Back in Sweden again

More on internal exile

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I’ve thought a lot about the internal exile which Brexit/Trump seems to have confined me to. It’s not good, it’s not responsible. As though I didn’t care anymore.  I was somewhat encouraged to read this from Tracy B. Strong, written in 2008 and relation to the Bush presidency, not Trump:

“In what does tyranny consist? For Nietzsche, it is the insistence that the world is and is only as I will it to be. Challenges should be ignored or eliminated. Similarly, in the Persian Letters, Montesquieu argued that it consists in requiring that others have no existence for oneself except that which one allows them. This seems to me exactly right: tyranny consists in speaking for oneself and having the power to impose that speech on others, to hear only one’s own words. I note with political distress that when Bush comes on the TV, I turn to the World Poker Tour. I did not do this with Nixon or Reagan, much as I disagreed with them. My distress is almost unpolitical, for my channel changing is a form of not being willing to share the world with G.W. Bush. I want, in other words, not to deal with the fact that he is our president, that is, not to accept that he and I share what Nietzsche called “the life of a people.” My avoidance strikes me as dangerous: it is as if I were pretending to myself that he is not our president, refusing to acknowledge the world of which he and I are a part. This is a consequence of tyranny.”

Strong, Tracy B. “Nietzsche and the Political: Tyranny, Tragedy, Cultural Revolution, and Democracy.” The Journal of Nietzsche Studies 35, no. 1 (November 28, 2008): 62-63.

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