Nietzsche, Feminism and Political Theory
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Are you visiting women? Do not forget your whip!'
'Thus Spoke Zarathustra
'the democratic movement is...a form assumed by man in decay'
Beyond Good and Evil
Nietzsche's views on women and politics have long been the most embarrassing aspects of his thought. Why then has the work of Nietzsche aroused so much interest in recent years from feminist theorists and political philosophers?
In answer, this collection comprises twelve outsanding essays on Mietzsche 's work to current debates in feminist and political theory, It is the first to focus on the way in which Nietzche has become an essential point of reference for postmodern ehtical and political thought.
something of the terror that formerly attended all promises, pledges and vows on earth is still effective…. Man could never do without blood, torture, and sacrifices when he felt the need to create a memory for himself; the most dreadful sacrifices and pledges (sacrifices of the first-born among them), the cruelest rites of all the religious cults and all religions are at the deepest level systems of cruelties—all this has its origin in the instinct that realized that pain is the most powerful
work of art. However, Nietzsche can claim his Dionysian multiplicity only by employing Apollo’s veil and forgetting that he requires something irreducibly other to stand as guarantee of the spacing of each different apparent moment. This abyss of truth from whose imagined depths Nietzsche has hauled himself—remains outside of the circle of eternal recurrence. Insistently, Irigaray’s marine lover reminds Nietzsche of what this wilful forgetfulness means for both of them. Instead, she announces her
(1991). 2 See Grosz (1989:169) for an account of this interest. 3 For a romantic statement, see P.B.Shelley’s ‘A defence of poetry’, in C.Woodring (ed.) (1961) Prose of the Romantic Period, Cambridge, Mass.: Riverside Press; for Kristeva, see excerpts from Revolution in Poetic Language, trans. M.Waller, in T.Moi (ed.) (1986) The Kristeva Reader, Oxford: Basil Blackwell (first published 1974). In This Sex Which Is Not One (first published 1977), Irigaray, in an apparent uptake on Kristeva’s notion
others. ‘Hostile’ because not all forms of overpowering involve appropriation, injury and exploitation of those over whom power is exercised. On the one hand, it is undeniable that in so far as human life remains a form of animal or biological life it does not escape the web of such hostile relations to other forms of life. On the other, while such forms of exercise of power may be an essential dimension of life, they are not for Nietzsche the essential dimension of power. Rather, power is
aimed at, or open to the other. Thus it is an expression of the will to power masquerading as a superior moral virtue. 184 Penelope Deutscher 10 For his employment of this term, see also Nietzsche (1974b:176). 11 It should be noted that apart from other scathing accounts of the psychology of pity which Nietzsche gives, he also sometimes refers to his own ‘pity’ for humanity. Here, pity has taken on a re-valued sense for Nietzsche, so that this is not, of course, incoherent with his