Nietzsche in his work Thus Spoke Zarathustra writes; “wherever I find a living being I find the will to power” He writes in the persona of Zarathustra “life itself told me this secret!”… Life: “I am that which must overcome itself again and again…” where there is perishing and the falling of leaves, behold, there life sacrifices itself – for the sake of power!…” Nietzsche talks about self-overcoming, he writes as Zarathustra “a table of values hangs over every person, behold, it is the table of its overcoming; behold, it is the voice of the will to power.” He is of course talking about the “superman” so what is he actually getting here, a physical superman? I think Nietzsche is talking of potential, the need to sacrifice in order to live and flourish. I think he writes of hierarchical systems of values “a table of values over every people” that this system is the will of man to power. Ultimately I feel it talks about the sacrifice of freedom or liberties to impose or perhaps a better word might be manifest order in the world. He writes that man is something to be overcome, man is imperfect and must sacrifice to be more, however he seems to be at odds with this idea himself in later work Dawn he writes about the four errors of man. He writes; “Man has been read by his errors: first he never saw himself other than imperfectly, second he attributes to himself imaginary quotes, third he felt himself in a false order of rank, forth he continually invented new tables of values and for a time took each of those as eternal and unconditional, so that now this now that human drive and state took first place and was, as a consequence of the evolution, ennobled. If one deducts the effects of those four errors, one has also deducted away humanity, humanness and ‘human dignity’ “.
It is that the superman would be more than man. He is referring to the systems of man, for if man overcomes these errors man would transcend his limits through will, these systems like leaves would keep perishing but it would come at a grate cost, the price would be that we are no longer human but something other a superman.
However, what does this mean for our freedom and liberty? It means compromise, witch we do, we routinely surrender our liberty to a higher system of values something that transcends our individuality. In other words, we conform to social pressures, however I feal there has to a limit in these social pressures these higher values as it were for anything more would be social tyranny. We need to balance our individual liberty with the grater good. In times of revolution like the times we find ourselves in now, these lines become blurred such as in the French revolution, the Marxist – Trotskyist, Nazism and the former Dark Ages. We like to think these things can never happen again, but it is precisely that kind of thinking that leads us to those dark places. The road to hell is paved with good intensions.“It is this motion Sociology that opened the floodgates to the post truth era. delving us into the modern-day political mess we are in today. The post truth era is marked by appeals to emotion, most evident in political climate concern, identity politics and economic mass immigration. The good thing about philosophy is all or most of the origins of social construction are carefully committed to paper for posterity. Meaning we can look back and ask why did we do that? We can say progressively that we have worked to protect the individual from tyranny of state or government and Society itself. Where formerly it was deemed acceptable to oppress a group on the whim of a larger group. Might is right as the out-dated saying goes. We moved further toward liberty, not just of the body but of the soul. “Society can and does execute it’s own mandates: and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with which it ought not to meddle, it practices a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself. Protection, therefore, against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough: there needs protection also against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling; against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them; to fetter the development, and, if possible, prevent the formation, of any individuality not in harmony with its ways, and compel all characters to fashion themselves upon the model of its own. There is a limit to the legitimate interference of collective opinion with individual independence: and to find that limit, and maintain it against encroachment, is as indispensable to a good condition of human affairs, as protection against political despotism.” On Liberty by John Stuart Mill. Sadly we find ourselves here in 2021 with the battlements of individual liberty being eroded away, with no hero workers to patch them up. The above quote was written in 1850 and describes best the necessity of civil or social independence for the individual, I think. As it would appear that today in the post truth era any notion of individual liberty has been lost. As made evident in On Liberty “People are accustomed to believe, and have been encouraged in the belief by some who aspire to the character of philosophers, that their feelings, on subjects of this nature, are better than reasons, and render reasons unnecessary….” No society can progress under such absurdity and sessions on liberty and opportunity should never be approached in modernity from such destructive and tyrannical incompetence. To continue that quote “The practical principle which guides them to their opinions on the regulation of human conduct, is the feeling in each person’s mind that everybody should be required to act as he, and those with whom he sympathizes, would like them to act. No one, indeed, acknowledges to himself that his standard of judgment is his own liking; but an opinion on a point of conduct, not supported by reasons, can only count as one person’s preference; and if the reasons, when given, are a mere appeal to a similar preference felt by other people, it is still only many people’s liking instead of one.” Formally the word liberty was identified as the protection for the individual from the magistrate but now as addressed in 1850 we need to broaden the term liberty to include both protection from the magistrate and society at large. So as by popular opinion we cannot force upon an individual a group identity and allowing for a better moral principle dedicated to the protection of the individual in society. “They [society] have occupied themselves rather in inquiring what things society ought to like or dislike, than in questioning whether its likings or disliking’s should be a law to individuals. They preferred endeavouring to alter the feelings of mankind on the particular points on which they were themselves heretical, rather than make common cause in defence of freedom, with heretics generally.” It is very scary that one can cast from 1850 problems with direct relevance today. Group identity as it was prior to enlightenment has resurfaced its ugly head.” Blog 031 Nietzsche’s superman is man that transcends these systems of man and lives true to man’s nature shedding the leaves and yolks of both wating to conform people and feeling the need to conform to others ideals and ideologies, Nietzsche’s superman is the Authentic man. Especially so of an individual that rises above the group and does the right thing regales of pressions to conform overcoming itself again and again thus becoming life itself. While it is easy to write about such things it far harder to live it.