“Such phrases do not impress me”

I have often heard and read, we have all often heard and read, such phrases as “the common herd,” “the exceptional man,” “a morality suited to the multitude,” “a morality not suitable to men of genius,” “the superior intelligence has outgrown such useful conventions,” and so on. Such phrases do not impress me. They will never even begin to impress me until I hear something added to them; something for which I am waiting and for which I always wait in vain. I should begin to feel the force of such remarks if ever a man said, “the common herd, to which I belong,” or “the exceptional man, which I can never hope to be,” or “This morality is suitable to the multitude, and therefore I am going to observe it,” or “The morality is not suited to genius; so my cousin Tom may get drunk, but I mayn’t,” or “The superior intelligence has outgrown conventions, but for me they are still useful.” In short, I shall believe in the extreme philosophy of superiors and inferiors when I hear a little more about the latter. When a man calls himself inferior, I will call him a serious anti-egalitarian. So long as he always calls himself superior, I shall always continue to call him a silly braggart.

The Illustrated London News, 13 April 1912.

Published in: on December 10, 2014 at 3:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

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