Breeding Superman: Nietzsche, Race and Eugenics in Edwardian and Interwar Britain

By Dan Stone | Go to book overview

CONCLUSION
From ‘Underman’ to ‘Underclass’

The more I relinquish my rights and level myself down, the more I come under the dominion of the average and finally of the majority. The presupposition inherent in an aristocratic society for preserving a high degree of freedom among its members is the extreme tension that arises from the presence of an antagonistic drive in all its members: the will to dominate –

If you would do away with firm opposition and differences in rank, you will also abolish all strong love, lofty attitudes, and the feeling of individuality.

Towards a true psychology of the society based on freedom and equality what diminishes?

The will to self-responsibility, sign of the decline of autonomy; efficiency in defence and attack, also in the most spiritual things: the power of commanding; the sense of reverence, subservience, ability to keep silent; great passion, the great task, tragedy, cheerfulness.

Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power, §936.

The issue of Nietzsche' influence over eugenics has become contemporary once again. In Germany, the Karlsruhe philosopher Peter Sloterdijk has recently argued that, given the understanding that now exists in genetic science, the eugenic dream of ‘selection’ is now within reach. Sloterdijk' use of the word ‘selection’ horrified his colleague Ernst Tugendhat, who heard evoked in this word the ramp at Auschwitz; what really worried the critics, however, was Sloterdijk' argument that this capability should be exploited, to

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