Anarchists are filthy degenerates

This book examines degeneration. It notes that degenerates are not always criminals, prostitutes, anarchists, and pronounced lunatics; they are often authors and artists. These, however, manifest the same mental characteristics, and for the most part the same somatic features, as the members of the above-mentioned anthropological family, who satisfy their unhealthy impulses with the knife of the assassin or the bomb of the dynamiter, instead of with pen and pencil. This book investigates the tendencies of the fashions in art and literature; aiming to prove that they have their source in the degeneracy of their authors, and that the enthusiasm of their admirers is for manifestations of more or less pronounced moral insanity, imbecility, and dementia. Thus, this book is an attempt at a really scientific criticism, which does not base its judgment of a book upon the purely accidental, capricious, and variable emotions it awakens—emotions depending on the temperament and mood of the individual reader—but upon the psycho-physiological elements from which it sprang.

~ Max Nordau, Degeneration (7th ed.), New York, D Appleton & Company, 1895.

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2023 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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3 Responses to Anarchists are filthy degenerates

  1. Angry Guy says:

    That cartoon is awesome. Look at Labor, all proud and dignified and respectable ‘n’ shit. And dangerous Anarchy, dark and insane and homicidal. It’s a shame anarchy does not pose the same threat to the labour movement these days, or at least the same perceived threat. Ha, that’ll change with some fucking guns, I mean, *ahem* … rank and file organising.

  2. @ndy says:

    There’s heaps of great cartoons from that period. A good treatment of the subject is Nightmares of anarchy: language and cultural change, 1870-1914 by Wm. M. Phillips.

  3. Aussie says:

    Degenerate is possibly one of the most inaccurate, pointless words ever used when describing a person. Its meaning is subject to perspective and/or doctrine.

    “It notes that degenerates are not always criminals, prostitutes, anarchists, and pronounced lunatics; they are often authors and artists.”

    That can only make sense based upon doctrine or a person’s narrow-minded opinion. The word ignorantly limits a person and limits the person using it. The world cannot improve when people are seen as more or less because of the simple fact that you can not have more without less. People make themselves feel good with these sort of comparisons. These sort of judgments/comparisons often cause this to happen also.

    “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” ― Albert Einstein

    So what these people might have in common is an imagination. I think it is a good thing. A criminal often has more potential to become a ‘better’, more genuine person than a person who agrees with, or is caught up in the world’s doctrines, given the opportunity of course. Regardless of their wrongs and rights, these people usually ask questions and are ‘open minded’. Other than that for obvious reasons they have nothing in common.

    “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairytales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairytales.” – Albert Einstein

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