New at IWP Books: Points of Friction (1920) by Agnes Repplier.

New at IWP Books: Counter-Currents (1916) by Agnes Repplier.

New at IWP Books: The Tempo of Modern Life (1931) by James Truslow Adams. Begin Here!

Philadelphia, Patricians & Philistines, 1900–1950 by John Lukacs. Chapter on Agnes Repplier.

New at IWP Books: Our Business Civilization (1929) by James Truslow Adams.

New at IWP Books: Meditations in Wall Street, 1940, Anonymous, With an Introduction by Albert Jay Nock.

New at IWP Articles: “The Tempo of Modern Life” (1931) by James Truslow Adams.

New at IWP Articles: “Diminishing Returns in Modern Life” (1931) by James Truslow Adams.

New at IWP Articles: “Is Science a Blind Alley?” (1931) by James Truslow Adams.

New at IWP Articles: “Sweetness and Light — Sixty Years After” (1931) by James Truslow Adams.

From Dialogues of Alfred North Whitehead:

“One of the happiest times that I know of in the history of mankind,” said he, “was the thirty years, roughly, from 1880 to 1910. I am not suggesting that there were not a great many things which needed changing; but we intended to change them and had set about doing so. For people like us, moderately comfortable, the conditions were ideal — not too much money, engrossing work to be done, and a sense of purpose and progress in the world.”

New at IWP Books: Science, Liberty and Peace (1947) by Aldous Huxley.

From Concerning Women (1926) by Suzanne La Follette:

The dominant spirit among us is not only not hospitable to the idea of freedom; it is openly inimical to the idea. The United States is the richest and most powerful country in the world. It is in the midst of the most interesting experiment ever seen in the simplification of human life. It is undertaking to prove that human beings can live a generally satisfactory life without the exercise of the reflective intellect, without ideas, without ideals, and in a proper use of the word without emotions, so long as they may see the prospect of a moderate well-being, and so long as they are kept powerfully under the spell of a great number of mechanical devices for the enhancement of comfort, convenience and pleasure. This experiment is so universal and so preoccupying that while it is going on there would seem to be no chance to get any consideration for so unrelated a matter as freedom. Hence the only current notion of freedom is freedom to live and behave as the majority live and behave and to desire what the majority desire; and notions which diverge from this have not been under stronger suspicion and disapproval since the eighteenth century than they are in this country today. Not that any one, probably, fears any degree of liberty for himself, but every one has a nervous horror of too much liberty for others. Most people no doubt feel that they themselves would know exactly what to do with freedom and therefore might be safely trusted with any measure of it; it is the possible social effect of other people’s liberty that they dread. No idea, probably, is more distrusted and feared among us at the present time than that of freedom for someone else.

From Concerning Women (1926) by Suzanne La Follette:

It is not the fear of want alone which demoralizes and corrupts. In a society where the greatest respect is paid to those who live in idleness through legalized theft; where men of genius may be treated like lackeys by those whose only claim to superiority is their command of wealth; where industry and ability yield smaller returns than flattery and servility; in such a society there is little to encourage honesty and independence of spirit. So long as honour is paid to those who live by other people’s labour, in proportion to their power of commanding it, so long will praise of honesty, industry, and thrift savour of hypocrisy, and so long will the mass of people be under small temptation to cultivate these virtues; and so long, also, will the moralists who seek to inculcate them be open to the same suspicion of insincerity as are those bankers who stand to profit substantially by the thrift they preach among depositors. There is something grimly amusing in the complaints so frequently heard from those who live in ease, about the shiftlessness of the working classes and their dishonest workmanship; complaints which are well founded, perhaps, but do not take into account the slight incentive that is furnished by the knowledge that the profits of industry and honest workmanship will be diverted into other pockets than those of the workers. If labour takes every opportunity of giving as little as it can for as much as it can get, one must remember that it but follows the example set by the owning classes, an example that has yielded them rich returns both in wealth and in the esteem of their fellow-men. Under a free economic system no such demoralizing example would exist. The material rewards of honesty, industry, and thrift would accrue to those who practised these virtues; and since there would be no opportunity to gain esteem through the appropriation of other people’s labour, those who wished to enjoy it would be forced to depend on more worthy means, such as ability, integrity, and uprightness in their dealings with other people.

New at IWP Books: Concerning Women (1926) by Suzanne La Follette.

Soon at IWP Books: Concerning Women (1926) by Suzanne La Follette.

7 September — The worst thing I see about life at the present time is that whereas the ability to think has to be cultivated by practice, like the ability to dance or to play the violin, everything is against that practice. Speed is against it, commercial amusements, noise, the pressure of mechanical diversions, reading-habits, even studies, are all against it. Hence a whole race is being bred without the power to think, or even the disposition to think, and one can not wonder that public opinion, qua opinion, does not exist.” (Albert Jay Nock, A Journal of These Days, 1934)

From “A Study of Romeo” (Emerson and Other Essays) by John Jay Chapman:

The plays of Shakespeare marshal themselves in the beyond. They stand in a place outside of our deduction. Their cosmos is greater than our philosophy. They are like the forces of nature and the operations of life in the vivid world about us. We may measure our intellectual growth by the new horizons we see opening within them. So long as they continue to live and change, to expand and deepen, to be filled with new harmony and new suggestion, we may rest content; we are still growing. At the moment we think we have comprehended them, at the moment we see them as stationary things, we may be sure something is wrong; we are beginning to petrify. Our fresh interest in life has been arrested.

From the Translator’s Preface to Invertebrate Spain:

The first three essays herein presented were taken from the volume whose Spanish title, España Invertebrada, provided the subject as well as the title for this book. The others were chosen from other volumes of Señor Ortega’s work because they shed added light on problems which he indicated in that famous analysis, or because they were pertinent to aspects of the present struggle.

The only translation available, then, is not a full translation of España Invertebrada.

From Invertebrate Spain by José Ortega y Gasset:

Strict Catholic dogma limits itself to demanding that the faithful admit the canonical definition of God, and leaves each one’s fancy free to imagine Him and to feel Him in its own peculiar way. Taine speaks of a child who was told that God was in the sky. “In the sky, like the birds?” she exclaimed. “Then he must have a beak.” That child could be a Catholic; there is nothing in the catechism’s definition which prevents God from having a beak.

From Invertebrate Spain by José Ortega y Gasset:

It is well known that a region’s humidity is determined not by the absolute quantity of water it receives, but by the proportion between what it receives and what it gives back by way of humidity. In Castile there is four times as much evaporation as there is rain. If we translate this figure into terms of the imagination, we get the grotesque picture of a country where more water goes from the earth to the clouds than comes from the clouds to the earth. In Castile it must rain upwards.

Next at IWP Books:

  • Selected Works of Artemus Ward, Edited by Albert Jay Nock
  • Invertebrate Spain, by José Ortega y Gasset (tr. Mildred Adams)

Artemus Ward on Woman’s Rights:

“My female frends,” sed I, “be4 you leeve, I’ve a few remarks to remark; wa them well. The female woman is one of the greatest institooshuns of which this land can boste. It’s onpossible to get along without her. Had there bin no female wimin in the world, I should scacely be here with my unparalleld show on this very occashun. She is good in sickness – good in wellness – good all the time. O, woman! woman!” I cried, my feelins worked up to a hi poetick pitch, “you air a angle when you behave yourself; but when you take off your proper appairel & (mettyforically speaken) get into pantyloons – when you desert your firesides, & with your heds full of wimin’s rites noshuns go round like roarin lyons, seekin whom you may devour someboddy – in short, when you undertake to play the man, you play the devil and air an emfatic noosance. My female friends,” I continnered, as they were indignantly departin, “wa well what A. Ward has sed!”

Artemus Ward on Jeff. Davis:

Jeff. Davis is not poplar here. She is regarded as a Southern sympathiser. & yit I’m told he was kind to his Parents. She ran away from ’em many years ago, and has never bin back. This was showin ’em a good deal of consideration when we reflect what his conduck has been. Her captur in female apparel confooses me in regard in his sex, & you see I speak of him as a her as frekent as otherwise, & I guess he feels so hisself.

Two by Ambrose Bierce:

One can not be trusted to feel until one has learned to think.

Must one be judged by his average, or may he be judged, on occasion, by his highest? He is strongest who can lift the greatest weight, not he who habitually lifts lesser ones.