In the book 'Thus Spoke Zarathustra', Nietzsche provides the reader with a fictional account of a Persian prophet named Zarathustra. He takes this historical figure and turns him into a libratory prophet for the modern world. Nietzsche argues that Zarathustra is the first individual to rationalize morality and from Nietzsche's point of view, the failure to do so is a fundamental error. Nietzsche wants to move society out of traditional morality and into another kind of morality called the "master morality." He argues that the crisis of authority, traditionally having rested on theological grounds over the past 300 years, has generated much societal repression and chaos.
He concludes that the social contract, the pact between the individual and his government, fails. Thus, Nietzsche searches for a fundamental source of authority that can lead to a good society. The general goal here is to establish a revolutionary founding of western civilization and a reorientation of western civilization. Nietzsche thinks that society has become deeply masochistic and that society has made self-inflicted pain a way of life in the west.
Further, Nietzsche argues in the beginning of the book that the belief in god once served a function in society. God was more at the center of societal life and was the foundation of culture and human ideals. Essentially, god was the glue that held everything together for society. Nietzsche is arguing that god has died, and the belief system of god is dead. God no longer plays the cementing role that he had at one point. Society is, therefore, now largely irreligious in its own frame of reference. In turn, this means that society has experienced a kind of collapse at the epicenter of western culture. The consequence is a state of nihilism where things fall apart, with value pluralism, and a resulting crisis.
[...] Modern liberalism and modern socialism are, for Nietzsche, versions of Socratic politics, and thus are inherently condemned. Nietzsche then goes on to ask what it means that tragic catharsis is aesthetic and not moral. In other words, how is most intense pathos merely aesthetic play” (Nietzsche 114). This boils down to the claim, stating that, are to recognize a Dionysiac phenomenon, one which reveals to us the playful construction and demolition of the world of individuality as an outpouring of primal pleasure and delight, a process quite similar to Heraclitus the Obscure's comparison of force that shapes the world to a playing child who sets down stones here, there, and the next place, and who builds up piles of sand only to knock them down again” (Nietzsche 114). [...]
[...] “Only in a state of unremitting resistance to the Titanic-barbaric nature of the Dionysiac could such a cruel and ruthless polity, such a war-like and austere form of education, such as a defiantly aloof art, surrounded by battlements, exist for long” (Nietzsche 28). The goal then is to achieve balance between total politicization and total de-politicization. When it comes to work, we take things as they are and then try to perfect them: “only as an aesthetic phenomenon can the world be justified” (Nietzsche 33). [...]
[...] It makes us slavish, dull, and dim-witted. Modern culture magnifies this image for us to identify with it. Thus, the world as constructed is the dumbest kind of reality. In fantasy, Nietzsche is picking up on a train of modern thought. He argues, (as Kant argues) imagination is the origin of knowledge,” but by placing the fantasy at the origin of knowledge, our knowledge is restricted. Nietzsche is trying to ask how our imaginary life plays out. Either that dimension of our psychic life dwindles and is lost, and our capacity to live well is lost, or it is not. [...]
[...] limitedness and the fact that we will eventually die. We must realize our impotence in the fact that the world will go on without us. The reality of our mortality is a basic fact for Nietzsche, and he argues that people who do not realize that they will die are superficial and trite. In the end, however, he argues that happiness is found in a culture that combines the Apolline and the Dionysus. The framework of that unification begins with the Apolline. [...]
[...] When we tune into our deepest drives, life feels good and the energies are elevating. We feel our lives to be good and valuable, and worth living. Nietzsche argues that only by engaging in aesthetic activity can you truly do justice to life. The real artist, the artist of our lives, in nature exists both metaphorically and literally. Aesthetic metaphysics is part of the core of the argument Nietzsche makes. He states in section five that the first instance the lyric poet, a Dionysiac artist, has become entirely at one with the primordial unity, with its pain and contradiction.” Further, Dionysiac artist is identified with the essence of things, the first place, as a Dionysian artist [the lyricist] has identified himself with the primal unity, its pain and contradiction He produces the copy of this primal unity as music. [...]
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