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86 of 90 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Right translator, wrong edition
On The Geneology of Morals -- This work is clearest when read as a sequel to Beyond Good & Evil. I don't suggest starting here. The prose is more straightforward than BG&E, he is attemting polemic in essay form. Yet still, it is still a voice in your head, consipring with you, coaxing you toward understanding. Here, the prose style of BG&E becomes...
Published on November 30, 2001 by James Liu

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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kaufmann is standard translation, but others are better
I should note up front that my review refers to the Vintage edition--the review and the rating pertain to Kaufmann's translation only, not to Nietzsche's text. Nietzsche's work is a classic and should be read by anyone with an interest in philosophy or related fields. That point, I think, goes without saying. What does need to be said is which translation you should...
Published on February 2, 2010 by John Buridan


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86 of 90 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Right translator, wrong edition, November 30, 2001
This review is from: On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo (Paperback)
On The Geneology of Morals -- This work is clearest when read as a sequel to Beyond Good & Evil. I don't suggest starting here. The prose is more straightforward than BG&E, he is attemting polemic in essay form. Yet still, it is still a voice in your head, consipring with you, coaxing you toward understanding. Here, the prose style of BG&E becomes apparent.
Ecce Homo -- This would seem like a very pretentious work. It is not. He comes off almost modestly here. This too, clears the air of all that is rotten about what has been said about him. It is as if he had guessed what evil things would be said about him.
Especially if this is your first Nietzsche book, I suggest, instead of buying this, buying the Basic Writings of Nietzsche which contains these two books, as well as three others (Beyond Good & Evil, which is a better place to start anyway; The Birth of Tragedy, and The Case of Wagner), by the same translator, and which costs only a few dollars more now that it's out in paperback.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the prime translation of a works not in need of many words., July 9, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo (Paperback)
having read most of Nietzsche's works in bother german (my native tounge) and english, i must say that if one is unable to read one of the four greatest masters of the german language (with Goethe, Heine, Kafka), walter kaufman translations are the only works that come close to the style and intentions that Nietzsche (presumably) had. in other, especially early translations one can wittness a 'over-nietzschification' that puts supposed nietzschean intent or thought into the works and hence distorting language and content. kaufman, who is first a philosopher and secondly a translator does not fall into this trap. it can only enthusiastically be reccommended.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing Philosophy, May 6, 2007
By 
Steiner (Philadelphia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo (Paperback)
Nietzsche's complex sequel to Beyond Good and Evil is a remarkable achievement of philosophy, philology, and history. It laid the groundwork for such 20th century thinkers as Foucault and Deleuze, though they would never reach Nietzsche's complexity and moral sophistication. In the preface to the book, Nietzsche proposes the project of investigating the origins of morality on the grounds that human beings are unknown to themselves. He is ultimately concerned with the development of moral prejudices, and the value of morality itself. He criticizes mankind in its acceptance of moral principles, and writes: "we need a critique of moral values, the value of these values themselves must first be called in question-and for that there is needed a knowledge of the conditions and circumstances in which they grew, under which they evolved and changed" (456).

Nietzsche begins the essay (Good and Evil, Good and Bad), with a philological examination of the words and roots of the words related to good and evil, and a delimitation of their evolution. He makes a connection between the creations of words and places them within the historical context of rulers and nobility. Linguistically, Nietzsche has discovered that the `good' is linked with nobility. He writes: "everywhere `noble,' `aristocratic' in the social sense, is the basic concept from which `good' in the sense of `with aristocratic soul,' `noble,'" (464). Alternatively, words associated with the `bad' invariably were linked with the `plain,' `simple,' and `low.' In this way, morality as a human construction is an extension of power, wealth, and civilization. The origin of evil is intertwined with priestly aristocracies.

Nietzsche moves into a discussion of a shift in the history of morality, in which the morality of the priestly aristocracy is superceded by Jewish morality. For Nietzsche, the Jews inverted the morality of nobility and established a system which places value on the lower order of mankind. He indicates that the Jews believed "the wretched alone are the good; the poor, impotent, lowly alone are the good; the suffering, deprived, sick, ugly alone are pious, alone are blessed by God" (470). Nietzsche describes this turn as `the slave revolt' of morality. He describes the triumph of Judeo-Christian morality over the previous system of values, and indicates that this turn is a triumph for the herd instinct, and for ressentiment. He writes: "The slave revolt in morality begins when ressentiment itself becomes creative and gives birth to values: the ressentiment of natures that are denied the true reaction, that of deeds, and compensate themselves with an imaginary revenge" (472). Noble morality develops as an affirmation of itself, while slave morality always says No to what is external to it. For Nietzsche, the need to constantly turn outward to an external `other' and place judgment on it is the essence of ressentiment.

In the proceeding section of the treatise, Nietzsche discusses civilization's taming of man the animal. Here he writes: "Supposing that what is at any rate believed to be the `truth' really is true, and the meaning of all culture is the reduction of the beast of prey `man' to a tame and civilized animal, a domestic animal, then one would undoubtedly have to regard all those instincts of reaction and ressentiment through whose aid the noble races and their ideal were finally confounded and overthrown as the actual instruments of culture" (478). Nietzsche insists that Europe's taming of man is a tremendous danger, for we are made to be weary of our own being. For Nietzsche, this weariness and fear of man has compelled us to lose our love for him, to turn our backs on our instincts, to reject affirmation.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kaufmann is standard translation, but others are better, February 2, 2010
This review is from: On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo (Paperback)
I should note up front that my review refers to the Vintage edition--the review and the rating pertain to Kaufmann's translation only, not to Nietzsche's text. Nietzsche's work is a classic and should be read by anyone with an interest in philosophy or related fields. That point, I think, goes without saying. What does need to be said is which translation you should choose to read it in. Kaufmann's is, pretty much, the standard translation. And, for the most part, his translation is true to Nietzsche's German. But it suffers in one important way, and that is how it conflates Hegel's idealism and Nietzsche's thought through the use of a Hegelian, idealist vocabulary. To be sure, Nietzsche draws on Hegel a lot, but Kaufmann's translation misleads the reader into thinking that there are more similarities than there actually are. It also makes this translation unbearably difficult to read.

The second problem I have with this particular edition is that Kaufmann's notes are so shallow, and not really helpful at all. A perfect example is on the first page of the first essay, where Nietzsche abandons his native German for a moment and refers to the English Psychologists pushing the "partie honteuse" of our inner world into view. Kaufmann leaves the phrase untranslated, as he ought, and lets a note do the work of translating it. His note says simply, "shame." In my view, it may be as if he had just omitted the note altogether, because this tells me almost nothing about what Nietzsche means, and doesn't even attempt to get at his metaphor. If one were to turn to Clark and Swenson's translation, put out by Hackett (On the Genealogy of Morality), however, one would learn that the phrase means "shameful part" and when pluralized it is equivalent to the English phrase "private parts." This is a helpful note which explains Nietzsche's metaphor and the connotations he's aiming for.

I'll give this edition three stars because I have to compare it to others, such as Clark and Swenson's, above, or Douglas Smith's translation in the Oxford World Classics edition (On the Genealogy of Morals: A Polemic. By way of clarification and supplement to my last book Beyond Good and Evil (Oxford World's Classics)). In many ways Smith most avoids the "Hegel-ization" of Nietzsche (although it is possible to overdo it, and Smith might be guilty). But in my estimation, Clark and Swenson's is the best, deserving five stars, and Smith's is a close second, perhaps deserving four and a half, or four and three-quarters, not least because Clark and Swenson's notes are better. (Smith's would get five stars if I reviewed it.) Kaufmann's is so far behind these that I cannot justify giving it more than three stars. For a more formulaic, objective approach, you can subtract one star from the translation for at times confusing Nietzsche's thought, and doing so in a confusing way, and subtract one from the edition in general for having mediocre notes. Then you also end up with my three-star rating.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant analyses on slave morality and ascetic decadence., June 6, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo (Paperback)
Perhaps the most readable book for a Nietzsche neophyte, yet a stunningly accurate and psychologically valid glimpse into the "moral," and an explanation of what that realistically entails. This book takes its reader on a tour of many souls: from the Dionysian aristocracy who once held the world for their pleasure, to the vengeful slave who despises the world for his inferiority. A warning, however: this will probably offend those who believe in modern democratic ideals.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Genealogy of Nietzsche, February 6, 2010
This review is from: On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo (Paperback)
"The Genealogy of Morals" is one of the more straightforward and easily-comprehensible of Nietzsche's philosophical works. It is a sustained focus on a single topic -- the origins of morality -- and is comprised of three related essays which explore morality and the nature of "ressentiment," or "suppressed resentment." According to Nietzsche, "ressentiment" is the fundamental motive force, the "will to power," of the religious (specifically the Christian) temperament and character, and results in moral and spiritual corruption: hence Nietzsche's claim that Christianity is the greatest of all evils because it fosters, nurtures, and embodies "ressentiment." Although Nietzsche's diatribes against the Christian religion sometimes get tedious, his psychological analysis of the origins of morality is insightful and intriguing.

The companion piece in this edition, "Ecce Homo," is one of the most entertaining and fascinating autobiographies ever written. Nietzsche recounts events, people, and places that were important to him personally and significant for the development of his philosophy; he offers summaries and "humble" appraisals of his philosophical works (appraisals which are as provocative as they are "humble"); and he claims to have destroyed Christianity and invented psychology -- and while these claims sound exaggerated, they're true from a Nietzschean perspective. With Nietzsche's own commentary on the meaning and significance of his books, "Ecce Homo" is a wonderful introduction to his philosophy and a literary experience.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great translation of a great book., May 23, 2010
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This review is from: On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo (Paperback)
The translation is very good in this book and it has enough remarks from the translator to not be overwhelming but still give you the information you need to understand some of the things Nietzsche references from his time. The paper and binding are a good quality. The way I read tends to wear down bindings, but this one had no trouble.

The content itself is great. Genealogy of Morals is extremely insightful into the human psyche and explains very well where a lot of our morality stems from. What's even more interesting, in my opinion, is that he talks at length about what the psychology of this morality causes in society.

Ecce Homo is great on another level. It's rare to see a great thinker make great note of his faults. He talks about his thought process for each book he wrote. While this may not seem greatly informative I think this books main purpose it to encourage people to not deify him the way we tend to do with long dead figures.

Nietzsche is a great writer, but if this is your first book of his I would strongly recommend reading it in entirety before agreeing or disagreeing with it. He likes to speak in extremes. I find this a great approach when it comes to understanding his entire book, but it's easy to get the wrong idea if you only read part of it. For instance, he's call the Jews some of the most harmful forces in human history and then many pages later (and with some of these things even books later) he will say that despite that their general mentality is essential to our survival and that any form of antisemitism is horrifically misguided. In general it's best not to quote Nietzsche, rather paraphrasing tends to be more accurate. He writes so that you have to actually read his work, not just read the wiki on him.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best, December 7, 2010
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This is a great Kaufmann and Hollingdale translation, with copious and succinct footnotes and many excerpts from other Nietzsche texts. "Genealogy" is my favorite -- incredibly packed with wit and venom. Has any other writer ever approached this density of intensity?
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo., July 20, 2006
This review is from: On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo (Paperback)
_On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo_ consists of translations by Walter Kaufman and R. J. Hollingdale of the works _On the Genealogy of Morals, A Polemic_ (_Zur Genealogie der Moral, Eine Streitschrift_), first published in 1887, and _Ecce Homo_, written in 1888, by the tormented German thinker Friedrich Nietzsche. _On the Genealogy of Morals_ was Nietzsche's eighth book and consists of three essays which reveal his opposition to Christian morality. _Ecce Homo_ was an autobiographical work which consists of several chapters detailing Nietzsche's philosophy. Nietzsche's philosophical viewpoint may be described as that of aristocratic radicalism, in which he sets up an opposition between the morality of the masters and what he terms "slave morality". It is this "slave morality" motivated by a spirit of ressentiment that Nietzsche seeks to overcome by a return to the morality of the masters. Nietzsche is firmly opposed to the Judeo-Christian tradition, which he views as the culmination of slave morality. Indeed, according to Nietzsche the slaves sought to revolt against their masters by supplanting the morality of the masters with their own which glorifies the weak, meek, and sickly. Instead, Nietzsche advocates a revaluation of all values with a return to the morality of the masters, who are proud, strong, and heroic.

_On the Genealogy of Morals_ consists of a preface followed by three essays and an appendix which consists of aphorisms from his various writings. The preface notes the slave rebellion in morality, in which a morality of pity came to replace the morality of the masters. Nietzsche references the work of Schopenhauer, his great teacher, who he believes has made possible a new Buddhism for Europeans - nihilism. The first essay of this book is entitled ""Good and Evil", "Good and Bad"" and it details Nietzsche's opposition to Judeo-Christianity and Christian morality as well as Platonic philosophy. Nietzsche argues that the Jews, a slave people, began a great revolt in morality which resulted in the inversion of moral values in which what previously had been called "good" and "noble" came to be replaced by the lowly, weak, and sickly. Nietzsche argues that with Jesus of Nazareth, the Jewish slave revolt was accomplished in which Europe became under the sway of a Jew. Nietzsche contrasts this with the "blond German beast", the primitive Aryan tribesman, and his morality of the conquerer. Nietzsche quotes extensively from the church fathers, including Tertullian, regarding the "kingdom of God" and offers in opposition to the sign on the entrance of Dante's hell, "I too was created by eternal love", the sign "I too was created by eternal hate", instead. Nietzsche offers the opposition "Rome against Judea, Judea against Rome". In addition, Nietzsche shows how the Jews have come to conquer Rome through the slave revolt in which today in Rome they bow before three Jews and a Jewess (Jesus, Peter, Paul, and Mary). Nietzsche claims that the Renaissance represented a return to the classical idea; however with the Reformation motivated largely by ressentiment and the French Revolution the slave revolt was made complete. The second essay in this book is entitled ""Guilt", "Bad Conscience" and the Like". This essay focuses on the meaning of guilt and ressentiment showing the cruelty of punishment and torture. Nietzsche shows himself to be a primitive psychologist in his understanding of "bad conscience" and "guilt" and his theories were an important precursor to modern day psychoanalysis. The third essay of this book is entitled "What is the Meaning of Ascetic Ideals?". Here, Nietzsche focuses on Richard Wagner with whom he had a complicated relationship. Nietzsche also expresses his disgust with the German anti-Semites of the time (though only with a certain type of anti-Semite, the kind who still retained adherence to the Christian tradition). This essay ends with the following line: "man would rather will nothingness than not will", an expression of Nietzsche's nihilism. This book concludes with an appendix, "Seventy-Five Aphorisms in Five Volumes", containing various aphorisms from Nietzsche's writings.

_Ecce Homo_ was Nietzsche's last work and was not published during his lifetime. The book is subtitled "How One Becomes What One Is". _Ecce Homo_ contains a preface and three chapters, followed by discussions of several of Nietzsche's books, and then a final chapter. The chapters attempt to show Nietzsche's philosophical progression as he began his career as a philologist, the influence of Wagner on his early life, his subsequent break with Wagner, and his later writings. Nietzsche also includes commentary on his own writings, particularly his _Zarathustra_ and shows the opposition between the Dionysian and the Appolinian. Nietzsche entitles his chapters brazenly: "Why I Am So Wise", "Why I Am So Clever", "Why I Write Such Good Books", followed by his discussion of his individual works, and then "Why I Am Destiny". It has been suggested that Nietzsche may have been experiencing the early symptoms of his mental decline at this point and his complete mental collapse was to occur soon thereafter (rumored to be the result of syphilis, though probably wrongly). Nietzsche claims that he is wise because of his aesthetic sensitivities. He claims that he is clever because he can choose the right nutrition, climate, residence, and recreation for himself. He claims to write such good books because they open up a series of new, delicate, and noble experiences. And, he claims to be destiny because his anti-moral truths serve as intellectual dynamite which can topple the sickness inherent in Western culture. Indeed, Nietzsche writes, "I am no man, I am dynamite." Nietzsche opposes Dionysus to "the Crucified", as his new god of life's exuberance to overcome the god of the heavenly otherworld. Nietzsche claims that he wants no believers and that he fears that he will be worshipped and pronounced holy in the future. He wants to assure that his publishers will prevent his book from doing "mischief". Nietzsche ends with the pronouncement that he is the great immoralist and that Dionysus has come to supercede "the Crucified".

This translation of two of Nietzsche's important works includes commentary by Walter Kaufman. Some of Kaufman's commentary is useful; however Kaufman was prone to his own understanding of Nietzsche which he interjected all too often. Nevertheless, these two books stand out as important works which must be understood by those who seek to develop an understanding of the rise of nihilism in the Twentieth Century.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Essay on Nietzsche, June 6, 2005
By 
This review is from: On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo (Paperback)
To the eyes of a general reader, Nietzsche's intense energy might be overwhelming, and his theories intimidating. That blonde beast which seems ready to bite into any flesh without the pangs of conscious inevitably conjures up images of a ferocious maniac who would wreck the world, bringing with it infinite sufferings to the grocery-store-citizens and the corn-field-peasants. In fact, this weak peasant who plows his land and prays before his god and whom Nietzsche despises seems like a much more amiable character to the general reader. Certainly, this peasant will not have the will-to-power to reshape the world, but he will be more or less the relative peace of normal life.

Nietzsche, however, can not be so easily dismissed, and if one believes in the above description of the strong against the weak, he is missing the essence of Genealogy. In fact, Nietzsche's blonde beasts are not renegades against the world, instead, they are the masters of the world who recognize the inherent conditions of their environment; this grasp of reality gives them command over promise and forgetfulness, and allow them to set the directions of the world with whatever values they see fit. They are indeed strong, but they are not lawless monsters to be feared. The true renegades against this world are the people who follow the slave morality-they can not succeed in the world because they refuse to conform to the conditions of reality. Under the general rubric of empowerment established by Nietzsche, Weber follows in Politics as Vocation with a concrete example of self-empower in the role of the politician, and Plato also uses Nietzsche's methods in his search to understand the nature of man and society.

The Genealogy of morals is in fact a genealogy of human weakness and suffering. This suffering arises because the conditions of civil life require activities that are in contradiction to the traditional life of the independent savages. This suffering consequently results in "bad consciousness", from which arises a belief within the weakling that he is inherently sinful and bad. Nietzsche writes,

"I regard the bad conscience as the serious illness that man was bound to contract under the stress which occurred when he found himself finally enclosed within the walls of society and of peace." (N, p84)

Nietzsche does not offer an outcast view on this point, and it is easy to imagine the decrease in freedom and increase in pain that men experienced when they turned from hunter and gathers to agriculturalists. When Ghengis Khan marched his horsemen into the lands of the Han or the Muscovites, the Mongolians horsemen despised the conquered natives for their pathetic existence as farmers who had to work all year long doing monotonous work but only to be disappointed by draught or flood.

The agricultural life is only one aspect of the constraint of life of civil man. Living in the state, the man is often deprived of land and is confronted by civil forces thousands of times greater. To lessen his pain, the provincial agriculturalist turns toward the hopes of religion and such, giving rise to the slave Morality which Nietzsche passionately accuses. Nietzsche writes,

"We stand before a discord that wants to be discordant, that enjoys itself in this suffering and even grows more self-confident and triumphant the more its own presupposition, its physiological capacity for life, decreases." (p118)

The situation which propelled the suffering people to turn toward "bad consciousness" is precisely the situation of the man with toothache. One should find a dentist and fill cavities when he has toothache; but those who are too lazy to find a doctor, or refuse to eat less candies will continue to suffer until it is too late and their teeth have already rotten away. But during and at the end of this process, in order to justify one's existence despite his sickness, the sick man tells others that the pain in his mouth is actually a great joy to have and teeth are bad anyway. Despite this effort to manipulate psychology, the man can not escape facts of his body, which is that without teeth he can not chew.

The agriculturalists were forced into a new situation in which they suffered, and the solution was to turn to the morality of the weak. The morality of the weak, in fact, has become so prevalent that many feel it is the only way to live life despite the self-negation and hate inherent in it. As he points out this problem, Nietzsche does not offer a solution explicitly; rather than prescribing, Nietzsche describes an alternative way of life of the truthful and the noble-an alternative way to resolve the problems of civil life. These men do not suffer the pains of the weak, and the reader, desiring for relief from his corrupted existence, must feel a natural inclination toward the "nobler" way of life.

Just before the weak gets ready to embark on a new life, however, they might be shocked back by Nietzsche vigorous depiction of the strong which makes them intimidating and unruly. But in fact, despite their strong "physicality", the strong are not anti-social monsters, but people who are the most willing to conform to the conditions of civil life. To understand their nature, we must delve into their qualities of strength, memory and forgetfulness. Nietzsche writes,

"The knightly-aristocratic value judgments presupposed a powerful physically, a flourishing, abundant, even overflowing health, together with that which serves to preserve it: war, adventure, hunting, dancing, war games, and in general all that involves vigorous, free, joyful activity." (p33)

This passage must not be taken to mean that one must be a Napoleon to be strong, or one who has the right blood pressure and cholesterol level will be strong, or that those who are naturally smaller have no chances in salvation. Real physical health could indeed be beneficial, but the physicality here implies a physicality of the mind-It is the experiences from war and adventure which strengthen one's understanding of the world and of himself that Nietzsche cares about, not the acts of war or adventure themselves. The man of physicality is a man who knows his environment and who can take advantages of its situation to fulfill his ends,

Nietzsche elucidates the specific quality of the strong when he describes their ability to forget and to remember. On forgetting, Nietzsche writes, forgetting offers

"a little quietness, a little tabula rasa of the consciousness, to make room for new things, above all for the nobler functions and functionaries..." (p58)

This forgetfulness at the core is an understanding over the situations of the world, it is about forgetting the senseless worries which only make man impotent. The weakling, after a disaster, will simply dwell upon the horrors of the disaster without understanding the natural causes. He will sink into a world of doubts and superstition, and as Nietzsche writes, he will think that he has done things intrinsically evil against his gods or ancestors. The strong person, on the other hand, has gained a knowledge of the world, and knows that there is no gods behind the clouds. Hence, they might worry, but they will not feel bitter or gain a "bad conscious" against themselves because of the rain. Eradicating worries-this is the essence of forgetfulness. Worry is passion-consuming, and only when the man is independent from can he have the mental capacity left over to gain a greater understanding of the world-he has more time to experience the reality of this world through adventure, through wars.

The ability to make promises arises naturally from the lack of worry; the scientists who knows how clouds form can "promise" their coming. This promise could be for any ends which the active desire of the strong man wills. As Nietzsche writes, memory of the strong is "an active desire not to rid oneself, a desire for the continuance of something desired once, a real memory of the will." (p58)

Nietzsche also describes the memory of the slave morality and its relation to punishment, but this is a different memory than the strong man's memory. Nietzsche writes that the ascetic people's memory is "unforgettable, `fixed,' with the aim of hypnotizing the entire nervous and intellectual system with these `fixed ideas'" (p61) The strong memory is proactive, for it is "an active desire", the weak memory is reactive, for it is about "hypnotizing" the mind. One is used to help the will all its directions, while the wills in only one direction-the abyss into suffering.

This individual who possesses the control over past and future, memory and promises, is the "emancipated individual". This person is liberated "from morality of customs". This emancipation is not accomplished through killing the innocents or running naked, but through the ability to set "measure of value" (p60) based on reality. Nietzsche writes, "...this mastery over himself also necessarily gives him mastery over circumstances, over nature, and over all more short-willed and unreliable creatures." Nietzsche is calling people to become "masters" over circumstances, not to destroy circumstances. The swordsman who is a master over his sword does not use his hands to fight, but is a master precisely because he uses the sword and knows where to find the best sword and how to use it the best.

The difficulty of this mastery is precisely the difficulties of acquiring new languages: it is hard for an adult thrown into a different country to learn the native tongue, but unlike those of the slave morality who give up and blame oneself for inherent inability or blame the language for being evil, the strong people will patiently learn the language. All this requires is a little bravery! Nietzsche writes, man's suffering is

"the result of a forcible sundering from his animal past, as it were a leap and plunge into new surroundings and conditions of existence, a declaration of war against the old instincts upon which his strength, joy and terribleness had rested hitherto." (P85)

Indeed, instinct is the ability of man to react quickly to familiar environment, but the civil man's life requires a new set of skills and understandings, new instincts. Just like the strong with their new tongue can now express themselves in anyway way they desire, the strong man in the greater world will be a master of the "language" of the civil society and thus gain the ability to set values and fulfill wills.

The above ideas draw a positive conclusion from the genealogy, and offers hope to those who are brave, but the Genealogy is a pessimistic book. Nietzsche writes,

"Man has all too long had an `evil eye' for his natural inclinations, so that they have finally become inseparable from his `bad conscience.' An attempt at the reverse would in itself be possible-but who is strong enough for it?... The attainment of this goal would require a different kind of spirit from that likely to appear in this present age..." (p96)

Reading this, it seems that our age is doomed, and the essay in front of you has been promoting a pointless hope that even the hope's supposed originator does not have. But Nietzsche's words are no mere pessimism, they carry a pessimism that is angry at the "bad air" in life, it is pessimism with passion! Nietzsche is an angry mother telling her son that he has no future at all because he only drinks himself to death in a bar every night. The world perhaps has been dark, but this anger will be the lightening rod which shakes away the shells of our complacent irreverence toward truth and nature!

When a reader is confounded by the world which Nietzsche depicts, he may turn to Politics as Vocation by Weber. In this essay, Weber paints a specific case of the grandiose problem of adaptation, or survival in new environments, in the person of the conflicted politician.

Politics as Vocation inherits the essence of Genealogy of Morals in calling for the politician's mastery over circumstances. The politician must both be a master of his internal conditions, and his external conditions. Internally, for the politician to be a politician, he must have "passionate devotion to a `cause'". This passion, or excessive energy, however, can lead to vanity and then the "striving for power ceases to be objective and becomes purely personal self-intoxication" (p116). In order to counterbalance this tendency, Weber says that the politician must have a "cool sense of proportion" (p115). One's ardent political passion is the fire that will draw the hearts of a thousands followers, however, if he gets carried away by the worshipping crowds, then the fire has burnt onto himself. In another word, there is no strength in the ecstasy of self-adulation, there is no power when one does not even notice the reality within himself and is merely fooled by vanity. Although the context is different, Weber is asking exactly what Nietzsche asked: the politician must know what words of praises he should forget and always know what he needs to remember to keep his crowds in control; he needs to constantly adapt to the changing conditions of the crowd so that he will always know its language and express his Will with this tongue.

Extending this into a greater sphere, politicians must rely on the support of businessmen and interest groups, and he necessarily have to use his power to bring to his backers a profit on their investments. Living in this reality, Weber advises the politician to gain mastery over the situation, to know the goals of their political life with a clarity, and to pursue this goal with a sense of responsibility to the goal. In Nietzsche's terms, the politician must learn to forget and not fall into the moral trap of self-deprecation against every "unethical" act that he necessarily takes, but he must also always remember his promised end which he will reach with his mastery over the tools of politics.

Behinds Webber, Plato also has similar things to say as Nietzsche. Nietzsche offers his readers hope with the model of the truthful he erects which all who have a little bravery could follow. Despite differences that can not be discussed here, Plato's creation of the noble city with the noble people could be regarded as an imaginary application of Nietzche's theory (although 2000 earlier).

The whole of Republic is about understanding man and the world. Plato writes, "this very thing, good judgment, is clearly some kind of knowledge, for it's through knowledge, not ignorance, that people judge well." (IV, 426e) The ultimate search for knowledge rests in understanding the light from the "sun", but practically speaking, Plato has made it his duty to search for human nature and the social nature of the Greek-state. The "tripartite soul" conclusion that he draws from the natural conditions of his world is contentious today, and Nietzsche certainly has much to say against it, however, the resolute search for understanding the internal and external conditions of man, however, is the same.

Furthermore, in building his world, Plato asks his nobles to be able to forget certain things with the noble lie. The goal here is precisely the same as Nietzsche's: Plato wanted to leave the inessentials in the past, and prevent obsession with the "dark" things that gods supposed did or the petty accounts of who was truly "silver" or "gold", stories and accounts that will elude man on their journey for greater power. With their passion freed from the foolishness of the past, from the plays of dark shadows reflected from the fires in the cage, men and society as a whole is better positioned to get out of the hole of the past and embrace the glory of truth.

In all, Nietzsche's strong men are not scary. The weak ones of the slave morality are not scary either, it is merely so sad to behold them that catapulted Nietzsche writes about them with such vehement anger. Nietzsche never says that the strong should be followed, and perhaps in other books of his one can draw differing conclusions about what Nietzsche really is promoting, however, from the Genealogy, it is clear that the contrast between the strong and the weak makes the strong a more appropriate role model. Again, one does not need to be scared of them, they are merely adroit adaptationists, masters of their environment, not destroyers.
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On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo
On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo by R. J. Hollingdale (Paperback - December 17, 1989)
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