Archive for December 2nd, 2021

Nietzsche’s Amor Fati Is An Ancient Disaster, Denying Progress and Evolution

December 2, 2021

Abstract: Nietzsche based his philosophy on a number of axioms, including “Amor Fati” and “Will to Power”. Both are found in animals… but on different occasions: death for the former, life for the latter. The two notions, embracing one’s fate and imposing one’s will, contradict each other in a philosophical system. This riddle is explained when one realizes that Nietzsche was so shattered by the death of god (Nietzsche’s father was a professional godist [0]), he was so inconsolable, that he ended up confusing pure rationality with “Amor Fati”. Pure rationality appeared to Nietzsche like a terrible fate one had to love.  OK, pretty silly. So why to condescend to write this essay? Well, it was a discovery process… And “Amor Fati” dominates as a philosophical system all too much in places where I grew up, and used to be the bane of the Middle Ages… with deplorable results…

***

“Amor fati”, love of fate, is just convenient metaphysics for beasts full of endorphins, devoured by dogs. Or for populations submitted to greedy tyrants. Stoicism is amor fati writ large. 

Nietzsche was great in many ways, but also incredibly naïve, stupid and obsolete in others. Nietzsche’s recipe for greatness is “amor fati”? Inconceivably stupid: the recipe for humanity is “plus ultra”, “plus oultre” (Charles Quint!!!) Always was… Going “Meta” in other words, to speak Greek instead of French or Latin… And the importance of the meta concept is why Facebook stole the concept.

Nietzsche, apparently ignorant of North Africa and the Middle East, didn’t know the famous Arabic saying: In sha’Allah (/ɪnˈʃælə/; Arabic: إِنْ شَاءَ ٱللَّٰهُ‎, ʾin šāʾa -llāh… If god wants it), embracing fate, is a very old slogan and attitude, and not just Muslim. Worse: “Si Dieu le veut!”, its French version, was the slogan and attitude of all too much of the European Middle Ages…

In recent centuries, the Middle East has been dying from In sha’Allah. In sha’Allah is as old as the Hydraulic Dictatorships of the desiccated Middle East…

***

Amor Fati is a philosophy central to the Greco-Roman Stoics (among the ancestors of both Christianism and Islamism). Stoicism is the philosophy of the wise bearing the civilization-terminating dictatorships of the Hellenistic States and ravenous plutocratic and imperial Rome. Epictetus was a philosopher initially in Nero’s closest power circle (as was Seneca, another prominent Stoic, who ruled Rome for 5 years, in the name of his pupil Nero who was still too young to be interested by power… Epictetus was slave to Nero’s secretary, surviving the suicided Seneca…). Here is Epictetus:

“Do not seek for things to happen the way you want them to; rather, wish that what happens happen the way it happens: then you will be happy.”

In other words, say you messed up: just pretend that’s what you wanted to achieve all along. Say you are addicted to some substance: wish that happens some more, you always wanted this.  

In a return to the gutter, Nietzsche made love of fate central to his philosophy. In “Why I Am So CleverEcce Homo, section 10, he writes:

“My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it—all idealism is mendacity in the face of what is necessary—but love it.”

The concept is used elsewhere in Nietzsche’s writings. For example in section 276 of The Gay Science:

“I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who makes things beautiful. Amor fati: let that be my love henceforth! I do not want to wage war against what is ugly. I do not want to accuse; I do not even want to accuse those who accuse. Looking away shall be my only negation. And all in all and on the whole: some day I wish to be only a Yes-sayer.”

Nietzsche refers to the “Yes-sayer” as a person who is capable of uncompromising acceptance of reality per se… In other words, Nietzsche wants to embrace a proto-rational, rational, science oriented attitude. But he goes metaphysical in too restricted a way, getting stupid by claiming we should love whatever happens. (In another even more stupid version, Amor Fati is described as “whatever happens, happens”… as if we had a choice in the matter…) 

Indeed, why did prehistoric men do science? Why did prehistoric men try to find out what raw reality was? Because their lives depended upon it! It was not that their lives in academia depended upon it, but their real lives…

Prehistoric men tried to determine what reality was, not to please superiors, and get a bigger house, but for day to day existence, dominating the subjects they needed to dominate for survival. For example the local saber tooth lions’ pride. Nothing promotes rationality better than the will to not become dinner.

In other words, the science oriented mind, embracing reality, evolved and was selected, precisely because looking at things as they are, as much as possible, provides us with power… The ultimate power, survival. Nietzsche did not understand that, and denied evolution: he hated Darwin, and probably in no small measure because evolution denies “eternal recurrence”… the ultimate parody of “Amor Fati”…

Nietzsche was great, highly likeable, his work on Dionysus and Apollo stand… although not as original as those who know only Nietzsche may think… After all, these are Greek inventions… And Jacob Burckhardt pointed out that Renaissance Italy viewed the State as an art form, born of gore and madness, keys to the sublime… And Nietzsche admired Burckhardt… but Nietzsche’s Amor Fati contradicts Renaissance Italy. Amor Fati was useful to Nietzsche, as he was ravaged by disease… But it is mostly useless, even to him, and not original. Curiously, “Amor Fati” contradicted, to some extent, another core of Nietzsche’s work, the “Will to Power”. Now, it is true that, to fully express one’s “Will to Power” one may have to embrace it as fate: the knight in shining armor needs amor fati, not just armor fati…

In his last moments of sanity, Nietzsche embraced a horse who had been flogged by his owner for resisting progress. Nietzsche then cried, and talked to the exhausted animal. Compassion. No Amor Fati there…

Amor Fati evolved as a trait meta-useful to entire ecological systems. Animals have to be devoured so that other animals, generally superior, can, in turn, exist… And they have to let themselves be devoured, to prevent chaotic ecological systems [1]. Amor Fati is a sort of evolution created built-in euthanasia… And this is precisely the law of the jungle humanity evolved to break. 

Patrice Ayme  

 

http://www.shardcore.org/shardpress2019/2011/07/20/nietzsche-and-the-horse-2011/ I love therefore I am…

[0] Racists worry about race, godists worry about god, a dog in the sky…

***

[1] The math of this exists, I developed them… The basic idea is that predators are beneficial to prey species (for example by preventing pandemics). So prey species have interest that they would be preyed upon. But that can only work if the prey in its death throes doesn’t insist to kill the predator. Thus the prey, once condemned, is flooded with endorphins, and stop struggling…


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