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Thread: The Definition of Power

  1. #31
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    The first power of education that any third world country needs is figuring out how to deal with their feces. The smell tells you this. Powerful is the word. The next is birth control. If they can figure these out, their chances with further education are considered better. I hope your business is to sell them septic tanks or birth control tablets. So far, none of their chances with education look great. I am rooting for any third world country to deal successfully with their feces so I can help found a university there. Then we can get to work on the multiplication table. Once they know long division we will hand out the bachelor of science degrees.

    * * * * *

    Did Archimedes deal powerfully with his feces, or did he merely bury it down at the beach?

    Filthiness is one of the earliest problems that has to be solved. Until then, hope one of them does not drop something in front of you he has to bend over and retrieve. And of course they will never go wrong having fewer children.

  2. #32
    I would actually prefer to chat about the concept of power as I defined it in OP, not take part in racist degradation of other ethnic groups.
    De omnibus dubitandum.

  3. #33
    I've been having conversation about the same topic on another forum. I'll post some of the things we've covered there. Maybe these ideas will spark a new conversation here as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freudian Monkey
    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    I wouldn't want to make this a discusson of free will, but controlling your inner reality does not seem realistic. A person cannot control the thoughts they have.
    By taking control of your inner reality I mean merely the act of becoming aware of your thoughts and desires. You can certainly inspect your thoughts in a critical fashion, correct? It's not difficult to take a critical look at what's going on inside your own mind. Of course we cannot know everything, but we know enough to know what our major strengths and weaknesses are. We might lack persistence or self-discipline that would allow us to achieve our full potential. So we need to build more persistence and self-discipline by exercising self-denial and learning to postpone gratification, among other similar exercises. Also, I believe one can control one's thoughts by choosing an environment that enforces desired thinking habits. For instance, if you go to study in a university, your way of thinking will be different compared to if you merely work at a grocery store and spent your evenings watching TV.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    Also, why do you say your thoughts are not who you really are? They seem to be exactly who you are.
    I borrow this idea from Echart Tolle's book The Power of Now. It's central thesis is that our consciousness does not have anything to do with our thoughts. In other words,You are not your mind. Our minds are merely something created by our egos - the artificial character we create to ourselves in our ignorance. Ego is like a disease - it tries to take over our existence by taking over our existence by filling our heads with thoughts about work, school, relationships, injustices we have encountered and so on. However, according to Tolle, these thoughts are not who you really are.

    Instead, you are the silent watcher who perceives your thoughts.

    To me, this is a profound realization. My crude description here doesn't really do it justice. If you're not familiar with this concept, I recommend you read or listen to first 2-3 chapters of The Power of Now. The later chapters are not that great, but the first chapters are nothing short of brilliant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    It would also not be wise to tell people to control their desires. Our bodies do not work that way.
    I don't refer only to sexual desires here. I refer to all desires - gluttony, hatred, impulses to hurt or gamble, impulses to humiliate or degrade, impulse to betray your spouse with a younger woman etc. We all have countless desires that we suppress all the time. Our society demands us to suppress countless impulses - we cannot cut lines, walk naked on the street, randomly kill people we don't like etc. Controlling our impulses is not only something we do every day, but it's also extremely healthy and good for our well-being. Of course it shouldn't be taken too far. Occasionally we need sexual relief, for instance. However, if you don't control your sexual impulse at all, you will either watch porn all day long or end up in prison for sexually assaulting someone on the street. To me it's self-explanatory that sexual and other desires need to be controlled.

    The point that I was trying to make was that if we desire power above everything else (as we should), we have to gain control of our desires. Otherwise they will control us. A drug addict is someone who cannot control his/her desires. Do you consider a drug addict to be someone who is in charge - who is powerful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    Also, why does your theory of power not have the limits of power? Meaning there is a heirarchy, certain people can only be so powerful. Your theory assumes equal potential, why is this, when there is clearly not equal potential?
    I don't recall stating that my concept of power assumes equal potential for power. On the contrary, power is very unevenly available to people.

    In my view power is of course limited, but at the same time it's almost infinite. Would you say that the universe has limits? It certainly does, but we will never be able to comprehend those limits. It's the same way with power. There are always new ways of either increasing or decreasing one's power. You might say an inconsidered word to someone and make him like you less as a result - a decrease of power. You might forget to close lights in your toilet before you go to bed, wasting precious electricity - a decrease of power. Etc etc. Everything we do every moment of our lives is connected to our use of power. I write to you to convey my thoughts using an artificial system of symbols that I have used years to learn, which suggests that I'm using massive amount of power from different sources to make these changes happen in my external reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    And when you say forget everything that separates you from another person, you contradict yourself. Why does power matter, if there are no differences between people? Differences should be at the forefront of the mind of the most powerful. They must always recognize the strengths and weaknesses of others, to assess their own power.
    This is merely a strategy to becoming more powerful socially. Our social relationships are among our greatest sources of power, since we alone have very limited resources, but together we can accomplish much greater things. Our ability to convince others to cooperate with us is crucial for our survival and our ability to thrive and become more powerful.

    By focusing on the things that we have in common with people instead of focusing on the things that separate us from them is the foundation of making friends. If you can find even one thing that you and your bitter enemy have in common, you might be able to use that one thing to make peace with him instead of waging a wasteful war.

    Of course there will always be differences between people. Power is not equal and has no conscience. It's a force of nature, much like gravity. Your job is not to get crushed by it, but to use it to your advantage.
    De omnibus dubitandum.

  4. #34
    I'm really amazed that this kind of concept of power is not talked about anywhere. I think this stuff should be taught in schools. Every child should write a personal power acquisition plan as a part of their yearly school orientation.
    De omnibus dubitandum.

  5. #35
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    I suspect this approach to power would be agreed to by Erving Goffman: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erving_Goffman

    "To me, this is a profound realization. My crude description here doesn't really do it justice. If you're not familiar with this concept, I recommend you read or listen to first 2-3 chapters of The Power of Now. The later chapters are not that great, but the first chapters are nothing short of brilliant."

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    I agree with your idea that power is dynamic. This means either you take action or are acted upon by others.

    I've formed the idea from experience that being powerful means being able to disregard at at least some rules
    with no worries for consequences.

    Do you think it's true?

    In what ways do you think the powerful can be challenged?

  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamwoven View Post
    I suspect this approach to power would be agreed to by Erving Goffman: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erving_Goffman

    "To me, this is a profound realization. My crude description here doesn't really do it justice. If you're not familiar with this concept, I recommend you read or listen to first 2-3 chapters of The Power of Now. The later chapters are not that great, but the first chapters are nothing short of brilliant."
    I will have to study his approach, I'm not currently familiar with his theories. What does he call this concept? Power or something else?

    Quote Originally Posted by freaky View Post
    I agree with your idea that power is dynamic. This means either you take action or are acted upon by others.

    I've formed the idea from experience that being powerful means being able to disregard at at least some rules
    with no worries for consequences.

    Do you think it's true?

    In what ways do you think the powerful can be challenged?
    Power can be challenged in a multitude of ways, although they all are also manifestations of power. There is no such thing as "the powerless bringing down the powerful". It just doesn't happen. To be powerless is to be sick, blind, def, crippled or dead. Life itself is power. So in short, you need to be powerful to bring down the powerful. Often it's the combined effort of a large crowd of less powerful people that can bring down one immensely powerful individual.

    It's certainly true that the powerful can disregard laws and other rules of societies, to a certain extent at least. However we have to take into consideration that all nations have different internal power structures. Western nations have a relatively broad division of power, which is one of the core requirements of democracy. Third world countries have very crude power structures where power is mainly concentrated in military and usually one oligarchic group of powerful people who basically control the whole nation. In third world countries, the powerful have basically no limits and they don't need to abide to any laws. In Western nations even the powerful have to step carefully so as to not cause a scandal that could harm their financial or other interests.

    I notice that I ventured from individual forms of power to collective forms of power. But I honestly don't see any dramatic difference between the two. Even if power is communal, it still functions within the same framework. Communities can strife to make changes in their internal or external realities - depending on their power, and possible opposing powers, they can either succeed or fail. There's really nothing else to it, as far as I'm concerned.
    Last edited by Freudian Monkey; 12-17-2017 at 01:21 AM.
    De omnibus dubitandum.

  8. #38
    I took some time to become more familiar with Schopenhauer's concepts of Will and Will-To-Live. Schopenhauer's concept is Will seems very similar to what we've been talking about on this thread: his concept of Will is a similar universal force that drives all life in the universe.

    However there are also some key differences:

    1) Schopenhauer sees our desires as the manifestation of Will. So he associates Freud's Id with Will. I firmly disagree. To me desires are distractions from our Will. He also believes that we are slaves to Will and therefore our life is restless struggle to manifest more and more Will. He has adopted the Eastern philosophical approach of "Life is suffering". This has lead him to believe that we need to get rid of our goals and desires, go live in a monastery and give ourselves thirty lashes every time we think of boobs. To me this approach only tries to deny the true state of affairs instead of trying to find a meaningful response to it. The world is still going to be out there even if you go to live in a monastery and try to ignore all the horrors that our collective Wills manifest.

    2) Schopenhauer states that it's impossible for people to live meaningful lives by setting and accomplishing life goals. I could not disagree more. Everyone with a fraction of common sense understands that a person who has a happy family, a flourishing social life, a satisfying sexual life and an inspiring job lives a much more satisfying life than a homeless drunkard with syphilis. Will (or Power) brings happiness, since everything we could ever desire can be accomplished through power. A meaningful life derives from one's desire for life. One has to have passion for life, a passion to accomplish great things and to cause desirable change in one's internal and external reality. We will all die one day and therefore we will ultimately lose all our Power (or Will), but that doesn't mean that a life that celebrates life instead of denying it is a much more satisfying and meaningful one.

    I personally think Schopenhauer was too limited by a religious discourse and framework of thinking. He sees everything so miserable and pointless because philosophy was undergoing a change to adapt to the more materialistic worldview and he simply was not ready to embrace a philosophy without the religious framework. He simply couldn't handle the inevitability of death. I, on the contrary, see death as nothing more than just another change in an endless chain of changes that we go through in our lives. It's nothing to be feared.

    Death is not a tragedy - frankly, it's rather childish to think so.

    I really hope I can find a better philosopher to satisfy my curiosity about the nature of Power.
    Last edited by Freudian Monkey; 12-17-2017 at 04:50 PM.
    De omnibus dubitandum.

  9. #39
    Here's some excellent points about Nietzsche's book Will to Power from another forum:

    http://onlinephilosophyclub.com/foru...hp?f=1&t=15226

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    In trying to provide a view of Nietzsche on The Will to Power, I found myself rereading a lot of pages because not a lot is clearly defined, but I guess that is understandable considering his book Will to Power was made from his journal entries. I jump around a lot.

    To describe his views, I'd start with his idea of the herd and the higher man. He called the herd, the mediocre, the weak, sick (ironic, considering he spent most of his life sick), and unfortunate. The higher man is the opposite, what is healthy, and strong. But he divides the higher man into two types: the shepherd and the master. The shepherd works for the preservation of the herd and its values. However, the master uses the herd as a means to whatever his chosen end. To Nietzsche, any action commanded of the herd by the higher man was justified because he was the higher man. He believed this higher man (master type) should rule over the herd. A few quotes:

    "Main consideration: not to see the task of the higher species leading the lower (as, e.g.,Comte does), but the lower as a base upon which higher species performs its own tasks--upon which alone it can stand." (The Will to Power, pg.479)

    "On the sovereign types.-- The "shepherd" as opposed to the "master" (--the former a means of preserving the herd; the latter the end for which the herd exists)." (The Will to Power, pg.479)

    Nietzsche would have his higher men (master types) rule, in an aristocracy, over the herd. He did not believe people were equal, and he loathed anything that meant otherwise. He loathed everything he called herd virtues, what he believed subjected the higher types to the lower herd, anything that reduces the distance between men. Namely morality, humility, chastity, poverty, obedience, and equality. Nietzsche especially despised morality. Nietzsche thought these were attempts to make everyone equal, which he thought was impossible.

    A quote on the golden rule:

    "...here an equivalence of value between my actions and yours is presupposed; here the most personal value of an action is simply annulled (that which cannot be balanced or paid in any way--). "Reciprocity" is a piece of vulgarity; precisely that something I do may not and could not be done by another, that no balance is possible (--except in the most select sphere of "my equals," inter pares--), that in a deeper sense one never gives back, because one is something unique and does only unique things--this fundamental conviction contains the cause of aristocratic segregation from the masses, because the masses believe in "equality" and consequently in equivalence and "Reciprocity." "(The Will to Power, pg.489)

    There, is the hatred of anything equalizing, such as the golden rule of do unto others as you would have dine to you. Later on he asserts that which we would not have done to ourselves, is exactly what we should do to others first, to prevent it from happening to ourselves.

    Nietzsche believed in a new master race comprised of men of the higher type from different races. He believed in an aristocracy of higher men that would rule the masses of the world. Contrary to what many people have said, Nietzsche was not a nationalist, or at all for nationalism, he actually hated Germans, and believed they were the reason for the end of the renaissance period. Because of Martin Luther, the church was able to return to its traditional values, instead of continuing on its path during the enlightenment period. He also hated Kant, who was German, and any kind of idealism. I remember him calling Kant a theologian in disguise.

    A quote on the master race he described:

    "From now on there will be more favorable preconditions for more comprehensive forms of dominion, whose like has never yet existed. And even this is not the most important thing; the possibility has been established for the production of international racial unions whose task will be to rear a master race, the future "masters of the earth"; --a new, tremendous aristocracy, based on the severest legislation, in which the will of philosophical men and artist-tyrants will be made to endure for millenia-- a higher kind of man who, thanks to their superiority in will, knowledge, riches, and influence, employ democratic Europe as their most pliant and supple instrument for getting hold of the destinies of the Earth, so as to work as artists upon "man" himself. "(The Will to Power, pg. 504)

    He wanted to subjugate all of Europe to this aristocracy of the master race. He believed Europe to be the place of the most intelligent masses, and so the best to be subjugated to the will of these aristocrats. More on these higher types, he believed them to be incommunicable, nothing in common with the herd, always sees other people (in Nietzsche's eyes, lesser people) as tools upon which to exert his will. The higher type would have no desire for the approval of others, because of their distance. "There is a solitude within him that is inaccessible to praise or blame, his own justice is beyond appeal." (The Will to Power, pg. 505)

    Something Nietzsche says about Schopenhauer:

    "Schopenhauer's interpretation of the "in-itself" as will was an essential step; but he did not understand how to deify this will: he remained entangled in the moral-christian ideal. Schopenhauer was still so much subject to the dominion of christian values that, as soon as the thing-in-itself was no longer "God" for him, he had to see it as bad, stupid, and absolutely reprehensible. He failed to grasp that there are an infinite variety of ways of being different, even of being god."(The Will to Power, pg. 521)

    More on the Will to Power:

    "that the will to power would is the primitive form of affect, that all other affects are only developments of it" (The Will to Power, pg.366)

    "that all driving force is the will to power, that there is no other physical, dynamic or psychic force except this."(The Will to Power, pg.366)

    "It can be shown most clearly that every living thing does everything it can not to preserve itself but to become more--"(The Will to Power, pg.367)

    He goes on to cite the relationship between the total organic process and nature so far. For him, the will to power is a becoming, it is appropriating, and dominating. Every feeling of pleasure is the registering of growth in consciousness. He calls life the will to the accumulation of force. He says this on displeasure:

    "The measure of failure and fatality must grow with the resistance a force seeks to master; and as a force can expend itself only on what resists it, there is necessarily an ingredient of displeasure in every action. But this displeasure acts as a lure of lufe and strengthens the will to power!"(The Will to Power, pg.369)

    On life:

    "Life is only a means to something; it is the expression of forms of the growth of power."(The Will to Power, pg.375)

    He also mentions that eventually strength fades and comparison of former feelings of overcoming and growth weaken the present feelings and capacity for pleasure.

    There is alot more that he deals with, i've omitted what he said in the book on artists and knowledge, which is an important part, but I will post another comment adding this to what I have here. So far, how close do you believe his theory is to yours?
    Last edited by Freudian Monkey; 12-20-2017 at 05:06 AM.
    De omnibus dubitandum.

  10. #40
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    What forum is this from? Do you have a link to it? or is it not public? However, I am not sure it is helpful to come with alternative theories of power. Perhaps we should stick to your definition of power? Though I am not sure what I can say about it more than I have already.

  11. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamwoven View Post
    What forum is this from? Do you have a link to it? or is it not public? However, I am not sure it is helpful to come with alternative theories of power. Perhaps we should stick to your definition of power? Though I am not sure what I can say about it more than I have already.
    I added the forum link to the previous post.

    Well, my definition of Power is not set in stone. The post I quote from the other forum is simply quoting and analyzing Nietzsche's book Will to Power. My definition of Power very close to Nietzsche's definition, but I don't agree with everything Nietzsche concluded, especially about the social implications of the realization that all living organisms are driven by Will to Power. So I'm happy to discuss my definition - as a matter of fact, that's really the reason I started this thread.
    De omnibus dubitandum.

  12. #42
    I add my response from the other forum here as well to see if it can spark some conversation here.

    http://onlinephilosophyclub.com/foru...15226&start=15

    Quote Originally Posted by Freudian Monkey
    I find myself agreeing with Nietzsche with most of what he writes about the nature of Power. However I don’t agree with the social implications he draws from the realization that all living organisms are driven by will to power. But I will get to that later. Maybe I will go through some of your quotes and give my thoughts on each separately.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    Nietzsche would have his higher men (master types) rule, in an aristocracy, over the herd. He did not believe people were equal, and he loathed anything that meant otherwise. He loathed everything he called herd virtues, what he believed subjected the higher types to the lower herd, anything that reduces the distance between men.
    Here’s one fundamental point where I find Nietzsche’s theory lacking. He doesn’t seem to put any value to communal and social power structures. To me they are among people’s greatest sources of power. I think this might be the reason why he suggests that the higher men should lead like omnipotent oligarchy without caring about the desires or opinions of the masses. Obviously Nietzsche never lived to witness the horrors of 20th century and the great men who ruined nations in their omniscience and omnipotence.

    I agree with Nietzshche that in terms of Power, men can never be equal. However this doesn’t lead me to conclude, like Nietzsche does, that society needs to be structures so that the powerful can become increasingly more powerful and everyone else’s ability to obtain power is limited. I think Nietzsche believed that the main goal of human species was to aim to accomplish great feats and he believed that the best possible way to accomplish greatness was to let few extraordinary geniuses use all collective power resources to realize their dreams. I can see and appreciate his trail of thought here, but I simply don’t believe his approach is practical. Even if our ultimate goal was to, say, colonize Mars, it might be actually more effective to inspire the masses to undertake and support such a task on their own free will instead of forcing them to work against their will to accomplish this goal. Think of all the rage against “The 1%” or “The Illuminati”. The masses will always use their collective power to oppose oppression and therefore oligarchy is not a “power efficient” way to govern. Modern Western models of government might not be perfect, but their way of dividing Power to multiple independent institutions leads to better lives for everyone and gives plenty of room for everyone to accumulate Power, within certain restraints. I guess I don’t agree with Nietzsche about concentrated Power being preferred over a more broadly spread out Power.

    However, I have to stress that even the most charitable and humble individual has to amass Power if he wants to help others or to make a society more equal. Power is a necessity to anyone who wants anything other than simply to cease to exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    "that the will to power would is the primitive form of affect, that all other affects are only developments of it" (The Will to Power, pg.366)
    I think Nietzsche might be referring to Spinoza or some later philosopher when he writes about affects. Spinoza defined them as all the stimuli that change one’s capability to sustain their existence. Spinoza’s concepts ponatus and potentia actually come very close to Nietzsche’s concept of Will to Power, although he has a really weird definition of how individuals can become more powerful – by embracing everything that give them pleasure. So his conclusion is pretty much the exact opposite to that of Nietzsche’s.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    Nietzsche especially despised morality.
    I think he mainly despised Christian moral values, which he correctly identified to be in complete opposition to the fundamental driving force of nature, Will to Power. But was Nietzsche really against all morality? To me that kind of philosophy can lead a society into uncontrolled anarchism, which is obviously not preferred by any rational person. I refuse to believe Nietzsche to be a proponent of anarchism. Besides, wouldn’t Nietzsche’s own utopian society also have morality – a collective aspiration for great deeds, for instance? I think your other quote actually answers this question:

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    And even this is not the most important thing; the possibility has been established for the production of international racial unions whose task will be to rear a master race, the future "masters of the earth"; --a new, tremendous aristocracy, based on the severest legislation, in which the will of philosophical men and artist-tyrants will be made to endure for millennia - -
    This quote reminded me somewhat of Plato’s ideal society in The Republic. Although Nietzsche’s superman leaders wouldn’t perhaps have been philosophers in Plato’s sense of the word.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    Nietzsche believed in a new master race comprised of men of the higher type from different races. He believed in an aristocracy of higher men that would rule the masses of the world. Contrary to what many people have said, Nietzsche was not a nationalist, or at all for nationalism, he actually hated Germans, and believed they were the reason for the end of the renaissance period. Because of Martin Luther, the church was able to return to its traditional values, instead of continuing on its path during the enlightenment period. He also hated Kant, who was German, and any kind of idealism. I remember him calling Kant a theologian in disguise.
    I remember Bertrand Russell writing something similar in his “History of Western Philosophy”. Russell treated Nietzsche very unfavorably in that book though, which is a shame, since otherwise it’s a great book. But obviously it was written during the second world war, which made it difficult for Russell to sympathize with “the Nazi philosopher”.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    "that all driving force is the will to power, that there is no other physical, dynamic or psychic force except this."(The Will to Power, pg.366)
    This is pretty much my view of Power as well. Life is Power.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    "It can be shown most clearly that every living thing does everything it can not to preserve itself but to become more--"(The Will to Power, pg.367)
    This is where Nietzsche diverges from Schopenhauer. And I think he’s correct with his perception.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    For him, the will to power is a becoming, it is appropriating, and dominating.
    This is where I can see the influence of Schopenhauer, although Nietzsche’s Power always aims to accumulation whereas Schopenhauer’s Will is focused preserving what already exists.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    Every feeling of pleasure is the registering of growth in consciousness.
    I’m very surprised that Nietzsche would write something like this. I thought Nietzsche didn’t value pleasure. Now, somehow, he seems to suggest we should seek pleasure to grow our consciousness? Or did I misunderstand you here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    He says this on displeasure:
    "The measure of failure and fatality must grow with the resistance a force seeks to master; and as a force can expend itself only on what resists it, there is necessarily an ingredient of displeasure in every action. But this displeasure acts as a lure of lufe and strengthens the will to power!"(The Will to Power, pg.369)
    I completely agree with this view.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    "Life is only a means to something; it is the expression of forms of the growth of power."(The Will to Power, pg.375)
    I agree with this view as well, but with some reservations. As I mentioned in OP, to me the ultimate meaning of life is development. The meaning of an individual’s life is to accumulate power and to affect desired change in his internal and external reality. This can be called development. Life is an endless chain reaction of Power transforming and accumulating. When all living entities strife to accumulate Power, the total amount of Power grows as well. There is no finite amount of Power available, but it can grow as far as there’s enough resources for all life forms to sustain themselves and to continue accumulating Power. Lack of resources can of course become an issue and as a matter of fact this is what is currently happening in the world. This is where the “desirable change” comes in. When mankind is running out of resources, the desired change that people should strife for would be to either create more resources, to find new forms of resources, to decrease the number of entities consuming the resources or to decrease the use of resources.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxcady10001
    He also mentions that eventually strength fades and comparison of former feelings of overcoming and growth weaken the present feelings and capacity for pleasure.
    Nietzsche might be right about this as well. After one has accomplished all of his most important goals, the feeling of accomplishment can become harder to achieve. But I’m not sure why he puts so much emphasis on feelings. To me they seem inconsequential. Maybe he is referring to Spinoza here, since he also puts a lot of emphasis on feelings.
    Last edited by Freudian Monkey; 12-20-2017 at 05:41 AM.
    De omnibus dubitandum.

  13. #43
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    I had a look at Nietzsche, but I am not familiar with political theory. Bertrand Russell, Schopenhauer, Spinoza, so I guess I will just bow out at this point.

  14. #44
    Some more analysis of Nietzsche's book Will to Power:

    https://onlinephilosophyclub.com/for...7c032&start=15

    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.

    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. For instance, in society responsibility is abolished, one individual would not take responsibility for executing or punishing a man, but he is absolved of responsibility when the state tells him to do this. The state also contains justice and equality before the law, in order to abolish the tension, enmity and hatred between people. However, he says it is an error to suppose happiness will result from this.

    He also goes into criminals, he remarks on how criminals have been treated. He mentions that criminals have made up the greatest men in history so far.
    "we resist the idea that all great human beings have been criminals (only in the grand and not in a miserable style), that crime belongs to greatness (---for that is the experience of those who have tried the reins and of all who have descended deepest into great souls---). To be free as a bird from tradition, the conscience of duty---every great human being knows this danger. But he also desires it: he desires it and therefore also the means for it."(The Will to Power, pg.390)

    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. Nietzsche also says the criminal is, in a way, a man of courage, and should not be looked upon with contempt by society. He then repudiated punishment as a purifier or penance. Saying there'sno relationship between guilt and punishment and "punishment does not purify, for crime does not sully." To him, punishment began with religion and what he called contemptible men (e.g., slaves).

    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)

    He mentions more Schopenhauer here:

    "Schopenhauer wanted rascals to be castrated and silly geese to be shut up in convents: from what point of view would this be desirable? The rascald have this advantage over many other men, that he is not mediocre; and the fool has this advantage over us, that he does not suffer at the sight of mediocrity."(The Will to Power, pg. 394)

    Quotes on previous statements:

    "Basic principle: only individuals feel themselves responsible . Multiplicities are invented in order to do things for which the individuals lack courage." (The Will to Power, pg. 382)
    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)

    He 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)

    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)

    A quote on governments:

    "According to whether a people feels "right, vision, the gift of leadership, etc., belong to the few" or "to the many"--there will be an oligarch or a democratic government.
    Monarchy represents the belief in one man who is utterly superior, a leader, savior, demigod.
    Aristocracy represents the belief in an elite humanity and higher caste.
    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)

    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)

    "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)

    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)

    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. Thinking about your idea of colonizing Mars, do you believe the masses would be able to put an like that idea forward, or would it be an individual?

    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 judegements. 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)

    "The apparent world, i.e., world viewed according to values; ordered, selected according to values, i.e., in this case according to the viewpoint of utility in regard to the preservation and enhancement of the power of a certain species of animal. The perspective therefore decides the character of the "appearance"! As if a world would still remain over after one deducted the perspective! By doing that one would deduct relativity!............But there is no "other," No "true," No essential being---for this would be the expression of a world without acting and reaction---"(The Will to Power, pg.305)

    I don't know why I included this part, you never proposed anything metaphysical, I just thought it was important. Thank you for providing those details on Spinoza, I'd never read Spinoza abd did not know what Nietzsche was talking about by affects.
    Last edited by Freudian Monkey; 12-22-2017 at 08:58 AM.
    De omnibus dubitandum.

  15. #45
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    You say that "To be powerless is to be sick, blind, def, crippled or dead."

    Consider, for instance, that a blind person enjoys more allowances 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?
    Last edited by freaky; 12-22-2017 at 10:56 AM.

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