In his elucidation of the slave/master morality distinction Nietzsche introduces the concept of ressentiment. This concept proves crucial to the sociological and cultural dynamic that pervades modernity. The consequences of this "feeling" are nefarious and multi-faceted. One such consequence allows confidence men or con artists to gain significant leverage and traction in contemporary society. In order to explicate this condition in society, this paper will first examine the theoretical features of slave morality and ressentiment as outlined by Nietzsche. Next, an inquiry into how these phenomena manifests itself in society in such a way to promulgate the appearance of such individuals and the reasons for their success. To this end a presentation of Herman Melville's work, The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade will be presented in order elucidate the types and operating structures of con artists and confidence games. In conjunction, it will be important to discuss what archetypes Nietzsche defines such as the "Priest," the "Philosopher" and the "Artist" in reference to con artists while simultaneously highlighting the features of the con artists' mark, which will be shown to be the herd. In doing so this paper will show that the techniques con artists deploy in order to become effective are not significantly different from those deployed by Nietzsche's archetypes. It is understood that Nietzsche's genealogical method has been incisively criticized; nevertheless, Nietzsche's program does offer a worthwhile perspective in which to analyze the interplay between the con and the mark.
One might question the leveraging of a fictional text, Mellville's in order to explicate a real cultural phenomenon, the existence of con artists. Nietzsche's arguments as they are presented offer a mytho-tectonic analysis of the semiotic manifestation of the Slave and Master moralities. Insofar that these manifestations have occurred in society is without doubt; however, the true affectivity of the symbols lies in their ability to manipulate and massage the consciousnesses of individuals in that society and nowhere is the documentation that symbolic manipulation more evident than in the literary efforts of humanity.
Section II: Nietzsche's Arguments
He articulates more fully the characteristics of Slave and Master Moralities in his work Beyond Good and Evil. They both revolve around their respective abilities to "will to power," this creative/destructive force which drives all human activity. Slave morality, and the concept of morality must be understood broadly here to include all kinds of human activity, represent the behaviors of those who are unable to will their own desires directly and must "get around" as it were through subversion and cunning. The essence of Master morality is nobility. Actions are judged by their value or non-value for the master himself. In slave morality, actions are judged by their intention, namely their intention to harm or not harm the slave. The attributions of "good" and "evil" were attached to intentions by the slave mentality in order to convince or trick the noble but apparently oblivious masters of
In the Genealogy of Morals, Friedrich Nietzsche continues his sustained attack on the moral edifice constructed by the Judeo-Christian ethic and the tenets of classical liberalism, tentatively begun in Human, All too Human. (Nietzsche, BT & GM 1956, 150) While the first work was a deconstruction of the value labels of "good" and "bad" the subsequent work is a historical, psychological and anthropological attack on the consequences of the misguided appellations of good and evil…
Thus, it has veered away from what it was to actually live and how it failed to represent the virtues of life, favoring a morality which was for the meek, humble, and lowly. It created a morality of the herd. This brings us to how Nietzsche came up with the two different types of moralities.
The Genealogy of Morality believes that there are two different moral codes in the world that are good and evil and good and bad. The first dimension comes from the early conquerors and people who believed that their control over wealth and power or success was good and the other extreme was having nothing and being poor which meant being in a ‘bad’ situation.
Any agreeable image that they present to the people becomes their ticket to luring their constituents into believing that they, indeed, are honorable public servants. Whatever good reputation they have earned gives them the advantage of being able to, somehow, influence or manipulate the citizens’ thinking and help them stay in their positions.
His moral philosophy, therefore, has been critical in orientation. He has been a great philosopher who has left his mark in every kind of philosophy and his influence remains substantial within and beyond philosophy in the modern period. The effect of his thinking can be found in existentialism as well as postmodernism and his fundamental questioning of the value and impartiality of truth has undergone crucial commentary and interpretation through the twentieth century.
a deconstruction of the value labels of "good" and "bad" the subsequent work is a historical, psychological and anthropological attack on the consequences of the misguided appellations of good and evil. Paradoxical and metaphorical, Nietzsches style makes it especially difficult
But the mystifying question is what the origin of these two words is? Quite a few philosophers argue that they are spontaneous, proof of something bigger than ourselves inculcating in us a wisdom and sense of morality.
In Genealogy of Morals, Friedrich Nietzsche
A prominent consideration regarding Nietzsche’s perspective on humanity emerges in terms of his perspectives on the underlining human drives. For Nietzsche one witnesses his perspective on humanity’s underlining drives through his
In his prologue where Nietzsche claims “we knowledgeable people ... we are always busy with our knowledge ... our hearts have not been engaged”, I find myself in spontaneous agreement to the truth of realizing that humans by experience indeed struggle at