The Definition of Power and how we should live

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Maxcady10001
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Re: The Definition of Power and how we should live

Post by Maxcady10001 » January 17th, 2018, 3:29 pm

although a pimp may in fact desire growth

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Re: The Definition of Power and how we should live

Post by Freudian Monkey » January 17th, 2018, 3:43 pm

Dlaw wrote:
January 17th, 2018, 2:37 pm

Well, isn't it easier just to decide that Power is an illusion and all these ways we have of chasing this chimera are ultimately futile?
We are not speaking about the same concept, so I dunno if we can have a meaningful conversation.

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Re: The Definition of Power and how we should live

Post by Belindi » January 17th, 2018, 7:14 pm

Freudian Monkey wrote:
January 17th, 2018, 2:32 pm
I've noticed something interesting while being around an old land lady who's dementia is getting worse every day. The worse her memory gets, the more she clings to all her possessions. Some days she does nothing else but walk around her house and makes sure that everything is in the right place. I understand that this kind of behavior is tied to her sense of security and that gradually losing one's memory can cause tremendous feeling of insecurity, and making sure everything is in place is a way of making sure that you're not insane and that everything is as it should be. However I can't help but feel that this kind of behavior also tells something about our relationship with Power.

Power has everything to do with being in control. When dementia is gradually degenerating one's memory, this takes away a very essential and fundamental form of control that we always take for granted. When we notice our memory fading and that we're losing control, we cling to all the other power sources we have in order to compensate that loss of power. Many old people cling to their children for support. Many cling to their material possessions, no matter how insignificant. Many turn to God in their old age for the ultimate (imaginary) power source and to gain a support network among believers.

The loss of Power is always frightening, but we all need to get used to it sooner or later.
That's revealing. Let's substitute 'control' for 'power'. To be controlled by others has social causes.

Over-powerful elite group that controls through fear, lies, materialistic rewards and their seductive advertising .Beware the right wing government.

Loss of physical strength. The hospital patient is traditionally subservient mostly because she can give nothing in return.

Loss of ascribed status. The old person in developed capitalist societies cannot achieve wealth and where the young don't ascribe value to the old person.

Lack of hope i.e. control over one's future. When jobs are completely insecure and uncertain even from hour to hour it's impossible to plan a future. Lack of hope also affects slaves and quasi slaves such as abused wives and children.

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Re: The Definition of Power and how we should live

Post by Fooloso4 » January 17th, 2018, 9:54 pm

I just started reading this thread and would like to add a few comments. I am going to limit it to comments from the first couple of pages for the sake of brevity.

Freudian Monkey:
In my view, this is exactly what Nietzsche calls POWER. Power is simply a being's ability to influence it's internal and external reality.
As I understand it, it is not simply the ability to influence but is a matter of self-overcoming. Consider the fact that the powerless also influence their internal and external reality. But as Nietzsche says with regard to Christian slave morality a weakness can become a terrible strength.

Maxcady10001:
Nietzsche believed in a new master race comprised of men of the higher type from different races. He believed in an aristocracy of higher men that would rule the masses of the world.
This is what Nietzsche says the philosopher has always done. They are the true rulers and legislators.

Freudian Monkey:
Although Nietzsche’s superman leaders wouldn’t perhaps have been philosophers in Plato’s sense of the word.
Nietzsche held Plato in the highest regard. It was, after all, Plato who wielded the greatest power of Western man. It was Plato who shaped the heart, spirit, and mind of man. It was Plato who taught the philosopher and thus philosophy how to survive, that is to say, escape the fate of Socrates. Nietzsche’s own art of writing makes it clear that he thought the skill of hiding what is saying while allowing it to be seen by the reader with the requisite art of reading.
Of all that is written, I love only what a person hath written with his blood. Write with blood, and thou wilt find that blood is spirit.
It is no easy task to understand unfamiliar blood; I hate the reading idlers.
He who knoweth the reader, doeth nothing more for the reader. Another century of readers—and spirit itself will stink.
Every one being allowed to learn to read, ruineth in the long run not only writing but also thinking.
Once spirit was God, then it became man, and now it even becometh populace.
He that writeth in blood and proverbs doth not want to be read, but learnt by heart. (Zarathustra, “On Reading and Writing”)
Consideration of the art of writing raises a problem with reading WTP. As was mentioned, it is a collection of notes rather than a composed whole.

Maxcady10001:
Nietzsche's section on knowledge as the will to power, consists of his refutation of metaphysical principles.

Isn’t the will to power a metaphysical principle? Some commentators view it in light of what Nietzsche says about the need and usefulness of religion, that is, they view the will to power as Nietzsche’s mythology. One might say, a powerful mythology. As he learned from Plato, the creation of a mythology can be the the ultimate instrument of power.

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Re: The Definition of Power and how we should live

Post by Maxcady10001 » January 17th, 2018, 10:59 pm

Fooloso4

That is an area that I am still thinking about, whether the will to power is metaphysical, because i've read short essays and other pdf's and stuff that claim it is, however they never explain why they think it is metaphysical, this seems to be an accepted assumption.

I don't see how it could be called metaphysical, when he uses only natural forces, and posits nothing transcendental. Is a universal explanation considered metaphysical? Would you consider the idea of everything always becoming a metaphysical idea? There is nothing transcendental in that, only the observation of our apparent reality. He proposes no ultimate reality or purpose.

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Re: The Definition of Power and how we should live

Post by Freudian Monkey » January 18th, 2018, 3:23 am

Belindi wrote:
January 17th, 2018, 7:14 pm

That's revealing. Let's substitute 'control' for 'power'. To be controlled by others has social causes.

Over-powerful elite group that controls through fear, lies, materialistic rewards and their seductive advertising .Beware the right wing government.

Loss of physical strength. The hospital patient is traditionally subservient mostly because she can give nothing in return.

Loss of ascribed status. The old person in developed capitalist societies cannot achieve wealth and where the young don't ascribe value to the old person.

Lack of hope i.e. control over one's future. When jobs are completely insecure and uncertain even from hour to hour it's impossible to plan a future. Lack of hope also affects slaves and quasi slaves such as abused wives and children.
Well, this is a very leftist narrative of Power in a society, but Power is indeed all these things. You really stroke at the core of how the lack of Power is always connotatively linked to death. The lack of control always threatens us of annihilation. The lack of control limits our actions, almost like it's putting handcuffs on us. The loss of control is a process of diminishing and withering, just like death.

Power is a very broad concept, encompassing everything from plants reaching out for sunlight in order to grow, the acts of breathing and the blinking of an eye, individual reading a book in order to get a degree, the act of bullying at school, a labor movement marching on the streets to protest low wages etc. Every action of a living organism is an expression of Power and every action that's directed towards self-growth (OR acquisition of Power OR gaining control over one's internal and external reality, these are all just synonyms, really) is an expression of Will to Power. This is how I see it. Does this definition make any sense?

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Re: The Definition of Power and how we should live

Post by Belindi » January 18th, 2018, 5:30 am

Freudian Monkey wrote:
January 18th, 2018, 3:23 am
Belindi wrote:
January 17th, 2018, 7:14 pm

That's revealing. Let's substitute 'control' for 'power'. To be controlled by others has social causes.

Over-powerful elite group that controls through fear, lies, materialistic rewards and their seductive advertising .Beware the right wing government.

Loss of physical strength. The hospital patient is traditionally subservient mostly because she can give nothing in return.

Loss of ascribed status. The old person in developed capitalist societies cannot achieve wealth and where the young don't ascribe value to the old person.

Lack of hope i.e. control over one's future. When jobs are completely insecure and uncertain even from hour to hour it's impossible to plan a future. Lack of hope also affects slaves and quasi slaves such as abused wives and children.
Well, this is a very leftist narrative of Power in a society, but Power is indeed all these things. You really stroke at the core of how the lack of Power is always connotatively linked to death. The lack of control always threatens us of annihilation. The lack of control limits our actions, almost like it's putting handcuffs on us. The loss of control is a process of diminishing and withering, just like death.

Power is a very broad concept, encompassing everything from plants reaching out for sunlight in order to grow, the acts of breathing and the blinking of an eye, individual reading a book in order to get a degree, the act of bullying at school, a labor movement marching on the streets to protest low wages etc. Every action of a living organism is an expression of Power and every action that's directed towards self-growth (OR acquisition of Power OR gaining control over one's internal and external reality, these are all just synonyms, really) is an expression of Will to Power. This is how I see it. Does this definition make any sense?
Freudian Monkey, you express it almost perfectly. Your reference to death brings the debate to the nature of the living animal or plant who strives to stay as alive as possible sometimes in very adverse circumstances.

Now that we are at the core of the nature of power the next topic that comes to mind is how power should be justly distributed in a society.

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Re: The Definition of Power and how we should live

Post by Freudian Monkey » January 18th, 2018, 9:29 am

Belindi wrote:
January 18th, 2018, 5:30 am

Now that we are at the core of the nature of power the next topic that comes to mind is how power should be justly distributed in a society.
This is a very complicated questions. I think it mostly depend on the values a society wants to adopt. I don't think the nature of Power in itself gives us any kind of guideline on who a society should be organized. Whether we value strength and efficiency of a society or the equality and personal liberty of it's citizens, the answer would certainly look very different.

The only suggestion I would perhaps make would be for a society to try to find a balance between the individual and communal Power of it's citizens. This would mean a society where all individuals in a society could strife to empower themselves but that would also encourage them to invest into the social and communal capital of the society. Both individual and communal Power are required to create a functional society. I consider a dictatorship to be only barely a functional society, since it's citizens don't participate to it voluntarily and therefore the citizens don't use their Power to advance the cause of the society but rather to advance their own and their families interests. This is very apparent in a society like Pakistan, that I've come to know rather well over the years: no one there cares about paying taxes or improving their community's infrastructure, because the society doesn't reciprocate their contributions.

So perhaps this could be at least one rule for building a society that takes into consideration our discovery about the nature of Power: a society must reciprocate and engage with it's citizens to built strong social and communal capital. Otherwise the society is very likely to experience discontent and division among it's citizens, that will lead to strikes, riots, rebellions and civil wars. Does this make sense?

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Re: The Definition of Power and how we should live

Post by Freudian Monkey » January 18th, 2018, 11:29 am

Fooloso4 wrote:
January 17th, 2018, 9:54 pm
Freudian Monkey:

In my view, this is exactly what Nietzsche calls POWER. Power is simply a being's ability to influence it's internal and external reality.

As I understand it, it is not simply the ability to influence but is a matter of self-overcoming. Consider the fact that the powerless also influence their internal and external reality. But as Nietzsche says with regard to Christian slave morality a weakness can become a terrible strength.
I think you're talking about multiple different concepts here. With regards to self-overcoming, I agree with you. I see self-overcoming as an expression of Will to Power and every living being is more or less driven by this desire. Self-overcoming is the means for gaining control over one's internal and external reality, because there's no other reason for self-overcoming than Power acquisition.

When you speak of powerless people, this is where I think the concepts get confused. If you agree with the definition of Power we've established on this thread, there's no such thing as a powerless person. Only a corpse is a powerless person, because life itself is Power. The ability to cause any change in one's internal reality (for instance, a thought) or external reality (for instance, the act of drawing breath) is a sign of Power, or an act that requires Power.

What Nietzsche meant by weakness in this context refers to the collective power of the oppressed. We've actually talked a fair bit about oppression on this thread already. The weak that Nietzsche is talking about here are in fact tremendously strong when they combine their Power in a joint effort to make changes to their external reality. So this weakness you refer to in your comment has nothing to do with the complete absence of Power, which is synonymous to death.
Fooloso4 wrote:
January 17th, 2018, 9:54 pm

Nietzsche held Plato in the highest regard. It was, after all, Plato who wielded the greatest power of Western man. It was Plato who shaped the heart, spirit, and mind of man. It was Plato who taught the philosopher and thus philosophy how to survive, that is to say, escape the fate of Socrates. Nietzsche’s own art of writing makes it clear that he thought the skill of hiding what is saying while allowing it to be seen by the reader with the requisite art of reading.
Perhaps I spoke too hastily then. How would you describe Nietzsche's ideal philosophers? Does it come close to Plato's teachings?
Fooloso4 wrote:
January 17th, 2018, 9:54 pm
Isn’t the will to power a metaphysical principle? Some commentators view it in light of what Nietzsche says about the need and usefulness of religion, that is, they view the will to power as Nietzsche’s mythology. One might say, a powerful mythology. As he learned from Plato, the creation of a mythology can be the the ultimate instrument of power.
I don't want to venture too deep into metaphysics while discussing about the nature of Power, since it's way too easy to get tangled into abstract concepts and even more abstract arguments while dealing with it. But I think Power is a concept that deals with metaphysics, or more specifically, with ontology. On this thread we have already made many ontological claims. If Nietzsche's concept of Power is similar to what we've been discussing here, then I presume Nietzsche also considered Will to Power to deal with metaphysics.

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Re: The Definition of Power and how we should live

Post by Dlaw » January 18th, 2018, 12:44 pm

Belindi wrote:
January 15th, 2018, 7:12 pm
Dlaw wrote:
January 15th, 2018, 5:35 pm


Of course. Calvinism was basically invented to make the argument that the new middle class - churchmen and laity - deserved a higher status in society than aristocrats and the Church hierarchy.

Money was clearly a distinguishing factor there.
Is your claim an instance of how each and every successful institution in a society is a necessary part of the whole power structure?
philosopher Simon Blackburn, structuralism is "the belief that phenomena of human life are not intelligible except through their interrelations. These relations constitute a structure, and behind local variations in the surface phenomena there are constant laws of abstract culture".[1]


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https://finland.fi/life-society/the-key ... s-success/
Huh, well, I don't think I'm making an argument about structures (or structured structures) here. I'm talking about an idea - a phenomenon of culture and language. Calvin's "Elect", Nietzsche's "Power" and Anarcho-Capitalism's "Merit" are all basically the same idea, and each follows from the previous.

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Re: The Definition of Power and how we should live

Post by Belindi » January 18th, 2018, 2:22 pm

Freudian Monkey wrote:
January 18th, 2018, 9:29 am
Belindi wrote:
January 18th, 2018, 5:30 am

Now that we are at the core of the nature of power the next topic that comes to mind is how power should be justly distributed in a society.
This is a very complicated questions. I think it mostly depend on the values a society wants to adopt. I don't think the nature of Power in itself gives us any kind of guideline on who a society should be organized. Whether we value strength and efficiency of a society or the equality and personal liberty of it's citizens, the answer would certainly look very different.

The only suggestion I would perhaps make would be for a society to try to find a balance between the individual and communal Power of it's citizens. This would mean a society where all individuals in a society could strife to empower themselves but that would also encourage them to invest into the social and communal capital of the society. Both individual and communal Power are required to create a functional society. I consider a dictatorship to be only barely a functional society, since it's citizens don't participate to it voluntarily and therefore the citizens don't use their Power to advance the cause of the society but rather to advance their own and their families interests. This is very apparent in a society like Pakistan, that I've come to know rather well over the years: no one there cares about paying taxes or improving their community's infrastructure, because the society doesn't reciprocate their contributions.

So perhaps this could be at least one rule for building a society that takes into consideration our discovery about the nature of Power: a society must reciprocate and engage with it's citizens to built strong social and communal capital. Otherwise the society is very likely to experience discontent and division among it's citizens, that will lead to strikes, riots, rebellions and civil wars. Does this make sense?
My black highlight

Yes, true, and also poor health among among the people.

Like the need for control, so any individual needs to feel a sense of community. Both of those are biologically fixed through ages of evolution and are mutually compatible. More, the sense of community and the feeling of control mutually augment each other .The life -giving psychological needs of community and control of future events are not permitted by the capitalist ethic of individualism because it's hierarchical and all those years after the industrial revolution still chains human beings to the pace of the machine.

School starts comparatively late in Finland, at the age of seven. According to Finnish educational practice, children need time and space to grow and develop. Learning utilises a sensitive period in children’s lives and encourages their thinking and creativity. During the early school years, families receive verbal feedback on the child’s schoolwork.

In early childhood years, children enjoy the care and nurture of their parents. Kids also participate in group activities at daycare: play, sports and outdoor activities. Parents of young children are ensured long periods of maternity and parental leave. Families can also choose between municipal and private daycare centres, or opt for small group daycare in a child carer’s home.


Extended parenting time like in Finland can't be done in floridly capitalist societies where the pace of work and long hours of work mean that parents have to curtail time spent with their children.

I hope there will be some influence from good Pakistanis that will get rid of corruption and set a standard for community consciousness. I fear that the capitalist ethic won't do it. I just read "And the Mountains Echoed"(Husseini) about Afghanistan where a part of the aftermath of conflict is the capitalist corruption of wealth from narcotics together with the rape of old village communities.

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Re: The Definition of Power and how we should live

Post by Fooloso4 » January 18th, 2018, 3:13 pm

Maxcady10001:
I don't see how it could be called metaphysical, when he uses only natural forces, and posits nothing transcendental.
Not metaphysical in the sense of transcendent but what is fundamental:
And do you know what “the world” is to me? Shall I show it to you in my mirror? This world: a monster of energy, without
beginning, without end; a firm, iron magnitude of force that does not grow bigger or smaller, that does not expend itself but only transforms itself; as a whole, of unalterable size, a household with- out expenses or losses, but likewise without increase or income; enclosed by “nothingness” as by a boundary; not something blurry or wasted, not something endlessly extended, but set in a definite space as a definite force, and not a space that might be “empty” here or there, but rather as force throughout, as a play of forces and waves of forces, at the same time one and many, increasing here and at the same time decreasing there; a sea of forces flowing and rushing together, eternally changing, eternally flooding back, with tremendous years of recurrence, with an ebb and a flood of its forms; out of the simplest forms striving toward the most complex, out of the stillest, most rigid, coldest forms toward the hottest, most turbulent, most self-contradictory, and then again returning home to the simple out ofthis abundance, out of the play of contradictions back to the joy of concord, still affirming itself in this uniformity of its courses and its years, blessing itself as that which must return eternally, as a becoming that knows no satiety, no disgust, no weariness: this, my Dionysian world of the eternally self-creating, the eternally self-destroying, this mystery world of the twofold voluptuous delight, my “beyond good and evil,” without goal, unless the joy of the circle is itself a goal; without will,unless a ring feels good will toward itself — do you want a name for this world? A solution for all its riddles? A light for you, too, you best-concealed, strongest, most intrepid, most midnightly men? — This world is the will to power — and nothing besides ! And you yourselves are also this will to power — and nothing besides! (WTP 1067)
It addresses matters found in traditional metaphysics - beginning and end, limits, fixity and change, simplicity and complexity, eternity, theology (Dionysius, a god who philosophizes - that is, does not know),creation, and good and evil.

The will to power must be understood in response to the problem of nihilism. Nihilism is deadly (what he calls somewhere a deadly truth). It is in the service of life and man that he creates a new metaphysics, a new mythology, a new religion. It is an act of the will to power.

Freudian Monkey:
Self-overcoming is the means for gaining control over one's internal and external reality, because there's no other reason for self-overcoming than Power acquisition.
I think it may be the other way around, gaining control over one’s internal and external reality is an act of self-overcoming.
If power has been attained over nature, one can employ this power in the further free development of oneself: will to power as self-elevation and strengthening.(403)
Freudian Monkey:
If you agree with the definition of Power we've established on this thread, there's no such thing as a powerless person.
I do not mean the inability to do anything at all but with regard to the will to power it is not simply to affect change but specific change, to do or accomplish what one sets out to do, directed toward some end. A dead body can “influence reality”. A living person can intend one thing but do another. If I intend to make dinner but only succeed at making a mess I have caused a change, but shown myself to be incapable or powerless with regard to making dinner. A plant that withers and dies creates change but this is not an example of the will to power, quite the opposite. A plant that is able to thrive even in adverse conditions is an example of the will to power.
What Nietzsche meant by weakness in this context refers to the collective power of the oppressed.
Inwardness is not the power of a collective. It develops in response to the (relative) powerlessness of both the individuals and the group.
The weak that Nietzsche is talking about here are in fact tremendously strong when they combine their Power in a joint effort to make changes to their external reality.


What I have in mind is the discussion of slave morality in the Genealogy of Morals. It is not simply a matter of strength in numbers. The strength derives from bringing about inward rather than outward change. The Christian martyr's power stems from his or her powerlessness against the force of the Roman Empire.
How would you describe Nietzsche's ideal philosophers?
A sovereign, self-determined individual. A legislator and ruler of oneself and others. Those who shape the heart, spirit, and mind of mankind.
Does it come close to Plato's teachings?
Which of Plato’s teachings? The teaching for the philosophical dogs of the Republic? The obviously public exoteric teaching of a transcendent reality that pretends to be a hidden esoteric teaching? It is said that Socrates spoke differently to different men. This, Plato saw, is as it should be, but the difficulty is how to do that with the written word. Plato, contra Socrates, chose to write.

I would say that yes it does, but to understand this would require that one understand what Nietzsche means when he says that when it comes to Plato he is a complete skeptic. Along those lines I will say only that both Plato and Nietzsche were skeptics.

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Re: The Definition of Power and how we should live

Post by Freudian Monkey » January 18th, 2018, 5:53 pm

Fooloso4 wrote:
January 18th, 2018, 3:13 pm

Freudian Monkey wrote:Self-overcoming is the means for gaining control over one's internal and external reality, because there's no other reason for self-overcoming than Power acquisition.
I think it may be the other way around, gaining control over one’s internal and external reality is an act of self-overcoming.
It's getting rather late here and I don't have time to write a thorough response today, but I try to get started today and continue tomorrow, since you've raised some very interesting questions.

What is the ultimate goal of Will to Power that drives us? Is it simply to succeed at whatever personal goals we have (self-overcoming) or is it to gain control over our internal and external reality? I tend to think it's the latter. Especially if we see Power as a force of nature, an unchanging law of the cosmos. So doesn't it then follow that self-overcoming is merely something related to the ultimate end-goal rather than the goal itself?
Fooloso4 wrote:
January 18th, 2018, 3:13 pm
Freudian Monkey wrote:If you agree with the definition of Power we've established on this thread, there's no such thing as a powerless person.
I do not mean the inability to do anything at all but with regard to the will to power it is not simply to affect change but specific change, to do or accomplish what one sets out to do, directed toward some end. A dead body can “influence reality”. A living person can intend one thing but do another. If I intend to make dinner but only succeed at making a mess I have caused a change, but shown myself to be incapable or powerless with regard to making dinner. A plant that withers and dies creates change but this is not an example of the will to power, quite the opposite. A plant that is able to thrive even in adverse conditions is an example of the will to power.
I forgot to mention another important part of our definition of Power: not only is it an ability to cause change, but also an ability to
the ability to prevent change. If a plant dies, it is not causing change to it's external reality, but something else (lack of water, nutrition or sunlight) is causing undesired change to the plant. When a corpse is floating around in a river and bumping to other objects, it's an inanimate object that's operating under the laws of physics. It doesn't have any Power. A corpse doesn't desire to change it's internal or external reality, but a plant does. This is why I believe Power and Will to Power to be properties of living organisms. However I'm willing to change my views if you bring up a better interpretation. :)
Fooloso4 wrote:
January 18th, 2018, 3:13 pm
Freudian Monkey wrote:What Nietzsche meant by weakness in this context refers to the collective power of the oppressed.
Inwardness is not the power of a collective. It develops in response to the (relative) powerlessness of both the individuals and the group.
Can you perhaps clarify this a bit further? How is inwardness related to the powerlessness? Are you implying that oppressed (=powerless) people cannot form strong social groups but will unavoidably become socially isolated? What about American black communities during the days of Dr. King?

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Re: The Definition of Power and how we should live

Post by Fooloso4 » January 18th, 2018, 9:58 pm

Freudian Monkey:
What is the ultimate goal of Will to Power that drives us? Is it simply to succeed at whatever personal goals we have (self-overcoming) or is it to gain control over our internal and external reality? I tend to think it's the latter. Especially if we see Power as a force of nature, an unchanging law of the cosmos. So doesn't it then follow that self-overcoming is merely something related to the ultimate end-goal rather than the goal itself?
Zarathustra:
Behold, I teach you the overman. Man is something that shall be overcome. What have you done to overcome him?… All beings so far have created something beyond themselves; and do you want to be the ebb of this great flood, and even go back to the beasts rather than overcome man? What is ape to man? A laughing stock or painful embarrassment. And man shall be that to overman: a laughingstock or painful embarrassment. You have made your way from worm to man, and much in you is still worm. Once you were apes, and even now, too, man is more ape than any ape... The overman is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the overman shall be the meaning of the earth... Man is a rope, tied between beast and overman—a rope over an abyss … what is great in man is that he is a bridge and not an end.


FM:
If a plant dies, it is not causing change to it's external reality, but something else (lack of water, nutrition or sunlight) is causing undesired change to the plant.


Right, but with regard to the will to power the plant the goal is to conquer the environment, in it fullness to thrive in an environment that is in general inhospitable to plants. What is not desired the will overcomes or is powerless to overcome what causes undesirable change to it. It might be objected that this is to anthropomorphize. I agree. We must recognize that Nietzsche’s understanding of nature is a human understanding. Nature is not ‘a thing in itself’. All human knowledge is for Nietzsche relational.

Note above how the overman is the meaning of the earth.
When a corpse is floating around in a river and bumping to other objects, it's an inanimate object that's operating under the laws of physics. It doesn't have any Power.
That is my point. Bumping into things, clogging an outlet, getting run over by a boat, it causes change but the body has no power. The change from state A to B is not in this case the result of the will to power. The same holds if instead of a dead body it is a person who cannot swim. He or she is powerless with regard to bringing about a change in accord with their aims.
This is why I believe Power and Will to Power to be properties of living organisms.
I am not sure that property is the right term, but I think you have missed what I am trying to get at, which is that the will to power is not simply about change from one state to another but is intentional or directed change, and further that it is about change as an overcoming (but that is not to say that all intentional change is a matter of self-overcoming).
Can you perhaps clarify this a bit further? How is inwardness related to the powerlessness?
As I mentioned this is from ,Genealogy of Morals. The Christians were powerless against the Roman Empire. They turned their will inward because they could not change outward circumstances. They not only accepted their suffering they willed it. Martyrdom become their road to salvation. They developed an inward discipline. Those things that were the master morality’s sign of power, those things the powerless were incapable of doing, became things they forbid themselves, sins. Their natural impulses were suppressed. They developed the power of self-denial, which became the means of their self-overcoming.
Are you implying that oppressed (=powerless) people cannot form strong social groups but will unavoidably become socially isolated?
No. Quite the opposite. The persecuted Christians were further unified against those who opposed them.

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Freudian Monkey
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Re: The Definition of Power and how we should live

Post by Freudian Monkey » January 19th, 2018, 1:18 am

Just a quick reply before I have to get going. I will reply more thoroughly later.
Fooloso4 wrote:
January 18th, 2018, 9:58 pm

That is my point. Bumping into things, clogging an outlet, getting run over by a boat, it causes change but the body has no power. The change from state A to B is not in this case the result of the will to power. The same holds if instead of a dead body it is a person who cannot swim. He or she is powerless with regard to bringing about a change in accord with their aims.
I think you raised a valid problem in our definition. Change happens in nature without Will to Power. But I'm still not sure if what you suggest about a person's inability to swim is something similar to the lack of intention in changes happening in nature. But you are correct about the need to refine our definition in some way to take into consideration the unintentional changes occurring in nature. Perhaps we can just conclude that changes happening unintentionally in nature are not part of the concept of Power, but that all changes brought upon intentionally by a living being can be considered Power usage and are (or at least can be) driven by Will to Power? Viewed like this unintentional changes caused by individuals due to lack of skill or accidents can be viewed as failures to initiate intended changes to external reality.

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