Personal                              -                      Universal
Individual                           -                      Collective
Subjective                           -                      Objective

Tradition is limited, perspectival. It has a definite position or shape, which emerges from its various boundaries and prohibitions. Liberalism, emerging from the Enlightenment, aims at no positions and sees itself as being above all partial perspectives. It aims for general covering laws and universal rights.

While it is true that individual interests underlie all collective or seemingly moral actions, tradition directs these interests towards a greater good. It unites the individual good with the collective good, minimising any inconsistency between the two.       

Is it [...] impossible to present a view as true, by which one can live, without also presenting it as a view that is true necessarily, by which all must live?

[Alexander Nehamas]
Nietzsche: Life as Literature, p. 36

[…] Following the abstract habit of philosophy, the existentialists too speak of man in general, whereas one should always refer to one or another human type […]

[Julius Evola]
Ride the Tiger, p. 81

The Poincaré map is a dimensional compression technique whereby three dimensions are displayed in two dimensional space. Unlike a photograph, which implies the third dimension through perspective, the Poincaré map involves the third dimension in its creation.

It is interesting to speculate on the nature of the patterns revealed by Poincaré maps. The map itself is created by using a line drawn through the origin as a reference for defining the y-axis of the map. Different maps are produced for each of the infinite selections of lines through the origin. Patterns appear and disappear depending on the selection of the reference line.

One interpretation might be that our concept of "order" is incorrect. We generally perceive of "order" as an absolute (i.e., the quest for the "true" nature of things). Poincaré maps imply that order is not an absolute, but rather, something that can only be understood relative to an observer.

An observer using one reference line might see order, while another observer using a different reference line might see chaos, or a completely different pattern. In other words, the nature of a system is a matter of perception and/or beliefs.

[David S. Walonick]
'General Systems Theory'

The history of philosophy is to a great extent that of a certain clash of human temperaments.

Undignified as such a treatment may seem to some of my colleagues, I shall have to take account of this clash and explain a good many of the divergencies of philosophers by it. Of whatever temperament a professional philosopher is, he tries when philosophizing to sink the fact of his temperament. Temperament is no conventionally recognized reason, so he urges impersonal reasons only for his conclusions.

Yet his temperament really gives him a stronger bias than any of his more strictly objective premises. It loads the evidence for him one way or the other, making for a more sentimental or a more hard-hearted view of the universe, just as this fact or that principle would. He trusts his temperament.

Wanting a universe that suits it, he believes in any representation of the universe that does suit it. He feels men of opposite temper to be out of key with the world’s character, and in his heart considers them incompetent and 'not in it,' in the philosophic business, even tho they may far excel him in dialectical ability.

Most of us have, of course, no very definite intellectual temperament, we are a mixture of opposite ingredients, each one present very moderately. We hardly know our own preferences in abstract matters; some of us are easily talked out of them, and end by following the fashion or taking up with the beliefs of the most impressive philosopher in our neighborhood, whoever he may be.

But the one thing that has counted so far in philosophy is that a man should see things, see them straight in his own peculiar way, and be dissatisfied with any opposite way of seeing them.

[William James]
Pragmatism and Other Writings, p. 9

Nietzsche is so suspicious of Plato and Socrates because he believes that their approach is essentially dogmatic. He attributes to them the view that their view is not simply a view but an accurate description of the real world which forces its own acceptance and makes an unconditional claim on everyone’s assent.

Apart from objecting to their specific ideas, he objects even more to the fact that philosophers “are not honest enough in their work,” that they write as if they had reached their ideas in an objective and disinterested manner, motivated only by the search for truth.

But according to him these same philosophers “are all advocates who resent that name, and for the most part even wily spokesmen for their prejudices which they baptise ‘truths’ - and very far from having the courage of the conscience that admits this, precisely this, to itself; very far from having the good taste or the courage which also lets this be known, whether to warn an enemy or friend, or, from exuberance, to mock itself.”

It is in the interest of dogmatic approaches to hide their specific origins; in this way that are enabled to make universal claims. 

Having an origin is being part of history, and this implies that it is at least possible also to have an end. It is just this possibility that, according to Nietzsche, dogmatism must render invisible, since it aims to be accepted necessarily and unconditionally - not as the product of a particular person or idiosyncrasy but as the result of a discovery about the unalterable features of the world.

This is one of the reasons, as we shall see, why Nietzsche engages in the practice he calls “genealogy,” for genealogy reveals the very particular, very interested origins from which actually emerge the views that we have forgotten are views and take instead as facts.

Nietzsche’s opposition to dogmatism does not consist in the paradoxical idea that it is wrong to think that one’s beliefs are true, but only in the view that one’s beliefs are not, and need not be, true for everyone.

[Dogmatism and metaphysics] are attempts to project one’s own views on the world, and they are just as much attempts to hide precisely this projection from themselves as well as from their audience.

They lack “the courage of the conscience” that either in warning or in mockery admits that the view being projected is nothing more than a reading onto the world of the conditions under which its own author can thrive, and which need not be the right conditions for everyone else […] 

Accepting a view is therefore not simply a question of assenting to a set of propositions, as the matter is sometimes put. It also involves accepting the values that are the preconditions of that view and the mode of life that is implied and made possible by those values.

And since Nietzsche believes that there is no mode of life that is proper, desirable, or indeed possible for everyone, he also holds, very consistently, that there is no set of views that commands universal assent by virtue of depending merely on the features of the world in itself or of human beings as such.

[Alexander Nehamas]
Nietzsche: Life as Literature, p. 32-4

What makes one regard philosophers half mistrustfully and half mockingly is […] that they display altogether insufficient honesty, while making a mighty and virtuous noise as soon as the problem of truthfulness is even remotely touched on. 

They pose as having discovered and attained their real opinions through the self-evolution of cold, pure, divinely unperturbed dialectic (in contrast to the mystics of every rank, who are more honest and more stupid than they - these speak of 'inspiration'): while what happens at bottom is that a prejudice, a notion, an 'inspiration', generally a desire of the heart sifted and made abstract, is defended by them with reasons sought after the event - they are one and all advocates who do not want to be regarded as such, and for the most part no better than cunning pleaders for their prejudices, which they baptize 'truths' - and very far from possessing the courage of the conscience which admits this fact to itself, very far from possessing the good taste of the courage which publishes this fact, whether to warn a foe or a friend or out of high spirits and in order to mock itself.

The tartuffery, as stiff as it is virtuous, of old Kant as he lures us along the dialectical bypaths which lead, more correctly, mislead, to his 'categorical imperative' - this spectacle makes us smile, we who are fastidious and find no little amusement in observing the subtle tricks of old moralists and moral-preachers.

Not to speak of that hocus-pocus of mathematical form in which, as in iron, Spinoza encased and masked his philosophy - 'the love of his wisdom', to render that word fairly and squarely - so as to strike terror into the heart of any assailant who should dare to glance at that invincible maiden and Pallas Athene - how much timidity and vulnerability this masquerade of a sick recluse betrays!

[Friedrich Nietzsche]
Beyond Good and Evil, 5

Learning transforms us, it does that which all nourishment does which does not merely ‘preserve' - : as the physiologist knows. 

But at the bottom of us, “right down deep', there is, to be sure, something unteachable, a granite stratum of spiritual fate, of predetermined decision and answer to predetermined selected questions. In the case of every cardinal problem there speaks an unchangeable ‘this is I'; 

about man and woman, for example, a thinker cannot relearn but only learn fully - only discover all that is ‘firm and settled' within him on this subject. 

One sometimes comes upon certain solutions to problems which inspire strong belief in us; perhaps one thenceforth calls them one's 'convictions'. Later - one sees them only as footsteps to self-knowledge, signposts to the problem which we are - more correctly, to the great stupidity which we are, to our spiritual fate, to the unteachable 'right down deep'.

[Friedrich Nietzsche]
Beyond Good and Evil, 231

The kind of blogging I do has to be based in personal obsession, in spats and rivalry, in a kind of light, oblique but perpetual autobiography.

There has to be a subject for all this data to make any sort of situated sense, and that subject has to be seen to have a body, clothes, a way to wear those clothes, and so on.

As soon as I get tugged out of that embodied, situated world I get bored and anxious and mistrustful.

I want to know always who's speaking, how old they are, what culture they were raised in, what their vested interests are, and so on.

For me, the Anon is suspicious because I can't see what s/he looks like or what life his/her comment is rooted in. For the Anons (or some of them), I'm the suspicious one, because my comments are far too obviously rooted in an ego, a persona.


An interpretation can appear to be binding on everyone only if the fact that it is an interpretation remains hidden. And this can be achieved only if the interpretation in question is presented as a view that is objectively true of the world and is addressed to all human beings simply as human beings, as rational agents, or […] as children of God.

To say of a view that it is an interpretation is not to say that it is false. It is, rather, to say that it is a view that, like all views, is produced by specific interests, for specific purposes, and that it is appropriate for specific types of people. 

And though this does not make the issue of truth irrelevant, the ultimate question to be asked of an interpretation concerns the interests it promotes: for what type of person is it appropriate? Whom does it benefit? […] interpretation is always an effort to reveal and make obvious the character, the type of person, and the type of life which a view promotes and elevates.

Nietzsche believed that the goal of every philosophical view is to present a picture of the world and a conception of values which makes a certain type of person possible and which allows it to prosper and to flourish. 

“We seek picture of the world in that philosophy in which we feel freest; i.e., in which our most powerful drive feels free to function […]”

[…] asceticism denies the radical contingency of history, the fact that every institution is subject to change, revision, and even elimination. But even more important, it denies that many modes of life are possible at the same time, and that this pluralism, despite its undeniable dangers, holds greater promise than the uniform levelling that Nietzsche finds to be implicit in Christianity and in all other absolutist codes.

[Alexander Nehamas]
Nietzsche: Life as Literature, p. 126-9

Consider the historical horizon of Nietzsche. 

His conceptions of decadence, militarism, the transvaluation of all values, the will to power, lie deep in the essence of Western civilization and are for the analysis of that civilization of decisive importance. But what, do we find, was the foundation on which he built up his creation? Romans and Greeks, Renaissance and European present, with a fleeting and uncomprehending side-glance at Indian philosophy - in short "ancient, mediæval and modern" history. 

Strictly speaking, he never once moved outside the scheme, not did any other thinker of his time.

What correlation, then, is there or can there be of his idea of the "Dionysian" with the inner life of a highly-civilized Chinese or an up-to-date American? What is the significance of his type of the "Superman" - for the world of Islam? Can image-forming antitheses of Nature and Intellect, Heathen and Christian, Classical and Modern, have any meaning for the soul of the Indian or the Russian? 

What can Tolstoi - who from the depths of his humanity rejected the whole Western world-idea as something alien and distant - do with the “Middle Ages," with Dante, with Luther? What can a Japanese do with Parzeval and "Zarathustra," or an Indian with Sophocles? And is the thought-range of Schopenhauer, Comte, Feuerbach, Hebbel or Strindberg any wider? 

Is not their whole psychology, for all its intention of world-wide validity, one of purely West-European significance?

[Oswald Spengler]
The Decline of the West, Vol. 1, p.24

In this matter of morale, Western mankind, without exception, is under the influence of an immense optical illusion.

Everyone demands something of the rest.

We say “thou shalt" in the conviction that so-and-so in fact will, can and must be changed or fashioned or arranged conformably to the order, and our belief both in the efficacy of, and in our title to give, such orders is unshakable. That, and nothing short of it, is, for us, morale.

In the ethics of the West everything is direction, claim to power, will to affect the distant. Here Luther is completely at one with Nietzsche, Popes with Darwinians, Socialists with Jesuits; for one and all, the beginning of morale is a claim to general and permanent validity.

It is a necessity of the Faustian soul that this should be so. He who thinks or teaches “otherwise" is sinful, a backslider, a foe, and he is fought down without mercy. You "shall," the State "shall," society "shall" — this form of morale is to us self-evident; it represents the only real meaning that we can attach to the word.

But it was not so either in the Classical, or in India, or in China. Buddha, for instance, gives a pattern to take or to leave, and Epicurus offers counsel. Both undeniably are forms of high morale, and neither contains the will-element.

[Oswald Spengler]
The Decline of the West, Vol. 1, p. 341

Even Nietzsche, that most passionate opponent of "herd morale,” was perfectly incapable of limiting his zeal to himself in the Classical way. He thought only of “mankind," and he attacked everyone who differed from himself.

Epicurus, on the contrary, was heartily indifferent to others' opinions and acts and never wasted one thought on the “transformation" of mankind. He and his friends were content that they were as they were and not otherwise.

The Classical ideal was indifference to the course of the world - the very thing which it is the whole business of Faustian mankind to master - and an important element both of Stoic and of Epicurean philosophy was the recognition of a category of things neither preferred nor rejected.

In Hellas there was a pantheon of morales as there was of deities, as the peaceful coexistence of Epicureans, Cynics and Stoics shows, but the Nietzschean Zarathustra - though professedly standing beyond good and evil - breathes from end to end the pain of seeing men to be other than as he would have them be, and the deep and utterly un-Classical desire to devote a life to their reformation - his own sense of the word, naturally, being the only one.

It is just this, the general transvaluation, that makes ethical monotheism and - using the word in a novel and deep sense — socialism. All world-improvers are Socialists. And consequently there are no Classical world-improvers.

[Oswald Spengler]
The Decline of the West, Vol. 1, p. 342

[…] Locke, the founder of modern psychology, was evidently inspired by the Cartesian conception when he thought fit to announce that, in order to know what the Greeks and Romans thought in days gone by (for his horizon did not extend beyond Western 'classical' antiquity) it is enough to find out what Englishmen and Frenchmen are thinking today, for 'man is everywhere and always the same'.

Nothing could possibly be more false, yet the psychologists have never got beyond that point, for, while they imagine that they are talking of man in general, the greater part of what they say really only applies to the modern European; does it not look as if they believe that the uniformity that is being imposed gradually on all human individuals has already been realized?

[René Guénon]
The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times, p. 92

To say that life “always surpasses itself,” “wants to ascend, and to regenerate itself by rising and surpassing itself,” or that the life's secret is “I am that which must always conquer itself” —all that is simply the result of a very unusual vocation projecting itself to the dimensions of a worldview.

It is merely the reflection of a certain nature, and by no means the general or objective character of every existence.

The foundation that really prevails in existence is much closer to Schopenhauer's formulation than to this one of Nietzsche's; that is, the will to live as eternal and inexhaustible desire, not the will to power in the true sense, or the positive, ascending drive to dominance.

[Julius Evola]
Ride the Tiger, p. 48

Kant’s search for a universal morality […] entailed the same assumption: that incontrovertibility furnished the only test of socially workable beliefs.

In making universality the essential condition of ethical imperatives, Kant nevertheless detached morality from its ordinary social context in the same way that Descartes hoped to detach communication from common speech.

Moral obligation no longer referred to the duties prescribed by a particular office or social role but to the categorical imperative to follow no rule that could not be recommended as a general rule for everyone.

Both the cosmopolitan ideal and the hope for a science of politics rested on the assumption that human beings are all alike. “They all have the same vital organs, sensibility, and movement,” as Voltaire put it.

[Christopher Lasch]
The True and Only Heaven, p.125-7

As far as Indigenous people are concerned, there is no need for them to justify their spirituality, their traditions, or their science by reference to anything external to their society. 

Indigenous science does not need to explain itself to anyone. It has no need to compare or authenticate itself against the standard of Western science.

[F. David Peat]
Blackfoot Physics, p.241

I consider fascism a part of political modernity - totalitarianism is a modern phenomenon. 

Fascism is based on the same alienation as liberalism and communism, but instead of the subject being the individual or class, it is the nation. But what is the nation? 'Nation' is a bourgeoise concept that appeared at the end of the Middle Ages and has replaced the concept of the estate, the church, the empire, or the small peasant community. Nation is based on individual citizenship; [and so] the basis of fascism is already an essential part of political modernity.

I reject racism because we cannot measure different human societies by hierarchy between them. Archaic people or developed people; rich people or poor people - we cannot compare based on the criteria taken from one of them. All peoples create their own systems of value, which are incompatible and incommensurable.

Racism declares that one race, or one technological culture, or one system of values, or one civilisation, is higher than others. Racism is modern: we can’t find racism in the Middle Ages, or slavery in Middle Ages - these are based on Western practices of modernity.

The force of political modernity is totalitarianism and racism. It could be the white man against others, or Germans against all, but it could also be class - 'only proletarians are the revolutionary class' […]

I think that liberals behave as racists because they say that the first class people are developed western civilisation and everybody who shares the same values. They enforce their values, of multiculturalism and liberalism, political correctness and cancel culture, imposing and obliging others, and demonising everyone who is against it. That is liberal racism.

[Aleksandr Dugin]
‘The Fourth Political Theory w/ Aleksandr Dugin’, The Stoa, YouTube

[…] the question of the plurality of horizontal centers raises the problem of “cultural relativity”, or the plurality of ethnocentra.

Every culture proceeds from the fact that it itself is in the center of the intellectual universe. Consequently, every culture is built upon the presumption of its own uniqueness, universality, and “singularity.” Its Logos and the less obvious Dasein at its heart are taken as a point of reference and paradigm. This is how the ethnocentrum is formed.

Man believes the Logos of the ethnocentrum to which he relates (which is almost always his own ethnocentrum or, in some cases, the ethnocentrum which he believes to be normative, e.g. the “Europe” of Russian “Westernizers” or the “Europe” of Asian “globalists”) to be “universal”, “obvious,” “self-evident”, and the “best.”

Here we arrive at the main methodological quality of geosophy. In order to correctly interpret the structures of a given civilization (culture), we must deliberately, consciously refrain from projecting our own ethnocentric views. Here we should turn to the phenomenology of philosophy, deconstruction, and apperception to bracket our own “ethnocentrism” which leads us to believe that the methods and criteria for evaluating our own civilization are a universal scale for interpreting all other cultures.

In contrast to the semantic structure of the ethnocentrum which structures space, and departing from its exceptionalism and implicit superiority, we must consciously allow for the plurality and qualitative equality of ethnocentra, we must recognize every ethnocentrum to have the right to its own cultural topography, and we must share this topography to the extent that we wish to conceptualize the roots of its existential structure.

[…] While himself a Protestant Christian by confession and a phenomenologist in the field of the comparative study of religions, Corbin recognized that studying another religion is fully possible only if one abstracts himself over the course of study from his own established dogmatic and confessional positions – otherwise, we will be left with a variety of apologetics and insistences on the universality of our ethnocentrum.

However, this need not entail an irreversible change of confession and cultural code. Corbin himself remained a Christian even though in his studies of Shiism he adopted the positions of another ethnocentrum for the sake of fuller understanding, and as a result of which his works were rendered more weighty, authoritative, and foundational.

The point is not to leave the zone of one ethnocentrum only to enter another, but to accomplish the process of transparent philosophical apperception, to conceptualize one’s “natural”, “historical” position as ethnocentric and, without departing from one’s loyalty to such, to recognize that other studied cultures are just as ethnocentric and just as well claim “universality”, “exclusivism”, and “obviousness” as our own.

[Aleksandr Dugin]
Noomakhia: Wars of the Mind – Geosophy: Horizons and Civilizations

Emotivism is the doctrine that all evaluative judgments and more specifically all moral judgments are nothing but expressions of preference, expressions of attitude or feeling, insofar as they are moral or evaluative in character.

Factual judgments are true or false; and in the realm of fact there are rational criteria by means of which we may secure agreement as to what is true and what is false. But moral judgments, being expressions of attitude or feeling, are neither true nor false; and agreement in moral judgment is not to be secured by any rational method, for there are none.

It is to be secured, if at all, by producing certain non-rational effects on the emotions or attitudes of those who disagree with one. We use moral judgments not only to express our own feelings and attitudes, but also precisely to produce such effects in others.

[Alasdair MacIntyre]
After Virtue, p.13-14

Related posts: