Derelict Space

Category: Nietzsche and Philosophy

Creating Casualties Works Both Ways

by markdyal

On this momentous occasion we hope you take a minute to reflect on what you’ve learned and what you’re expected to carry with you as you leave these years behind. Think about the virtues – oh the virtues! – sometimes obvious because preached from a pulpit, but more often hidden between the words of what you were told to read, or in the smug, knowing glances of your peers. Think about the commitment to justice your schooling has provided, or the pride you’ll feel when you stand khakis-to-blouse with your fellow alumni to “make the world a better place” for failures and weaklings. Think about the wisdom that only seems to avail itself to the degraded and decaying. Think about getting to hide behind these virtues – hell, think about using them just as they were intended: as a shield against struggle, suffering, and strength. Think about a world hewn of hierarchy, danger, and privilege. Thanks to your education, that world is yours for the taking.  

Can you imagine if this was all there is? Can you imagine if this shameful vision was enough for you? Forget those for whom it is enough. Forget the milieu and the form of life that expected you to be contented by such an ignoble existence. This day we share with you and your family is given no great value by the achievement that has brought us together but is instead animated by the promise written in your future, and in the life you are creating far from the institution from which time and passivity has granted your release.

For your future holds experiences – places and situations – in which sham virtues carry an extortionate cost; for you get to live as the tightrope walker, each step a matter of standing or falling. You get to live with bonds forged of blood and steel and bathed in pure love. Some men would kill for the honor.

For you, my brother, the puerile, corrosive, decadent life of cowardly virtues written only in ink, will never be enough. And for that, we congratulate you.

Slave Power Moves the Bourgeois World, Part 2

by markdyal

“We speak of masters and nobility, as if just by vocalization the world has been transformed; and of course, everything has only happened between slaves, conquering or conquered. The mania for representing, for being represented, for getting oneself represented; for having representatives and representeds: this is the mania that is common to all slaves, the only relation between themselves that they can conceive of, the relation they impose with their triumph. It is the slave, with its mediocre dialectical machine that exclaims to all the futility of escape.” Gilles Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy, 81 (translation modified).

Slave Power Moves the Bourgeois World, Part 1

by markdyal

“Nietzsche asks: who conceives of the will to power as a will to get oneself recognized? Who conceives of power itself as the object of a recognition? Who essentially wants to be represented as superior and even wants his inferiority to be represented as superiority? ‘It is the slave who seeks to persuade us to have a good opinion of him; it is also the slave who then bends his knee before these opinions as if it wasn’t him who produced them.’ What we present to ourselves as power itself is merely the representation of power formed by the slave. What we present to ourselves as the master is the image of the triumphant slave.” Gilles Deleuze and Friedrich Nietzsche, Nietzsche and Philosophy 80-81, On the Genealogy of Morality 3:14.