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490. Gathering together (XIII)

If you encounter anyone influenced by Nietzsche they will almost always say, “I’m not a Nietzschean. There is no such thing as a Nietzschean. At most, you could say I am inspired by Nietzsche.” This statement arises due to the way Nietzsche’s philosophy works. Since Nietzsche damns the herd, anyone who follows him fears to be in any group whatsoever—particularly a group of Nietzscheans. The message Nietzsche delivers is for each man to follow his instincts, intuitions, and intellect—particularly his instincts, his bodily gut feelings—and develop his capacity for action to the greatest extent possible without regard to conventional morality, even if that sets him against common opinion. As such, asks the man-who-is-not-a-Nietzschean, how could I be “a Nietzschean”?

The error comes about due to their fear that they will be in a “new herd”, the herd of Nietzscheans. So they focus on the outcome from adherence to Nietzsche’s advice—their individuality, their instincts and capabilities—and so assert their uniqueness. Yet, of course, the metarule is what makes them a Nietzschean, not particular outcomes. A Nietzschean is someone who follows Nietzsche’s advice to be loyal to their own instincts—their own perspective—and develop their capacity for action without regard to conventional morality. The outcomes from this advice might be slightly different, but the injunction that they follow is the same—and that is what makes them a Nietzschean.

In a sense, they have not followed Nietzsche well enough; to really follow Nietzsche a man would have to follow is own instincts, even if they revolted against Nietzsche—to then dispense with Nietzsche would be very Nietzschean; actually, for many Nietzscheans it is all an intellectual exercise—and hence they fear to become “herd” because “herd” equals “bad” for Nietzsche, although they really do bleat in unison, “God is dead, slave morality, fear the herd.” This is because Nietzsche is mostly absorbed intellectually or as a “cool stance” and rarely does he permeate to the depth that the person who reads him realises that if he is instinctually revolted by something in Nietzsche then he should reject it—rather, Nietzsche is swallowed whole.

If you follow Nietzsche’s injunction to just follow your instincts and intuitions and develop your capacity for action you will find yourself in a new herd, and this is because most men are average; strip away the priestly concordance—whether Christianity or the mass media—and let men use their own instincts and judgements and it will turn out that they roughly like and desire the same things; you get a rough emergent order based on instinct, intuition, and bodily strength. The new herd is more vital than the old herd, but it is still a herd.

Only a few men, the extraordinary men, when released from “herd morality” will unveil remarkable perspectives completely outside the bounds of what most men really want. These individuals will perhaps be destroyers (serial killers) or great creators (composers and artists), yet they will still be Nietzscheans if they act under the master’s injunction to follow their own instincts.

So there are Nietzscheans, they are fully recognisable; they are just so allergic to the herd that they fear to be classified as “Nietzscheans”; yet the attitude only comes about from an overly intellectual approach to Nietzsche—and even the man who rejects Nietzsche in part under Nietzsche’s injunction to reject what weakens him is still a Nietzschean, and really a Nietzschean in the truest sense. Besides, it is all somewhat fallacious; just because a person can be classified as a kind does not mean he is in a herd—just as individual lions are proud, not of the herd; and just as to say several men are strong does not make them a herd, either. Anyway, it is safe to say there is such a thing as “a Nietzschean” and the easiest way to recognise one is that they will say, “I’m not a Nietzschean—I’m inspired by Nietzsche, perhaps…I reject the herd.”

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