intro’d to and reading because of museum of care‘s anti ed meetings/readings (haven’t taken any notes/pages on their zooms videos before this.. because .. you know)
this reading via nika dubrovsky‘s tweet on aug 27:
in 20 min
CSD x #MuseumofCare
Anti-Education, five lectures by Friedrich Nietzsche in 1872
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/nikadubrovsky/status/1431281185938882560
note’s quotes from 99 pg pdf
“But then what is it that you call,” he asked, “philosophizing?” “We can’t give you an exact definition,” I said. “But it’s something like: making a serious effort to reflect on the best way to become truly educated.
This philosopher does not want to stop you from philosophizing. Just don’t startle him with your gunshots. Today, for once, do as the young Pythagoreans did: they had to keep silent for five years in the service of genuine philosophy—you are not being asked for even five half-hours, in the service of this education of yours that you want so urgently to consider.”
It was thanks to our club, we knew, that we basically never thought about a so-called career back then. All too often, the state tries to exploit those years, luring civil servants it can make use of as early as possible and then securing their unconditional obedience with exaggeratedly strenuous exams,  but our method of self-cultivation had saved us. Practical concerns had not guided us; we felt no need to advance quickly and get on with our careers, so much so that neither of us yet had any idea what we wanted to be later, or worried about it in the least. A fact that seemed consoling, as we sat on our benches. Our club had nurtured this happy unconcern; if for nothing else, we gave thanks for that carefree spirit with all our heart, at this ceremony of ours. I have already said that, in the present day, it is almost impossible to believe that anyone could rock oneself in the cradle of the present, not goaldirected at all, content in the moment. If such a condition is possible, it must certainly be reprehensible. Our times are so averse to anything and everything useless, and how useless
we were back then! How proud we were not to be of use! We could have competed for the honor of being the most useless. We did not want to be of any importance, represent anything, achieve anything; we wanted to be without a future, mere do-nothings lounging on the threshold of the present—and that’s what we were, praise be to us!  —That is how it seemed to us at the time, honored listeners
“..What is the point of having spent my life as a philosopher, I wonder, if you—someone intelligent and truly eager to learn—could spend so many years with me without them making any real impression! You are acting as though you never heard the cardinal principle of education that I returned to again and again in our earlier discussions, so many times. Do you remember what it was?”
“I remember,” the reprimanded student answered. “You always said that no one would strive for education if they knew how unbelievably small the number of truly educated people actually was, or ever could be. But that it was impossible to achieve even this small quota of truly educated people unless a great mass of people were tricked, seduced, into going against their nature and pursuing an education. As a result, we must never publicly betray the ridiculous disproportion between the number of truly educated people and the size of our monstrously overgrown educational system. That is the real secret of education, you said: Countless people fight for it, and think they are fighting for themselves, but at bottom it is only to make education possible for a very few.”
need a means to undo our hierarchical listening
“That’s right,” the philosopher said. “And yet you were capable of forgetting its true lesson, enough to believe that you were one of these few yourself? Because that is what you thought—I can tell. It’s part and parcel of the worthless nature of our educated times. People democratize the rights of genius in order to avoid the true work of culture and demands of education. Anyone and everyone wants to lie back in the shadow of the tree that the genius has planted, while avoiding the hard necessity of working for that genius, of making him possible. You say you are too proud to want to be a teacher? You despise the crowd of students pressing in on you? You speak disparagingly of the teacher’s task? And then, angrily defining yourself against that crowd, you want to lead a lonely, solitary life, imitating me and how I live? You think you can reach in a single bound what I have only managed to achieve at the end of a long and stubborn struggle to live as a philosopher? And you are not afraid that this solitude will have its revenge on you? Try to be a hermit of culture, just try it—to live for all, out of oneself alone, takes riches indeed! —Strange young men! Always thinking they have to imitate precisely what is highest and most difficult, what only a master can do, while they of all people should know how difficult and dangerous it is, and how many excellent talents might yet perish in the attempt!”
Here we have Utility as the goal and purpose of education, or more precisely Gain: the highest possible income. From this point of view, education essentially means acquiring the discernment that keeps a person ‘up to date,’ tells him all the ways to most easily make money, gives him power over the various channels along which individuals and peoples conduct their business. The true task of education, in this view, is to form people who are, as the French say, ‘au courant’—the same way a coin is courant, valid currency. The more of these ‘circulating’ people there are, the happier the nation is as a whole. And that is the goal of the modern
educational institution: to make everyone as ‘current’ as it lies in his nature to be, to train everyone to convert his innate capacity for knowledge and wisdom, whatever it might be, into as much happiness and income as possible. Everyone has to be able to give an exact appraisal of himself, has to determine exactly how much he has a right to demand from life. The ‘link between intelligence and property’ that this view alleges is practically an ethical demand. .. What the moral code operating here demands is the exact opposite: a rapid education, so that you can start earning money quickly, and at the same time a thorough enough education so that you can earn lots of money. Culture is tolerated only insofar as it serves the cause of earning money, but that much culture is also demanded. In short: humanity has a necessary claim to earthly happiness and that is why education is necessary— but that is the only reason why!”
In short, whenever the masses sound the war cry of universal popular education, I try to decide whether it arises from a rampant drive to acquire possessions, the stigma of previous religious oppression, or the calculating self-interest of the state.
The premise now accepted everywhere, and resisted nowhere, is that people should be exploited to serve science and scholarship. Does anyone ask whether a scholarly discipline that consumes its creatures so vampirically is worth it?
The first man who dares to be completely honest about them will hear his honesty echoing back from a thousand other brave souls. For buried in the men of the present age, beneath all their noble gifts and warm sentiments, is an unspoken common cause: every one of them remembers what he had to suffer in school; every one of them wants, if nothing else, to save his descendants from such a system, even at some risk to himself.
“What motivation for studying the German language does the teacher typically offer, besides these scholarly considerations? What link does he forge between the spirit of his educational institution and the spirit of the few truly educated members of the German people, the classic poets and artists? This is a dark and dubious domain
like john dewey‘s democracy and ed (reread).. talking about the deadness but not letting go enough to let it/us live.. oi
One need only peruse the lists of German essay topics across several gymnasiums to be convinced that the vast majority of students will probably, through no fault of their own, suffer for life from *this work of individuality demanded too soon—this breeding of immature thoughts in their minds. How often a whole literary career can seem like nothing more than the sad consequence of this pedagogical original sin against the spirit!
*ratther.. lit & num as colonialism et al.. nothing individual about essay ness
“We see here the fateful consequences of our gymnasium system. Gymnasiums cannot impart a true, rigorous education, which is above all obedience and habituation; at best they can only encourage and stimulate scholarly impulses.
Such is the sad state the gymnasium finds itself in today: The narrowest, most limited points of view are in some sense correct, because no one is capable of reaching, or even pointing to, the place from which these views can be seen to be wrong.” “No one?” the philosopher’s student asked, with no little emotion in his voice. And both men fell silent.
But I understand perfectly what you said before, about the excessive number of gymnasiums and the resulting excess of teachers. My own experience convinces me that the overwhelming number of teachers who have basically nothing to do with education or culture, and have ended up on this path, with these pretensions, solely because of a demand for instructors, must be what determines the orientation of the gymnasium today. .. to end (50).. why does state need such surplus of ed institutions and teachers?
“So, my friend, you must not confuse culture—that pampered, tenderfooted, ethereal goddess—with the useful handmaiden who nowadays goes by that name, a mere intellectual servant and sometime adviser in matters of poverty, earning one’s keep, and the necessities of life. No course of instruction that ends in a career, in breadwinning, leads to culture or true education in our sense; it merely shows how one can save and secure the self in the struggle for survival. This is what matters most to the vast majority of people, of course, and the more difficult the struggle, the more they must study and work hard while young. But let no one consider institutions that encourage and enable such people to carry on the struggle as educational institutions in any serious sense. Whether they claim to create civil servants or shopkeepers or soldiers or businessmen or farmers or doctors or engineers, they are teaching how to win the battle for survival. Their laws and standards must be very different from those of true educational institutions—what may be permitted, or even demanded, in one place may well be sacrilegious injustice in the other.
Only the truly educated person is granted the priceless treasure of being allowed to remain faithful to the contemplative instincts of his childhood, and so he attains a peace, unity, communion, and harmony that those raised for the struggle for survival cannot even dream of.
oi.. educated (truly or not) not faithful to instincts.. graeber unpredictability/surprise law ness et al
Ask yourself, in all seriousness: What is it that you are promoting with these institutions? German erudition, German ingenuity, the honest German drive for knowledge, German hard work capable of any sacrifice—splendid and beautiful things, the envy of other nations, the most splendid and beautiful things in the world, in fact, as long as that other, true German spirit lies outspread over them like a dark thundercloud, aflash with lightning and bursting with the fruitful benediction of the rain. Instead, you live in fear of that spirit, and thus it is a heavy and oppressive fog that has gathered around your universities, and in this miasma your noble young scholars breathe heavily and laboriously, and the best of them perish.
“For I repeat, my friends! All education begins with the exact opposite of what everyone praises so highly today as ‘academic freedom.’ It begins in obedience, subordination, discipline, servitude. And just as great leaders need followers, so too must the led have a leader. A certain reciprocal predisposition prevails in the hierarchy of the spirit: yes, a kind of pre-established harmony. The eternal hierarchy that all things naturally gravitate toward is just what the so-called culture now sitting on the throne of the present aims to overturn and destroy. This ‘culture’ wants to bring leaders down to the level of its compulsory servitude, or kill them off altogether; it waylays foreordained followers searching high and low for the one who is to lead them, while its intoxications deaden even their instinct to seek. If, though, wounded and battle-weary, the two sides destined for each other find a way to come together at last, the result is a deep, thrilling bliss that resounds like the strings of an eternal lyre.
“Now, however, let your imagination soar, and put a genius—a real genius—in the midst of this mass. You perceive an immediate, incredible transformation. It is as if, by a kind of instantaneous transmigration of the soul, he has entered into all of these half-bestial bodies so that they all gaze out with a single daemonic eye. Look and listen now—you will never see or hear your fill! When you regard the orchestra now, in its sublime tempests or heartfelt laments—when you sense the agile tension of every muscle and the rhythmic necessity of their every movement—then you too will feel what constitutes a pre-established harmony between leader and led, and how, in the hierarchy of spirits, everything pushes toward this kind of organization. From this simile of mine, you can guess what I understand a true educational institution to be, and why I cannot in any way see the university as such a place.
My thesis is as follows: Our educational institutions, originally built upon entirely different foundations, are
presently dominated by two tendencies, apparently opposed but equally ruinous in effect and ultimately converging in their end results. One is the drive to expand education as much as possible; the other is the drive to narrow and weaken it. The first pushes to extend education and culture to an ever-wider circle; the second expects education to give up its highest claim to autonomy and submit to serve another form of life, the state. Given these disastrous tendencies toward overinflation and weakening, one might well succumb to hopeless despair —were it not possible to help two opposing forces to eventual victory. These opposing
tendencies, thoroughly German and full of promise for the future, are the drive to narrow and concentrate education, counteracting its ever-increasing expansion, and the drive to make education strong and self-sufficient, counteracting its diminishment. What justifies our faith in the possibility of victory is the knowledge that the first two tendencies, to inflation and weakening, run counter to Nature’s eternally invariable intentions, just as concentrating education in the few is a necessary law of that same Nature—indeed a truth, while the other two tendencies can only create a culture of lies
This book is meant for calm readers, those who have not yet been caught up in the dizzying haste of our hurtling era and do not yet feel an idolatrous pleasure in being crushed under its wheels—in other words, it is a book for the few. These few cannot bring themselves to judge a thing on the basis of how much time it saves or wastes: They “still have time.” They still allow themselves to choose and gather the best hours and most productive and powerful moments of the day, to spend them in reflection on our culture’s future, without self reproach. They even think they have spent such days well, in a truly useful and worthy manner, namely in meditatio generis futuri. Someone like this has not yet unlearned how to think. As he reads, he still understands the secret of reading between the lines; he is even inefficient enough to think about what he has read, sometimes long after he has put down his book! And not to write a review, or another book, but just like that, just to think! It’s criminal, to be so wasteful. He is calm and unworried enough to set out with the author on a long road whose endpoint only a much later generation will see. When the greatly agitated reader, in contrast, springs into action, wants to pluck fruit hard-won over decades and centuries, and pluck them now, then we must fear he has failed to understand the author.
? there’s a diff between failing to understand and seeing the same song
i get that he (everyone) wants a better world.. not taking issue with intention
Finally, the third and most important requirement is this: Under no circumstances may the reader constantly take himself and his cultural attainments to be the measure and criterion of all things, as modern man is so wont to do. Let him be educated enough to think little of his own education, think scornfully even; then he can confidently follow the lead of an author who ventures to address him only from a place of ignorance, a perspective of knowing that he does not know.
yay to that.. but i would say there were/are many loaded whalespeak/assumptions within.. in this case.. meaning assumptions of knowing what people are like when really we just know what whales in sea world are like.. ie: that we need teachers/leaders.. et al
This author claims for himself nothing more than a burning sense of what is specific to our contemporary German barbarism— what distinguishes us nineteenth-century barbarians so remarkably from the barbarians of earlier times.
He searches, this book in his hand, for others who are driven from pillar to post by similar feelings. Show yourselves, you singular individuals—I still believe you exist! You selfless ones, suffering inwardly the sorrows and depravities of the German spirit; you contemplative ones, whose eyes do not just glance quickly at the surface of things but find a way into their *essential core; you great-hearted ones, whom Aristotle praised for going through life hesitant and idle except where a great honor calls you and a great work needs you! It is to you I
appeal! This time, do not crawl into your caves of isolation and mistrust! At least be readers of this book, so that later, through your actions, you can consign it to destruction and oblivion. Think of it as your herald; once you appear on the **battlefield in person, in armor of your own, who then will care to look back at the herald who summoned you?