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The Old Books Guy | Sharing new ideas from old books | Follow for unforgettable insights from forgotten books | My newsletter: https://t.co/yFBCRgp6cq
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Jun 10 4 tweets 1 min read
Reject stoicism. Reject Buddhism. Even the room lizard is "tranquil." Get ATTACHED. Everything great is downstream of (strong) desires. Latin root for desire is "de sidere," which translates to "from the stars." An intense desire is a gift from the Gods above. A gift of direction Nihilism is the number one psychological sickness of our time. And what is nihilism but the inability to desire anything? The heartbreak of desire unfulfilled is dark and vast, but better a broken heart than a frozen one. Desire is the engine of life. Without it, stagnation
Jun 9 4 tweets 1 min read
Ease is where reliable intuition goes to die. Everything that made your life easier also nuked your gut instincts. The faustian bargain of modernity. Only in heat can the instinct be honed. You need to be Pressure Maxxing. Without testing yourself, there is no trusting yourself The vital man seeks pressure, enemies, and speed above all
Jun 2 13 tweets 6 min read
Alexander the Great won 9 battles

Julius Caesar won 16


17 of them with impossible odds

Half a dozen EMPIRES had to join hands to stand a chance against him

Yet his wife slept with other men

The tragic love story of one of the greatest men of all time: Image 1/ Joséphine

An aristocrat’s daughter, a widow, mother of 2

Also 6 years older than Napoleon

On the marriage certificate she increased Napoleon’s age by 1.5 years and decreased hers by 4

Wedding was officiated by an illegitimate priest

Napoleon was just an army officer Image
May 28 13 tweets 5 min read
In D.H. Lawrence’s hypnotic and powerful short story SUN (1928), Juliet, a sick woman, is prescribed sun therapy by her doctor. She starts sunbathing naked and magical changes happen in her body, psyche, and being. The “cold dark clots of her thoughts” start dissolving. A thread: Image 1/ Juliet’s sun-bathing sessions turn her into an aristocrat:

She develops a “contempt for human beings altogether”


Because they are “un-elemental” and “unsunned”

As if they are “graveyard worms” - always “innerly cowed” and afraid of the “natural blaze of life”
May 27 13 tweets 4 min read
Before James Burnham turned right, led psychological warfare for the CIA, and declared total war on communism...

He was a Marxist activist

In The Managerial Revolution (1941), he accurately predicted the future:

A tyranny of bureaucrats

Top 10 insights from a classic book👇🏻 Image 1/ Capitalism ruled for the past few centuries and was supported by concepts such as

• Individualism
• Private initiative
• Natural rights

But Burnham sees that capitalism has lost the "boundless self-confidence" that an ideology needs to rule

Individualism not in fashion..
May 25 12 tweets 5 min read
Meet Ralph Waldo Emerson

He went to Harvard at 14

Nietzsche considered him the smartest American writer

His best friend? Emperor Napoleon's nephew

On his 220th birthday today, discover Emerson's insights on great men, why you NEED conflict, and more👇🏻 Image 1/ Emerson on how worthy peers pull clarity and greatness out of us:

“I can say to you what I cannot first say to myself. Other men are lenses through which we read our own minds.”

Certain ideas - and even certain acts - are only extracted from us in the presence of greatness
May 25 9 tweets 3 min read
Nihilism is the Master Psyop. Nietzsche wrote this on the first page of his last book (1889). A vague sense that nothing really matters. You need to scrub this feeling out of your soul with as much aggression and venom as you can muster. Nihilism is the Meta Problem The most powerless creature in the world is not an ant, not the grounded plant, but a nihilist. The ant and the plant will automatically fight to preserve themselves but this central instinct of life has been removed from the nihilist's toolkit. He is compromised beyond saving
May 23 13 tweets 3 min read
Napoleon Thread 🧵

Balzac was a big fan of Napoleon Bonaparte

In 1838, he combed through hundreds of Napoleon speeches and public gazettes

He collected Napoleon's best insights in a book

10 aphorisms by Napoleon on courage, equality, and more👇🏻 Image 1/ Napoleon on freedom:

"If one analyses it, political freedom is an accepted myth thought up by those governing to put the governed to sleep."

Power is always concentrated at the top -

Different political systems and doctrines are merely different ways of hiding this fact
May 18 15 tweets 6 min read
History remembers Edmund Burke as the father of conservatism

BUT few know about a philosophy book he wrote at 27: The Sublime and Beautiful (1757)

A masterpiece that touches on:

• Differences between men & women
• Aesthetics
• Self-help (from an unexpected angle)

Dig in👇🏻 Image 1/ What is beautiful?

For Burke, the beautiful is small, delicate, smooth, and has "graduation variation"

Small babies and little kittens are beautiful - and easy to love

Also note that people in love give each other "diminutive epithets"

They call each other baby and darling ImageImage
May 16 13 tweets 4 min read
H.L. Mencken defended Elitism in the age of democracy, published in excess of 10 million words, and saw the endgame of capitalism sooner than most. Discover insights from the "American Nietzsche" on how democracies intensify herd behavior, the traits of aristocrats, and more👇🏻 Image 1/ Democracy INTENSIFIES groupthink and group identity:

“Democratic man is quite unable to think of himself as a free individual; he must belong to a group, or shake with fear and loneliness—and the group, of course, must have its leaders.”

More groups = more leaders Image
May 14 15 tweets 6 min read
The Nerd-Jock Dichotomy Is False

Let me show you 10 writers who lived like action heroes

1/ Ernst Jünger Image Jünger was 19 when WWI broke

He joined immediately

Saw intense action at the frontlines

Led his unit to impossible victories

Was wounded 7 times

Survived headshots

Read Nietzsche in his spare time

And self-published the great war classic "Storm of Steel" in 1920 Image
May 12 11 tweets 5 min read
C.S. Lewis created Narnia, fought the Great War, and understood the modern world better than most

In 1945, he published "The Great Divorce"

A fable about hell, sin, and the meaning of art

Discover 7 insights from a spiritual classic that deserves to be 70x more famous👇🏻 Image 1/ William Blake wrote about "the marriage" of heaven and hell, but C.S. Lewis argues that DIVORCE is a much better metaphor. It is a romantic lie that heaven and hell are two points on the same spectrum. They are more alike two roads diverging in the woods. This meme is correct: Image
May 8 15 tweets 5 min read

A literary rockstar at 24

Almost gets executed by a firing squad at 28

Exiled to Siberia

Returns to write some of the greatest novels ever

In his lesser-known letters and essays, we get a more intimate look at what he loved, hated, fiercely believed in

Dig in👇🏻 Image 1/ Dostoevsky believed life is only possible when you have a philosophical north star you swear by:

"Neither a person nor a nation can exist without some higher idea"

Dostoevsky: "In order to maintain itself and live, every society must necessarily respect someone & something"
May 7 4 tweets 2 min read
Not a communist by 20? You have no heart

Not a reactionary by 30? You have no brain

Camus went through this arc

At 22: A Communist
At 27: Besties with Satre
At 38: Writes "The Rebel" - an anti communism classic

Insights from a Philosopher-Playboy on politics, God, and more👇🏻 Image 1/ Camus left communism behind when he understood three profound truths:

1. Rebellion comes from resentment more often than not

2. Rebels make a good opposition party but never a good ruling party

3. Politics cannot provide us with heaven, but it can very much bring us hell
May 6 13 tweets 5 min read
La Rochefoucauld was considered the ideal aristocrat for centuries

Left a lasting impact on Nietzsche

Wrote one-liners denser and more insightful than most books

Discover his 10 best aphorisms on charisma, love Thinkers v/s Doers, and more👇🏻 Image 1/ Charisma = being comfortable in your own skin

How to be irresistible:

"There is an air which belongs to the figure and talents of each individual. We should try to find out what air is natural to us and never abandon it, but make it as perfect as we can"

Authenticity is hot Image
May 5 18 tweets 6 min read
The Unabomber Manifesto🧵

Ted Kaczynski’s IQ: 167
Harvard admission: At 15
Youngest ever math prof, UCB: At 25
Money spent by FBI to find him: $50+ mil

The manifesto attacks modern civilization like nothing else before or since

14 best insights from a Philosopher-Terrorist👇🏻 Image 1/ Kaczynski lists the 4 big problems with modern civilization:

- “Excessive density of population”
- “Isolation of man from nature”
- “Excessive rapidity of social change”
- “The breakdown of natural small-scale communities such as the extended family, the village, the tribe”
May 3 13 tweets 5 min read
Science is our religion

Professors our priests

And journal studies our revealed truth

Italian esoteric thinker Julius Evola BLASTS this modern dogma in his book Pagan Imperialism (1932)

There are "hierarchies in knowledge" and science is not at the top

But then what is?👇🏻 Image 1/ Today, philosophy & science are “fundamentally socialistic, democratic, & anti-hierarchical”

Evola: "They propose as true only what can be universally recognized, which anyone can assent to, whatever life he allows himself to live"

But why must truth be the property of all? ImageImage
May 1 12 tweets 4 min read
William Strunk accidently wrote the highest selling writing guide of all time:

"Elements Of Style" (1920)

An English professor at Cornell, he wrote a private guide for his class

A student turned it into a 10 million+ copy bestseller

Top 9 writing tips from this classic👇🏻 Image 1/ Make clear assertions:

“Avoid tame, colorless, hesitating, non-committal language.”

Be direct, bold, and concise

Give the reader a shapely idea he can grip - not an amorphous blob that slips away from his hands
Apr 30 14 tweets 5 min read
Thomas Carlyle attacked democracy, slammed rationalism, and became his century’s most famous writer

Chesterton called him a seer

Emerson: “He never wrote a dull line”

Dig into Carlyle’s insights on how every society needs aristocrats, why Caesar will be a young man, and more👇🏻 Image 1/ As others wrote histories “from below”

Carlyle created the Great Man Theory

A society thats cynical or hateful toward its great men has gone spiritually bankrupt

Carlyle: “The most significant feature in the history of an epoch is the manner it has of welcoming a Great Man” Image
Apr 28 14 tweets 6 min read
You're looking at a 463 year old painting...

That contains 126 hidden messages (that we've been able to count...)

This painting is "The Topsy Turvy World" by Bruegel

And it has the earliest illustration of the *Blue Pill*

Discover this painting's top ten hidden insights 👇🏻 Image 1/ "She puts the blue cloak on her husband"

Bruegel's original name for his painting: The Blue Cloak

In the center a woman puts a blue cloak on her husband - a Danish proverb meaning to deceive someone

The Matrix made the Blue Cloak the Blue Pill - the meaning remains the same Image
Apr 21 17 tweets 7 min read
Worst way to read Nietzsche is to get stuck at "God is Dead" or some meme quote. He had profound insight into the nature of genius, why modernity is SETUP for mass depression, how to deal with your strongest urges, and more. 14 insights from Nietzsche you haven't read before👇🏻 Image 1/ Nietzsche on strength:

“Only excess of strength is proof of strength.”

You ONLY possess those things that you can afford to waste

Only excessive spending is proof of wealth

Going overboard demonstrates authenticity

Only *needless* risk is proof of courage Image