominic Campbell wrote:
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PostSubject: Re: Challenging Atheism and Libertarianism Fri May 27, 2016 10:29 am

Dominic Campbell wrote:
While it may claim, and the "liberal democratic" theory of the state leads it to so claim, (in contrast to socialist and fascist theories of the state which dominated so much of political philosophy in the earlier part of this century), that the state exists to serve the individual, not the individual the state, yet the brutal fact remains that the individual counts as nothing compared to the state. This is so regrdless of the ideology of the state and can not be otherwise, for by definition the state exists only to the extent that it exercises that very power which defines it: to be more than a sum of individuals.

This is moving towards the creation of a false dilemma, an informal fallacy, and the creation of binary thinking. I see this problem continue throughout the essay as the author uses the thesis, antithesis methodology which is akin to a philosophical sleight of hand with the aid of creating false dichotomies.

I do not write this in defense of libertarianism, but I don't feel the article provided is of great value.

Initiating a discussion about what culture is and why/how it exists (by nature) is important but it should be had in the context of praxis in relation to historical facticity lest it become more noumenal abstraction; a recreation for a sedentary people.
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PostSubject: Re: Challenging Atheism and Libertarianism Fri May 27, 2016 12:08 pm

Ethos wrote:
Dominic Campbell wrote:
While it may claim, and the "liberal democratic" theory of the state leads it to so claim, (in contrast to socialist and fascist theories of the state which dominated so much of political philosophy in the earlier part of this century), that the state exists to serve the individual, not the individual the state, yet the brutal fact remains that the individual counts as nothing compared to the state. This is so regrdless of the ideology of the state and can not be otherwise, for by definition the state exists only to the extent that it exercises that very power which defines it: to be more than a sum of individuals.

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This is moving towards the creation of a false dilemma, an informal fallacy, and the creation of binary thinking. I see this problem continue throughout the essay as the author uses the thesis, antithesis methodology which is akin to a philosophical sleight of hand with the aid of creating false dichotomies.

I do not write this in defense of libertarianism, but I don't feel the article provided is of great value.

Initiating a discussion about what culture is and why/how it exists (by nature) is important but it should be had in the context of praxis in relation to historical facticity lest it become more noumenal abstraction; a recreation for a sedentary people.

I actually take value in his intent, than the method or content of his essay. The discipline of taking the good as well as the bad without splintering into rigid polarities is what must be our kernel; what Walker considers good or bad need not concern us. For eg., "leftists" like Baudrillard and Sloterdijk, etc. are more right, than "rightists" like Evola, Guenon who are more left [in that they equivocate Aryan wisdom with J.-Xt. gnosis, etc.]

Minus all the obfuscations with Rousseau and all that, I am in agreement with his saying, that a State "ought not to be" some kind of garment one puts on or sheds off at will when it gets too uncomfortable.
This organic view of history is largely [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] and [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].

The State is an organism too, and the highest picture of the highest organism we have so far, is the aesthetic of something that affirms everything in its way, and affirms its way through and Out-Of everything.

The libertarian is an exhausted dwarf and his approach to the state in this and his exhausted period is plainly shameful.
It is hedonistic.
One must Want to affirm greater and greater complexity, Want to stretch the chain as far back and as far into the past and the future. Much like a juggler accomodating a new object after every balancing act.

From his Untimely Meditations-II,

Nietzsche wrote:
"Each of the three types of existing history is only exactly right for a distinct soil and climate: on every other one it grows up into a ruinous weed. If a man who wants to create greatness uses the past, he seizes upon it for himself by means of monumental history; in contrast, one who is habituated by tradition and custom insists on cultivating the past as an antiquarian historian; and only one whose breast is oppressed by a present need and who wants to cast off his load at any price has a need for critical history, i.e., history which tries and passes judgment. Many a harm stems from the thoughtless transplanting of plants: the critical man without need, the antiquarian without piety, and the connoisseur of greatness without the ability for greatness are the sort who are susceptible to weeds, alienated from natural mother earth and thus degenerate growths." [On the uses and disadvantage of history]

Its only when there is a temporary forgetting, are you able to recover and remember even more, and, its only when you take in more and more forms [vital expressions of an epoch], do you have the Choice to exercize a greater flexibility, adapting to and fro between this form now, that form then, and so forth.
Greater the organization > greater the fitness > greater the freedom, and vice-versa,
Greater the freedom > greater the fitness > greater the organizational capacity.

A high-culture can only be the product of such a self-stress, the by-product of adaptive agitations, of the will to self-growth and destructions.

Just as a human being feels "joy" [Walker wants to call this Rousseau's return to nature], a consciousness of power, when all his parts find self-expression together in one voice, an organic State in the grand form, must be able to effortlessly give voice to all its historical parts. It is that and their coming together.
Some may see Hegel in this, I see the N. in this. How does one create an enduring 1000-year Reich… - by access to all sorts of historical forms.

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PostSubject: Re: Challenging Atheism and Libertarianism Fri May 27, 2016 12:57 pm

Without question, the interpolation of history is part of a higher culture. It is really the basis of all culture in the sense of cultivation: the communication of knowledge including practice over generations.

Lys wrote:
a State "ought not to be" some kind of garment one puts on or sheds off at will when it gets too uncomfortable.

I would go one step further and say that a state cannot be shed and to think otherwise is a misconception. Part of the problem is tied to the modern etymology of the word state which is in turn equated with certain types of institutions and practices.

Besides this, I contest that a state and its people is a false dichotomy, but the embodiment of the state in the people does not equate the individual to the state but instead it is the network of relationships between individuals by which right we can call that conglomeration of individuals a people and the history of the people in which the state is embodied.

Modern politics has become irrelevant because we can no longer speak about historical praxis in a political context because we must talk about a state which is embodied in institutions divorced from the life of the people. It is through the praxis of a people elevated by historical consciousness that a people can come to re-embody the state.
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PostSubject: Re: Challenging Atheism and Libertarianism Wed May 03, 2017 7:14 pm

Its like a Xt. attempting to expose a jew, and then showing its self to be none other than the same, which isn't to say, it isn't interesting, but on the contrary...





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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Challenging Atheism and Libertarianism

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