- Publisher: Ludwig von Mises Institute; Reprint edition (2007)
- ASIN: B000XGAFEC
- Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,153,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Memoirs of a Superfluous Man Paperback – 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Nock understood a truth that is nearly unspeakable now, in the wake of the disastrous era of Big Government, that although the West in general pays great obeisance to the idea of Freedom, and America in particular is, at least theoretically, founded upon the primacy of the idea, most people (the mass-men) do not give a fig about it. And since in a democracy the masses will wield power, the prospects for the West appeared pretty bleak :
Considering mankind's indifference to freedom, their easy gullibility and their facile response to
conditioning, one might very plausibly argue that collectivism is the political mode best suited to
their disposition and their capacities. Under its regime the citizen, like the soldier, is relieved of the
burden of initiative and is divested of all responsibility, save for doing as he is told. He takes what
is allotted to him, obeys orders, and beyond that he has no care. Perhaps, then, this is as much as
the vast psychically-anthropoid majority are up to, and a status of permanent irresponsibility under
collectivism would be most congenial and satisfactory to them.
Given a just and generous administration of collectivism this might very well be so; but even on
that extremely large and dubious presumption the matter is academic, because of all political modes
a just and generous collectivism is in its nature the most impermanent. each new activity or
function that the State assumes means an enlargement of officialdom, an augmentation of
bureaucracy.Read more ›
These MEMOIRS began with Nock's childhood, early education, experience in boarding school, and college learning. Nock remembered when learing was more informal but much more authentic and thoughtful. Nock reflected on the fact that trash literature replaced The Great Books whose publishers had to fight for survival. Nock made the interesting observation that The Great Books re history, literature, philosophy, etc. were designed to impart wisdom and make men think. The trash literature only appealed to sensations and base tastes. Then there were the Uplifters who could not mind their own business and who wanted to engineer others to be like the Up lifters, and bad literature reflected this trend. Fortunately for Nock, he had access to good books and enough men and women who could relate to these books.
Nock had harsh words for politics or what he called economics. He carefully diagnosed that the entry of the US into the Spanish-American War clearly showed that absolutism can flourish as well under republicanism as under autocracy. He saw the trend to what he called "Statism" whereby people exist for the State which Nock thought was opposed to a peaceful society of free men and women. Nock noted William Penn's remark (1644-1718) that"...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Written in the style of a bygone era, Nock's book is repetitious and lacks the kind of concrete details that bring most memoirs to life. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Freesmith
Do not agree with all of his theories, but even tho this was written many years ago, as a country we are definitely not learning from history. He was insightful in many ways.Published 20 months ago by Diana
Outstanding. Albert Jay Nock's wandering, indirect autobiography will make you feel terrible about the world... while simultaneously making you feel better about yourself. Read morePublished on July 12, 2014 by Jason S. Walters
In an age of entitlement and decadence, a reminder that this all started long ago with Marx and Darwin. Read morePublished on July 14, 2013 by Douglas J. Wolf
Not just a great philosophy here, but a wonderful expose of a brilliant man and a crystal clear logical thinker. Read morePublished on February 3, 2013 by R. Humelbaugh
This is one of the more interesting autobiographies of a great mind of the early 20th Century. Entertaining, educational, and if you are of Libertarian persuasion, it is a Must... Read morePublished on October 29, 2012 by Ray Walker
Sometimes I read a book directed by what I feel is Providencial. Mr. Nord's use of the English language was beautiful. I will read this book again.Published on October 12, 2012 by oldguy
Alber J. Nock delivers Memoirs of a Superfluous Man with detachment, wit, and humor like no one else I have read.
Mr. Read more