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What connects Nietzsche with Libertarianism?

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fakename Posted: Mon, May 6 2013 10:51 PM

I've noticed that a lot of people really identify with Nietzsche and his philosophy of life. However, I never did see how his philosophy should necessarily create very outspoken libertarians. Perhaps this is because I don't know enough about his ideas.

So why does Nietzsche influence libertarians?

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he didn't want people to conform to socially constructed value systems. he despised governments.

I'm sure people will say he would hate libertarians too.  He would not have liked the NAP.

Somewhere there are still peoples and herds, but not with us, my brethren: here there are states.

A state? What is that? Well! open now your ears unto me, for now will I say unto you my word concerning the death of peoples.

A state, is called the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly lieth it also; and this lie creepeth from its mouth: "I, the state, am the people."

It is a lie! Creators were they who created peoples, and hung a faith and a love over them: thus they served life.

Destroyers, are they who lay snares for many, and call it the state: they hang a sword and a hundred cravings over them.

Where there is still a people, there the state is not understood, but hated as the evil eye, and as sin against laws and customs.

This sign I give unto you: every people speaketh its language of good and evil: this its neighbour understandeth not. Its language hath it devised for itself in laws and customs.

But the state lieth in all languages of good and evil; and whatever it saith it lieth; and whatever it hath it hath stolen.

False is everything in it; with stolen teeth it biteth, the biting one. False are even its bowels.

Confusion of language of good and evil; this sign I give unto you as the sign of the state. Verily, the will to death, indicateth this sign! Verily, it beckoneth unto the preachers of death!

Many too many are born: for the superfluous ones was the state devised!

See just how it enticeth them to it, the many-too-many! How it swalloweth and cheweth and recheweth them!

"On earth there is nothing greater than I: it is I who am the regulating finger of God"--thus roareth the monster. And not only the long-eared and short-sighted fall upon their knees!

Ah! even in your ears, ye great souls, it whispereth its gloomy lies! Ah! it findeth out the rich hearts which willingly lavish themselves!

Yea, it findeth you out too, ye conquerors of the old God! Weary ye became of the conflict, and now your weariness serveth the new idol!

Heroes and honourable ones, it would fain set up around it, the new idol! Gladly it basketh in the sunshine of good consciences,--the cold monster!

Everything will it give YOU, if YE worship it, the new idol: thus it purchaseth the lustre of your virtue, and the glance of your proud eyes.

It seeketh to allure by means of you, the many-too-many! Yea, a hellish artifice hath here been devised, a death-horse jingling with the trappings of divine honours!

Yea, a dying for many hath here been devised, which glorifieth itself as life: verily, a hearty service unto all preachers of death!

The state, I call it, where all are poison-drinkers, the good and the bad: the state, where all lose themselves, the good and the bad: the state, where the slow suicide of all--is called "life."

Just see these superfluous ones! They steal the works of the inventors and the treasures of the wise. Culture, they call their theft--and everything becometh sickness and trouble unto them!

Just see these superfluous ones! Sick are they always; they vomit their bile and call it a newspaper. They devour one another, and cannot even digest themselves.

Just see these superfluous ones! Wealth they acquire and become poorer thereby. Power they seek for, and above all, the lever of power, much money--these impotent ones!

See them clamber, these nimble apes! They clamber over one another, and thus scuffle into the mud and the abyss.

Towards the throne they all strive: it is their madness--as if happiness sat on the throne! Ofttimes sitteth filth on the throne.--and ofttimes also the throne on filth.

Madmen they all seem to me, and clambering apes, and too eager. Badly smelleth their idol to me, the cold monster: badly they all smell to me, these idolaters.

My brethren, will ye suffocate in the fumes of their maws and appetites! Better break the windows and jump into the open air!

Do go out of the way of the bad odour! Withdraw from the idolatry of the superfluous!

Do go out of the way of the bad odour! Withdraw from the steam of these human sacrifices!

Open still remaineth the earth for great souls. Empty are still many sites for lone ones and twain ones, around which floateth the odour of tranquil seas.

Open still remaineth a free life for great souls. Verily, he who possesseth little is so much the less possessed: blessed be moderate poverty!

There, where the state ceases--there only commenceth the man who is not superfluous: there commenceth the song of the necessary ones, the single and irreplaceable melody.

There, where the state CEASES--pray look thither, my brethren! Do ye not see it, the rainbow and the bridges of the Superman?--

Thus spake Zarathustra.

 

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Neodoxy replied on Tue, May 7 2013 12:19 AM

^

What he said

Nietzsche was all about self determination, self-fulfillment, and creation. All of these things fit in with a libertarian social view, and can be easily adapted to the libertarian political view, although Nietzsche does promote coercive aristocracy and the state. With that said, his version of the state is unlikely to ever occur again, so he'd probably be a lot happier with libertarianism than a democratic welfare state.

Edit

With that said Nietzsche's views of the state were always extremely unclear and convoluted. Especially when you try to make an actual coherent Nietzschean state out of what he did say. The fact is that any lawful aristocracy will always destroy the best elements of society that might one day challenge them.

The conflicting values that may well be promoted in the voluntaryist society could also be considered extremely Nietzschean, as could the free market system within that society.

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
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Wher edoes Nietzsche promote aristocracy?  The birds of prey?

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Neodoxy replied on Tue, May 7 2013 12:37 AM

Ugh, that moment when I can't find  the quote. I'll keep my eyes out for it but basically Nietzsche stated that his philosophy was incompatible with simple businesspeople and merchants, and was instead embodied by those who wished to dominate others (at the time I certainly read it as a statist aristocracy). Maybe I misread the quote, but I remember feeling very disappointed when I read it, even if this was over a year ago.

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
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i never read his promotion of "aristocracy" as anything more than the understanding that some people are simply "better" than others.  Some people are good at math, drawing; music or just art, engineering, etc. and some people are not.  They are average people who cannot conceive of "higher ambitions" and because they "lack this insight into life" never strive for anything more than mediocrity.

Many have recognized this fact about society.  Aristotle thought that true rationality was a "gift from god."  Herbert Spencer, who Nietzsche liked more than the other moral historians, applied the survival of the fittest to human society, calling it "social darwinism."  Roberts Michaels called it the "iron law of oligarchy."  Marx and his followers developed the "vanguard of the proletariat."  And most importantly, for most of us here, the US Founders setup a system of "representative democracy"; Jefferson referred to this as the "natural aristocracy."  Elites today are calling it "meritocracy."  there are many more examples as well.  Nietzsche simply saw people in aesthetic terms, free spirits; human art.  Some are better than others. =/

EDIT:  I'm watching this now and it became uber-relevant like two minutes after I posted this..

O0D0E42AA4I?t=41m55s

Chomsky/Rothbard ftw.

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Neodoxy replied on Tue, May 7 2013 1:22 AM

Aristophanes,

Yeah, those were more or less my feelings on Nietzsche, but what I'm referencing seems to disprove that... If it exists/I read it properly

How do you feel about Chomsky?

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Yeah, find that quote.  I've only read Birth of Tragedy, Geneology, and parts of Zarathustra.

Chomsky is great, imo.  I'd ignore his pure economics, but his political economy is virtually identical to Rothbard.  The letters that Rothbard and Chomsky sent back and forth (they were publishing comments about one of Chomsky's articles on Cambodia) are hilarious.  They did not like each other.  My guess is this is so because they had so much in common and each stood to undermine the legitimacy of each other's theories.  but, they both look at politics through the Power Elite lense.

Chomsky's focus is on propaganda and the spread of ideas (since he is a linguist/cogniitive scientist).  He doesn't know or believe the laws of economics, however.  He is critical of Western power to the point where enemies of the US cite him and ask for him to be ambassador (again, this, to me, is hilarious).

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Neodoxy replied on Tue, May 7 2013 1:50 AM

Really? I'm surprised that you didn't read BG&E, the Gay Science, or "Human, all Too Human" for your class. I've always considered those along with Genealogy to be his most important work (not that I've read all of them) but what do I know? Zarathustra is truly beautiful, although thoroughly enigmatic.

I'm surprised at your view on the matter of Rothbard and Chomsky. Could you explain your thought process? Could you also send me the letters? That sounds like something which would be fascinating to read.

I find it impossible to get passed Chomsky's economic viewpoints to actually consider him seriously as a philosopher. This may well be partially indicative of our different interests, but when you go around making claims about capitalism and you so obviously know nothing about economics and capitalism itself then it just poisons the whole barrel for me

Edit

My god, I can't even look through Nietzsche quotes trying to find the passage that I'm looking for without being touched by some of the insights the philosopher made.

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I'm surprised that you didn't read BG&E, the Gay Science, or "Human, all Too Human" for your class.

The class was 50% Schopenhauer then 50% Nietzsche and it focused on Schopenhauer's whole system then primarily aesthetics and ethics of both.

Could you also send me the letters?

When you get to college you will fall in love with the JSTOR.  I found them there.  and don't know how to send pdfs here.  They aren't that long either, I think it is just two short articles by each.

EDIT: found them two seconds after I posted. http://www.paulbogdanor.com/chomsky/rothbard.pdf - when intellectuals try to ad hominem ech other...it is great.

I'm surprised at your view on the matter of Rothbard and Chomsky. Could you explain your thought process?

Who's Afraid of Noam Chomsky? - article from lew rockwell's site.  It is about Chomsky's excellent deconstruction of state and corporate propoaganda of war propaganda and war planning.

I am an anarchist?  Anarcho-capitalist = anarchism with property rights; anarcho-syndicalism = anarchism without property rights.  Anarchism means pretty much whatever any given anarchist thinks.  To me anarchy is primarily about 'legitimate' monopolies and 'legitimate' authority.  Merging those two is the best bet to combine the left and right into something meaningful.  this is why I stopped harping on the metaphysics of property rights (the primary focus of ancaps and marxists) and started thinking more about the implications of corporate sovereignty.  Both agree that the state privileges that corporations get (corporations are created by state license not by contracts) are the first things that need to be targeted, along with the processes of the central banks of the world.

Chomsky helped me to understand, as well as set me in the path, of looking at social engineering and Rothbard the one who pointed out that the FED is the largest and more influential actor in all of national and international politics (unless there is a world war which will diminish the influence of central banks on policy making).  Social engineering is a big deal.

For instance, if you look at the declining populations of the West it is largely because there is political and economic freedom.  The main social engineering project of the West is population control, so the promotion of gay marriage and abortion become top priorities.  Aldous Huxley, whose brother, Julian, was the first head of UNESCO (UN education, society, and cultural organization; the UN social engineering HQ) said that there is a three pronged hierarchy of gratifications; sex, material, and political.  His characterization was downward; people's political gratifications being taken away will force them to economic and material gratifications.  When they have no money they will turn to sex.  So there must be as many avenues for sex to take place as possible to ensure that there is not upheaval in the future when the west becomes poor.  The other aspect of this is keeping the population low...you get where this is going.

Look at Africa, India, China, and most of the middle east.  Where they live under tyranny and are poor they have exploding populations.  Case in point that huxley's characterization is true.  The social engineering in the US has largely only been effective in the US.  In the late 60's Kissinger proposed that a priority of State Dept. actions be to decrease the populations in the nations mentioned above.  This is one reason why Kissinger liked Mao.  but did this happen?  No.  Hence we have new ideas about sterilizing people in the global south through mosquito carried vaccines (Bill Gates).

For the US to keep control over the world with a declining share of the worlds capital (check the World Bank for these projections; the West will be in poverty in 30 years) it needs to propagandize the rest of the world to take part in the policies of the US without developing rich productive economies.  Part of this strategy is economic and part of it is environmental.  the idea that free markets (or pseudo free markets) will allow the rest of the world to develop as we have is to ensure destruction of the West.  So Rothbard comes in and points out that the US central banking system is integral to the makeup of our success.  Retaining control over the capital flows of the world is priority one. [we are all familiar with this so I won't go into it here, needless to say the propaganda of economics necessarily must leave out the central bank as an organizational entity - "it is only a bank...nothing to see here"]

Understanding intellectual propaganda is different than understanding advertising-style propaganda.  The appeal to emotion is still present, but there must be rather sophisticated methods of indoctrinating people who want to think.  Selling people who do not think bubble gum is easy; hot chick in bikini, boom, sold the bubble gum.  But, economics graduates need to be ran through hoops that must become so overbearing that they cannot independently  question the methods used or they will notice that economics isn't a "science" it is a collection of competing methodological theories much like international relations.  Economics is the metaphysics of politics.

So, I remember in my "Public health and Public Policy" class (when I was an econ major - here is my review of the book for that class on amazon - notice how helpful people think it was) being taught about the "social margin" when discussing negative externalities.  The social margin mixed marginal utility with objective value.  The point of which is to justify regulation of virtually every aspect of production.  I had already read enough economics and economic history to know that these are two mutually exclusive concepts, but others in class did not.  And when calculus is introduced as a verification meter of this theory (a mix of Keynes, Coase, Fisher, and Friedman) all of the sudden dissenters are seen as questioning mathematics.  Who would be so silly?

So the environment (population - seen through "carbon output") and economics become the two primary pursuits of long term world hegemonic stability.  If it is even possible.  People must be indoctrinated to a high degree all of their life (thanks Aristotle) and in particular economists, the metaphysicians of politics.......

I feel like I started to rant here and what has been typed is somewhat incoherent; I hope it makes sense.  This is just one "project" of the western state-capitalism.  there are many more each with various constituent parts.

I find it impossible to get passed [past] Chomsky's economic viewpoints to actually consider him seriously as a philosopher.  This may well be partially indicative of our different interests, but when you go around making claims about capitalism and you so obviously know nothing about economics and capitalism itself then it just poisons the whole barrel for me

Chomsky says over and over that 'the US doesn't have a capitalist system and that the corporate powers cannot let capitalism become popular because they need the state to retain the kind of power that they are used to'.  He even says it in the video I posted above if you watch the whole thing (cause I don't remember where).  He is not an uniformed person - especially about anarchist theories.  He says that the Rothbardian system would devolve into people suing each other in a never ending string of private legal systems (not really different from today except the never ending string part).  Chomsky simply focuses on European anarchism which is collective.  Individualist anarchism developed more in America through Spooner Spencer, Tucker, et al.  European anarchism is more diverse and developed in France, Spain, italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, and Russia through Bakunin, Kropotkin, et al (I haven't read much of it).  Collective anarchists think that production should be kept local and horizontally integrated so there is only voluntary association and no hierarchy of authority. [I don't know if you play computer games, but VaLVE - makers of Half Life and Portal - have a horizontally integrated anarcho-syndicalist run corporation - They do have owners, but they exercise only minimal managerial power.  This is what companies should look like.  In my opinion, the structure of a meaningful combination of the two theories would that the internal structure of corporations (or collectives like organic farms or cannibus dispensaries) is syndicalist and the market itself is capitalist.  this preserves the autonomy of the laborer and the free flow of private capital between the collectives or corporations.

Chomsky also says that economists claim that there are "laws of economics" that he doesn't get.  It is not that he doesn't "get" them, they are just constantly subverted by the state and corporations so that they never become apparent.  And if "laws" are subverted so that they never become apparent then it is hard to claim that they are "laws."  Something that, imo, we cannot simply ignore.

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