Page 4 of 4 FirstFirst 1234
Results 46 to 54 of 54

Thread: The Definition of Power

  1. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by freaky View Post
    You say that "To be powerless is to be sick, blind, def, crippled or dead."

    A blind person enjoys more allowance than the non-blind. Social pressure is not so cruel on her in the sense that even if this person is unsuccessful in whatever pursuit, she is forgiven because of being blind. "I'm cannot see" becomes an excuse that she can pull out whenever need be. If being blind gives one the ability to disregard some rules, don't you think that's power too?
    That'a actually exactly why Nietzsche hated morality. It's only because of social norms like morality that weak individuals can acquire power that they can't get "naturally". Check the previous post's first paragraph.

    I agree with you that in Western societies power is distributed often to make weak people's lives more bearable, and there's nothing wrong with that. But being blind in itself doesn't hold any advantage over being able to see. And to be honest, the social advantage is not really equal to the disadvantage of not being able to see.
    De omnibus dubitandum.

  2. #47
    Here's some more discussion about Nietzsche's book Will to Power:

    Quote Originally Posted by Freudian Monkey

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    I don't believe he gave much creedence to social power structures because he believed they were fulfillment of the power instinct of the herd, and limitation for the individual. I mentioned Nietzsche believed morality, and all other Christian values were herd virtues, but I forgot to say he thought they were the herd's attempt to fulfill their will to power. How else should those that are weak attain power, but to invent and spread values that make them equal to the powerful. Nietzsche was opposed to all kinds of morality, not only Christian morality, because he believed it was anti-natural. He believed the powerful should be able to enact their will on the less powerful. On anarchism, I believe he thought enabling the people to act out their will to power would eventually lead his aristocracy lead by his higher man. Most likely through horrific acts. I don't believe he thought it would be anarchism, because anarchism implies a kind of equality. He thought socialism was the jesuit based counterpart of anarchism. On your theory of power, doesn't morality get in the way of people inflicting external or internal change? It must, as morality says everyone is equal and restricts action and doesn't allow for all of the potential for change.
    Iím not sure if morality by definition implies that everyone has to be equal. This was never the case in Ancient Greece that we consider to be the womb of democracy Ė women and non-citizens didnít possess the same rights are citizens and therefore the same moral principles didnít apply to them. As a matter of fact, for instance individual rights almost never apply to all the members of a society even though theyíre at the heart of Western morality. A more contemporary example: if a person is labeled to be a terrorist, he often loses the basic human rights other members of society naturally possess. So I donít think morality always aims to make everyone equal.

    Morality indeed does get in the way of individualís pursuit of gaining power. However I see morality is a safeguard that prevents individuals of openly fighting each other for power, which drains a lot of resources and ultimately weakens everyoneís chance of survival. Society benefits everyone who seeks power is countless ways Ė it makes finding friends and wives/husbands much easier, it gives a guarantee of safety, it increases the availability of resources that are hard to come by etc.

    I canít get over the fact that Nietzsche didnít put any value to social and communal power Ė thatís a huge flaw in his approach. Society is an excellent framework in which people can strife to obtain more power. If you want power, you shouldnít be trying to destroy the rules - you should be the one making the rules. Thatís how you get the best of both worlds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    However, on the social power structures and the herd, Nietzsche thought society forced individuals to act in a way beneficial to the herd in fulfillment of the herd's will to power. Consider what he called the herd, the weaker members of the species, groups of these weaker individuals would act as a strong one. Together they act in a way that is contradictory to their nature as a weak herd type.
    I heard somewhere that Nietzscheís approach to Power was inspired by Lamarckism. Nietzsche never read Darwin and learned about The Theory of Evolution only from second hand sources. So basically Nietzsche believed that nature always favored the strong and that strength could be inherited. This is why he speaks about ďthe race of supermenĒ Ė he believed that someone could accumulate enormous amount of physical and mental strength during his life and then pass on all this strength to his offspring. This is basically what Lamarckism (and Social Darwinism) implies. Nietzsche failed to see that natural selection is not driven by some universal power but rather is based on random mutations that sometimes give individual organisms advantage over others. In terms of evolution, the strong donít always survive over the weak. So basically, whatever you think about Nietzsche, you have to accept that he didnít have access to all the knowledge we possess today and that his theory has to be re-interpreted and improved so fit the contemporary world.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    He goes on to repudiate concepts of reward and punishment, because he believes this race is undisciplined, and is most susceptible to the least bit of stimuli, so because these criminals act on impulse reward and punishment mean nothing. He then mentions dealing with rebels, saying they are suppressed not punished.
    I cannot really follow Nietzscheís reasoning here. I think he might be limited by his idea about morality being tied to Christian moral values here. To him a criminal is powerful because he is strong enough to venture beyond morality and to reject the social contract that binds a society together. So basically heís powerful because heís not mediocre. But to me this doesnít make someone powerful. The mere act of rejection only shows an increased willingness to break societyís norms. This can either benefit the criminal or lead to persecution and punishment. We all break norms occasionally, but we know when breaking these norms can lead us into trouble, and we restrict ourselves to avoid punishment. Criminals are unable to see these limits or donít care about them and are therefore more susceptible to punishment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    Nietzsche also says the criminal is, in a way, a man of courage, and should not be looked upon with contempt by society.
    A rebellious person who shows exceptional courage is often admired even in contemporary societies. However a criminal is someone who breaks societyís rules and is therefore undermining itís very foundation. Therefore Nietzscheís suggestion can only work in a society without a rule of law. A complex society is not possible without some manner of rules and laws, so Nietzscheís approach could not work in practice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    There is also this criticism of society's punisment:

    "My rather radical question mark set against all modern penal codes is this: if the punishment should hurt in proportion to the magnitude of the crime---and fundamentally that is what all of you want!---you would have to measure the susceptibility to pain of every criminal. Does that not mean: a previously determined punishment for a crime, a penal code, ought not to exist at all? But considering that one would scarcely be able to determine a criminal's pleasure and displeasure, wouldn't one have to do without punishment in practice?"(The Will to Power, pg. 394)
    This is just banal. Maybe he is joking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    The way this is accomplished is through a division of labor, and using virtues that are only beneficial to society. Virtues, such as obedience, duty, patriotism, and loyalty.
    The individuals also believe in the pride, severity, strength, hatred and revenge of the group.

    "None of you has the courage to kill a man, or even to whip him, or even to---but the tremendous machine of the state overpowers the individual, so he repudiated responsibility for what he does (obedience, oath, etc.)" (The Will to Power, pg. 383)
    These virtues are also beneficial to the individual. These virtues aim to make a society more cohesive and strong. A strong society lends itís strength to its members.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    Nietzsche believed even striving to leave legacy behind, was the result of enslavement by society.

    "That something longer lasting than an individual should endure, that a work should endure which has perhaps been created by an individual: to that end, every possible kind of limitation, one-sidedness, etc, must be imposed upon the individual. By what means? Love, reverence, gratitude, toward the person who created the work helps; or that our forefathers fought for it; or that my descendants will be guaranteed only if I guarantee this work (e.e., the polis). Morality is essentially the means of ensuring the duration of something beyond individuals, or rather through an enslavement of the individual." (The Will to Power, pg. 387)
    If he truly means here that the human strife for reproduction is exclusively tied to society and its morality, it's rather far-fetched. Society certainly plays an important part in creating a model for an individual's life as a member of a society, but the need to reproduce is first and foremost an inbuilt instinct rather than a mere product of socialization.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    A quote on society vs the will to power:

    ""The will to power" is so hated in democratic ages that their entire psychology seems directed toward belittling and defaming it. The type of great ambitious man who thirsts after honor is is supposed to be Napoleon! And Caesar! And Alexander!---As if these were not precisely the great despises of honor!" (The Will to Power, pg. 397)
    What does Will to Power have to do with honor? Maybe itís a product of great deeds? To me honor is fairly inconsequential. Power itself should be our goal, it ultimately leads to being perceived as honorable as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    Democracy represents the disbelief in great human beings and an elite society: "Everyone is equal to everyone else." "At bottom we are one and all self-seeking cattle and mob.""(The Will to Power, pg. 397)
    The Elite has always found a way to operate within democratic societies. They are always highly valued members of societies. Even if the society sets limits to their power, they can still find ways to make themselves more powerful. But I agree that powerful individuals often want to distort undermine democracy to further their own interests.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    Nietzsche on why the individual is better than the herd:

    "Basic error: to place the goal in the herd and not in single individuals! The herd is a means, no more! But now one is attempting to understand the herd as an individual and to ascribe to it a higher rank than to the individual---profound misunderstanding! ! ! Also to characterize that which makes herslike, sympathy, as the more valuable side of our nature!"(The Will to Power, pg. 403)
    Again Nietzsche deals only with absolutes. Is there no medium between individualís pursuit for power and being a member of a society? At least he refers here to the fact that herd can be a means to an end. Why canít he embrace this idea and give practical ideas how to live in a society in a way that maximizes individualís power?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    "The individual is something quite new which creates new things, something absolute; all his acts are entirely his own. Ultimately, the individual derives the values of his acts from himself; because he has to interpret in a quite individual way even the words he has inherited. His interpretation of a formula is at least personal, even if he does not create a formula: as an interpreter he is still creative."(The Will to Power, pg. 403)
    Individual can either adopt societyís values or create them himself. In my view, the nature of oneís values donít actually matter that much in terms of Power acquisition. You can believe in Christian moral values and become an extremely powerful individual nonetheless. Or you can be an atheist sociopath and succeed all the same. As long as individual has a strong will to make changes to his internal and external reality, he has the capability to become powerful. Only if oneís values are somehow in contrast with a personís will to initiate change can values be a hindrance to power acquisition.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    He also believes freedom is essentially the will to power. He says this:

    "The degree of resistance that must be overcome in order to remain on top is the measure of freedom, whether for individuals or for societies---freedom understood, that is as the will to power. According to this concept, the highest form of individual freedom, of sovereignty, would in all probability emerge not five steps from its opposite, where the danger of slavery hangs over existence like a hundred swords of Damocles. Look at history from this viewpoint: the ages in which the "individual" achieves such ripe perfection, i.e., freedom, and the classic type of the sovereign man is attained---oh no! they have never been humane ages! One must have no choice: either on top---or underneath, like a worm, mocked, annihilated, trodden upon. One must oppose tyrants to become a tyrant, i.e.,free."(The Will to Power, pg.404)
    Here I agree with Nietzsche: power brings freedom to the individual. I also agree that freedom is will to power, since the lack of will to power means a slow and steady decline towards death. Power gives an individual the ability to choose, the lack of power means the inability to choose (in other words, slavery).

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    I listened to Bertrand Russell on Nietzsche, in a YouTube video, and I think a question of his, was how it would be ascertained that someone else is of the higher type once the aristocracy was established, how would they get to elite status, if they weren't already. Nietzsche's answer is they would become the elite through force and barbarism, or any other means. I don't know I listened to it a few months ago.

    I think this stuff answers your government questions. As for his plan's of government, Nietzsche thought the herd or masses should have a rigorous military polytechnic education, and should treat work as soldiers do, while these higher types used them as means.
    This might only be Russell's interpretation of Nietzsche though. Although I highly respect Russell's views in general, he might not have been completely impartial in his criticism of Nietzsche.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    Thinking about your idea of colonizing Mars, do you believe the masses would be able to put that idea forward, or would it be an individual?
    It would certainly be an individual, but in a democratic society individuals can come up with such ideas and convince others to join the cause. The individual doesnít need to be a member of the elite to come up with such an idea. Again I think Nietzscheís idea of the elite is that a handful of elite individuals would be both physically and intellectually superior to all the billions of individuals of the masses due to their genetic superiority. This would unlikely be true Ė itís much more likely that the best possible candidates for financing, planning and executing the hypothetical Mars expedition would be found among the most accomplished and resourceful individuals from all around the world and from all social classes. I understand that his elite class would be international collection of supermen, but his supermen would still be products of genetic cultivation rather than simply a group of accomplished individuals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    Nietzsche's section on knowledge as the will to power, consists of his refutation of metaphysical principles. He took on cause and effect, the thing-in-itself, "true" worlds, and a priori judgments. He was against any kind of metaphysics or idealism, anything that confused nature, or the will to power.

    Here are a few of these refutations:

    "A judgement is synthetic; i.e., it connects different ideas.
    It is a priori; i.e., every connection is a universally valid and necessary one, which can never be given by sense perception but only through pure reason.

    If there are to be synthetic a priori judgements, then reason must be in a position to make connections: connection is a form. Reason must possess the capacity of giving form."(The Will to Power, pg. 288)

    "The properties of a thing are effects on other "things": if one removes other "things," then a thing has no properties, i.e., there is no thing without other things, i.e., there is no thing-in-itself."(The Will to Power, pg. 302)
    I canít really comment too much about his thoughts on metaphysics, but Iíd love to hear someone more versed in metaphysics to dissect his statements here. I want to keep a practical approach to the question of Power, since metaphysics rarely offer insights that affect everyday lives of individuals. You could say that there's very little Power to be acquired through the study of metaphysics. Power on the contrary is a concept thatís profoundly significant to peopleís everyday lives and thatís why we should learn about itís true nature.
    De omnibus dubitandum.

  3. #48
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    I've been thinking about your theory in fragments. Let me propose another idea
    However, I would like to go a bit further and propose that power is a pretty profound concept that is closely tied to the meaning of life.
    You cannot be indifferent towards life. You either take control or your will be at the mercy of others more powerful than you. Or you will be corrupted and spoiled by desires that you cannot control.
    Is it really true that simply by taking control of your life you can bypass the various forces and those of people who're more powerful than you? Each person exists in a context that influences him or her and is influenced by him or her. A dictator perhaps can avoid any kind of forces, but the question is can you become a dictator? Even if you take control of your life as much as you can, are you not still at the mercy of forces over which you have no control?

  4. #49
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    A rural part of Sweden, southern Norrland
    Yes, i'm convinced. Power is everywhere, you can ignore it but it won't go away.

  5. #50
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    I wonder what you mean by ignoring forces!
    Let's say if the prime minister of a country abuses power in a way that has serious consequences, her higher authority can take over.
    But she can get away with enjoying unjust services and favours from her underlings, raising ethical questions.

  6. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by freaky View Post
    I've been thinking about your theory in fragments. Let me propose another idea

    Is it really true that simply by taking control of your life you can bypass the various forces and those of people who're more powerful than you? Each person exists in a context that influences him or her and is influenced by him or her. A dictator perhaps can avoid any kind of forces, but the question is can you become a dictator? Even if you take control of your life as much as you can, are you not still at the mercy of forces over which you have no control?
    It is as Dreamwoven said - power structures are always going to exist in one's internal and external reality whether or not he accumulates more Power. Power acquisition is a goal in itself - it's not a means to and end. Or perhaps you could say that it's the ultimate means to any and all ends. So I don't see power as something that we need to always view exclusively as a tool for getting rid of our competition. Instead we should focus on building strong social relationships that are one of our most significant sources of Power.

    People often don't take power structures into consideration while making their life choices. It would be highly beneficial for a nation to teach their citizens to make individual power acquisition plans. This way the whole society would benefit, since a focused and goal-oriented individual is always a more productive member of a society than a citizen who has no goals and no meaning to his/her life. Power acquisition leads to a meaningful and satisfying life.
    De omnibus dubitandum.

  7. #52
    We continue our conversation, this time mostly about Power's relation to evolution and society.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freudian Monkey
    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    I understand why you are against including immorality as part of your theory of power. If you're planning to teach this, it would be impossible to be approved for a lesson plan that included immorality as essential to obtaining power. However, I find it contradictory to have a theory of power and allow for morality. It is like telling students to conquer the world with their hands tied behind their backs. Eventually someone else would point out this contradiction of encouraging the exertion of will and change while limiting it through morality.
    I think our discussion might benefit from us defining the term morality, since that seem to be at the heart of our conversation right now. Here's a definition from Wikipedia:

    Morality (from the Latin moralis "manner, character, proper behavior") is the differentiation of intentions, decisions and actions between those that are distinguished as proper and those that are improper. Morality can be a body of standards or principles derived from a code of conduct from a particular philosophy, religion or culture, or it can derive from a standard that a person believes should be universal. Morality may also be specifically synonymous with "goodness" or "rightness".

    Immorality is the active opposition to morality (i.e. opposition to that which is good or right), while amorality is variously defined as an unawareness of, indifference toward, or disbelief in any particular set of moral standards or principles.

    I see teaching children about Power similarly to how they are taught evolution and natural selection. They're not topics for young children and require a certain degree of maturity to digest. However it's imperative that children learn about these fundamental laws that govern our existence so they don't grow in ignorance and superstition. Similarly, the concept of Power should be introduced to the children gradually - first through play and simple plans for improving themselves. This is in fact what is already been done, but without any clear, detailed plan about how children can best be introduced to self-improvement and the realities of power acquisition, power distribution and different power structures. The concept itself is so self-explanatory that there's no need for in dept theoretical education - student counselors would help students to make individual power acquisition plans and give them guidance when they need it.

    Now, to the point that I think we need to focus on in our discussion. You seem to imply that power acquisition is always either immoral or amoral in a contemporary Western society. Why? Why cannot children be taught power acquisition within the social boundaries of a society? As I mentioned in a previous post, people control their behavior and their impulses all the time to better adapt to their social environment. Power acquisition can very well function within boundaries that a society deem adequate and desirable.

    Another thing to consider. Does a society benefit from powerful citizens? Or does it benefit more from powerless citizens? What then should be the goal of our educational system? Do we need to produce citizens that have Will to Power or ones that are apathetic, content, passive?

    The key point I want to make: everyone desires power. Power acquisition and usage is either the meaning of life or very closely tied to it (we could start a whole other thread about this topic). A society can either try to suppress this inbuilt desire or try to benefit from it. I have been born and raised in a society that believes in empowering it's citizens and I tend to believe this is the right approach for creating a healthy and strong society.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    If you include morality, your theory is no different than the motivation techniques and theories that are already in existence. The contemporary example of the terrorist does not work, because once he became a criminal he lost his rights, he had equal rights before he became a criminal.
    I agree the terrorist was a bad example, as you rightly pointed out. We could perhaps replace it with a better example, of which there are plenty. In medieval feudal societies, where no one thought that all people should be equal. Would you still suggest that societies in medieval Europe had no morality? The ideal of the equality of men is only a couple of hundred year old concept in it's contemporary form - it cannot be basis for an universal concept of morality.

    I agree that motivational and self-help books often focus on power acquisition and therefore they are very desirable read for individuals. I'm not quite sure why they are not utilized at all in Western educational system. Perhaps because they are often written by amateurs that don't base them on scientific data. However this is not always the case. There's a lot of scientific data about people's habit formation, for instance. A great book about habit formation is Charles Duhigg's The Power of Habit, whcih you could call a self-help book that's based on scientific data.

    Is my theory of Power just another self-help guide? Perhaps it is. I don't care what kind of labels we use, as long as the concept is understood and used in practice.

    I also found a rather recent video dealing with this topic. You can check it here if you're interested:

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    The rights of criminals are not a good example of the rights of all democratic society. On the other example using Greece, you've said women and non-citizens did not possess the same rights as male citizens. This is not analogous to a modern democracy, where women and non-citizens do possess these rights, and morality is equally applied. If you are advocating for the kind of democracy of ancient Greece in your theory of power that is something different, and is in conflict with your current theory of power that includes morality, because now you're taking away rights.
    Why should we only focus on contemporary Western morality? Why is it any better or any more relevant than any other form of morality that have been adopted by societies throughout history?

    I don't view morality as something that cannot coexist with individual's Will to Power. Morality is a communal power structure whereas Will to Power is a force that drives individual's behavior. Individual's pursuit for Power is sometimes compromised for the good of the community, but this is merely a transition where individual power is traded for social power. There can be some loss of Power in this process, but that's the reality of communal living. But as I mentioned before, the benefits of belonging to a community far outweigh it's disadvantages.

    Is there really any reason why morality and Will to Power cannot coexist? Not theoretically, but in practice. I want to keep our discussion in practical reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001

    Nietzsche did read Darwin, and the way you apply social Darwinism to Nietzsche I don't believe works, as Nietzsche thought the most prevalent and most mediocre types survived.
    I read online that all of Nietzsche's knowledge of Darwin came from second hand sources - he never read a copy of The Origin of Species.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    You also say something contradictory when you say a person with Christian values can become powerful. I know you would give me the example of the politician, however the politician is anti-christian in their power grabs. In running for office the so-called christian is essentially renouncing christian virtues, they are the antithesis of a christian. They are ambitious, prideful, vengeful (do christian campaigners not act as though their religion has been wronged), hateful (against those not of their faith), and wealthy. Politicians are anti-christian. The nature of one's values matter very much, in terms of power acquisition. Consider a person who is raised valuing intelligence, pride, strength, versus the person who is raised valuing intelligence, humility, morality. Who will be stronger?
    Actually, either one could be more powerful than the other. I presume you believe that a person that values pride and strength will always be more powerful and a person who values humility and morality? To me this is not necessarily the case. There are moral views that will lead to very undesirable results in terms of power acquisition, but most of the time I see different moral values as different power acquisition strategies. If you are considered to be a person of high moral character and humility, you will be a valued member in almost any kind of contemporary society. A person with that values strength and pride might be in a disadvantage in these kind of social contexts, but he might have a stronger desire to become respected and admired, which could work in his advantage. Actually I see strongly devout Christians as people with the strongest Will to Power even though they also adhere to the most highest moral principles and value humility, abstinence and even self-sacrifice. They are very passionate and goal-oriented. They care very little of earthy pleasures, so they are not distracted from their pursuit for more thorough control over their internal and external reality. The key word here is self-discipline, which is the most desirable character trait for anyone who desires Power.

    You have to understand that selfishness is not a necessity for a strong Will to Power. At least not in my definition of the concept. Nietzsche might disagree with me here.
    De omnibus dubitandum.

  8. #53
    In a way I think I might be barking up the wrong tree here. Maybe philosophy is not where we should be looking for answers about the nature of Power.

    I've read some theory of pedagogy and developmental psychology recently and I've stumbled upon some theories that deal very closely with the concept of Power. Many recent developmental psychologists like Roy Baumeister see willpower (not self-esteem or good parenting or any of that crap) as the main contributor to a person's well-being and happiness. It seems to be a pretty commonly accepted fact that self-regulatory skills and willpower are the foundations of a successful and happy life and this is already been taught to children starting in primary schools. Some of the books even use the same terminology I came up with on my own while pondering about the nature of Power - they mention a child's need to control his internal and external reality as one of the fundamental factors affecting his learning. A child that doesn't get the experience of being able to affect his internal and external reality through school activities is likely to adopt an apathetic and disinterested approach to studying. These are not my thoughts, but those presented in a pedagogy lecture series I attended recently (I can list some books if someone is interested). In other words, a child becomes more interested in learning when he sees it as an avenue to Power acquisition.

    So it seems my approach to the concept of Power isn't in anyway controversial any longer, which I still find a bit surprising.
    De omnibus dubitandum.

  9. #54
    Some more conversation from another forum:

    Quote Originally Posted by Dlaw

    I think that the discussion has kind of gone off on a hyper-individualistic sidetrack, hasn't it?

    To me - and here I'm happily revealing my prejudice - Nietzsche and all the philosophies subsequent to his work, boil down to Calvinism without Redemption.

    The moral problems with that notwithstanding, the philosophical problem is that Nietzsche's analysis proceeds from the same overwhelming concern with the individual without the justification that Calvin took from Christianity. In other words, Calvin's views were necessarily focused on the individual because they were arguments about the redemption of an individual SOUL, but absent a Divine justification for such a focus, there doesn't seem to be any reason not to think on a social, cultural and species level.

    The idea that a human's "Will To Power" should be in conflict with Homo sapiens "Will To Power" as a species makes as much sense - at a first approximation - as the idea that a single bee's "Will To Power" should be different from the hive's WTP.

    We're a social species, and that completely undermines (but doesn't necessarily disprove) the arguments that build from a question of individual "Power", doesn't it?
    Thank you for your contribution and interesting ideas Dlaw.

    Maybe you could elaborate your argument a bit further, since I might be missing some important nuances you're trying to communicate. What would you suggest are the features that Nietzsche and other philosophers after him have adopted from Calvinism? Why do you believe that Calvin of all philosophers has had such profound influence on Nietzsche/Western thought?

    You seem to suggest that human beings are equally hive-minded creatures as bees, at least in relation to Will to Power. Well, I don't believe this to be the case. To quote Jonathan Haidt "people are 90% chimp and 10% bee". Only under exceptional circumstances we can overcome our selfish individualism and sacrifice our own selfish interests for the common good. Bees do this pretty much 100% of the time. Societies and other groups try to encourage bee-like behavior in men, but this kind of manipulation has it's limits. Chimps, our closest mamal relatives, cannot cooperate with each other even if their lives depend on it. For instance you will never see two chimps carrying a log together to get a treat. This has been thoroughly tested over the years. According to Haidt, people only really care about appearing to be team players rather than actually caring about their social group's well-being over their own well-being. We are hypocrites by nature.

    I don't quite understand why our social nature would somehow undermine individual Will to Power or the concept of individual Power. Could you perhaps clarify this point a bit further? If you for instance disagree with some of our previous posts on this thread, perhaps you could point them out and we could continue the discussion from there.

    I agree that we have perhaps moved to a more individual-centered approach in our conversation, but I don't view Power or Will to Power as exclusively applicable to individuals. On the contrary I have mentioned a lot of examples of external power structures on this thread. Ultimately I see Power as a force of nature, much like Schopenhauer. Life itself is Power. Death is the absence of Power. I know this is not Nietzshe's definition, but there are certainly areas where our theories overlap. See some of my previous posts if you're interested to discuss these concept further, since I've already elaborated them quite a bit on this thread.
    De omnibus dubitandum.

Page 4 of 4 FirstFirst 1234

Similar Threads

  1. art definition
    By cacian in forum Art & Art History
    Replies: 100
    Last Post: 06-24-2016, 07:43 AM
  2. The definition of God
    By cacian in forum Religious Texts
    Replies: 36
    Last Post: 02-07-2013, 12:40 PM
  3. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely!! HELP
    By MyLastSerenade in forum Animal Farm
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 08-11-2009, 06:47 PM
  4. Theme - power of language and languages of power
    By LifeLeisurely in forum General Literature
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 08-10-2009, 01:50 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts