John S Moore
a112 On idleness in Ecce Homo, a pleasant idleness, an idleness that feels profitable cannot help but be so.
a120 False to think Nietzscheanism implies fascism. Trouble is to think of his recommendations as the ideology of a possible revolution. Evelyn Waugh said he would only support fascism if it were the only alternative to Marxism which is not so. The spirit of fascism as that of martial law in an emergency.
a161-2 Complacency of a ruling class. Nietzsche opposes philosopher kings, but sometimes ideal is necessary as cure. Idea he added fuel to the work ethic by promoting insatiable ambition. Ecce Homo suggests this is the reverse of his intention.
a183 Nietzsche and Spengler on the decadence of modern ideas. Protest that egalitarianism and women's lib. are held with fanatical fervour. Such ideas only surface and seem to be necessary when there is nothing else left. Then it comes to appear rational to iron out all differences.
a47 Madness, megalomania. Mistake in leaving behind all standards and claiming an absolute supremacy.
a5 His Europeanism. Taste in architecture, anti-gothic pro-baroque. Common European culture should be a methodology not a metaphysic. Ecce Homo read at this time.
a71 Concern for personal display said to be incompatible with true seriousness.
a75 Justice, Plato's Thrasymachus. The viewpoint of the sophist culture that Nietzsche says made Athens great.
a89 Decadence, satire, modern decadence, Satyricon. Nietzsche admired the Satyricon but presumably would not have admired this age.
a92 Freedom a plebeian virtue shown by the aristocratic love cult love as servitude, in Beyond Good and Evil.
a95 His brilliance. When he appears to contradict himself, though meditation is likely to discover a reconciliation. Tristram Shandy, frivolity. Leavis' condemnation. Different kinds of frivolity.
aa147 Praz (The Romantic Agony) & accusations of sadism. Sadism as perhaps mark of independence from the moral conventions of a time. Buddhism as an alternative path to liberation but even that ultimately involves ignoring the suffering of others.
aa15 Nietzsche misunderstood by those who do not want to consider all alternatives, rather to suppress some possibilities as sick.
ab101& Emma Bovary. Wilde's sub Nietzscheanism. Gide's Immoralist not really Nietzschean because fundamental point of will to power is that what is most desirable is not something that could conceivably be packaged for equal distribution. In the attempt to do so to fuse Nietzscheanism & socialism someone like Wilde ends up with a recipe for social disintegration. Power necessarily in short supply. If you think you have found a formula suitable for everyone either the happiness offered is paltry or you refuse to make distinctions which stare you in the face.
ab177 Renaissance as attempt to get back to Greece. His anti Lutheranism. Defence of Protestantism as emancipating.
ab219 Importance of will to power doctrine. I take it as the assertion of essential psychological truth. Need to defend against relativism. The constant of human nature.
ab255 How to establish the Nietzschean thesis, to establish as an available possibility is all we need to do.
ab305 Prophecies of socialism, feminism and the virtues needed to survive. Will to Power passage about walking on thin ice expressing the whole fin de siecle feeling.
ab332 Nietzsche as educator. To stand on his shoulders as part of one's education. He seems right partly because he can make judgements on subjects on which you are not equipped to do so.
ab335* Alfred Rosenberg’s interesting exploration of the Nietzsche legend. Lombroso, Nordau. One sees how Kaufmann in becoming authoritative managed to produce a modification of that legend especially in America. He succeeded in promoting a very different image of Nietzsche, a more harmless de Germanised Nietzsche, capable of being fully integrated into liberal democratic culture, taking his place alongside all sorts of other thinkers and ideas men.
ab349 Master morality means supporting the free untrammelled individual will. The untrammelled will will every so often throw up a perverse will. Tragedy is the result. The hero will generally seek the praise and approval of his society, fame & honour, but not necessarily. He is not bound by the necessity to pursue honour or anything else. If he ever feels he is doing what is expected because it is expected he may feel impelled to take a different path.
ab383 A good conscience for all sin. Blake, Nietzsche, Crowley
ab391 Copleston. "a lived crisis from which there is no issue in terms of his own philosophy" (History of Philosophy vol 7) trouble is that if Nietzsche's philosophy is used to confer a sense of one's own invulnerability the antithesis of this thought will naturally arise. As Blake understood there are many different states or moods in a person's spiritual life. A "heady wine" for some people. Jesuit who may have taken him on board.
ab394 Nietzschean illumination, culturally relative. Against Kant. Restoration of a perspective that was badly awry.
ab67 Nietzsche & fascism question the same as the Nietzsche Wagner question which preoccupied him all his life. Nazism as pop Wagnerianism. From the Case of Wagner. Quote about Icelandic saga.
ab76 Wagnerism and the hero. Yet fascists are often drawn to him. Is the slave less a slave if he has a proud rather than a humble master? Fascists may advocate the contemplation of a Nietzsche style hero but this is not meant for emulation. Blond beast versus anarchic rebel. Proposition:- frustration is inevitable. Inevitably one wants and wants very much things one cannot have. Marxist criticisms, proletarianisation wage slaves, drudges. undermine confidence of those who attribute to their own personal qualities what re really questionable values.
ab9 How personal liberty gets appropriated by collectivists. Relation of Nietzsche to fascism. Enoch Powell's conception of loyalty, as if in being a member of a society my will becomes the will of the state.
ac110 Reactionary element in Nietzsche, his neopaganism, his love of the south, would somehow leave the great corruption unresolved. Does he believe strongly in authority, as if trying to paganise it?
ac126& How people use the romantic impulse to overcome romanticism & people profoundly affected by Nietzsche are led to reject Nietzsche almost in his own name. Sanine throwing down Zarathustra in disgust as too hysterical. Tyrannical impulse. Romantic impulse to a perfection of self conscious enlightenment.
ac14 Bound views when habit has made them such lead to what is called strength of character.
ac198 Nietzsche's account of the springs of human nature & of the distortions to which our ideas and understanding of it are subject I believe to be factually true to correspond with the facts. Alternative opposing accounts I believe to be subject to the distortions he describes and essentially untrue.
ac205 To oppose and dismiss Nietzsche is not to dismiss Nietzsche alone. Nietzsche only the most developed and articulate spokesman for a point of view. With this comes a type of knowledge. To deny Nietzsche is to deny this knowledge has any value. As knowledge Nietzsche's system is a way of understanding the relations between the various ideas and values that exercise themselves over the minds of men. It also happens to be such a belief itself.
ac27&& Tyrannical urges of the Greeks. Plato. Limitation of the classical. Protestantism. Roman republic. Hitler's admiration for the Greeks. His understanding of renaissance not complete. Magical and neoplatonist urges. Socialism quote on lion meat and justice.
ac4& Haeckel's theory of recapitulation. Scientifically unproven. Nietzsche subscribed to it and influenced Freud. Race by James Baker p 136 Human all too Human vol. 1 read at this time.
ac80 Antichrist emphasising and making consistent a few commonplaces among educated freethinkers.
ad104 The cliché that makes cheerful.. Antithesis to the will to power as an explicit doctrine. As a philosophy of rebellion its appeal is plain. It speaks beyond orthodox conventional doctrine, but if you can get away with setting up your own opinions as conventional doctrine the case is different. The concept of power repudiates all attempts to hypostatise values to set up some one 'law table' as the whole end of life....to deny the will to power is to attempt to stem the flow to set up an ought against which people come to grief.
ad120 People may appear to know the truths one considers important in the sense they acknowledge them as ideas, yet slide over them, regarding them as relatively insignificant. One needs such writers as Nietzsche and Solzhenitsyn to stress what should be considered important to put in the emotional content, compel our attention.
ad17 The essence of Nietzsche's teaching is that rising above the norm, the will to power is the essential drive of life. Those who deny it do not thereby manage to do without it, they retreat into a form of psychological non awareness.
ad211 Epictetus says one ought to identify one's will with virtue, piety, general interest etc. Nietzsche's psychology is a criticism of this.
ad288 Will to power a slogan encapsulating the main thrust of his thought. That psychological understanding should have a certain character. Different ideas of human nature Tolstoy or Graham Greene. How we can argue that he is right and his opponents wrong?
ad310 William James found the concept of physiological determinism distressing, but perhaps there was no need to. It might explain too little rather than too much. All this talk of brain activity and associationism. seemingly no place for a will to power or even a pleasure principle rigidly interpreted. The will to power interpreted as a development of the concept of the pleasure principle, i.e. as taking into account the contexts of value systems.
ad355 Two hundred years previously he might have been perceived to have been stating the obvious. An idea that a later generation needs to spell out may be implicitly understood by people in general needing only some generalised poetic symbol to bring it to mind. Enlightenment not magic.
ad36 Repudiation of Nietzsche. To repudiate this clear idea is to set out on a completely false path. To set up foolish idols in place of true wisdom.
ad45 Nietzsche as moral. His philosophy one of self justification. To be moral is to be master, pace Humpty Dumpty. Surely it is slavish to accept that what gives you your happiness is a crime? However happily you accept it. Nietzsche quite failed to solve the political question.
ad55 Wittgenstein's crit of Weininger's hierarchical arrangement of human nature. Similar to what one would presume would be Nietzsche's. The will to power concept is a thorough repudiation of dualism. i.e. there is no downward force only upward forces according to their various natures. The principal medium for the expression of malignity is morality. The moral judgement one feels oneself at the receiving end of hostile judgement.
ad7 Nietzsche as protophase in the great world civil war. His will to power an assertion about human psychology. Putting the claim to superior enlightenment on the side of the whites (counter-revolutionaries).
ad96 Nietzsche's philosophy is not simply one of believing what makes happiest or what most exhilarates, what he is against is not the demoralising idea as such. Master morality slave morality ascendant ideas and ideas of decline may be associated with any doctrine. Not simply that he wishes to promote a certain type of feeling, a certain type of happiness but that he wants to do this in a particular way. He wants to associate happiness with certain ideas. We should live in the consciousness of the will to power.
ae103 Serfdom in Russia, degraded servile habits of the people, especially domestic servants. Nietzsche suggested of course that the existence of such a class presupposed its opposite. Saw such a possibility in western Europe. Suggestion the deliberate creation of servitude is very unpleasant, nazi even. Herzen said the English factory worker is as drunken & degraded as the Russian serf. One does not actually have to set about creating one just contemplate the present from an immoral perspective.
ae2 Nietzsche the tragic philosopher. He is this in that he does offer a religious or mystical path the 'pearl of great price' but he somehow takes a wrong turn and becomes unstuck. As with Greek tragedy we are to learn from his mistakes. Notes on tragedy.
ae202 Nietzsche drew much on Schopenhauer in his inspiration for analysing the genealogy of morals. Christian morality springs from resentment on the part of the excluded classes. This can give rise to peculiar guilt ridden patterns of thought on the part of those who are not excluded. No trace of this in Indian thought.
ae236 Considering will to power as scholastic concept, its 'proof' on a scientific basis like the proofs for the existence of God. Precise significance in the history of ideas. His philosophy belongs to a universal type of religion, the affirmationist type symbolised by the phallus.
ae241& How to interpret affirmationism as philosophy? Riposte to socialism. intellectual concept, argument, programme, for a possible science. Peripheral to the central insight from which it springs. Atheism. In justifying our present position it is not on to run through a catalogue of old errors. Somehow or other we have arrived at a set of new concepts which we recommend. Will to power a psychology, an attempt to produce a self sufficient science so one does not have to keep referring back to affirmationism .
ae245 Nietzsche & fascism. one has to give an interpretation of him that does not lead to Hitler. Making him compatible with democracy or with some stable form of modern society is an important task.
ae303 So when we talk of a will to power what do we mean? How is this any more true than a feminist view of life? It is said that the male is to be liberated from oppressive stereotypes, that what presents itself as his will is of the nature of error and illusion. One point of view, one person's truth, is set up as final truth. Liberation and enlightenment are presented in terms of submission to this will. Assimilation of the alien will to illusion or error.
ae344 We conceive of the will to power as basic life energy. Some ideas dam this up, prevent it from finding a natural outlet. So we say The problem is presented by the fact that to those who believe in such ideas the perspective is different. They would interpret in a different way. So what ground are we to have to give priority to our perspective?
ae45 "Now and again they even want to make a freethinker and "literary man" out of a woman, as though a woman without piety were not completely repulsive or ridiculous to a profound and godless man" BGE §239) . That is one of the most foolish things Nietzsche said. Lecky made a much better point. (History of European Morals vol. II p354) "While a multitude of scientific discoveries, critical and historical researches, and educational reforms have brought thinking men face to face with religious problems of extreme importance, women have been almost absolutely excluded from their influence". etc. Bad effects of this. Also Gissing on that (The Odd Women).
ae78 In some ways he started with something akin to fascism rather than ending up with it. Wagner's pamphlet for Ludwig II with its extreme romantic elitism. Nietzsche's own advocacy of slavery in discarded passages from B of T. he says much of friendship but what of the love of women? He seeks friends and equals but finds none. What he achieved in the 1888 books, a doctrine so forceful and energetic that it can raise us permanently above those negative forces. See what he was up against. Halevy's biography.
ae89 Compare Nietzsche with Mohammed. Nietzsche does not offer elation per se. It is elation on the basis of certain clear ideas. There is as it were a minimum commitment. An irreducible minimum of ideas apart from which he could not be imagined to say of someone that he has understood him correctly.
af 207 Will to power, will to discover an ideal order. involving the will to persuade. think of w to p in relation to the ethical impulse of the which Kant & his followers made so much. What one wants something on which theoretically there can be universal agreement. One objects to arbitrary power insofar as one does not exercise it, but one does not respond by desiring such arbitrary power. One can go better, one desires to be justified. Those of weak desire will not resent.
af113 Cuppit quote p114
af12 Mill as Nietzsche's
chief opponent in the cultural
Philosopher as legislator.
af138& The art of the decadent movement was most congenially suited to the philosophy of Schopenhauer which was essentially Buddhistic (Catholicism as bastard Buddhism). Therefore the aesthetic behind it was very sound. Art is release from the frustration of the will. How should it be that the will should continue to be frustrated? By reason of its ambition. the discontent of the Nietzschean with society around him much to do with ideas held. Art, desire, rajas, art contaminated with desire. more potential for frustration in w.to p. ideal.
af164 Argument against Nietzsche that what he proposes, the burning more brightly, is the perennial philosophy of the criminal or of the naughty child. Sense of power and excitement in breaking the rules. Supposed alternative philosophy merely a breaking of rules. what Nietzsche has ultimately to be about is giving us a conceptual framework within which to act and create. Aristotelian task.
af17 Nietzsche v Mill. sociocultural and personal implications of fundamental belief. There will be a difference in where and how one looks for one's happiness. The pleasures of the Nietzschean will be consciously expressible in terms of will to power. He will be able to explain the pleasures of the associationist in similar terms except he will say that the will to power is in that case unconscious. There will be states of mind from which he is incapable of deriving satisfaction
af172& Schopenhauer's proposals compatible with Buddhist organisation of society. What of Nietzsche?
af298& Attempt to promote his ideas itself expression of w to p. promote argument etc.
af80 Nietzsche cured of anti-Semitism by discovering how many Jews appreciated his work .
ah204 Jaspers in Nietzsche and Christianity). He says that the Christianity even of N.s childhood was mere form without substance. i.e. the will to truthfulness without the existential experience of love of God. Jaspers makes a lot of highly tendentious remarks on the dependence of science upon Christianity.
ah223 N. on the workers. hungry beast. What he did not foresee, the power of modern technology to fulfil these unrealistic ambitions. One may speak of a triumph of will begun in America. Yet a filthy haze over the north pole. The restlessness of Homo Europeaus, first his empires then his economic success. Affirmationism one might say. Whose will is triumphant? Is it mine? The modern world is a triumph of will. That is one way you can look at it.
ah243 Take crude macho values, or feminist or socialist values. The alternative polarities set up by these scales of judgement. By one standard you are measured as failure, inadequate. Which therefore are most basic, which are to prevail? Scientific viewpoint of will to power. Will to power, urge not to normality but to superiority. Abnormality may thus have a higher value than normality. Potential bad consequences of this, like the cult of homosexuality.
ah278* Nietzsche and thought experiments. Look at ambitions developments that might be possible, possibilities of revolutionary change. As thought experiment one may sympathise with the exhilaration these involved. That is instead of always experiencing the inhibiting blockage of disapproval.
ah31 Nietzsche welcomed Jewish recruits to his ideas as I would welcome to mine. But in becoming N.eans they thereby ceased to be Jews or at least Judaists.
ah327 Early Pink Floyd expresses Dionysian ecstasy. Clearly this is life affirmation. But it is a precious plant. Easy to slip back into the most atrocious pessimism. Which is what happened. The relation between this and what Nietzsche has to say in the Birth of Tragedy is quite clear. The Schopenhauerianism which N. presupposes. The metaphysical beliefs which underlie his thesis.
ah354 N. v Marx as purported scientific doctrines. Consider Popper's falsifiability principle. To accuse N. of irresponsibility is more realistic than to accuse him of advocating some elitist or fascist regime.
ah374 Nietzsche contra Marx. How are the concepts of objectivity compatible?
ai152?? On 149 Self justification i.e.. failure of religious and moral education. The Nietzschean point of view is not a new discovery of forms of experience but a new attitude towards them. One is to justify what one does rather than seeing it as naughty or forbidden.
ai172 Oxbridge culture. Always I have been for the perverse. I repudiate the negative judgement that may be induced by a commitment to the straightforward. The perverse is an expression of a commitment to the will to power, the will to power is a commitment that overrides healthy mindedness. For those who accept it life presents a problem because there is so much thwarting and frustration. Education as stopping people knowing what everyone else knows.
ai18& Good Europeanism, understandable fear of Bismarck's Germany. Bismarck did not want to include the Austrian Germans in his Reich, which would then have been to big for the Junkers to dominate.
ai180 Concept of mental health like a moral concept, the idea that the object of life is to be healthy. Belief in w. to p. is different from belief in this as a standard. From a personal viewpoint it releases from the painful pressure of a possible negative judgement. Thus one may use it as an ideal in criticism of something already established. But all values and standards are relative. That is a standard whereby one judges other standards And so is this. Thus two perspectives the painfulness of one may be one reason for rejecting it.
ai209 Tolstoy on religion. Very traditional Christian tradition of asceticism and self immolation. Who could tolerate a Nietzscheanism of the professors? Any kind of social N.eanism might come to look like fascism.
ai211 Overthrow of Christianity. Some would say that the sovereignty of Christianity is best treated as a symbol, a figure, of that which ought to be sovereign, we know not what. McGuiness (in Wittgenstein, a Life) treats Nietzsche as 'the titanic alternative'. But I do not see him as titanic. His need be no harsher than the genial paganism of Payne Knight or Townley. Wittgenstein's religion has been an ascetic self immolating type.
ai237 Rationalist Press. the Thinker's Library. Freethinking of that stamp was far more substantial an affair than the religious indifferentism of the present day. In his ironical way Butler (The Fair Haven) is quite worthy to stand beside N.
ai265 One should not present N. as hostile to morality. As if he were advocating a Hobbesian state of nature like Thrasymachus or the immoralists of the Gorgias. Socrates introduces the idea of the catamite. N. would not steal from his friends. He is not out to glorify crime, only the feeling to which crime sometimes aspires. Even Himmler in the east can have an attraction .
ai286 W to P. That there is an unconscious will which is not simply self love, as Butler understands it but a strength of passion beyond what is explicit. There are hidden motives to be examined in terms of beliefs held. The deistic model of the universe is static i.e. there is a psychology which presupposes a given set of beliefs and values.
ai34 Expounding N., Strawson expounding Kant. Any commentary involves alteration in that it goes beyond the words said. I try to make N. intelligible. I assume he would be grateful for my efforts. It might be said that I misunderstand him in going beyond his actual words. But would his or anyone else's actual words be at all intelligible as they stood?
ai344& narticle 2 criticisms of narticle
ai9 On nationalities in B.G.E., still under spell of German nationalist tub thumping. Praise of Hegel and Schelling. Is one only to be counted profound if one lives by some metaphysical philosophy? Is there not something a bit counter reformation about this?
ai95 For all N.'s criticisms of Mill he belongs to a similar thought set. Mill was sympathetic to De Tocqueville and depressed by advancing mediocrity.
aj1 'The strong' lives in a way that is compatible with recognition of w to p. He lives in consciousness of his will and the need for it to be satisfied. Anyone may use morality to attack a form of strength to which he is opposed. Nothing wrong with that. ..In relation to my own will my own experience I have to see myself as strong. To be opposed to strength however it manifests itself is the essence of Christianity as N. sees it. morality of weak. In opposing the will of the strong it explicitly opposes its own will which is dishonest.
aj115 Marx v Stirner. Much as he rejects the present order, Marx is as despotic as an authoritarian conservative. He envisages a happiness in which the will to power is suppressed.
aj141 Anti N.eanism and the social position of the Jew. The feeling that someone who entertains these ideas may do us harm. Classic Jewish attitude to the holocaust. Look from the viewpoint of the self. One's values are a mixture of weak and the strong. Inevitably I want to defend myself against those who wish to do me harm. Morality is as good a way of doing this as any. Bullying is something to which I am prepared to have an aversion. The attitude of the Jew in gentile society.
aj174 Chiefs and Indians. In expressing a truth. Whoever first expresses a truth requires that other people accept this. Crowley's example. It is of the self as active will that part of N.'s doctrine. In a way profoundly satisfying. the w. to p. in its most conscious form. Crowley advances beyond N. in his living of an active will to power. He incarnates this as a form of knowledge. The Book of the Law was his supreme inspiration. Desire for your ideas to flourish in the world. Nearly always dishonesty here. Chiefs and Indians bit.
aj192* Narticle 2. N. and titanism.
aj197 Denial of w to p., happiness offered conditional on the acceptance of unacceptable assumption that there is no will to power. Accepting the will to power one is conscious of desires beyond those easily satisfied. say that each man recognises in himself a desire to become a god.
aj209 Crude will to power and will to power moralised, wanting not to be just another opinion. Different ways one may hope to achieve this. The priestly aim of setting up his views by dogmatic right, the philosopher's aims of rational argument. Rules of a game he feels he can win. having articulated objectives what are they likely to be? This is much up to the individual. some people may be solely concerned with athletics. The will to power will only take this form given certain interests. Two games the old, and the new old one considered repressive.
aj215 People tend to take N. out of context, seeing him from the point of view of a revolutionist, a child with fantasies of omnipotence.
aj25 Resemblance between Nietzscheanism and communism. For every N.an there are a hundred Marxists, pitting their certainties against the established orthodoxy. What the Marxist says is a vital question N. would not discuss. But there is something in common in the insistence on the importance of certain fundamental questions.
aj263& Taste in music
aj294 Marx conscious of the will to power but he deplores it, writing about the man from Holstein. What N. says is that a conscious w to p becomes inevitable given certain beliefs about human nature. The very communist equality thesis is one manifestation of it. i.e. springing from deprivation. This is how the equality thesis can alone become plausible.
aj302 Marx. To deny the w to p is to set up certain barriers, values. Well is the w to p in some and not in all? If it were not in those who claimed not to have it there would be no resistance if I try to take power from them. This is a perspective. Perhaps one has to argue, to convince, ad hominem. claim the theory is illuminating i.e. for you with your w to p and all such as it is. Not a theory to appeal to a soulless computer. For any number of theories may be applied as classificatory grids. A computer could hardly choose between them. Simplicity.
aj45 Will to power. To persuade by argument. The new agon. In one's will to power how far does one want to go? First one wants to set up the arena. Conscious will to power, priest, philosopher. Pindar versus Socrates. That the persuasion of others is a more satisfying exercise than the experience of a warlord. We must not consider that power available to the barbarian to be so much superior to that to the civilised man. As civilised we create our own myths about barbarians.
aj76 Similarities between Marx and N. Both believe in a reality which is not conscious reality behind conscious beliefs. Both therefore have the task of explaining clearly why conscious reality should change. Why my conscious reality should be this rather than that.
ak101 In saying a will to power is innate one is not simply rationalising one's own will to dominate. One is actually saying one does not want to learn, does not see why one has to learn or change. There is some order of things which offers its own ladders its own paths to all desirable satisfaction.... if you do not have a will to power why do you not allow yourself to be dominated by me? You cling to your own favoured power structure. You call it something other than power. Dialectic. Is to postulate a w to p the only way to overcome it etc. etc.
ak104& What do with his knowledge. Sanine. Use it for exhilaration? But then the opposite idea might be equally exhilarating. These the ideas without the scientific underpinning. Ideas thrown out like hypotheses or poetical fictions. These have an unstable hold. This very instability can have dangerous consequences leading off into all kinds of other ideas....N. can seem like a vast entrance hall with exits into many different rooms and corridors. A doctrine presented in prophetic mode is there for you.
ak115 It is ambition that discovers repression. the repression is not a repression of mere individual will. Not just that one person is in authority and another not. To an extent it is that, but the most important thing is that it is a denial that this is what it is. any peculiar logic may be justified to make unique statements that it is desired to make. Why should ambition be so concerned with enlightenment? Because it runs up against this flaw in the system of knowledge etc. etc.
ak13 w. to p. an epitomisation of his whole philosophy raising it to a new level of persuasiveness.
ak23& w. to p. does not define a goal for human life. Nor would it put anyone in the wrong. As a theory greater coherence and greater correspondence to the data. Each particular viewpoint in its assertion expresses a will to flourish which means towards power. It does not see the true end of life as revealed in any other way than as it is.
ak236 On w to p theory, that anybody thinks whatever they actually think and feel is not at all denied. If you were to think something other than the will to power, abandon your belief new forms of experience might be open to you. The concept of w to p serves a specific purpose to do with a particular kind of enlightenment and the desire thereof. There may be other desires it does not allow for such as the desire for experience. To satisfy that a different formula is called for.
ak262 Priestly motivation, crit. of w. to p. co-operative models to p insists on the importance of a fact which other theories prefer to ignore. Why is it insisted that this is not to be ignored? A will to power or a perverse will insists that recognition of this is essential to knowledge. it is not that the w to p theory is the expression of the desire of the ego to dominate. As if any other theory would do. It is the expression of a co-operative enterprise namely the scientific one.
ak271& Marx & Hegel
ak277 De Maistre. Berlin. As for his suggestion that N. is like De Maistre. N. is nothing like him. De Maistre is like Paul Johnson, he is for the Inquisition. But just as De Maistre is unpleasant, so N. is found unpleasant by people who feel he threatens the basis of their liberal and humane values. Really N. does no such thing. De M. does have a romantic fascination pointing out the appeal of the so called irrational. If I think some dominant idea is true then to me it is more than just a dominant idea. Irruption of light into the world.
ak290 De Maistre, N., to one who derives his own values from Jacobin ideology, however much modified and amended, these two may seem to pose a similar kind of threat. They both attack your own basic beliefs or basic faith, they might therefore both appear to be sinister nihilists, but they are extremely different and the societies they would favour would be very different. N... would be quite prepared to give the political sphere a form of autonomy without trying to derive it from religion or philosophy. Not a revolutionary.
ak310 Irrelevance of some of Nietzsche's criticisms of society to Georgian England. Historical changes, different contexts.
ak317 Oppression, Nietzsche's claim. Change is constant but there is a real standard against which change can be measured. There is a universal direction to the will. A will to power is something that can be oppressed. Oppressiveness of certain ideas that there is oppression that is a perception. That this ideas is oppressed is conceptually different. If you love Big Brother you do not consider him to be oppressive. The conception of it as monstrously oppressive springs from basic assumptions for whose priority one has to argue.
ak335 Will to power coefficient of forces. Not a tyrannical individual will. It is a demand for the logical space in which to operate. The gregarious spirit as intensely coercive. What the concept of w to p does is to legitimise a perverse or wayward will. If there were no will to power there would be no standard of truth.
ak352 Gregariousness. N's claim to truth I would say Nietzsche is not just hypothesis but scientific truth. And the object is to present his basic argument with such clarity that it cannot be ignored. That if it is opposed it is entirely clear what is being done what is disagreed with. In escaping from depressing ideas we can offer hope of certainty, rather than simply hitting on something that is 'right for you'. This is a highly significant and belligerent claim. Nietzsche made even more assertive and argumentative.
ak370 Simplicity need for N. If the ideas could only be grasped be simply understood. Then to confront opponents in argument.
ak379 Many different interpretations of Nietzsche, the Judaised N. of Jacob Golomb who perhaps treats him in a rabbinical way. It could be that Jews have different cultural needs from Gentiles, that a Jewish reading of N. is intrinsically different from say an English one. N. as a source of philosophical problems. Problems and difficulties about how his position can even be set up. Just as there is a Judaised N. so there is a feminine N. Much attention to detail. Niceness, modesty, humility.
ak45 Eliot’s Wasteland expresses a seething frustration with the condition of civilisation. To that extent it expresses a will to power. W to P involves fantasy of an alternative political order. Where there is not this massive pressure to a acquiesce in that in which one does not want to acquiescence. Jacobitism. Ackroyd's biography of Eliot.. Faux naive stupidity of the young fogy. Strength of conservatism in professing not understand his sense of decadence. dishonesty because of investment in the status quo. Deliberate stupidity. Oxford culture.
ak87 I would say that domination is precisely what Marxism is all about, that to point out the universality of will to power is a way of resisting that domination. One way of resisting anyone's claim to power is to establish an absolute tyranny of doctrine. To get satisfaction in that is to identify it with your own will to power. For Hegel, Nietzsche would be restricted to the mere understanding. A limited mode of thought.
ak92 Nietzsche In Anglosaxony (Bridgwater), diverse ways in which he can influence. Note how Thomas Hardy led the attack on N. in England in the first world war. Hardy was a noted Schopenhauerian. Of the writers discussed most misunderstood or half understood, indiscriminately mixing up the ideas of B of T with later thought. They respond to Nietzsche as a stimulating myth. As such he could easily become outworn. Two aspects, N. as stimulus, N as enlightener. Following message of egoism easily leads out of egoism to something else. no reason to expect coincide.
al125 Gobineau, affirmation, frustration. Decadence of the age, how it appeared to me as no doubt to many others. Oscar Levy interpreting Nietzsche in a eugenicist way. Authoritarian proto fascist (though anti German). Appeal of the Gobinist position. Frustration at being unable to achieve satisfaction in a decadent culture. One can live & one can be unhappy.
al137 Maudemarie Clark. Use of feminine third person pronoun instead of masculine where sex would not normally be determinate. Suggests the female as thinker, the female N.ean, the N.ean with periods. N. had many female admirers and so did D.H.Lawrence & Hitler. Not to speak of Wagner. Wittgenstein's Mrs Anscombe. Women hard to reject when they become genuinely attached and want to be friendly. N.ean ecstasies of the bluestocking.
al153 Nietzsche- Wagner dispute runs throughout modern civilisation. It can be applied to rock music. N.'s attitude towards Wagner. What he originally read into Wagner. The exhilaration that he felt which he naturally translated into his own cause. The interpretation put upon the mood is the matter for dispute. The excitement real enough. N. as religion. Zarathustra's myths are no good, they are much too titanic. Wagner's myths are no good either they are second-hand. See how those myths must be more moving to a German than to an Englishman
al210 Nordau. His belief in altruism. His venom against Nietzsche and his followers. 'Contradiction mania'. All his thought as symptoms of insanity.
al243 Ways of preserving Wittgenstein's insight while avoiding the vicious regress to which he can give rise. From this refer back to Russell's methods of dealing with paradox. His ad hoc rules. Digressing into Nietzsche. we find a better means of securing our position, namely one rooted in the facts, the reality of the world.
al255 Will to Power, simply that he intended this as the title of his last and greatest book suggests he saw the concept as the keystone of his philosophy. What is significant is that in life, human as well as animal, innumerable possibilities are suppressed. This is not a metaphysical proposition but a factual proposition of a most ordinary kind. Whatever crits N. makes of truth he insists on factual reality and the possibility of lying and falsification. I call the assertion of this proposition the doctrine w to p & any truth claim it possesses.
al257& N.'s motivation be it what it may. His truth claim springs out of the resistance this encounters. N. not always clear and consistent. Looking at the w. to p some of what is said can be grossly material (the one force). Some of this is so unacceptable that we can hardly take it seriously. Some of N.'s thought seems to operate on the level of Myth. Hegel on mythic thought. Not to veil truths. One ignores what one sees fit. Thought in a state of development. Embarrassing contradictory evidence for almost any thesis.
al267 Deducing particular opinions from the truth claim of the w to p. w to p is an essential anchorage point. As a principle it is superior to the enlightenment principle which is constructed out of thin air. w to p claims a basis in the constitution of things. from this point a great body of ideas and opinions take reference and stake their claim to authority.
al320 Nietzsche. dream. pantheon. Socialism cannot create a paradise. You cannot reform by ignoring the will to power. This very N.ean point that Foucault insists upon. Sixties architecture and its errors. By imposing a rationalist plan you don’t liberate you merely impose a new power structure. You do not do away with suppression.
al322 Every mental state simply is what it is. Will to power, we do not have to think of an unconscious force, but there is empirical context. Is it possible where there are two clear and available possibilities that one should not at all be taken? Human beings like plasticine.
al329 Wyndham Lewis's Tarr. Tarr's ideas expressed not very coherently, attempt to advance beyond Wilde and Nietzsche while being as witty as one and as wise as the other. The attempt is pathetic.
al345& w to p establishing truths of nature. A truth of human nature. Distorted by various factors. perspectives. Is there a divide between my earlier and my later way of looking at w to p? First as undistorted presentation of the facts of human nature. Second as an expression of the implicit conflict between all different viewpoints and values. The earlier position is not proof against sophisticated attack. w to p as scholastic concept. Need to avoid a relativistic position self refuting paradox. Wittgenstein, Russell's paradox.
al351 Scope for different papers on resistance to Nietzsche. Nordau and Nietzsche. Oxford and Nietzsche. Massive complacency. I want to turn Nietzsche into a liveable philosophy, a modern weapon. Who would use it? The maladjusted, resentful, inadequate, the misfit. See the explanation of Orwell's observation that English people tend not to need a philosophy of life, unlike people from other countries. Dominated by something extra individual something that could be analysed down to a philosophy if one chose.
al363 N.'s problem to get back to the Greeks while not being a decadent. Much physiological theory he absorbed like Nordau. All ambiguities in concept of decadence. Even in Case of Wagner themes I do not want to pursue. The physiological which must be irrelevant. Pseudo science unworthy of a great philosopher. Creative misunderstanding. Using the ideas of the science of his day as hypotheses to generate his own.
al369& A great philosopher is like a fractal, a Mandelbrot programme. Zoom in on some small part of his system that seems clear enough and it will be revealed to be far more complicated and fascinating. N.'s development from B.of T onwards. His greatest and most original works were the books of 1888 including some of the Notes published as the Will to Power. In these works he reached a pitch of clarification. He freed himself from some of the prejudice still clinging to B.G.E. Like respect for Hegel......
al370 Hostility to 'mechanistic world idiotising'. The world of infinite meaning. Very like a religious prejudice not hard thinking at all. All his development was away from this kind of prejudice. Whether he went too far that is another question. However much his sister distorted in the Will to Power if she did or not does it matter so much? Is it conceivable that the tough mindedness that was leading him into such clarity and insight might unchecked have led him away into a new decadence, a sterile form of illiberalism?
al380 Human all too Human, for all its brilliance in detail has not been particularly effective in the life of our culture, the effective works are the books of 1888. Even if N.'s understanding of Darwin was imperfect, perhaps even coarsened by Haeckel yet it is possible to state what he means by w to p in a way that relates him to Darwin quite precisely.
al50 To try & make Nietzscheanism more persuasive as argument. If not to persuade at least to throw down the challenge. N.'s truth claim. From the claim all else follows. Will to power as psychology. His truth consists partly of knowledge of possibility. Possibility is fact too. Will to power as psychology. We identify with the language of fact.
al82 The most destructive and bloodthirsty quote from N. never implies fascism, because it is only an appeal to the assertiveness of the individual will. Levels of argument. The side one is on. The arguments that have already been thought of. The need to strike, on to go ever further in pursuit not merely of originality but of victorious argument. N.s position does not begin with a truth claim. It begins with the assertion of a possibility which is contrary to orthodoxy and which we are invited to accept.
al91 See why the feminist should not be happy with Nietzsche. Because even if she exposes a whole lot of supposedly repressive power structures called patriarchy, she cannot accept that her feminism is itself a repressive power structure which no one need obey who does not feel like it. See how w to p works. I feel I need accept no idea or principle that I myself feel to be repressive.
al97 N.s opposition to orthodox doctrine. First of all its uncongeniality. Fellini's La Dolce Vita as immorality play. Liberating feeling of immorality not to do with the creation of a new morality. The feeling of the Italian renaissance or pagan Rome was the true Nietzschean affirmation....the way of vice rightly understood is the true joy of life. This truth is not reversed if we simply take some of the enjoyments from the Devil's side & moralise them turn them into virtue.
am103 What Spengler did to Chamberlain, what Derrida did to N. Creating a culture of hypothesis basing on a logical fallacy a fascinating construction like a non Euclidean geometry, something that gives permission to believe a great variety of things. But there can be a kind of Nietzschean core to it. Just as Spengler has a Chamberlainian core. Post modernist culture inspired by uncriticised idea, Spengler's claim to be a sceptic.
am121& In explaining what he means by w to p. N. criticises a number of concepts like will to self preservation usefulness which appear in Darwin but also in earlier writers. etc etc.
am144 Cruelty of D.H.Lawrence's doctrine. People used to have affairs, Lawrence says they should have divorces. And in pursuit of their sexual fulfilment they should be ruthless towards the people they discard. On one interpretation this could be seen as Nietzschean ruthlessness for democratic consumption. In its way a harsh form of sexual Puritanism. Even slave values in a way. Because repression is demanded and the kind of cruelty that justifies itself as being under orders. The done thing as the hopes it will be. etc etc.
am153& Norris on Modernism and post modernism. Not for the first time N. is promoted and attacked for ideas that were virtually the opposite of his own. In attacking relativism why not go to N., the very source of or a lot of these relativist ideas as is often supposed? And show that he has been completely misapplied. That will to power is far from giving sustenance to relativistic doctrines but is the most direct way to overcome them. Kant, feminism.
am248 Say N. favoured a certain type of struggle, the war of all against all. The struggle that he says is not really taking place. Idea that there is a guarantee that excellence will prevail. Worse the judgement that whatever has prevailed is thereby excellent and therefore deserves to have survived. the case of man extended to the rest of nature. Spencer who treated evolution adaptation as the end of individual life. Spencer not Haeckel as the main object of attack.
am255 N. and deconstruction. The use the left want to make of N.....N may believe in triumph but not the triumph of just anyone. Some people's triumph is incompatible with what he perceives as knowledge. ...we can tend to let in forgive the anarchist, even a Maoist. Be that as it may there are certain beliefs incompatible with w. to p and that should be made plain. That is the purpose of it. W to P as a teleological principle. It does place a limit on egoistic assertion. This is a limit that because of temperamental factors the N.ean does not...
am275 Nicolas on Benda's reprehensible misinterpretation of N. Wyndham Lewis. He talks of N. as vulgarising the notion of aristocracy. But might this not be a worthy thing to do? The values of Teutonic aristocracy to which even religion was subordinate. Once the essential value is understood why should it not be made more generally available? we value the idea to restrict it to the outward form is surely the real snobbery.
am287 N.ean ideas. Liability to misunderstanding. Massed forces of mediocrity. Strength of weak against strong. Strength of a misinterpretation. N.s objection to what he calls romanticism, described as the expression of the idea that it is better not to be than to be. The Schopenhauerian art of the 19th century. Yet could not the Schopenhauerian experience become the N.ean with very little modification? Both kinds of art offer release from a certain pressure. There is a quote where he realises this. Life and death as one.
am309 One & the same work of art may be enjoyed in a Nietzschean or a Schopenhauerian way. Way of slave or of master. Sch is not very different from N. What Sch sees as the rejection of life is for N. the rejection of life lived under certain conditions. The aesthetic experience to Sch an escape from the will is to N. an escape from those conditions. But for Hegel it is an exemplification of his own idea. He scribbles his name over it, so to speak.
am31 With N. beginning from his motive. How N. feels and how his opponents feel. A basic conflict between them which comes down to an argument, a dispute. Question that can be put. "Will you feel like N. if you accept his presuppositions or will you judge like him?" & contrariwise. We may express all this as hypothesis and not dogma. Then the basic question comes back "does one have authority and the other not?"
am310& The tyrant Hegel, the tyrant Wagner. Holding out against them. N. as hypothesis is vulnerable to simple contradiction. Some kind of orthodoxy as expressing will to power of the tyrant. And those under the tyrants spell. N. not a tyrant. Assent as feudal obeisance not servility. N. as eternal dissident. Proving himself against whatever is established. etc etc on the tyrant......the N.ean perspective is based on, sustained by, the doctrine that there is a will to power, a doctrine denied in the other perspective. This as a fact.
am53 Pervasiveness of slave culture. What in our culture do we have to accept? What values do we have to bow down to? What seems fixed, what common values should one accept? How far should one go in one's questioning? Can one go? This is the doubt programme on which N. was engaged. It is arguable that he came to doubt too much.
am96 Reading Houston Stuart Chamberlain, who is dishonest enough in his own way, I can see the essential dishonesty in Spengler. He sees himself as deriving from N. but there is more of HSC there. Idea of the value of creativity for its own sake. ...HSC is clear where it comes from and where he derives it, i.e. Kant. Spengler hides this source....People talk of applying the scepticism derived from Of Truth and Lying to N.s later thought. I suggest this may produce something that is exciting in the same way as Spengler's thought.
an107 Derrida's interpretation. Motto taken from Assassins. Antinomianism was, and could be, only one phase of the Assassins' existence. Sometimes they observed the letter of the law. Feeling that those academics who follow the New Nietzsche are addicted to strange intellectual cults that might express their interests as a class, but are remote from the interests of anyone else.
an124 Quote from Gorky, My Universities. "Compassion demands enormous sums of money being spent on unnecessary and even harmful people etc etc……Seven years later when I was reading Nietzsche I vividly remembered the philosophy of that policeman…etc ..His words about the harmful effects of compassion troubled me deeply, and firmly engraved themselves in my memory. I felt there was some truth in them, but I found it annoying to think that they came from a policeman" Pp83-5
an129 In Human all too Human he justifies a certain deviation, even degeneration, in terms of its possible usefulness to society. Later on he saw things differently. Decadence he would see in terms of morality of the weak, demoralising and obstructing the independent will. Usefulness to the rest of society is an irrelevance. N. reflects the science of his time, and some of the things he says are identified with his own particular doctrine only because people no longer read the writers of the day. Relevance to prohibition, Free spirit, a value of freedom.
an147 People read Nietzsche and they respond to him, but they cannot express, cannot renew, what was really inspiring . Partly because the concepts are not good enough. He is not easy to apply like Schopenhauer. Easy confusion of spirit and letter. A philosopher was what he really aspired to be.
an179 It is said that the task he set himself of overthrowing Christianity and restoring paganism was far too much, and broke him. But think what Archimedes said about moving the world.
an187 Present him as the enemy of the culture of hypothesis. People seem to want to use him to give themselves permission for all kinds of assertions. Relaxation of tension. What I would like to suggest is that his transvaluation was not a task beyond human capacity, that it was something akin to a problem in mathematics. Assuming the will to power, in fact, in reality. So I would say he is actually the precise opposite of the permission many people take from him. The thoroughness of his challenge. People take bits from him and ignore the challenge. Also claim authority for their own prejudices. Every other rationalism should feel insecure. Are you prepared to see all your views as the expression of your will to power? None of this need overthrow what is socially valuable, decent feelings, political order.
an201½ Nietzsche's immoralism and Solzhenitsyn's moralism do not really conflict. The morality that Nietzsche hates is altruistic morality. That there is another kind of morality and immorality is quite plain. Solzhenitsyn's is a necessary cry of pain, the proof that this so called beautiful dream is really horrible. One can desire to be a martyr, as De Sade desired to be a martyr for atheism. The greatest proof, demonstrating to the proponents of this love ideal that they are oppressors, that the perspective which says they are is a sound one, borne out by fact.
an283 Derrida says that Nazism was one way of pursuing the N.ean project. I think we can deny that categorically. Nietzsche had nothing to do with projects of that order. It is like identifying him with Arsenal as against Tottenham. Nazism is hardly one thing, It was a lot of different people, doing and thinking different things.
an3 Notes of W to P the richest source of N's insights, i.e. the unfinished the unpolished. The deconstructive reading of Nietzsche cuts him free from his anchorage i.e. what to him is the most important point he wants to make. It allows the self confidence he gives to his own central position to be shifted into any one of a variety of other positions to which we may happen to be attracted. So N. is thereby enabled to unite with Hegel.
an347 N. and dancing. Praise of dancing in Zarathustra. As a young professor Nietzsche enjoyed a season of dancing and dining. The typical English view is that for a man to enjoy ballroom dancing is a sign of effeminacy or mania. The anarchic wildness of much of his thought. Yet his social interpretation of Beethoven's Ninth, his reconciliation with the multitude. His appreciation of French court life. Could Zarathustra's uncouth energy expend itself in such a manner?
an98 Nietzsche's challenge. Idea that for full understanding one has to sympathise with his aggressive motive. But if you do not sympathise then you are like the one he aggresses against. Every though, every position, is like a series of steps in a language game. Disagreement is when certain moves are considered not to follow. To say the choice is always there is an assertion with very little content. The attempt to force an argument. Ignoring him is a possible position, but not a philosophical one. It is essentially the position he opposes. He wants to force everyone into argument, to force every opposing position to defend itself. What he says may conflict with what he means to say. What he means to say may be a more effective challenge than what he actually says, Derrida notwithstanding. What he means to say is to throw down a challenge.
ap132 Reading Argusty's The Nietzschean roots of Stalinist Culture was a revelation. Something I had obscurely divined. Russia, all that attracts. think of the possibility that this could be Nietzschean elements deliberately built in. ..Collectivism. Attitudes to rock. As to revolution. one may emphasise Dionysian collectivity or individualistic rebellion. One might say this is another example of the evil of N. I would say that on the contrary it shows N.s superiority to Marx.
ap123 N. and Soviet Culture. Mayakovsky, god seekers and god builders. Idea that N.ean individualism and communist collectivism are compatible. This most fundamental Hegelian and Marxist idea......
ap177 Deleuze. N.ean culture. Placing him in his time, even that is perhaps too great a task for individual man. N. as modernist. That is hardly acceptable either. For so called modernism became institutionalised as something positively ugly. Art that conceived in N.ean terms cannot hold itself as such. It gets perverted into something else.
ap179 Loss of self involved in the postmodernist project. So much like the merger in Wagner's collectivity...by removing crucial pins from N.s philosophy this assimilation can easily take place.... they say we read back N. into De Sade. Thus seeing N. and his significance very differently from the way in which I see him. Like an idealist history of philosophy. As if N simply determines a mind set. Just makes a way in which we think just as we could have thought in another way.
ap186& Misunderstandings So often one looks at an account of N. and is impressed, intimidated at first by erudition. ..To say that N. failed is to oppose him to set up an opposing philosophy to his own. To take up the kind of position it can hardly be denied that he understood. To say, e.g. that moralism is necessary transvaluation impossible or unachieved, that his task cannot be completed and therefore his enemies win....If one does not accept him one is opposed to him and therefore subject to his attacks. One is an enemy.
ap196 From the moralistic viewpoint the N.ean someone to be feared. When the N.ean says he has no concern for morality it is not understood what he is rejecting, what is actually desired is probably not much different. 'Desire' is just classified differently. Rauschning. ...the idea that Nietzscheanism is so much to be feared, is all related to clinging to a picture a picture he wants to encourage us to discard.
ap206 Nazism not N.ean even in its evil. N.ean propaganda was part of their trickery.
ap234 Jack London's Martin Eden. The Nietzscheanism he preaches is protonazism. More Spencer than Nietzsche.
ap249 Deleuze. How to turn Nietzsche into Wagner.
ap25& N. has to privilege his perspective. Deconstruction etc
ap334 Stalinist Nietzscheans. When I think about what can be so consoling about Russia and the old Soviet Union I found it surprising when it was explained to me how much N. there is in it.
ap339& Attack on Bruno. Insufferable breeziness. Artsybashev saying he prefers Stirner. Twilight best book. BGE. not yet found his full voice.
ap353 Staten on tyrannophilia. Idea of logic of N.s position leading to indiscriminate affirmation.
ap375 N. and the variety of readings. Yet he does not read like someone who can be read in all kinds of different ways. When I feel I understand I feel as if I have understood correctly. So this feature must be taken into account
ap50 Newman's life of Wagner. Defence of W against N. Treating as 'The Nietzscheans" people like Baumler.. Nazi interpretations. In saying that N.'s musical taste was deficient he says something aggressive. He suggests that if N.'s taste was better he would have become a true Wagnerite. Like with Hegel...N.s philosophy offers an alternative to the whole Wagnerian musical culture. Individualism, the extreme insistence on the individual, this return to the Greeks, combat, agon...Wagnerian culture not satisfying for someone who does desire his …
b112 N.ean elitism versus Christian
b116 seeing N. as a Christian a result of not taking him seriously enough
b76 underestimating English. English writers.
bb76 Ideals, poisons cures. Zuni. What is health?
bb81 Medium, perspective for deeper appreciation of our cultural heritage. Alternative to being a Christian or a humanist.
c173& Reading Nietzsche is like being spiritually recharged, an overdose is like speed not without the hangover. It inspires to go out and do other things if the inspiration is pushed to the stage of freneticism then energy is too great to find a controlled outlet and turns in on itself short-circuiting.
c210 Compare with Marx and Freud as gurus. Not a truth but a formula
c7 Orc cycle. Perhaps N. tried to cling on to his metaphysical ideas, his superman and his eternal recurrence, the male and female of his system.
cc108 In last parts of W. To P on value of human types. Traces of unscientific Lamarckism. Even Huxley among Darwin’s followers never makes the mistake of deducing shallow ideas of progress from the theory of evolution.
cc15 Dionysian music.
cc45 She says that Nietzsche would obviously appeal to someone like me with my resentment and sense of inadequacy. He would encourage me to put on superior airs. Defence against this criticism.
cc91 His rationalism. Scientific criticism of human values. Rational criticism from a completely atheistic viewpoint. having cake and eating it.
dd124 Wittgenstein shows possibility, but essential reason for doing anything comes down to will and here we are with N.
dd130 N.'s Dionysus in its later signification is the great counter symbol to Buddha.
dd183 Nietzsche says the fundamental wrong is defect of power i.e. one becomes demoralised as the reflection of a defect in power howsoever caused and not as the result of some mystery opaque to the understanding. Charlatanry and priestliness. The monopolising of moral power in the hands of those adhering to a particular idea or interpretation. The destruction of the possibility of any intellectual rational criticism inculcation of mindlessness to induce conformity.
dd73 Sanine. Edwardian egoism, healthy clarity of N. Sanine's philosophy far more limited than N.'s
dd79 Goethe as prophet, making religion redundant. Thus an important precursor of N.
ee112& Muggeridge described by Trevor Roper as an intellectual nihilist. Seeing religion as a possible restorative. perhaps fearing mental emancipation as leading to bolshevism. N. on holy lies, The Laws of Manu. Dishonesty in trying to use Christianity as a Nietzsche type doctrine
f90 Systems. N.'s stylistic heroes. Aphoristic style. Idle intellectual pleasures? What he says in favour of that style. His mind flashes with such speed that perhaps that is the best style for it. he is not really uncommitted unlike them.
ff208 N says the philosopher does not strive after women, wealth fame, etc which is not to say that they do not come to him of their own accord Joyful Wisdom 290 on perfecting one's character.
ff288 Not so much difference between Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. Pain of desire. Hedonism and intellectual life.
ff71 Evolution of concept of Dionysus from god of the high places. Later that higher synthesis of Dionysian Apollonian the finest fullest expression of maximum concentration of spiritual energy.
gg208 N. is against the false rationale of changing values. He does not want to change, he wants to reach the point outside. Not just the instinctual wholeness of Bradley, which leaves a lot to intuition, but a clearer logical framework such as led via Russell, Frege etc to Wittgenstein.
gg210 Ambition to change the direction of the western intellectual consciousness away from Hegel and towards N. and Wittgensteinian logic. N.s theory of transformations. Hegel for those who want to believe.
gg96 Antichrist written to show how wrong it is to attempt to correct shallow rationalism by a retreat into this gross piece of self humbuggery (Christianity)
ii130& Quotes on nihilism, antibodies, decadence, giving style to personality.
ii141 Does N.s concept of lying presuppose an unconscious mind? No. Difference between an act of self deception which can be sorted out by a moment's serious reflection and something which has to be elicited after a long and patient process of analysis. His devil is the crucified. He makes it as impossible to be happy while espousing Christian ideas as Christian symbolism makes it ... while espousing Satanic ideas.
j18 Kaufmann. misunderstanding. Once described as definitive.
kk240 Fascism not really ideology. It was a form of action. Both Hitler and Mussolini as Nietzschean adventurers who utilised all the methods of socialism for an anti socialist end, namely to put egalitarian socialist propaganda out of business.
kk286 W.To P quote superiority of culture resting on acknowledged immorality. II p203 discussion of this
kk52 Letters, unhappy relations with women.. Strindberg
kk61& N.ean consciousness last section of book
nn61 Test of affirmation. Irrelevant for those who do not have what they need. Is there any proof that those with power are happier than those with little?
nn65 How convincing when young. His account of the degeneracy of the modern age. Yet others were equally strongly convinced by other things. Like primal therapy.
oo157 Inevitably the N.ean is against the masses. Their prejudices will be different depending on their different backgrounds. Does N.ean sympathy range extend to all other N.eans? If he does he will support such measures of social welfare as help his own.
oo181 Sticking to your guns. Order of rank, sex war.
oo33 Brinton on Nietzsche, saying that the adolescent admirer of N. grows into one who sees that ordinary life that once looked so deadly dull and despicable in fact has enough to offer to make it acceptable. That is well expressed but it does not reflect my experience.
pp127& Not elitist in the sense the aesthetic movement was. He does not in reality wish to consign the mass of humanity to oblivion. Gnostic parallel. Russell v. Nietzsche. Russell's lordly assumption that the enlightened intellectual is somehow responsible for the welfare of the mass of mankind. How is it possible for the many to suffer in the interests of the few anyway? This century the suffering of the many in the supposed interests of the many.
pp149 Not a snob. Cowper Powys who remarked that Nietzsche overvalued a lot of second rate French writers. Overvalued the French enlightenment, insufficiently aware of the English one. Not a conservative nor an aesthete.
pp155& Operates against backcloth of conventional values. Seeking more than the conventional scale offers. w. to p. means an incompatibility between the maximum fulfilment of each. What the will to power thesis maintains is that the spring of human action is something that transcends all conventional scales of values and that these scales are to be explained in accordance with it. Ergo a Nietzschean is one who lives in accordance with this knowledge. In conventional terms he seeks power. etc etc.
pp170* Heidegger's attack on N. in Introduction to Metaphysics. German nationalism. Need felt by many German writers to praise everything German because it was German. Heidegger very guilty. He admires N. yet N. attacked virulently that kind of nationalism. Having eventually managed to emancipate himself from it quite. So N. gets condemned for his rationalism and his programme quite rejected in favour of exciting action.
pp55 'The Last Man'. surely a condemnation of present reality? How can people claim to have absorbed N. when they are content with so little, allowing their doubts and frustrations to be soothed away by material and sensual gratification & approval of peer groups etc etc.
pp62 N.'s healing mission. Gnostic healing mission against the ideological poisons of the day. N. is the great opponent of similar poisons which operate today.
pp87 Intolerant taste, negative forces in modern culture.
qq16 N.ean against slave values. providing the context for aesthetic enjoyment. Baroque architecture. To feel myself one of the elect. But the excluded always feeling put down, the whole outlook is poisoned. All power is Nietzschean.
qq37 Dangerous dualism of Dionysus versus the crucified. Heroic ages.
qq76& Recklessness and daring. Sorel quote, anti bourgeois.
ss161 If N.s knowledge is not scientific knowledge or psychological knowledge, is it historical knowledge? I would want to claim something more universal than that.
ss21 Jung's Freudian criticism of Nietzsche, that never having come to terms with the father image, he forms a new image in replacement of God, which is simply his deified self. Many Freudians would say that N.'s psychology is that of a sick personality, that the concepts Ubermensch and will to power spring from narcissistic fantasies of omnipotence. That springs of healthy behaviour lie in imitation in conformity to accepted values and in competition within their context. His biography, absence of a father, unsatisfactory sexual identity.
ss28 Nietzsche as anti Plato, different forms of elitism. The platonic ideal is really oppressive because it does not allow the intellectual space to disagree with the propaganda.
ss76 Sutton says that Nietzsche's account of the origin of different kinds of values is original but crude by modern standards. I think he has hit upon a fundamental law. But perspective is all important. Why adopt N.'s perspective? It goes deeply against many deep rooted prejudices.
tt103& Daybreak. La Rochefoucauld etc. court life In Daybreak he shows compatibility of his ideas with humane feelings. check refs
tt2& N.ean reformation. exhilaration writing book. love of N.
vv162 Mozart etc. Beethoven's revolutionary spirit. Francophilism. With his delicate metabolism he could appreciate the French salon but not the English tavern where much wisdom may be exchanged. Part of N's appeal for me is that he is good for my morale.
vv6 One is free to reject N. but one must know what one is rejecting. One is free to reject Darwin and Copernicus and some do. To see N's type of truth in the way the Hegelian tradition sees it solely as ideology is to distort and weaken N's position. To suggest that the truth he claims is that of an ideology or a replacement religion. His claim is more modest yet firmer and stronger than that
xx24 Spinoza, will to power. N.ean idea that it is right to stimulate the passions and emotions even where the result is acute frustration. Influence of Hobbes on Spinoza. Avoiding civil war relativising all your concerns. As if in general you can have no reason for expecting other people to share your interests attitudes opinions. N. argues against such a position. Will to power as objective fact. N.'s ideal bears some relation to Spinoza's only it is less bloodless.
xx263 The N.ean has a sort of scientific claim, but how trustworthy is that? What else is its demand for legitimacy? Other perspectives. How to escape relativism.
xx270 Nietzscheanism not simply ideas to be thrown into the democratic forum to be judged on the basis of interest. Their interest to some will easily be outweighed by the interest of other things to others. The democratic process would cancel you out.
xx37& Spinoza' a universal scale of values by which all emotional conflict can be judged and found wanting. N.s objection to him. Passion and frustration are useful. They match what is most important, far from being an irrelevance. They are not merely personal in significance but relate quite essentially to whatever cause you identify with. etc
xx81 Kaufmann said that N. greatly valued courtesy. N. has a tendency to make the kshatriya primary. Is it possible that he let himself be led astray by his attachment to images? Power, Socrates etc.
yy197 Cuppitt suggests that Nietzsche was trying to devise a new faith or religion based on total affirmation & that perhaps he went mad because in his total honesty he tried to affirm too much. But then affirmation must not be a faith, at best it is only a mood.
yy231 German criticism of the values and institutions the Anglo-Saxon takes for granted springing from the frustration of lack of external success. Carlyle Germanophile. Socrates. Attempt to alter the pecking order of society in favour of the philosopher. There is the N.ean case against this that it is a kind of priestly censorship a restriction on natural aristocratic power. But then is not philosophy the highest expression of aristocratic power?
yy251 N.'s limitations. Suggestion that he is insufficiently philosophical, that it is really psychology that is his forte. The coldness and hardness of philosophy can offer historical opportunities for whatever forms of life we might desire to flourish. N. has a reactionary quality which is unsatisfactory. He praises instinctive unreasoning rightness
yy92 Classical reality. Jacobin ideal of creating reality by imposing a fantasy upon reality. This idea of creating reality this was new in the world. See it put into philosophical form in the philosophy of Hegel. But for those who like Machiavelli and Thucydides we have a different conception of truth. N. roots it in master morality Stirner in detachment from abstract ideas, in the enlightenment principle. All these relate to neoplatonic conceptions. Throughout much of the history of our civilisation the neoplatonic ideal etc etc.
zz187 N. speaks of the strong versus the weak but why should we take the side of the strong? Because the viewpoint of the strong can give us clearer more comprehensive understanding? We have to take account of Marxist relativisation of values.
zz259& N. I always knew to be right because he responded to my innermost being. Perhaps there was some deep personality similarity. My agreement with him was more than merely intellectual. The fact that someone else could say so clearly what I myself thought and felt was a revelation that these thoughts and feelings must be true. It is like a throwing overboard of superstition of the Christian moral superstitions that cling like flies to virtually all western culture. N. and criminals. etc etc. quote from Augustine
zz293 Master morality and criminality. Those who deny N. are obscurantists. N.ean affirmation. Satanistic affirmation. tantra. All in the context of repressive religion and morality. The peculiar kick. N. not innocent.
zz310 N. as heir of Christianity. Brings to consciousness the natural assumptions of a disappearing culture. Thus the possibility of what is of most value in them being recreated. Function of religious ritual. Thus N. is the product of Christianity perhaps not fully comprehensible without it.
zz324 Marenbon on Proclus and Pseudo-Dionysius in Early Mediaeval Philosophy. Dionyius given to assertion not argument. Crowley too is a mystic given to assertion not argument. The mystics of N.eanism. The inherent interest of a lot of his ideas partly as drawn from a tradition which has been decisively rejected since World War 2. All his work as a kind of lyric poem, a species of intoxication. Underlying ideas, fundamental ideology, is presupposed and is very largely Nietzschean
zz359 Dionysian v. Apollonian cultures. Consider the argument that N.s whole conception of the will to power, the later formulation of the Dionysian, describes only the male or masculine psychology. The will to power is supposed to underlie all, but its conscious expression is said to be a sign of superiority. Feminine expresses itself through a different mode of power from the Apollonian. One can conceive a type for whom the Apollonian represents the highest expression of power
zz38 marasmus femininus
zz69 In Human all to Human N. reveals a very strong Goethean influence. Here is the cheerfulness naiveté, complacency. Goethe's attempt at a new religion. Amiable even a bit soft.
zz79 Nietzsche says that the attitude of the mediocre to the man of superior intellect is not respect or envy, but to regard him as quite superfluous.
aq42 Socrates rejection of tradition. Nietzsche's position on this in B of T. His Wagnerian conservatism. Traditionalism, pretence of a long perspective. Religious conservatism as plebeian perspective Attacking rationalism, attacking the sophist culture he later defends. A class perspective claiming superior wisdom. Claiming knowledge about the deepest sources of life and its decline, as if these are to be controlled. As if some people's will to power must be suppressed. Aeschylus and his knowledge of the Eleusinian mysteries But one feels closer to Socrates. Obviously some will to power must be suppressed but one looks for an intelligible basis on which to insist on that. Democratic resentment of the free thinking and libertinism of the rich. The attack on Socrates. Rich subject to envy.
aq70 N. as solution. The concealing of the solution. French education system which reduces him to a cliché, to something supposedly refuted. Nietzsche’s increasing illiberalism to do with the increasing illiberalism of the society around him.
aq99 Thomas Mann in 1947. How could someone with the mind of Mann so crassly misunderstand N? Or did he have so great a mind after all? His portrayal of N’s message as will and instinct against all restraint. He agrees with Mobius’s Pathography. ..Early N's idea of the Dionysian and its link with Wagner. This how he originally felt he could achieve his objective. Then he came to see his mistake, with greater discrimination.
aq119 Ascheim's book The Nietzsche Legacy in Germany. On the Jews as when N says they could take the leadership of Europe. Distinction between Dionysian and will to power Nietzscheans. Why is the conservative so opposed to Nietzsche, so concerned to distort him? Because any form of radicalism is a threat to his sources of satisfaction. Rauschning. Mann in 1947. It is also alleged that the desire to establish an authentic Nietzsche is misconceived This must be wrong. Look at it from the viewpoint of whatever N's intentions were or might have been. Could one imagine him producing a body of writing that was meant to be completely open-ended? Surely this would be unlikely in the extreme. The interpretation one takes should be his considered criticism of his earlier position. The real point may be what one oneself believes. ..there are clearly different ideas each of which are in a sense interpretations of N., but which stand on their own as defended positions.
aq126 Problem of N. interpretation as a central philosophical problem. Why are there so many interpretations? N. and the shocking things he says. Point is that one does not want as such to say that he should not have said them. In no way would one want to see them as forms of sickness or disorder. One assimilates him, or could do so.
aq154 From his On the Jewish Question one can see a lot of what Marx's appeal consists of. Human rights do not liberate or rationalise the whole man. They do not get rid of detritus like religion which can still form the basis of what people want to do with their freedom. Perfected such a state just becomes 'Jewish' ie atoms in competition with each other. Against this way of thinking what can we say? Basically that we loathe it because it is oppressive in a way that it does not admit. That Stalin's gulags are just the gross macrocosmic expression of a tyranny that is there at the germination. It is not that one is a bourgeois, just a human being with various concerns. I hate it from some position or other no matter what that is and can prove on an objective basis. With Nietzsche easy to lose the thread as soon as one loses the anger, as soon as one thinks of just different theories. Nietzsche as a major force in the world is like opposition to, hatred of, the Hegelian. But so many things the motive can be confused with. Like the Heideggerian concern to avoid 'hearsay'. Existentialism and its motive. This particular concern with not behaving like the conforming masses as adolescent concern. Heidegger's concern with being an individual not incompatible with nazi party membership. Nor perhaps was Nietzsche's, but in a different way.
aq166 See Nehamas' attempt to explain what N. means and how it may be though nearly right. Idea of a standard of truth like a moral demand or a monopoly. But at its very best this is no more than one of N's attempts to construct a conceptual framework within which what he wants to say may be possible. But it doesn't work.
aq369 Axel (Villiers de Lisle Adam) Splendid illustration of Schopenhauer's essential message of negation and how it should be reversed. This pride, this rejection of commonality, this intensely aristocratic work. What is rejected as 'life' is really democratic vulgarity. Schopenhauer's own pride and pique finding further expression. The mystical life as a turning away from the common life. This is only a symbolic death. The rejection is essentially a rejection of symbols. This intense pride that takes to the limit its shocking rejection of normal values. See how N. himself manages the transvaluation. He turns Schopenhauer into affirmation. How? By giving us something to read. He manages to reproduce much of the effect Sch produces by a radical negation. The Schopenhauerian rejection may seem more aesthetic than the Nietzschean, prouder, more effective. In film A Fish Called Wanda brainless gangster Otto is reading BGE in bed.
ao4& Project N's philosophy into the future, counter all objections. Idea that affirmation (the Lingam) should be the centre of our religion. The first thing to do is to animate N's motive. The sense of oppression and constraint that he would feel under egalitarian pressure. To say there is no adequate reason why I should put up with this. The principles on which he settles claim authority over others. I see the will to power as the logical and factual foundation of the Nietzschean future. The new sages or shamans, the philosophers of the future. That the viewpoint of mediocrity is not absolute, that there is a need to which art speaks. With the will to power we are to argue down the pretensions of the doctrines that do us down.
ao18 See how nineteenth century German metaphysics forms a unity and a continuing discussion. Hegel's History of Philosophy Stirner's Ego and His Own, Marx's German Ideology Schopenhauer's World as Will and Idea Hartmann's Philosophy of the Unconscious, except for Schopenhauer, hard to follow, largely a turgid trudge through arid realms of metaphysics. But some of the most important questions are treated, great issues like optimism v pessimism, affirmation v negation, collectivism v individualism, orthodoxy v dissidence. The turgidity of Stirner or Marx is nothing special, it is typical. And these discussions of nineteenth century Germany sometimes repeat those of ancient India. What Nietzsche did, we can say, was to write about these issues in a much clearer style. Therefore his concern with style, with the clarity of French thought. In this great movement of 19th century German metaphysics minor figures like Stirner and Hartmann are actually extremely important. Academic philosophers take the matter differently and treat them as negligible. Mainstream philosophy ignores such figures quite often because it comes to embody vast assumptions, ie it presupposes the rightness of one side in the argument. To look just at the major figures as if they represented the philosophy of the time, is to miss out crucial minor figures who were essential to the whole discussion that was being carried on. As if the great figure is necessarily more right than his minor opponent. It may be that the minor figure has a position that only requires a genius to defend it better.
ao52 Nietzsche's ideas as something other than a historical curiosity. Rather like that holusion art. The oppressive confusion replaced by a clear principle. How I envisage this as taking place. Not as producing a revolution. A means of securing detachment. Nothing needs to change dramatically. Opponents have to be fought. Artists inspired by N. So called inspiration behind modernism. But modernism just turns into some gregarious cult with its homosexual mafia. Try to see how N could become popular. How we could have these ideas as once we had Thatcherism. Raw capitalism of Hayek or Milton Friedmann. Even the yuppie ideal was inspiring in some respect. Nietzschean point of view. One does not participate in the modern culture insofar as one rejects it as decadent. This holds out the possibility of something much more immediately satisfying, not from the viewpoint of manic elation but a calm enjoyment. If enjoyment is being held down by this pressure to accept mediocrity then identify the pressure and create a powerful enough counter perspective and a most intense immediate enjoyment should be possible. A consciousness of strength comparable to those of the great creative eras of the past. Nietzsche praises Italy because he did not like Germany. The German town did not delight him as it delights me. The Catholic culture, with its aristocratic rather than good burgher basis, which excited him aesthetically. Identify the pressure and create a counter perspective. With a little effort if this could become a significant cultural movement then it could be strong enough to repel the pressure and promote a strong happiness, relief from a nagging pressure. More than is offered by the art as escape principle. Art as escape has a quality of unconsciousness about it. Aesthetic relief comes partly from escaping the constraints of the present in some way or other, even if only articulating them clearly. Here is the virtue even of feminist art.
ao55 The fact that N can revel in the idea that his writings might provoke wars responsible for the deaths of millions of people, that he is prepared to admit being evil in that sense, does not mean his ideas do promote that sort of thing. Such immorality may be entirely harmless…. Poland, Italy. Catholicism as going together with aristocracy, ie with a degree of personal despotism. .. Talking to the day after tomorrow ie to us today. Today there is no threat of terrible wars. In his own day he saw the culture he valued had no future, that his own class was doomed. We now today. Not that anything has been resolved, certainly. Nothing has begun. Why we can say that the artistic etc elites are as decadent as anything else. Power of mediocrity again. The whole of society pervaded by mediocrity, every institution. To be expected. The problem is the prevailing order by which this mediocrity is supported.
ao106 Get rid of Christianity, said Nietzsche, and we can look again at the Jews. That they should have their own culture is fine, we can learn from it.
ao108 Misogynies of
Victorian and Edwardian era. The
power of women in society
expressing itself though religious bigotry and moralism. The intensity of the hatred, as expressed in Sredni Vashtar (Saki) and Baa Baa Black Sheep (Kipling). What Nietzsche did not adequately recognise, the need for female education if this was to be cured.
ao114 Decadence of the instincts in relation to Socrates and the Greeks.
ao126 Bataille's adoption
of eternal recurrence. Different
of the will to power. My own
paranoid interpretation. The French way tends more toward despotism. The French intellectual
has more freedom of a despotic sort. He can indulge in nihilism and paganism and meet with indulgence. The English one is faced with Christian pressure, the assaults of new Christian morality. For the despot, will to power operates as it were in a vacuum. Interpretations of N. Basic duality, the conflict between England and France. France and its culture of autocracy, aspiration to and admiration of the freedom of the autocrat from Louis XIV to Sartre. Ecole Normale system of producing philosophers. Hothouse method of artificial creation. Hostility faced by intellectuals in England gives a different perspective. …. Foucault, French intellectual identifying will to power with the peculiar position in which he finds himself, this abnormal accumulation of power, this access to the media. To identify this with will to power as such is ridiculous. To say that this is what N. means, that this is what he is talking about. French Nietzsche and the French De Sade are different from the English versions. They each exist in a different cultural context. Etc etc.
ao142 See the bad way in which Nietzsche, like Foucault, can appear. When he is seen as directing his will against yours rather than for you. See how from his viewpoint a hostile ideology & pressure to accept mediocrity & morality of the weak depress. This not because it frustrates any unreasonable ambition. The only degree to which he wants to alter the power hierarchy is so far as recognition of the truth will make a difference. In putting an end to falsification he would change some things. My strength is such as I have got, within the context in which I operate. I cannot pretend to have more. Ideology of total equality, dogma that one man is as good as another. The ideology cannot stop at achieved political rights. Nor even at the above dogma. Space to despise. Encouragement of form of art forms of consciousness which recognise this. Among like minded people who want this who feel oppressed by the zeitgeist.
ao261 Nothing fascist in Nietzsche. Put it this way. The rejection of Nietzsche on the grounds that he is fascist leads to something odious. To the idea that repressive morality is necessary.
ao270 Flaw in Michael Tanner's book, Nietzsche. He finds GM the most original, fails to find originality in the books of 1888. He sees a contradiction between the desire to affirm and the contempt for the mundane. I would say he makes of it too personal a philosophy, he fails to show its compelling quality or its coherence. He is too arrogant and personally obtrusive. This is a fault of innumerable writers on Nietzsche and is obviously caused by the nature of Nietzsche's ideas. Feeling he has grasped Nietzsche's principles, he feels he can dispense judgements like Nietzsche, but one is somehow not interested. Finding fault with Nietzsche, if one misunderstands one can do that. Nietzsche is comprehensible on several different levels of misunderstanding. His leading concepts can be made to seem almost arbitrary, just a set of absorbing hypotheses. Why intelligent people so fail to grasp Nietzsche's purport requires explanation. I would say that Tanner misunderstands affirmation. Affirmation is of own life, which is largely a matter of resistance. It is not a mater of affirming everything in the world or not immediately. Insofar as ultimately there is a mood where I affirm what I hate it is because I enjoy the struggle. Affirmation is not approval. He can lead in to the reading of Nietzsche. He mentions E. Anscombe's silly suggestion. as well as attacking the Critique of Practical Reason. He understands Nietzsche to the extent of being strongly influenced by GM. To an extent he can rest content with that hypothesis. He does not move on to paranoid insecurity.
ao275 Wagner's influence on other creative spirits, King Ludwig, Nietzsche, Hitler. The idea of Wagner takes wing from the music, from his own specific tyrannical ideas. Newman's suggestion that the young N. was undersexed. (in The Life of Richard Wagner vol 4) Idea he should have done more dancing, played more tennis and snooker. The whole suggestion is that certain values are just natural. A flat avoidance of Nietzsche's critique of values and his desire for power. Suffering from conventional values in the sense perhaps of being inadequate to them, he opposes them and proposes something better. Conventional, so called natural, values are revealed as historically transient, relative. To try to bring him under such values is to ignore his critique It is to embrace precisely what he opposes. Newman sees The Case of Wagner as a vulgar polemic, like low journalistic abuse. He does not recognise that N. saw flaws in Wagner's ambition and opposes to it what is really a saner ambition.
ao280& Tanner. All very well saying that Kant's Critique of Practical Reason is a terrible book, that GM is N's masterpiece and N.'s view of morality sound. But the moralistic view is capable of defending itself. Tanner sees no serious development after GM. Different ways of reading GM. The disturbing way in which it seems he wants to set loose wild tigers upon us because he finds them magnificent. In fact his political views were like Bonapartist, which was entirely respectable and liberal enough for his time and place. It is explained how subjugation of the blond beast produces bad conscience, self mortification, the phenomena of a morality of the weak. Looking at the effects of these on barbarians I am looking at other people not at myself. The diseases of the will which one identifies one could imagine as affecting oneself. But we misunderstand if this is taken as suggesting that one's will should be other than as it appears to be.
ao299 GM, the ascetic ideal. The closing sections. Like the attack on the ideal of truth which can seem to give support to deconstruction. How Nietzsche can dismay by seeming to support the opposite of what you make him support. Think harder and you can make it fit. The attack on the ascetic ideal is concerned with affirmation. The 'will to truth' can present itself as a form of asceticism, ie moralism. Many criticisms of N. are in fact right, ressentiment was present in him, but it is not a refutation. Draw together, reconcile, conflicting interpretations. Always there are passages which support the bad interpretation. One has to look for a possible originality. Certainly not for him to be advocating some uncomfortable ideal as if this is his most serious point.
ao326 Genealogy. Undermining the alleged rationality of our beliefs and values. How we are given some way of life like a moral value, and it is constantly reinterpreted to fit new power structures. Something that was once rational becomes senseless but then not because it expresses someone's power…Victims of holocaust were just ordinary people. Danger of exalting them to status of martyrs as if they died for their ordinariness which is not the case. Like how it can be used for a kind of Christianity. Like a weapon against something As if they are martyrs to ordinariness under threat from whatever aspires.
ao378 Morality of the weak. Jargon phrase for want of a better. An idea that one rejects on grounds of self interest partly because of other motives to which it is likened, partly because of the patterns and have-nots it lays down in society, and partly because of its evil paranoid suggestion that it just might be true, or that its opposite is not truer than itself. Essentially paranoid way in which I interpret Nietzsche. Those who reject the idea that truth is better than error. Just as anything is deducible from a contradiction, so is the worst possible thing. Taking away his claim to truth one produces a state of affairs that only persists on unexamined unjustifiable assumptions. If everything is permitted then so are the worst things, the most threatening things This is the logic of madness. Of total unilateral disarmament. Bad ideas remain. Like the voices of the schizophrenic. If they do not make their appearance that just shows a lack of analytical acumen.
ar 93 America, the settlement. Recognition of the fact of America's power. For all my anti-Americanism, there is a sense in which I voluntarily accept its power in the world. My Nietzscheanism is in no sense revolutionary….Reading about German reactions to Nietzsche, pre 1918. (Thomas Hinton - Nietzsche in German Politics and Society, 1890-1918). Retreat from individualism into volkishness. Fear of pure individualism.
ar 99 Impact of Nietzsche on German society Many of the same problems that arise today. Except that now much may seem to be blotted out by an overriding ideology…..Nietzsche on the negativity of old age. Zarathustra said Jesus did not live long enough. Perhaps Zarathustra did not live long enough. Old age may have its victories…..Criticisms of Nietzsche that hit the mark. Wyndham Lewis. Followers with over inflated egos. Point of the use to which the ideas are put.
ar 220 Reply to someone who says that Nietzsche does not pretend to be doing more than recommending his own taste. Why should he hope to be more effective in a rhetorical sense than any one else, especially given the vast emotional strength of ressentiment? Putting truth on the same level as other techniques of persuasion. His interpretation of life is still vulnerable to changes in fashion, mass enthusiasm, demoralisation, loss of interest. What other means of persuasion can have the same effect as demonstrations of truth and falsity? Rather than a simple work of art, an interpretation is fought to the death by opposing interpretations. To persuade people to understand his viewpoint is one thing, to persuade them to accept it is another. If some viewpoints are acceptable then his is not, even his right to his own tastes is questionable. He recommends his own taste of course, but this does not mean he would not claim to have truth on his side. Denial of the truth claims of other interpretations, which amount to significant truth claims in its own right.
ar 236 Our argument is that of the misfit. An arrogant kind of misfit who abhors equality more than anything. In the first flush of Dionysian experience, self assertion may seem simply a matter of breaking down all barriers. And there is a kind of fellow feeling about this. But more and more this kind of vulgar communality becomes the thing to be avoided. Someone is trying to capture some primitive kind of enjoyment, and we want to obstruct it. His Nietzscheanism. Once we had our own, expression of our own arrogance. But we do not want to share it. The only ones we will share it with are those who have been through a similar revulsion. This is not snobbery. It is a form of experience that presumes resistance to a pressure to conform. Asserting the superiority of such deviance. Others want that Dionysian experience we may once have enjoyed. Equal rights, giving everyone a chance. Everyone having a right to speak and express his vision. In contrast, the arrogance, a kind of individual perversity. An individual difference that is faced with a genuine conflict and has to prove its superiority which it does on factual grounds. Those who do not see the conflict do not understand why one needs to take up such points. They may seem paranoid, suspicious and aggressive. The offensiveness of Nietzsche as has often been found. His characteristic experience is a kind of self justified offensiveness. This may certainly have morality on its side, and sound political judgement. There is a kind of fantasy Nietzscheanism that allows everyone else their own space. A self assertion that scarcely objects to that of others. And if this was the spirit of a time, the whole time may have a quality one attempts to describe and recapture. …Fundamental religious battle. The Gnostic movement, rather than seeing religion as simply some kind of experience. For Dionysus was in some respects a prototype for Christ. Dionysianism leaving the path open for an idea of 'the sacred' a condition to which we can aspire. Against this, the conflict introduced by will to power. Marcionite gnosticism. Religious objective as the overcoming specifically of an oppressive false authority. Identification of religious experience, like aesthetic, with this. 'The sacred', some intense type of experience. Hierarchy of experience. ….some people have found him as reconcilable with orthodox Christianity via the Dionysian. Where religion is seen simply as gaining access to a certain type or sphere of experience, rather than the struggle for a certain interpretation of that experience. Others insist on the heresy.
ar 380 Brian Appleyard, (journalist) talking of Kant as the greatest philosopher, as the one to guide us through the era of cloning. Kant as the retreat, retreat from Nietzsche and from Marx. Nietzsche I think can be the best guide. Nietzsche allied to some form of established non revolutionary politics. Mastery of fate. Nietzsche teaching the achievement of the sense of mastery of fate, the overcoming of demoralising ideas.
as37 The dislike of Nietzsche, what it signifies. Or can signify. How for some people the fear of standing alone can be so great that all individual deviance can seem to be almost obviously wrong. There can be such comfort in majority opinion. This sort of weakness can seem to offer an inner sense, a sort of intuition of right & wrong, a guiding conscience.
See the real emotional attachment to a socialist sort of society.
Strength of a sense of guilt.
Philosophical problems and neurotic compulsions. Misconceptions of grammar. Conflation of the disparate.
as49 Asked to explicate Joyful Wisdom § 107. Art as good will towards illusion. Still under the influence of a Schopenhauerian aesthetic and before he had conceived the unifying doctrine of the will to power.
A romantic and escapist view of art. Like the decadent art of the 1890s. His scientific ideal at this time as in a way stoic. A sort of seriousness that can come to the point of a harsh morality, as when ruthlessly exposing and rejecting all the consolations of religion. Strictly applied this would lead to disgust and suicide. Art, however, is a kind of make-believe, a holiday from the seriousness of the will. Conceived in the form of a goddess, a sphere that is separate from serious work and thought. The 'convention' of art offers relaxation from the seriousness of ruthless honesty. Later he was to conceive himself as the enemy of romanticism in art. Science as ill will toward illusion On later view art is not illusion at all. (Illusion as escape from life). It is celebration and joy, resistance, the revelation of truth even.
as54 Applying Nietzschean analysis ad hominem arguments to the ambitions of philosophers, including analytical philosophers. Not just what they say but why they say it.
as68 But think of Nietzsche's superman as in opposition to his last man. Repellent quality of the last man. A decadent creature. The superman is simply an extreme expression of a creative impulse. I see it as immanent. It is man becoming a god. And Zarathustra says there are no gods. Eugenics may be ok, promoting health may be good, but that is hardly the point of the Superman. God is dead and there is not intention of replacing him with gods. But we who follow may we not do that? It may seem more poetic. 'We have discovered happiness' say the last men, and they blink' And what sort of argument could we possibly get in to show that they are wrong? They could change the question by changing the species. Ubermensch. Having overcome the apparent limitations of the human. The apparent imperfection of the human. The striving for some godlike state of perfection. See this as a myth, like the Buddha myth. Being not content to be merely human, i.e. to live as others. To shed ones human qualities in some kind of divine ecstasy. What is this idea of surpassing, this super man ideal? This idea that what is to succeed must be better than whatever went before? As if a satisfactory happiness has never so far been possible. As if even Roderic Borgia failed to attain to it. As if there is something to achieve that has not yet been achieved. Is this nothing but an ideal, like a religious idea, to promote the achievement of affirmation? Antichrist as some kind of ideal, like a blasphemous ideal, to promote human purposes. Everything Zarathustra does is like a defiance of Christianity. The Christian ideal is likewise impossible, unrealistic, so is the Superman, only it is an alternative. The Ubermensch is not something that will ever appear. Its function is different. The point is not to become that, because what could that be? It is the alchemy one performs on one's own life. The great work, the affirmation. And part of that work is a blasphemous parody of the Christian religion & of the Christian sacredness that has ruled and oppressed so long in the world of spirit. If Z. is a true work of genius then it is an inspirational poem, and not simply a philosophical treatise. Its function is the same as that of the Antichrist. Such blasphemy is exhilarating because it defies and overcomes. The Ubermensch is a new spiritual being. Slightly terrifying, the being who appeared to a hallucinated Hitler. Such poetry has fulfilled its function when it makes me feel good, when it induces a feeling of well being. Always remember the parody of the gospels. The book is full of paradoxes. All the myths we are given have like a blasphemous function. They are not to be taken entirely at face value. Their real point, their value and effect, is not contained entirely within themselves.
as120 Thoughts on modernism. Its origins in Nietzsche. The Judaising of Nietzsche, like the Judaising of other things. Picking things out of the culture to set up some new ascetic authority. Whatever culture they happen to be in. The modernism that originates from Nietzsche. From rejection of Wagner out of Satanic ambition. The alternative that is created. Kantianised modernism. This opposes the sensual feast, not out of straight ambition but out of a kind of fear of that. It creates the modernist canon. Something uncomfortable, but we are told wisdom lies there. The dishonesty about motive. Does one go through pleasure, or does one dishonestly lie about it?
as151 The noble man feels resentment, but not for long. GM quote. Are we noble men? If not should we strive to be noble men, should we model ourselves upon an ideal of health? Feeling whatever it is we feel, others feel whatever it is they feel. Concept of the strong. Framework within which only the strong survive. Sufficiently confident in his own strength to survive the blast of truth.
What Kaufmann is doing. Integration into a liberal humanist tradition rabbinical culture. Cold blasts of reality. My 'ego' my belief structure. Do we think Nietzsche is promoting a standard of health? Kaufmann, As a representative of this culture, K may be quite within his rights to draw Nietzsche into it. In its own way it is rich and civilised.
Standard offered not one of health, but that of a cold blast of reality, which only the strong can withstand.
as172 Understanding what Nietzsche is against. Morality of weak. Use of certain kinds of arguments which have a demoralising effect upon strength, From Nietzsche himself such arguments are generated. 'Health', affirmation, analysis into motive. Is this not plain enough, or does it seem insubstantial? Does one want more specific guidance on what one is supposed to think? If the employment of these weapons seems entirely ok to you, if they are part of your own sense of worth and self, then Nietzsche so understood will seem like nothing, no intelligible message at all. 'Deconstructing patriarchy'. The idea that ideas contrary to those you espouse are irrational and unfounded dogmas, oppressors in a moralistic sense, and some feeble and corny examples were given,
If you want to express your own will to power by exploring this idea, that is up to you. But the arguments you use to get others to your project need examining. Pursuit of equal rights less Nietzschean than resistance thereto. Pursuit of is just a political project, resistance to is a direct attack on this kind of democratic idea and with this comes revelation of reality. The attempt to present the so called dogmas of patriarchy as if they were demoralising ideas in the same sense, is disingenuous.
as220 'what's also apparent is that for you Nietzsche's philosophy is merely a weapon you can brandish against those things you dislike' Quite a good description. Is that what it was for Nietzsche too? Is the fight to be fair? I quite like that idea. A weapon to brandish against those things I happen to dislike. Say I could do that effectively,. I could go far.
as229& When in HH N speaks of the Renaissance and the increasing shallowness of religion as a good thing, presaging enlightenment, should we agree him? For with this went Machiavelli and cynical religious hypocrisy. Is admiration for this necessarily a mature thought? Savonarola was not a German. Why should religious fanaticism have been dead? Nietzsche suggests we could have had a more splendid enlightenment without the Reformation. But could we envisage something more splendid than Milton and Shakespeare? Nietzsche's idea of a better culture. No Plato, no Shakespeare, no Milton.
Comte Sponville taking the side of Judea against Rome. Rating the Jews above the Italians, French and Greeks. Admitting the average Nietzschean is moral enough. What then is he for he asks? But his hostility might be very great. Some of his ideas might be normal enough but some of his opinions may be strong. Nietzsche had opinions one is entitled to see as irrelevant.. Because one gets something different from him, which is a way of fortifying one's own will. A way of describing it.
as249 Gissing, and how he blamed Nietzsche for jingoism and militarism.
as251 Nietzsche and proto fascism. The excitement of indulging in proto fascist speculation. An excitement that came late in the 19th century.
as277 Was Nietzsche a Darwinian or not? If Nietzsche opposed Darwinian selection, and thought the superior specimens had to be carefully nurtured, how did he think this could happen in nature? If it requires a will to do it, then could it be that such a will arise in nature naturally? Always there is decadence, mediocrity, dying off. The superior specimens that arise in nature have to take power into their own hands. They have to dominate the inferior. Is that the secret of his anti Darwinism? Suppose decadence arises from a will to equality, with which people eventually grow bored? From particular ideals in society. Nature of the will to be applied. Nature of the enemy. The enemy as conceived. Communism in the extremity of its horror. Communism as an oriental religion...
So what can we say is the disgusting fact, the Darwinian reality? This the repetition throughout life of a pattern one has discovered in one's own experience. The combining of weakness to outnumber and dominate strength. …. For Darwin read Malthus and Ricardo. The lack of enthusiasm for nature. The thing that needs to be taken into account, the will that underlies any perspective. Look at nature and one sees that some life and will flourish. But always the point is whether it is my life and will, the life and will that I favour. So how seriously should one take any threat of decadence? What is it a threat to? Note that Waite (Waite, Geoff. Nietzsche's Corpse/e. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1996) takes WP more seriously, because he holds that Nietzsche was there more unguarded. Taking the pattern in nature and removing it from 'my cause'. Always the subjective element in looking at nature. The element of will involved in any judgement of what is 'better'. In judging of a state of decadence, this subjective element is to be taken account of. The identification with one's own cause, one's own beliefs. To make it more than that can be seriously misleading. So how much of threat are egalitarian values, and what kind of threat are they? Should one see them as threat to nature itself? A kind of natural degeneration? This is to adopt a kind of inverted Marxism. The idea that it is diabolic, that it has to be combated by some massive effort of will.
as280 What Shaw makes of Nietzsche. Idea of Nietzsche's titanism, Idea that the entropy to which human civilisation is subject and which finds its most conscious articulation in Marxism, can only be combated by the most conscious formulated anti Marxism, by a kind of solar power and organised will. But that is to believe Marxism, to believe one's opponents. Nature is itself neutral, It does not itself support an ideology that is opposed to oneself. That is rising and falling. See how a number of false ideas can come out of Nietzsche's remarks on Darwinism
as321 Surely Nietzsche's idea of the separate will to power of different parts of the mind comes straight out of Plato?
The kind of enjoyment that Boehme finds in Christianity. Berdayev. He sees a sort of bankruptcy in Nietzsche, the Ubermensch. As if in his effort to do whatever he is doing he had to go beyond humanism, into something inhuman.
Nietzsche's support of Antichrist figures. Symbolic significance of this. The secular empire. The historical role of the Antichrist, itself a purpose, like religion.
The Ubermensch is the unjust man. He is more a demand than an image of happiness.
N. get involved in history. How can history be made exciting?
as336 Davidson and danger. Davidson's 'English' angle on Nietzsche. Milton's Satan, Blake, Richard III, Tamberlaine. His yielding himself up to real egoism, real 'dangerous thought'. Dangerous thought, invisible hands. How dangerous is any dangerous thought? Adam Smith, Darwin, Nietzsche. All invisible hand doctrines. Get certain basics right and you can do what you like. Selfishness to do no harm, to promote progress. Mandevilles etc.
as336½ What is good comes directly from desire, rather than from restraint upon desire. Such a theory, that of egoism, was worked out by the English. It finds expression in characteristically English science. It spread to France, Helvetius La Mettrie. It was attacked by Kant and particularly by Hegel. Stirner attacked Hegel and was influenced by Smith and Say. Marx was influenced by Stirner and contained an element of sense.
Nietzsche opposing Darwin, But only on one real point. He remains against Kant and Hegel. Hegel and Napoleon's anti- Englishness.
as345 Thatcher's book (Nietzsche in England 1890-1914). New age socialist publications, Eliot, Lewis, Hulme and others, all disingenuous about their debt to Nietzsche. Orage, who found the precursor to Nietzsche's speculations in Zanoni. Idea that proto Nietzschean ideas were in the novels of Bulwer Lytton and Disraeli. Then the idea of the Bloomsbury group as an anti-Nietzsche force. Significance of this. Not intellectually satisfying but it did not aspire to be. Thatcher compares it to the Whigs. Smug arrogance of a class surrounded with all kinds of gratifying pleasures. Into which you get initiated.
at76 "The optimistic vision of the enlightenment, whether in its liberal, Marxist, or any other form - which envisages a social order without oppression or dogmatism, egalitarian, co-operative and consensual, is deeply threatened if it turns out to be true that domination, the imposition of our will on others, is the one thing which truly turns us on, and that all else is but façade and self-deception. If this be the ultimate truth about us, well then, the sad prospect for humanity is either the perennial frustration our deepest needs, or a social order in which some may fulfil themselves - but only at the cost of the oppression and humiliation of others. It is for this reason that Nietzsche is a profoundly disturbing thinker, a corrosive acid poured over the various forms of humanist optimism" (Gellner p 26 The Psychoanalytic Movement).
The truth in Gellner's
picture of Nietzsche's
to power doctrine. It is true, but there is ever such a lot more to be
said. It is a picture that needs to be justified. It is a description
what happens. Different ways one may go from there. Different forms of
The conservative vision, like Dr Johnson's, which contains a lot of humaneness but recognises the impossibility of squaring the circle.
The radical fascist view, the call for Assyrian type explicitness of domination. This for a value of truth.
The picture. In the first place Nietzsche wants it to be true. The idea that it is not true is experienced as a direct oppression. He feels he can show it to be true, that there are facts that can be demonstrated which compel acceptance of this vision.
Enlightenment view coming across as the domination of a lie. And that is immediately offensive.
The superior humaneness of the enlightenment view comes across as meaningless and irrelevant. It deals with utter incalculables,
at94 Ambition. For a philosophy, for an interpretation of a philosopher.
at144 Nietzsche and the Nazis. So important to be able to refute Nazism in Nietzschean, egoistic terms, i.e. without having to bring in Christianity or the necessity of being kind when one does not want to be.
Nietzsche says Christianity is essentially an ideology of the weak
the strong, the foolish against the wise, falsehood against reality. A
revolutionary weapon against everything well constituted.
But that is not all it was, nor even everything Paul was.
Antichrist as a Protestant movement, an interpretation of the true springs of life, of what is needed for eternal life. It is rooted in science and scholarship. Passionate anti-Christianity as a form of Christianity. Because we preserve much of the tradition. There is much we want to preserve and promote simple because it is of ourselves, because it is what we are and we want to extend and develop our power.
at242 Nietzsche is like justification for discontent with what is. He sets off trains of thought. When young, one fears failure. How sickness is creative. Will and satisfaction being quite different. Necessity to be in a state of quite deep rebellion.
at245 Compare Nietzsche's
with one's own. What he achieved, what one wants to achieve. What value
one looks for. Sorts of things one has done. Necessity not to conceive
power too primitively. Will to power, Thelema. Schopenhauer's will. The
individuality of will. Interesting to compare these three concepts.
does one desire for one's work? What kind of finished creative
might one essentially envisage? Some kind of artistic record or memoir
of what one felt, did, and wanted to do. Even one's failure as
may be success to someone else. But even the record is not primary,
is primary is the will.
From Hollingdale's biography, some new thoughts or deeper understanding of others I had before. Sense of the pleasantness of Nietzsche's life. Then the thought of what he was trying to do and his achievement. What was the real thing that drove him, how did his ambition actually feel? The production of books must have been towards some kind of end.
The sickness and its overcoming. The physical sickness which also reflects a moral state of demoralisation.
at259 Is Zarathustra really a profound book? What are the postmodernists trying to do and should one want to join in? There is a sort of barrier one encounters.
Does he contain in him
suggestions that are
Against Hollingdale, I don’t think we can say his thought was complete.
But to go beyond, often that is to move into something lesser. With its own creative joy no doubt.
How much further one wants to go. Into some kind of genuine commitment, not mere cleverness. But I suspect one does move beyond Nietzsche, makes something more of his hints and suggestions, builds something like a temple of one's own.
One uses him. Could he have consciously wanted to be used in that way? Theoretically perhaps. Some post modernist thinkers do, and they end up with rubbish. They demand one accepts them, yields to them, and one may not want to.
He did the best he could. Some do not do the best they can, and demand first an act of faith.
at276 Bohemian Paris in the 20s, Lifestyles of artists. Intoxication, sexual licence, outrageous behaviour. School of Paris, their bohemianism. Their Nietzscheanism. They could be Nietzscheans because of their talent, their genius. A realised Nietzschean culture, but unstable. In a way hardly something that could be popularised or democratised,
at278 Bohemian Paris in the 20s. Its Nietzschean quality undermined by the desire for inclusion. This small motive, even in people of intellect, having destructive and decadent tendencies. How for all its excellence Nietzscheanism is not possible as a wide movement because it excludes too many. They it is who change and introduce a different, a moralising motive.
at299 Lange on Kant.
What at first was a rather tedious chapter (all the stuff about the
a priori character of maths) became interesting and illuminating for
clarification it affords on Nietzsche.
Lange was Nietzsche's History of Philosophy, what he used. We don’t need to argue that he was part neo-Kantian, it was simpler than that. Obviously he wouldn’t stick with Schopenhauer, all his life. Kant might easily seem as far as philosophy had got. And he followed Lange's take on it.
Sop much of the stuff about art as illusion is no more than Lange's Kant. It is hardly some deep Nietzschean insight into the nature of truth. Not something fantastically complicated.
All the influences on Nietzsche that Small brings up (Robin Small- Nietzsche in Context) should not be exaggerated. The larger names are the real centre of his attention. When he sneers that Kant was most proud of his categories that is from Lange. Much of Nietzsche's thinking is an entrée into a forgotten nineteenth century world. Mistakes can be fertile as can misreadings. Ignorance.
The search for Nietzsche's greatest originality. Those who look to art as some kind of illusion. Actually the ordinariness of this view, as some kind of Kantianism. See how a whole range of philosophical problems can be generated by a failure in interpretation. As if something very difficult and interesting is being said about art and truth, whereas put in context I t is really very simple. And the real originality comes elsewhere.
at309 To comment on GM III 14. This where a standard of health is expounded. The clarity there of the point he finds so revolting. This blighting of happiness by the combined strength of the sick. What is really meant, and why it is so revolting. Every judgement must come back to the subject. Lions v lambs. Cesare Borgia is an illustration.
at312 How much of what
after the war was a watered down communism, or socialism. So that is
we can understand. Socialism to be understood via communism. A faith.
au 6 Unravelling anti-semitism. Nineteenth century anti-semitism innocent of Nietzsche's philosophy of will to power.
au21 Where to go beyond Nietzsche? But one has not yet moved beyond Nietzsche because Nietzsche's ideas are not understood. One cannot emulate him, or be equal to him, when one so far misunderstands him as to be vulnerable to precisely the threats from which he professes to liberate.
au28 Idea of writing a book to change the zeitgeist. Nietzsche had his influence, but it was wide and diverse and hard to see that it would have been altogether satisfying to him.
au54 Nietzsche's perspective asserts itself as an interest but does not claim to be an interest of all. The whole concept of 'perspectivism', with its visual metaphor can be misleading. A perspective can suggest that a look is valid. Yet often it is far from just a 'look', it is a desire.
au60 What Hampshire
(Stuart Hampshire Justice Is Conflict)
shares with Plato, and even with Nietzsche to some extent, is the idea
of the soul with conflicting drives that have to be reconciled. Idea of
the soul as a microcosm of society. This is not my experience of life,
though it may be some people's. … Nietzsche, all his suggestiveness,
the various traditions contained within him. Like a link to another
to all sorts of different traditions.
I do not see the soul as a microcosm of society, The soul is capable of a much greater unity than is remotely desirable in society. I suppose some people might experience themselves in that way. Nietzsche has all sorts of ideas about psychology, stated in all sorts of ways. Some sound fruitful, some not.
au73 Passage in Daybreak where he foresees Jewish domination i.e. they turn themselves into an aristocracy so attractive that people want to be ruled by them and no longer hold them in contempt. Political naiveté in Nietzsche. As an insecure bourgeois rentier he may have felt quite a lot in common with Jews. The distastefulness of submitting to their rule, i.e. what has to be swallowed. It may be similar to the swallowing that has to be done by the workers in the west in submitting to their own rich. Seeing as one is not a revolutionary. Dominate as an aristocracy. The rich cultured and intellectual Viennese haut juiverie.
au91 Kohler (Joachim
Kohler Zarathustra's Secret).
to Nietzsche fit into a few basic patterns that it is hard to escape.
one sense I am sure Kohler is wrong in that he downplays the life of
mind. It is conceivable enough that Sicily was like a modern Thailand
Nietzsche and that he obtained homosexual relief there. That would be
fact about him which would be of some interest He would be like Fr
Desire and Pursuit of the Whole. But I feel that Kohler shows a vulgar
misunderstanding of the contemplative mentality He puts sex too much in
the foreground, like a modern.
Kohler's secret. So he shows that part of Nietzsche's enjoyment of the south was of the nakedness of young men and of the moral tolerance found in what Burton called the 'sotadic zone'. Also, as others have said, he was sado-masochistic.
Influence of Flaubert's Temptation of St Anthony on Zarathustra. Also what Gide said about La Fontaine's fables. 'Andre Gide described La Fontaine as expressing in playful terms the frightening truths that Nietzsche pronounces in passionate rhetoric'.
If he has uncovered some aspects of what Nietzsche liked about Italy he would be wrong to interpret him as a kind of sexual compulsive. There are different attitudes towards travel, that of the contemplative and that of the sexual compulsive. The latter lacks objectivity
Gay liberation. Thought experiment of what Nietzsche would have thought of San Francisco circa 1980. Would he have enthused, like Foucault? Certain aspects of the south have been northernised.
Facts about Lou Salome.
"Indeed she seems to have idolised him
[her father], eagerly accepting
the demonstrations of both his love
and his anger. Of her own free
will she would beg him to beat her on
her bare buttocks, 'imploring
him with tears in her eyes to punish
her'." (Kohler p 195-6)
"this striking 21 year old woman with
Baltic accent and the
remarkable gift of being able to
waggle her ears separately" (p201)
"Lou's arguments are dishonest. The
standard that she claimed for
herself [when with Nietzsche] the 'pure
spirit' of her nun-like
sexlessness, she sought to impose on everyone else as
though it were
the natural state of affairs, not an individual
reaction to an
emotional crisis" (p202)
Years later, following her unsuccessful marriage and
"'With an expression of blissful happiness on her face
confessed: "My greatest pleasure in life is to receive
Perhaps a misunderstanding of creativity altogether. Sex inspires creativity and we can understand it in that way, it does not explain it away. One cannot reduce a polemical argument to a sexual taste.
au107 Nietzsche. So far
from a denial of the idea of truth
a development of it.
Ubermensch as the unjust man. Like an assertion of rebellious youth. See this as an assertion against Plato, against what was tyrannical in him. Religious persecution. We don't simply reject him, We do not want to return to the chaos of opinion. Against God one pits the Ubermensch.
exegesis and philosophy. Where it
into philosophy. But the argument about Nietzsche and Plato can
and become much deeper and more intense. Nietzsche becomes a text
with which to do original philosophy. I.e. even if he didn't really
something or other he ought to have done. Because what he did say
us to think it for ourselves. So I may move beyond the position I
in Misreading. Confronted with all sorts of Nietzsche passages. Idea of
a strong man lying when he can get away with it. Might one be prepared
to lie about what he meant? Nietzsche's writings as a thinking machine.
Fascinating business of interpretation.
Against the American professors, the threat to my interpretation from statements which contradict it, seemingly. Doctrine versus argument. Statements and assertions.
Where Nietzsche himself plays the tyrant i.e. insofar as he departs from his own high standard, he is not necessarily worth listening to. Plays, or pretends to play. Dogmatism. Deigns to play. What he says may be of interest, and it may succeed in revealing truths of one kind or another. The argument is what is of most interesting in him. Nor reason to accord.
Passages may be found which pose difficulties for the interpretation that he is involved in the argument. He may repudiate dialectics.
A question of rearranging his statements, or subordinating them one to another. Tries to play the tyrant. Idea that he is saying nothing else. The Heideggerian idea of switching the assumptions Within his writings is the same as without. Just as he has to be defended against outside attack so against internally hostile interpretations.
Not just a simple question of unravelling meaning. How he is permeable to interpretation. How much even I may be going beyond. Different interpretations may be reached by subordinating some statements to others. Much of what he says may be detached from the argumentative frame and used to construct a new dogmatism which of course will be rich in possibilities.
Argumentative frame, the open personal ambition
Rich in possibilities but arouses an entirely just resentment for its arbitrary presumption.
Where tempted to play the tyrant, others to keep in check.
The anxiety that he meant something else, meant what the others say. But the clear argument can be pursued through his own writings, against the confusion they themselves may induce.
au168 Gadamer, I was beginning to get a better idea of the appeal of Heidegger and his criticisms of Nietzsche. I suspect the appeal is something essentially mystical. The idea that a sort of mystical experience could again be possible.
au191 The move from Schopenhauer to Nietzsche. More a change of interpretation than a major reversal. For Nietzsche life is still in many respects bad. There is the frustration and the discontent, the neurotic anxiety.
au217 Lou Salome (Lou Salome-Nietzsche) on the personal origins of Nietzsche's ideas. Her very different perspective. Difficulties, suffering, seemingly insoluble problems that life throws up. Philosophies designed to solve it. Salome on Nietzsche's suffering.
au221 Lou's book. She
something of him,
because she knew him so well personally, She sees in terms of his
process, his overcoming demoralisation by means of thought. His giving
himself inspiration, his recovery of creative powers. As an
hers is no worse than many that still have currency.
Overcoming demoralisation. "Here we do not see the gradual transformation of intellectual life that everyone experiences who ripens into his natural maturity, nor the changing phases of growth, instead we see a sudden turn and change, an almost rhythmic up and down of mental conditions which, in the final analysis, seem to stem from nothing else than falling ill because of thoughts and recuperating through thoughts."
rather like my ideas on
fractal philosophy. She sees his changes of mind in terms of a series
jumps, into ready made positions that he was not at first able to
Reading Nietzsche, Nietzsche as thinking machine, how some fragment ripped out of context and interpreted slightly obliquely may be stimulating in the extreme
How this is very like the Bible and how people used to read it. How churches and Bible reading could lead to a sort of emotional debauchery, a fantastic indulgence, for certain sorts of people. Beyond Nietzsche some sort of kabbalah. Or a Nietzschean kabbalah.
Nietzschean kabbalah. One cannot entirely dispense with a structure of belief, or you end up in a trap. The same must apply to other forms of kabbalah. Say one could capture the intoxication of creative thought.
Nietzsche's late philosophy
very sick and unhealthy. One significant thing about Nietzsche, that
interpretations of him can yet be very interesting in their own right,
One is on such very strange territory.
Magee's book (Bryan Magee-Wagner and Philosophy. Nietzsche's position is that of the misfit. Magee's claims for Wagner are huge and completely unacceptable. Magee puts the Wagner case so well that the Nietzschean objections begin to make sense.
Shows how much frustration Wagner experienced in his life, like Nietzsche and Hitler. Consider how much of my Wagniet stuff I might need to modify.
I think Nietzsche's' criticisms can actually be shown to be sounder than ever. His own Schopenhauerianism was very early and he soon outgrew it. Seeing its working in Wagner almost to perfection he criticised it, with the aid of books like Lange.
au248 TE Hulme biography
Ferguson -The Short Sharp
Life of TE Hulme). the peculiar mixed bag that socialism was
said to be at the beginning of the 20th century. Nietzschean socialism.
Socialism as power. Origins of the Labour party. Ideas that begin as a
sort of creative power and get taken over by something else.
Suppose the creative origins of everything as Nietzschean. Even socialism, even the Labour party. Some of the values of the weak are not so much creative but they take over in the form of institutions.
Cultural forms created by Nietzscheans are appropriated by others and turned into vehicles of oppression. The world is not guided by virtue and wisdom, it would be most dangerous if that were required.
Curtis Cate – Friedrich
Nietzsche – Some of the book is very good, like on the Untimely
Meditations, and Human all too Human.
But he obtrudes his opinions too much. His own political opinions as if
might want to talk about those.
He says how N had to reject Wagner and Schopenhauer, because that system was making him ill.
Feeling I have that I don’t like Cosima Wagner. For one thing her face reminds me of women I haven’t liked. For another she was far too sure of herself.
Nietzsche’s flight from German nationalism. So different today, now that nationalism is no longer popular. Need to resist popular enthusiasms. If some form of British nationalism were all around me I would want to flee it.In Nietzsche’s life the strong personalities of certain women. That comes across. Cosima with her blind loyalties to Wagner, to Schopenhauer. Elisabeth, not too bright, resentful of superior intelligence. .Malwida, old spinster, salon holder. Lou, intellectual groupie. Cate’s idea that Nietzsche’s plans for Lou were monstrous:-
“What implicitly he had wanted Lou Salome to do was to
sublimate her erotic impulses as his devoted spiritual and intellectual
servant. This was a monstrously egocentric ambition but one justified
all religious or philosophical reformers) by the exalted nature of the
predestined role, as the high priestess of
a new ‘sub rational philosophy of which he was at once the
Dionysus and the Homer was to be a sublime model of feminine
kind of inverse Virgin Mary – in the sense that she was his spiritual
– one blessed furthermore with the supreme intelligence of a St Theresa
Avila. It was a late romantic dream as fanciful as anything Wagner
invented in Parsifal,
one which could only have blossomed in the feverish brain of a man who
lived for years like a hermit out of touch with the vulgar world of
reality. For even as a dream it was hopelessly unrealistic and
Theresa had her St Juan de la Cruz, but both were genuine mystics-
neither Nietzsche nor Lou Salome were”.
Then the interesting idea that the Of Chastity section in Zarathustra refers primarily to Lou and Malwida.
I am actually struck by how pleasant Nietzsche’s wandering life was.Women’s birthright to be alluring Cate says. His is an English interpretation, but too tame I think. We should be more consistent, harder, less restrained by commonsense or decency. Is it man’s birthright to rape? Idea of woman’s birthright. This space they are to be given, these rights of others to which we are to defer. I would say defer to nothing unless you want to.
Nietzsche’s celibacy, which some these days treat as a pathetic fate, I can see as no bad thing. Woman and sex, the tribute she requires. The obstruction presented to the will of the man. The difficulty of the demanded respect. Others' birthrights to obstruct my will.A lot, even of Nietzsche’s most megalomaniacal assertions are themselves curiously illuminating. Megalomaniac expression may be the most extreme expression of some idea, and therefore especially illuminating. Keep in mind the context of travel which inspired them. A freedom of feeling which races up into insanity. There does seem a link between the madness and the thought, the completeness of the inspiration,.
We might consider how some of his attitudes spring from his wandering lifestyle. With such a lifestyle it might be easy to be a good European.
The Nietzschean attitude to the useless, recalling Chuang Tsu or Lao Tsu.av61 Question why Nietzsche thinks as he does may well have psychological roots. This is of interest, it gives an original position for him to defend against attack. Whatever factors led him to take up his positions are no objection in themselves. I argue for the truth of his position, as he did himself
Nietzsche being all
about argument, the immediate context is all the anti-nietzschean
be found within this culture. Not only a form of explication, but
av70 Idea that his
thought is more than just a historical curiosity.
The business of interpretation. How interpretation opens up into the
heart of philosophy.
How one and the same thinker gets used by people with very different
Question of nihilism. How I have one interpretation of it, take one thread among a wide number of different things that were said about it, yet get confronted with others. One is called to the refutation of error, like aside from one’s main task, which may have been the refutation of a different error.
Different kinds of philosophy get involved in Nietzsche interpretation, thrust themselves on as not to be ignored.
Philosophy as the refutation of errors. A bit like how Wittgenstein sees the emergence of philosophical problems. Traditional metaphysics and how we are to deal with it,.
that seem so alien we can hardly get a
them meet in Nietzsche interpretation.
av73 Nietzsche interpretation. Metaphysical interpretation. Temptation to ignore, on the idea that interests and angles differ. But they can come to be impossible to ignore as the more you look at them the more the conflict with your own view grows.
Conflicts within philosophy cross the fault lines of deeper cultural divides. People may extract metaphysics from Nietzsche and we may be tempted just to leave them to it, putting it down to different interests. The metaphysical theories that Nietzsche does come up with are answers to particular questions that arise in the everyday world. Their adequacy is to be judged by the extent to which they satisfy those demands. Nietzsche is not asking an abstract question like ‘what is the stuff of the world’.
With the dismissal of ready made answers the question becomes one of how we are to avoid the most depressing and demoralising ideas. Metaphysical theories are one way of doing this. Their success consists in the extent to which they show how it is possible to think something. Here is why a metaphysical understanding of his achievement must be inadequate. The real success of his achievement must be in the everyday world.
Nietzsche is a very great philosopher he is
very far from transparent. What he has said is subject to much
An interpreter is needed.
av182 Nietzsche as the answer to philosophical problems. Subject to so many peculiar interpretations, that what I am asserting is not just what Nietzsche said but my own interpretation. So I am actually setting up my own philosophy as supremely important.
av210 Safranski’s book. Cosima advising N to take out his reference to ‘the Jewish press’; which would have appeared in BT.
Story of N the piano and the brothel. Many have read that as a sign of N’s excessive innocence or refinement. Thomas Mann homosexual. Men who got their early experiences in brothels. I think his behaviour was normal and reasonable enough.
'However, as Karl Lowith pointed out in a critique of Heidegger’s lectures on Nietzsche, it is debatable which of the two, Heidegger of Nietzsche, pushed his thought out into the open more radically and which of them nonetheless ultimately sought support in something expansive ..Perhaps he would have considered Heidegger’s Being nothing more than a Platonic world behind that can offer protection and security.’ (Safranski)
av212 Safranski. Talk of phenomenology. Human all too Human. Art as Illusion, breaking away from Wagner and Schopenhauerian metaphysics.
Some further interesting quotes on demoralisation.
Ideas of art as narcotic, as false metaphysics HH §216 ‘music as empty noise’. Cosima wrote that evil had won out.
N’s intellectual progress obscured by making it a quest for truth.
Art as pleasing illusion. But a pleasure in puncturing this illusion. Pointing the way to art as something else, as a new passage to some form of truth. From a Schopenhauerian to a Nietzschean philosophy. Art taking the same route. Art itself is not a at fault only the philosophy that it is made to serve. To regret the passing of an illusion is merely an incomplete movement, the movement has to be towards a better form of art or a better interpretation of art.
N and Heidegger. H is as wrong as anyone else in his interpretation of Nietzsche and does not deserve to be treated with exaggerated respect.
opposed the reduction of the working week. I
cannot agree with that, it was like his belief in slavery.
av236 Ways of avoiding a revaluation one dose not like ‘the fascism in your mind’. Doing away with morality to replace it with something else. Other prohibitions which are not to appear as prohibitions but as something else. This absurd promise of freedom.
To say the holocaust was Nietzschean like saying that great wealth is Nietzschean.
I object to any suggestion that I am tame and Kaufmannising. I retain the dynamite. Foucault and Deleuze would claim to be more radical than me. They throw away morality altogether and replace it with another principle.
I argue against an ideal of health/sickness that demonises fascism. The ideal of completely instinctual liberation, of a better happiness, a better fulfilment. Idea of a harder, stronger Nietzsche than my own. One that wants to institute human sacrifice, overcome all sorts of taboos in a sort of Dionysian carnival. Idea that it is I who compromise, still clinging onto morality and sundry taboos. Something not our Nietzschean dynamite used for a destructive purpose.
The Dionysian fest. The Lawrentian taboo breaking, this is where it leads. Question how to avoid the unpleasant consequence.
I say no way of getting from there to here. Conflict, struggle, difference, interests. Nietzscheanism is not more tied to one form than is great wealth. The other path, the idea of breaking taboos,
Extent to which Foucault and Deleuze are Nietzscheans. In one way they are, in that they have a particular project which they promote in a Nietzschean way. The Nietzscheanism is not as direct as they would like to insist. Before anything is Nietzschean a particular will is required. What form that takes is not to be specified.
Given a will it may be pursued in a Nietzschean manner, beyond good and evil, euphoric. That something is Nietzschean is no reason for a Nietzschean to join it.
av247 With the other interpretations, and the long paths through which Nietzsche takes us, often disastrously. Either we should take them as answers to the same question, that is how to overcome demoralisation. Or they are answers to different questions. If the former then they appear to be unnecessarily elaborate. Ways of achieving something quite straightforward. If the latter then they are irrelevant.
av268 A simplified understanding of Nietzsche. Though I do not see the Ubermensch as the key or central concept in his thought, interpretation of it can be very useful for clarification. Important to insist that it is actually a genocidal monster. ‘Wagner and myself are antipodes’ See it in context.
Taking preconceptions to him.
The moralistic approach that insists on ‘right desire’ . Someone who speaks for outrageous desire is considered to be advocating some kind of social collapse. But this is not true at all. One who does not believe such moralistic restraints are necessary just has a radically different picture of the way the world works. The moralist has not put his finger on the essential disagreement, but by smuggling in his own assumption misrepresented what is being said.
The context is not one of possession of great power, but of being hemmed in from various directions.
The Wagnerian seduction is nothing like this at all. Siegfried is not the Ubermensch. What the Wagnerian seduction offers is nothing like this ‘become the Ubermensch.’ The Ubermensch is not a saviour, he is a kind of devil. Wagner is not telling you to desire everything wild and outlandish, he is telling you desire what he wants you to desire. There is the dishonesty in telling you this is all for your own good. It is this that is so without context, only this that is political tyranny.
The Ubermensch ideal cannot undermine freedom, it encourages resistance.
Why Wagner is out of context,. And Nietzsche is absolutely within it. Wagner’s is a fantasy of power, aimed directly at power and securing it. Nietzsche’s is not that and cannot be, in a sense he gives the game away. He cannot ask people to submit it his will in the way Wagner does. It is just not directed at such an end. It is not the ideology adopted by rulers.
like the Ubermensch is useful to the
is not so useful to someone who thinks he is in a position to get all
way. In promoting an idea like the Ubermensch he does not expect to get
own way, nor does he express his thought in a manner that is likely to
aw6, The attack on selfishness is made on behalf of some very partial desire. Nietzsche is objected to on the basis of his selfishness. But suppose that selfishness is really the foundation of morality? Out of selfishness a genuine sympathy that will not be repressed.
aw58, Idea that the Christianity of the middle of the last century was not really serious, that it even derived from Nietzsche. A form of punditry, really quite individualistic.
aw87, In a parody of Nietzsche, the idea that the strong are right and those who disagree only resent them
We resent this because we assert ourselves.
Ideas of going further into decadence, the postmodern idea. Taken from Nietzsche. One doesn’t want to go along with him here on every possible interpretation.
In respect of morality perhaps. In respect of aesthetic ugliness no, certainly. Or embracing ignorance. Low causative power of morality.
aw95, Uncle Toby and his hobbyhorse. Arguing about Nietzsche. How I once described that as an enjoyable thing. Almost as giving meaning to life. Now I do it a lot. It is just ordinary, does it have value? See how it might appear to have value. How what one does appear as a deep expression of one’s will? By contrast perhaps?
All the online information available. Bauemler on Holderlin. Wilamowitz and philosophy. He won, but Nietzsche was a subversive influence to re-emerge in the 1920s. And people wanted to pay a similar game.
Ansell-Pearson on not being a Nietzschean. Take issue first with that. Like is there a significant worthwhile discovery or not? Do we transvalue?
On interpretations of Nietzsche. Their severalness, depending upon what to each person, is the most important philosophical or spiritual question.
For some it is the meaninglessness of life, for some avoiding the horrors.
The nature of knowledge. Ansell-Pearson says there are many Nietzsches. He should know. But immediately we are in an area of philosophical controversy. Even to suggest that is legitimate is to take up a philosophical position. I could imagine a Platonic dialogue to that effect.
aw107 Nietzsche and his painful experiences
with Lou. His embarrassing
memories mentioned in letters. “As the relationship entered its last
throes, Nietzsche, in a letter to Franz Overbeck postmarked
Nietzsche’s life offered as model. Like Jesus. But in this case particularly appalling. The madness, challenging meaning. Why get so obsessed with this life when it is the ideas that are really interesting?
Idea that we should have more art and culture. That geniuses provide us with what we require.
Value of art. How this value gets misconceived. What is important is not this, but the importance we put on our own lives. Like it is still something like individual redemption, like a religious meaning. At best Goethe and Beethoven are emblematic of the sort of experience their art might inspire in us. As if we are called upon to perform an alchemy on our own lives. The standard set for interpreting ourselves.
ax18 power and politics. Orage, Stalinist Nietzscheans. Socialism. The natural defining hostility to socialism.
British Labour party. Idea of its foundation in a Nietzschean spirit. ‘with socialism as an economic doctrine I have nothing to do’
The inertia, the entropy of democracy. The antinietzscheanism of it.
The working man, sympathy for. Political correctness, nature of. Compromise, careers, feminism.
Watering down, Kaufmannising. Nietzsche. Different backgrounds giving different perspectives. The working class. Socialism as assertion. Compatibility with democracy. Perspectives that are not compatible, ‘fairness’ obsession.
Looking at ways of reconciling Nietzsche with various political attitudes. Understanding how someone might be a Nietzschean and a socialist., what about reconciling Nietzsche with various forms of anti-Nietzschean doctrine? Like in circles where some form of pc reigns?
How the requirements of career bring something like hypocrisy or that looks like it.
On the face of it, not very compatible with the reform programme of New Labour, the British Labour party.
Not an unlimited adaptability. The harshness of power, when you meet the sheer brutal entrenchedness of established doctrine, the logic by which antinietzschean doctrine becomes entrenched, and that it may be futile to oppose it.
How even a Nietzschean may accede to political correctness as if it expressed his own will. The sheer harshness of power when challenged. When it is entrenched. How far can one go in reconciling the left with Nietzsche?
ax41 Idea of Nietzsche and Hellenism. Nietzsche compared with Dawkins. Dawkins whole commitment to an atheistic scientific enlightenment from which all knowledge is to flow,. Nietzsche beyond this. He might prefer scientific enlightenment but that is far from being his whole case. It is not his propaedeutic. He can speak to us outside and beneath those conventions. I must try to express this better. Nietzsche’s thought does not presuppose or demand the establishment of scientific enlightenment to make sense. On his principles a scientific atheism or materialism may be a good or desirable development but it is not a sine qua non of understanding or accepting him.
What happened with Hellenism. Irruption of Persian and Egyptian culture. Scientific enlightenment should grow out of his principles rather than vice versa.
ax77 I would like to consider what Nietzsvche says about the philosophers of the future. That together with some of the things he says about freedom and orthodoxy, dismissive things, may lead him to countenance possible developments that he has not properly thought through.
There is an English culture which is so dominant, particular assumption, so taken for granted including in Germany that it can be useful for paradox sake to countenance their antithesis.
French talent for turning the individual into the collective.
These paradoxical form of life many be thought of as passed away. Inquisition.
The philosophers of the future may be thought of for themselves as sort of creative geniuses. Not as people making impertinent claims.
Very close connection of these aspects I am talking about, the impertinence and the demand for freedom.
Idea of not objecting to raw asserted power. Like the flirtation with totalitarianism, though the whole background it protestant. Talking as if that is understood, not seriously imperilled.
I think he is led to countenance phenomena that he would actually find quite strongly repellent faced with as present realties. Like a betrayal of the aggressive impulse that led to these favourable contemplations in the first place.
ax130 antinietzschean ideas are a form of barbarism. They are just as much a vehicle for selfish ambition.
The argument about whether or not man is selfish is one about whether or not we wish to be barbarians under the control of priests and/or women. Triumph of one type of human being over another.
That there is no universal good is Spinoza’s idea. Also of course Nietzsche’s All ideas of universal good are individual will to power the more tyrannical the more dogmatically held.
ay14 Concept of the weak. Feeling it should be possible to express some very concise understanding. The weak, the strong, this should be clear.
Mediocrity, power of women. Our present society, dominated by this ideology of the weak. Little sister. Curtailing you so she gets a share of power.
Speaking of ideology of weakness, talking about ‘reactive' does not capture it quite.
Take strength as including what you believe to be right. The values that are preached at us are demonstrably false in that they contain demonstrable falsehood.
Insinuation of Christianity the slave morality may also be present in Islam, because it is a bias in favour of the conforming majority. & Judaism of course. It is guarded by women.
Insinuation of Christianity and the false ideology of weakness.
Asceticism self denial. The rewards of power override the pain of denial. Ideas and opinions as tokens of power.
So what should the Nietzschean do? Practical Nietzsche. Concentrate solely on attacking the antinietzschean ideas that are preached at us.
Separate that from the pursuit of the own individual will. What is preached at us, philosophical excrement.
The Nietzschean can always win an argument against an antinietzschean. But antinietzschean ideas are more effective tokens of power than Nietzschean ones.
The quality of truth being not instantly apparent and its absence therefore easy to conceal.
ay22 Commentary on GM III
The Third Essay of the Genealogy of Morals, What do ascetic ideals mean?, bristles with insights. ‘The ascetic ideal’, we may understand as that of self denial. Nietzsche tells us that asceticism means all sorts of things, and in some cases nothing, but for the priest, it is the basis of his power.
‘In priests the basic priestly creed, the main instrument of their power.’
Yet among the valuable insights there are irritating judgments, like the one about Schopenhauer being ill constituted:-
Schopenhauer wrote about one effect of the Beautiful — the way it calms the will — but is it a regularly occurring effect? Stendhal, as mentioned, a no less sensual person, but with a natural constitution much happier than Schopenhauer’s, emphasizes another effect of the Beautiful: “the Beautiful promises happiness.”
and complaints about alcohol poisoning:-
Without any exaggeration, we can call it the true disaster in the history of the health of European people. At most, the specifically German influence might be comparable to its effect: I refer to the alcohol poisoning of Europe, which up to now has marched strictly in step with the political and racial superiority of the Germans (— wherever they have infused their blood, they have also infused their vices).
For between chastity and sensuality there is no necessary opposition. Every good marriage, every genuine affair of the heart transcends this opposition.
What did he know about good marriages, or even genuine affairs of the heart?
He can seem presumptuous. We might prefer to take his pontification about health and sickness as irony. The physiological explanation of modern decadence is a grotesque, even humorous, over simplification. Earlier he says how many different things the ideal can mean, then he goes for this explanation in terms of mass sickness. In an ironical, witty manic style he damns modern civilisation by condemning it as sick. This is a strange picture, hardly to be taken seriously. Sickness, what does the judgement amount to? Is it just rhetorical? Is lack of power itself to be accounted sickness or rather a cause of sickness?
We need to look on the ascetic priest as the preordained healer, shepherd, and advocate of the sick herd; in that way we can, for the first time, understand his immense historical mission. The ruling power over suffering people is his kingdom. His instinct instructs him to do that, in that he has his very own art, his mastery, his sort of success. He must be sick himself; he must be fundamentally related to the sick and those who go astray, in order to understand them — in order to be understood among them.
There are possibilities of misunderstanding what he says about asceticism, as if it is just the denial of the senses that is objected to here, and that might be corrected by some sort of African solution, or socialism which claims to liberate the senses.
much to say about the mentality of the Priest. Here is a quote from Dryden,
which I think has some application:-
"Tis sufficient to say, according to the proverb, that here is God's
plenty. We have our fore-fathers and great-grandames all before us, as
they were in Chaucer's days; their general characters are still
remaining in mankind, and even in England, tho' they are call'd by
other names than those of Monks and Friars, and Canons, and Lady
Abbesses, and Nuns: for mankind is ever the same, and nothing lost out
of nature, tho' everything is alter'd."
We might apply this thought to Nietzsche's concept of the ascetic priest. Assent to doctrines like those of political correctness may be seen as involving a form of asceticism or self denial that promises power and success within society. The priestly type is still prominent in our society.
He observes that the strong do not really like to combine:-
For we should not overlook the following point: through natural necessity strong people strive to separate from each other, just as much as weak people strive to be with each other. When the former unite, that happens only at the prospect of an aggressive combined action and a collective satisfaction of their will to power, with considerable resistance from the individual conscience. By contrast, the latter organize themselves collectively, taking pleasure precisely in this collective — their instinct is satisfied by this in the same way that the instinct of those born “Masters” (i.e., the solitary man of the predatory species of human being) is basically irritated and upset by organization. Under every oligarchy — all history teaches us — is always concealed the craving for tyranny. Every oligarchy is constantly trembling with the tension which every individual in it necessarily has in order to remain master of this craving. (That was the case, for example, with the Greeks. Plato provides evidence of this in a hundred passages — Plato, who understood his peers — and himself . . .).
Whatever the insight we get from Nietzsche, it gets corrupted as soon as the group take precedence over the individual. That is weakness. Establishment values mean priestly values, some kind of control.
Often if I find something to criticise in Nietzsche’s writing, it is on the basis of his own ideas, which suggests I am misreading him. For example, I am reluctant to accept the idea of mass sickness as an explanation for the ascetic ideal. There is a more obvious explanation in terms of power and ambition. The tendency to promote an objectionable idea of health.
He ends with the attack on the atheists, the freethinkers, describing will to truth as the final form taken by the ascetic ideal. We may relate the Bentham theory to the truth idea to try and get something clear about Benthamite values. What makes it shallow even if right as far as it goes? How are we to say it leaves out the desire for power? Its facts are ok, but adopted as a principle it serves a sectional interest and is blind to that.
Idea of oligarchs of the spirit, tyranny unhealthy. Yet there is contradiction. We don’t get the oligarchs of the spirit, we get would be tyrants. See specifically when and how tyranny is unhealthy. The idea of oligarchs of the spirit may be attractive as rescuing him from accusations of fascism, reconciling to constitutional politics. The point is that with Nietzsche you can keep your own politics.
The final concept of health is philosophically determined. First we have to accept his philosophy, the concept comes from that. There is a point about tyranny. One does not play the tyrant because one has become aware of what one has to deal with, ie refute. Playing the tyrant betrays ignorant unawareness of all that has to be combated honestly. So it comes as a form of weakness, which is unhealthy.
The scholars, temptation of weakness, group communal feeling.
Nietzsche scholarship and interpretation I am trying to relate to the ascetic ideal.
This does not exactly imply fellowship of purpose, however. That itself is weakness, if almost inevitable. The connection between power, ie status, and sickness. This is a very important observation.
ay57 Nietzsche philosophy and nominalism. Not quite clear what is being denied. What is meant by the theory of universals? What is meant by nominalism? Nothing universal but power.
az 6 Will to power of women. The weakness, the lack of the aggression found in the male will to power. The assertion of will to power is itself a form of aggression. It is to assert a point of view and deny others.
Perfect women higher than the perfect man. Something to do with his theory of evolution.
az23 OPN going well. I have developed a new interpretation of Nietzsche's political thought. More than just the self indulgence justified by invisible hand, the less than literal interpretation. The helpful suggestions.
I am a warrior but all my fealty is to the laws of rational thinking. But that is disingenuous. Not just to Nietzsche, but to an interpretation of him which I hold to be rational.. Understanding Nietzsche, arguing against opponents. See it as something worthwhile.
Turning oneself into the Ubermensch.
az28 Some thoughts on slavery. Free people and slaves. When Nietzsche speaks of slavery he is not thinking only of the ancient world, still less of the American cotton plantations. He is thinking of industrial workers in factories.
The political problems presented by this. The dependence on this of high civilisation. Threat that pity might undermine the latter.
Other considerations. There is a politics for free people and a politics for slaves. Slave values are a threat to the free, they tend towards prohibition. In some people’s opinion and policies there are some quite intolerable spiritual assumptions.
Take the question of how one is to achieve fulfilment in life. To someone to be treated as s a slave, the question does not really arise. He is permitted his form of happiness such as is laid down by his masters, who may be more or less benevolent. To lay down a pattern of happiness for free people involves intolerable spiritual presumption .
Catholics or Muslims may think they know what life is all about.
az31 Tagore’s poetry. Affirmation achieved by taking on the character of an innocent girl. Life taken as we may feel it should be, enjoyed for what it brings, then death can be accepted.
As Nietzsche says, this is not how intellectuals have mostly thought. Lives are complicated by frustration and discontent. Desire is thwarted.
az49 Attack on the idea of the magician. The magician as a proto Nietzschean individualist. This denounced as a western idea.
The battle against Nietzsche. The battle against the individualist position, to try and make it meaningless. Raw will, that attack on that. Will as seen outside the prism of morality. The effort to undermine all the distinctions that liberate the mind and enable us to discriminate. Effort to prove that freedom is slavery. That some dogma is equivalent to freedom of thought.
The huge interest of power in protecting the doctrine that gives them that power.
az70 Nietzsche traced the origins of slave morality historically, he made Christianity something to oppose. I can trace something more recent and contemporary and also understand the current order as something diabolic. Therefore propose a form of revolutionary change. This route as a way of moving beyond the system of GM. To begin not from blond beasts and slave owners, which anyway were not the beginning of humanity.
The contemporary relevance of Nietzsche’s critique of the origins of Christianity. Turning Christianity itself into a negative, Turning the so called truth into the reverse of the truth, the archetype of the lie.
But can we really do this? Glorifying the pagan Roman Empire.
Instead take Britain pre French Revolution, pre-Wesley. Negative forces there were because there as a popular press, as well as the church. Even in the middle ages there were prominent values counter to what we have come to think of as Christian. But ‘Christian values’ mean different things to different people. Clear light on the origins of nihilism. Adolescent nihilism is another question. Nihilism, the negation of one’s own values by a successful order.
Adolescent nihilism must be somehow related, That is to do with the strength of desire that is denied an outlet. Social cultural nihilism, to do with the domination of a repressive order.
Creativity the joy of. Escape from seeming inevitable oppression. Clichés and formulae, hackneyed ways so describing your condition. To glorify Rome, to glorify something rational. Image of a rational understanding. Tolerant as you like.
az107 Everything anti Nietzsche, the rejection of Nietzsche in favour of dogma. ‘If Nietzsche was wrong’ . the idea that he could be wrong leaves open sheer leftist dogmatism, Assumptions of morality.
az160 Hobbes - origin of the invisible hand. Doing away with teleology, with duty. As Aristotle was got rid of in science, so in moral and political thought.
The invisible hand. Nietzsche's thesis. If it is wrong, and morals are necessary, let it at least be recognised what is being rejected, let it not be travestied and misrepresented.
the idea that we can do without the Christian morality of restraint. As with Hobbes, let egoism run freely.
az167 Nietzsche on religion. Origins of slave morality. Created by the ruling class to keep the mishmash weak. Those who do not fit the scheme. End of a period of experiment.
What do we do now? Do we want authority for our discoveries or not?
Aryan myth. Ingenious and fanciful speculation.
End of a period for experimentation in art.
Something created by a ruling race to keep its creation in place.
What sort of purpose should we have? How to prevent the ruin of any comparable project we might form?
Not to wish experiment to continue endlessly when truth has been discovered. Twentieth century art, Painting. Looking at Nietzsche’s project.
Nietzsche as the Aryan. The conqueror filled with the utmost energy, nobility and creative vigour. His reflections on the Manu law book. His support of slavery.
Ideal for art, for a new classicism, born of all the discoveries that have been made. Time for a turning against the cult of the new. To consolidate everything, even the most experimental. To categorise. To keep everything right up to where we have arrived, now, but to go no further in that direction.
The consolidation is also a creative project of the highest order. It is forging new classicism out of the materials of modernism. For the new classicism, no need to return to the styles of Greece and Rome, but to create a new canon. At the renaissance there would also be a reference point in the nude human body.
Greece and Rome no longer to be the reference point only because new reference points shall have been created.
Aryan priesthood. Something that started in India, was repeated in Persia, was picked up by the Jews, repeated by the Germans who inherited Charlemagne’s empire. Something which involved lying and the weakening of the excluded class. This very weakening, though, gave them a weapon which turned in the slave revolt.
Earliest parts of the OT he saw as pre Babylon.
Might perhaps the political programme be somehow transferred to art? Taking sides in history. Romantic motives.
az176 Margaret Brearley accusing N. of responsibility for the Armenian massacre. Aiming to replace the god of Abraham etc by Dionysus. Also favouring Turks over Christians. German colonial massacres in Africa.
Missing Nietzsche’s distancing himself from Wagner. Nor does he boast of God’s murder, but shares responsibility with his fellows.
az184 Ambition to change the culture. Flaws in our art. Damien Hirst in painting, Ian McEwen in literature. Nietzschean ethics, my revolutionary book.
Further Nietzsche material
Degeneration, Nordau and Nietzsche
Nietzsche contra Psychoanalysis
Nietzsche and the Postmodernists
My paper Misreading Nietzsche was originally accepted for publication in The Journal of Nietzsche Studies.Nietzsche's Anti-Darwin
* Recently published book*
(Placing the Beast in his cultural background)
(If you don’t want to buy it please order from your local library)