Monday, June 18, 2007

The Madness of Neitzsche

I am not a big student or fan of Neitzsche*, but if I understand him correctly, and the legacy he has bequeathed to Western thought, his unadorned philosophical kernel is that man is irrational, the universe is chaotic, reason is insufficient to find truth, meaning is illusion, truth is relative and the only reality is the abyss.

Is it any surprise that Neitzsche is a hero of the Left?
Oh, they don't understand him. But they really like the cover he gives them for their absurd notions.

When Neitzsche said truth is relative, he meant all truth...including his own...and his method of discovering it. When Liberals say truth is relative, they say it with imperative absolutism. They're a little unclear on the concept, as usual.

When Neitzsche said man is irrational, he meant that the mind is only the cover for the true self which is the bedlam and tumult of the unconscious. He believed that appetite, desire, fear, sentiment and emotion were the true man...and that the conventional discipline that the mind and reason exercised over them was artificial. He did not find this comforting or beneficial.

But Liberals love the idea that what one feels is more authentic than what one thinks. Rational thought, logic, and the ability to reason being the result of serious education, and therefore difficult, Liberals are not fond of them, nor effective practitioners of them.

The special bonus is that if authenticity of feeling trumps truth of reason, every man's "authentic" feelings are the equal of every other man's "authentic" feelings. None can be judged more right, good or true. This makes the moron the equal of the genius. Again, this delights Liberals who are more often the former.

The corollary to the idea that there is no universal truth, just the machinations of the artifice of Mind acting on the excrescence of the unconscious, is that all results of such a process are equally valuable because they are equally meaningless. Thus philosophy's traditional obligation to seek the truth and the good and live by them, may be abandoned in preference to conduct more gratifying to the senses or more aggrandizing to the self.

No observer of culture or politics can deny that this is the central pillar of today's Liberalism. Among the epithets most often hurled at Conservatives are those that imply order, certainty, the willingness to discriminate between good and evil, the universality of truth, and fidelity to the good.

The Abyss is the concept of Neitzschean philosophy most misunderstood by the Left. Or perhaps the most ignored. The fundamental reality...the horror that perhaps finally drove Neitzsche into madness was that the foundation of the universe, of being and all creation, was nothing but the black, dead and empty Abyss.

The existential despair caused by such a conclusion must be deep indeed. It dictates that everything is utterly meaningless: all life, love, hope, sacrifice, pain, suffering, joy...

Who would not go mad? Well Liberals of course. They lack the imagination to fathom Neitzsche's Lovecraftian horror. Their only apparent response is relief that there will be no Heavenly Father to judge their earthly sins.

Like children at summer camp, who upon being told that their homes and families have been destroyed, celebrate their good fortune that their misbehavior at camp will not be reported to their parents after all. Incapable of understanding the depths of their own ruin, they dance in the light of the fire consuming their world.

Neitzsche went mad, of course. He was intelligent and reasoned enough to see the implications of his own philosophy. Today's Liberals are not. By chance of time and space and evolution of philosophical thought, they have inherited this bit of modern western philosophy and made it their own without understanding where it came from, what it means, or that there are alternatives.

Perhaps we can save them, by pointing out that if all philosophies are relative, then even those that say all philosophies are relative...are relative...and no more true than any other...

Never mind. They'd never be able to follow the argument.

Neitzsche is dead. Let that be the end of it.

The Gunslinger

*Frederich Neitzsche, German philosopher, 1844-1900


Ronbo said...

I remember attending a long ago college philosophy class on Nietzsche, and upon entering the classroom saw written on the chalk board the following by a fellow student:

"God is dead" -- Nietzsche

"Nietzsche is dead" -- God

Cheers, Ronbo

The Gunslinger said...

Yeah, that was sort of my point there at the end. I figured those who were familiar with his declaration would get it.