Friday, June 4, 2010

Nietzsche for President

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a German who lived from 1844 until 1900.

He was a philosopher and philologist and wrote critical texts on religion, morality, contemporary culture, philosophy and science.

There is a lot to say about Mr. Nietzsche but better is to read some of his quotes and realize that although they are over 120 years old, they remain of importance and relevance.
Applying even now to our every day life:

A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.

A friend should be a master at guessing and keeping still: you must not want to see everything.

A good writer possesses not only his own spirit but also the spirit of his friends.

A great value of antiquity lies in the fact that its writings are the only ones that modern men still read with exactness.

A pair of powerful spectacles has sometimes sufficed to cure a person in love.

A subject for a great poet would be God's boredom after the seventh day of creation.

A woman may very well form a friendship with a man, but for this to endure, it must be assisted by a little physical antipathy.

Admiration for a quality or an art can be so strong that it deters us from striving to possess it.

After coming into contact with a religious man I always feel I must wash my hands.

Ah, women. They make the highs higher and the lows more frequent.

All credibility, all good conscience, all evidence of truth come only from the senses.

All sciences are now under the obligation to prepare the ground for the future task of the philosopher, which is to solve the problem of value, to determine the true hierarchy of values.

All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.

All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.

All truth is simple... is that not doubly a lie?

Although the most acute judges of the witches and even the witches themselves, were convinced of the guilt of witchery, the guilt nevertheless was non-existent. It is thus with all guilt.

An artist has no home in Europe except in Paris.

And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh.

Anyone who has declared someone else to be an idiot, a bad apple, is annoyed when it turns out in the end that he isn't.

Arrogance on the part of the meritorious is even more offensive to us than the arrogance of those without merit: for merit itself is offensive.

Art is not merely an imitation of the reality of nature, but in truth a metaphysical supplement to the reality of nature, placed alongside thereof for its conquest.

Art is the proper task of life.

Art raises its head where creeds relax.

At times one remains faithful to a cause only because its opponents do not cease to be insipid.

Before the effect one believes in different causes than one does after the effect.

Behind all their personal vanity, women themselves always have an impersonal contempt for woman.

Blessed are the forgetful: for they get the better even of their blunders.

Character is determined more by the lack of certain experiences than by those one has had.

Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies.

Do whatever you will, but first be such as are able to will.

Does wisdom perhaps appear on the earth as a raven which is inspired by the smell of carrion?

Egoism is the very essence of a noble soul.

Every church is a stone on the grave of a god-man: it does not want him to rise up again under any circumstances.

Every man is a creative cause of what happens, a primum mobile with an original movement.

'Evil men have no songs.' How is it that the Russians have songs?

Existence really is an imperfect tense that never becomes a present.

Experience, as a desire for experience, does not come off. We must not study ourselves while having an experience.

Extreme positions are not succeeded by moderate ones, but by contrary extreme positions.

Faith: not wanting to know what is true.

Fanatics are picturesque, mankind would rather see gestures than listen to reasons.

Fear is the mother of morality.

For art to exist, for any sort of aesthetic activity to exist, a certain physiological precondition is indispensable: intoxication.

For the woman, the man is a means: the end is always the child.

Genteel women suppose that those things do not really exist about which it is impossible to talk in polite company.

Glance into the world just as though time were gone: and everything crooked will become straight to you.

Go up close to your friend, but do not go over to him! We should also respect the enemy in our friend.

God is a thought who makes crooked all that is straight.

Great indebtedness does not make men grateful, but vengeful; and if a little charity is not forgotten, it turns into a gnawing worm.

He that humbleth himself wishes to be exalted.

He who cannot give anything away cannot feel anything either.

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. Is not life a hundred times too short for us to bore ourselves?

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.

He who laughs best today, will also laughs last.

He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.

Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.

I assess the power of a will by how much resistance, pain, torture it endures and knows how to turn to its advantage.

I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time.

I do not know what the spirit of a philosopher could more wish to be than a good dancer. For the dance is his ideal, also his fine art, finally also the only kind of piety he knows, his "divine service."

I love those who do not know how to live for today.

It is not surprising that eventually Friedrich Nietzsche, who came up with the concept of the Ubermensch, became insane and spend the last 11 years being cared for by his Mom and sister.


1 comment:

Dawn Pier said...

And your title? What exactly are you getting at? Certainly Obama and Nietzsche are both Narcissists. I'm not sure if Obama is also a Misogynist, but they are both definitely arrogant and ignorant! I'm quite sure I would not have been able to spend a moment in either's presence.