The Will to Power
In the excerpts taken from Nietzsche’s books Beyond Good and Evil and Thus Spoke Zarathustra, the idea of “Will to Power” explains his overall philosophy. He portrays the true nature of men, and why men’s way of organizing and harmonizing humanity is actually contradictory to it; therefore inflicting harm to men.
He believes that our desires to create morality is self-destructive and deceiving. As he said, “ because of men’s desire to love for the truth, they force themselves to see nature differently.” “the force of moral prejudices has penetrated deeply into the most spiritual, the seemingly coldest, and the most open-`minded world, and, as one may imagine, with harmful, obstructionist, blinding, and distorting results.”(Nietzsche) For Nietzsche, he wants men to embrace its true nature. For him man is a tyrant who creates an image of his world base on his ideal image of it; therefore, man is both a creator and a subordinate in this case. He (Nietzsche) suggests that we embrace “hatred, envy, greed, and domineering as the passions which life is conditioned, as things which must be present in the total household of life”. For him, he is asking what if they are the values that we need to live on? What if they are the necessary factors that we need in order to preserve the very nature of life, to be further developed if life is to be developed, instead of the scapegoating moral dignities that we are trying to consume all this years?
All in all, his idea falls down into the “will to power”. We need to embrace our negative, animalistic nature, and from that, our will to preserve ourselves will guide us toward development. It is like by accepting your true nature and suffering from the consequences of it will free you from the inhibitions that this society imposes. Through being compassionate on oneselves, through freeing oneself from social stigma, and through following ones Will to Power we can develop one own self.
The Transvaluation of Values
In “Transvaluation of Values”, Nietzsche showed two types of men. I think that these two types are highly relevant on how we will perceive our world today. First, there are those who embraced their will to power. Those who embraced their own values, and using those as their leverage in this world. Second are those condemned as holy, those who skillfully inhibits their deepest desires and nature. He relates the first with self-mastery. However, for him (Nietzsche)“whatever comes hard to people are praiseworthy; whatever is irremissible and difficult for them is called good; and that which liberates them from deepest necessity, whatever is most difficult and most rare they call holy.” According to him, Men put values for his self-preservation. However, since every man has different set of values, they cannot impose his own values to his neighbor. Values then is from value-givers. Wherein men are value-givers; therefore, transformation of values means transformation of creators.
On the negative side, learning one’s limitations and embracing one’s wild nature without using them in one’s own development, would result to downfall. As well as aiming for things beyond your will to power would result to corruption of men. His idea is quite complicated, but simply put, it means man only creates the values that we perceive valuable today. Man actually is the most recent creation of himself.
Nietzsche argues that the truth about men is that men wills that every being will bow down and accommodate themselves to men. Furthermore, those who cannot command receives command. Life itself dictates will to power for Nietzsche.
The Superior man for Nietzsche is the man who already reached self-mastery. He often use Zarathustra, who quotes “How can we master man?” Here, Nietzsche is talking about not just embracing the negative inner sides of men, but knowing and accepting your limitations as well. We should only dream as much as our capabilities could realize. Those who dreams for more than their capabilities are ignorant and “rabbleman”. Nietzsche said that we should not aim more than what our power could meet, or we would become “miscasts”.
Nietzsche’s philosophy is unusual from the typical philosophies that I have encountered. He urges the people to look inward, downward, and see our own capabilities. We are truth-seekers, yes, but as he said, we are fools because we look at it in the lense of other people. Self-mastery is the focus of Nietzsche’s philosophy, which I agree must be solicited by everybody. However, I think that even if his philosophy appeals to me in the sense of its different approach to life and morality, his philosophy is still unattainable. On one hand, it is quite similar to the approach of phenomenology about detaching oneself from the reality. On the other hand, it is quite similar to Descartes philosophy of looking from within ourselves to know the absolute truths. The difference here is that in phenomenology, the person follows an outsider approach point of view; being DETACHED from the reality to see the reality, which, Nietzsche’s “Will to Power” doesn’t adhere unto.
The problem here is that it is difficult to look our most inner selves without or detached from the moral grounds of this humanity. We are forever stained by the dictation of the society, thus our values and beliefs in our lives are forever influenced by it. I think his philosophy falls down into the crisis of self-identity.
I think the best scenario to apply this Nietzschean philosophy is on the corruption (in general) in the Philippines, and the two faces of corrupt politicians. From the case of Marcos, to Gloria, and Binay. It seems that these people lived two lives. One is the self-proclaimed saintly living that they are feeding the people, and second is their corrupt nature which adheres to the idea of “Will to Power”. Outwardly they portrays the life of an individual who follows all the moral guidelines that institutions like state imposed to them. However, as they are more exposed to the people, their true natures are hardly covered.
One of the problem that our society faces now is the difficulty in distinguishing those who can control their impulses and those who can not. If we will use Nietzschean philosophy, it seems that we would have to overcome our own standards. We will have to look at these people, not as god, but supermen, who are able to master their differences and desires. Those who tries to use their will to power. Nonetheless, their misdeed are still unforgivable, even in the philosophy of Nietzsche, because they are sinning through aiming even those far from their will to power. They aim to get things that are beyond their capabilities. That is the reason why after some years they all fall back to dirt. Their frauds are exposed to men.