Nietzsche On The Aristocracy Of "Overman"

Reply Tue 8 Sep, 2009 05:13 am
The need to show that as the consumption of man and mankind becomes more and more economical and the "machinery" of interests and services is integrated ever more intricately, a counter-movement is inevitable. I designate this as the secretion of a luxury surplus of mankind: it aims to bring to light a stronger species, a higher type that arises and preserves itself under different conditions from those of the average man. My concept, my metaphor for this type is, as one knows, the word "overman".

On that first road which can now be completely surveyed, arise adaptation, leveling, higher Chinadom, modesty in the instincts, satisfaction in the dwarfing of mankind--a kind of stationary level of mankind. Once we possess that common economic management of the earth that will soon be inevitable, mankind will be able to find its best meaning as a machine in the service of this economy--as a tremendous clockwork, composed of ever smaller, ever more subtly "adapted" gears; as an ever-growing superfluity of all dominating and commanding elements; as a whole of tremendous force, whose individual factors represent minimal forces, minimal values.

In opposition to this dwarfing and adaptation of man to a specialized utility, a reverse movement is needed--the production of a synthetic, summarizing, justifying man for whose existence this transformation of mankind into a machine is a precondition, as a base on which he can invent his higher form of being.

He needs the opposition of the masses, of the "leveled", a feeling of distance from them! he stands on them, he lives off them. This higher form of aristocracy is that of the future-- Morally speaking, this overall machinery, this solidarity of all gears, represents a maximum in the exploitation of man; but it presupposes those on whose account this exploitation has meaning. Otherwise it would really be nothing but an overall diminution, a value diminution of the type man--a regressive phenomenon in the grand style.

It is clear what I combat is economic optimism: as if increasing expenditure of everybody must necessarily involve the increasing welfare of everybody. The opposite seems to me to be the case: expenditure of everybody amounts to a collective loss: man is diminished--so one no longer knows what aim this tremendous process has served. An aim? a new aim?--that is what humanity needs.

The Will To Power
Order Of Rank
The Doctrine Of The Order Of Rank 866 (Spring-Fall 1887)
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