Nietzsche prefers individuals over community. He believes that all effort should be made for the development and growth of individuals and not for the hoard of men called human society. He does not belong to that group of moralists who held the protection of rights and progress of the whole society primary and that of individuals as secondary. Nietzsche held this group of thinkers in contempt as he is an outspoken supporter of the protection of the rights and multi-dimensional growth of individuals.
To community he gives a secondary place because he believes that when the individuals of a community strengthened the whole community will be strengthened. Those communities, he believes, cannot survive for long that care for the whole and not for the individuals. Let us discuss in detail Nietzsche’s vehement support for the primary importance and rights of individuals.
Nietzsche believed that all the powers and toil of humanity should be directed towards the overall development of individual human beings and this work should not be wasted by employing it towards raising the status of the whole human society, for instance he said that it is not mankind but superman is his goal. He even refuses to believe in the concrete existence of a collective human society. He criticizes those who believe in work directed towards the development of society.
Nietzsche believes that society should work only for the individuals, and individuals should not waste their energies for the betterment of societies. According to him those societies waste their existence at all that failed to produce powerful and worthy individuals. Societies should work as machines for polishing the powers and capabilities of individuals. Nietzsche doesn’t want religion of the society to shackle the free spirit of individuals. He wants a free world for the individuals so that there spirits and intellects should grow to the fullest extent completely unrestrained by any narrow-minded views of the society.
That’s the reason he does not look favorably at Christianity and its propagators- the priests. He castigates priesthood and illustrates their depravity in this way; “Behold these huts which these priests built! Churches they call their sweet-smelling caves. Oh, that falsified light! That musty air! Here the soul is not allowed to soar to its height. For thus their faith commands: “Crawl up the stairs on your knees, ye sinners! ””(Nietzsche, 1978. p. 91). He does not want a religion that eats up the rights of individuals.
He wants that kind of social setup and social code of life which offers no resistance to the free life of individuals. Even with regards to morality he does not supports that kind of morality which benefits a community and harms the individual. He wants the ‘will’ of individuals to be strengthened and so does not hate the pleasures of flesh. He does not want man to be afraid of the moral laws of society rather he wants him to be brave, strong and independent. Nietzsche wants his men to live a life that is beyond good and evil. An unfettered life.
He wants his brave independent men to speak and stammer these words; This is my good; this I love; it pleases me wholly; thus alone do I want the good. I do not want it as divine law; I do not want it as human statute and need: it shall not be signpost for me to over earths and paradises. It is an earthly virtue that I love: there is little prudence in it, and least of all the reason of all men. But this bird built its nest with me: therefore I love and caress it; now it dwells with me, sitting on its golden eggs. (Nietzsche, 1978. p. 36).
The life of man, he believes, should not be hindered the strict moral codes made by divinity or community. When the individuals get stronger the society of them will get stronger automatically, this Nietzsche believes. On the other hand if a community kept on giving importance to its well being and not to that of the individuals it will definitely end up in disaster and destruction of both-individual and society. Nietzsche feels that only free men can live and enjoy their lives. The slaves of different passions and laws cannot do that.
In his work, Zarathustra spoke to a youth this way; “You are not yet free, you still search for freedom. You are worn from your search and over awake. You aspire to the free heights, your soul thirsts for the stars. But your wicked instincts, too, thirst for freedom. Your wild dogs want freedom; they bark with joy in their cellar when your spirit plans to open all prisons. To me you are still a prisoner who is plotting his freedom: alas, in such prisoners the soul becomes clever, but also deceitful and bad. And even the liberated spirit must still purify himself.
Much prison and mustiness still remain in him: his eyes must still become pure. ” (Nietzsche, 1978. p. 43) Free men give birth to free communities and slave men gave birth to slave communities, this Nietzsche seems to believe in his seminal work “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”. Nietzsche believes that people should be free to get knowledge and dig out truth for themselves. He hates the people who prefer falsehood for the sake of social good. He says again that, “You have served the people and the superstition of the people, all you famous wise men—and not truth.
And that is precisely why you were accorded respect ……thus the master lets his slaves have their way and is even amused by their pranks” (Nietzsche, 1978. p. 102). He believes that the community does not want to accord people the right to believe in and search the truth “But the free spirit, the enemy of fetters, the non-adorer who dwells in the woods, is as hateful to the people as a wolf to dogs. To hound him out of his lair-that is what the people have ever called ‘a sense of decency’; and against him the people still set their fiercest dogs. ” (Nietzsche, 1978. p. 102)
He believes that only truth seekers and truthful men could live with dignity, “Hungry, violent, lonely, godless: thus the lion-will wants itself. Free from the happiness of slaves, redeemed from gods and adorations, fearless and fear inspiring, great and lonely: such is the will of the truthful. ” (Nietzsche, 1978. p. 103) For those people who don’t have independent thinking minds he spoke angrily in these words, “but in the cities dwell the well-fed, famous wise men- the beasts of burden. For, as asses, they always pull the people’s cart. ” (Nietzsche, 1978. p. 104)
Nietzsche strongly believes that, individuals having independent minds and free-thinking natures raise life to the higher planes of existence; which cannot be done otherwise by slave minds and natures. The community of men will get stronger when the right to search knowledge freely is granted to the individuals and when the individuals themselves struggle to get that right. To sum up, it is stated that Nietzsche is a staunch believer in the rights of individuals. He is one of those thinkers who held the importance of the rights of individual primary and that of community as secondary.
According to him a community will get strengthen only when its citizens get strengthen individually. He believes that these individuals should be allowed to grow and develop themselves completely unfettered by the restrictions of the community. Above mentioned arguments and supported evidence clearly manifest Nietzsche’s philosophical orientation about individuality and individual rights.
Nietzsche, Fredrich. (1978). Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Walter Kaufmann, Trans. ). New York: Random House.
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