Wisdom on Wednesdays—A minority of one

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“Wisdom, being always in a minority of one, usually has no chance whatever where majorities rule.”  (1939)

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2 thoughts on “Wisdom on Wednesdays—A minority of one

    • Thanks for comment – good question.

      I don’t think so. It isn’t so much a matter of a person being wise only by being a loner, or ignoring what other people can offer. Carl Schmitt very much enjoyed talking with all sorts of people, and learned a lot from them. But for him, it was more a question of one’s mind not being determined by what the majority thinks, a phenomenon he saw all around him.

      This thought also has to be seen in the context of my grandfather’s generally dim view of democracy, or what he termed “socialism.” He didn’t mean the term in the more common meaning of the state controlling economic power, but in the sense of social norms and morals holding a disproportionate sway – a tyranny, really – over the prerogatives of the family and the person. As he wrote in elsewhere, “Christians more or less vaguely, accordingly as they are in touch with tradition, instinctively feel that authority cannot be left absolutely in the hands of society. For to Christians this would mean in effect that their consciences would be surrendered to society. This would, to a Christian, be tyranny.”

      As you can probably guess, he was of the opinion that our society was very “socialist” in this sense. (You can read his more developed thoughts on this in his essay “Socialism.”)

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