Saturday, January 3, 2015

Why Immoralism Is a Destiny

In his Ecce Homo Nietzsche defines his term immoralist ("Why I Am a Destiny" §4, trans Walter Kaufmann). In this one term lies two negations: the negation of the type of person who heretofore has been considered supreme ("the good, the benevolent, the beneficent"), and the negation of the type of morality that subsequently prevails and predominates as morality itself (that is, the decadent morality par excellence: Christianity).

Note that Nietzsche does not propose here amoralism, which presumably would be the result of but one negation (presumably of the first type). This double negation requires a continual auto-negation of morality. One's self—and not some Transcendent—is that which must always be transcended. As soon as one thinks one is good, benevolent, and beneficent, one becomes a burden and hurdle toward the Yes-saying life. If one's self is of the Yes, then one's world becomes quite harsh indeed as the world, life, et al. show themselves over-against that self.

What Nietzsche understands of the Yes-saying, however, is that each Yes-saying derives its significance from the Yes-saying of the world, life, et al. The self that says No to life remains isolated and cramped in the musty storeroom of non-knowledge among the knowers who know not, who know only the No, who remain unknowable even to themselves. But the immoralist, in learning to say Yes with life, to life, must also and eventually learn to say No to oneself. The Appolinian eclipsed by the Dionysian. The Good-contra-Evil below the horizon of the Good-contra-Bad. Even when oneself embraces the Yes-saying, one's self prevents oneself from saying Yes: No, not me. Let this cup pass from my lips.

Nietzsche's metaphysics then is a hermeneutics of Yes's—and Good's!—all the way down spiraling around their necessary No's. Hell, his one term signifying the ultimate Yes-saying is built upon two negations! No one knew this better than Nietzsche, who 126 years ago today collapsed on the streets of Turin, thereby destining these immoral thoughts now. Immoralism-cum-destiny as the impossibility of destiny as such.

Holy holy be thy name, Saint Friedrich! Yes!


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