by cheri block sabraw
Nietzsche’s First Essay in his On the Genealogy of Morality traces the origins of our Western values. He bifurcates early human groups into two: the aristocratic nobles and the priestly/slaves.
It would be understatement to say that he reviles the priest/slave class.
The Greek ideal, the warriors who just be without regard for others’ judgments or labels, those elites who eat, play, joust, kill, and exist without much regard for those they kill or consume are in Nietzsche’s plus column.
Those who are on the receiving end of the crap are the priests/slaves who in their powerlessness, devise passive aggressive ways of turning their dung heap existence into a resentful advantage in which their lot is “good” and they are “good” because they are victims; their victors are “bad.”
His First Essay attempts to discuss the differences between bad and good and bad and evil. Nietzsche trivializes Dante’s “naivete” ( in the Inferno) in [his} labeling the sign above Hell with the following words: Eternal love created me as well, saying that the sign should have read, Eternal hate created me, as well.” I must agree with Nietzsche in his observation.
Nietzsche first uses the Jews and then the Christians to illustrate this group of people.
Their powerlessness created their hatred, he says, and helped the later Christians to gather support in a religious movement that emphasized that suffering is good and forgiveness necessary for eternal salvation. This belief then caused believers to focus on the next world and how to get there.
Nietzsche believes that our morality has been hijacked by a large group of people who are manipulators.
He doesn’t fully come to terms with the raping and pillaging of the less powerful and the stripping of dining tables and dresses, but he does make some excellent points which I submit here:
1. Most of us are oriented toward everything outside of us. We are blamers, we humans. Nietzsche calls this blamer mentality “ressentiment,” a term whereby a victim blames his poverty or unhappiness or abuse on someone or thing outside of himself. He becomes a victim and then capitalizes on victim status.
2. Meek is bad. So is righteousness and so is reactive behavior.
The discussion today swirled around without answer. Calls for definitions of “sovereign man” and “free will.”
Other translations from the German were exhumed from backpacks.
The word “dismal” in one translation became “somber” in another.
Today the seminar wrestled with Nietzsche.
Nietzsche wrestled with the seminar.
Call him what you will.