Are nihilists naturally unmotivated

VIII APPENDIX I (to page 275) About the plasticity of feelings The fact that the task of grasping and grasping “too large”, that is to say to expand the volume of our soul at will, is not as unusual as it might sound at first, suggests even the language usage. Namely the expression “prepare for something”, which describes a task and performance that occurs again and again in life. When we say, for example: we are “prepared” for a stroke of fate, we mean nothing else than that we are preparing (however dark, what we are actually doing) to receive an event that is “actually “Is too big for the usual volume of our soul. We are undoubtedly doing something in order to "internally" measure ourselves to the inclusion of "too big"; somehow we “expand” ourselves in order to get ready to understand what is too big, despite its “incomprehensibility”, in such a way that we are not grasped by it, “stunned” or even destroyed. - This is just a first hint. Which, of course, is far from sufficient. For in order to approach the problem of the modeling of feelings, we have to digress much further; into the depths of "philosophical anthropology". The “indeterminacy of the human being” *, d. that is, the fact that man lacks a certain binding nature; positive: his non-stop self-production, his uninterrupted historical transformation - makes the decision about what should be counted as "natural" and what should be counted as "unnatural", impossible. Even the alternative is wrong. “Artificiality is the nature of man.” 310 On the Bomb and Roots of Our Apocalypse Blindness The history of styles and morals is an unbroken chain of endeavors in which mankind has sought to accept these indeterminate obligations of self-imposed obligations compensate; to commit oneself again and again socially and psychologically; to always make something new of oneself; always something that it "naturally" had not been; but what it had to be one way or another, if it wanted to be at all, because it could only function as a certain society, however artificial it might be. While, it seems, every animal species or species is given its particular world and social scheme (or each has developed a social scheme that has now become as final as its body scheme), the dowry of man consists only in “sociality in general”, so to speak in a blank check that he somehow has to fill out afterwards, if he wants to work at all. In other words: he has to create the scheme of his world and society himself. This production, that is, his practice, is his answer to the empty “general” (“sociality in general”), to the indeterminacy of the dowry given to him. Because what he makes is “unnatural” and, in comparison with “generally”, is contingent; However, if this contingent is to be made binding, even if it is to be made to a certain extent tenable, every foundation and implementation of a social scheme has required rigor and violence to date. Above all, of course, violence against those who were overwhelmed as a class in this foundation and had to lose out; but in a certain sense violence against human nature in general, since this is always tailored to “sociality as such”; never on "just this" social scheme. That is why a social scheme only succeeds if it shapes people as a whole. But a person is only completely formed when their feelings are also modeled. –And that brings us to the point. In most cases, it was unnecessary to use this modeling of emotions. Usually, when a new social and world schema began to make its demands on him, he tried to get out of it on his own initiative To measure new ones emotionally; in other words, to make the new artificial world, in which he has to live, into the "natural" one for him. This "assessment" of the artificial as "apartment" is called "getting used to". For those who are appropriate to the artificial world, the artificial world becomes apparent “nature”; the a posterior to the apparently a priori; the contingents for the apparently necessary. - But you cannot always rely on this automatic familiarization process. Namely - the connection is now clear - not due to the gradient phenomenon. So not because the change of feeling takes place much more slowly than the change of the world; because man lags behind as a feeling. Again and again, therefore, the need arises to help feeling or to express feelings very expressly. This need becomes particularly acute when the “gap” poses a political risk; when it threatens to delay or even prevent a world change; if there is a danger that man could ward off the new “world” that is to be forced upon him because it is too new or too violent for him. That was clear z. B. the case in the year 33. The National Socialist propaganda, of which we were witnesses and victims, was in fact nothing more than a production of feelings on the most colossal scale; a production that the party considered necessary because it calculated that the victims endowed with these feelings would accept the overwhelming terror system more easily, if not enthusiastically. * The previously mentioned lack of a "history of feelings" (in analogy to History of res gestae and ideas) is probably the greatest desideratum of the philosophy of history and the science of history. B. in the form of religious and art stories. This gap is caused by the prejudice that the emotional life is the constant, the non-historical. 312 About the bomb and the roots of our apocalypse blindness in the history of mankind. We cannot go into the roots of this prejudice in detail here. * But it is a prejudice. Not only the forms of our practice have changed in the course of history, not only our categories have changed, not only the ways of perception have given way to other ways: the feelings, too, have had their histories, albeit a slower one. The thesis of rationalism and deism that the world religions differed only in their content; Apart from these, after all, they were all “beliefs” (would have “felt the same”) - you can still hear this affirmation in the United States today - is completely unbelievable and actually only proves that rationalism was far more Christian than it was even it knew: namely, considered its own historically shaped feeling to be “feeling in general”. Rather, every religion is a sui generis system of feelings; and every founding of religion has been a real revolution in the emotional history of mankind, a real feeling-foundation. How senseless the idea of ​​a constancy of human feeling is, becomes completely clear when one looks at the thousands upon thousands of different kinds, no, individualities, of feelings that are invested in the works of art of the different epochs. That Delacroix felt no different from Parmeggianino, Berlioz no different from Palestrina; One cannot assume that these “only” should have produced totally different works. Anyone who would claim that he would have known the specifically Giorgionesque feeling even without the mediation through Giorgione's pictures could not be taken seriously. The respective historical world in which, for or against which these artists created, made each of them feel completely different. With this abundance of historically different nuances of feeling in mind, one will probably no longer find our talk of “new” “feelings” appropriate to our world today that strange. New feelings are not new. The only thing new is to call the matter by name. - Music as an example 313 But also the special metamorphosis that is proposed here: the deliberate expansion of the volume of our feeling is not a novelty. Rather, it would be easy to put together a long series of examples of historical expansion, namely from the history of magical and religious practices and from mysticism. But it is not necessary to wander into such distant places. Because our life also knows expansion techniques; only they are never recognized as such and never assigned this expression. The technique I am alluding to and which I will use here as an illustration for the possibilities of willful expansion of emotions is music. If you want to understand the following example, you would do well to temporarily forget the usual musical vocabulary. - Example: We are listening to a Bruckner symphony. The “Bruckner world”, which is built up through the musical events of the symphony, is of a breadth and volume, next to which the breadth and volume of our everyday world disappears. At the moment when we open ourselves to this broad and voluminous event, or are opened by its force, this event flows into us, it fills us; we "grasp" it, we "grasp" it. In other words: our soul is expanded, it takes on a size that we ourselves could not give it. It is no wonder that such an experience of being “over-tensioned” often seems unbearable, that is, as overwhelming. - But what do you mean: “we ourselves” could not give our soul this voluminousness. After all, the symphony is a work by Bruckner. So something man-made. In a certain sense, it is also something “made by us”. If we look at it this way, it takes on a completely new look: Then it appears as a device we have made ourselves, with the help of which we expand the capacity of our soul. On the Bomb and the Roots of Our Apocalypse Blindness Of course, this elasticity and expansion cannot be imagined mechanically; not like the expansion of a rubber balloon which, when filled with gas, now "holds" this gas. When the soul “grasps” the “filling” (that is, the world of the symphony), it always means at the same time that it also “grasps” it: it really only “grasps” the music as long as it “grasps” it. apprehends "; only as long as it actually experiences the symphony does it experience its transformation in size (in the sense of “going through”). The relationship is therefore not one between two res extensae: between an elastic container and its contents; but something between the apprehending subject and apprehended object. Or not that either? Because what does "object" mean here? Does the captured symphony stand “opposite” the soul as befits a decent “object”? Barely. Because the listener is in music; and the music in it. Is it permissible to use the term "object" to describe this ambiguous and most curious relationship? Barely. In the acoustic sphere, at least in music, the confrontation between subject and object loses its meaning, to the horror of the epistemologist (who had considered this distinction, read from the human optical relationship to the world, to be universally valid). In making music, in every competent listening to music, the person becomes identical with his object and the object becomes identical with him. Every music-making is a piece of identity philosophy that has come true; each a situation in which the person “catches up” with his product. Which is not the case - the misunderstanding seems inevitable, but the alternative "objectivism-subjectivism" is just inadequate - the word "subjectivist musical aesthetics" should be spoken, and it should not be said that it is the task of the piece of music to put the listener into some inarticulate form To set the mood. Music only does that to unmusical people. Conversely, a person is never more articulate than when he is “in music”: because his mood music as an example is inseparable from the “voices” heard and from the coherence of the “objective” sequence. The highly articulated form of the “object”, its size, its tensions, its sequence, its “space”, its speed - all of this is effectively adopted by the musician or listener; it works “with”: it becomes the object. -But on the other hand, the object itself also has everything that is usually attributed to the subject, precisely to the music; so “expression”, “mood” and the like. In other words: subject and object, state and object form a unit; “Subjectivist music aesthetics” and “objectivist music aesthetics” are equally inadequate, since both presuppose that the distinction between subject and object, which is not genuine in music, is responsible. None of this need astonish us, since we are used to other arts (e.g. from dance) that subject and object, dancer and danced (yes, even player, musical instrument and played work) coincide: the The fork has not yet taken place. - The variant of the subjectivist aesthetic that sees nothing in the work of art but the reflection or the "expression" of an already felt feeling is completely foolish; and which explains nothing at all, since it completely leaves in the dark why works of art, if they only express what is "already felt", shake us so much. What the composer feels when composing his piece, he can only feel through this piece. That is to say: the works of art generate the feelings, and indeed such sui generis; those that could not be realized without the manufactured objects; which remained unsustainable regardless of the structure of the objects, i.e. as mere presumption. The conditions in which works of art put us are also artificial; if you want: "works of art". How far the examples, to which we have just digressed, seem to deviate from our theme, they show the fundamental problem of its basic problem: namely, that man by no means has to come to terms with the dowry of feelings that are once and for all finished; that he is always inventing new feelings; including those who exceed the everyday volume of his soul and who make demands on its capacity for comprehension and elasticity, which can certainly be called "excessive demands". It is no coincidence that we had to get our testimonies from the field of art and music. Because only there: in the realm of the imagination, we have been given freedom; while in the realm of freedom, that is, of morality, our imagination has been curtailed. - II (on p. 301) Portrait of the Nihilist I. The Dialectic of the Herostrats. - The appropriate vengeance should have consisted in total herostratism, in herostratism of cosmic proportions. And about it: the classic nihilist really dreamed of the annihilation of the universe. Since he saw the "true" in her alone, expected from her alone the quenching of his thirst for revenge and the end of his melancholy, he was a truly philosophical figure: the gloomy counterpart of the metaphysician. Indeed, the two, nihilist and metaphysician, are closely related; and there are certain intermediate figures, especially among the mystics, who can just as easily be assigned to one type as the other. Holderlin's Empedocles, for whom it was unbearable to remain condemned as an individual to always deal with individuals; who, out of a passion for the whole, would have liked to see every particular as particular destroyed, and who finally knew no other way out than that of self-destruction, was an enthusiastic neighbor of the nihilist and belonged to both types. This example is not arbitrary; for the essence of both is the insatiability of their total greed, that is, failure; On the essence of the nihilist, that the realization of his dream of revenge could not succeed because there were no technical possibilities of total annihilation.If a classic nihilist were transported into the present day, the “chance” of nuclear weapons would make him breathless with happiness; if not, since there was no longer any excuse for his failure, breathless with horror. - Of course, the nihilist did not lose his destructive fury through his “frustration”; just as little as the metaphysician loses his passion through his frustration. And so it happened that his anger split up after all, that, despite all the principles, it came to those unmotivated, unpredictable, uncoordinated, panic-like, playful, even childish special outbursts that we have with the image of the nihilist connect are now used to. He always had to be content with partial terror; always with scratching the province instead of demolishing the universe; always with, faute du mieux, faute du pire, embarking on an assassination attempt or programmatic vice; and over and over again he had to experience that in the end, instead of the destroyed world or instead of the hoped-for nothing, there was something bland in the blood before him, the district governor torn apart by the bomb (always the wrong one) or the raped child (always the accidental one ), and that even those destroyed were still there, including them, and obviously with no other intention than to mock his hopes ... the experience, then, that the results of his special actions not only gave him no substitute satisfaction, but on the contrary - all the novels of the epoch testify to this - only the most unspeakable tristitia post, which, as every enthusiast of the "whole" knows, always breaks out when it becomes apparent again how pitifully the intensity of the stillness lags behind that of hunger. Faust's opening complaint about the futility of his "ardent endeavors" can be easily translated into the language of the nihilist. So the despair over the nothingness of the world always culminated in the second despair over the indestructibility of the nothingness; and this second despair finally in self-derision, namely in derision of one's own herostatic impotence. There is no doubt that this self-mockery would immediately fall silent if this classic figure were moved into the present day to give way to monumental arrogance overnight. And there is no thought that could frighten us more deeply than that of a gender that combined the dark passion of the ancestor with the thoughtless abundance of power of the grandson. Once it almost got that far. - This “second melancholy” of the nihilist did not, of course, arise from his technical impotence, but also from the “dialectic of herostatic desire” as such. What does that mean? That means that every Herostratus suffers from a self-contradiction; that if he does not want to cheat himself out of the enjoyment of annihilation, he must renounce his excess; even on that of his dream. Why? Because, unlike any other avenger, whether he knows it or not, he pursues the secret goal of confirming himself; because he, since he feels “destroyed”, needs an “I destroy, therefore I - but I am”; and because in order to have this confirmation confirmed, he has to rely on confirmers. So the contradiction is: In order to destroy the world with satisfaction, he needs a world that he does not destroy. Hence his greed, including that of his dreams, must either go to destruction as a scene or to a spectacle that was played out in front of eyewitnesses to his acts of violence; or sacrifices who, although they died, lived on; and although they were bleeding, they remained. * He always had to see horror, always hear people screaming. So he was not allowed to destroy them, even in his dreams; So, like the painters of the Apocalypse, he had to leave them behind. But of course he stifled the culmination of his lust, because it was no longer allowed to go on as a whole. In summary: Since when his dream of annihilation was complete, he would lack the audience; and if he lacked the audience, the annihilation was not confirmed, the man could not be helped: the herostatic desire was and remained melancholy. II. The dialectic of the monist. - Every monist has the following contradiction: Although he would have to appear de-humanized and totally unfree as a piece of nature (and indeed one that is understood through and through deterministically), he nevertheless believes, as nature, at the same time precisely the indestructibility of the nothing to be free: namely free from all “supranatural” authorities, free from all “shoulds”. This highly peculiar coupling of freedom and nature (which would have been incomprehensible to Kant) is confirmed by the history of our last century: namely by the fact that (conversely) those movements that wrote “freedom” on their flags, always at the same time Using "nature" as a motto; that theories of freedom and naturalistic theories have consistently appeared "junctim". For example, until the First World War it was part of the good ideological tone of the progressive liberal to also be a Darwinist; and with socialists, not being a Darwinist was seen as neglecting an obligatory workload. The fact that the two theses: “Man is nothing but nature” (which actually stripped him of all freedom rights) and that: “The freedom of man is the highest good” (which establishes a “should”) does not apply to a positive general denominator could be brought, was seldom found disturbing. How peacefully contradicting theses can be stored next to one another for decades, and even help one another as beings of the same system paradise, is proven by Marxism. The only prerequisite for such a paradisiacal state is that the contradicting theses have agreed on a negative general denominator, something that both fronts are opposed to. And there was this negative general denominator, it consisted of religion, which was seen as the opposite of both the freedom movements and the natural sciences. Anyone who, as a socialist, fought against claims based on “supranatural” beliefs believed he was pleading eo ipso “for nature” and the natural sciences. The “absolutely necessary” nature thus paradoxically became the catchphrase of freedom. * In the nihilist's soul, the antagonism between freedom and nature, which the systems neutralized, has never quite come to rest. His hectic demeanor showed that there was something wrong with the truth. Translated into words, his unrest would read as follows: "Since I am nothing but 'nature', I am unfree." "Since I am nature, I am free - from all prohibitions." 320 About the bomb and the roots of our apocalypse blindness "Since I am free, there is nothing that could prevent me from rebelling against my bondage." "So, to prove my freedom, I behave blindly like nature, which I am anyway." Circle “is obvious. But the absurdity is no greater than the secret absurdity of the epoch itself. Except that the nihilist was precisely the enfant terrible for whom it was too difficult to withhold the secret of the epoch. III. Sublimation and postponement of the monism shock. - Of course, monism only exerted its really shocking effect where it broke in overnight as a foreign body and destroyed the concept and feeling of the world. Central Europe, on the other hand, which had itself brought about the scientific transformation of the worldview and which saw the connection of naturalism with technical and industrial advancement every day, was able to absorb the shock much better and domesticate and sublimate monism for decades. For example, the German "monist movement" (the "Monist League"), inaugurated by Häckel, managed not only to take away everything terrifying, but even to give it a solemn sound. For the scientifically enthusiastic, “cosmos books” devouring youth before the First World War - I speak from my own memory - monism was almost a “religion” - what was called a “religion” at the time. What attracted the nihilist to destruction: the de-goded universe was, conversely, something divinely overwhelming to us. The process was very peculiar: Since you felt yourself to be "nature", and exclusively as that, or at least thought you felt that way (because there are also "ideologies" in the emotional world), you felt related to every other piece of nature, to a certain extent "Deszendenz-related"; That means: the monism, in contrast to the Russian, shimmered into an enthusiastic pantheism, more correctly: into a “pan-atheism”. The identity of pantheism and atheism, which theology has always asserted, really became an event at that time. In addition, the movement automatically adopted the optimism of the age: the concept of progress integrated into its concept of nature, postponement of the monism shock 321 - just as one used the theory of descent, progress "proven" in nature, for the universal validity of the category of progress to prove. The European monist saw nature far more confident, dynamic, biological, natural-historical than the Russian, who (since his natural sciences and industrialism were still in their infancy) initially concentrated on the concept of mechanical law - a difference that was to be reflected even after many decades in the difference between the National Socialist and the Communist concept of nature. - It is of course undisputed that there was a leveled world concept in which “everything was one”, everything was “nature”, also earlier (for example in French materialism of the 18th century). But a feeling for the world that corresponds to this concept, even one that would have seized the crowds, was missing. This feeling was first brought about by monism. If you were to write the "history of human feelings", which has already been lamented several times as a desideratum, it would have to play a dominant role in it: for no earlier movement had questioned the dualistic world feeling of the Judeo-Christian tradition as successfully as the monistic one. Which became completely evident at the moment when the nihilistic component of monism could no longer be repressed; that is, when National Socialism came to power. Because in this “awakening” the monism “broke up” (among many other things) in order to bring the long encapsulated second meaning of its motto “everything is one”: the immoralistic sense of bringing back to daylight - something that was bloodiest It worked out, because this time the nihilists did not consist of a thin group of isolated desperados, but of a compact and compact ruling mass power; and because the spokesman of nihilism did not limit himself to being a spokesman, but actually carried out the equation of law and power as a leader, that is, effectively, imitating the powers of nature, liquidating the weaker ones. The fact that he almost exclusively covered this movement with natural vocabulary (such as “blood”, “race” etc.) 322 About the bomb and the roots of our apocalypse blindness proves that it represented a form of monism. "Nature", formerly the banner of the freedom movements, has now become, however orphic or how bloody, the favorite word of terror. - IV. The penultimate phase of nihilism. - Disregarding National Socialism as a phase of its own, one can clearly distinguish three stages of nihilism; or three types of nihilists. 1. The ancestor (described in detail) who, "destroyed" by the collapse of his world, effectively strikes back, to be an "annihilist", that is, wished to destroy the world; what he couldn't. 2. Today's grandson, the master of the bomb, who can destroy the world, although he does not want it (at least not as passionately as his ancestor). Between these two extreme figures stood 3. the indolent European nihilist, who limited himself to carrying out the annihilation symbolically or verbally; “Breaking tablets”. What drove this type - it is the one who usually figures in intellectual history as the nihilist - to despair, was mostly no longer the collapse of the religiously conceived world - this had already collapsed, and naturalism was already a fait accompli - but partly the melancholy of the “for nothing” individual, partly their insight into the lack of commitment and the dummies of that “moral” and “cultural” world that had been erected for a century in place of the religious to shield the horror of monism. Of course, this seems to contradict the fact that the French nihilists of the forties (who finally closed this intermediate phase, which is now being replaced by today's atomic bomb nihilism) once again placed the “death of God” so explicitly in the center; which could create the suspicion that they hobbled after the course of history, since bourgeois morality had long since become secular and since in scientific and technical practice, in which the question of God was no longer an issue, even “God's death” was already “dead “Was. But the irrefutability of nihilism 323 thought of anachronism would be wrong because these nihilists did not express the formula with the claim of a discovery, at least not a first, but only to establish that at the moment when the " Dummy ”collapsed, suddenly it became visible once more that there was nothing to see; that the place behind the dummy was really empty; that what she had covered for so long was now really gone. And on the basis of this experience God “died” for the second time for the grandchildren of the monists and atheists. * V. Irrefutable nihilism. - As we know, the basic question of nihilism is: "Why should we?" Or: "On the basis of what should there still be moral obligation within a framework that itself is unsanctioned, floating in a morally vacuum?" this is what his questions would be if the emergency nihilism represents were usually translated into the more innocuous form of "questions". Emergencies can only be abolished, not refuted. To try to refute nihilism is foolish. Only naive and opportunists take on this task. If one tries to make the state of emergency of nihilism at least transparent, then it turns out that its fundamental need is that the ought is an "internal phenomenon"; that is, that the question of why ought should be can only be justified within a life that has already been affirmed beforehand; only if life is in agreement with life anyway; namely, I agree on the basis of extra-moral arguments, no, no longer on the basis of arguments at all. In other words: the moral necessity of the world and man can no longer be justified morally. I cannot think of any text that put this emergency of nihilism into words more impressively than the following doctrinal fable, which I take from a Molussian “Introduction to the Problems of Nihilism”: “With dimmed lights”, it says, “Not desired by any god, but also not undesirable to anyone; Guided by no one, but also not handicapped by anyone - let's calmly say: no god knows 324 About the bomb and the roots of our apocalypse blindness, a huge ship pulls through the constellation of Orion. Where it comes from, if it comes from anywhere; which destination it is heading for when it is heading for one is also unknown to us. There is much to suggest that it is unnecessary to mention the ship, since sooner or later, like all its kind, it will disappear in the dark, i.e. it will only have been there as if it had never been there. Nevertheless - and that is the only thing we know for sure about the ship - the walls of the cabins are still covered with the rules of the ship's rules, that is, rules that have been sanctioned by someone who has not been sanctioned himself; but that these rules keep the teeming life on deck going as smoothly as possible, need not be denied. - Exercise question: Are these rules binding? "