The fate of our times is characterized by rationalization and intellectualization and, above all, by the “disenchantment of the world.” Precisely the ultimate and most sublime values have retreated from public life either into the transcendental realm of mystic life or into the brotherliness of direct and personal human relations. It is not accidental that our greatest art is intimate and not monumental.
I am under the impression that in nine out of ten cases I deal with windbags who do not fully realize what they take upon themselves, but who intoxicate themselves with romantic sensations. From a human point of view this is not very interesting to me, nor does it move me profoundly. However, it is immensely moving when a mature man
Only by strict specialization can the scientific worker become fully conscious, for once and perhaps never again in his lifetime, that he has achieved something that will endure. A really definitive and good accomplishment is today always a specialized act.
No sociologist should think himself too good, even in his old age, to make tens of thousands of quite trivial computations in his head and perhaps for months at a time. One cannot with impunity try to transfer this task entirely to mechanical assistants if one wishes to figure something, even though the final result is often small indeed.
The nation is burdened with the heavy curse on those who come afterwards. The generation before us was inspired by an activism and a naive enthusiasm, which we cannot rekindle, because we confront tasks of a different kind from those which our fathers faced.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Karl Marx German Philosopher, Economist
- Friedrich Nietzsche German Philosopher, Scholar
- Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel German Philosopher
- Wilhelm Dilthey German Philosopher
- Otto von Bismarck Prusso-German Statesman
- W. E. B. Du Bois American Sociologist, Activist
- Christopher Hitchens Anglo-American Social Critic
- Max Planck German Theoretical Physicist
- Novalis German Romantic Poet
- Rosa Luxemburg German Socialist, Revolutionary