Many historical theories view the world as an eternal struggle between two forces. The Christians call it good and evil, the Communists call it the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, and the Nazis call it the Aryan and the Jew. A previous essay here suggested it was between the K and r-selected. This essay takes a new approach: that Friedrich Nietzsche was more accurate than anyone else, and the true eternal struggle is between those with a master mentality and those with a slave mentality.
In The Genealogy of Morals, Nietzsche described two basic forms of morality.
Master morality judges actions on the basis of good or bad. Nietzsche defines master morality as the morality of the strong-willed: it is championed by the noble and the powerful. This doesn’t mean that master morality is mere domination – it also prizes honesty and an accurate appraisal of one’s own weaknesses. People with this mentality are not concerned with what the herd thinks. They prefer to pursue their own self-defined form of excellence.
Slave morality, by contrast, judges actions on the basis of good or evil. In slave morality, strong people are equated with evil. In slave morality, goodness is equated with passivity, timidity, agreeableness and an insipid kindness. Slave moralists aren’t concerned with accurate viewpoints – they simply believe whatever makes them feel good. Questioning the herd is a great sin, because it requires strength and therefore only someone evil would do it.
The masters are always fewer in number, and the slaves more numerous. In this regard, master and slave morality maps fairly closely to the mentality of the K-selected vs. the mentality of the r-selected. The major differences are that K-selected people are liable to suffer from pathological altruism, whereas the master morality (not feeling pity) does not, and that r-selected people do not lack vitality and are not prudish, whereas the slave morality is neurotic.
The true course of history has been the ebb and flow of these two different forms of morality.
Nietzsche himself wrote that the ancient Greco-Roman culture encapsulated master morality, but was subverted from the inside by Christianity, one of the original forms of slave morality. When Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire in 323 A.D., Westerners became slaves, our natural spiritual traditions having been thoroughly destroyed and replaced with superstition.
This victory of slave morality endured until the Renaissance (an event which a previous essay here called the Minor Renaissance). At this time, some of the old master morality returned in the form of the quest for scientific knowledge, previously hidden or taboo philosophy and exploring the world. Unfortunately, this didn’t last.
The 19th Century was a relative high point for master morality (of course, Nietzsche didn’t know this). During this decade, the European Empires reached their greatest extent. The British Empire had achieved such a state of dominance that it was able to settle Australia and New Zealand – lands on the other side of the planet – at the same time as providing most of the settlers to North America, and all this while keep the world’s shipping lanes open.
Unfortunately, there was no Major Renaissance, as the wider Western consciousness kept falling at the first three hurdles of dumb Abrahamism, blind Materialism or deaf Satanism. The West never managed to revive the master spirituality it had before being poisoned by Christianity some 1,700 years ago.
It has long been observed that empires tend to fall from the inside, rather than get smashed by any outside force. The reason for this is the internal rise of slave morality. The reason why the West has fallen into the decrepitude that it has is because slave morality has risen to the point where it is normal. Accordingly, we are weak.
It has also long been observed that good times lead to weak men, who then create hard times, which leads to strong men, who then create good times. This has been discussed here as the Red Pill-White Pill-Blue Pill-Black Pill sequence. New Zealand philosopher Rick Giles describes it as the Dignity Culture-Honour Culture-Victimhood Culture-Slave Culture quadrichotomy.
Hard times lead to strong men by process of selection. When times are hard, there’s not enough surplus to waste any of it. Therefore, the people in charge of resources have to be discriminating. Even more pressing is the fact that, when times are hard, people will fight over what little resources exist. This fighting, being in the realm of iron, rewards the hard and those who can do without.
This Spartan sense of miserliness leads to efficiency and a masterly mindset. When things operate efficiently, life is good. Everyone has their needs met and, as is usually the case when people’s needs are met, they become wealthy. When everyone is wealthy, everyone tends to be happy, and it is as if a Golden Age had descended upon the land.
When everyone has their needs met, they stop being hard. No-one with a full belly wants to fight – better to just wait until the problem goes away. If there’s no food in the cupboards, that’s when it’s time to worry. People in the “fat and happy” mindset tend to ignore challenges rather than respond to them.
This doesn’t only lead to physical softness but, more crucially, it leads to mental softness. This mental softness prevents people from being able to make sharp and accurate distinctions between the phenomena they encounter. Consequently, they become apathetic and indifferent, a malaise that they mistake for the virtue of tolerance.
This apathy and indifference leads to a failure to adequately deal with corruption. Either corruption is ignored, or the corrupt are not punished – a slave’s mindset. Because no-one is strong enough to challenge the corrupt, they come to positions of dominance. When corrupt people are in power, hard times are just around the corner. And so, the cycle repeats.
In today’s Clown World, slave morality has the total ascendancy. We are so apathetic that our politicians can kick us in the guts on a daily basis and we just roll over and take it. The total victory of slave morality is, perhaps, the fundamental explanation as to why Clown World is the way it is. This is a world without masters. The slaves have completely inverted natural morality.
What’s needed is the Major Renaissance. This would constitute a spiritual renaissance that would reconnect the people of the Western World to God. Being reconnected to God, we would then possess the necessary illumination to see the path forward in the darkness. We need a new set of masters for a new age.
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