Monday, June 04, 2007

Fleeing From Nihilistic Repression - Part 1

Because there is eagle will-to-power and lamb will-to-power, eagle and lamb are not OPPOSED in the dramatic, culturally-conditioned manner to which we’re accustomed. It is important to understand what this difference from opposition means, what this addresses, PHILOSOPHICALLY.

This is a constructive beginning of a possible “line of flight” – moving beyond the “molar” line that forms a binary, arborescent system of segments, and onto the more fluid, although still segmentary, “molecular” line from which the line of flight potentially can rupture the other two lines. But in Nietzschean thinking the “lamb will-to-power” is demonstratively in a power struggle with the “eagle will-to-power”. The ascetic’s ressentiment is aggressive, vindictive, and revengeful – and winning!


The invalids are the great danger to humanity—not the evil men, not the "predatory animals." Those people who are, from the outset, failures, oppressed, broken—they are the ones, the weakest, who most undermine life among human beings, who in the most perilous way poison and question our trust in life, in humanity, in ourselves. Where can we escape that downcast glance with which people carry their deep sorrow, that reversed gaze of the man originally born to fail which betrays how such a man speaks to himself, that gaze which is a sigh. "I wish I could be someone else!"—that's what this glance sighs. "But there is no hope here. I am who I am. How could I detach myself from myself? And yet I've had enough of myself!" . . .


On such a ground of contempt for oneself, a truly swampy ground, grows every weed, every poisonous growth—all of them so small, so hidden, so dishonest, so sweet. Here the worms of angry and resentful feelings swarm; here the air stinks of secrets and duplicity; here are constantly spun the nets of the most malicious conspiracies—those who are suffering and plotting against successful and victorious people; here the appearance of the victor is despised. And what dishonesty not to acknowledge this hatred as hatred! What an extravagance of large words and attitudes, what an art of "decent" slander! These failures—what noble eloquence flows from their lips! How much sugary, slimy, humble resignation swims in their eyes! What do they really want? At least to make a show of justice, love, wisdom, superiority—that's the ambition of these "lowest" people, these invalids!

And how clever such an ambition makes people! For let's admire the skillful counterfeiting with which people here imitate the trademarks of virtue, even its resounding tinkle, the golden sound of virtue. They've now taken a lease on virtue entirely for themselves, these weak and hopeless invalids—there's no doubt about that. "We alone are the good men, the just men"—that's how they speak: "We alone are the homines bonae voluntatis [men of good will]." They wander around among us like personifications of reproach, like warnings to us, as if health, success, strength, pride, and a feeling of power were inherently depraved things, for which people must atone some day, atone bitterly. How they thirst to be hangmen! Among them there are plenty of people disguised as judges seeking revenge. They always have the word "Justice" in their mouths, like poisonous saliva, with their mouths always pursed, constantly ready to spit at anything which does not look discontented and goes on its way in good spirits.

Among them there is no lack of that most disgusting species of vain people, the lying monsters who aim to present themselves as "beautiful souls," and carry off to market their ruined sensuality, wrapped up in verse and other swaddling clothes, as "purity of heart"—the species of self-gratifying moral masturbators. The desire of sick people to present some form or other of superiority, their instinct for secret paths leading to a tyranny over the healthy—where can we not find it, this very will to power of the weakest people! - (On the Genealogy of Morals, Third Essay: What Do Ascetic Ideals Mean?)

4 Comments:

Anonymous Yusef said...

So glad to see that you're able to post again.

4:47 PM  
Blogger Orla Schantz said...

Yep, it's good to be back, Yusef.

We need to work on your suspension of opposites as a trope in thinking. There is a lot of potentiality in this "rupture" and vast possibilities open up.

Deleuze was there first - but that is irrelevant - we need to escape the straitjacket of the binary fallacy. This could be exciting and liberating.

Orla

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Yusef said...

"The ascetic’s ressentiment is aggressive, vindictive, and revengeful – and winning!"

There are two questions I have for you about this:

1) Who are the ascetics? Is it "them," or " they (the they)"?

2)What does "winning" mean here?

6:21 PM  
Blogger Orla Schantz said...

Sorry, Yusef, I just saw your comment today. You write:

There are two questions I have for you about this:

1) Who are the ascetics? Is it "them," or " they (the they)"?


In Nietzsche's universe it is "them" = the priests. Here in his own words,

As is well known, priests are the most evil of enemies—but why? Because they are the most powerless. From their powerlessness, their hate grows into something immense and terrifying, to the most spiritual and most poisonous manifestations. Those who have been the greatest haters in world history and the most spiritually rich haters have always been the priests—in comparison with the spirit of priestly revenge all the remaining spirits are, in general, hardly worth considering. Human history would be a really stupid affair without that spirit which entered it from the powerless.

Let us quickly consider the greatest example. Everything on earth which has been done against “the nobility,” “the powerful,” “the masters,” “the possessors of power” is not worth mentioning in comparison with what the Jews have done against them—the Jews, that priestly people who knew how to get final satisfaction from their enemies and conquerors through a radical transformation of their values, that is, through an act of the most spiritual revenge. This was appropriate only to a priestly people with the most deeply rooted priestly desire for revenge.

In opposition to the aristocratic value equations (good = noble = powerful = beautiful = fortunate = loved by god), the Jews, with a consistency inspiring fear, dared to reverse it and to hang on to that with the teeth of the most profound hatred (the hatred of the powerless), that is, to “only those who suffer are good; the poor, the powerless, the low are the only good people; the suffering, those in need, the sick, the ugly are also the only pious people; only they are blessed by God; for them alone there is salvation. By contrast, you privileged and powerful people, you are for all eternity the evil, the cruel, the lecherous, the insatiable, the godless—you will also be the unblessed, the cursed, and the damned for all eternity!”


Then you ask: 2)What does "winning" mean here? - Over to Nietzsche himself,

“But what are you doing still talking about more noble ideals! Let’s look at the facts: the people have triumphed—or ‘the slaves,’ or ‘the rabble,’ or ‘the herd,’ or whatever you want to call them—if this has taken place because of the Jews, then good for them! No people had a more world-historical mission. ‘The masters’ have been disposed of. The morality of the common man has won. We may take this victory as a blood poisoning (it did mix the races up)—I don’t deny that. But this intoxication has undoubtedly been successful. The ‘Salvation’ of the human race (namely, from ‘the masters’) is well under way. Everything is visibly turning Jewish or Christian or plebeian (what do the words matter!).

The progress of this poison through the entire body of humanity seems irresistible—although its tempo and pace may seem from now on constantly slower, more delicate, less audible, more circumspect—well, we have time enough. . . From this point of view, does the church today still have necessary work to do, does it really have a right to exist? Or could we dispense with it? Quaeritur. [That's a question to be asked]. It seems that it obstructs and hinders the progress of this poison, instead of speeding it up? Well, that might even be what makes the church useful . . . Certainly the church is something positively gross and vulgar, which a more delicate intelligence, a truly modern taste resists. Should the church at least not be something more sophisticated? . . . Today the church alienates more than it seduces. . . Who among us would really be a free spirit if the church were not there? The church repels us, not its poison. . . . Apart from the church, we love the poison. . .”

This is the epilogue of a “free thinker” to my speech, an honest animal, who has revealed himself well—and in addition he’s a democrat. He listened to me up that that point and couldn’t bear to hear my silence. But for me at this point there is much to be silent about.

The slave revolt in morality begins when the resentment itself becomes creative and gives birth to values: the resentment of those beings who are prevented from a genuinely active reaction and who compensate for that with a merely imaginary vengeance. While all noble morality grows out of a triumphant self-affirmation, slave morality from the start says “No” to what is “outside,” “other,” “a non-self”. And this “No” is its creative act. This transformation of the glance which confers value—this necessary projection towards what is outer instead of back onto itself—that is inherent in resentment. In order to arise, slave morality always requires first an opposing world, a world outside itself. Psychologically speaking, it needs external stimuli in order to act at all. Its action is basically reaction.


(On the Genealogy of Morals, First Essay)

Orla

5:28 PM  

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