Sunday, February 01, 2009

Genius & Tyranny

It's an incomplete thought, but a homology just occured me. I could be wrong about this.

Genius is to knowledge as tyranny is to power. And, as we know, honesty is to knowledge as decency is to power. This could have interesting implications. One might be that honesty and decency are inversely proportionate to, respectively, genius and tyranny. Honesty and decency affect the conditions of possibility of knowledge and power.

You only need tyrants where there is no decency. You only become one if you have none. You only need geniuses where there is no honesty. You only become one if you have none. (Pause for thought.)

Whether in the society or the individual, genius is neither possible nor necessary under conditions of complete honesty. Likewise, tyranny is neither necessary nor possible under conditions of complete decency. The decent man cannot be and need not be a tyrant. Nor can the tyrant reach him. The honest man has no need to be a genius, nor can he ever become one. And the genius has nothing to teach him.

5 comments:

Laura Carter said...

This is kind of sad. :(

Thomas Basbøll said...

Hopefully it will become less sad in a more complete elaboration.

What is sad about it?

Laura Carter said...

That genius and honesty are at odds.

Thomas Basbøll said...

Yes, but why is that sad?

It's not like it's a choice between happiness and wisdom or something.

Laura Carter said...

I get it.