Ernst Jünger Ernst Jünger > Quotes


Ernst Jünger quotes (showing 1-30 of 95)

“Today only the person who no longer believes in a happy ending, only he who has consciously renounced it, is able to live. A happy century does not exist; but there are moments of happiness, and there is freedom in the moment.”
Ernst Jünger, The Glass Bees
“Although I am an anarch, I am not anti-authoritarian. Quite the opposite: I need authority, although I do not believe in it. My critical faculties are sharpened by the absence of the credibility that I ask for. As a historian, I know what can be offered.”
Ernst Jünger
“I came to realize that one single human being, comprehended in his depth, who gives generously from the treasures of his heart, bestows on us more riches than Caesar or Alexander could ever conquer. Here is our kingdom, the best of monarchies, the best republic. Here is our garden, our happiness.”
Ernst Jünger, The Glass Bees
“The partisan wants to change the law, the criminal break it; the anarch wants neither. He is not for or against the law. While not acknowledging the law, he does try to recognize it like the laws of nature, and he adjusts accordingly.”
Ernst Jünger, Eumeswil
“The special trait making me an anarch is that I live in a world which I ‘ultimately’ do not take seriously. This increases my freedom; I serve as a temporary volunteer”
Ernst Jünger, Eumeswil
“Habent sua fata libelli et balli [Books and bullets have their own destinies]”
Ernst Jünger, Storm of Steel
“Freedom is based on the anarch’s awareness that he can kill himself. He carries this awareness around; it accompanies him like a shadow that he can conjure up. “A leap from this bridge will set me free.”
Ernst Jünger, Eumeswil
“Regarding the need to pray, the anarch is again no different from anyone else. But he does not like to attach himself. He does not squander his best energies. He accepts no substitute for his gold. He knows his freedom, and also what it is worth its weight in. The equation balances when he is offered something credible. The result is ONE.

There can be no doubt that gods have appeared, not only in ancient times but even late in history; they feasted with us and fought at our sides. But what good is the splendor of bygone banquets to a starving man? What good is the clinking of gold that a poor man hears through the wall of time? The gods must be called.

The anarch lets all this be; he can bide his time. He has his ethos, but not morals. He recognizes lawfulness, but not the law; he despises rules. Whenever ethos goes into shalts and shalt-nots, it is already corrupted. Still, it can harmonize with them, depending on location and circumstances, briefly or at length, just as I harmonize here with the tyrant for as long as I like.

One error of the anarchists is their belief that human nature is intrinsically good. They thereby castrate society, just as the theologians ("God is goodness") castrate the Good Lord.”
Ernst Jünger, Eumeswil
“Really, doesn´t everything make sense? There are, of course, things from which we more or less recover, although some of them are too harsh even for saints. But that is no reason to accuse God. Even if there are reasons to doubt him, the fact that he did not arrange the world like a well-ordered parlor is not one of them. It speaks rather in his favor. This used to be much better understood.”
Ernst Jünger
“A work of art wastes away and becomes lustreless in surroundings where it has a price but not a value. It radiates only when surrounded by love. It is bound to wilt in a world where the rich have no time and the cultivated no money. But it never harmonizes with borrowed greatness.”
Ernst Jünger, The Glass Bees
“Seen politically, systems follow one another, each consuming the previous one. They live on ever-bequeathed and ever-disappointed hope, which never entirely fades. Its spark is all that survives, as it eats its way along the blasting fuse. For this spark, history is merely an occasion, never a goal.”
Ernst Jünger, Eumeswil
“All the systems which explain so precisely why the world is as it is and why it can never be otherwise, have always called forth in me the same kind of uneasiness one has when face to face with the regulations displayed under the glaring lights of a prison cell. Even if one had been born in prison and had never seen the stars or seas or woods, one would instinctively know of timeless freedom in unlimited space.

My evil star, however, had fated me to be born in times when only the sharply demarcated and precisely calculable where in fashion.... "Of course, I am on the Right, on the Left, in the Centre; I descend from the monkey; I believe only what I see; the universe is going to explode at this or that speed" - we hear such remarks after the first words we exchange, from people whom we would not have expected to introduce themselves as idiots. If one is unfortunate enough to meet them again in five years, everything is different except their authoritative and mostly brutal assuredness. Now they wear a different badge in their buttonhole; and the universe now shrinks at such a speed that your hair stands on end.”
Ernst Jünger, The Glass Bees
“Human perfection and technical perfection are incompatible. If we strive for one, we must sacrifice the other: there is, in any case, a parting of the ways. Whoever realises this will do cleaner work one way or the other.

Technical perfection strives towards the calculable, human perfection towards the incalculable. Perfect mechanisms - around which, therefore, stands an uncanny but fascinating halo of brilliance - evoke both fear and Titanic pride which will be humbled not by insight but only by catastrophe.

The fear and enthusiasm we experience at the sight of perfect mechanisms are in exact contrast to the happiness we feel at the sight of a perfect work of art. We sense an attack on our integrity, on our wholeness. That arms and legs are lost or harmed is not yet the greatest danger.”
Ernst Jünger, The Glass Bees
“The anarch knows the rules. He has studied them as a historian and goes along with them as a contemporary. Wherever possible, he plays his own game within their framework; this makes the fewest waves.”
Ernst Jünger, Eumeswil
“It is a great priviledge to hear from the mouth of an initiate what struggles we are ensnared in and what the meaning is of the sacrifices we are required to make before veiled images. Even if we should hear something evil, it would still be a blessing to see our task as something beyond a senseless cycle of recurrence.”
Ernst Jünger, The Glass Bees
“The anarch's study of the history of the caesars has more of a theoretical significance for him - it offers a sampling of how far rulers can go. In practice, self-discipline is the only kind of rule that suits the anarch. He, too, can kill anyone (this is deeply immured in the crypt of his consciousness) and, above all, extinguish himself if he finds himself inadequate.”
Ernst Jünger, Eumeswil
“For the anarch, little has changed; flags have meaning for him, but not sense. I have seen them in the air and on the ground like leaves in May and November; and I have done so as a contemporary and not just as a historian. The May Day celebration will survive, but with a different meaning. New portraits will head up the processions. A date devoted to the Great Mother is re-profaned. A pair of lovers in the wood pays more homage to it. I mean the forest as something undivided, where every tree is still a liberty tree.

For the anarch, little is changed when he strips off a uniform that he wore partly as fool’s motley, partly as camouflage. It covers his spiritual freedom, which he will objectivate during such transitions. This distinguishes him from the anarchist, who, objectively unfree, starts raging until he is thrust into a more rigorous straitjacket.”
Ernst Jünger, Eumeswil
“The anarch is (I am simplifying) on the side of gold: it fascinates him, like everything that eludes society. Gold has its own immeasurable might. It need only show itself, and society with its law and order is in jeopardy.

The anarch is on the side of gold : this is not to be construed as a lust for gold. He recognizes gold as the central and immobile power. He loves it, not like Cortez, but like Montezuma, not like Pizarro but like Atahualpa ....”
Ernst Jünger, Eumeswil
“... I, as an anarch, renouncing any bond, any limitation of freedom, also reject compulsory education as nonsense. It was one of the greatest well-springs of misfortune in the world.”
Ernst Jünger, Eumeswil
“The anarchist, as the born foe of authority, will be destroyed by it after damaging it more or less. The anarch, on the other hand, has appropriated authority; he is sovereign. He therefore behaves as a neutral power vis-à-vis state and society. He may like, dislike, or be indifferent to whatever occurs in them. That is what determines his conduct; he invests no emotional values.”
Ernst Jünger, Eumeswil
“Dalin must have whiffed the anarch in me, a man with no ties to state or society. Still, he was unable to sense an autonomy that puts up with these forces as objective facts but without recognizing them. What he lacked was a grounding in history.

Opposition is collaboration; this was something from which Dalin, without realizing it, could not stay free. Basically, he damaged order less than he confirmed it. The emergence of the anarchic nihilist is like a goad that convinces society of its unity.

The anarch, in contrast, not only recognizes society a priori as imperfect, he actually acknowledges it with that limitation. He is more or less repulsed by state and society, yet there are times and places in which the invisible harmony shimmers through the visible harmony. This is obviously chiefly in the work of art. In that case, one serves joyfully.

But the anarchic nihilist thinks the exact opposite. The Temple of Artemis, to cite an example, would inspire him to commit arson. The anarch, however, would have no qualms about entering the temple in order to meditate and to participate with an offering. This is possible in any temple worthy of the name.”
Ernst Jünger, Eumeswil
“Liberalism is to freedom as anarchism is to anarchy.”
Ernst Jünger, Eumeswil
“We do not escape our boundaries or our innermost being. We do not change. It is true we may be transformed, but we always walk within our boundaries, within the marked-off circle.”
Ernst Jünger, The Glass Bees
“Man is born violent but is kept in check by the people around him. If he nevertheless manages to throw off his fetters, he can count on applause, for everyone recognizes himself in him. Deeply ingrained, nay, buried dreams come true. The unlimited radiates its magic even upon crime, which, not coincidentally, is the main source of entertainment in Eumeswil. I, as an anarch, not uninterested but disinterested, can understand that. Freedom has a wide range and more facets than a diamond.”
Ernst Jünger, Eumeswil
“The anarch is oriented to facts, not ideas. He fights alone, as a free man, and would never dream of sacrificing himself to having one inadequacy supplant another and a new regime triumph over the old one. In this sense, he is closer to the philistine; the baker whose chief concern is to bake good bread; the peasant, who works his plow while armies march across his fields.”
Ernst Jünger, Eumeswil
“... I, as an anarch, renouncing any bond, any limitation of freedom, also reject compulsory education as nonsense. It was one of the greatest well-springs of misfortune in the world.

Compulsory schooling is essentially a means of curtailing natural strength and exploiting people. The same is true of military conscription, which developed within the same context. The anarch rejects both of them - just like obligatory vaccination and insurance of all kinds. He has reservations when swearing an oath. He is not a deserter, but a conscientious objector.”
Ernst Jünger, Eumeswil
“A basic theme for the anarch is how man, left to his own devices, can defy superior forces – whether state, society, or the elements – by making use of their rules without submitting to them.

‘It is strange,’ Sir William Parry wrote when describing the igloos on Winter Island, ‘it is strange to think that all these measure are taken against the cold – and in houses of ice.”
Ernst Jünger, Eumeswil
“As an anarch, who acknowledges neither law nor custom, I owe it to myself to get at the very heart of things. I then probe them in terms of their contradictions, like image and mirror image. Either is imperfect – by seeking to unite them, which I practice every morning, I manage to catch a corner of reality.”
Ernst Jünger, Eumeswil
“The anarch differs from the anarchist in that he has a very pronounced sense of the rules. Insofar as and to the extent that he observes them, he feels exempt from thinking.
This is consistent with normal behavior: everyone who boards a train rolls over bridges and through tunnels that engineers have devised for him and on which a hundred thousand hands have labored. This does not darken the passenger’s mood; settling in comfortably, he buries himself in his newspaper, has breakfast, or thinks about his business.
Likewise, the anarch – except that he always remains aware of that relationship, never losing sight of his main theme, freedom, that which also flies outside, past hill and dale. He can get away at any time, not just from the train, but also from any demand made on him by state, society, or church, and also from existence.”
Ernst Jünger, Eumeswil
“Die Sklaverei lässt sich bedeutend steigern, indem man ihr den Anschein der Freiheit gewährt.”
Ernst Jünger

« previous 1 3 4

All Quotes | Add A Quote
Play The 'Guess That Quote' Game

Storm of Steel Storm of Steel
2,256 ratings
buy a copy
Eumeswil Eumeswil
68 ratings
buy a copy