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Malady Of The Century, The

by Nordau

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Max Simon Nordau (1849-1923), born Simon Maximilian Südfeld, Südfeld Simon Miksa in Pest, Hungary, was a Zionist leader, physician, author, and social critic. He was a co-founder of the World Zionist Organization together with Theodor Herzl, and president or vice president of several Zionist congresses. As a social critic, he wrote a number of controversial books, including The Conventional Lies of Our Civilisation (1883), Degeneration (1892), and Paradoxes (1896). Although not his most popular or successful work whilst alive, the book most often remembered and cited today is Degeneration. Nordau's views were in many ways more like those of an 18th Century thinker, a belief in Reason, Progress, and more traditional, classical rules governing art and literature.

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I am telling you the penalty of property. You must be just in everything. Granted that the rich man is a criminal; granted his idleness is an offense to your activity; granted that his roast meat and wine make your potatoes taste insipid; it is in the order of things that you should envy him. But what comes out of this envy? Let us admit that you could carry through anything you undertook. The rich man would be plundered and even killed, and his treasures divided between you.



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