Tuesday, June 10, 2014

WHo is afraid of the anti-egalitarians?

...or reading Nietzsche backward

Thesis 1: Nietzsche was anti-democratic and anti-egalitarian, and these were not minor abberations in his thought but deeply rooted and closely connected to his other beliefs.

Thesis 2: Nietzsche was right that egalitarianism would entail a "limitless process of levelling" (Bull, "Leveling Out"). The egalitarian ideals of the French revolution would have "required elimination of all substantive social advantages, generating equality betond mere formal conferral of rights" such as is prevalent under liberal political regimes.

Nobody is seriously against equality today. What we usually hear is that the disadvantaged should be brought up to the level of those of privilege. This is what we should think of as a process of LEVELLING UP.

Thesis 3: Nietzsche was wrong in concluding that because of this levelling process, one should adopt a stance AGAINST egalitarianism.

Thesis 4: In reading Nietzsche like a loser (ie. the audience Nietzsche did not write for), it is possible to, instead, EMBRACE the levelling process, but also to acknowledge that a process of levelling up is not, will never be, sufficient. What is recquired is -- CONTRA Nietzsche -- a process of levelling DOWN: We should welcome a "regime in which each individual, without exclusion or exception, will have equal access to property, but no property rights, eiher individual or collective, because property as such will not exist" (Malcolm Bull, /Anti-Nietzsche/, 2011, p157).

Thesis 5: This is a notion we should refer to not as anti-egalitarianism (qua Nietzsche) but EXTRA-egalitarianism.

T Fjeld
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