Thursday, October 19, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

John Carroll


Professor of Sociology at La Trobe University, and author of Puritan, Paranoid, Remissive, Guilt, Ego and Soul, Humanism: The Rebirth and Wreck of Western Culture, and Intruders In The Bush: The Australian Quest For Identity.
John Carroll
Nietzsche … argues that all that passes in the life of a society is ephemeral and banausic except for the presence of great personalities, of men like Goethe … who seem to forge their own destinies, who seem to move unhampered by those burdens of existence which keep most men from rising above the vicissitudes of their daily toil.
Carroll quotes
If man is to remain the creator and master of his world then, Stirner maintains, … all that has been accepted, that has taken on the secure guise of the ‘fact’, must be return to a state of flux, or be rejected.
Carroll
Stirner and Nietzsche … reveal how prone morality is to being used as a means of rationalization, a cloak for concealing violent and brutish passions, and making their sadistic expression a virtue.




Carroll John quotes
The schizophrenic is seen to be afraid of the nihilistic void that … will remain when a rigid world-view is discarded.
Carroll John
Nietzsche … criticizes Schopenhauerian aesthetics for not freeing itself from Kant’s moralistic: ‘that is beautiful which gives us pleasure without interest’.
John Carroll quotes
The real task is not to rid life of ethics but to rid ethics of its ideological content.
John Carroll
Stirner … holds to a joy-principle rather than to a pleasure-principle.
Carroll John quotes
Unless the fundamental categories of economics such as ‘property’ were to be redefined in a radically personal way the liberal rationalist curse which had established economics as a scientific discipline cut off from human interests would proliferate. Economic models … have failed to incorporate any meaningful index of individual benefit other than the original utilitarian one, … the index of increasing income or an increasing flow of commodities.
Carroll
Unlike Hegel’s progress model of history, which moves by stages, each containing its own logic of growth and decline, the economic model develops as the simple function of one money-variable over time, with a long-term trend which increases monotonically.
Carroll John
The attachment to a rationalistic, teleological notion of progress indicates the absence of true progress; he whose life does not unfold satisfyingly under its own momentum is driven to moralize it, to set up goals and rationalize their achievement as progress.
John Carroll
Nietzsche himself was a great moralist; his writings abound with value judgments about individuals, character types, modes of thinking, and national traits. It is as if he develops immoralist psychology in order to tame his own nature, to keep his own greatest vice in check.




John Carroll quotes
Nietzsche [claims] that the scientist is at best an instrument, a useful slave: he does not command or decide, he is not a whole man.
John Carroll
R. W. K. Paterson makes a central point of identifying Stirner with nihilism. His argument depends on a failure to distinguish between social values, which Stirner does reject, and personal values, to which he is more overtly committed than any other philosopher.
Carroll quotes
The dialectical critique of positivist habits of mind … is interested only in behaviour which is ‘important’ to the actor; that is, behaviour which is emotionally charged to the degree that it is either frequently recalled, reflected upon, or day-dreamed about. … That science which is less discriminating in the behaviour it chooses to investigate gains clarity and distinctiveness at the cost of confining itself to the trivial.
Carroll John
The ‘I think, therefore I am’ of Descartes, the ‘I feel, therefore I am’ of late eighteenth century Romanticism, and the ‘I possess therefore I am’ of bourgeois man are dogmas, partial at that, incorporated to define a being that is incapable of defining itself.
Carroll John quotes
The egoist … destroys the universal importance accorded to moral law by showing that life independent of it is possible. Secondly, and even more intolerably to the pious, he manages to do so with shameless enjoyment.
John Carroll
The act of greatest subversion … is the one of indifference. A man, or a group, finds it unbearable that someone can be simply uninterested in his, or its, convictions. … There is a degree of complicity, or mutual respect, between the believer and the man who attacks his beliefs (the revolutionary), for the latter takes them seriously.
John Carroll quotes
Politics and the affairs of State are dissociated from the orbit of the individual, and in so far as they cannot be repossessed as his living private property they must be rendered impotent.
John Carroll
Stirner’s political praxis is quixotic. It accepts the established hierarchies of constraint as given. … Not liable to any radical change, they constitute part of the theatre housing the individual’s action. … The egoist uses the elements of the social structure as props in his self-expressive act.
Carroll John
Modern anthropology … opposes the utilitarian assumption that the primitive chants as he sows seed because he believes that otherwise it will not grow, the assumption that his economic goal is primary, and his other activities are instrumental to it. The planting and the cultivating are no less important than the finished product. Life is not conceived as a linear progression directed to, and justified by, the achievement of a series of goals; it is a cycle in which ends cannot be isolated, one which cannot be dissected into a series of ends and means.


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