[lit-ideas] Ten commandments for ambitious young men

  • From: Torgeir Fjeld <torgeir_fjeld@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 3 Jan 2012 17:19:56 +0000 (GMT)

Jens Bjørneboe (1920-1976) was an author, painter and teacher (of the Rudolf 
Steiner persuation) who criticized public education for manufacturing social 
outsiders, prisons for inhumane conditions, and the judicial settlement after 
1945 for being unjust. He was keenly interested in scientific knowledge, and 
published the drama /Semmelweiss/ in 1967. The pornographic /Uten en tråd/ 
(Threadbare) was banned in 1967 -- the last novel to meet with the modern 
variation of the ancient autodafe.in his country to this date. Bjørneboe was 
known for his anarchist attitude, his penchant for alchohol and his bouts of 

The current poem was first published in social-liberal daily /Dagbladet/ 
January 5, 1963. It has been converted into a song on several occasions. One 
example is provided as per hyperlink below. 


Ten commandments for ambitious young men

The first commanment is pretty light
Those who count most are always right

First find out if people will believe you're right
Then take the side of those with might

When in doubt say no more
until you see who wins the floor

Be careful when you decide what you like
It's costly to be one who no-one's alike

Accept the simplistic and plain
and only say things that will be in your gain

Flatter till your throat is hoarse
And pass quietly through open doors
(Cause truth will bring you greiving dead,
while daily lies gives daily bread.)

Hunch your shoulders. Sneak around.
And find your comfort in every home.

Trust me: No man can be flattered enough
And so you build a friendly flock
(And in a breathren's paradise
you'll find your best insurance for life.)

Remember every word of gossip
For use in your next boss's office.
(But you would pass as a lout
were you to inform the one the rumour is about!)

If the last commandment is followed
your future is cetainly hallowed:

Courageously engange any troll
But be sensible and not too bold
Bravely go forth in strife
An hour ahead of your life

Anne Grete Preus performs "Ti bud til en ung mann som vil frem i verden":


Torgeir Fjeld
Oslo, Norway

http://independent.academia.edu/TorgeirFjeld  //   http://facebook.com/phatic
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