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Posts Tagged ‘Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche’

BIOLOGY AND HISTORY
So the first biological lesson of history is that life is competition. competition is not only the life of trade, it is the trade of life — peaceful when food abounds, violent when the mouths outrun the food.  Animals eat one another without qualm; civilize men consume one another by due process of law.
War is a nation’s way of eating.  It promotes co-operation because it is the ultimate form of competition.  Until our states become members of a large and effectively protective group they will continue to act like individuals and families in the hunting stage.
The second biological lesson of history is that life is selection.  In the competition for food or mates or power some organisms succeed and some fail.  In the struggle for existence some individuals are better equipped than others to meet the tests of survival.
Nature loves difference as the necessary material of selection and evolution; identical twins differ in a hundred ways, and no two peas are alike.
Inequality is not only natural and inborn, it grows with the complexity of civilization.  Hereditary inequalities breed social and artificial inequalities; every invention or discovery is made or seized by the exceptional individual, and makes the strong stronger, the weak relatively weaker, than before.  Economic development specializes functions, differentiates abilities, and makes me unequally valuable to their group.  If we knew our fellow men thoroughly we could select thirty percent of them whose combined ability would equal that of all the rest.  Life and history do precisely that, wit a sublime injustice reminiscent of Calvin’s God.
Nature smiles at the union of freedom and equality in our utopias.  For freedom and equality are sworn and everlasting enemies, and when one prevails the other dies.  Leave men free and their natural inequalities will multiply almost geometrically…
Even when repressed, inequality grows; only the man who is below the average in economic ability desires equality; those who are conscious of superior ability desire freedom; and in the end superior ability has its way.  Utopias of equality are biologically doomed, and the best that the amiable philosopher can hope for is an approximate equality of legal justice and educational opportunity.  A society in which all potential abilities are allowed to develop and function will have a survival advantage in the competition of groups.  This competition becomes more severe as the destruction of distance intensifies the confrontation of states.
The third biological lesson of history is that life must breed.  Nature has no use for organisms, variations, or groups that cannot reproduce abundantly.  She has a passion for quantity as prerequisite to the selection of quality; she likes large litters, and relishes the struggle that picks the surviving few; doubtless she looks on approvingly at the upstream race of a thousand sperms to fertilize one ovum.  She is more interested in the species than in the individual, and makes little difference between civilization and barbarism.  She does not care that a high birth rate has usually accompanied a culturally low civilization, and a low birth rate a civilization culturally high; and she (here meaning Nature as the process of birth, variation, competition, selection, and survival) sees to it that a nation with a low birth rate shall be periodically chastened by some more virile and fertile group.
If the human brood is too numerous for the food supply, Nature has three agents for restoring the balance: famine, pestilence, and war.
But much of what we call intelligence is the result of individual education, opportunity, and experience; and there is no evidence that such intellectual acquirements are transmitted in the genes.  Even the children of Ph.D.s must be educated and go through their adolescent measles of errors, dogmas, and isms; nor can we say how much potential ability and genius lurk in the chromosomes of the harassed and handicapped poor.  Biologically, physical vitality may be, at birth, of greater value than intellectual pedigree; Nietzsche thought that the best blood in Germany was in peasant veins; philosophers are not the fittest material from which to breed the race.
In the United States the lower birth rate of the Anglo-Saxons has lessened their economic and political power; and the higher birth rate of Roman Catholic families suggests that by the year 2000 the Roman Catholic Church will be the dominant force in national as well as in municipal or state governments.
    —     Will and Ariel Durant
From their book: “The Lessons Of History, Chap.III
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This life, as you live it at present, and have lived it, you must live it once more, and also innumerable times: and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and every sigh, and all the unspeakably small and great in your life must come to you again, and all in the same series and sequence.
  —    Friedrich Nietzsche
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There is always some madness in love.  But there is always, also, some method in madness.
   —   Friedrich Nietzsche
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What I now do, or neglect to do, is as important for all that is to come, as the greatest event of the past:  in this immense perspective of effects all actions are equally great and small.
     —     Friedrich Nietzsche
From his book:  “The Gay Science
[Although I have my own preference, I don’t care whom you vote for in the November election.  The main thing is for the voice of the American people to be heard.  In order to be heard, we must each take advantage of the right (and privilege) which so many before us have sacrificed to pass on to us – the right to vote!  Every Vote, In Every State Counts!!  —  KMAB]
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Without music, life would be a mistake.
    ―     Friedrich Nietzsche
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If I wished to shake this tree with my hands, I should not be able to do so.
But the wind, which we see not, troubleth and bendeth it as it listeth.  We are sorest bent and troubled by invisible hands.
    —    Friedrich Nietzsche
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This however is my teaching: he who wisheth one day to fly, must first learn standing and walking and running and climbing and dancing: one doth not fly into flying!
    —    Friedrich Nietzsche
From:  “Thus Spoke Zarathustra
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A thinker sees his own actions as experiments and questions – as attempts to find out something.  Success and failure are for him answers above all.
    ―    Friedrich Nietzsche
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Whoever knows he is deep, strives for clarity; whoever would like to appear deep to the crowd, strives for obscurity.  For the crowd considers anything deep if only it cannot see to the bottom: the crowd is so timid and afraid of going into the water.
    —    Friedrich Nietzsche
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Believe me!  The secret of reaping the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously!
  —  Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
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On This Day In:
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When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago.
    ―    Friedrich Nietzsche
[Some folks would like to return to a past when (they believe) America was greater than it is today.  The simple truth is, when it comes to the past, you can’t get there from here.
Despite our current President and political climate, America is still (IMHO) the best nation on earth.  We are NOT perfect.  Far from it.  Many other countries have better health care, better education systems, more safety from violence (specifically gun violence).  But is there any place you’d rather be?  Is there any other time in which you would rather live?
We have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights.  American greatness stems from our beliefs: in the rule of law; that no one is above the law; and, that right makes might.  We have faith in the will of the informed majority and believe in the protection of the rights of the minority.
If our national course is erratic, it is because we understand (but sometimes only reluctantly accept) that the law breathes and changes.  As fundamental human rights are increasingly recognized, acknowledged, and codified, we change as a people, as a society and as a country.  And, yes, sometimes, change is painful.  When it is too painful, the rate of change is slowed (as it is now).  But, change is not halted.  It cannot be halted because change is an emergent property of existence and particularly of life.
America is STILL a great country!  To become a still greater nation we need only rededicate ourselves to a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”  No, future greatness cannot be found in returning to the past, but we can get there (future continued greatness) from here…    —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
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No one can construct for you the bridge upon which precisely you must cross the stream of life, no one but you yourself alone.
   ―     Friedrich Nietzsche
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On This Day In:
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The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies but also to hate his friends.
[And…]
In truth, there was only one christian and he died on the cross.
   ―    Friedrich Nietzsche
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On This Day In:
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I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time.
    ―    Friedrich Nietzsche
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On This Day In:
2017 Pleasures
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Let us distrust our first reactions; they are invariably too favorable.
   —   Friedrich Nietzsche
[Not every critical political post HAS to be about the “moron” in the Oval Office.   —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
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