Nietzsche is of course a very bad man, a diabolical thinker, in fact. People do not realize how bad Nietzsche and Machiavelli are, until they are subjected to a tyranny and it is much too late, for the political expression of the diabolical is tyranny. Jung, though, knew quite well about Nietzsche. But then, once these things occur, everything we care about, everything worth living for will be gone, as it was for Germany in 1938, though they did not realize it until 1946, and it will be the same for us, apparently, as we are letting what is now occurring occur, and no one seems to be able even to see it, let alone to do a thing about it. We watch those who see be attacked one by one, and no one will stand. We are the “last men.”
One respect in which Nietzsche’s Zarathusta is prophetic is in his foreseeing the coming of the “last man.” These remind me of our U.S. citizens on Oxy, where one can say to them the most earth shattering things, as Pope Francis just said, and they stare back in stupefied dull amazement, indeed like cows to whom Lincoln practiced his speeches. It is Sunday, indeed, what time is the game on? The world is in danger of nuclear war today, and Putin is trying to destroy America and with it all hope for political liberty, and they blink. They do not know what political liberty is, or why it matters if Putin destroys it and America, nor do they know what tyranny is, or consider the difference between tyranny and liberty, but how is that stock market doing, and jobs jobs jobs, it is the economy, stupid.” No, it is in fact LIBERTY, stupid!! And for nuclear war, well, it will likely only fall on those other people, right? What time is the game on?
In the fifth section of the Prologue to Zarathustra, Nietzsche prophesies the “last man:”
What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What is a star? Thus asks the last man, and he blinks. The earth has become small, and on it hops the last man, who makes everything small. His race is as ineradicable as the flea beetle; the last man lives the longest.’We have invented happiness,’ say the last men, and they blink. They have left the regions where it was hard to live, for one needs warmth. One still loves one’s neighbor and rubs against him, for one needs warmth. ..Who still wants to rule, who obey? Both require too much exertion.
No shepherd and one herd! Everyone wants the same, everybody is the same: Whoever feels different goes voluntarily to the madhouse.
Formerly, all the world was mad,’ say the most refined, and they blink…One still quarrels, but one is soon reconciled- else it might spoil the digestion. One has one’s little pleasure for the day and one’s little pleasure for the night; but one has regard for health.
Bodily health has of course replaced all ethics for us, as the one objective good we can all agree upon. “Just don’t smoke,” they say, as they blink.
We have invented happiness, say the last men, and they blink.
‘Give us this last man, O Zarathust,’ they shouted. ‘Turn us into these last men! Then we shall make you a gift of the overman!’ And all the people jubulated and clucked with their tongues.
Here are two lines to compare, from early and then late in Prologue 5:
They have something of which they are proud. What do they call that which makes them proud? Education, they call it; it distinguishes them from goatherds…
I listened too much to brooks and trees: Now I talk to them as to goatherds…
We, the Jesus philosophers, can appreciate the beauty of the diabolical, though it be at peril of our souls.
The “overman” or “ubermench” is of course the superhuman tyrant who will seek to impress his form onto the matter that is mankind, since, you know, there is, according to Nietzsche, no natural form of man that we seek to fulfill in order to find true happiness (As for Plato and Aristotle), but rather a form that we create and impose tyrannically, expressing our “will to power,” since this- self-contradictorilly- is the truth about how man is. All modern philosophy is self contradictory. And why should this form be cruel and tyannical? It just is so? No, but there is a nature of these things, and there is good and evil, and evil is the perversion of the good.
One saying of Jesus from the Gospel of Thomas is most helpful in the Christian reading of Nietzsche, because the diabolical has the forms of the spiritual though these are inverted, so that the spiritual reader sees the forms, and, not understanding the diabolical turning, strepein or tropos, as we call it- the fallen angel is also an angel- they think Nietzsche is some fine fellow. Many clergymen cannot see this. But the saying from Thomas is:
#7Blessed is the lion which becomes man when consumed by man; and cursed is the man whom the lion consumes, and the lion becomes man.
In both, the lion becomes man. Both refer to a spiritual transformation, the first the natural form and the second the diabolic opposite. It is because of the possibility of our becoming saints, like John, the equal of angels, that the diabolical can occur, the equal of fallen angels, and since 1917, according to the vision of Fatima, Hell gapes and souls fall in, as in Twentieth Century Totalitarianism. It is possible for humans to not allow these terrible things to occur, but the last men are too busy clucking, and making for Zarathustra a gift of the overman, as though there were nothing better to do.