Philosophy does not serve the State or the Church, who have other concerns. It serves no established power. The use of philosophy is to sadden. A philosophy that saddens no one, that annoys no one, is not a philosophy.
It is useful for harming stupidity, for turning stupidity into something shameful.
Its only use is the exposure of all forms of baseness of thought.
Is there any discipline apart from philosophy that sets out to criticise all
mystifications, whatever their source and aim, to expose all the fictions without
which reactive forces would not prevail?
Exposing as a mystification the mixture of baseness and stupidity that creates the astonishing complicity of both victims and perpetrators.
Finally, turning thought into something aggressive, active and affirmative.
Creating free men, that is to say men who do not confuse the aims of culture with the benefit of the State, morality or religion.
Fighting the ressentiment and bad conscience which have replaced thought for us. Conquering the negative and its false glamour.
Who has an interest in all this but philosophy?
Philosophy is at its most positive as critique, as an enterprise of demystification.
And we should not be too hasty in proclaiming philosophy’s failure in this respect.
Great as they are, stupidity and baseness would be still greater if there did not remain some philosophy which always prevents them from going as far as they would wish, which forbids them — if only by yea-saying — from being as stupid and base as they would wish.
They are forbidden certain excesses, but only by philosophy.
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