Mirror of Zen Blog

“Our Chosen Chains”


Never thought I would cite something from The National Review, but this is the strangeness of the times we live in. In any event, the author is Sebastian Junger, a legendary war correspondent with one of the keenest eyes out there, reflecting on our “freedom” to willingly chain ourselves to guns and smartphones (and behind these two, a horde of other addictions he doesn’t have space to speak to).

Continue here: https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2023/07/31/our-chosen-chains/

Schopenhauer on Nationalism, Nationalists, and Patriotism

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it. The cheapest sort of pride is national pride; for if a man is proud of his own nation, it argues that he has no qualities of his own of which he can be proud; otherwise he would not have recourse to those which he shares with so many millions of his fellowmen. The man who is endowed with important personal qualities will be only too ready to see clearly in what respects his own nation falls short, since their failings will be constantly before his eyes. Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.

— Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), Essays and Aphorisms