Tag Archives: Georges Palante

Palante Reviews Palante by Georges Palante


The individualist is, by his very essence, immoralist and atheist. On one hand social religiosity, on the other religious and social atheism: this is how the dilemma is posed. As for me, I have made my choice. I have opted for social atheism. I have expressed this atheism for the past fifteen years in a series of works of which the latest, Les Antinomies entre l’individu et la société (The Antinomies Between the Individual and Society) is a doctoral dissertation that was refused by the Sorbonne. I owe my readers an explanation on this subject.
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Individualism by Georges Palante


As is the case elsewhere, the tendency to underestimate the individual has made itself felt in the intellectual field. Solitary thought – invention – has been depreciated to the profit of collective thought – imitation – preached under the eternal word of solidarity. The horror of the previously untried, of intellectual and esthetic originality, is a characteristic trait of Latin races. We love regimented thought, conformist and decent meditations. A German writer, Laura Marholm, accurately analyzed this contemporary tendency: “Intellectual cowardice is a universal trait. No one dares makes a decisive statement concerning his milieu. No one any longer allows himself an original thought.
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Misanthropic Pessimism


Georges Palante (1914)

The pessimism we want to study now is that which we have called misanthropic pessimism. This pessimism doesn’t proceed from an exasperated and suffering sensibility, but from a lucid intelligence exercising its critical clear-sightedness on the evil side of our species. Misanthropic pessimism appears in its grand lines as a theory of universal fraud and universal imbecility; of universal nanality and universal turpitude. As the pitiless painting of a world peopled with cretins and swindlers, of ninnies and fools.

The character of this pessimism appears as a universal coldness, a willed impassibility, an absence of sentimentalism that distinguishes it from romantic pessimism, ever inclined to despair or revolt.
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The Relationship Between Pessimism and Individualism


Georges Palante (1914)

The century that just passed is without a doubt that in which pessimism found its most numerous, its most varied, its most vigorous and its most systematic interpreters. In addition, individualism was expressed in that century with exceptional intensity by representatives of high quality.

It could be interesting to bring together these two forms of thought, dominant in our era; to ask what is the logical or sentimental connection that exists between them, and to what degree pessimism engenders individualism and individualism engenders pessimism.

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Anarchism and Individualism


Georges Palante

The words anarchism and individualism are frequently used as synonyms. Many thinkers vastly different from each other are carelessly qualified sometimes as anarchists, sometimes as individualists. It is thus that we speak indifferently of Stirnerite anarchism or individualism, of Nietzschean anarchism or individualism, of Barrésian anarchism or individualism, etc.
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