“(..) Und so macht man es innerhalb jeder herrschenden Moral und Religion und hat es von jeher gemacht: die Grunde und die Absichten hinter der Gewohnheit werden immer zu ihr erst hinzugelogen, wenn Enige anfangen, die Gewohnheit zu bestreiten und nach Gründen und Absichten zu fragen. Hier steckt die grosse Unehrlichkeit der Conservativen aller Zeiten: – es sind die Hinzu-Lügner.” F. Nietzsche, Die fröhliche Wissenschaft, p. 63, Reklam, 2000.
[Re-posted from The Old Site, original dd. 01-12-2008. This is mostly a rant (aren’t all of them?) so you’ll have to read it in a Nietzschean way.]
(Amateuristic English translation: “And so it is done within every ruling moral system or religion and has it been done forever and ever; the reasons and intentions behind the custom are always invented after the facts (lied on top of it), when some start to fight the custom, asking for reasons and intentions. Here we have the gross dishonesty of conservatives of all times: they are ‘on-top’-liars.”)
There will be more from where this one came from: if only to show Nietzsche isn’t who he has been made out to be by those trying to find some philosophy to support the idiocy of a conservative perspective.
So let’s test the quote and ask ourselves what the custom of our day is? It has to be: “Work hard and you’ll be rewarded with well deserved worldly goods.” The lie stuck on top of this work drill morality is that it will ensure that reward comes to those who merit it. The next lie is: everyone will benefit because this system will allow sustainable advances in average prosperity.
It’s pretty easy to find challenges to the custom. It’s blatantly obvious reward is unavoidably divorced from merit, whatever way you may want to define the latter. It are always sociopathtic tyrants & cock-sucking followers that take worldy reward from the inventions of the unconventional working people. It is more obvious still that not everyone benefits and that the system, left to its own nature, leads to everincreasing portions of humanity living sub-averagely from the point of view of wordly goods.
What doesn’t follow from the blatantly obvious is that we have to tune the system to ensure the custom is made compatible with the lies. What also doesn’t follow is that we have to accept the custom as imperfect but the best one that we have managed to stumble across. Neither of these conclusions is following from the obvious (although one is free to deceive one’s self with either soft or hard conservative perspectives, i.e. ‘modern’ progressive or modern extreme right thinking).
So, what does follow from all this?
The answer is simple: nothing.
Custom, as well as its invented reason and intention are post their due dates. They are stale and there should be a ban on the operative concepts used: a ban on merit, hard work and a ban on rewards, averages and the common good. We need to let go: a bit of work is good enough if it earns you just enough to come by in a way that allows you to do whatever the bloody hell takes your fancy.
I know: not very philosophical and maybe therefore with an outside chance of being right 😉
[I am sorry, you’ll need to learn German or find an official translation to appreciate it thoroughly, which is kind of fitting, in a way.]
[Whilst writing this I was listening to Dwight Yoakam, Blame the Vain.]