• One piece
    6
    "The man of an era of dissolution which throws the races together and who therefore contains within him the inheritance of a diversified descent, that is to say contrary and often not merely contrary drives and values which struggle with one another and rarely leave one another in peace - Such a man of late culture and broken lights will, on the average, be a rather weak man: His basic wish is that the war which he is should come to an end...If, however the contrariety and war in such a nature should act as one more stimulus and enticement to life- and if, on the other hand, there has been inherited and developed...a proper mastery and subtlety in conducting such a war within oneself: Then there arise those marvellously incomprehensible and inexplicable men, those enigmatic men pre destined for victory and the seduction of others, the fairest examples of whom are: Alcibiades, and Cesar(-with whom I should like to associate the first of Europeans according to my taste , the hohenstauffen Friedrich the second), and among artists perhaps Leonardo da Vinci."
  • tim wood
    4.1k
    Early 19th century confusion about a number of things, His is mainly a sociological/psychological "account" with perhaps a measure of wishful thinking. Maybe of historical interest, but of no value whatever.
  • David Mo
    326
    This is a paragraph from chapter V of "Beyond Good and Evil", a text that is essential to understand Nietzsche. Summarizing Nietzsche in one paragraph is not easy. Let's go anyway.

    The paragraph you're proposing starts with races. Nietzsche's racism divides humanity into two: races of lords and races of servants. Lords are dominant, individualistic, violent and instinctive. Servants are intellectual, weak, resentful, moralistic and religious. Lords are healthy, servants are ill. Aryans were masters in the past; Jews are a race of servants.

    But these races do not exist in a pure state now. History has mixed them up. Therefore, the battle between lordship and servitude occurs in the same man. When the instincts of power dominate, great men appear in all fields: warriors, kings, leaders, artists and only one philosopher: Nietzsche himself - modesty was not a virtue for him. When the hatred of instincts dominates, the herd dominates. Then, even leaders are unable to let their instincts rise and they preach the morality of the flock and hatred against strong spirits.

    Nietzsche believed that he was the prophet of a new race - he was not very modest, I insist - in which the instinct of power would definitely triumph. The overmen. This is another story.

    NOTE: If you want to get a sharper insight I recommend that you read the entire chapter V. Here, for example: https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/nietzsche/1886/beyond-good-evil/ch05.htm
  • god must be atheist
    2.1k
    Interesting that the chapter would be called "Beyond Good and Evil". According to this, morality is not an issue in history, in human lives; it is perhaps a creation of the weak race, according to Nietzsche, anyway, to serve and protect the weak, as an artificially created shield? Is it possible that for Nietzsche the good Samaritan and the charitable lord and the public institutions such as hospitals and schools, that essentially nurse the weak races, as defined by Nietzsche, are a mere by-product of the dominance of the so-called weak races over the natural-born leaders, and eventually these institutions and sentiments like "morality" and "charity" are doomed to be discarded, because the leaders, when natural selection creates a pure leader race, have no use for these institutions?

    My criticism of this is that there are more ways to classify members of humanity than just the two that Nietzsche thought of. His view is as simplistic, and therefore as hard to work with, (or let's be honest, useless) as Hobbes'. If the social dynamic and historic causation and individual fates of people were dependent only on the facts that there are only two types of people, and their mix, in existence: the leaders who are strong, and the weak, who are followers, then we discard the poets, the engineers, the doctors, the scientists, the priests, the carpenters, the miners, the accountants, the draftsmen, the mothers, the amazons, the computer programmers, the beggars, the soldiers, the generals, etc. etc. who all strive to better their lives with occupation other than striving for dominance and for avoiding a position of submission.
  • David Mo
    326
    when natural selection creates a pure leader race, have no use for these institutions?god must be atheist

    "Natural selection" is not a Nietzschean concept. The Darwinian concept refers to populations; the Nietzschean concept of instinct refers to individuals. It is more the triumph of the will of power than a biological mechanism.

    Superior men do not limit themselves to a particular political activity. Artists, thinkers and other men of action can also be strong.

    Nietzsche's position on weak men is ambiguous. He sometimes speaks of their extinction. Other times he refers to a future in which they would only be under strong men. I believe there is an evolution towards an increasingly aggressive and delusional outlook as his personal powerlessness grew. His latest letters are pathetic.
  • I like sushi
    2k
    It’s complex.

    Beyond Good and Evil is hard to fathom without understanding it alongside his other work, so taking one paragraph out of the context of this particular work - AND without understanding the broader interest Nietzsche had - is not going to help much.

    Basically a person without Culture, inner or outer, is a weak and dangerous person as they’ll look to disrupt others rather than strengthen themselves through toil and stress (life).

    The ‘war’ is in us not out there. Generally no one wishes to admit this though as it means we’re more at fault than others, and the most cutting point is that we are prone to ignoring this in favour of blaming others: the realisation of this self defeating mindset tends to cause more guilt and therefore more refusal to admit responsibililty.

    Of you’re really interested in Neitzsche start at the start (The Birth of Tragedy). The problem is you’ll quickly find that you’ll need to learn a good amount about Plato (views on Art and society) and Aristotle (‘Poetics’ especially) before you can get to grips with Nietzsche - he uses the ancient Greeks as a means of expressing a number of ideas.

    GL
  • David Mo
    326
    Basically a person without Culture, inner or outer, is a weak and dangerous personI like sushi

    Hans Frank, the Nazi Governor-General of Poland, passionately played Chopin's Polonaises while exterminating Poles, especially Jews. I don't think the "Culture" prevents social dangerousness.

    Of you’re really interested in Neitzsche start at the start (The Birth of Tragedy). The problem is you’ll quickly find that you’ll need to learn a good amount about Plato (views on Art and society) and AristotleI like sushi
    Let's not exaggerate. A discreet knowledge of Greek culture can help to understand The Birth of Tragedy. Especially the things that Nietzsche invented about the Greeks. But it's not essential. You can understand Nietzsche pretty well by himself. His philosophy was very personal.
  • I like sushi
    2k
    You made my point for me ... ? If you think slaughtering people to Chopin is a sign of ‘Culture’ ... well, I think you get the point - understanding what is meant by ‘culture’ and what role art and religion plays in this is PRECISELY why looking at The Birth of Tragedy and ancient Greek philosophy helps. Anyway, this forum isn’t for me. I shouldn’t have bothered y’all.

    Enjoy and bye :)
  • TheMadFool
    5.4k
    All I get from this quote is that the outward conflicts of humanity are a mirror image of the inner conflicts of the individual and that a favorable resolution of the latter rubs off on the victories in the former. Although I was dismayed by the militaristic angle to this claim I breathed a sigh of relief when an artist, Leonardo da Vinci, was mentioned. Perhaps, principle of charity invoked, all is war; we fail to recognize the constant struggles we encounter in life is in fact being in a state of war against others, against nature herself.
  • David Mo
    326
    You made my point for me ... ? If you think slaughtering people to Chopin is a sign of ‘Culture’I like sushi

    In the context of your commentary "a man of Culture" meant what is normally understood. That is: a man who knows and possibly practices arts, humanities or science. Hans Frank or Joseph Goebbels were men of culture in this sense. And your commentary smelt of cultural elitism. This is what I was pointing out. High culture doesn't warrant high morality.
  • god must be atheist
    2.1k
    the Nietzschean concept of instinct refers to individuals. It is more the triumph of the will of power than a biological mechanism.David Mo

    I am sorry, but 1. the first of these two positions is also Darwinian, or not mutually exclusinve with the Darwinian concept 2. earlier you said that the Nitzschean concept is that the Leaders and the Weaks have mixed; this is not per se straight Darwinian, but it does involve some sort of Gregor Mendel type gene mixture, otherwise it would be nonsensical. Therefore if the mixture is possible, like in Mendel's experiment, then the purification is also possible, like in Mendel's experiment.

    What I don't know, and you may be the guiding beacon of knowledge here: does Nietzsche say or indicate, that though Leaders and Weak (ubermensch und untermensch, respectively, for my lack of a better knowledge of Nietzsche's nomenclature) are mixed, and therefore people are equally Weak and Leaderish, BUT in some the Leader will triumph in the individual's make-up, due to sheer will power? If he says that, then your squashing my corollary of a possibility of purifying the race back into two pure factions, is valild from a Nietzschean point of view; if he does not indicate positively to what I asked, then the purifying of races is possible.
  • Antidote
    154
    It is a beautiful woven fabric of logic inconsistency and twisting words that leaves the reader in a continual state of uncertainty about what the hect he is really trying to get at. That, however, is the precise point of the writing so that what ever then follows will be accepted on the basis it has no point on which to turn or hang to create a competing narrative. Nowadays we call is manipulation.

    They are certainly not the first, Plato - Republic, narrating Socrates who has presented such a purely brilliant logical arguement for justice and a sensible city, but only once he has confined the frame of reference to an extent that any arguement to the contrary has been eliminated - before they start the logical debate.

    The mafia did the same thing. If you gotta "wack" a guy, you don't take him to the desert, wack him, then dig a hole. By the time you done all that, someone else might turn up. Now you gotta wack them too, and dig another hole. Jees, your gonna be out there all night digging holes. Instead, you dig the hole first. Then you take the guy out to the desert and wack him and bury him.
  • ChatteringMonkey
    389


    He means what he says really. It's an application of his basic psychology he builds his philosophy on.

    He sees man, the will, as a bundle of instincts and drives vying for controle and pulling in different directions. And like forces in physics, if they pull in different directions they tend to cancel eachother out... and so typically the result is that they won't get you that far in one direction, or any direction.

    If however, one manages to master these competing drives, keep them alive, and give them a certain direction, then he thinks these will be that much stronger because I presume he thought they gained in strength from having to compete with eachother constantly.

    I don't know how this theory holds up today, but I think that's how he saw it anyway.
  • god must be atheist
    2.1k
    Then you take the guy out to the desert and wack him and bury him.Antidote

    That's outdated. Now you first bury the person, then defeat his arguments, then whack him, and finally dig a hole.
  • god must be atheist
    2.1k
    It is a beautiful woven fabric of logic inconsistency and twisting words that leaves the reader in a continual state of uncertainty about what the hect he is really trying to get at.Antidote

    I never read Nietzsche, but I read Frantisek Kaffka, and the assessment above applies to him too.

    This must be a sign of the German Hangdaruberschrecklichkeitsanfangunterminderschicklichkeitsgefuhl, which loosely translates to English as angst.
  • Antidote
    154
    That's outdated. Now you first bury the person, then defeat his arguments, then whack him, and finally dig a hole.god must be atheist

    Priceless, now that explains why we never leave the desert anymore.
  • god must be atheist
    2.1k
    Priceless, now that explains why we never leave the desert anymore.Antidote

    :-)

    I also never leave the dessert on the table any more. Explains my 235 lbs for a 5'4" body.

    "The need for the hole capacity is growing bigger and bigger by the day. Some people abandoned the idea of whacking me for the sole reason they were too lazy to dig a hole deep and wide enough to properly hide my bodice."

    Darwinian selection for survival. Get such a disgusting-looking outer self, that even soldiers of fortune will refuse to touch you, for fear of osmotic transfer of looks.
  • god must be atheist
    2.1k
    I don't know how this theory holds up today, but I think that's how he saw it anyway.ChatteringMonkey

    Thanks for this, it gave me more insight into Nietzsche. The more summarization I read of his thoughts, the more coherent he sounds. He is not a nihilist, as many claim; he is more an organizer, an elitist, a classifier, and solution-searcher. Nietzsche's only problem is that he was born too early. Many new discoveries and insights into human psychology and anthropology escaped him by his not surviving to the modern ages when new information and knowledge have been revealed.
  • Antidote
    154


    Dr Spooner, you gotta stop, enough already! :smile:
  • Antidote
    154
    He is not a nihilist, as many claim; he is more an organizer, an elitist, a classifier, and solution-searchergod must be atheist

    I totally agree. I'm been thinking the same this morning. These people Plato, etc. all lived in a time very different to ours. With different problems and no where near the detailed info (and accessibility to info) we now have. In some ways, you got to hand it to them given what they had, they tried their best.

    But one has to ask then, what place does surrender have in this philosophy?
  • god must be atheist
    2.1k
    In some ways, you got to hand it to them given what they had, they tried their best.Antidote

    This is why I like Hume. His ideas are as fresh in his time, and as true, as today. Hume is my fave thinker. Unfortunately his writings are impossible for the mere mortal to read. His style is not only irritating and incomprehensible, but it makes the knife open in your pocket, you get so angry due entirely to his style, not content.
  • Antidote
    154
    I totally get it, i have the same view of Homer. Some how a reconciliation of complexity and simplicity has to take place.
  • David Mo
    326
    the Leaders and the Weaksgod must be atheist

    Some important clarifications:

    Strong and weak are not distributed equally among men and nations. There are weak men and strong men, to the extent that one trend is dominant.

    I wrote "Lords", not "leaders". In Nietzsche "Lord" has the sense of someone superior, noble, excellent, proud. The mediocre mob also has its leaders. The paradigm is the priestly class. They are very intelligent people who excel in mediocrity. That is: they preach love to humanity, humility, equality, democracy, hatred of superior men and all that means the joy of living. This is the ideology of the resentment against the nobility. Noble in the sense of vital superiority, of course.

    Therefore, we must distinguish some superior leaders, such as Napoleon or Alcibiades, from the shepherds of the flock who are as much sheep as it is. Note that the fate of the great men was their defeat (Alcibiades, Caesar, Caesar Borgia, Napoleon... and others I do not remember).

    Nietzsche was explicitly anti-Darwinian -he preferred Lamarck. In his opinion, the struggle for survival entails the triumph of the herd of weaklings and their priestly leaders over superior men. The struggle of the superior men is not to become a better sheep. They can use the inferior men for their purposes, but without losing the luster of their superiority. Therefore, in opposition to the revolutionaries and liberals of this era, Nietzsche did not see Napoleon's coronation as a betrayal, but as a real triumph of the will to power.

    To summarize: "power", "strong", "lord", "life" refer to individual and vital forces that oppose the concept of species in biological Darwinism or of nation and race in social Darwinism. That's why he hated German antisemitism.
  • David Mo
    326
    It is a beautiful woven fabric of logic inconsistency and twisting words that leaves the reader in a continual state of uncertainty about what the hect he is really trying to get at.Antidote

    If you're associating Nietzsche with the mafia, you've certainly got it wrong. But the insecurity isn't in Nietzsche, it's in your reading. Just because there are some debatable things in Nietzsche doesn't mean that any reading can be admitted.
  • god must be atheist
    2.1k
    Thanks, David Mo.

    Your explanation reveals to me more valuable insight into Nietzsche's thinking. Thank you.

    I appreciate that he openly (or covertly?) denounced Darwin and sided with Lamarc. Thank you, important to know, but it does not brush on my real conondrum I seek to be solved.

    What I ask to be explained: the element in his theory, "the mixing of the lords with the sheep" is still yet already jetzt noch immer nicht not fully explained to me in the shape of a conclusive description. From this latest post, the mixing is not genetic, but simply having a crowd, and in it there may be a significantly higher or lower rate of lords over sheep by counts of fully lordlike men and fully sheeplike men; in this scenario the individuals keep their lordlike and sheeplike qualities fully; or else is the picture better described as a genetic or genetic-like mixing within the individual's response system yielding differing magnitudes of lordlike qualities of behaviour as one measures it from individual to individual.

    I accept any answer, of course, as long as it's certified to be true. After all, I am not after the real truth, but after what and how Nietzsche actually meant and made to work for his theory.
  • David Mo
    326
    you get so angry due entirely to his style, not content.god must be atheist

    How do you know it's the style's fault if you haven't understood it? Maybe what Hume says is stupid.

    It's the same for me with quantum mechanics. I don't understand anything. But I don't blame quantum mechanics, but my lack of understanding. But I avoid deepening my ignorance by claiming that quantum mechanics is this or that. At most, I ask the one who understands and try to learn. Caution is the virtue of wise men.

    This is a friendly opinion, Not a declaration of war.
  • LuckilyDefinitive
    39
    I think Nietzsche was on the right path that ,quintessentially, there are only two types of people at the base of our consciously driven life. There are all kinds of sociological studys on the nature of mans first conscientious choice. Like whether to lead or follow.
  • David Mo
    326
    in this scenario the individuals keep their lordlike and sheeplike qualities fully; or else is the picture better described as a genetic or genetic-like mixing within the individual's response system yielding differing magnitudes of lordlike qualities of behaviour as one measures it from individual to individual.god must be atheist
    I confess I didn't understand the alternative.
    For Nietzsche, lordship and servitude are innate characteristics of men. They cannot be changed or modified by behavior, although they can be discovered if one questions oneself with insight, which only superior men are capable of doing. Genetics was alien to Nietzsche's thinking. I don't know how the chromosomes fit into this.
    Note: I'm saying what I know and remember about Nietzsche. My knowledge has some gaps. Nietzsche and genetics is one of them. I'm not sure he ever mentioned it, though I doubt it. And I'm sure it was in very primitive terms. Not developed genetics.
  • god must be atheist
    2.1k
    How do you know it's the style's fault if you haven't understood it? Maybe what Hume says is stupid.David Mo

    Others read it and interpreted it. Either all others lied, and made up a harmoniously uniform theory that Hume did not, or else they did not lie. I tend to believe the second explanation (they did not lie).

    If I assumed all interpreters lied, I would not be able to rely on your interpretation of Nietzsche, either, would I. But I do, and therefore I believe Hume's theories and thoughts as I understand them ought not to be dismissed by you as worthless knowledge.
  • god must be atheist
    2.1k
    Genetics was alien to Nietzsche's thinking. I don't know how the chromosomes fit into this.David Mo

    Okay, thanks. I will leave this problem as unanswered.

    You have given me much valuable insight. Thanks.
  • LuckilyDefinitive
    39
    Superiority in what way exactly. Economically, physically, intellectually, interesting way of thinking. Would you elaborate please
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