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Contains a few Clips from “The Will to Power – The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche” featuring lecturers; Robert Solomon and Kathleen Higgins. All clips in this video were used for the purpose of commentary and are subject to fair use.
What would Friedrich Nietzsche think of Michael Tsarions’ talks about him?
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Michael Tsarion – the guy who is viewed as a resource for Friedrich Nietzsche, caught my attention a few years ago, with his ideas about the migration of races, origins of the human race, a conspiracy about women being the illuminati because it was funny, but for now, we will investigate what kind of insights he has on Nietzsche and the consistent name dropping that slips in underneath the comedy.
I would first like to point out that Tsarion seems to name-drop in his talk a lot, bringing up Christ myth proselytiser, Theosophist and Ariosophist, Alvyn Boyd Khun, who of course uses the same old Platonist Materialism of “The Good” in a hierarchical sense, of which we have covered in other talks on this channel, we have pointed out the problems with these kinds of metaphysical structures, they always seem to conflate the theory of forms with ontology, causation and the Good as an object/objective, an incidental teleology then springs forth that becomes comparative to a non-existent idealism, viewing reality in terms of not what it is, but rather what it ought to be, “ought” being “Aryans” again.
It’s strange how Tsarion claims to have read Nietzsche and Hegel, among many other great thinkers, yet aside from him listing their names without any context as to why they are relevant to his talk, he then claims that Ayn Rand and Boyd Khun, are the greatest of these minds. This inevitably immediately raises eyebrows and suspicions to those who have read Nietzsche and embraced him, as Ayn Rand is a very insignificant figure in philosophy, she’s an inspiration for conservative ,tea party, right wing politics, libertarianism, anarcho capitalism, through her “trader principle” and with critics blaming the economic crisis on her support of free markets, particularly through her influence along with Leo Strauss, on Alan Greenspan, it becomes clear to the Nietzsche reader and student, that Rand had very misguided understandings of the philologist who apparently influenced her, like many who first encounter Nietzsche, they have to overcome the “Is-Ought” problem of reading him prescriptively, Nietzsche never offers prescrptions in his work.
Her work is vague, boring, overly simplistic, she developed many of her views in lectures and essays and letters written in response to questions sent by her readers, but never took the time to defend them against possible objections or to reconcile them with the views expressed in her novels; and finally, her polemical style, often contemptuous tone, and the dogmatism and cult-like behaviour of many of her fans suggest that her work is not worth taking seriously, along with her second hand understanding of and plagiarism of Nietzsche being the main issue over the authenticity of Ayn Rand, leading to pathetic special pleading once challenged over her views of Nietzsche in a prescriptive emphasis.
This debate of how many times Rand meets with Nietzsche becomes a pointless scorecard task that only emerges when the philosopher in question is full of more shit than a backed up sewer. She not only failed in this endeavour, but proved herself to be a complete idiot in the process. Her embrace of capitalism — which Nietzsche criticized as being dehumanizing and stifling to the Übermensch — also calls her original understanding of Nietzsche into question overall, especially the prescriptive bias towards “master morality“, which Nietzsche presents to us in a genealogy, an alternative to a dialectic, whereby the origins and history, value and breadth of ideas, values, morality and customs are examined in a archaeological dig of sorts, what Nietzsche reveals is a clarity of two different ways of perceiving reality through affectation and that the will to power, a form of self expression that accepts limitations and tries to be the best it can be, while favouring creativity over vengeance, heroics and martyrdom, spite and life denial, is all there is.
With all of this in mind, Tsarion seems to have the same problems, for someone who is introducing people to the utter genius of Nietzsche, he does a great job of leading you to a quote mined tangent that was only used by the same prescriptive interpreters of Nietzsche throughout the Nazi regime. It was his sister, Elisabeth Forster Nietzsche who was a Nazi, and she pretty much quote mined and rewrote some of his scattered notes into the book The Will to Power in order to jive with her ideology. It’s entirely clear that he wouldn’t have wanted it that way, with some of his letters to his sister vehemently denouncing and being disgusted by her anti-Semitism and her husband’s association with it. On another occasion he said that …”anti-Semites should be shot” and his falling out with Richard Wagner was partially over Wagner’s growing anti-Semitism. Specifically, Nietzsche despised the laziness of scholars, and artists in general who always scapegoat people. Despite this, dumbass neo-Nazis somehow try to claim him as one of their own. Rand, like Tsarion, seems to have only referred to Nietzsche’s early work, specifically “The Birth of Tragedy Through the Spirit of Music”, but the opinions they hold, Tsarion in particular, is overly simplistic and could have been grasped through any second hand review. Tsarion is a people pleaser, he knows Capitalism is the idealism of his audience, especially Americans and that they will not question Rand as she promotes it.
Ok, so what is Tsarions overall view of Nietzsche? Well, let’s hear what he has to say on Nietzsche’s Aesthetics.
Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of art, beauty, and taste, with the creation and appreciation of beauty. It’s no wonder that Nietzsches book on Aesthetics is used in courses of philosophy to talk about Aesthetics, as Aesthetics is about Aesthetics.
In no way does this encapsulate amor fati, the eternal return or the will to power, it doesn’t even cover what the Birth of Tragedy has emphasis on, although a slight hand wave of it does appear later “they say about Apollonian and Dionysian“, as though that was supposed to have meaning without prior explanation, it actually originated from Nietzsche who described these two chthonic forces that drive art as a dialectical monism, but “they” seems to imply that this dichotomy is in the works of other philosophers, when it isn’t, only Nietzsche used these two Greek Deities in his work. This use of weasel words comes across as though Tsarion is claiming to be the authority on this subject, that will be beyond the understanding of his audience and that nothing is required of them, they will just have to trust his summary, but let’s take a look at what Tsarion calls “All that nonsense” and what exactly Nietzsche was talking about in the Birth of Tragedy? Like other YouTube gurus, this is more of a listing of concepts Tsarion has briefly glossed over second hand, or just read about it on Wikipedia before going on stage, without any actual insight of his own, or even the slightest understanding of them, which clearly shows in the way it’s conveyed to an audience that he knows is credulous enough to think he’s really intelligent and who have fell for the German phobia shaming Tsarion anchors to his work, that creates an emotional bias towards anything anchored to Germans, in this case Nietzsche.
For those of you who think I don’t like Tsarion and what he has to say because of the use of swastikas, I would like to point out that the swastika was not used by the Nazis, their rendition of a swastika like symbol, was called the hakenkrutz, or the hooked cross. Swastikas are ancient symbols that represent involution and evolution from religions like Hinduism and Jainism and in no way will a swastika, or anything German, or just being German, influence my criticism of Tsarion in anyway.
Tsarion seems to like those who think he’s intelligent, he knows that if you think this about him, it means you haven’t read anything Nietzsche has to say and probably think the Ubermensh is some transhumanism project to build robots that will replace humanity, of course he will then name drop and quote mine to his hearts content, while picking easy oppositions like Chris White and Christians in general, who hold the same paranoid delusional, solipsist positions about illuminati mind control, hence not really an opposition, but rather someone who we can debate what colour the tooth fairies wings would be if it should exist, speaking of which , let’s take a look at Tsarions particularly filthy quote mine about chips that can control us remotely.
Curtis R. Schaefer, someone so obscure that there isn’t even a Wikipedia page on him, as all there is this article from a hyperbolic magazine in the 50’s and Schaefer, whoever he is, states that “bio control would be really cool”, which the article then skips to a moral climax of how this is evil. Tsarion quote mines and cherry picks to suit his narrative of paranoia from a 1957 book by Vance Packard, “The Hidden Persuaders” and attributes it to Schaefer.
For those of you unable to call this for what it is – a lie – let me remind you that these two 1950’s books/magazines were luddite hyperbole, they were people pleasing, in no way can this be seen as a reliable source of evidence, it’s just an anecdote and an anecdote that does not have the same context either, as it’s quote mined. One sentence says “How cool would it be if we could control people?”, the other just a summary of paranoia around the time people were being introduced to new technology that would threaten their lively hoods, it’s just luddite style propaganda, to be taken with a pinch of salt, it’s also a quote mine within a quote mine, Schaefer was explaining an experiment that was conducted under controlled conditions in a laboratory that somehow affected the sense of balance of a child and Vance Packard was explaining in a genealogical context (which, if Tsarion had read Nietzsche would know this!) how this would be far too barbaric and complicated to be successful, Packard explores the use of consumer motivational research and other psychological techniques, including depth psychology and subliminal tactics, by advertisers to manipulate expectations and induce desire for products, particularly in the American postwar era. He identified eight “compelling needs” that advertisers promise products will fulfill. According to Packard these needs are so strong that people are compelled to buy products to satisfy them. The book also explores the manipulative techniques of promoting politicians to the electorate. The book questions the morality of using these techniques. When put in this context, Tsarion has no evidence for the conspiracy to control people with biocontrol mechanisms, instead he too is people pleasing by playing into the fantasy of a powerful elite who are of course women and aliens, who need powerful technology to outwit the Aryans, the ones who know truth, as understanding the chthonic forces, drives and how people affect each other in symbiotic relationships would make this too human and also reconcilable, to be way too “out there”, as these credulous types who think Tsarion knows anything about what he’s talking about without checking it for themselves, are too special to be affected by humans, therefore RFID chips controlled by an external powerful elite agenda must be the answer. I mean, that’s about as hard as playing to a narrative that women are manipulative and rule the world isn’t it? Laziness, there really isn’t another word for this bilge.
Nietzsche would see this as lazy intellectual work, as it plays into the slave trap of morality, stemming from resentment of technology in this case.
If Tsarion thinks this is intellectually honest, then what else does he see as a benefit to his audience who require such hype and phantasms?
“Nietzsche comes from an existential perspective” – is like saying “Scientifically speaking, scientists speak scientifically”, another circularity of definition from Tsarion .
What does existential mean? Well, existentialism looks at life itself as spiritual, although there are more interpretations across the board, from Sartres definition of “existence preceeding the essence”, challenging the a priori view of ontology, especially morality, to Nietzsche embracing chaos, uncertainty after dogma and a transrevaluation of all values, to Hiedeggers’ Dasein, whereby being is part of time itself, whereby the presence of the dasein (which is basically a human being) ultimately changes reality, bringing with it a space to fill, existentialism is where the West meets the East philosophically, especially certain schools of Taoism and Daoism, most notably Chuang Tzu, who in my honest opinion is the first proto-existentialist until Spinoza and of course Kierkegaard later on. It wasn’t until Sartre that existentialism was coined, Nietzsche was a philologist, a social critic who was anti-foundationalist, existentialism can be described as “the philosophy of free will”, but when we encounter Nietzsches eternal return, we can see that this is a far too simplified a definition.
So just hand waving and name dropping the words “Nietzsche had an existential perspective” does nothing for the enthusiast who wants to know more, as there is a non sequitur, or something that does not follow, from saying “Nietzsche loved beauty from his aesthetics therefore this is an existential perspective” – when you know how difficult it is to describe Nietzsche to laymen, you can see how this is not helpful in the slightest, Nietzsche can’t be synopsized easily, but one can begin to define an approach that will hold a useful emphasis for his work and how to understand it.
One of the most powerful quotes was of course, “God is Dead“, of which Tsarion explains means not the literal “the man in the sky is dead”, which is what he wants to think is the case, as he knows the opposition of Chris White will boost his exposure, due to the paranoid unified agreement of the illuminati controls all crap, like all charlatans, Tsarion knows how to put up a strawman.
Apparently God is Dead because we all don’t like ourselves being watched, or rather God judging us all the time, viewing the dark side. Wow, pop psychology really has evolved hasn’t it?
God is Dead is a statement that Nietzsche conveys in the Gay Science, is a reverse on Platonism, specifically the Cave. The madman has a lantern in daylight, he is shouting – “I am LOOKING FOR GOD” – which is a joke regarding Platos equation between sight and light, which is what is the base for his recollection upon discovery view of perception. Everyone laughs with madman, they too are excited that God is Dead, in the sense that dogma is dead, fixed meanings are dead, the search for truth as an object is dead, they are celebrating uncertainty, that there is no ordering principle, this is a scene that is beyond good and evil, a rejoicing of chaos, the end of linear reasoning, which is where the eternal recurrence becomes necessary to understand.
God is Dead is speaking of the problems we face when confronted with nihilism, the madman and the crowd rejoice, they laugh at it, Nietzsche, when understood, often leads to laughter, that we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously.
God is Dead is also speaking of how Christianity, specifically the herd instinct and slave morality is waning, he does this in a genealogy, whereby he points out that slave morality is unnatural to us, the Ancient Greeks had a very different morality to us and God is Dead is a statement that is asking “What is next?” – it’s embracing the void, the emptiness, of which begins to reveal itself through our anxieties, our care and angst. Nietzsche overall, asks why people want to believe these fantastical stories that support their ideals, instead of questioning the ideals themselves, Nietzsche shows in a genealogy how idealism can be traced back to Plato and is a very lazy and dishonest academic practice.
Tsarion claerly has no understanding from these central themes alone, he has lied, quote mined, cherry picked and hand waved with name dropping, hoping that this will rub off some credibility onto his own self congratulatory quotes from his own books.
Listing names and being vague leads to empty distinctions, overly simplistic circularity that would be improved if nothing was said in the first place, as making shit up is far easier than actually trying to know something, to learn it for yourself, instead of listening to people pleasers like Tsarion who again promote mystics who are obsessed with the ideal of Aryan, a spiritual race, which again is a lazy idealism that Americans, Canadians and other colonialist cultures, who are alienated from their cultures back in Europe seeking some connection with it, seem to lap up whenever someone plays into this narrative.
Apart from their being zero insight of his own, Tsarion is piss boring. If you want to understand Nietzsche properly, the I am afraid you will have to read him for yourself, like I did.
For those of you find this video offensive and may accuse me of being bias, or not allowing you to make up your own mind, please remember that you have your own opinions about these people and their work due to your own research, by research I mean reading of course, therefore knowing the text yourself will form that opinion of your own and therefore what I have to say should not be an issue, I can’t be accused of brainwashing if people have insights of their own, right?
If what I say bothers you – then do something about it! Don’t turn the other cheek, don’t let your anger sink to the bottom, all that has happened is you have found something you care about in the void of uncertainty – that is what makes the difference between humans and their morals, how they deal with emptiness.
This video is just the tip of the iceberg of Tsarions dishonesty, there will be more to come.