Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Searching For Schopenhauer

Money is human happiness in abstracto, consequently he who is no longer capable of happiness in concreto sets his whole heart on money.
Arthur Schopenhauer, Essays and Aphorisms, On Psychology, No. 9

Arthur Schopenhauer lived from 1788 to 1860. Karl Marx lived from 1818 to 1883. Yet as far as my research has gone, these two men did not even know of the others existence. My introduction to Arthur happened in a book store in Ottawa, where I came across a stray volume II of The World as Will and Representation, while on the search for unabridged texts on philosophy for my ongoing Thinking About Thinking Project. Not only was Arthur a legend of a philosopher, but he could write like hell. The man knew totally how to turn a word.

Arthur Schopenhauer

Now the big idea of Schopenhauer was the Will To Power, and how it was futile to even try to satisfy all your piggish Babylonian fantasies! You simply can't drink all the booze, smoke all the dope, have all the money, and fuck all the ladies! The Oracle of Ottawa quite regrets not having discovered Schopenhauer sooner. But better late than never! We live, love and hopefully learn. And if I had discovered Schopenhauer at 17, instead of 54 I probably wouldn't have half the wicked and riotous memories that I now still very much enjoy! There is quiet a lot to be said for late blooming.

Karl Marx

As you have probably deduced, for some strange reason, the Oracle of Ottawa is quite familiar with Karl Marx. This guy has fascinated me most all my life. Now his big idea was the dialectic of class struggle. Or more simply put; us getting fucked over by them until we all have had enough and start stringing them up on lamp posts and lining them up against a wall, to clear the way to start again. Got that? But the really important part is the dialectic bit. If you are an old white guy like me, the method of dialectical thinking is why you have the leisure to read this. The Asian guys, that are driven by Confuscist thought are still too busy working...Loyalty to the Family (nepotism), and letting yourself get drilled up the ass by the state (corruption) is simply not axiomatic to a lot of free time! Remember that Grasshopper!!

Then I had a real brainer. It was like a mercury vapor lamp going off in my head. What would happen if you used The World as Will and Representation as the thesis, and Capital as the antithesis? Could the resulting synthesis be a guide book for the 21st century?

Arthur Schopenhauer was quiet the lad! Pay attention!

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