Excursions 1: With Kierkegaard against collective “truth”

It has always caused a particular kind of unease in me whenever the faceless majority

has deigned it righteous and on time to proclaim another universal.

With the advent of a soft and cuddly authoritarianism presenting its credentials as being the necessary controlling agent, for the common good

thinking men and women may indeed find themselves in a predicament worse than a rodent in a glass cage.

If he or she fail to conform to the norm, and even show signs of resistance to the newfound memetic drug being administered in the spiritual equivalent of Kool Aid; all flavour and no nuitritional value – You may take it for granted it is gloriously broadcast to all the world, and particularly directly to the dull synapses of the Mass-man. Having wasted prose on this nervous reaction to the self-evident truths of the crowd, I have assassinated my own character. Consequence is estimated to be infinitessmally small – yet it has presented greater minds than mine with a bill which is well above their ability to pay. One of the debtors, whose fate you may scrutinize and decide you want to join the barking choir after all, and conform now without regret and circumstance – were Soren Kierkegaard. A Nation may be trusted in doing nothing else, but butchering its own prophets,poets and artists…As predictable a treatment is the post mortem installment of the embalmed ghost into whatever derelict mausoleum serves as the national treasury of culture and learning.

Before being deterred thusly, Soren Kierkegaard exercised his human right to dissect the particular reality construct..the so-called world and everything, the beguiling lie which is whispered into the infants ears before they are equipped to hear anything else…

Soren Kierkegaard wrote on this particular topic the following:

There is a view of life which holds that where the crowd is, the truth is also, that it is a need in truth itself, that it must have the crowd on its side.There is another view of life; which holds that wherever the crowd is, there is untruth, so that, for a moment to carry the matter out to its farthest conclusion, even if every individual possessed the truth in private, yet if they came together into a crowd (so that “the crowd” received

any decisive, voting, noisy, audible importance), untruth would at once be let in.

For “the crowd” is untruth.

Where the crowd is..a decisive importance is attached to the fact that there is a crowd, there no one is working, living, and striving for the highest end, but only for this or that earthly end; since the eternal, the decisive, can only be worked for where there is one; and to become this by oneself, which all can do, is to will to allow God to help you – “the crowd” is untruth.

A crowd – not this or that, one now living or long dead, a crowd of the lowly or of nobles, of rich or poor, etc., but in its very concept – is untruth, since a crowd either renders the single individual wholly unrepentant and irresponsible, or weakens his responsibility by making it a fraction of his decision. Observe, there was not a single soldier who dared lay a hand on Caius Marius; this was the truth. But given three or four women with the

consciousness or idea of being a crowd, with a certain hope in the possibility that no one

could definitely say who it was or who started it: then they had the courage for it; what

untruth! The untruth is first that it is “the crowd,” which does either what only the single individual in the crowd does, or in every case what each single individual does.

For a crowd is an abstraction, which does not have hands; each single individual, on the other hand, normally has two hands, and when he, as a single individual, lays his two hands on Caius Marius, then it is the two hands of this single individual, not after all his neighbor’s, even less – the crowd’s, which has no hands.

(Soren Kierkegaard: The Crowd is Untruth at Christian Classics Ethereal Library )

The same site has a lot of english translations of Kierkegaards works in its archives.

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