RE: The Herds
“Inasmuch as at all times, as long as there have been human beings, there have also been herds of men (clans, communities, tribes, peoples, states, churches) and always a great many people who obeyed, compared with a small number of those commanding–considering, then, that nothing has been exercised and cultivated better and longer among men so far than obedience–it may fairly be assumed that the need for it is now innate in the average man, as a kind of formal conscience that commands “thou shalt unconditionally do something, unconditionally doe something elese,” in short “thou shalt.”” (Beyond Good and Evil pg 111, Trans. Walter Kaufmann)
Nietszche goes on to explain this herd mentality as a characterization of the ethos of modern Europe. He engages the psychology of the herd and considers why it villainizes the outliers who’s thought doesn’t line up with the status quo. He illustrates that this villainizing is for the sake of creating a moral paradigm of their own for comfort and power’s sake.
Still reading BGE and it is seemingly the catalyst of Postmodern Thought that I heard it be. Nietzsche prooves himself the audacious philosopher of his time he is said to be. Rather than simply just bizarre in his philosophy (such as a Spinoza in my opinion), he is a constant challenger of his contemporaries as one fully engulfed in 19th century Europe. It seems that Nietzsche has a distinct propensity for challenging the status quo.
I find that his “free spirits” are a bread of thinkers and critics that roam this earth, critiquing whatever context within which they are established. In my opinion, you must be one to recognize one. They are usually the ones biting their tongues in a seminary, or standing on the sidelines while Republicans and Democrats bite each others’ heads off, those too grossed out to watch cable news. It is truly a talent to be able to shut up and fully think through issues before raising one’s opinion. The immaturity of outspokenness seems prevalent in America today. I prefer Nietzsche’s free spirit philosophers that undergird society, quietly contrasting, juxtaposing, critiquing, envisaging, shedding new light, and perspectivising the abstruse of our human condition while jettisoning the trite, perhaps with a dash of indignation.
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