I got this quote from a history book…

“Neither blindness nor ignorance corrupts people and governments. They soon realize where
the path they have taken is leading them. But, there is an impulse wihin them, favoured by
their natures and reinforced by their habits, which they do not resist; it continues to propel
them forward as long as they have a remnant of strength. He who overcomes himself
is divine. Most see their ruin before their eyes; but they go on into it.”

be sure to coment

i couldnt agree more. thats why i think people en mass dont support the huge changes that most people think and know would be better for all of humanity. poeple know stuffs. bad. they jsut dont care. i think alota environmental issues are exacally that. What they are doing now is going to ruin it for the future… but hey why change? Society may be dumb, but the individuals who make it up are not. and if you ask me, if they dont want to change, who are we or anyone else to say they should.

i think that all people should fight our habits and go for the divinty that is within us.if anyone reads marcus aurelius that person can be exposed to the truth in some conceps of life.i know our goverment is corrupt but like marcus says every human has a bad nature to sin and do wrong.there is no point in talking about how bad our goverment is becase it will always be bad as long as human beings are running it.we should deal with what we got and think about how we can make it better.think of all things,every thing has a purpose.

I think I agree with the passage. Often, with our decisions and actions, we could “see” where we are heading, and we could look back and know in retrospect what we have done. But habits and human nature get in the way. Perhaps, complacence too. We cling too much to our beliefs, way of thinking-- and in the end we’re not willing to “do something about it”.

Which gets me to this point: Are we, then, inherently “bad, weak, or corruptible”? They say, it is one thing to be ignorant of something and make—as a result of this ignorance—a bad decision. It is another to know where such an act might lead and do it anyway.

“Most see their ruin before their eyes.” The U.S. government sure has taken a look, and saw the ruin?

who would this quote be taken from?

Leopold von Ranke

I would suggest Barbara Tuchman’s “the March of Folly.”
She talks about governments making terrible mistakes due to “wooden headedness” and not acting in the population’s self-interest.

this is an excellent proof of a chief point in modern hermeneutics.

you say “Most see their ruin before their eyes; but they go on into it”. the counter statement for that is “Most have their ruin before their eyes; but they go on into it”.

your statement emphasizes how its not a problem of perception, but of action. the counterstatement emphasizes how its not a problem of action, but of perception. they are in fact perfectly equivalent. for there exists no “perception” or “action” in any absolute sense.

consider somebody on a sidewalk in ny. he looks at the green light turn red, walks off the sidewalk and gets killed by a car. he saw his ruin and proceeded into it.

consider an aborigen that lived in africa’s countryside all his life, captured, sedated and released on the streets of ny. he looks at the pretty colors turn red from green, and proceeds off the sidewalk. he had his ruin before his eyes and proceded into it.

why did one see and the other just look ? can you tell, sitting in a tower and looking down, who sees and who just looks ? because if there is no externally visible mark of seing other than action, there can not be any perception in an absolute sense. the argument can be used to show the same about action, and on the cross the street example you can refine alot to show a good number of the current misconception on what meaning is and is not.

when we read old texts today, we cant understand things such as why would ptolemeus go to the pain of building and fixing an obviously mislead theory about the planet’s movements, when he could have and conceivably should have noticed its just that the earth moves, not the sun. the reason is quite simply the fact that what we see depends on what we know, and not knowing implies not seeing. even if in fact, it is there. because after all, it was always there, all along.

the problem is that people are interested more in what their nerve signals tell them this very second and not so much about what their life will be like in the future. it feels good to sit high above the other cars and know that if you crash into a car you will peacefully slow down and they will be obliterated. it doesnt matter if they will waste your money and destroy the world, today you feel better as long as you ignore the future.

stuff blows up, we know where the people live who did it. the thing that makes us feel good today is going over there and showing those god dman punks who is their boss. tommorow, the thousands upon thousands of terrorists whose families we murdered will hate us much more because of our shocking and awing, but today we feel good.

all bad actions of humans can be described in three ways: you take advantage of equals because you mistakenly thought they were less than equal; you take advantage of others because ‘the world aint fair’ and you feel justified perpetuating this system since it perpetuated on you first; youre concerned with today and too stupid to look at tommorow.

did i miss any? did i completely accurately describe all human evil?cant we just knock that shit off and live perfect lives of bliss?

Ahh, Zenofeller, I like the analysis you give on “Most see their ruin before their eyes….” And I agree, you rightly pointed out the distinction between the two statements. The first is a matter of action/decision, and the second could be a matter of perception or understanding what one sees.

But you really didn’t raise any objection or contention with the original quote. Because in your example of the “new yorker in New York” and the “aborigines in New York”—this is clearly a screaming example of Leopold’s ‘ignorance is not a cause why people are corrupt, or evil, or bad’. We cannot blame the aborigines himself, at least not without good justification, for his “decision” to go ahead and cross the street even after seeing the red light. He does not know, he is ignorant of the convention in walking in city streets. He does not know anything about the red or green light. But the native New Yorker who sees it, and proceeded to cross the street is, in this case, stupid, or to blame for his bad decision.

arendt, you missed the point. the point wasnt what they would do. the point was how could you tell from outside ? and since you couldnt, how could it matter ?

it was intended to prove that the original statement is nothing more than wordplay, including its own conclusion in the shaky deffinitions of “see” and “ignorance”

See, that’s the problem with you Zenofeller. Everything to you is linguistic logic. This is your problem. You take what is really a pragmatic, practical condition and turn it into purely logical construct. (Hey, is there really a linguistic logic. lol) One, you are mistaken in this approach. Two, because you are mistaken in mixing two different criteria of judgment, then whatever you say after that collapses. It wouldn’t matter. You did this too in your animal rights thread.

Ranke’s quote is an obervation about government and society—to forget this is to put the quote in the wrong context.

If you continue this style of disproving something—taking things out of context, mixing logic and pragmatic/practical, using nihilistic reasoning as a blanket argument-------then there is no point arguing with you.

Hi Githa,

welcome from 'yard.

The key to deciphering it is hatred of self as blind or as ignorant.

If I hate me as blind, I don’t want to see that i am blind, I am not willing to see nor admit that i am blind.

Which then leads me to being blinder than those who can’t see: there are none who are blind as those who won’t see.

So hatred of myself as any word is the real blindness, the real ignorance, the real corruption that absolutely corrupts.

So when generations of humans are taught that it is ok to hate being a fool, that attitude becomes our second nature that then forces us to continue being so blind even as we also say:
the first thing a wise man knows is that he is a fool;
where ignorance is bliss, tis folly to be wise: which logically leads us: where ignorance is bliss, tis wise to be a fool!:wink:

So here is what’s written between the words and under that statement:

Neither physical blindness nor ignorance corrupts people and governments. They soon realize where the path they have taken is leading them.
But, what they are taught by church and home and school that hatred for themselves as blind or as ignorant or as any word is the correct attitude, hatred for self as those words is that impulse wihin them, favoured by their natures and reinforced by their habits, which they do not resist it with self-Love as all words, they will not and so can not resist; that self-hatred as those words continues to propel them forward as long as they have a remnant of physical strength.

He who with self-Love for all of himself overcomes the himself with any self-Hate is divine since Love is divine.
Most in hate of self see their ruin before their eyes; but in the ruin of self-hate they go on into it.

Love of myself as educated and as ignorant allows me to admit my blindness and ignorance and become wiser.
So tho sounding contrary and paradoxical,
it is
Love of myself as a fool that makes me wise when a fool, and makes me double wise when i am wise.
Really it is my wise attitude of Love for myself as wise or fool that is the ONE wisdom we all need.

Here are some more voices:

Love’s Philosophy:
The fountains mingle with the river,
And the rivers with the ocean;
The winds of heaven mix forever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;

I have no brother, I am like no brother;
And THIS WORD ‘LOVE,’ which greybeards call DIVINE,
Be resident in men like one another84
The Third Part of King Henry the Sixth, Act V. Scene VI.

“There is nothing holier, in this life of ours, than the first consciousness of Love–the first
fluttering of its silken wings.”
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth

Love a man even in sin,
for that is the semblance of Divine Love and is the highest Love on Earth.
Love all of God’s creation, the whole and every grain of sand in it.
Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light. Love the animals, love the plants, love
If you love everything, you will perceive that Love is the divine mystery in things.
Once you perceive that, you will begin to comprehend it better every day.
And you will come at last to love the whole world with an
all-embracing Love. Love the animals: … Love the children especially …
If you resolve on that Love once and for all, you will subdue the whole world.
The humility of Love is marvelously strong, the strongest of all things, and there
Is nothing like it.
Brothers, Love is the teacher;
But one must know how to acquire it, for in hate it is hard to acquire, it is dearly bought, it is won slowly by long labor. For we must love not only occasionally, for a moment, but for forever.
… It’s all like an ocean, I tell you. Then you would [be] … consumed by an all-embracing Love … Treasure this ecstasy of Love … .

everloving, everliving, eversure, which is all I ever have,


while i can easily agree that there’s something wrong with me, i am not very sure what you mean, precisely. what else is there than what you call my “linguistic logic” ?

you mean to say that ranke wasnt using words, but directly their respective significates ? if he was in fact using words, what is wrong with applying “linguistic” logic ? note that im not very sure what you mean by the “linguistic” attribute.

“If you continue this style of disproving something—taking things out of context, mixing logic and pragmatic/practical, using nihilistic reasoning as a blanket argument-------then there is no point arguing with you.”

taking things out of context ? do you allow for any sort of analysis, or is any attempt at taking a text apart going to be “taking things out of context ?” is deconstructivism taking things out of context ? what precisely do you mean by context btw ? i dont think its very much anything a la derrida is it ?

what do you mean mixing logic and pragmatic/practical ? i was under the impression that logic is a welcome addition anywhere ? is the pragmatic without logic ? is the practical without logic ? i had thought its some peculiarity about my use of logic, that you denote by the term “linguistic” that was upsetting you, but now it seems you are going all out against logic altogether. are you ? then ofcourse we cant discuss, nobody can ever discuss without logic.

what is nihilistic reasoning ? can the lack of bias be assigned the name of “nihilistic reasoning” ?


U can not help but be linguistically logical since logic is nothing if logical and of course linguistic.

The problem, if any, can only be in your premise!

Arendt may not be able to point that out since she may have the same flaw in her premise: so hse had to think that there is something wrong in your logic.

so be cool.


We are inherently bad, weak and corruptible.
All that is normal.
What is NEITHER inherent nor normal is to hate self as bad, weak and corruptible.

For example, it is hate of myself as bad and as wrong that makes me not want to admit nor admit that i am wrong and bad and that makes me do what i know is wrong and bad anyway, while claiming it to be right and good.

It is hate of himself as wrong that makes it so hard for W to admit that he makes mistakes!

It is Hate of myself as weak that makes me have to have power to lvoe myself, whcih corrupting hatred then also corrupts my use of power absolutely! It is our addiction to self-hatred that makes us then misblame absolute power for courrupting us absolutely. The enemy is that hate for self in us as mistaught, not in the power.

By the way, do you love yourself as illogical and insane?smile
I do love me as such!:wink:


Ahh, very true.

I should. lol.