All entries for Thursday 19 May 2005

May 19, 2005

Regarding possesion

Found roughly this in Nietzsche and it seemed interesting…

...Regarding a woman, for example those men who are more modest consider the mere use of the body and sexual gratification a sufficient and satisfying sign of "having", of possession. Another type, with a more suspicious and demanding thirst for possession sees the "question mark", their llusory quality of such "having" and wants subtler tests, above all in order to know whether the woman does not only give herself to him but also gives up for his sake what she has or would like to have: only then does she seem to him "possessed". A third type, however, does not reach the end of his mistrust and desire for having even so: he asks himself whether the woman, when she gives everythign up for him, does not possibly do this for a phantom of him. He wants to be known deep down, abysmally deep down, before he is capable of being loved at all; he dares to let himself be fathomed. He feels that his beloved is fully in his possession only when she no longer decieves herself about him, when she loves him just as much for his devilry and hidden insatiability as for his graciousness, patience and spirituality. ..."

From BGE, Aphorism 194

This is part of a whole section on morality, here Nietzsche seems to be analysing the capitalist mentality, the desire for ownership and citing it as something fundamental in humanity. Which puts him in diametric opposition to Marx who's entire communist project hinges on the prospect of being able to reverse the possesive desires of hummanity. As always, Nietzsche is saying more than just this, emphasising the degrees of possession, different and subtler grades.

Which brings us to a wider opposition between Nietzsche and Marx. Marx is the great leveller, bringing everything down to the lowest, no heirarchies. To Nietzsche this is an anaethma, his philosophy is one of valuations. He wants to revalue morality and moral ideas, he believes that humanity is governed, and should be governed by a will to power. Indeed we see that one of the things he is thankful to religion for it is in preserving the heirarchies, keeping the proletariat, the slave, the mediocre content with his lot by giving them a purpose. Keeping them from nihilism.


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