File spoon-archives/nietzsche.archive/nietzsche_1998/nietzsche.9809, message 94

Date: Sun, 27 Sep 1998 18:32:01 -0500
Subject: Re: The more things change--

At 02:16 PM 9/27/98 -0500, John T. Duryea wrote:
It is interesting to speculate on what basis the
solitary predator, man,  was first induced to
collaborate with fellow male humans.

        It has been speculated that through the agricultural revolution it
became more profitable for a man to settle down and farm rather than hunt in
nomad packs on as a solitary individual.  Communities had more to offer than
nomadic packs life safety, food, and technological innovations.  For the
group to survive the individual must be manipulated towards the good of the
group, or he must be destroyed.  They must have bribed him with poisoned
food when he was starving for enlightenment in the woods.  Food, no matter
how terrible can be quite a motivation for someone who is starving.  It is a
shame that the solitary predator man could not have suffered for his wisdom
longer, rather than eat the tainted food of the village.  Is the community
the destruction of the individual, or the place where he can benefit?  The
Community destroys the individual, but it also facilitates his growth,
through education and protection.  Is the best type of man the German who
plunders Rome, for only what he wants and needs, and cares little about the
continuance of a great culture.  Or were the Ostrogoths, Visigoths, etc. all
destroying Rome out of a sense of health, Rome was after all falling apart.  
        The individual as the one who is fostered by the community, but is
somehow able to break free and use the community for his own good.  It seems
such a shame that so many people are taught to read.  Reading used to be the
way to empowerment, and to a degree still is.  But, since so many people are
educated, even overeducated the intellectual capabilities of the written
word have been degradated to an all time low.  A look at the Oprah reading
list can shed some light here.  Where does the empowerment of the individual
lie today?  Nietzsche was largely empowered through his knowledge of the
classics.  But, these works can be accessed by the masses and this seems
unfortunate to me since they were not written for the masses.  Nietzsche in
classical style did not write for the masses either, like Kant did.
Empowerment can and still does come from the classics, but what about
contemporaries?  Where are the great men of today.  The mass is more
educated today than it has ever been and we are producing less great men.
There are people blinking everywhere, and this is an uncomforting thought.


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