©1999 The Teaching Company Limited Partnership 28 Supplemental Reading:Solomon, “100 Years of Ressentiment,” pp. 102-115. Questions to Consider: 1. How does resentment function to bring about “the slave revolt in morals,” the transvaluation of values? Give examples from your own experience. 2. How does Nietzsche think that two thousand years of Christianity will enrich and “spiritualize” our sense of healthy morality?
1. Resentment seeks revenge. 2. On the Genealogy of Morals describes the morality of the Jews as stemming from resentment. B. Resentment can be a strategy. 1. “Transvaluation of values” is a matter of turning failures into virtues. 2. Resentment can be clever and brilliant (as Nietzsche acknowledges). Resentment is brilliant because of its bite, its “stabbing in the back.” 3. Revenge is the original meaning of justice (cf., the Iliad ). C. Master and slave morality can be at war within a person. 1. One takes revenge on oneself. One wants to get even with oneself for doing well. 2. We negate what is outside ourselves in order to feel good about ourselves. 3. In this case, the project of turning the table against aggressors has become internalized. II. Nietzsche thinks that we should get over the concepts of guilt and sin, which reflect the structure of slave morality. A. Guilt involves a sense that one is inherently deficient, a very unhealthy way of viewing oneself. B. Sin indicates that master-type behavior is being viewed, and condemned, on another plane. It is interpreted as a transgression against God. C. Because “God is dead,” this is already happening. 1. The result may be to help us take a better view of ourselves. 2. But for those who cannot accept it and cannot adapt to a different kind of morality there will be anguish and resentment. 3. Acting this out, there will be a desperate demand for new leaders, for “Führers,” and great violence in the world in the next (i.e., twentieth) century.
©1999 The Teaching Company Limited Partnership 30 III. Nietzsche himself was filled with resentment, as he was with compassion. How can he be seen as more than just a resentful person? A. For Nietzsche, the slaves are brilliant, clever, and strategic. They also win in their attempt to impose their morality as Morality. B. Hegel’s parable of master and slave tells a similar story.
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