Model virtue. – It is well-known how oppression and ethics [Moral] converge in the renunciation of the drives. But the ethical ideas do not merely oppress other ones, but are immediately derived from the existence of the oppressor. Since Homer, the concepts of good and wealth are intertwined in the Greek language. The kalokagathie [Greek: perfection], which was upheld by the humanists of modern society as a model of aesthetic-ethical harmony, has always put a heavy emphasis on property, and Aristotele’s Politics openly confessed the fusion of inner value with status in the determination of nobility, as “inherited wealth, which is connected with excellence.” The concept of the polis [Greek: city-state] in classical antiquity, which upheld internalized and externalized nature [Wesen], the validity of the individual [Individuum] in the city-state and the individual’s self as a unity, permitted it to ascribe moral rank to wealth, without inciting the crude suspicion, which the doctrine already at that time courted. If the visible effect on an existent state establishes the measure of a human being, then it is nothing but consistency to vouchsafe the material wealth, which tangibly confirms that effect, as the characteristic of the person, since the latter’s moral substance – just as later in Hegel’s philosophy – is supposed to be constituted on nothing other than their participation in the objective, social substance.
The juxtaposition of these particular aphorisms by Adorno may at first seem strange, but they all intertwine as a commentary of the human condition as opposed to the manufactured human condition. Even somewhat strange reading attempts to come to terms with Nietzsche seem antiquated today when he is much better understood. Certainly, there are at least two Nietzsches, as described below by Ernst, but a multitude — even as he is now understood better than ever. As he himself said, “I was born posthumously.” In fact, by the end of the 19th century, there was not the slightest hint that he was soon to become the single most influential thinker of the 20th, revolutionizing thought and impacting thinkers and writers either directly or indirectly for the entire century and beyond. This is remarkable in itself as his final and most productive year was 1888 and only a thousand…
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