The Rational Will to Power

Posted by rbroberg 3 years, 7 months ago to Philosophy
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Rand seemed to think Nietzsche had a good thing going with "achievement, ambition". On the other side, did Nietzsche's philosophical structure give license to the National Socialists to commit atrocities unperturbed? Not at all. Nietzsche was expropriated, in the same manner as so much wealth.

The article's section on Kraft versus Macht is critical. Rand's philosophy solved this incomplete duality and gave precedence to Macht in defining her ethics as rational self interest. Self interest: Kraft. Rational: Macht. She was able to define Macht as a necessary pre-condition for Kraft. Kraft without Macht is brute force. Macht without Kraft is total introspection, an impossibility. Thus Nietzsche understood self-interest was a legitimate goal, but was not able to connect it to rationality because of the Cartesian duality issue i.e. consciousness perceives reality, consciousness does not create reality. Rand was able to see Nietzsche through the lens of Aristotle, which enabled her to put existence preceding consciousness. Existence preceding consciousness means Kraft must abide in reality, which places it within the realm of reason (since there can be no connection to reality without reason).
SOURCE URL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will_to_power


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  • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 3 years, 7 months ago
    On the distinction between "Kraft" and "Macht" it is interesting (as I noted above). Another thread is Emile Durkheim's distinction between "organic" and "mechanical" solidarity. I went around and around with a younger colleague who saw those in their modern (21st century millennial) sense and wanted "organic" to be "good" and "mechanical" to be "bad." In fact, from his millennial point of view (as Durkheim intended them originally) mechanical would be good and organic would be bad.

    So, too, with Nietzsche. He embraced Dionysus and called Socrates a life-killer. Of course, if the dichotomy is not to be resolved (or denied), then we would endorse the Socratic inquiry and distance the Dionysian lust. See Rand's essay "Apollo and Dionysus."
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  • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 3 years, 7 months ago
    You can find some interesting ideas in Nietzsche, but mostly they are without proper context and lack a philosophical foundation - even when they are worth exploring on their own. Mostly, Nietzsche is misleading. Like the English utilitarians, Herbert Spencer, Jeremy Bentham, and John Stuart Mill, Nietzsche is not a true individualist because he is not truly rational and real (logical and empirical). We know that Rand was influenced by him in her early life as she sought expressions for the ideas that she was developing. However, she discovered that Nietzsche is a dead end. Another example from the opposite side of the irrational spectrum is Immanuel Kant, who is often presented by mainstream philosophy texts as a champion of rational empiricism and even of individual rights.
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