File spoon-archives/nietzsche.archive/nietzsche_2000/nietzsche.0008, message 25

Subject: Re: Nietzsche ist tot
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 14:41:30 +0100

> At 04:38 PM 8/28/00 +0200, Syphon Soul wrote:
> >
> >   'Revolution' of course is too strong a term. Evolution would be more
> fitting.
> >But times pre- and post- Nietzsche are in deed quite revoltive in their
> >differences.
> How so? And are these times really any different fundamentally than when
> Hesiod though he lived in the Age of Iron and somehow missed out on Golden
> Age? When Nietzsche criticized modernity, did he not do so because the
> masses would now be able to voice their resentment though democracy? The
> Greeks practiced a true democracy, but they lacked resentment, so it might
> be it is not democracy per se that N criticized, but the bitter, buzzing
> masses who would fail to affirm the Ubermench, and they have from both the
> left and the right, mostly because they are all so busy resenting the

The Greeks may have practised democracy BUT they did execute Socrates for
the rather dubious crime of being associated with Plato and other

> >We now posess a great deal of individual freedom, which we
> >squander. Also the value-system has been equally individualized.
> Don't these thoughts contradict N's preaching against the Last Man? Isn't
> the idea to create values and decide what is valuable and what isn't, to
> practice One Thing is Needful? Sure, many squander their freedom, but so
> what. The Ubermench will not.

It is not clear at all that freedom is squandered. One first has to be free
to squander freedom. I assert that it is not clear or easily appreciable
that we are free. We may have some freedoms or rights BUT to claim that we
are free per se is to squawk parrot fashion what we are told by the mass
media. Supposedly we live in free countries BUT how is one to demonstrate
such a statement? I think perhaps it would be correct to assert that we live
in an ethos where freedom is espoused as a high principle in Western
Democracies. This ethos does not at all mean that what is within it actually
contains a grain of fact - it is merely an attitude. However, each of us may
be free to state any claim or perform any action BUT we may have to live
with quite hideous consequences, such as incarceration. Perhaps the life of
Socrates has much to teach us. He had opportunities to escape imprisonment
but chose not to. He chose to make himself the example. He chose to die. For
me, it seems too high a price, for it is not clear that the arguments he
made on his own behalf were even understood, let alone believed as right, by
the masses before which he stood accused. In sum, he fell on his own sword
whilst his words fell on deaf ears.

As for Overman, well Nietzsche presumably has the idea that his concept was
beyond all this. But what is Overman that he is not involved in such things?
Is Overman suprahistorical? Does Overman resign himself to that which
surrounds him? I am not yet so certain of what Overman is to answer those
questions. I welcome input on these matters.

> >Actually, we
> >are living in a world of quite rabit perspectivism, to use a pun of
> Yet,
> >despite all these superficial signs of 'the revolution' it has not
> Forgive me, but what revolution are you speaking of, the great war that N
> proclaimed? Are we not fighting it now over values and tablets that no
> longer apply even though some warriors hold on to them with dear life? Let
> us not forget that pessimism is the doom and gloom over the failing of an
> ideal life, that it will never get better. Let us not forget that we can
> and never will live life in some ideal world, and to think we will is the
> source of resentment as well as its consequence. All we can concentrate on
> is the present and the reality of the present.

Nietzsche stated "the unhistorical and the historical are necessary in equal
measure for the health of an individual, of a people and a culture."
Furthermore, Nietzsche considered the past and the present to exist not for
the purpose of truth but for the purpose of life. In other words,
remembering and forgetting are a pre-condition for a healthy life. The
history we remember does not have to be true, rather it has to affirm life.
The things we forget should only be the things that are detrimental to life.
You are right to the extent that ideals are a source of resentment BUT only
on the proviso that one does not realize ones surroundings. To demand, like
a child, that things should be thus is of no use to life. However, ideals
when considered in light of a realism can be life affirming, providing drive
and purpose. Ideals, in a sense, are unhistorical - they are a not yet come
into being, and yet ideals are also in some way historical for they are
often mingled with the notion of a great historical past that has long since
gone, but yet a past that is desired above all other things a return to
presence, a return to the manifest. So, the present and the past, subjective
realism and subjective idealism, form the basis for a projection into the
unhistorical where life can be affirmed. It is perhaps best viewed as a
complex interplay of forces continually renewed.

> >Humanity is still bound by it's profound fear of knowing itself, of using
> >psychology on itself. We can easily pick apart others, but how is it that
> >cannot pick apart ourselves? Put ourselves in perspective... move BEYOND
> >oneself.
> Good point, but most use that narcotic "work" to avoid themselves in the
> day and that other drug "TV" to do the same at night. Those who hold the
> power now want it that way, so that going to work the next day will break
> the monotony of staying home. It's a perfect mechanism to keep the herd
> under control, and hasn't it always be close to this way? Of course, but
> never stopped the potential Ubermench from flourishing.

I get the impression that you have an idea of what a potential Overman is.
Men of politics? Kings? Hermits? Hierophants? Perhaps you can help me by
saying something about how Overman flourishes. I have always found Nietzsche
expresses Overman in ambiguous terms. E.g.. WTP804 - "The herdman will
experience the value feeling of the beautiful in the presence of different
things than will the exceptional or over-man". Note that Nietzsche states
the 'exceptional or over-man' BUT that he could mean the two concepts
interchangeably or as different concepts with something in common. Question:
will the Overman be distinguishable from the herd by the herd? Would Overman
hide himself by regarding invisibility as invincibility? The exceptional, on
the other hand, are noticeable by virtue of being exceptions. They may have
fame of a sort, whereas Overman may not.


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