May 24, 2016

Isaiah's Job by Albert Jay Nock


"Everyone with a message nowadays is eager to take it to the masses. His first, last and only thought is of mass acceptance and mass approval. His great care is to put his doctrine in such shape as will capture the masses' attention and interest. This attitude towards the masses is so exclusive, so devout, that one is reminded of the troglodytic monster described by Plato, and the assiduous crowd at the entrance to its cave, trying obsequiously to placate it and win its favor, trying to interpret its inarticulate noises, trying to find out what it wants, and eagerly offering it all sorts of things that they think might strike its fancy....

"The main trouble with all this is its reaction upon the mission itself. It necessitates an opportunist sophistication of one's doctrine, which profoundly alters its character and reduces it to a mere placebo.

"If, say, you are a preacher, you wish to attract as large a congregation as you can, which means an appeal to the masses; and this, in turn, means adapting the terms of your message to the order of intellect and character that the masses exhibit.

"If you are an educator, say with a college on your hands, you wish to get as many students as possible, and you whittle down your requirements accordingly.

"If a writer, you aim at getting many readers; if a publisher, many purchasers; if a philosopher, many disciples; if a reformer, many converts; if a musician, many auditors; and so on.

"But as we see on all sides, in the realization of these several desires, the prophetic message is so heavily adulterated with trivialities, in every instance, that its effect on the masses is merely to harden them in their sins. Meanwhile, the Remnant, aware of this adulteration and of the desires that prompt it, turn their backs on the prophet and will have nothing to do with him or his message.

Isaiah, on the other hand, worked under no such disabilities. He preached to the masses only in the sense that he preached publicly. Anyone who liked might listen; anyone who liked might pass by.

"He knew that the Remnant would listen; and knowing also that nothing was to be expected of the masses under any circumstances, he made no specific appeal to them, did not accommodate his message to their measure in any way, and did not care two straws whether they heeded it or not. As a modern publisher might put it, he was not worrying about circulation or about advertising.

"Hence, with all such obsessions quite out of the way, he was in a position to do his level best, without fear or favor, and answerable only to his august Boss....

The rest is available HERE @ Mises Daily

Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 24, 2016 12:03 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Fabulous link, VDL. I found myself laughing uproariously. I don't suppose that will qualify me for the Seven Thousand but I'll cheer on from the grandstand, which can't be much more than seven hundred thousand.

Posted by: james wilson at May 24, 2016 1:49 PM

Obviously the author was educated in the classical way; people just don't write and argue like this anymore. Such a broad and liberal mind, so well read, so well argued--an absolute pleasure to read. I remember in the early 90s in law school we had an elderly guest professor (I believe Afred Conard); his writing about law was so beautiful, citing all manner of literature, classics, history, so unlike all modern legal writing (dry, boring, tedious). I remember then looking up his educational history--he was educated at Harvard in the 30s. This is the same type of writing, something you see so rarely today. A pity. It is his argument--all appealing to the masses

Posted by: rjl at May 24, 2016 7:16 PM

In other words, the market is but a tool; and like any other tool it is very useful with the problems it is designed for.

There are no magic wands.

Pick your tools according to their uses; use your tools for their proper purposes.

(And put them away clean and in their proper locations because that was what dad said.)


Posted by: Mikey NTH at May 24, 2016 9:05 PM

McKinney police have said charges, including evading arrest, against Harris' client, 18 year old Adrian Martin, will be dropped. Harris said Martin does not intend to sue for being arrested and jailed.

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She points out how both her sons are arrogant and cruel but her younger son Jeetendra is particularly abrasive. "When he loses his temper, he would abuse me in such foul language that I would tremble in fear and anger. He often threatened to kill me if I didn sign property papers he placed beofre me. He brook no questions and began shouting if I dilly dallied," she says and adds, "My late husband Raghuraj too died heartbroken following harrassment and suffering at the hands of our sons in his advanced age. They tried everything possible to shut me up too and felt the fear of embarassment will keep me quiet. But I decided that at my age, I have nothing to lose. I found much of what she felt so heartrending that I tried to soften the language and make it milder. But when Jayatai read the first draft she was furious and asked me not to soften what she was saying. Let the world see the times we living in."

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