Gay Science", "Beyond Good and Evil", "The Genealogy
of Morals" and "Anti-Christ"
THE FALL OF TRANSCENDENT VALUES
Dead" ("The Gay Science" 1882, § 125)
Diagnosis of Modernity
We all have killed God.
How have we done it? How a God can die?
How did we drink up the sea = infinity?
How did we wipe away the horizon = the framework?
How did we loose the earth from its sun = the
We have accomplished all these impossible things by ceasing to
believe in the existence of a supra-sensible world up there. We
have killed God by rejecting the transcendent world ("the holiest
and the mightiest" we have possessed) as the true norm of our moral
||Our dissecting "knife" = sciences.
||The Modern Age.
||This event is an ongoing movement (burial/putrefaction),
not a momentary incident.
(1) We have absorbed divine infinity into infinite human progress.
(2) We have given up the religious framework of evolution and history.
(3) We have placed the source of meaning into human creativity.
We make our decisions without relating them to God. We have rendered
the belief in God unbelievable. Void.
"God" in Nietzsche's pronouncement denotes:
(a) The center and the foundation of everything.
(b) The source of ideals, values, ends.
||God is dead. The center does not hold any
more. It's getting "cold" and "dark". Emptiness. Disorientation.
(a) Nihilism. Despair. Suicide.
(b) Preserved Faith (churches as the tombs and monuments of God).
(c) New Creativity. Self-overcoming.
||Yes, everything is permitted now, but this
is a great chance to start "a higher history than any history hitherto".
||Most people are not yet ready to positively
accept and understand the magnitude of the "great event".
Deeds need time.
"Shall we not ourselves have to become Gods?"
LIFE ENHANCING MORALITY
Noble?" ("Beyond Good and Evil" 1886, §§ 257-259)
Theory of an Elitist Morality
Every elevation of the type "man" requires
an aristocratic society. Only an aristocratic society provides
the necessary rank-ordering and the fuel for excellence.
||Nietzsche speaks about the type "man"
and not simply about "man" because he does not accept the
expression "man" as a definite and stable category. On the
contrary it shows many variations and gradations of which only the
best are of interest.
||The elevation of human species means producing
those rare exceptional individuals.
||Nietzsche understands the expression literally
as "the rule of the best". Thus aristocracy is not only
a social category but even more the nobility of mind and great deeds.
To avoid mediocrity and the growth of herd instincts
(a) A long scale of gradations of rank.
(b) Differences of worth among human beings.
(c) Slavery (subordination) in some form or other.
||In keeping with its counterpart this category
in Nietzsche should be understood not only as a social relation, but
primarily as a kind of spiritual bondage to certain notions. Even
the most powerful men can belong to this "class" if they
lack the true freedom of the mind.
Aristocratic individuals constantly keep down the subordinates
and instruments for own heightening.
They possess an exalted passion of looking from the perspective
of the most distant people.
| (1) Pathos of Distance = Sense for
difference vis-à-vis others. This pathos allegedly emerges out of
the "incarnated difference of classes" that are being transfered
from generations to generations.
(2) Pathos of Self-Distancing = Striving for "the continued
self-overcoming". This pathos is "more mysterious" because
it does not have an apparent physiological equivalent. But it is
essential for the enhancement of human species and consequently
for breeding the new race of man.
||(1) is condition for (2).
||Self-overcoming was traditionally conceived
as a constant moral perfection ("always strive to be a better
person", "there is a constant need for improvement"
etc.). Nietzsche understands it in a non-moral ("super-moral")
sense, as unfettered expansion of the latent life forces.
||The idea that an aristocratic society emerges
through mutual agreement of classes, naturally and peacefully or by
a divine decree.
||The victory of the more "natural nature"
over the "more moral and peaceful" races was everything
but consensual and civilized.
||How and why did the barbarians prevail over
more civilized people? By overpowering those who were "mellow".
Simply put, the victors were "more complete men".
||Possess the strength of will and the desire
for power. This is not only physical but psychical as well; it includes
self-discipline and flourishing of life forces in general.
||Vital forces flickering out in agriculture,
trade or wit instead in physical strenght. Increasing lack of self-control.
People becoming wearisome of life.
Life gets convulsed = contracted and shaken.
||Different. Mostly lack of self-discipline
("anarchy among the instincts"). Or people get subdued by moral sentiments
(pity, compassion, guilt, remorse).
||Reversal of the higher and the lower.
||French aristocracy at the beginning of the
Revolution sacrifies itself to its moral feelings. This example is
very instructive for the current state of European spirit as French
aristocracy was for Nietzsche the source of European nobility.
Blurring the differences. The "wretched mediocre" becomes a goal
instead of being the means for those rare individuals that represent
||Aristocracy is not a function but
the significance of a commonwealth. Society and humanity are
an instrument ("a foundation and scaffolding") for strong individuals
(a choice type of being) that should elevate themselves to a "higher
existence". Therefore any hypostatization of society (taking it as
an end against individuals) or leveling individuals without discrimination
||"Healthy aristocracy" will act
the way any healthy organism acts. It will grow, spread, seize, win
the upprehand, exploit. Therefore aristocracy will accept unsentimetally
the sacrifice of a legion of individuals who must be reduced to "incomplete
men" and instruments.
||By referring to "the sun seeking climbing
plants in Java called Sipo Matador" (actually this monstruous
liana grows in Amazon forests) Nietzsche clearly indicates his veneration
for archaic heroes who engage many common individuals
in their daring exploits.
||Nietzsche discusses various answer to the
question what should serve as the basis of society.
||First Answer: refraining from injury
and violence (Hobbes).
Second Answer: abolishing exploitation. "The coming
conditions of society in which the 'exploiting character' is to
be absent" refers to the socialist ideas of those days.
||Mutual restraint in using power is appropriate
among the equals. But it cannot be applied to a society as a whole
without undermining its vital forces. As the principle of social organization
it becomes the principle of disintegration.
||Striving toward peace, harmony and equality
(against violence, oppression and exploitation) is tantamount to the
idea of life dispensed of all organic functions. Every living organization
must grow, gain ground and acquire ascendancy.
||Nietzsche repeats three times that life represents
the incarnate Will to Power. Life is Will to Power because Will to
Power is Will to Life. Living organisms grow and expand not because
it is moral or immoral, but simply because it is their nature.
||Since life itself is appropriation, injury,
conquest, violence, a form of exploitation, these expressions should
be understood without negative overtones.
Theory - Old Fact:
||This may sound as an inovative theory, but
only explicates the primordial fact of all history.
||Nietzsche was aware that his teaching would
be repugnant to many: "In no point is the common conscience of
the European more averse to instruction than here."
||The Stoic picture of harmonious nature and
the idea that reason should follow the suite is a fiction. Will should
||All that enhances the feeling of power, the
Will to Power itself.
All that proceeds from weakness (life diminishing factors).
MASTER AND SLAVE MORALITY
Noble?" ("Beyond Good and Evil" §§ 260, 263)
Typology of Morality
||There is no rational and objective foundation
of a universal morality. There are only different evaluations that
should be classified and themselves evaluated from the point of view
of will to power.
||Certain traits of different types recur regularly
together. They group around two primary (ideal) types.
||These types are not absolutely separated.
Very often they are mixed, sometimes even juxtaposed within the same
||The moral discrimination of values originates
either with the ruling or the ruled class. The two should be distinguished
as two different classes of contemptible and admirable characteristics.
The cowardly, the anxious, the petty, the suspicious, the doglike
people, the begging flatterers, the liars, those intent on narrow
utility, the self-humbling.
||Self-determining, self-approving, self-judging,
value-creating, self-esteeming, self-gloryfying, exerting power over
others as well over oneself.
(a) Aristocratic morality: 1. good = noble; 2. bad =
(b) Self-abasing morality: 1. good = stupid; 2. evil
||As morality or our viewpoint changes a1 becomes
b2 while b1 becomes a2.
||The opposition of "good" and "evil"
is a product of slave morality. Its "evil" is the aristocratic
good perceived as "fear inducing".
|| Who praises certain actions? Not: Why certain
actions have been praised?
||Moral designations for actions are derived
from character designations:
|| The morality of the Iliad versus
the morality of the New Testament.
||Autonomous, active, assertive, enthusiastic,
(1) Value determining (creating of values from one's own inwardness).
(2) Superabundance of power (helping the unfortunate out of excess)
(3) Self-discipline (enjoying being severe and hard with oneself)
||Reactive, pessimistic, sentimental, distrustful,
(1) Moral of sympathy (Christianity)
(2) Acting for the good of others (Utilitarianism)
(3) Disinterested selfless conduct (Deontology)
||An aristocrat reveres age and tradition.
||A plebeian believes in progress and the future.
||A member of nobility accepts duties only
to his likes. Understands how to honor those who are the best, while
treating others "beyond good and evil".
||A member of the crowd emphatizes with equality,
patience, industry, humility, friendliness.
||Surprisingly Nietzsche characterizes slavish
morality with the desire for freedom. The explanation is that this
longing is purely negative - striving for something unattainable.
||The noble man willfuly binds himself to something
higher and demonstrates his reverence and passion.
- Love as a passion (the art of troubadours) versus sympathy
and pity for the weak
- Enthusiasm and devotion versus longing for happiness and
- Artfulness and refinement versus narrow utility.
- Affirmation of the subjective versus reversal to the objective.
- Instinct for Rank (proud disposition) versus Resentment
||"Instinct for rank" is itself
an indication ("sign") of a high rank.
||Those who are of high rank due to social
contingencies may not posses an instinct for rank, but a verifiable
"delight in nuances of reverence" always points to "noble
origin and habits".
||How do we react to the presence of something
(somebody) of the highest rank when the rank is not self-evident (or
||The nobility of a higher rank reveals itself
in an instinctive and silent reverence for excellence.
||Slavish reverence is based on external marks.
The vulgarity of a lower rank manifests itself in utter disregard
or even hatred.
"Instinct of reverence" determines the ultimate
value and "the unalterable order of rank" of an individual.
NOBILITY AND RESSENTIMENT
and Evil" ("The Genealogy of Morals" 1887,
I, §§ 10-11)
Contrasting of Moral Characters
||The initial domination of the "master
morality" has been overturned.
||"The people have won" means the
slaves, the herd, the mob have come to power while the masters (the
nobility of human race) have been disposed of.
of Slave Morality:
||When we say that the morality of the "common
man" is now prevailing we mean that resentment has become
the principle of evaluation and creativity.
||Resentment is a compensation through an imaginary
revenge for the lack of real action and creativity.
||Reactive. Its nature: Resentful.
The vengefulness of slave creativity manifests itself in an outright
rejection (negation) of that what is "different", "foreign"
||Its condition: Needs external stimuli to
be able to act.
||Inclusive. Its nature: Affirmative.
Its positive character manifests itself in a triumphant development
of oneself and in an infinite acceptance of opposites. "Saturated
with life and passion."
||Its condition: It is autonomous - acts and
||Resentment in the noble man exhausts itself
in an immediate reaction without poisoning his psyche.
||The respective offense on reality of two
different modes of evaluation could be represented by means of the
||Submerged Hatred, Vengefulness, Impotence
||Insufficient Familiarity, Misunderstanding,
Habits of the Greek Nobility
||Noble ones, good, beautiful, happy ones.
for Common Men:
||Worthless, paltry, knavish, pitiable (deilos,
deilaios, poneros, mochtheros).
||Moral and social evaluations stating that
something is "bad" or "low" by rule suggest
a note of unhappyness (oizyros, anolbos, tlemon, dystichein,
narcotic and passive (quietude, rest, slackening of tension).
as artificial deception that ought to supress the underlying inimical
and poisonous emotions.
energetic and active (eu prattein = faring well). High tension.
of well-being based on the awareness of being well-born
|| Secretive, squinting, covert, clever,
prudent, suspicious, remembering
||Upright, straightforward, forgetful,
naive, casual, nonchalant, imprudent, reckless, impulsive
||Open, trustful, honest
||Inability of taking enemies and misdeeds
seriously very long.
||Not to be fixated and obsessed with enemies
and viles is a sign of ability to recuperate and act creatively.
||Forgetfullness is the most effective forgiveness
(Nietzsche does not believe in the slogan: "Forgive but do not
||Comte de Mirabeau (1749-1791), a famous
orator and writer, suspected and attacked both by the royalists and
the revolutionaries. But he ignored all insults and vile actions done
||Makes sense only as reverence for enemies.
This requires selectivity.
||Choose your enemies, don't let enemies choose
||Respectable enemies elevate, despicable degrade.
||In a sense good enemies are necessary in
order to be able to have friends.
- The noble man cherishes and respects his enemies (such reverence
might be a bridge to love).
- The resentful man conceives enemies as "evil", thus implying
that he is the "good" one.
||The evil in the conception of slave morality
is in fact the distinctive original, whereas the bad of noble origin
is an after-product, a side-effect.
||Who is evil? Who is bad?
||The good man of the opposite morality.
||The beast of prey (blond beast) underlies
the noble races.
||This abused concept does not have a racial
conotation in Nietzsche as the reference to Arabian and Japanese nobility
clearly indicates. Nietzsche's models are not German but Greek, Roman,
Barbaric and Scandinavian. Therefore one is well advised to understand
the expression "blonde bestie" as an allusion to the metaphor
of the lion as explicated in Thus spoke Zarathustra.
||In his funeral oration Pericles recognizes
the greatness of both goodness and wickedness.
||The Greeks even commended rhathymia
(carelesness) as a kind of "cruel cheerfulness".
||Those who are mutually considerate out of
custom, respect, vigilance, suspicion or jealousy revert outside their
circle to the innocence of the beast-of-prey conscience. There they
give vent to their supressed instincts with impunity.
||It is more productive to be afraid of somebody
who deserves to be admired than to feel safe and confident before
the "wretched mediocre", "unedifying creature"
Power AND morality
at a Critique of Christianity" ("The Anti-Christ" 1888,
I, §§ 2, 7)
Attack on the Religion of Pity
||Good = Everything that heightens the feeling
of power = the will to power = power.
||Evil = Everything that is born of weakness.
||Happiness = The Feeling that power is growing,
that resistance has been overcome.
||Fitness (the Renaissance virtu)
||The weak and the failures shall perish. Out
of "love of man" they should be given every possible assistance
in that process (it is open whether this means that they should be
murdered or "only" helped to commit suicide?).
||Who determines what is weak, failed and deserving
extinction? Obviously the powerful. So power is the sole basis of
normative validity (= might is right).
||The most detrimental factors in human history
are "practical sympathy" and the feeling of pity for all
the failures and all the weak. They are worse than any vice (also
morally) because they block clearing ground for unrestrained development
of human potentials.
||Christianity is the worst enemy of man because
it is the religion of Pity.
||Pity supresses productive passions and has
a depressive effect on our strenght. Instead of being supressed for
the sake of life joy it grows and makes suffering contagious to the
extent of making life more miserable.
||Only a nihilistic ethic can praise pity for
"pity is the practice of nihilism".
"Ms. Stottlemeyer is
my personal organizer."