Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Retrogressed, Not Retarded: Nietzsche and Historical Backsliding



Of Ideologues and Political cross-partisan  Currents hiding in the Substratum of the American Blogosphere  


 I recall when first studying Nietzsche,  being impressed with his aphorisms.  One of these, from Human,  All Too Human, was entitled,  "Retrogressed, not Retarded."  Nietzsche asserted that a sort of historical backsliding and regression or relapse was often the prelude to a quantum leap foreward, in individuals and societies.    If one takes a close  look at America's current crisis and at  both parties' tendency to regression, it becomes clear that  there has never been -  at least not in our generation,  if one was born in the '60s  -  such an urgent return to the framers of the Constitution;  and such a sense of yearning for the classical roots of Enlightenment principles,  among all,  right,  left,  center,  who have become distressed at the paradoxes which have overtaken us culturally,  economically,  globally.  Surely that we have gone from a rebellion against Europe to becoming wholly absorbed in its neo-liberal advance must be the greatest contradiction we could undergo.  As I said in a prior post,  a Citizen Wells does not appear from nowhere,  but has its roots in something which has been building for a long time,  and is suddenly pushing forth with a force which is frightening. Says Nietzsche,  he appears to be losing ground and time,  but has drawn back,  in order to make a leap with force wherein his feet have wings. . .  To be more general:     Join these ideological conflicts and undercurrents and cross currents of every political stripe,   with the vast  technological and cultural changes in the offing,  whose implications will be as far reaching as in any new epic.  It is nothing less than a powder keg situation,  in which long dormant tendencies need only the drop of a lit match. And Nietzsche was correct in saying that all consensus must be only a temporary truce;  all living organic soicety is necessarily in conflict.   This is where I find comfort with regard to the future,  to Obama,  to his nay sayers and yea sayers and all which came before and must come after.  We are advancing.    Hegel spoke of that historical moment,  when we encounter the leap:  Hic rhodus;  hic salta!  Here,  the bar;  here we jump!  I daresay NeoConservative,  Liberal and Libertarian,  might all just jump the bar in tandem.  We are in for BIG events,  history in the making. . .Here is a  link to a website,  The Nietzsche Channel,  in which excertps and quotes from his Human, All Too Human can be found(highly important reading and provides a sharp lens through which to view human events):  http://www.geocities.com/thenietzschechannel/human5.htm

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