Raskolnikov was not an ubermensch precisely because he was concerned with being an ubermensch. This may seem a bit strange but it is in the very nature of the ubermensch to not try to be anything. I don’t think Nietzhe himself – great philosopher though he was – fully realized this.
The ubermensch is the ideal of a free man. If a man is trying to be something – that is restricting and determining his behavior based upon a principle that is outside of him – then he is not free. This principle includes such things as Man with a capital “M”.
In fact this is the problem with most ethical theories. They forget that it is only the individual who feels. A collection of individuals does not “feel” in the sense that an individual feels. To suppress the individual for a higher principle is pointless; the “higher principle” doesn’t care that it is being fulfilled.
Ultimately it is the feeling of individuals that validates any ideal or principle no matter how far removed that principle is from the individual. Say there is a striving towards an ordered society committed by a group of devout mathematicians. There rhetoric would say that they are acting because order is better than disorder. They would try to claim that order is the value of worth. But the reason why order is seen as valuable is because certain people would feel a sense of satisfaction at bringing this order about. That they would sit back, look upon the order and say “that is good”. That is to say that “order” would serve as a cause for their satisfaction and their satisfaction – despite their propaganda – is the real reason they were doing anything. It is the satisfaction that gives significance to anything. This satisfaction is caused by different things in different people thus satisfaction is the absolute!
It seems that when you follow the rabbit tunnel of blame all the way down to the bottom you always end up facing the fat-man in a nice suit with a top hat that is the icon of the capitalist system.
For instance, immigrants. You see a lot of the working-class yob lot getting irate about the influx of immigrants. They say that because of immigrants there are less jobs and the jobs that are there are less well paid. A lot of this crowd actually believe they are giving voice to their own opinions, that they are going out and expressing themselves for freedom.
One thing they never do though is ask questions!
They don’t ask why people are coming into England. Sure they say that they come here because it is better than where-ever the immigrants are coming from but that’s a truism. Why is it better here? Or – a more relevant question – why is it shit there? Answer: because of the employers.
Why do wages decrease when there are more people looking for them? The common propaganda put out there is that of market forces. They say that wages decrease with the increase in the supply of labor because of supply and demand in much the same way that they say apples fall to the ground because of gravity. They try and make us forget that there was actually a person – or group of people – who deliberately and consciously decided to pay people less for their labor whilst simultaneously increasing the cost of the product that very labor is producing. The law of supply and demand is merely a facile excuse to fleece the brain-washed working class.
They also use competition to justify their actions! I would have a competitive edge on my opponent (and any opponent that came after him) if I killed him in a painful and public manner. Does that mean it’s fine for me to do so? Of course not. Yet it’s fine for companies to consistently year on year lower the living standards of their employees for that reason.
On the one hand you have a normal person from a 3rd world country working his ass off for just enough to live a life of malnutrition in a country with rules designed to oppress and keep him scared at the level of subsistence. On the other you have a fat capitalist wanker stood atop a skyscraper increasing his earnings from an amount that supports a ludicrously luxurious life-style filled with jet planes to one with a few more jet-planes and he brings about this increase by decreasing the earnings of men who live in penury. Who do the thick-headed, blind, spoon-fed dribbling masses execrate? The starving immigrant who’s suffered horrendous trials and tribulations to get here that’s who!
They don’t realize that we are literally at war. The relationship between master and slave is conflict. If you don’t think this is the case then why would anyone fight for freedom (which is the state of not being a slave)? Are we not slaves who get wages instead of food and shelter? Is this situation not made more blatant with the decrease in real wages year on year (taking into account inflation – how much meat can you get for a quid?)
I think most of us function on a plane where we are deeply concerned with how other people perceive us. I include myself within this category of people but never-the-less I believe it is deeply stupid and life destroying to be concerned with how other people perceive us.
We have this image in our mind that we think is a good person, a person other people will respect, will look up to, will applaud. There isn’t just one image that fulfills this slot; there are many. We select one of these images when we are among certain people and try to convince those people that we are that image.
This is obviously life destroying because the image is made up of motivations, beliefs and to some extent a life story which is not our own. This means that in order to fulfill the image I must deny my own motivations, beliefs and life story. In order to fulfill the image I must falsify myself.
Like most things of this sort when looked at it appears absurd, it appears silly. It is; it does not conform to rational standards. Never the less it is powerful because it is sub-conscious. It’s not as if we are there consciously saying to ourselves “This group of people admire these qualities which are fulfilled in this image. A person who conformed to this image would behave like this. I will now behave in that manner.” Instead it is a sub-conscious process. Instead of words there are feelings such as shame, guilt, pleasure and so on that are far more compelling than words can ever be. In fact the power of words does not lie in the words themselves but in the feelings those words translate into upon our reception of them. It almost seems like any power consciousness may have is derived from it’s own sublimation into the unconscious. That in order for something to be efficacious on a psychical level it must be unconscious. Just ask a drug addict how effective the words “I will not give in” are!
Of course this is the mechanism manipulated by society to control its individual components. These images used to be produced through social interactions among people in a village. That is to say the ideal images would be constructed through looking at the reactions of a small number of people. That is no longer the case. Now these images are given to us – we no longer construct them ourselves – by forms of media. Now we attempt to conform ourselves to characters from books and movies. Just look at the way in which characters from sit-coms become types and how people ask other people what character they are.
The hatred that is directed towards people on benefits by those in the working class shows the level to which the working class man has been brain-washed by the corporate controlled media (read propaganda) outlets.
The working man is in a situation that causes him great frustration. It is necessary that he be frustrated because if he wasn’t frustrated he wouldn’t work. That is to say he works for an end, to be frustrated means not to have achieved that end and he works precisely to achieve that end. If a man achieved the end he was working towards then he would have no reason to work. Therefore it is necessary that he be given enough to whet his appetite but not enough to satiate him.
The cause of his frustration is his work, his lack of funds and lack of financial stability. None of these things are caused by people on benefits. They are the result of him not being paid the full value of his labor. They are the result of the deliberate actions of the executive bodies of corporate companies and a result of the very structure of the commercial system.
Despite this his ire is not directed towards the causes of his frustration; rather they are directed towards inconsequential peripheries.
It’s really quite diabolical (in a sense that deserves admiration and wonder) the way in which the powers that be have gained control over the working man. Not only have they taken away from him any effective means to produce change but they have made it so that the change he seeks to produce – even if he were successful – would not do anything to alleviate his frustration. In fact often it would do the very opposite.
If the aim of the common working man in regards to people on benefits were achieved it would make the working man’s lot worse because it would increase the supply of labor which decreases its value. In fact this is the reason given by most working-class people against immigration. People come over, flood the labor market and reduce wages…. what difference is there between people on benefits entering the labor market and people from abroad?
This is symptomatic of the stupidity the common man has been brain-washed into.