Monday, June 10, 2013

Never work.

"The later Leopardi, while he did not believe that the growth of knowledge would produce a growth of happiness (and in this sense he was not and never had been an Enlightenment thinker, at least in the more narrowly defined sense of the term), was nevertheless convinced that it was necessary, against the Italian and European 'moderates', to develop a materialist and pessimistic culture for all. That it was necessary to cease 'pacifying' the masses with the opium of religion, and instead to found a common morality, based on the solidarity of all men in the struggle against nature: a struggle that is, in the final analysis, a desperate one, but which alone can make all men brothers, outside all paternalist hypocrisy and all the foolish pride of those who will not acknowledge that men 'are no more than a tiny part of the universe.'" 
- Sebastiano Timpanaro, On Materialism

The noble nature is the one
who dares to lift his mortal eyes
to confront our common destiny
and, with honest words
that subtract nothing from the truth,
admits the pain that is our destiny,
and our poor and feeble state;
who shows he's great and strong in suffering 
and doesn't add his brother's hate or anger,
worse than any other evil, to his ills
by blaming man for his unhappiness,
but assigns responsibility
to the truly guilty: she who is
mother of mortals when she gives us birth,
stepmother ruling us.
Her he calls his enemy, and believing
the whole human company
arrayed against her,
as they are in fact,
considers all men allies from the outset
and embraces all of them
with true love, offering
and expecting real and ready aid
in the alternating dangers and concerns
of our common struggle. But to take up arms
against a man, or set a trap
or make trouble for his neighbor
seems to him as stupid as,
surrounded by hostile soldiers
during the heaviest fighting on the field,
to forget your enemies
and battle fiercely with your friends,
inciting your own men to run
by threatening them with your sword.
When such ideas become
known to the populace as they once were,
and the fear
that first joined mortals in a common pact
against unholy nature
shall be revived to some extent
out of real wisdom, then an honest,
just society of citizens
and right and piety will take root
from something more than vain mythologies;
and on this foundation
the people's probity may stand as firm
as something based on error.


-Giacomo Leopardi, La Ginestra (The Broom)                                 

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