Summary: the Revaluation of All Values by Nietzsche

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Nietzsche sees Christianity as being an aggressor of progress since the beginning of time. Nietzsche understands that God wants man to be a blind follower, and to not think for himself. Additionally, from this passage it is possible to derive Nietzsche’s thoughts on woman. Nietzsche implies that the relation of man and woman exists to alleviate boredom from the world. Christianity imposes a barrier between man and woman, one which is sacrilegious to cross. Nietzsche must see the passionate relation between people as a necessity. The Dionysian emotions and aspects of life are those which should be encouraged. The aspects of the satyr versus the aspects of the saint.

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The revaluation of all values is a call, which humanity must come to answer. It presents a formula for humanity to perform a total and absolute self-examination. Through this self-examination, the values which are found to be healthy and productive for life can be uplifted. In Ecce Homo, the idea of revaluation is presented as an imminent revolution. Nietzsche predicted that if humanity fails to answer this call the world would come to experience wars of greater caliber than ever seen before. These words have led Nietzsche to fame, since they were realized as truths when the two World Wars occurred in the wake of the 19th century.

The result of humanity failing to answer this call is a dangerous nihilistic culture. It seems Nietzsche has several definitions for nihilism. The definition most commonly seen would be a belief that the world we live in has no ultimate reality. A secondary definition would be a total discredit of the beliefs of those in authority. The first definition is mostly how nihilism is seen today, a complete lack of beliefs. Although, it seems Nietzsche often uses the word in a very unique sense. Nietzsche eventually reinforces the idea that not all nihilism is necessarily bad. He coins the terms “passive nihilism” and “active nihilism” to differentiate harmful nihilism and positive nihilism.

The danger of nihilism exists in the fact that human life must affirm a value system. Life existing in a state of nihilism will undermine itself. A a life lived with an absence of values would most certainly be an unhealthy one.Nietzsche implies the most extreme form of nihilism, a complete rejection of a world of truth, could generally be interpreted as a divine way of thinking. Active nihilism is a possible sign of strength in which the spirit becomes more powerful, while passive nihilism defines a retreat and decline in the spirit’s power. Nietzsche often speaks of optimism and pessimism being associated with nihilism. In particular, pessimism seems to be of importance, predominantly as a precursor for nihilism. Nietzsche even states that at times pessimism can trump optimism and serve one in a better way than optimism ever could. This presents a pessimism of strength which recognizes the danger of inactivity, and through an understanding of the ugly sided nature of life it may seek out mastery of a situation. Today, a person with the capability of this characteristic would be named a realist. In short, there exists a passive nihilism of weakness which resigns itself in lack of values and is the perilously negative type of nihilism Nietzsche spoke of the most. Although, there then exists an active nihilism of strength, which is liberated by the lack of pre-determined values. This nihilism of strength frees one from the binds of traditional morality, and allows the individual to do and think new things. Nihilism is a precursor for the revaluation.

As he spoke of nihilism, Nietzsche intended to eventually publish a work that would explain nihilism and the revaluation in absolute detail. This work would have most likely been named “The Revaluation of All Values”. Through parts of Ecce Homo, it seems Nietzsche attempts to reference this future work, as if the work would be available for the reader.

With a context to the future planned work “Revaluation of All Values” the purpose of The Anti-Christ was supposedly as a primary critique of present values. It seems the revaluation can only occur following the end of Christian morality. “Why not count from its last day instead?– From today?– Revaluation of all values!. Additionally, Nietzsche surmises that an attempt at the revaluation of Christian values occurred during the era of the Renaissance. Nietzsche suggests the following attempt for revaluation would in fact be the second to take place. The fact of the first attempt for revaluation failing implies any following revaluations could fail as well. The Renaissance was a period in which Christian values were being seriously challenged, and for a revaluation to take place, an era of this nature must be a prerequisite. Nietzsche must see the world as being in this sort of period, or perhaps certainly approaching one similar in nature. In Ecce Homo, Nietzsche visualises himself as being an intrinsic cause for the revaluation of all values. Though, in The Anti-Christ, he is one of many immoralists. An implication of the revaluation already being set in motion.

The Anti-Christ is a Nietzschean work for Christians around the globe who are open to difference in the form of comparisons between Christianity and other religions. It is also a book for those who wish to pass beyond Christianity but may find it most difficult to do, because of the Christian schemas that bind their unconscious. For all these readers, if they are attentive, The Anti-Christ offers a modern route influenced by Christianity. Nietzsche offers his readers forward advancement, towards an engagement with other philosophies that go beyond the worlds of revelation and metaphysics.

In Ecce Homo, written in the same year as The Anti-Christ, Nietzsche openly acknowledges his identity, as Antichrist. He is the Antichrist because he represents an end to Christian culture. As Antichrist Nietzsche is the leader for a movement out of the craze he sees in Christianity. Nietzsche’s examination of Christianity fills him with pain, sorrow, and remorse, and yet he clearly feels that he, like Jesus who pointed beyond the Judaism of his time, points the way forward, on this instance beyond Christianity. Nietzsche wants the reader of The Anti-Christ to become aware of what it means to be a Christian. Nietzsche realises that humanity lost something when Jesus died, and this fills him with remorse. Yet he realises that he represents another chance, he represents a way forward.

The revaluation of all values is a movement Nietzsche sees as imperatively necessary. If humanity fails to distance themselves from the values of Christianity, nihilism of the most negative kind will infect and plague the world. Chances are, the revaluation of values Nietzsche describes, has already commenced and is in effect in today’s world. Modern day liberal values have already replaced many ascetic conservative Christian values of Nietzsche’s time. Nietzsche believed that the imminent historical epoch of revaluation was fast approaching and that he, along with the other existing immoralists of the world, would be contributing to this event, the necessary remedy to repress the rise of nihilism. Nietzsche predicted new values the world would see come to fruition would be a revival of certain ancient values, perhaps joined with newly created values, and he wholeheartedly believed that his idea would impact society as a whole. Although this philosophy is applicable to society, it may also be applicable to the individual. Individuals who can revaluate their own values before attempting to impact the values of their communities and society. However, we must acknowledge that the revaluation of all values was an unfinished idea. If Nietzsche’s descent into madness could have been prevented, perhaps the world would have been impacted in even greater fashion by his works soon to come. His book under construction, The Revaluation of All Values, which Nietzsche had evidently been preparing for, remained unfinished, and certain concepts of the revaluation of all values have most likely been lost for all eternity. As far as anyone is able to know, this idea of the revaluation, is Nietzsche’s last and greatest intellectual achievement. 

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