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Moody
Saturday, April 3rd, 2004, 12:16 AM
Montaigne adopted an Epicurean position when he said;
"Rejoice in your present life; all else is beyond you".

The Life-Philosophy of Epicurus was a noble one, as Epicureans endeavoured to live 'like gods among men'.

"Epicureanism was designed for the use of educated upper and middle classes of the Athenian mainland. This was a philosophy of detachment and impeccable taste, and unlike Stoicism, it was never meant to appeal, or to apply, to the masses, or, to the Universal State".
[M. O'Sullivan, 'The Four Seasons of Greek Philosophy', page 198]

This conflict between noble pagan philosophy and plebeian cults continues into the time of Christ;

"In short, Christianity accomodated itself to already existing and established anti-paganism, to the cults that had been combatted by Epicurus - more precisely, to the religions of the lower masses, the women, the slaves, the non-noble classes ..."
[Nietzsche WP 196]

This is an important distinction;

"Christianity only takes up the fight that had already begun against the CLASSICAL ideal and the NOBLE religion".
[ib.,]

That noble religion is classical paganism of the kind found in Epicurus.
The link;
www.epicurus.net

Live like gods, not like slaves!

Taras Bulba
Saturday, April 3rd, 2004, 01:37 AM
"Epicureanism was designed for the use of educated upper and middle classes of the Athenian mainland. This was a philosophy of detachment and impeccable taste, and unlike Stoicism, it was never meant to appeal, or to apply, to the masses, or, to the Universal State".
[M. O'Sullivan, 'The Four Seasons of Greek Philosophy', page 198]

Hmmmn.....that may explain why it ultimately failed. Elitism gets us nowhere since its the masses on which every society is built upon. Without the masses, the elites aren't worth a dime!


http://www.infoukes.com/shevchenkomuseum/poetry/dont_envy/

Don't Envy

Don't envy, friend, a wealthy man:
A rich man's life is spent
Without a friend or faithful love --
Those things he has to rent.
Don't envy, friend, a man of rank,
His power's based on force.
Don't envy, too, a famous man:
The man of note well knows
The crowd's acclaim is not for him,
But for that thorny fame
He wrought with labour and with tears
So they'd be entertained.
But then, when young folk gather 'round,
So fine they are and fair
You'd think it's heaven, -- ah, but look:
See evil stirring there ...

Don't envy anyone my friend,
For if you look you'll find
That there's no heaven on the earth,
No more than in the sky.

Mirhorod, October 4th, 1845.

Translated by John Weir
Toronto


http://www.worldburnsclub.com/poems/translations/is_there_for_honest_poverty.htm

Is There For Honest Poverty

Is there for honest poverty
That hangs his head, and all that?
The coward slave, we pass him by -
We dare be poor for all that!
For all that, and all that,
Our toils obscure, and all that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The man's the gold for all that.

What though on homely fare we dine,
Wear course grey woolen, and all that?
Give fools their silks, and knaves their wine -
A man is a man for all that.
For all that, and all that,
Their tinsel show, and all that,
The honest man, though ever so poor,
Is king of men for all that.

You see yonder fellow called 'a lord,'
Who struts, and stares, and all that?
Though hundreds worship at his word,
He is but a dolt for all that.
For all that, and all that,
His ribboned, star, and all that,
The man of independent mind,
He looks and laughs at all that.

A prince can make a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, and all that!
But an honest man is above his might -
Good faith, he must not fault that
For all that, and all that,
Their dignities, and all that,
The pith of sense and pride of worth
Are higher rank than all that.

Moody
Saturday, April 3rd, 2004, 02:40 AM
The Elite philosophy has not 'failed'.
In the eternal cycles of time, there are periods when the mass holds sway, and the elite few are pushed to the margins. But the elite never die, even if they have to return to the centre of the earth and await their moment of return - but return they must!

Just as the tide ebbs, so it must flood.
To that end, this philosophy preserves the thoughts of the Rare and of the Few.

The Hyperboreans; this is Aryanosophy.

Without an elite, there would be nothing but a formless mass - a herd.

Indeed, the lower elements do not even produce higher beings; they produce only breeders, feeders and toilers.
Sluts and slaves.

That is the mass of humanity.

This mass would be ultimately worthless were it not for the rare few, products of a higher race.

These are the shepherds.
This is the creative race.

From this elite derives all higher culture, all higher political ideals, all philosophy and science.

Only by the existence of this Master Race is the herd justified, as they have always traditonally served the higher beings.

The Aryan must have a philosophical spirituality, such as that of Epicurus.
He cannot go down among the swine and sup with them as the Christian does.

Indeed, they are the veritable 'gods' that the dimly comprehending herd speak of.

Taras Bulba
Saturday, April 3rd, 2004, 03:19 AM
Theres a difference between being anti-elitist and being anti-hierarchal. Anti-elitist means you're against the social-darwinist notion that the elites are better than the masses. Being anti-hierarchal is being against the notion of hierarchies themselves. I believe in hierarchies, but like a true Slavophile I believe that the elites are answerable to the people and must be in connection with them and their needs.

"The Russian genius, in contrast to the Western European, when it has reached a summit throws itself down and wants to mingle with the earth and people. There is no desire to be a privledged race. The idea of the superman is alien to it. It is enough to compare Tolstoy with Nietzsche."
--Nikolai Berdyaev "The Russian Idea" pg.137

The Black Hundreds were anti-elitist but they fully accepted the Monarchist hierarchy, but believed the elites must be in touch with the people. Indeed their agenda was very much shared by the Czar himself.

"Like Stolypin, Nicholas realized that a dangerous gap had opened between the mass of the population and the institutions of the empire. But his ideas about bridging it were entirely different from Stolypin's. His upbringing at court and in the Guards, under the guidance of the Orthodox Church, led him to believe that the direct link between monarch and people could restored by reviving the customs of pre-Petrine times. He called his long-awaited heir Alexei, after the greatest tsar of the 17th century, and he endeavored throughout his reign to use ceremony, and particularly religious ceremony, to recreate a sense of unity with his people. Wheras Alexander II had wanted to be a monarch in touch with the zemlia, with local elites, Nicholas aimed at direct contact with the narod, the people themselves."
--Geoffrey Hosking "Russia and the Russians: a History" admits on page 379

Indeed, nationalism by its very nature is populist. An aristocratic nationalism is an oxymoron! I agree with Herder that the soul of nation is found among the common people. A notion that was shared by Russia's greatest nationalist thinkers and leaders.

Moody
Monday, April 5th, 2004, 05:35 PM
"Theres a difference between being anti-elitist and being anti-hierarchal".

Moody; Every hierarchy has an elite.


"Anti-elitist means you're against the social-darwinist notion that the elites are better than the masses".

Moody; The elites are certainly higher up the hierarchy than the masses; where would you place your elites - at the bottom?


"Being anti-hierarchal is being against the notion of hierarchies themselves".


Moody: Obviously; but then by the same token, being anti-elitist means being against the notion of elites themselves.
How can you have hierarchy without elitism?


"I believe in hierarchies, but like a true Slavophile I believe that the elites are answerable to the people and must be in connection with them and their needs".

Moody; That turns the notion of hierachy on its head.
The elite ruling caste must rule, and the masses must obey; otherwise the tail wags the dog.
Monarchy is a perfect example of such elitism; the King is answerable to God and no one else [Divine right of kings etc.,]


"Indeed, nationalism by its very nature is populist".

Moody; There is not just one type of nationalism; populist nationalism is ... populist. Monarchic nationalism isn't.


"An aristocratic nationalism is an oxymoron!"

Moody; No, it is quite possible for a nationalism to include a monarchy and an aristocracy.



"I agree with Herder that the soul of nation is found among the common people. A notion that was shared by Russia's greatest nationalist thinkers and leaders".

Moody; You may find its "soul" there - who would disagree; but you would not find its genius there. There you have to look at the 'dominant 5%' - I believe I made a thread on just this notion called 'Necessary Domination';

Jack
Monday, April 5th, 2004, 06:12 PM
Moody, what you've been saying about the stoics being a mass-philosophy doesn't fit. Marcus Aurelius was emporer and he was a stoic. Stoicism was the basis for the entirety of the Roman armies. Not to mention Stoicism conflicted significantly with the 'mosh pit Colloseum masses' in its emphasis on self-discipline and personal excellence.

Alkman
Tuesday, April 6th, 2004, 05:40 PM
Moody, what you've been saying about the stoics being a mass-philosophy doesn't fit. Marcus Aurelius was emporer and he was a stoic. Stoicism was the basis for the entirety of the Roman armies. Not to mention Stoicism conflicted significantly with the 'mosh pit Colloseum masses' in its emphasis on self-discipline and personal excellence.

Stoicism was a Universalist, Cosmopolitan philosophy. As the Roman Empire moved more in this direction, it is no surprise that leading Romans took up this philosophy of Zeno the Semite. Of course, some Emperors even became ... 'Christians' ... But by then the game was completely up.

The link describes how Epicureanism, NOT Stoicism, was favoured by the military, while Stoicism was preferred by the politicians [section 6, 'Influence'];

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/stoicism/

http://www.epicurus.net

Dirigible
Thursday, September 9th, 2010, 01:08 AM
It seems to me that it's a mistake to see Epicurus' philosophy as being solely for the wealthy. His path to happiness revolves around rejecting the use of material means in achieving happiness, and instead learning to appreciate the simplest of things in life. It is, in fact, anti-Epicurean to indulge in fine foods and the like. Epicurus said that he was perfectly happy with nothing more than a barley cake and a cup of water. It's a philosophy that a man can practice no matter his material means.