Take Hannah Arendt’s Final Exam for Her 1961 Course “On Revolution”

After her analysis of totalitarianism in Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union, Hannah Arendt turned her scholarly attention to the subject of revolution—namely, to the French and American Revolutions. However, the first chapter of her 1963 book On Revolution opens with a paraphrase of Lenin about her own time: “Wars and revolutions… have thus far determined the physiognomy of the twentieth century.”

Arendt wrote the book on the threshold of many wars and revolutions yet to come, but she was not particularly sympathetic to the leftist turn of the 1960s. On Revolution favors the American Colonists over the French Sans Culottes and Jacobins. The book is in part an intellectual contribution to anti-Communism, one of many ideologies, Arendt writes, that “have lost contact with the major realities of our world”?




What are those realities? “War and revolution,” she argues, “have outlived all their ideological justifications… no cause is left but the most ancient of all, the one, in fact, that from the beginning of our history has determined the very existence of politics, the cause of freedom versus tyranny.” This sounds like pamphleteering, but Arendt did not use such abstractions lightly. As one of the foremost scholars of ancient Greek and modern European philosophy, she was eminently qualified to define her terms.

Her students, on the other hand, might have struggled with such weighty concepts as “revolution,” “rights, “freedom,” etc. which can so easily become meaningless slogans without substantive elaboration and "contact with reality." Arendt was a thorough teacher. Once her students left her class, they surely had a better grasp on the intellectual history of liberal democracy. Such understanding constituted Arendt’s life's work, and it was through teaching that she developed and refined the ideas that became On Revolution.

Arendt began research for the book at Princeton, where she was appointed the first woman to serve as a full professor in 1953. Throughout the 50s and early 60s, she taught at Berkeley, Columbia, Cornell, the University of Chicago, and Northwestern before joining the faculty of the New School. In 1961, she taught a Northwestern seminar called “On Revolution.” Just above, you can see the course’s final exam. (View it in a larger format here.) If you’re wondering why she gave the test in March, perhaps it’s because the following month, she boarded a plane to cover the Adolf Eichmann trial for The New Yorker.

What did Arendt want to make sure that her students understood before she left? See a transcription of the exam questions below. We see the two poles of her later argument coming into focus, the French and the American Revolutionary ideas. The latter example has been seen by many critical philosophers as hardly revolutionary at all, given that it was primarily waged in the interests of merchants and slave-owning plantation owners. It was, as one historian puts it, “a revolution in favor of government.”

This criticism is likely the basis of Arendt’s final question on the test. But in her erudite argument, the American Revolution is foundational to use of “revolution” as a political term of art. As Arendt writes in a late 60s lecture, re-discovered in 2017, “prior to the two great revolutions at the end of the 18th century and the specific sense it then acquired, the word ‘revolution’ was hardly prominent in the vocabulary of political thought or practice.” Rather, it mainly had astrological significance.

Arendt saw all subsequent world revolutions as partaking of the twinned logics of the 18th century. “Its political usage was metaphorical,” she says, “describing a movement back into some pre-established point, and hence a motion, a swinging back to a pre-ordained order.” Generally, that order has been pre-ordained by the revolutionaries themselves. See if your understanding of revolutionary history is up to Arendt’s pedagogical standards, below, and get a more comprehensive history of revolution from the readings on recent course syllabuses here, here, and here.

 

Answer at least five of the following questions:

  1. What is the origin of the word “revolution”?

How was the word originally used in political language?

  1. Identify the following dates:

The 14th of July

The 9th of Thermidore

The 18th of Brumaire

  1. Who wrote The Rights of Man?

Who wrote Reflections on the French Revolution?

What was the connection between the two books?

  1. Who was Crevecoeur? Give title of his book.
  2. Enumerate some authors and books that played a role in the revolutions?
  3. What is the difference between absolutism and a “limited monarchy”?
  4. Who is the author of The Spirit of the Laws?
  5. Which author had the greatest influence on the men of the French Revolution?
  6. What is meant by the phrase “state of nature”?
  7. The following words are of Greek origin; give their English equivalent: monarchy—oligarchy—aristocracy—democracy.

Write a short essay of no more than four pages on one of the following topics:

  1. It is a main thesis of R.R. Palmer’s The Age of the Democratic Revolution that “the American Revolution was an event within an Atlantic civilization as a whole.” Explain and discuss.

  2. Clinton Rossiter asserts that “America’s debt to the idea of social contract is so huge as to defy measurement.” Explain and discuss.

  3. Differences and similarities between the American and the French Revolution.

  4. Connect on possible meanings of the phrase: Pursuit of happiness.

  5. Describe Melville’s attitude to the French Revolution in Billy Budd.

  6. The American Revolution—was there any?

via Samantha Hill

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Bertrand Russell Remembers His Face-to-Face Encounter with Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

When the Bolsheviks seized control of Russia in the October Revolution of 1917, Bertrand Russell saw it as "one of the great heroic events of the world's history."

A renowned philosopher and mathematician, Russell was also a committed socialist. As he would write in his 1920 book The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism:

By far the most important aspect of the Russian Revolution is as an attempt to realize Communism. I believe that Communism is necessary to the world, and I believe that the heroism of Russia has fired men's hopes in a way which was essential to the realization of Communism in the future. Regarded as a splendid attempt, without which ultimate success would have been very improbable, Bolshevism deserves the gratitude and admiration of all the progressive part of mankind.

But despite his early admiration for the "splendid attempt," Russell found much in Soviet Russia to be concerned about. Specifically, he was appalled by the rigidly doctrinaire mindset of the Bolsheviks -- their zeal for quoting Marx like it was Holy gospel -- and the cruel tyranny they were willing to impose.




In May of 1920, a few months before finishing The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism, Russell visited Petrograd (Saint Petersburg) and Moscow with a British Labour delegation. As he says in the book:

I went to Russia a Communist; but contact with those who have no doubts has intensified a thousandfold my own doubts, not as to Communism in itself, but as to the wisdom of holding a creed so firmly that for its sake men are willing to inflict widespread misery.

As Russell would later write in the second volume of his autobiography, his time in Soviet Russia was one of "continually increasing nightmare:"

Cruelty, poverty, suspicion, persecution, formed the very air we breathed. Our conversations were continually spied upon. In the middle of the night one would hear shots, and know that idealists were being killed in prison. There was a hypocritical pretence of equality, and everybody was called 'tovarisch' [comrade], but it was amazing how differently this word could be pronounced according as the person who was addressed was Lenin or a lazy servant.

Soon after arriving in Moscow, Russell had a one-hour talk with Soviet leader Vladimir Ilyich Lenin at his spartan office in the Kremlin. "Lenin's room is very bare," writes Russell in The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism; "it contains a big desk, some maps on the walls, two book-cases, and one comfortable chair for visitors in addition to two or three hard chairs. It is obvious that he has no love of luxury or even comfort."

In the audio clip above, taken from a 1961 interview by John Chandos at Russell's home in north Wales, the old philosopher relates a pair of observations of what he saw as Lenin's two defining traits: his rigid orthodoxy, and what Russell would later call his "distinct vein of impish cruelty."

By the time of the interview, Russell's early ambivalence toward Soviet communism had hardened into antipathy. "Marx's doctrine was bad enough, but the developments which it underwent under Lenin and Stalin made it much worse," he writes in his 1956 essay "Why I am Not a Communist." "I am completely at a loss to understand how it came about that some people who are both humane and intelligent could find something to admire in the vast slave camp produced by Stalin."

Lenin died on January 21, 1924 -- less than four years after his meeting with Russell. A few days later, Russell published an essay, "Lenin: An Impression," in The New Leader. And although Russell once again mentions the man's narrow orthodoxy and ruthlessness, he paints a rather glowing picture of Lenin as a historical figure:

The death of Lenin makes the world poorer by the loss of one of the really great men produced by the war [World War I]. It seems probable that our age will go down to history as that of Lenin and Einstein -- the two men who have succeeded in a great work of synthesis in an analytic age, one in thought, the other in action. Lenin appeared to the outraged bourgeoisie of the world as a destroyer, but it was not the work of destruction that made him pre-eminent. Others could have destroyed, but I doubt whether any other living man could have built so well on the new foundations. His mind was orderly and creative: he was a philosophic system-maker in the sphere of practice.... Statesmen of his caliber do not appear in the world more than about once in a century, and few of us are likely to live to see his equal.

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What is Albert Camus’ The Plague About? An Introduction

Topping lists of plague novels circulating these days, Albert Camus’ 1947 The Plague (La Peste), as many have been quick to point out, is about more than its blunt title would suggest. The book incorporates Camus’ experience as editor-in-chief of Combat, a French Resistance newspaper, and serves as an allegory for the spread of fascism and the Nazi occupation of France. It also illustrates the evolution of his philosophical thought: a gradual turn toward the primacy of the absurd, and away from associations with Sartre’s Existentialism.

But The Plague’s primary subject is, of course, a plague—a fictional outbreak in the Algerian “French prefecture” of Oran. Here, Camus relocates a 19th century cholera outbreak to sometime in the 1940s and turns it into the rat-borne epidemic that killed tens of millions in centuries past. As Daniel Defoe had done 175 years before in A Journal of the Plague Yeardrawing on his own experiences as a journalist—Camus “immersed himself in the history of plagues,” notes the School of Life. Camus even quotes Defoe in the novel's epigraph: "It is as reasonable to represent one kind of imprisonment by another, as it is to represent anything that really exists by that which exists not."




Camus “read books on the Black Death that killed 50 million people in Europe in the 14th century; the Italian plague of 1629 that killed 280,000 people across the plains of Lombardy and the Veneto, the great plague of London of 1665 as well as plagues that ravaged cities on China’s eastern seaboard during the 18th and 19th centuries.” Perhaps more timely now than in its time, The Plague puts Camus’ historical knowledge in the mind of its protagonist, Dr. Bernard Rieux, who remembers in his growing alarm “the plague at Constantinople that, according to Procopius, caused ten thousand deaths in a single day.”

Rieux embodies another theme in the novel—the seemingly endless human capacity for denial, even among well-meaning, knowledgeable experts. Despite his reading of history and up-close observation of the outbreak, Rieux fails—or refuses—to acknowledge the disease for what it is. That is, until an older colleague says to him, “Naturally, you know what this is.” Forced to say the word “plague” aloud, Rieux allows the spreading epidemic to become real for the first time.

[L]ike our fellow citizens, Rieux was caught off his guard, and we should understand his hesitations in the light of this fact; and similarly understand how he was torn between conflicting fears and confidence. When a war breaks out, people say: "It's too stupid; it can't last long." But though a war may well be "too stupid," that doesn't prevent its lasting. Stupidity has a knack of getting its way; as we should see if we were not always so much wrapped up in ourselves.

In this respect our townsfolk were like everybody else, wrapped up in themselves; in other words they were humanists: they disbelieved in pestilences.

Perpetually busy with mercantile projects and ideas about progress, the town, like "humanists," ignores the reappearance of history and believe plagues to belong to the distant past. Camus writes that such people "pass away… first of all, because they haven’t taken their precautions.”

Everybody knows that pestilences have a way of recurring in the world; yet somehow we find it hard to believe in ones that crash down on our heads from a blue sky. There have been as many plagues as wars in history; yet always plagues and wars take people equally by surprise.

Whether we are prepared for them or not, plagues and wars will come upon us, aided by the brute force of human idiocy and irrationality. This terrible truth flies in the face of the untethered freedom of Sartrean existentialism. “They fancied themselves free,” Camus’ narrator says of Oran’s townspeople, “and no one will ever be free so long as there are pestilences.” The novel proceeds to illustrate just how devastating a deadly epidemic can be to our most cherished notions.

In Camus’ philosophy, “our lives,” the School of Life points out, “are fundamentally on the edge of what he termed ‘the absurd.’” But this “should not lead us to despair pure and simple,” though the feeling may be a stage along the way to “a redemptive tragi-comic perspective.” The recognition of finitude, of failure, ignorance, and repetition—what philosopher Miguel de Unamuno called “the tragic sense of life”—can instead cure us of the “behaviors Camus abhorred: a hardness of heart, an obsession with status, a refusal of joy and gratitude, a tendency to moralize and judge.” Whatever else The Plague is about, Camus shows that in a struggle for survival, these attitudes can prove worse than useless and can be the first to go.

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

How to Teach and Learn Philosophy During the Pandemic: A Collection of 450+ Philosophy Videos Free Online

The term philosophy, as every introductory course first explains, means the love of wisdom. And as the oldest intellectual discipline, philosophy has proven that the love of wisdom can withstand the worst human history can throw at it. Civilizations may rise and fall, but sooner or later we always find ways to get back to philosophizing. The current coronavirus pandemic, the most frightening global event most of us have seen in our lifetimes, doesn't quite look like a civilization-ender, though it has forced many of us to change the way we live and learn. In short, we're doing much more of it online, and a new collection of educational videos free online is keeping philosophy in the mix.

"In order to aid philosophy professors during the pandemic as they transition from in-person to online teaching, Liz Jackson (ANU) and Tyron Goldschmidt (Rochester) created a spreadsheet of videorecorded philosophy classes and lectures," writes Daily Nous' Justin Weinberg. At the time of Weinberg's post on Monday, the spreadsheet, available as an open Google document, contained more than 200 videos, a number that has since more than doubled to 457 and counting.




You'll find an abundance of introductory courses to the entire subject of philosophy as well as to subfields like logic and ethics, and also specialized lecture series on everything from Hume and Nietzsche to Stoicism and metaphysics to death and the problem of evil.

Weinberg adds that "anyone can add their own videos or ones that they know about," so if you're aware of any video philosophy courses that haven't appeared on the spreadsheet yet, you can contribute to this ongoing effort in at-home philosophy by inserting them yourself. Even as it is, Jackson and Goldshmidt's course collection offers more than enough to give yourself a rich philosophical education in this time of isolation — or, if you're a philosophy professor yourself, a way to enrich any remote teaching you have to do right now. Putting as it does so close at hand lectures by such figures previously featured here on Open Culture as Nigel Warburton, Michael SandelPeter Adamson, and the inimitable Rick Roderick, it reminds us that the love of wisdom is best expressed in a variety of voices.

In addition to the spreadsheet, can find many more philosophy videos in our collection, Free Online Philosophy Courses.

via Daily Nous

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

The Meaning of Life According to Simone de Beauvoir

When someone presumes to explain the meaning of life, they usually draw, however vaguely, on religion. Many a philosopher has ventured a secular answer, but it’s hard to compete with the ancient stories of the world’s major faiths. The richness of their metaphors surpasses historical truth; humans, it seems, really “cannot bear very much reality,” as T.S. Eliot wrote in the Four Quartets. Maybe we need stories to keep us going, which is why we love Plato, whose myth of the origins of love in his novella, the Symposium, remains one of the most moving in the Western philosophical canon.

Plato's philosophical project was a story that existentialists like Simone de Beauvoir were eager to be rid of, along with the hoary old myths of religion. The Athenian's pious idealism “dismissed the physical world as a flawed reflection of higher truth and unchanging ideals,” says Iseult Gillespie in the TED-Ed video above. “But for de Beauvoir, early life was enthralling, sensual, and anything but static.” Material reality is not an imperfect copy, but the medium into which we are thrown, to exercise freedom and responsibility and determine our own purposes, as de Beauvoir argued in The Ethics of Ambiguity.




For de Beauvoir, as for her partner Jean-Paul Sartre, the “ethical imperative to create our own life’s meaning,” precedes any pre-existing meaning to which we might attach ourselves, and which might lead us to deny freedom to others. “A freedom which is interested only in denying freedom,” she wrote, “must be denied.” We might think of such a statement in terms of Karl Popper’s paradox of intolerance, but the idea led de Beauvoir in a different direction—away from the liberalism Popper defended and in a more radical philosophical direction.

De Beauvoir’s existentialist feminism asked fundamental questions about the given categories of social identity that lock us into prefigured roles and shape our lives without our consent or control. She realized that social constructions of womanhood—not a Platonic ideal but a historical production—restricted her from fully realizing her chosen life’s meaning. “Despite her prolific writing, teaching, and activism, de Beauvoir struggled to be taken seriously by her male peers.” This was not only a political problem, it was also an existential one.

As de Beauvoir would argue in The Second Sex, categories of gender turned women into “others”—imperfect copies of men, who are construed as the ideal. Later theorists took up the critique to show how race, sexuality, class, and other stories about human identity restrict the ability of individuals to determine their lives’ meaning. Instead, we find ourselves presented with social narratives that explain our existence to us and tell us what we can hope to accomplish and what we cannot.

De Beauvoir was also a storyteller. Her personal experiences figured centrally in her philosophy; she published several acclaimed novels, and along with Nobel-winning novelists and playwrights Sartre and Albert Camus, made Existentialism the most literary of philosophical movements. But when it came to grand abstractions like the “meaning of life,” the answer all of them gave in their philosophical work was that such things aren't hovering above us like Plato's ideal forms. Each of us must figure it out ourselves within our flawed, imperfect, individual lives.

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Jeremy Bentham’s Mummified Body Is Still on Display–Much Like Other Aging British Rock Stars

Plato’s ideal of philosopher-kings seems more unlikely by the day, but most modern readers of The Republic don't see his state as an improvement, with its rigid caste system and state control over childbearing and rearing. Plato’s Socrates did not love democracy, though he did argue that men and women (those of the guardian class, at least) should receive an equal education. So too did many prominent European political philosophers of the 18th and 19th centuries, who had at least as much influence on world affairs as Plato did on Athens, for better and worse.

One such thinker, Jeremy Bentham, is often remembered as the inventor of the panopticon, a dystopian prison design that makes inmates internalize their own surveillance, believing they could be watched at any time by unseen eyes. Made infamous by Michel Foucault in the mid-20th century, the proposal was first intended as humane reform, consistent with the tenets of Bentham’s philosophical innovation, Utilitarianism, often associated with his most famous disciple, John Stuart Mill.




Bentham may also have been one of the most progressive secular philosophers of any age—espousing full political rights for everyone—by which he actually meant everyone, not only European landowning men. “In his own time,” writes Faramerz Dabhoiwala at The Guardian, Bentham “was celebrated around the globe. Countless practical efforts at social and political reform drew inspiration from him. […] He was made an honorary citizen of revolutionary France, while the Guatemalan leader José del Valle acclaimed him as ‘the legislator of the world.’ Never before or since has the English-speaking world produced a more politically engaged and internationally influential thinker across such a broad range of subjects.”

Bentham took the role seriously, though there may be the seeds of a morbid practical joke in his last philosophical act.

As he lay dying in the spring of 1832, the great philosopher Jeremy Bentham left detailed directions for the preservation of his corpse. First, it was to be publicly dissected in front of an invited audience. Then, the preserved head and skeleton were to be reassembled, clothed, and displayed ‘in the attitude in which I am sitting when engaged in thought and writing.’ His desire to be preserved forever was a political statement. As the foremost secular thinker of his time, he wanted to use his body, as he had his mind, to defy religious superstitions and advance real, scientific knowledge. Almost 200 years later, Bentham's 'auto-icon' still sits, staring off into space, in the cloisters of University College London.

His full-body parody of saints' relics doesn’t just sit in London, in the “appropriate box or case” he specified in his instructions. It has also sat in its box in cities across England, Germany, and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. “Not unlike an aging British rock star,” writes Isaac Schultz at Atlas Obscura, “the older he gets, the more tours he seems to go on. Sometimes Bentham’s severed, mummified head," with its terrifying, unblinking glass eyes, "accompanies the rest of him.” Sometimes it doesn’t.

The head, which was supposed to have been kept atop the fully dressed skeleton, was mishandled and damaged in the creation of the “auto-icon” and replaced by a wax replica (surely an accident and not a way to mitigate the creepiness). What did Bentham mean by all of this? And what is an “auto-icon”? Though it sounds like the sort of inscrutable prank Salvador Dali might have played at the end, Bentham described the idea straightforwardly in his pamphlet Auto-Icon; or, Farther Uses of the Dead to the Living. The philosopher, says Hannah Cornish, science curator at the University College London, genuinely “thought it’d catch on.”

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

In his short, final work of moral philosophy, Bentham shows that, like Plato, he didn’t quite get the point of making art, advancing a theory that becoming one’s own icon would eliminate the need for paintings, statues, and the like, since “identity is preferable to similitude” (to the extent that a mummified corpse is identical to a living person). Other utilitarian reasons include benefits to science, reduced public health risks, and creating “agreeable associations with death.”

Also, in what must have been intended with at least some undercurrent of humor, he asked that his remains “occasionally be brought into meetings involving his still-living friends,” writes Schultz, “so that what’s left of Bentham might enjoy their company.”

Learn more about Bentham’s “auto-icon” in the Atlas Obscura videos here, including the video further up showing how a team of professionals packed up and moved the whole macabre assemblage to its new home across the University of London campus. And read an even more detailed description, with several photographs, of how the oldest partially mummified British rock star philosopher travels, here.

via Atlas Obscura

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness.

10 Rules of Self Discipline from the 1930 Self Help/Business Guru Napoleon Hill

It seems ridiculous to refer to the Golden Rule as a “weapon,” but that is just what it is—a weapon that no resistance on earth can withstand! —Napoleon Hill

Napoleon Hillwhose early books The Law of Success (1928), The Magic Ladder To Success (1930), and Think and Grow Rich (1937) helped establish the self-help genrewould be considered a life coach or motivational speaker in today’s parlance.

And were he alive today, he’d likely he’d be facing charges, or at the very least, cancelled for some of the behaviors, schemes, and whoppers Matt Novak details in an exhaustively researched essay for Gizmodo’s Paleofuture blog.




We think it’s important to tip you off to that shady side, because Hill's "10 Rules for Profitable Self Discipline," above, are so sunny, they could spur you to disseminate them immediately, leaving you vulnerable to harsh words from better informed friends and, more crucially, social media followers, who are already het up about any number of things in this election year, and who enjoy the catharsis a good call out affords.

Ergo, if you're inclined to share, investigate the well from which they sprung, and then decide whether or not you want to proceed.

Why did we proceed?

Because practiced with the purest of intentions, these rules constitute extremely humanistic advice from a man whose outward philosophy continues to be a touchstone for many in the business community.

And as evidenced by the comments left by grateful YouTube viewers, many of whom stumbled across his words by accident, people are thirsty for such explicitly positive guideposts to interpersonal dealings.

(A good number also seem quite taken with the Virginia native's old timey speech patterns and vintage lingo.)

If nothing else, applying these rules could sweeten your next argument with someone you love, or serve as inspiration if you're ever called upon to give a commencement speech:

Napoleon Hill’s 10 Rules for Profitable Self Discipline

  1. Keep a cool head around hot heads. Rage doesn’t have to be contagious,.
  2. Believe that there are three sides to every argument. If you’re in a dust-up, don’t assume that the fault lays with the other person, but rather that you both shoulder a portion of the blame. This is a pretty compassionate way of ensuring that everyone’s ass will be partially covered for both better and worse.
  3. Never give directives to a subordinate when you are angry. Given that swift and decisive action is often required of those in leadership positions, you’ll have to learn to ice your own hot head pretty quickly to put this one into consistent play.
  4. Treat everyone as if they were a rich relative who might leave you a sizable inheritance. Which is kind of a gross way of putting it, but otherwise, we agree with Napoleon Hill that treating others with respect and loving attention is a real “honey” of a concept, especially if the other person can offer little beyond their friendship.
  5. When you find yourself in an unpleasant circumstance, immediately start searching for the seed of an equivalent benefit within the experience. If Novak’s Gizmodo essay is any indication, Hill probably had a lot of opportunity to put this one into practice, squeezing lemonade from lemons of his own making.
  6. Ask questions and listen to the answer. If you find yourself inclined to disagree with a statement, employ the phrase, “How do you know?” to get the speaker to do all the heavy lifting. For example, Napoleon Hill might say to Matt Novak, “How do you know?” which would be Matt Novak’s cue to produce a mountain of documentation.
  7. Never say or do anything before thinking if it will benefit someone or hurt them. The goal is to refrain from hurting others. Let those of us are without sin cast the first stone here. Hill’s karmic spin on this rule is that any injuries you cause that don’t immediately come around to bite you in the ass, will bite you in the ass much harder at some future point, a la compound interest.
  8. Learn the difference between friendly analysis and unfriendly criticisms. His not entirely foolproof method for distinguishing intent is to consider the nature of your relationship with the one offering the observations, their tone of voice, manner of delivery, and somewhat quaintly, whether or not they throw in any epithets. If it’s friendly, you can set some store by it. Otherwise, disregard.
  9. A good leader knows how to take orders cheerfully. This pairs nicely with Rule Number 3, don’t you think?
  10. Be tolerant of your fellow humans. Always.

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Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, theater maker and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine.  Join Ayun’s company Theater of the Apes in New York City  for her book-based variety series, Necromancers of the Public Domain, and the world premiere of Greg Kotis’ new musical, I AM NOBODY (March 5 - 28) Follow her @AyunHalliday.

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