Monday, May 01, 2006

Always for the Masses

In response to what he saw as the degradation and emasculation of Europe, Nietzsche advocated the law of nature as defined by Callicles in Plato’s Gorgias, the self-interested and unconditional dominion of the strong over the weak. However, because the essence of sophistic teaching is actually human sameness, the distinction between strong and weak has no place within it; and even the doctrine of Callicles must eventually reinterpret itself as self-interest for the masses. Nietzsche’s mistake here was critical. Logically he was trapped. In an unwitting attempt to escape he created a man-god of his own, ill-defined, ironically idealistic, and as readily reshaped, appropriated, massified and idolized as the idol he so boldly opposed. Consider Plato and Aristotle. How easily have moralists done away with the aristocratic aspects of their doctrines, while putting the universalizing ideas into the service of such equalizing systems as democracy and communism. Universality by definition embraces the many to the detriment of the few. It insists upon sameness and urges the leveling of mankind to its lowest manifestation. Had Nietzsche realized that Christianity was actually sophism for the masses, his positive teaching might have been as effective as his negative.

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