A Morsel for Neo-Cons to Chew On

From Nietzsche’s Zarathustra:

State is the name of the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it tells lies too: and this lie crawls out of its mouth: ‘I, the state, am the people.’ That is a lie! It was creators who created peoples and hung a faith and a love over them: thus they served life.

It is annihilators who set traps for the many and call them “state”: they hang a sword and a hundred appetites over them.

Where there is still a people, it does not understand the state and hates it as the evil eye and the sin against customs and rights.

This sign I give you: every people speaks its tongue of good and evil, which the neighbour does not understand. It has invented its own language of customs and rights. But the state tells lies in all the tongues of good and evil; and whatever it says it lies – and whatever it has it has stolen. Everything about it is false; it bites with stolen teeth, and bites easily. Even its entrails are false. Confusion of tongues of good and evil: this sign I give you as the sign of the state. Verily, this sign signifies the will to death. Verily, it beckons to the preachers of death.

Elsewhere: Chris Sheil at Backpages also muses about Nietzsche and the long battle for secularism, and Tim Dunlop at The Road to Surfdom wonders if God’s earthly servants might be overstating the case for values shifting votes…

Update: A different (albeit somewhat ranty) perspective on “values” from the always excellent Village Voice is worth a read, particularly for those concerned with the erosion of the liberal value of tolerance.

About Mark Bahnisch

Mark Bahnisch is a sociologist and is the founder of this blog. He has an undergraduate degree in history and politics from UQ, and postgraduate qualifications in sociology, industrial relations and political economy from Griffith and QUT. He has recently been awarded his PhD through the Humanities Program at QUT. Mark's full bio is on this page.
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cs
cs
2022 years ago

One thing I think you can say about Nietzsche, pretty much without fear of contradiction, is that he is startling … would have made a helluva blogger.

Come to think of it, maybe he was. I believe much of his stuff was just notes in notebooks … perhaps of a similar status as blog posts.

Norman
Norman
2022 years ago

Startling? I guess so. Then again, when my work took me to the old Callan Park, there were stratling people there who [rightly or wrongly] I didn’t feel had a great deal to offer the outside world.

cs
cs
2022 years ago

Why don’t I find it startling that it fell to your work to have to take you to Callan Park?

cs
cs
2022 years ago

Funny, I don’t find it stratling either.

Dave
Dave
2022 years ago

Yeah, I am with Nietzsche.

Every man for himself would be way better.

Disclaimer;(any reference to man also means woman)

Mark Bahnisch
Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

Chris, I’m half tempted to start a blog entirely made up of posts from Nietzsche and claim that the anonymous author is a member of the Melbourne Uni ALP Club and see if Andrew Bolt writes an outraged column about the impending death of Western Civ etc.

Much of Nietzsche’s writing was indeed short aphorisms – for my money, the best reads in this vein are Daybreak and Human, All Too Human. For example, Foucault’s entire research programme was inspired by one aphorism from Nietzsche – talking about the “philosophers of the future”, “one should write the history of punishment” etc…

Adorno and Benjamin were also writers who seemed to work best in pithy aphorisms. And going back much further in time, Pascal. Perhaps a lost art that could be revived…

Red Peter
Red Peter
2022 years ago

Not to be overly prudish, but this pseudo-academic analysis and quote dropping of Nietzsche really irks me. He’s so open to misinterpretation (not saying you have) that simply taking an analysis from one book -let alone a single aphorism- without the thorough context of his other work is, IMO, a bastardisation.

Mark Bahnisch
Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

But that’s my point, Red Peter. Following on from Ken’s musings about the influence of Nietzsche on the Neo-Cons, I was trying to suggest – as I said in the comments thread of his post – that any selective appropriation of a complex thinker like Nietzsche by anyone – Neo-Cons or Nazis – can twist his work to mean almost anything.

Red Peter
Red Peter
2022 years ago

My bad, I missed Ken’s post and the subsequent irony in your comment here.

Mark Bahnisch
Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

No probs, Red Peter.

Norman
Norman
2022 years ago

I guess, cs, since you already know I left your current workplace in disgust after I was the only one in a logic assignment to gain 100%, you wouldn’t be surprised to hear my work might have taken me to Callan Park. But thanks for helping me better understand that I once have to high an expectation of people re logical analysis.
And I know that’s not very stratling.