On Strictness


A philosopher must be strict.

One duty of a philosopher is to establish boundaries: not (only) in personal conduct, but in doing analysis. To look at things as they are, things around oneself – instead of talking about how things seem — it is first more useful to talk about what things are. An educated person who cannot say “this is this and that is that” is a fool. If your analysis of the scenario cannot be easily gauged by others to be in line with the facts, or logically consistent — your linguistic skills need improvement, or you are a poor judge, or (worst) you are afraid of how others will judge you for telling things as they are.

There is a culture of weakness in the Western humanities scene where the judge, whose duty is to point at things and point out the way, kicks up dust instead of stepping up to bat. This is a defense mechanism (or cope). The cope of the “sophisticate” is to say, “oh, what you thought I said was this, but your attack is wrong because I didn’t say that or mean that” before playing the language games of a hustler. A terrible thing for a “philosopher for others” to say is: “oh, the meaning of my work is only accessible to those who have done the work; if I show you what I mean, it robs you of the experience of doing the work, so I won’t explain myself.”

These poor fools, fearing strictness from “other philosophers,” fail to reflect this perceived strictness they have of a philosopher inward: by refusing to accept this condition of strictness they expect “from philosophers,” they strip themselves of their labels. For philosophers to overlook this deed is to avoid their duty of strictness.

To condemn the poor philosophy, the poor philosopher is not a death sentence for them: it’s an act of mercy by inviting them to education. This is one mistake the social injustice cultists push. A critic should say, “I think you’re saying this, and this is where I think you made a mistake.” This opens the door to further dialog. Not every discussion is worthy of dialog, but refusing to match or check someone who is trying to play the game makes you, if nothing else, an equal loser.

Doing philosophy is to struggle. Ignorance is suffering. Growth comes when we accept pain instead of shutting it out. A true philosopher is engaged in struggle sessions all the time. Unlike those evil Maoists, don’t take advantage of others’ vulnerability to torture them into submission: be strictest of all to yourself and foremost, and show compassion to those who are lost by extending your strictness unto them.

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