In Genealogy of Morals, we examined Nietzsche’s explanation of how the term “good” originated with the blonde beasts of the nobility and was stolen and twisted by the creative resentment of the lower classes and put in service of glorifying the notions of suffering and compassion. The necessity of justifying a situation of subservience and pain draws the servant into a state that is focused away from the present, which results in people who are less creative, less motivated and less assertive.
Nietzsche fights back against the dissociative drives of this mode of thinking, denying the supposed mandate of separating the “doer from the doing.” He insists that one’s actions are inseparable from one’s self and that to revel in the act of punishing, of predatory instincts, is natural. He argues that, previously, guilt was a functional idea with relation to debt and punishment. When punishment was enacted, it allowed all parties to continue on their way. As societies evolved, mercy came about and was used to exercise power. Understanding societies is essentially understanding the act of imposing meaning. Acts of imposing meaning, instances of concepts having purpose, are indications that a “will to power” is acting upon those concepts.
It’s here that we move to Beyond Good and Evil, taking a closer look at this evocative and revolutionary concept of “will to power.” Join Not School to get involved in the group!