Posted by: Rajesh Shukla | July 18, 2010

A word for ethics


The amoralism, with which Nietzsche dressed down the old untruths, has fallen prey to the verdict of history. With the dissolution of religion and its tangible philosophical secularizations, the restricting prohibitions have lost their certified essence, their substantiality. At one time however material production was still so underdeveloped, that there were grounds for announcing that there wasn’t enough for everyone. Whoever did not criticize political economy as such, was forced to cling to the limiting principle subsequently expressed as unrationalized appropriation at the cost of the weak. The objective prerequisites for this have changed. In view of the immediate possibility of abundance, this limitation must seem superfluous not just to social non-conformists, but even to the limited minds of bourgeois citizens. The implicit sense of the ethics of the rulers, that whoever wants to live has to grab what they can, has meanwhile turned into even more of a wretched lie than when it was the pulpit wisdom of the 19th century. If in Germany the upstanding citizens [Spiessbürger] have proven themselves to be blond beasts, then this is not on account of national peculiarities, but due to the fact that in the face of open plenitude, the blond beast itself, social robbery, has taken on the aspect of something backwoodsy, of the deluded philistine, and even of the “short-end-of-the-stick” attitude, against which the ruling ethics was invented. If Cesare Borgia came back to life today, he would resemble David Fredrich Strauss and he would be named Adolf Hitler. The preaching of amorality has become the task of the same Darwinists who Nietzsche loathed, and who convulsively proclaimed the barbaric struggle for existence as a maxim, precisely because it is no longer needed. The virtue of gentility has long since ceased to mean the taking what is better from others, but means instead becoming satiated with taking and really practicing the virtue of giving, something which occurs in Nietzsche solely intellectually. The ascetic ideals comprise a greater degree of resistance against the madness of the profit economy today than lavish living did sixty years ago against liberal repression. Amoralists may finally permit themselves to be as benevolent, kind, unegoistic and open-minded as Nietzsche already was at that time. As a guarantee of their unyielding resistance, they will still remain as lonely as in the days when he turned the mask of evil against the normal world, in order to teach the norm to fear its own wrongness.

–Adorno

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: