The tyranny of the meanest and the most brainless

Sunday, September 24th, 2017

Jordan Peterson mentions how Nietzsche predicted the 20th Century (in The Will to Power):

Socialism — or the tyranny of the meanest and the most brainless, — that is to say, the superficial, the envious, and the mummers, brought to its zenith, — is, as a matter of fact, the logical conclusion of “modern ideas” and their latent anarchy: but in the genial atmosphere of democratic well-being the capacity for forming resolutions or even for coming to an end at all, is paralysed. Men follow — but no longer their reason. That is why socialism is on the whole a hopelessly bitter affair: and there is nothing more amusing than to observe the discord between the poisonous and desperate faces of present-day socialists — and what wretched and nonsensical feelings does not their style reveal to us! — and the childish lamblike happiness of their hopes and desires. Nevertheless, in many places in Europe, there may be violent hand-to-hand struggles and irruptions on their account: the coming century is likely to be convulsed in more than one spot, and the Paris Commune, which finds defenders and advocates even in Germany, will seem to have but a slight indigestion compared with what is to come. Be this as it may, there will always be too many people of property for socialism ever to signify anything more than an attack of illness: and these people of property are like one man with one faith, “one must possess something in order to be some one.” This, however, is the oldest and most wholesome of all instincts; I should add: “one must desire more than one has in order to become more.” For this is the teaching which life itself preaches to all living things: the morality of Development. To have and to wish to have more, in a word, Growth — that is life itself. In the teaching of socialism “a will to the denial of life” is but poorly concealed: botched men and races they must be who have devised a teaching of this sort. In fact, I even wish a few experiments might be made to show that in socialistic society life denies itself, and itself cuts away its own roots. The earth is big enough and man is still unexhausted enough for a practical lesson of this sort and demonstratio ad absurdum — even if it were accomplished only by a vast expenditure of lives — to seem worth while to me. Still, Socialism, like a restless mole beneath the foundations of a society wallowing in stupidity, will be able to achieve something useful and salutary: it delays “Peace on Earth” and the whole process of character-softening of the democratic herding animal; it forces the European to have an extra supply of intellect, — it also saves Europe awhile from the marasmus femininus which is threatening it.

Leave a Reply