apparatus of capture, culture, custom, decay, democracy, genealogy, image of thought, individual, instrumentality, Nietzsche, nomad, overman, Politics, power, religion, society, sovereignty, state, unground, universal, universal politics, utopia, war, war machine, warrior, Zarathustra

Nietzsche and the Capture and Domestication of Peoples

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“You shall obey—someone and for a long time: else you will perish and lose the last respect for yourself”—this appears to me to be the moral imperative of nature which, to be sure, is neither “categorical” as the old Kant would have it (hence the “else”) nor addressed to the individual (what do individuals matter to her?), but to peoples, races, ages, classes—but above all to the whole human animal, to man (Beyond Good and Evil, §188).

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custom, force, morality, Nietzsche, Politics, power, society, sovereignty

The Sense for Custom and the Feeling of Power: Nietzsche’s Joyous Denial of the Old Ways

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We should take Nietzsche seriously when he asserts that Daybreak is the work of the subterranean man, one who constantly undermines the foundations of our belief by illuminating the mixed origins from which those beliefs emerge (Preface 1). While Nietzsche indicates briefly that it is the scientist who best represents this figure, the subterranean thinker could stand in general for anyone who conducts thought experiments that examine and dismantle our faith in morality. The active decay of morality also forces us to overcome degenerate artists—like Wagner—who are always trying to persuade us to worship where we no longer believe (Preface 4). Beyond the philosophical pessimisms of Kant, Schopenhauer, and Hegel, Nietzsche aspires in Daybreak to construct a train of thought that affirms a sophisticated immorality through the cultivation of the ability to deny joyously an outworn set of customs.

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Anti-Oedipus, Dumezil, epic, incest, kingly function, mythology, sovereignty, war machine

The Hero and the Kingly Function: Starkadr in Dumezil’s Stakes of the Warrior

There are two versions of the story of Starkadr (Starcatherus), one Latin, the other Old Icelandic. Starkadr is forced into a precarious position, caught between Odin and Thor. Here I will follow the Icelandic tale for concision, only referring to the Latin to offset some details.

In the Icelandic tale there are two Starkadrs—the hero’s grandfather is of the same name. The first Starkadr is a powerful giant and is slain by Thor because the king’s daughter has run away with him. In fact, Thor is upset because she prefers the giant Starkadr to Thor and had consented to leaving. Before the giant is slain, though, the king’s daughter has a child who will be the father of Starkadr.
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