Re: The Greek State, book study: paragraph 13.
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "sauwelios" <sauwelios@...> wrote: [snipped]
>I no longer think we should take the word "mirror" (Spiegel) in paragraph 13 so literally. Paragraph 4 of the 'fragment to an advanced form of The Birth to Tragedy', which connects the BT with The Greek State and The Greek State with The Greek Woman, and a translation of the relevant part of which can be found in message # 65, in its entirety reads:
> Here we find two ideas, which together will allow us to complete our
> task, even though there is one more paragraph. The first idea is that
> the military genius creates a "martial work of art". This martial work
> of art, then, must be the great artistic mirror image of nature, in
> which she appears transfigured. And indeed, is not war the greatest
> image of nature? Did not Heraclitus, the untouchable Heraclitus, assert
> that war be the father of all? Nature is the mother of all - and here
> this Mother Earth is mirrored in the cloudless sky, as in a waveless
> water, and behold! we see her as a blazing sun, lighting all, warming
> all, consuming all.
"When this artistic reverberation of the primordial pain brings forth yet a second reflection [Spiegelung, "mirroring"], as a side-sun, from out of itself: then we have the conjoint *Dionysian-Apollinian work of art*, to whose mystery we seek to come closer in this metaphorical language."
This refers to the artist who has become one with the Primordial One and has in that state or ec-stasy created a 'reverberation' (Wiederschein) of the primordial pain "for his own redemption" (paragraph 3). One example Nietzsche gives of such an artist in paragraph 3 is "the great *musician*". We are reminded of TSZ 'Of the Great Longing', where Zarathustra tells his soul that, in order not to *weep* because of the pain of overfulness, she has to *sing*... This song, this music, is then the *first* reflection. And perhaps we can say that the *second* reflection is 'brought forth' from that song when the song tells a tale, 'paints' a picture, a scene. In TSZ, that scene is the next chapter, 'The Second Dance-Song', in which Zarathustra and Life get married, and Life loses her maiden name, being thenceforth called Eternity.---
The mirror image of Nature, then, can be any Apollinian-artistic image. It need not remind us of Nature as a whole. It is a mirror image in the sense that Apollinian art always imitates and perfects Nature. This perfection is Nature's deliverance: e.g., the perfection of *human* nature in the Olympians. And the perfection of Nature by the *military* genius consists in his directing his 'orchestra', his army: he is an *Apollinian* genius in that tactics and strategy require imagination, not rage---the grace of Athena, not Ares; of Apollo, not Dionysus.
- --- In email@example.com, "sauwelios" <sauwelios@...> wrote:
>This is completely wrong. I will have to analyse these paragraphs again. I will work from the German text in doing so.
> "The Greeks did not require such conceptual hallucinations, for among
> them the idea that labour is a disgrace is expressed with startling
> frankness; and another piece of wisdom, more hidden and less articulate,
> but everywhere alive, added that the human thing also was an ignominious
> and piteous nothing and the "dream of a shadow" [Pindar: Pythia 8, 95].
> Labour is a disgrace, because existence has no value in itself; when
> however this very existence shines forth in the alluring embellishment
> of artistic illusions and really does seem to have a value in itself,
> even then that proposition is still valid that labour is a disgrace -
> namely in the feeling that it is impossible for the man who fights for
> the continuance of bare existence to become an artist. In modern times
> it is not the art-needing man but the slave who determines the general
> conceptions, the slave who according to his nature must give deceptive
> names to all conditions in order to be able to live. Such phantoms as
> the dignity of man, the dignity of labour, are the needy products of
> slavedom hiding itself from itself. Woeful time, in which the slave
> requires such conceptions, in which he is incited to think about and
> beyond himself! Cursed seducers, who have destroyed the slave's state of
> innocence by the fruit of the tree of knowledge! Now the slave must
> vainly scrape through from one day to another with transparent lies
> recognizable to every one of deeper insight, such as the alleged "equal
> rights of all" or the so-called "fundamental rights of man," of man as
> such, or the "dignity of labour." Indeed he is not to understand at what
> stage and at what height dignity can first be mentioned, namely at the
> point where the individual goes wholly beyond himself and no longer has
> to work and to produce in order to preserve his individual existence.
> "And even on this height of "labour" the Greek at times is overcome by a
> feeling that looks like shame. In one place Plutarch [Pericles, 2] says
> with classical Greek instinct that no nobly born youth, on beholding the
> Zeus in Pisa, would have the desire to become himself a Phidias, or on
> seeing the Hera in Argos, to become himself a Polyklet; and just as
> little would he wish to be Anacreon, Philetas or Archilochus, however
> much he might revel in their poetry. To the Greek the work of the artist
> falls just as much under the undignified conception of labour as any
> ignoble craft. But when the compelling force of the artistic impulse
> operates in him, then he must produce, and submit himself to that need
> of labour. And as a father admires the beauty and the gift of his child,
> but thinks of the act of procreation with shamefaced dislike, so it was
> with the Greek. The joyful astonishment at the beautiful has not blinded
> him as to its origin [Werden, "becoming"], which appeared to him, like
> all "becoming" [Werden] in nature, to be a powerful necessity, a forcing
> of itself into existence. That feeling by which the process of
> procreation is considered as something shamefacedly to be hidden,
> although by it man serves a higher purpose than his individual
> preservation, that same feeling veiled also the origin [Entstehung] of
> the great works of art, in spite of the fact that through them a higher
> form of existence is inaugurated, just as through that other act comes a
> new generation. The feeling of shame seems therefore to occur where man
> is merely a tool of manifestations of the will which are infinitely
> greater than he is permitted to consider himself, in the isolated shape
> of the individual.
> "Now we have the general idea to which the feelings are to be
> subordinated which the Greek had with regard to labour and slavery. Both
> were considered by them as a necessary disgrace, of which one feels
> ashamed, as a disgrace and as a necessity at the same time. In this
> feeling of shame is hidden the unconscious discernment that the real aim
> needs those conditional factors, but that in that need lies the fearful
> and beast-of-prey-like quality of the sphinx called Nature, who in the
> glorification of the artistically free culture-life so beautifully
> stretches forth her virgin-body. Culture, which is chiefly a genuine
> need for art, rests upon a terrible basis: the latter however makes
> itself known in the twilight sensation of shame. In order that there may
> be a broad, deep, and fruitful soil for the development of art, the
> enormous majority must, in the service of a minority, be slavishly
> subjected to life's struggle, to a greater degree than their own wants
> necessitate. At their expense, through the surplus of their labour, that
> privileged class is to be relieved from the struggle for existence, in
> order to create and to satisfy a new world of want."
> At the end of paragraph 3, Nietzsche tells us "at what stage and at what
> height dignity can first be mentioned, namely at the point where the
> individual goes wholly beyond himself and no longer has to work and to
> produce in order to preserve his individual existence."
> But at the end of paragraph 4, he suggests that the feeling of shame
> occurs "where man is merely a tool of manifestations of the will which
> are infinitely greater than he is permitted to consider himself, in the
> isolated shape of the individual" - that is, at the same point where
> dignity can first be mentioned!
> Thus on the humblest stage, on which the individual labours for his own
> self-preservation, there is no dignity, nor is there shame, but there
> ought to be shame, as there is no dignity... On the next stage, however,
> where dignity can first be mentioned, there is still shame, because no
> dignity has yet been conferred: the fact that one does not need to
> labour for one's own self-preservation - that is, a wholly negative
> characteristic - does not yet confer dignity, though Nietzsche does
> suggest that at this level dignity can be mentioned. We have yet to see
> what it is, precisely, that confers dignity.
I wrote message # 49, to which I'm replying here, before I made my study of aidôs (in the thread starting with message # 241). The shame mentioned in the above translation of paragraphs 3-5 of The Greek State is aidôs---e.g., in the example of the act of procreation, aidôs before the power of 'Aphrodite' (cf. Euripides' *Hippolytos*).
What did the Greeks consider a disgrace, what gave the Greeks a sense of shame, according to Nietzsche? The key lies in the following passage:
"This feeling of shame contains the unconscious perception that the actual aim *needs* [bedarf] those presuppositions, that however in that *need* [Bedürfniss] lies the horrible and beast-of-prey-like quality of the sphinx called Nature who in the glorification of the artistically free culture-life so beautifully stretches forth her damsel's-body."
More precisely, the key lies in the phrase "artistically free culture-life". For what the Greeks considered a disgrace, what gave the Greeks a sense of shame, was *unfreedom* (or, as the instinct of freedom is the will to power (GM II 18), *impotence*). The slave was not free not to toil for his survival; the artist was not free not to act on his 'inspiration'. Only *freedom* confers dignity---or, as Nietzsche implies later, labour in the *service* of freedom:
"[E]very human being, with his total activity, only has dignity in so far as he is a means of the genius, consciously or unconsciously[.]"
But how is the genius (i.e., in this context, the *Apollinian* genius) free? Free from the (semi-)Schopenhauerian 'will'? The answer is: "only *apparently*; not actually":
"What is the *beautiful*?---a pleasure-experience, which hides from us the actual aims that the will has in an appearance [die der Wille in einer Erscheinung hat]. By what, then, is the pleasure-experience aroused? Objectively: the *beautiful* is a smiling of Nature, an excess of force and of pleasure-feeling of existence: one should think of plants. It is the damsel's-body of the Sphinx. The aim of the beautiful is Seducing-to-existence. Now, what is actually that smiling, that seductiveness? Negatively: the concealing of need [Noth], the smoothing-away of all folds and the cheerful soul-glance of the thing.
"See Helena in every woman" the lust for existence conceals the unbeautiful. *Negation of need* [Noth], either true or seeming negation of need is the beautiful. The sound of one's native tongue in a strange land is beautiful. Even the worst piece of music can be experienced as beautiful in comparison with adverse howling, whereas it is experienced as ugly compared to other pieces of music. So it is with the beauty of plants etc. as well. The need [Bedürfniss] for the negation of need [Noth] and the *semblance* of such a negation must meet halfway.
Of what, then, does this semblance consist? Impetuousness, lust, crowding, and distorted stretching-out are not permitted to be noticeable. The actual question is: how is this *possible*? Considering the terrifying nature of the will? Only by means of an *image* [Vorstellung], subjectively: by means of a phantom [Wahngebilde, literally "delusional image"] that is shoved in between, which gives the pretense of the success of the lustful world-will; the beautiful is a blissful *dream* on the countenance of a being whose features now smile in hope. With this dream, this anticipation in his head does Faust see "Helena" in every woman. Thus we find that the individual will also can dream, can anticipate, has images and fantasies [Vorstellungen und Phantasiebilder]. The aim of Nature in this beautiful smiling of that will's appearances is the seduction of other individuals to existence. The plant is the beautiful world of the animal, the whole world that of man, the genius the beautiful world of the primordial will itself. The *creations of art are the highest pleasure-goal of the will*.
Every Greek statue can teach us that the beautiful is only negation.---The highest enjoyment does the will have at the Dionysian tragedy, because here even the terrifying face of existence stimulates to living-on---by means of ecstatic excitations."
(Nietzsche, Nachlass End 1870-April 1871 7 , entire. Cf. WP 799 (1888).)
Note that the word translated as "lust" above, *Gier*, does not (necessarily) mean *sexual* lust, but rather hunger, voraciousness, etc.
The---Apollinian---genius is the beautiful world of the primordial will; his artistic creations are the supreme pleasure-goal of that will. The primordial will, the Primordial One Itself, then, is successfully deluded by such genius. And if even the Primordial One is deluded, what relevant distinction can there then be left between this delusion and the *truth*? For this reason, the *seeming* freedom of the Apollinian genius confers *actual* dignity on all who work in his service.---
- Culture, which is chiefly a genuine need for art,
rests upon a terrible basis [...]. In order that there may be a broad,
deep, and fruitful soil for the development of art, the enormous
majority must, in the service of a minority, be slavishly subjected to
life's struggle, to a greater degree
than their own wants necessitate. At their expense, through the surplus
of their labour, that privileged class is to be relieved from the
struggle for existence, in order to create and to satisfy a new world of
This situation is brought about by conquest:
- [W]hat can the state mean to us, if not the means by which that
social process described just now is to be brought into flux and to be
guaranteed in its unimpeded continuance. Be the sociable instinct [Trieb, "drive"] in individual man as
strong as it may, it is only the iron clamp of the state that
constrains the large masses upon one another in such a fashion that that
chemical decomposition of society, with its pyramid-like
superstructure, is bound to take place. Whence however originates this
sudden power of the state, whose aim lies much beyond the insight and
beyond the egoism of the individual? How did the slave, the blind mole
of culture, originate? The
Greeks in their instinct [Instinkt]
relating to the law of nations have betrayed it to us, in an instinct
which even in the ripest fullness of their civilization and humanity
never ceased to utter as out of a brazen mouth such words as: "To the
victor belongs the vanquished, with wife and child, life and property.
Power gives the first right,
and there is no right, which at bottom is not presumption, usurpation,
In paragraph 11, Nietzsche implies that, contrary to Hobbes, he thinks that the state of nature is not necessarily a war of all against all, but can---admittedly at best---be a war of all families against all families. And indeed, in a long piece from the Nachlass that may be regarded as the sequel to 'The Greek State', and is sometimes titled 'The Greek Woman', Nietzsche argues that the family complements the state, if necessary (i.e., if the state is not perfect, like Plato's ideal state).
This state of nature overcomes itself, bringing forth a 'state', when one---extended, not nuclear!---family overpowers and enslaves another. A 'caste system' emerges:
The surplus labour of the enslaved conquered allows the conquerors to devote themselves to 'leisure' activities like art. While the conquered have to toil, the conquerors can 'dream':
- [T]he totality of the dream-life of many human beings is
[...] the preparation of the [Apollinian] genius.
[Nachlass Anfang 1871 10 .]
The military genius is the prototypical Apollinian genius:
- The Apollinian genius---development of the military genius into
the political one, into the sage (Age of the Seven), into the poet,
into the sculptor, painter. (Continuity [Fortbestehen, "persistance"] of the older species.)
[Nachlass 1871 9 .]
The Apollinian genius is of course the genius of vision. It is through the visions ('dreams') of this genius that nature finds her "deliverance in appearance" (paragraph 9):
long as [in the example of the sculptor] the statue still floats as a
fantasy image [Phantasiebild]
before the eyes of the artist, he is still playing with the real [i.e.,
with nature]: when he translates this image into the marble, he is
playing with the dream.
['The Dionysian Worldview', 1.]
The Primordial One is already delivered when the artist (in the broad sense: according to BT 1, every man is wholly an artist while---literally---dreaming) plays with the 'real' (nature, which is itself a dream by the Primordial One). For the Primordial One experiences everything the 'characters' in the 'play' It imagines (nature) experience. But nature itself does not. The genius is a part of nature, and he is the only part of nature that sees his visions. Therefore, the "mirror of the genius" (paragraph 9) in which nature comes "to her deliverance in appearance" must be the actualised artwork, not the artist's fantasy image.
Now the military genius is an Apollinian genius in that he is, so to say, inspired not by the 'Dionysian' (Titanic or barbaric) war god Ares, but by the 'Apollinian' war goddess Athena. His art is the art of tactics and strategy. And not only do his tactical and strategic visions deliver the Primordial One, and not only do the practical applications of these visions deliver nature, but his art is the only thing that can artificially bring about the emergence of genius. In the state of nature, the emergence of the genius can only be a fortunate accident: as we saw in paragraph 7-8, the first state comes about when one family conquers another---and this means the conquering family has, at its head, a military genius ("the original founder of states" (paragraph 13)).
In fact, such a conquering family may be considered an archaic or archetypical (Urbild literally means "archetype", not "prototype") state:
- He who contemplates war and
its uniformed possibility, the soldiers'
profession, with respect to the hitherto described nature of the
state, must arrive at the insight that through war and in the soldiers'
profession is placed before our eyes an image, or even perhaps the prototype of the state. Here we see
as the most general effect of the war-tendency an immediate
decomposition and division of the chaotic mass into military castes, out of which rises
pyramid-shaped, on an exceedingly broad bottom layer of slaves, the
edifice of the 'martial society'.
Such a family is itself organised, itself a pyramid. And such an organisation is indeed what is bound to occur in the state of nature, which is a state of war:
- [W]ar represents a social
modality through which a society seeks to overcome a crisis.
[Philip Quadrio, 'Odhinn and Tyr: Two modes of Sovereignty'.]
Nietzsche later described the effect on a group of people of such a crisis in a manner reminiscent of his description of that effect in paragraphs 8 and 13:
- It is
the value of such a crisis that it purifies, that it pushes together
related elements to perish of each other, that it assigns common tasks
to men who have opposite ways of thinking---and it also brings to light
the weaker and less secure among them and thus promotes an order of rank
according to strength, from the point of view of health: those who
command are recognized as those who command, those who obey as those who
obey. Of course, outside every existing social order.
[WP 55 (1887).]
This is how the genius emerges in a state of crisis: it is the military genius. This genius can only develop into the political genius, and beyond (see Nachlass 1871 9 , quoted above), in a state of stability. In fact, I think the political genius is, in the beginning, simply the military genius in times of peace/stability:
- [The] Magical Images [of the Sephiroth Chesed and
Geburah] are both kings; that of Chesed a king on his throne, and that
of Geburah a king in his chariot; in other words, the rulers of the
kingdom in peace and in war; the one a lawgiver and the other a warrior.
[Dion Fortune, The Mystical Qabalah, XVIII, 5-6.]
The more stable the society is, the further the Apollinian genius can develop away from his original, political function---all the way to wholly 'luxurious' forms, like the sculptor. But this is a development into the breadth. There is also a development into the height, and this occurs due to the intra-political effect of the war-tendency: see paragraphs 10 and 11, and cf. another 'preface' Nietzsche dedicated to Mrs. Wagner: 'Homer's Contest'.
And not only the development into the height of the political genius and beyond depends on the intra-political effect of the war-tendency, but that of the military genius as well. As Clausewitz says:
- [A]mongst uncivilised people we never find a really great
general, and very seldom what we can properly call a military genius,
because that requires a development of the intelligent powers which
cannot be found in an uncivilised state.
[Clausewitz, On War, Chapter III.]
In Nietzsche's words, it requires a development of "the power to feel the rapture of the vision" (Nachlass Anfang 1871 10 ). This idea is also found, in ironic form, in Plato's 'Ion':
- Socrates. Do you mean that a rhapsode will know better
than the pilot what the ruler of a sea-tossed vessel ought to say?
Ion. No; the pilot will know best.
Soc. Or will the rhapsode know better than the physician what the ruler of a sick man ought to say?
Ion. He will not.
Soc. But he will know what a slave ought to say?
Soc. Suppose the slave to be a cowherd; the rhapsode will know better than the cowherd what he ought to say in order to soothe the infuriated cows?
Ion. No, he will not.
Soc. But he will know what a spinning-woman ought to say about the working of wool?
Soc. At any rate he will know what a general ought to say when exhorting his soldiers?
Ion. Yes, that is the sort of thing which the rhapsode will be sure to know.
Soc. Well, but is the art of the rhapsode the art of the general?
Ion. I am sure that I should know what a general ought to say.
Soc. Why, yes, Ion, because you may possibly have a knowledge of the art of the general as well as of the rhapsode; and you may also have a knowledge of horsemanship as well as of the lyre: and then you would know when horses were well or ill managed. But suppose I were to ask you: By the help of which art, Ion, do you know whether horses are well managed, by your skill as a horseman or as a performer on the lyre---what would you answer?
Ion. I should reply, by my skill as a horseman.
Soc. And if you judged of performers on the lyre, you would admit that you judged of them as a performer on the lyre, and not as a horseman?
Soc. And in judging of the general's art, do you judge of it as a general or a rhapsode?
Ion. To me there appears to be no difference between them.
Soc. What do you mean? Do you mean to say that the art of the rhapsode and of the general is the same?
Ion. Yes, one and the same.
Soc. Then he who is a good rhapsode is also a good general?
Ion. Certainly, Socrates.
Soc. And he who is a good general is also a good rhapsode?
Ion. No; I do not say that.
Soc. But you do say that he who is a good rhapsode is also a good general.
Soc. And you are the best of Hellenic rhapsodes?
Ion. Far the best, Socrates.
Soc. And are you the best general, Ion?
Ion. To be sure, Socrates; and Homer was my master.
Socrates never really succeeds at refuting this claim of Ion's, and indeed, he concludes:
have literally as many forms as Proteus; and now you go all manner of
ways, twisting and turning, and, like Proteus, become all manner of
people at once, and at last slip away from me in the disguise of a
Ion succeeded in slipping away from the cunning Socrates! Could it be that the connection between the genial Apollinian artist and the military genius "is here discovered with a poetic intuition" (paragraph 14) by Plato?
In any case:
- The Greek Will made it
impossible for the need of culture to be satisfied in the seclusion of a
[Nachlass Ende 1870-April 1871 7 , a.k.a. 'The Greek Woman'.]
The military genius is necessary for any artificial development of Apollinian genius. But he is not himself aware of this fact; nor are most other kinds of Apollinian genius. The only kind of Apollinian genius who is aware of this is the genius of wisdom and knowledge (who may perhaps not be simply equated with the sage, by the way). Case in point: Nietzsche, in this very essay. In this sense, then, Plato was right, if not in excluding the genial artist from his state, at least in placing the genius of wisdom and knowledge at the head of it. Did Nietzsche realise this?
To be sure, Nietzsche later envisaged a synthesis of the military genius and the genius of wisdom and knowledge:
- The human horizon.---One can conceive philosophers as
those who make the most extreme efforts to test how far man could elevate
himself---Plato especially: how far
his strength will reach. But they do it as individuals; perhaps the
instinct of the Caesars, of founders of states, etc., was greater, as
they pondered how far man might be driven in his evolution and under
'favourable conditions'. But they had an insufficient understanding of
the nature of favourable circumstances. Great question: where has the
plant 'man' hitherto grown up most magnificently? For this question the
study of comparative history is necessary.
[The Will to Power, section 973 (1885), entire.]
The artist-philosopher. Higher concept of art. Whether a man can place himself so far distant from other men that he can form them? (---Preliminary exercises: (1) he who forms himself, the hermit; (2) the artist hitherto, as a perfecter on a small scale, working on material.)
[ibid., section 795 (1885-1886), entire.]
I think Nietzsche ranked those who formed themselves higher than those who only worked on 'material'. Thus we may establish the following order of rank:
1. Philosophical men of power [Gewalt, "violence"] and artist-tyrants (cf. WP 960);
2. Caesars, founders of states (non-philosophical);
3. Philosophers (non-tyrannical);
4. Those who form themselves, hermits (non-tyrannical);
5. Artists as perfecters on a smaller scale (non-tyrannical,
If we now merge #s 3 and 4, which I think is an obvious thing to do, we see that the order of rank of artists ranges from merely artistic men through artistic and philosophical men and artistic and tyrannical men to men who are both artistic, philosophical, and tyrannical. The reason # 2 ranks higher than # 3, in my view, is that # 2 has the instinct, but not the wisdom, whereas # 3 has the wisdom but not the instinct: thus # 2 lacks a thing of the mind, spirit, or intellect (Geist), whereas # 3 lacks a thing of the body---and the body is more fundamental than the spirit for Nietzsche.
I have elsewhere expressed the idea that those of rank # 1 shall have the instinct of an uncorrupted Caesar (cf. WP 1026, where Nietzsche calls Napoleon a corrupted Caesar) and the understanding of an uncorrupted Plato (and was Plato himself really corrupted by Socrates? Or is that only the exoteric Plato?...). We may also think here of Nietzsche's idea of the Roman Caesar with the soul of Christ (WP 983): Christianity is a form of Platonism, after all (BGE Preface). Compare paragraph 6.