File spoon-archives/nietzsche.archive/nietzsche_2002/nietzsche.0202, message 10


Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 13:26:11 +1200
Subject: Re: Of the Three Metamorphoses



>> My view is that N gets it wrong by locating a discrete typology of types,
>ressentiment versus nobility. I think he gets it wrong because he never
>finishes overcoming his own ressentiments. However,  I think there is a case
>for modes of emphasis in each an every body, some of which are more full of
>ressentiment than others, some of which may be more noble as N discusses it.
>N can't pose nobility  for the few (or the one_ without the conditions of
>ressentiment for the majority-one of the few places where he explicitly
>discusses the material conditions for the overman are as surplus
>countermovement to the conditions of mass enslavement. the majority thus
>stand as a dance floor, a dance floor machined into specialised utilities,
>for a noble culture above and beyond their all-too-human concerns. You might
>want to dispute this point, but I cannot reconcile my uptake of Nietzsche
>with my politics without posing a way out of this dilemma. This does not
>mean a return to 'everything is equal!' however.
>>
>This is one aspect of his thought that i just do not understnad. In HAH he
>clearly indicates tha the overall health of each is essential to the well
>being of the free spirits. He discusses using psychological methods to help
>each create a solid center.  He then posits the necessity of master/slave
>type relationships, and even goes so far as to proclaim the need of a
>religion to control and manipulate the masses (the ER, as hinted at in BGE
>61)

Your comments chime with something I've been trying to figure out - n.'s
first mention of the thesis on master & slave moralities in BGE (260) is
immediately qualified with the idea that there is a third phenomena of
mediation between these moralities & that they may coexist within cultures
and within "a single soul". But then in GOM this complexity seems to be
dropped out as it gives way to the stark typology you both mention.
This seems to create a situation in which N. struggles to keep the nobles
clean of ressentiment (ie. the noble is capable of immediate reaction - oh
yeah?; the strong invent legalism to quell the resentful populace - but are
they not therefore party to the doer/deed distinction?).
The complexity resurfaces to some extent in EH (wise, 6) when N. discusses
his relationship with ressentiment & seems to link knowledge of it to
freedom from it, indicating something of the single soul's process of
overcoming/mediating (but also positing the uninspiring posture of russian
fatalism - a third model of reactivity?).
For me the problem with N.'s stark typology is that it sets up the concept
of ress. for literal useage - it's overused to diagnose politics of the
'powerless' and underused to diagnose the politics of dominant groups (ie.
ress. used to diagnose feminism/certain feminisms & not at all to my
knowledge to diagnose, say, misogyny [even as the N. makes way for the
latter in D, IV, 346]).
On the whole, I would say there are a number of underexamined conundrums in
the concept of ressentiment, not the least being Nietzsche's own
ressentiment which Ruth mentions: what kind of critical posture is steeped
in what it denounces? and what happens when ressentiment is not up against
a contrasting morality but rather an opposing ressentiment? These questions
rarely enter into analyses which employ ress. diagnostically.
R






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