The Weekday Ramble is a daily dose of sports, music, culture, and more from Rambling On founder Erik Ritland. For more information check us out on Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, or at our website.
Tuesday March 3, 2015
Today’s theme for our special #ThreeQuotes week: American author William Faulkner, political revolutionary Che Guevara, and infamous atheist philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche on, broadly, “social justice.”
Faulkner: A practical guide
No man can write who is not first a humanitarian
― William Faulkner
Writers and artists create for a lot of reasons: personal expression (barf), connecting to people, connecting to the universe, therapy, and the list goes on. What Faulkner is touching on here is the innate desire of the artist to add something significant to mankind. As G.K. Chesterton says, art is the signature of man. Divorce art from the larger context of mankind and you get nothing but selfishness and boring insular bullshit.
Guevara: What is injustice?
If you tremble with indignation at every injustice then you are a comrade of mine
― Che Guevara
The problem is this: what is injustice? My brilliant sociology teacher in high school taught me the basic truth that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter (and this was a mere weeks after 9/11, which he immediately told everyone was an inside job – at a public high school! And years before it became a fad). How many people have used the excuse of “trembling with indignation” at injustice for doing stupid or terrible things? Sure, injustice exists (although I’m not sure if all scientists agree), but it’s best to be careful what you call injustice and how you deal with it. For example, if someone sees abortion as an injustice they can use this idea as a rationalization to bomb abortion clinics. You just need to be careful.
Nietzsche: Eat this, Che
Anarchists are mouthpieces of a declining stratum of society; when they work themselves into a state of righteous indignation demanding 'rights', 'justice', 'equal rights', they are just acting under the pressure of their own lack of culture, which has no way of grasping why they really suffer, or what they lack in life.
― Friedrich Nietzsche
Erik Ritland is a writer and musician from St. Paul, Minnesota. His blog and podcast Rambling On features commentary on music, sports, culture, and more. He is also a contributor for Minnesota culture blog Curious North. Support Erik's music via his Patreon account, reach him via email, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.