Wk nd. Nietzsche

Its three in the morning. I have class at 9.

What did I do this weekend? The usual fraternization.

Do I have anything interesting to say? I’m reading Nietzsche. He’s a lil crazy.

Tomorrow I hope to learn if I’m understanding all his abstractions. Nietzsche disorients you and leads you at the same time. This week is going to be extremely busy. I have homecoming Thurs-Sun. Quake is on Thursday… Asher Roth, Pitbull and OAR are playing. In addition to the homecoming game and drinking festivities, the policy debate team is hosting a tournament from friday to sunday. This is extremely inconvenient. Because we’re hosting, I have to help staff. This means that I won’t be able to get drunkie and tailgate and go to the Vandy/UG game. ALSO- my best friend is coming to visit me. He graduated in may with a geography degree… has no idea what he’s doing with life… so he decided to take a road trip. with another buddy. He’ll be pitstopping that weekend. gosh. what a crappy time to host a debate tournament.

Anyway… I don’t have anything poetic or interesting on my mind at the moment. I need to be more creative. night.

"Here precisely is what has become a fatality for Europe—together with the fear of man we have also lost our love of him, our reverence for him, our hopes for him, even the will to him. The sight of man now makes us weary—what is nihilism today if it is not that?— We are weary of man." (GM, 11)
Nietzsche here diagnoses a malady of mankind: nihilism. Nietzsche was writing in 1888. Does his description of nihilism resonate with you today? If so, how do you specifically experience the nihilism of contemporary culture? Are you weary of man?
Or, perhaps, Nietzsche was just being an anti-democratic pig. Is he too harsh in his criticisms of the herd? Too elitist in his orientation? Can mass-culture be a stimulus to life?

(Firstly, I thought these writings were pretty difficult to decipher.)
Core to Nietsche’s writing so far is the idea of resentiment. Nietzsche has illustrated a dictomy between the slave morality and the master morality. The master morality, or noble valuation of things, is simple and indifferent and acts spontaneously (37). It exists in the present and gives little thought to the condition of the slave, other than a careless and impatient afterthought of contempt. The master morality is consumed with the happy and beautiful and noble self, only seeking invented and ‘falsified’ negative (‘bad’) contrasts (these contrasts are not rooted in reality) that would reinforce it more “gratefully and triumphantly” (37). Meanwhile, the slave morality is preoccupied with deep resentiment towards the master, a festering and poisoning passion that create an imaginary a world where “hatred grows to monstrous and uncanny proportions” (33 & 36). Slave morality rejects the hostile external world with a resounding no in a creative defiant act (37). It is in this covert imaginary world of unsatisfied hatred where the idea evil manifests itself, contrary to noble flighty idea of ‘bad’.

This is the most basic summary of what Nietzsche has laid out here. At the end of GM, 11, Nietzsche asserts that Europe has slipped into a nihilistic state due to Europe losing their fear of man, which has caused it to lose its “love of him, reverence for him, our hopes for him, and even the will to him” (44). This fear of man is necessary for the master morality, because noble man needs enemies as his mark of distinction (39). Nietzsche begs for “something still capable of arousing fear” in order for man to justify man (44).

I believe what Nietzsche is saying is that Europe has slipped into the slave morality because there is no fear and therefore no reason to grow greater (44). The slave morality is insidious and covert, residing not in the present, but in hope of the future. This removal from reality and the present is what dulls man and makes him weary and mediocre. Being “better” is simply man failing to grow by reducing the positive substance of inequality. The noble man needs a fear of the plebian man in order to justify his distinction.

So, if any of that is correct, does this resonate with me? Well, Nietzsche is very disorienting.

I believe that there are enough forces of fear at work in this culture that sustains mans self confidence and causes man to rise above and react and grow in their midst. Mass culture in itself a force that provides man a means to rise above and justify man.
I also believe that our society has almost eliminated the need for fear, because we live in a (semi) functional democratic nation. This might cause man to slip into a weary nihilistic state. Specifically, because we live in a democratic nation, there is no notion of one presiding over another and therefore no fear of the plebian to base our noble valuations. This eliminates the master mentality, necessary for growth according to Nietzsche. By losing this fear we slip into a slave morality consumed with resentment towards… God? The government?

Nietzsche makes some pretty bizarre connections. I need to think more on everything I’ve read to decide if he’s too elitist. I think he’s just challenging the traditional foundations and rocking the boat.

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