There is too much giving in and folding up these days, too much softness and namby-pamby. What has been cultivated oh for many years is meekness as if all forms of power, even the power to live superabundantly, were corrupt. The great act crackling with tension is stifled summarily by the resentful complaint, and ‘every complaint,’ writes Nietzsche, ‘contains revenge’ in its heart.
Too much! Too much! We are overwhelmed! Stop! Do not push us to our limits!
Timidity and trepidation are sheltered by politeness as well as by self-deception, pretense, bullshitting, know-it-all-ism, and uncalled bluffs. Bad faith extends so far and wide these days that it has almost become second nature, receiving top billing.
Such is evident enough in talk of discomfort, of being uncomfortable. When someone is uncomfortable, Lo! everyone looks at him and listens and assures him and the music suddenly stops. Oh my, as if discomfort were a warrant for any action, which it is not. Most truly is complaining an act of vengefulness, the acidic, splenetic kind that seeks to vanquish cheerfulness by spreading suffering. No one shall be happy because I feel I am not. We will not all bleed to death but I shall constrict our breathing unto lifelessness.
Let us reply: Your feeling such and such a way does not provide you with any warrant whatsoever for proposing that we think X or do Y. Making others believe that it does is an act of violence on your part.
Come out with it. Quit the subterfuge and the softness. Have you not heard of what we face today? Of the enormity of the mess we’re in? Toughness, not meekness must mark our characters. Toughness, hardiness, ruthless, glorious truthfulness. In “On Understanding Violence Philosophically,” J. Glenn Gray echoes Nietzsche:
Courage is a laughing virtue, not simply a grim and tenacious enduring. The courageous are not given to self-pity, which is a widespread disease of our time. That courage which is other than physical bravery welcomes reflection on every aspect of existence, the dreadful no less than the wonderful. And contrary to popular notions, reflection can inspire cheerfulness rather than gloom.
Come off of it, huh?, and face up. Enough of this. Forget perpetual thoughts of woe, which deny your life and ours, and laugh heartily at all this. Not physical courage for you but moral courage, a laughing virtue. Yeah, why laughing? Because of the superfluity beyond death. Because the soul aches to act, hurling itself toward the Good, not to be acted upon, not to react against. Because motion, power, fire not smoldering or cowering rage is how the heart glows eternally in splendor.