Monday, June 09, 2008

ADHD headcase that I am,

I'm reading three things at once right now:

1. and article, Vote For What You Want, which advises me not to worry about costing the "lesser of two evils" the election, because, odds are, the greater of the evils will more likely be reigned in by public opinion and/or Congress than the lesser, judging by Clinton and Bush. To wit: Clinton was the greater evil on domestic economics, and look how that turned out; Bush was the lesser evil on foreign interventionism....

So, I can go ahead and vote for Barr.

2. The discussion of The Irrelevance of the Status of Oughts, an article denying the usefulness of arguing about the ontological status of morality (what's important is which morality works best, not whether they are objective or subjective), dropped me in the middle of

3. Max Stirner's The Ego and His Own, from which I'll now proceed to do the unthinkable and quote Stirner at length:
How now, has anybody or anything, whom and which I do not love, a right to be loved by me? Is my love first, or is his right first? Parents, kinsfolk, fatherland, nation, native town, etc., finally fellowmen in general ("brothers, fraternity"), assert that they have a right to my love, and lay claim to it without further ceremony. They look upon it as their property, and upon me, if I do not respect this, as a robber who takes from them what pertains to them and is theirs. I should love. If love is a commandment and law, then I must be educated into it, cultivated up to it, and, if I trespass against it, punished. Hence people will exercise as strong a "moral influence" as possible on me to bring me to love. And there is no doubt that one can work up and seduce men to love as one can to other passions -- if you like, to hate. Hate runs through whole races merely because the ancestors of the one belonged to the Guelphs, those of the other to the Ghibellines.

But love is not a commandment, but, like each of my feelings, my property. Acquire, i.e. purchase, my property, and then I will make it over to you. A church, a nation, a fatherland, a family, etc., that does not know how to acquire my love, I need not love; and I fix the purchase price of my love quite at my pleasure.

Hard to believe I'd ever think a "young Hegelian" would express my thoughts on something better than I can, but he certainly nailed it there. But, then, Stirner has always read more like poetry than philosophy to me. And I find him easier to read than most poets, like, say, Whitman.

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