Posted by: Edward | October 24, 2007

Becoming Uber

A little known fact is that the expression “whatever doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger” was actually written by Nietzsche. He didn’t mean that anyone who faced something became stronger for it, some people are emotionally crippled by facing criticism. Criticism didn’t kill them and it didn’t make them any stronger either. Nietzsche was talking about himself and his nodal concept the Ubermensch.

The Ubermensch is not perfect. He is perfecting. Whatever doesn’t kill him makes him stronger. He is engaged in a process of becoming perfect but he never arrives. Perfection is a limit, you can approach it but you can never be it. Nietzsche didn’t consider himself perfect (most of the time) but he was working very hard in that direction. His philosophy is an eminently practical one. He advises his reader to figure out what climate, diet and routines makes them the strongest, healthiest and happiest. His superman is perfecting because it faces the situations it encounters and learns from them, compensates for them.

The Nazis, all other confusions aside, were not supermen, they were not ubermensches. The Ubermensch was not prone to following orders but to deciding on a course of action and applying themselves to it. Nietzsche’s was a philosophy of nobility not slaves. Hitler was even more definitely not an ubermensch. He was incapable of handling negative feedback and failed to learn from his, or anyone else’s, mistakes.

To be ubermensch is to be a self-correcting, self-perfecting, organism. We can play our own becoming-uber if we face the world, set our own goals, and take negative feedback we are offered, from failure to rejection, and learn from it, grow by it. Accepting our natures as imperfect beings we can still be perfecting ones through cybernetic self-correction.

“Whatever doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger.”

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Responses

  1. […] post by fenris23 and software by Elliott […]

    • (Harvard UP, 2008); Kracauer's Weimar era essyas (way before From Caligari to Hitler, 1947) in "Mass Ornament and Other Essays", ed. Levin; Elsaesser; Halberstam; Kaes; Balazs, Arnheim, and others.Seeking a contemporary feminist theorist. The ones I'd chosen (bc I've read them) raised objections (outdated) f/ my committee. Any suggestions would be warmly appreciated…of course, you don't know me and are super busy. Worth asking, though! Plus, I'll owe you one!

    • 5TnCOS owciuudizimj

  2. “I believe whatever doesn’t kill you simply makes you… stranger.”

    • it Edgar Morin… Putain de bon piaepr ! Et si le monde contemporain, les institutions avaient intégré Nietzsche… peut-être le feront-ils grâce à Pat !


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