I got sick recently. Like, gross sick. Gunk coming out of my throat and nose, volcanic diarrhea, head swimming, headache, shooting pain – the list goes on. While I fought this gross intrusion on my daily life, it reminded me why I don’t believe half of what Nietzsche said.
Naturam expellas furca,tamen usque recurret. The strong become the weak, and then the weak rule over them until they die. It happened to Nietzsche, it happened to LaVey, it will happen to everyone preaching the law of the jungle or whatever. You can be the biggest, baddest dude out there, but one day you will be sick or old or crippled or insane – maybe all at once. Those with “master morality” can end their lives hunched up in a chair while people with slave morality care for them.
This is also why I like trying to give practical advice, from Dollar Store Reaction to lifting to whatever (my next article is going to be on immunizing yourself from clown world). Nature is a thing, and nature does not care about your theories. Sure, the Nietzschean might point out that a lot of history demonstrates that the strong rule, but these same people are still human. They end up getting sick and dying.
This can be our fallen world mocking your physical might with permanent spine damage. This can be nature laughing at your mind with brain damage or Alzheimer’s. It can even go against whatever sexual prowess you have with all sorts of nasty diseases. This is one of the reasons slave morality has triumphed over the masters in its twisted, leftist form – everyone ends up being one of the weak, and the weak have slaves ruling over them. Oftentimes, they join them. Even Ayn Rand ended up on Social Security.
I don’t like theorizing very much, if theorizing means demanding the world live up to one’s rational system. Living in your head and engaging in constant intellectual masturbation about the Übermensch will not produce any results for getting to that state. The outside world has eaten up the libertarian, the marxist, the conservative, and the Nietzschean alike. You can say I’m wrong all you want, but it’s not going to stop the way things work.
Noting nature’s cruelty is not going to get us anywhere either if we just stay there. How do you deal with an ugly and fallen world, waiting for your demise or the Eschaton or the singularity – whatever your beliefs are? The Dissident Right has the market cornered on encouraging guys to get fit, and we also teach community support through the Mannerbund. This is a good start, and the emphasis on each of these are consistent with our worldview; practical advice does not flow from worldview, but has an incestuous relationship with it. Both influence each other.
Minor Maladies and how to deal with them.
So what do you do when you get sick, when nature calls in the worst way? Well, I believe in good ol’ American independence when it comes to getting a cold, a sprain, or any other small malady. You should wait to see a doctor if you get a cold or other minor illness.* Doctors charge money. Even with insurance, there is still copay, pharmacy bills, etc. If you aren’t dying, your money is better spent elsewhere. Going to the doctor’s office wastes time if the condition is not serious. Your time is better spent elsewhere. Learning how to treat conditions on your own will yield great benefits when times come that doctors are not available to help you.**
This also applies to over-the-counter medication. The jury’s still out on whether suppressing fevers is even a good idea, and that mystery list of ingredients might mean the manufacturer made an oopsie and gets the FDA banhammer. Even if it is safe, there is a character building aspect to allowing yourself to be sick for a bit. Getting well naturally, as opposed to taking mystery chemicals with a disgusting “cherry” taste, will be good for gaining practical wisdom and the ability to function when these drugs are unavailable.
When you do get a cold, headaches, whatever, some good ways to make the process more expedient is to drink large amounts of water, to take orange juice and oatmeal (Vitamin C bolsters the immune system, fiber and water help flush everything out), and to avoid dairy in case phlegm is being overproduced. Listen to as many old wives’ tales as you can, and you will not only be continuing family traditions, but you will gain at least some wisdom that you can pass on to others. This can even be “bro science” as it pertains to exercise – “Listen bro, you gotta do cardio when you get a cough, get the gunk out of your lungs,” “Bro, if the ick is neck up, you can lift; if it’s chest down, just do recovery bro.”
“SuperLutheran, extra ecclesiam nulla salus, begom! Also, when should I go to the doctor’s office?” Thank you for asking, particular Catholic reader. There is a great list from the Houston Methodist site on just such a thing. The basic message is “whatever you know you can’t take care of on your own, should be taken care of at a hospital.” But that reveals the fundamental truth of this article; the more you can take care of, the less you will have to rely on the medical system. The more you know, the more you will be able to get to the doctor’s office in time.
So let’s say I’m wrong, and the Übermensch theory is correct. Okay. Take this article then as something that can spur you on to be a better Superman. Even if you disagree with my medical opinions, you can still do some study and figure it out yourself; you can make yourself a better man this way, and thus contribute to your communities and your own life, both one and many, far more effectively.
*These are my opinions, not official medical advice. Please don’t sue the American Sun and make a fool of yourself just because you followed my Protestant advice and got maybe a little sicker. Seriously, some people need to grow up.
**This doesn’t have to be a collapsitarian talking point – things can go south when backpacking, traveling long distances, or when pulling an all-nighter at work.
8 Comments Add yours
I’m not sure who this is addressed to, I don’t see the Ubermensch meme discussed very much in these circles, and Nietzsche is not exactly a fundamental thinker for the dissident right. His writings are broad ranging and prophetic enough that all ideologies pick and choose from him: liberals like his forward-thinking and disdain for materialism, libertarians like his promotion of self-reliance, edgy nihilists like to quote some of his more pompous declarations and Nazis gonna Nazi. You’re right that all is vanity, and even the mightiest are laid low, but what’s your point? From where I’m sitting, ‘become worthy and rule’ is more about self improvement as a father, friend and member of a community than aspiration to god-emperorhood.
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Alfonz, don’t forget that SuperLutheran has a show on the TRS network. Nietzschean will-to-power drivel is an unfortunate mainstay in the Alt-Right camp of this thing we’re all a part of.
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From your response, I can tell the article was meant for someone less in-the-know than yourself, brother.
Like Walter Devereux mentioned, I work a lot with a podcasting site where a few individuals (not to be names here) could use a little cold water in their praise of Nietzsche. Even then, with some people who have contacted me from reading my articles on this site, there is a Nietzschean focus from them which I believe runs the risk of falling on the same intellectualist traps that libertarians, marxists, and others have fallen on.
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There’s a rather crude but entertaining anecdote about Wagner and Nietzsche shortly before the break between the two men, when the latter was staying at the former’s villa. Wagner confronted Nietzsche on his recent works (he was entering the phase of his thought that would culminate with “Der Antichrist”) and said he felt the massive departures of his new philosophy must be caused by his excessive masturbation, and if he wanted to think more clearly he needed to put aside onanism and find a woman. Nietzsche stormed out of the house and wrote “Nietzsche contra Wagner” a few months later.
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The basic principle of letting yourself be sick is often referred to as ‘Darwinian medicine’, which really just means that your symptoms are evolved responses to infection, and that suppressing these natural defenses is likely to prolong the illness. Note that you don’t need to believe in Darwinism for this to make sense; it works just as well if you assume fevers, mucous production, etc., were designed by God for the same purpose.
I encountered this idea many years ago, and as it made sense to me I adopted it immediately. My experience is that it works: when I get sick, I suffer, but I tend to recover pretty quickly. Conversely, acquaintances who take the pharmaceutical poison every time they get the sniffles often deal with maladies that linger for weeks.
I also agree that it’s character-building. Life will injur you; this is especially so if you train, but is true even if you’re a lazy slob. Getting used to small sufferings cultivates an attitude of “it’s just pain”, which makes you far more resilient when life throws the big hurts your way.
Ocerall, great article. I’ve been critical in the past but your work is growing on me.
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I remember being told as a young man that the Injuns used to “sweat out” their fevers: wrap themselves in blankets and encourage the body temperature to continue to rise. I’m not convinced that the sweat actually carries the toxins out of the body as it was explained to me, because I’m not convinced of the savage origins of the practice, but it generally does work. It rather sounds like this is “Darwinian medicine”.
I find certain inspiration in the idea of Nietzsche. But mine is quite unorthodox. I see morality and will as part and parcel.
Übermenschkeit makes sense in a communitarian context where it is the culture which is elevated and hence improves the man.
This “only the strong survive” jive is ludicrous. It is it’s own virtue signal. More than that it teaches the individual to glorify himself through weakening the society.
So in the end, I find orthodox Nietzscheanity to be a tool, ironically, of the weak who wish to appear strong.