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How to Deal With Punishment According to Nietzsche and Spinoza

I was just reviewing my copy of Nietzsche's The Genealogy of Morals, before I send it off to someone through Version 2 of my book recommendation experiment. The person said they wanted something I consider “fundamental reading.” As often happens reviewing Nietzsche, I came across a passage surprisingly applicable to my own life at the moment. I'm leaving it here without comment, on the wager that I am probably not the only person in 2019 who will need to be reminded of this insight...

...one afternoon, teased by who knows what recollection, [Spinoza] mused on the question of what really remained to him of the famous morsus conscientiae [moral conscience] — he who had banished good and evil to the realm of human imagination and had wrathfully defended the honor of his "free" God…

"The opposite of gaudium [joy]," he finally said to himself — "a sadness accompanied by the recollection of a past event that flouted all of our expectations." Eth.IlI, propos. XVIII; schol. I. II. Mischief-makers overtaken by punishments have for thousands of years felt in respect of their "transgressions" just as Spinoza did: "here something has unexpectedly gone wrong," not: " I ought not to have done that." They submitted to punishment as one submits to an illness or to a misfortune or to death, with that stout-hearted fatalism without rebellion through which the Russians, for example, still have an advantage over us Westerners in dealing with life.

Even raises an interesting hypothesis about why Westerners at the moment are so paranoid about those Russians.

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