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Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Goodness waits upon power, instead of the priestly opposite

Joseph Kugelmass Says: May 7th, 2007 at 10:16 pm Anthony, this was terrific, particularly towards the end in the discussion of the Overman, and the vitalism of infinite, combinatory possibilities within finitude.
One note about The Genealogy of Morals. Nietzsche does not hypothesize a Golden Age. He simply hypothesizes an age of warrior aristocrats, who had a mass of commoners beneath them and no qualms about labeling these commoners “bad” and “untruthful.”
However, because of the simplicity of these divisions, it was a somewhat less sophisticated, more literal society. It also contained the seeds of its overcoming:
One will have divined already how easily the priestly mode of valuation can branch off from the knightly-aristocratic and then develop into its opposite; this is particularly likely when the priestly caste and the warrior caste are in jealous opposition to one another and are unwilling to come to terms. (I.7)
In other words, not a just or innocent age, but rather an age that made goodness wait upon power, instead of the priestly opposite, which re-interpreted goodness in order to compensate for “impotence.”
Anthony Paul Smith Says: May 8th, 2007 at 3:30 am Joseph, Of course you are correct. It is sometimes strange to think what the French philosophers of 68 did with Nietzsche. Deleuze actually does excavate a coherent metaphysics from Nietzsche’s writings, including these bizarre right-wing political stances. I know most historians of philosophy have moved on from this interesting little chapter in French philosophy (most seem to be doing Spinoza and French philosophy now), but I never quite understood what was at work there.
With regard to the vitalism of the infinite (good coinage, by the way), did you notice this ‘unlimited finite’? It’s interesting, I can’t pretend to understand it, but I find it really interesting. Deleuze is intelligent enough to not confuse this with infinity, so it must mean something different. It’s almost Kierkegaardian. I need to check the original though, as Massuami has said that the Foucault book is very poorly translated. I doubt Hand would have made such a blunder as to mistranslate this particular section, since Massuami’s criticisms mainly had to do with Hand’s lack of familiarity with Deleuzian concepts and vocabulary, but it has always given me pause when saying anything about this wonderful little book.

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