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The Doer and the Deed - De File — LiveJournal
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
The Doer and the Deed
Sometimes Nietzsche sounds like a fool. And sometimes he sounds like a genius. More often than not, the two extremes co-exist in the same paragraph. This one from the Genealogy of Morals is my personal favorite, not to mention the passage from his work that has most powerfully influenced post-structuralist theory:
To demand of strength that it should not express itself as strength, that it should not be a desire to overcome, a desire to throw down, a desire to become master (Herrwerden-Wollen), a thirst for enemies and resistances and triumphs, is just as absurd as to demand of weakness that it should express itself as strength. A quantum of force is equivalent to a quantum of drive, will, effect (Trieb, Wille, Wirken) -- more, it is nothing other than precisely this very driving, willing, effecting, and only owing to the seduction of language (and of the fundamental errors of reason that are petrified in it) which conceives and misconceives all effects (Wirken) as conditioned by something that causes effects (durch ein Wirkendes), by a "subject" ("Subjekt"), can it appear otherwise. For just as the popular mind (das Volk) separates the lightning from its flash and takes the latter for an action, for the operation of a subject called lightning, so popular morality (die Volks-Moral) also separates strength from expressions of strength, as if there were a neutral substratum (Substrat) behind the strong man (hinter dem Starken), which was free to express strength or not do so. But there is no such substratum; there is no "being" ("Sein") behind doing, effecting, becoming (hinter dem Tun, Wirken, Werden); "the doer" is merely a fiction added to the deed -- the deed is everything ("der Täter" ist zum Tun bloß hinzugedichtet). The popular mind in fact doubles the deed; when it sees the lightning flash, it is the deed of a deed: it posits the same event first as cause and then a second time as its effect. Scientists (Naturforscher) do no better when they say "force moves," "force causes," and the like -- all its coolness, its freedom from emotion notwithstanding, our entire science still lies under the misleading influence of language and has not disposed of that little changeling (Wechselbälge), the "subject" (the atom, for example, is such a changeling, as is the Kantian "thing-in-itself"); no wonder if the submerged, darkly glowering emotions of vengefulness and hatred exploit this belief for their own ends and in fact maintain no belief more ardently than the belief that the strong man is free to be weak and the bird of prey (Raubvogel) to be a lamb -- for thus they gain the right to make the bird of prey accountable for being a bird of prey.
Reading this passage, I'm torn between the desire to continue deconstructing the subject and the desire to eat a T-bone steak.

Mode: prandialated
Muse: Sympathy For The Devil (Time For A Change) - Laibach - Sympathy For The Devil

6 comments or Leave a comment
From: batdina Date: April 21st, 2004 04:00 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
okay. I get the decontructing the subject stuff; but where's the steak come from?
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 21st, 2004 01:41 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)


I just meant that business about the bird of prey. Makes me hungry!
elizabeg From: elizabeg Date: April 21st, 2004 07:08 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

hell yeah birds of prey

I haven't eaten beef in weeks. Realized it had been longer than I could remember, months even, when my cousins stopped at In-N-Out (my first) on the drive back from Arizona. Burger then but nothing since for weeks now. Not so much a conscious choice as that I simply haven't had the taste for it, for meat in general. It only seems strange when I think about it.

Still, I can find myself a bird of prey without the meat consumption. Sometimes I think I want not to be blamed for being one. I'm pretty sure I only think I want this.

I still remember: beginning the bottom left of the page, twenty pages in, the black edition of Nietzsche, you said. I found it there.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 21st, 2004 01:43 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: hell yeah birds of prey

As your personal trainer, may I advise that, in the absence of eating meat, you be sure to balance your beans and rice with tofu and eggs so that you keep your protein level and blood sugar at a calming level.

And, yes, I do think you want to be blamed for being a bird of prey!
elizabeg From: elizabeg Date: April 21st, 2004 02:25 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: hell yeah birds of prey

Yes, I do want to be blamed. And I know it.

I already ate like a vegetarian maybe 80% of the time and have done much cooking that way for a while now. It's been much eggs and humus and tofu (less scary from the campus grill) and such for me. Lentils and rice (complete protein!) and of course cheese cheese cheese. And fish, sushi, etc haven't fallen by the wayside. I could never go the Atkins route--my blood sugar plumets without carbs and I get insanely irritable. I do forget sometimes though that my blood sugar can plumet without the meat as well.
kdotdammit From: kdotdammit Date: April 21st, 2004 04:49 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
All I can say to this is: "You know what Nietsche says? Strawberry shortcake makes you stronger!" (Skylar Nicolini Bertsch, Spring 2002)
6 comments or Leave a comment