Almost all judgments one makes are consequences of judgments and
choices one has made.
Men's happiness and chances depend far more on circumstances than on
effort. Even so, that is no excuse for not trying as good as one can.
Happiness and pleasure are not
the same: Happiness is a state of being, pleasure a kind of feeling.
One may be quite happy, while
feeling quite miserable: Happiness tends to arise from success, from
gaining one's end.
Happiness is not itself the
end of life: The end of life is to do as one pleases, when one pleases,
for one's own reasons. This is personal freedom, and is co-extensive
with power over oneself, and is the means to whatever happiness and
pleasure one may find purposively.
Happiness and pleasure are
more in the nature of rewards than of ends; more concommittants of what
one achieves and does than what one may achieve and do.
Those who believe in the goodness or the intelligence of man know
nothing of human history: There have been good men, there have been
intelligent men, there even have been good and intelligent men, but
none of these ever amounted to more than a small minority among men in
Most of the evil men do to
others is due to stupidity and conformism, not to malevolence.
Most men only murder,
persecute or torture other men when these are supposed to be the
enemies of their own society.
Daydreaming is the surest way to human happiness.
There is nothing that can be used that cannot be abused. And the Romans
already saw and said well that "abusus optimus pessimus".
The most adaptable, the most social, the most pleasing of men, and
therefore also the most succesful, are those without character.
True love concerns the well-being of someone else; true ambition
concerns the well-being of oneself.
Nearly all men make themselves into charicatures and parodies of what
they might have been, merely to succeed or survive.
The good that men do to others is rarely based on justice, and nearly
always on sympathy or tit for tat.
Dutch wit generally is inspired as is Dutch courage.
Dutch morals is an oxymoron:
In Holland all morality is strictly and precisely calculated in terms
of monetary profit and loss, and one's value as a human being is
precisely proportional to one's wealth.