The Sovereignty of Persuasion

Shane Eide

March 9, 2018

Book Note: Persuasion and Rhetoric by Carlo Michelstaedter #23

It is like saying that in the eye of a man facing a panorama the whole scene lives again in all its detail, but just as in the retina what lives clearly is only the point that, `each time eventually,' is in focus, 

Book Note: Persuasion and Rhetoric by Carlo Michelstaedter #22

And yet if "objectivity" means "objectivity," to see objectively either has no sense because it must have a subject or it is the extreme consciousness of the man who is one with things, has all things in himself: `one, indivisible,' the persuaded: god. 

There is the self and the other. Michelstaedter's project to absorb one's insufficiency and cancel the subject approximates to esoteric teachings which seek too cancel the duality between the self and the other, thus making action complete and free. 

Book Note: Persuasion and Rhetoric by Carlo Michelstaedter #21

The trained man is reduced to not allowing his reality to depart from the moment: his direct mode is the sign of a given near-relation. 

Book Note: Persuasion and Rhetoric by Carlo Michelstaedter #20

And not only do the others believe them persuaded, for to the ignorant "being of good faith" is a synonym for "being persuaded," but they themselves-if one excludes the sly-in the persuasion of wanting to conquer, taking their need itself as reason, are fooled by their own words. 

Book Note: Persuasion and Rhetoric by Carlo Michelstaedter #19

For love they wanted to eliminate strife among men and offered them a law based on the presupposition that love-the orientation toward the absolute, toward god-exists in all, and the law made them all brothers and united them in mutual respect.  

Book Note: Persuasion and Rhetoric by Carlo Michelstaedter #18

Initiative always belongs to the strongest, and the "league of the weak" was formed precisely at the expense of the stronger 

Book Note: Persuasion and Rhetoric by Carlo Michelstaedter #16

If the will of nature to actualize itself in a single point by means of the sequence of individual crystallizations culminates in a man's consciousness, 

Book Notes: Persuasion and Rhetoric by Carlo Michelstaedter #15

This man of society who, in contrast to the natural man, is weaker to the degree that he no longer must face any of the dangers the latter had to overcome-that is, precisely as weak as he who is incapable of overcoming even the slightest danger and who has no other activity, no larger sphere of action, because his interests go no further than his own life needs, this nearly inorganic will to live-this man, nevertheless, enjoys, in exchange for his tiny learned task and his submission, the security of all that human ingenuity has accumulated in society, what he would not otherwise obtain except by individual superiority, the potency of persuasion. With the work of inferior individuality appear the fruits of superior individuality: such is the rhetorical significance of social optimism 

Book Note: Persuasion and Rhetoric by Carlo Michelstaedter #13

The man who lives without persuasion, without ever daring to want it, does not have an end or reason in his power that might escape from that point, unless to repeat itself in the past or future.  

Book Note: Persuasion and Rhetoric by Carlo Michelstaedter #10

Their memory is made up of nodules of dispositions awaiting conventional forms to be recognized;  

Book Note: Persuasion and Rhetoric by Carlo Michelstaedter #8

For one loves and turns his gaze toward ward total possession, identity, and the other is touched and overconscientious about what he thinks he possesses-in order that 

Book Note: Persuasion and Rhetoric by Carlo Michelstaedter #6

for the world is nothing but my world, and if I possess it I have myself.  

Book Note: Persuasion and Rhetoric by Carlo Michelstaedter #5

The rhetoric of science is the affirmation of this work, which is nothing but referring to the deficiency of things as if it were sufficient to the demand of persuasion.