Did the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche in the 1880’s somehow borrow the DeLorean, cross the space-time continuum, and grab himself a Twitter account? For my current work-in-progress, Your Weakness is Your Strength, I’m reading selections from Nietzsche. Though it is more than a century old, this excerpt from his Twilight of the Idols could be a commentary on the class/rights/equality battles of today. Is Nietzsche right?
When the anarchist, as the mouthpiece of the decaying strata of society, raises his voice in splendid indignation for “right,” “justice,” “equal rights,” he is only groaning under the burden of his ignorance, which cannot understand why he actually suffers,—what his poverty consists of—the poverty of life. An instinct of causality is active in him: someone must be responsible for his being so ill at ease. His “splendid indignation” alone relieves him somewhat, it is a pleasure for all poor devils to grumble—it gives them a little intoxicating sensation of power. The very act of complaining, the mere fact that one bewails one’s lot, may lend such a charm to life that on that account alone, one is ready to endure it. There is a small dose of revenge in every lamentation. One casts one’s afflictions, and, under certain circumstances, even one’s baseness, in the teeth of those who are different, as if their condition were an injustice, an iniquitous privilege. “Since I am a blackguard you ought to be one too.” It is upon such reasoning that revolutions are based.—To bewail one’s lot is always despicable: it is always the outcome of weakness. Whether one ascribes one’s afflictions to others or to one’s self, it is all the same. The socialist does the former, the Christian, for instance, does the latter. That which is common to both attitudes, or rather that which is equally ignoble in them both, is the fact that somebody must be to blame if one suffers—in short that the sufferer drugs himself with the honey of revenge to allay his anguish. The objects towards which this lust of vengeance, like a lust of pleasure, are directed, are purely accidental causes. In all directions the sufferer finds reasons for cooling his petty passion for revenge.
Sample @RealFNietzsche hashtags: #willtopower #Christianitysucks #socialismsucksmore