Sunday, December 14, 2008
The will to possess posted by Richard SeymourNietzsche, in his typically indiscriminate way, skewered the humanitarian and philanthropist in these terms:
Among helpful and charitable people, one almost always finds the awkward craftiness which first gets up suitably him who has to be helped, as though, for instance, he should "merit" help, seek just THEIR help, and would show himself deeply grateful, attached, and subservient to them for all help. With these conceits, they take control of the needy as a property, just as in general they are charitable and helpful out of a desire for property. One finds them jealous when they are crossed or forestalled in their charity. Parents involuntarily make something like themselves out of their children--they call that "education"; no mother doubts at the bottom of her heart that the child she has borne is thereby her property, no father hesitates about his right to HIS OWN ideas and notions of worth. Indeed, in former times fathers deemed it right to use their discretion concerning the life or death of the newly born (as among the ancient Germans). And like the father, so also do the teacher, the class, the priest, and the prince still see in every new individual an unobjectionable opportunity for a new possession. (Beyond Good and Evil)
Nietzsche's greatest contempt, of course, was reserved for "socialist pity", the "common herd" and "the rabble", but I just quote this passage because it seems to me to sum up a certain attitude that is sometimes confused with "solidarity".