Today is the birthdate of German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, author of such carefree crowd-pleasers as Thus Spake Zarathustra (1883), Beyond Good And Evil (1886), Twilight Of The Idols (1888), and The Antichrist (1888).
So I thought it would be fun to briefly review some of the concepts Nietzsche popularized. Join me, won’t you?
Apollonian and Dionysian Archetypes: The idea that there are two major archetypes (based on Greek mythology) of humanity (read: dudes) in the world…
Apollo (harmony, progress, clarity):
Dionysus (disorder, emotion, ecstasy):
Will to Power: that a primal inexorable will to achieve and surpass against all odds is what drives all life–even the simplest of creatures and inorganic matter.
Case in point:
Eternal Return: that the universe recurs or “replays” itself in a similar manner through all infinite time and space.
God is Dead: the idea that the Enlightenment “killed” the idea of God or “gods” that had led humanity up to that point.
This, of course, kept the field wide open for Mr. Peanut. (Which is when all our troubles truly began.)
Übermensch: following the “death” of God is the rise of of the “overman” or “superman” which is the next step in evolution.
This trope in particular has led to all sorts of theories and suggestions even more problematic than Mr. Peanut.
Now, on January 3, 1889 Nietzsche had a massive nervous breakdown after allegedly watching the flogging of a horse and literally collapsing in a manic burst of empathy for the suffering creature.
He never quite recovered. Then a bunch of assholes (including his own sister) appropriated his works to justify a lot of assholery and he never quite recovered from that either.
Anyway: Happy Birthday Friedrich.
And remember: Aristotle was not Belgian. The central message of Buddhism is not “Every man for himself.” And the London Underground is not a political movement. Those are all mistakes. I looked them up.