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Re: Intolerant of numbers, the impersonal, etc.

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  • shadowed_statue
    Lee, You are not really convincing me by these arguments. Nietzsche is a thinker who evolves in the course of his lifetime, and each book is different. Thus
    Message 1 of 62 , Oct 26, 2009
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      Lee,

      You are not really convincing me by these arguments. Nietzsche is a thinker who evolves in the course of his lifetime, and each book is different. "Thus Spake Zarathustra" is very poetic and rhetorical, and evocative, I find, of his Lutheran background. He clearly does not want disciples or believers, however, and in this work as is characteristic of him in general, makes an invitation to those who are willing to 'go away'. So that I see the frequent use of the word, 'we', as inviting those who are ready to think independently and forge their own path. I am afraid that my reply is not as thorough as I would wish, because of my extreme fatigue. Possibly I might come back to thinking about these points tomorrow.

      Louise

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Lee" <lsmithaporia@...> wrote:
      >
      > Louise,
      >
      > Nietzsche uses "we" often. He is always speaking to us directly as way to include us in his insights. On the other hand, he writes "fur alle und keinen", for everyone and no one (the subtitle of Zarathustra).
      >
      > It is interesting that the sole socialist that Nietzsche criticizes by name (Duhring) is the very same author that Marx and Engels criticized so strenuously, the latter even writing a very large text titled " Anti-Duhring". In fact, if one reads Marx's critiques of the "socialists" of his time (see Poverty of Philosophy, The Holy Family, German Ideology) you will find passages that might remind you of Nietzsche.
      >
      > While it is true that Nietzsche, especially during the years of his professorship, was some stripe of 'aristocrat' (in desire only, as he was not of a very high class himself), most of that is in relation to his adoption of key parts of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, especially the eudemon idea. Nietzsche never developed any real political theory. On the other hand, his notion of "good European" implies a generosity of outlook not in keeping with his earlier positions on Germany. By the time of Human All Too Human, he was not as priggish (or reactionary, and certainly anti-Semitic) as he was when initially under the influence of Wagner. Thus I can, at least to my own satisfaction, see his thought moving in a more cosmopolitan way, becoming more "liberal" as time went by.
      >
      > Lee
      >
      >
      > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "shadowed_statue" <hecubatoher@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Lee,
      > >
      > > I think you have misread and misunderstood my reply to you. Would Nietzsche have used the term, 'we', in the way you do? He refers to "the very few" ('Foreword', "The Antichrist"):
      > >
      > > 1
      > >
      > > ~ Let us look one another in the face. We are Hypoboreans [note: in Greek mythology a race dwelling beyond the north wind (Boreas) in a land of warmth and plenty] - we know well enough how much out of the way we live. 'Neither by land nor by sea shalt thou find the road to the Hyboreans': Pindar already knew that of us. Beyond the North, beyond the ice, beyond death - our* life, our* happiness. ~
      > >
      > > How much you misinderstand Nietzsche, if you think that the comfortable mass thought of revolutionary socialism may be reconciled with it.
      > >
      > > Louise
      > >
      > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, Lee Smith <lsmithaporia@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Louise,
      > > >
      > > > You have misread and misunderstood my post concerning Nietzsche,
      > > > as well as the purpose of the whole post itself. There was nothing about a
      > > > collective there. It was about rediscovering a sense of self-affirmation in an
      > > > age of cynical disappointment. Moreover, I was suggesting that Existentialism was
      > > > a nexus of questions that were mishandled subsequently, and that our time must
      > > > go back to that nexus and answer them all again.
      > > >
      > > > Lee
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > ________________________________
      > > > From: shadowed_statue <hecubatoher@>
      > > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > > > Sent: Mon, October 26, 2009 4:15:44 AM
      > > > Subject: [existlist] Re: Intolerant of numbers, the impersonal, etc.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > Lee,
      > > >
      > > > I completely disagree with your apparent linking of "Nietzsche's fundamental teaching" with a sense of the collective. It is clear throughout his works that Nietzsche wrote for the few. He is an antidote to a cynical age, for those who are ready to take an individualist path. Politics is something else altogether, and I truly do not understand your use of the word, 'we' in the second paragraph. Perhaps it is because you are addressing Jim, and assuming sufficient common ground exists between you to make this bold generalisation about, what, a generation? What strikes me about our contemporary world is how intricate democracy is. The way government affects the individual, who may freely decide in favour of a certain collectivity, is what has my interest.
      > > >
      > > > Louise
      > > >
      > > > --- In existlist@yahoogrou ps.com, Lee Smith <lsmithaporia@ ...> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > Jim,
      > > > >
      > > > > Existentialism seems to me to be a certain pivot point for
      > > > > European thought given the dramatic questions opening the 20th Century. In a
      > > > > sense, it is a collective discourse trying to find its way between skepticism
      > > > > and ideology. A lot that was new and exciting then is now tired and the subject
      > > > > of cynicism. I think this century, the 21st, is inherently cynical. But
      > > > > cynicism will always just give in to power, so the question is how do we
      > > > > rediscover what it means to affirm ourselves. That is Nietzsche's fundamental teaching.
      > > > > Thus the new value of the genre of thought we call Existentialism.
      > > > >
      > > > > We seem not to have the same sense of literature and
      > > > > intellectualism that was had then, so we are left without any kind of buoy to
      > > > > guide us that is our own. In a way, it seems to me that we are bound to return
      > > > > to Existentialism as a retracing of our steps. I think we should go back to
      > > > > Marx, as well. I think we have to reaffirm our atheism, while at the same time
      > > > > rediscovering our humanism. In the process, both will no doubt be redefined.
      > > > >
      > > > > Lee
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > ____________ _________ _________ __
      > > > > From: Jim <jjimstuart1@ ...>
      > > > > To: existlist@yahoogrou ps.com
      > > > > Sent: Sun, October 25, 2009 5:30:32 PM
      > > > > Subject: [existlist] Re: Intolerant of numbers, the impersonal, etc.
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > Lee,
      > > > >
      > > > > You have read widely, and you seem to have taken on board the best bits of the various existentialist philosophers you mention, and rejected or bypassed their more suspect ideas.
      > > > >
      > > > > I agree with you when you write:
      > > > >
      > > > > "Still, there is a continual theme of the absurd, in existentialism, as a reaction to the inherent falsity of the world, and that quasi-rebellious outlook does seem to me have a progressive ring to it."
      > > > >
      > > > > Yes, the idea that the world is in some sense false or absurd is a central theme in existentialism, and most existentialists are rebels of some sort.
      > > > >
      > > > > I think it was Trotsky who said that we are most alive when we in conflict with our enemies, and this idea fits with the idea that the rebel is the person who is most alert, thinking the hardest, and acting most decisively.
      > > > >
      > > > > The downside of this is that existentialism does not seem to have much of a positive nature to say about how a society can exist with harmony between the rulers and those ruled, between those with power and those without power. Nor does it have much to say about how the divide between the powerful and the powerless can be overcome.
      > > > >
      > > > > I have not read much of Sartre, Foucault or Althusser, so I cannot comment on their political ideas, nor whether the central themes of existentialism â€" absurdity, rebelliousness, individual responsibility â€" can lead in a logical manor to ideas of democracy and social justice.
      > > > >
      > > > > To use Louise's helpful contrast, the aim should be for a peacefulness which is not a tamed stupor.
      > > > >
      > > > > Jim
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > > >
      > >
      >
    • Jim
      Louise, I look forward to reading further posts from you on this subject when your health improves. Best wishes, Jim
      Message 62 of 62 , Oct 27, 2009
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        Louise,

        I look forward to reading further posts from you on this subject when your health improves.

        Best wishes,

        Jim


        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "shadowed_statue" <hecubatoher@...> wrote:
        >
        > Jim,
        >
        > Thank you for this response, and the opportunity to clarify a previous statement about humanism. If my health shows some sign of improving, I hope to make a reply in due course. My thoughts keep appearing and disappearing again in disconcerting fashion.
        >
        > Louise
        >
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