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Master-Slave Morality

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I was reading something that an anti-rand guy wrote (which I'll post about in another thread soon), and I noticed that the guy kept suggesting that Rand had a fascination with Nietzsche. The tone, that I gathered, was that this was a bad thing. Naturally, I suspected that it might actually be a good thing, and the guy was using an argument from intimidation. So I looked Nietzsche up on Wikipedia.

I must say, I was surprised. If Rand admired that philosopher, she had good reason to do so. I don't agree with some of his views, perspectivism being a big one, but I must say that his moral insights are profound indeed.

Take a look at Nietzsche's Master-Slave Morality. Does it sound familiar? The Master morality strikingly resembles Rand's heroes, and the Slave morality strikingly resembles Rand's villains. Nietzsche didn't think either morality was a good thing, but he apparently thought that the Master morality was preferable to the Slave morality.

EDIT: I also like his attack against christianity.

Edited by Amaroq
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I haven't been able to fully understand Nietzsche's philosophy, but it was certainly a new take on morality. Only problem is, instead of challenging the notion that altruism is good and that looking out for yourself is bad, he attacked the notion that morality even exists. His philosophy is that there is no good or bad, and that's a dangerous philosophy in itself. If what I gathered from his philosophy is true, anyway.

Particularly, it seems as though he would be indifferent to either the master or the slave morality

Edited by Black Wolf
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Particularly, it seems as though he would be indifferent to either the master or the slave morality

It's been awhile since I read anything by him, but what gave you the impression he was indifferent? My impression was that he lamented the loss of morality and promoted the master morality.

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I recall that Ayn disagreed with the major fundamentals of Nietzsche, but she gave him respect for his contributions to philosophy. Essentially, Niet is rooted in emotionalism and mysticism - his claims are extrapolated from that basis. For example, his famous "god is dead, we killed him and replaced him" is very interesting, but it really just came from his feelings about God, not from any real factual, rational place. And he brings a heavy degree of pessimism, which is fine, but the master-slave idea through a pessimistic lens ends up looking like Nazi Germany.

However, I believe it is important to evaluate concepts for oneself without trying to think of what Rand thought. And Nietzsche certainly was insightful, prolific, and influential - I just believe he was coming from the wrong place to begin with.

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From the Introduction to "The Fountainhead"

Perhaps the best to communicate The Fountainhead's sense of life is by means of the quotation which had stood at the head of my manuscript but which I removed from the final, published book. With this opportunity to explain it, I am glad to bring it back.

I removed it, because of my profound disagreement with the philosophy of its author, Friedrich Nietzsche. Philosophically, Nietzsche is a mystic and irrationalist. His metaphysics consist of a somewhat "Byronic" and mystically "malevolent" universe; his epistemology subordinates reason to "will," or feeling or instinct or blood or innate virtues of character. But, as a poet, he projects at times (not consistently) a magnificent feeling for man's greatness, expressed in emotional, not intellectual terms.

...

"The noble soul has reverence for itself." (Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil)

(The Bold is Mine)

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For example, his famous "god is dead, we killed him and replaced him" is very interesting, but it really just came from his feelings about God, not from any real factual, rational place.

I don't think that is accurate. God is dead was, as I understood him, an attack on Christian morality, that the objective basis of morality(objective, small o, meaning an absolute morality obtained directly from god) was no able to be held as true and that all that was left was his will to power, or master morality and that Christianity, etc were slave moralities.

If my memory and/or interpretation is correct, anyone feel free to correct me, but I don't think that his statement had a lot to do with god, except tangentially.

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I love how he asserted that Christianity may have been a psychological attack on Rome, a sort of revenge. Too bad it worked.

I'm not familiar with anything about the guy other than what Wikipedia said about him. Though I think his Master-Slave Morality was a really valuable philosophical insight. Including how his idea about how the slave morality came about. The whole, "lesser people feel inferior that they aren't as well off as the masters, and rather than do something about it, they get defensive and say they're that way by choice, their vices are actually virtues, and the masters' virtues are actually vices. Begin systematic enslavement of the great by the lessers."

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