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  •  Ode to Sociopathology. Ayn Rand. (5+ / 0-)

    I'm always astonished that anyone ever took her seriously, whether as a turgid, constipated writer, or as a 3rd tier intellectual.  But I truly resent her commandeering, as did the real Nazis before her, my beloved Nietzsche.

    It takes a movement to change the world, and the Oval Office just can't hold all of us --- me, in a moment of pithy pique.

    by oxon on Thu May 20, 2010 at 12:13:28 PM PDT

    •  Oh, thank you. I agree. (1+ / 0-)
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      Nietzsche is so wonderful and what he said was so ruined by his sister and brother-in-law.  Have you heard of the community in Argentina they founded.  Really sick society.  Last I heard, about 30 were still there, but most were so inbred that let's just say there was no more "Will to Power" left.  Sick, sick people so misused poor Friedrich.

      Jesus died for somebody's sins but not mine." -- Patti Smith

      by followyourbliss on Thu May 20, 2010 at 12:18:12 PM PDT

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      •  Wow! No, I'd never heard of that. (0+ / 0-)

        What's it called?  I need to look it up.

        I used to have a tag-line that read, "Is the victim moral?"  I thought it cut to the core of much of conflict-politics: competitive victimhood, and victimhood (a la the T party) as a prerequisite for moral standing.

        Yeah.  A whole bunch of people got THAT.

        Ever read Deleuze?  Somebody on here has that as their user ID.

        It takes a movement to change the world, and the Oval Office just can't hold all of us --- me, in a moment of pithy pique.

        by oxon on Thu May 20, 2010 at 12:24:42 PM PDT

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        •  I don't know the name, and it's probably (2+ / 0-)
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          oxon, leftist vegetarian patriot

          been ten years since I read about them.  But my guess is if you put Argentina and Nietzsche in the Google, you might find something.  I've never heard of Deleuze.  Who is s/he?  What does s/he say?

          Friedrich's sister "wrote" "Will to Power" by pulling Nietzsche's discarded sections out of the trash, thus forever literally trashing what he truly believed.  There's a reason he threw those pieces away, but, like the modern Tea Baggers, long discarded, segmented ideas are enough for them to destroy the actual thought behind the sentiment.  Witness the idea that they are supposed to be "populist."  But their form of "populism" ends up blaming those below them economically rather than the true culprits, the true elite -- the banksters.  Instead they defend the exact people who harm them rather than defend those harmed.  It's pathetic, but predictable and racist at its very heart.  Much like what Nietzsche's sister did with his thought.

          Jesus died for somebody's sins but not mine." -- Patti Smith

          by followyourbliss on Thu May 20, 2010 at 12:36:00 PM PDT

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          •  You should read Deleuze if you get the chance. (1+ / 0-)
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            Warning: Can be intimidating.  Just e-mail me if you tackle him, and I'll guide you through.

            Gilles Deleuze was considered to be the most important philosopher in France after Foucault's death, and in fact, the two knew and respected each other.  Deleuze rehabilitated Nietzsche in the West, rescuing him from his post-mortem fling with the Reich, re-elevated Spinoza, and went on to incorporate them (along with Henri Bergson) into a searingly brilliant corpus of original thought.  He co-authored some important books with Felix Guattari.

            A thumbnail won't do it justice, but he takes Nietzsche's intersection of forces (from Spinoza), filters it through Bergson's work on memory, to argue (inter alia) that the ethical act is the creative act.  We subtly create each other through our actions, retained in memory which shapes us.  In the same way as all things are the result of intersections, of collisions, of caresses.  

            The ethical, then, is not to refrain from a negative act so much as engage in a positive one, to render the other more capable of action than he/she was before.  To amplify each other.

            Nietzsche considered that forces were active or reactive.  Deleuze (especially with Guattari) complicates this wonderfully by demonstrating all manner of interactions.  His is a celebration of complexity in and of itself.

            It takes a movement to change the world, and the Oval Office just can't hold all of us --- me, in a moment of pithy pique.

            by oxon on Thu May 20, 2010 at 01:24:26 PM PDT

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          •  Nueva Germania. Paraguay. (0+ / 0-)

            Founded by Aryan supremacists to get away from "Jewish Influence."  As you say, the colony failed.  The supreme ones tried to use "superior" German agricultural technology in the jungle.  Good one.

            It takes a movement to change the world, and the Oval Office just can't hold all of us --- me, in a moment of pithy pique.

            by oxon on Thu May 20, 2010 at 01:59:07 PM PDT

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    •  What's wonderful about Nietzsche? (1+ / 0-)
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      I found his writing rather turgid myself, though I never read him in the original German.  But I gather you were speaking about his philosophy...

      •  Nothing, he's exactly what you think he is (1+ / 0-)
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        The germ of what the Nazis, Ayn Rand, and the neoconservatives (you'll see) allegedly turned Nietzsche into is already present in his writings.

        Nietzsche believed that there ought to be a stratum of society that create the values which everyone else will believe and live by: i.e. a ruling class. He believed that the behavior of this stratum should not be restrained by any code of ethics or law other than what they themselves create, which is no restraint at all. He believed that this stratum was not only necessary but desirable as only it could give value and purpose to the lower orders, who are incapable of desiring anything other than comfortable idleness ... sounds pretty neoconservative, doesn't he?

        Nietzsche believed that democracy, human rights, Christian ideals of humility, and even simple compassion prevented his blessedly psychopathic übermensch from emerging from the mass of humanity, and taking it up in his hands and shaping it and destroying it according to his whims. Nietzsche's ideal (though admittedly never stated explicitly) was aristocracy: kings and emperors playing with the world on a string - titans eternally warring with each other for supremacy.

        Nietzsche also believed in a sort of 'trickle down' effect, where us mere mortals would be conscripted to fight the übermensch's battles and raise up his monuments to himself, and thus be able to share in his glory in some small way, just as the mythological heroes of Ancient Greece fought and died to entertain the gods.

        •  Suffice to say that I disagree (0+ / 0-)

          entirely.  You are reading the superman as an external, separate other, just as Rand did.

          That wasn't his point.  The point was to engage rather than judge, to dance rather than suffer, even if it is harder to do.  The call isn't to SERVE Dionysus, but to be Dionysus.

          See, he starts from Spinoza's Ethics which (to brutally simplify) posits that the capacity for action is the same as being.  To enhance the capacity for action (power; puissance; capability) is to enhance being.  In this reading there is more will to power in an average one year-old than in all the political leaders ever assembled.  It is the desire to become.

          The dictator, the king, the emperor, is, in fact, an example of "slave-mentality," motivated by resentment.  Much as the T party is.  But resentment running counter to a straight-forward desire, gets one nowhere.

          Should desire be tied to judgement?  His rejection of judgment is not a rejection of ethical action.  Rather he extends Spinoza's point that ethical action means enhancing the other, combining with the other, not just refraining from harm.

          That, at least, are some of the aspects of his work that find compelling and relevant.

          It takes a movement to change the world, and the Oval Office just can't hold all of us --- me, in a moment of pithy pique.

          by oxon on Thu May 20, 2010 at 01:37:02 PM PDT

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          •  That is completely illogical (1+ / 0-)
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            The king is of the "slave mentality"? That's illogical. The king is by definition the master. Teabaggers resent the rest of us because they are deluded into believing that we have power over them, when in fact they - or rather their corporatist masters - have power over all of us, and merely lie to the teabaggers in order to use them: just as any master would.

            The 'slave morality' at its simplest is when one first defines evil, and good is defined automatically by evil as its opposite. It is the slave who resents the master, and so he defines the master as evil, and therefore to be good is not to be a master or anything that a master is.

            Conversely, the 'master morality' begins with the definition of good as identical to oneself, and much as before, evil is automatically defined by good as its opposite: i.e. anything other than oneself. At best you have the makings of a psychopath who is coldly indifferent to the suffering he causes as he works to maximize himself.

            You say that the average one-year-old has more 'will to power' than all the politicians in the world. I question this - a one-year-old can barely walk, never mind think or want anything other than milk - but besides ... who in their right mind would want to live in a world created by and for toddlers, and toddlers with absolute power no less? This is essentially what Nietzsche proposes: a world ruled by beings who arbitrarily elevate their basest impulses to supreme morality.

            That arbitrariness is how Nietzsche (and you) can argue that "His rejection of judgment is not a rejection of ethical action" - that amorality is functionally indistinguishable from morality because it is internally self-consistent. The übermensch is moral only because he has declared himself to be; his personal moral code is just as circular as god-based moral codes. Both philosophies justify this by arguing that God and the übermensch metaphysically define morality for the Universe and everyone in it and therefore can only be judged by their own standards.

            P1: X is good, where X is God or the übermensch.
            P2: X is X.
            C: X is good.
            The simplest definition of circular logic is where the premise and the conclusion are identical.

            Nothing in Nietzsche suggests that the superman is not meant to be a flesh-and-blood human. What is the relevance of his philosophy if it is not a prescription for humanity? I could also take a page from Wittgenstein and argue that the "real" Nietzsche is the [deliberately] misinterpreted one, given the nature of the people most attracted to Nietzsche's philosophy, along with the gist of Nietzsche is that one ought to become [like] the superman.

      •  See my response to Visceral, below, (0+ / 0-)

        for my own take.

        Well after his death his sister, not the sharpest blade in the drawer, compiled some of Nietzsche's discards and gave them to Hitler as a gift. The association has remained in social memory, unfortunately.  It wasn't until the early '60s that he was resurrected, first in France, then beyond.

        It takes a movement to change the world, and the Oval Office just can't hold all of us --- me, in a moment of pithy pique.

        by oxon on Thu May 20, 2010 at 01:40:23 PM PDT

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