“Vigor Grows Through a Wound”

And, How the Migrant Crisis is a Test of European Strength

If you weren’t already aware, the number of Islamic migrants flooding into Europe now and over the past few years has been unprecedented. Over 1.3 million have entered Europe from Africa and the Middle East in 2015 alone, with many more promised to come.  And the effects have been pronounced. There has been an EPIDEMIC of rape, assault, bombings, and other violence. This cannot be ignored or denied any longer. What is Europe to do?

Friedrich Nietzsche’s motto, as expressed at the beginning of Twilight of the Idols, is:

Increscunt animi, virescit volnere virtus.

[“The spirits increase, vigor grows through a wound.”]

The West has gone soft and we need a wound.  Lost are the virtues developed out of struggle and scarcity during our ancestor’s rise to power.  The idea of a merited hierarchy has been perverted into exploitation, we have become entranced with the narcotic of egalitarianism and its promise of abundance and equal distribution to all humans– a “more perfect” utopia.  No promise in the history of mankind has been made by tongues so forked, behind teeth so crooked, since the promise of the egalite, the Socialist (or liberal democrat, more moderately) is a promise based in textbook Nietzschean ressentiment.  To understand how this ties in with the migrant crisis plaguing Europe, the concept of ressentiment must be unpacked within our contemporary context.

Ressentiment: the definitive psychology of the egalite Modernist

When I use the term “modernist” I  am referring to an individual who has fallen into ressentiment– whether it be a charge against race, gender, economics.  A definition of ressentiment is summed up nicely on it’s wikipedia page:

Ressentiment is a sense of hostility directed at that which one identifies as the cause of one’s frustration, that is, an assignment of blame for one’s frustration. The sense of weakness or inferiority and perhaps jealousy in the face of the “cause” generates a rejecting/justifying value system, or morality, which attacks or denies the perceived source of one’s frustration.

Ressentiment thus contains two essential qualities: 1. that one’s personal frustration is blamed entirely on some external cause. And 2. the obvious shame of blaming one’s frustrations on an external cause is too much to face– they cannot admit that they have simply been outmatched and outranked– so they generate a system of values which attacks and rejects whatever is the perceived cause of injustice.  This ensures a sense of individual helplessness and provides a morally justified excuse to perpetuate helpless behavior, because, well, there’s no point in working hard if the MAN is just gonna hold you down in the end right?

Let’s take a very basic example.  John sees his buddy Kevin playing guitar at a friend’s house.  John notices that Kevin’s playing is earning himself attention, especially from the more attractive women in the room.  John feels envy for Kevin… he wants the same status that Kevin earned by working hard and learning how to play the guitar well.

John goes home and picks up an old guitar from his basement, restrings it, books a private lesson, and gets to practicing.  However, after only a few lessons, John quickly becomes frustrated with his progress… which is at this point almost nothing.  This is a crucial moment for John.  He can either recognize that he is frustrated with himself and his own lack of ability, as well as his lack of discipline to achieve the skills he yearns for which might open him up to healthy ways of coping with this frustration.  Or, he can acquire ressentiment.  That is to say, he can change his mind, decide that learning guitar was a stupid idea in the first place and that he isn’t even interested in all of the female attention Kevin was getting because that was shallow anyway and any girl who’s into him just because he plays guitar isn’t the kind of girl he wants, and so on. It saves him the short term shame and frustration for not being able to play the guitar when he really wants to, but only by pushing them beneath the surface with a false rationalization which replaces himself as the cause with someone or something else.

Then, maybe the next time John sees Kevin at a party, his envy will be pushed far beneath perceptible levels, due to his constant re-interpretation of the issue at hand.  In this case, John will only see Kevin as a shallow tool who is using tricks to lure in shallow women. John’s jealousy has been fully converted into ressentiment. While playing guitar used to mean possibly achieving success and reaching your goals, it is easily recast into devious and shallow manipulation.  Under this re-valuation, John’s original state of NOT being able to play guitar is recast as “good”, while being able to play guitar and woo women with it is bad.  This is the allure of Modern morality… one can simply frame whatever situation they are in as being morally superior if they blame their condition on some external oppressive force.

Egalitarianism is ressentiment

‘[…] what they sing – ‘equal rights’, ‘free society’, ‘no more masters and no more servants’ – has no allure for us. We hold it absolutely undesirable that a realm of justice and concord should be established on earth (because it would certainly be the realm of the most profound leveling down to mediocrity and chinoiserie); we are delighted by all who love, as we do, danger, war, and adventure; who refuse to compromise, to be captured, to reconcile, to be castrated; we consider ourselves conquerors […]’ Nietzsche, Gay Science 377

Egalites are essentially disconnected from the idea that human beings are not all born equal. We are not equally intelligent, ambitious, skillful, patient, disciplined, strong, willful, cunning, prudent, inventive, etc. The list of human qualities which individuate us is endless… the point is that hierarchies will always accrue… and that that is beneficial! It is life-affirming because the better our best can be, the more we all benefit.  As Thoreau said, the best possible system of governance is one which governs least (or none at all, ideally).  To attempt to make everyone equal is an attempt to make everyone mediocre, which can never happen; there will always be exceptional individuals, and a denial of this is a denial of life itself.

Fundamentally, the egalites hate that they are not the “best” (which to them usually means the richest, most famous, or most attractive). Egalitarianism is a popularity contest used to distract from an underlying sense of inferiority for personal shortcomings…but they cannot face up it, so he/she/it/xim/xer/they/them (lol) project their frustration as hatred onto whatever social bogeyman has been invented to suit their archetypical personality.  Be it the patriarchy, the bourgeoisie, the white supremacy, or heteronormativity, or homo/trans/islam/big-ear-gauge-ophobia… there’s a “problematic” institution out there for any poor or spoiled, under- or mis-educated, culturally feeble, maladjusted, psychiatric-medicated, insulated, ego-inflated, undisciplined, disrespectful, know-it-all young adult to diagnose the world’s ills– when in fact they only have a disguised self-diagnosis.  Then they reflect and seal their ressentiment psychology with the smug satisfaction of feeling like a true doctor with the purpose of improving the condition of mankind, when really all they are doing is re-defining sickness as health… weakness as a moral strength; and conversely: they redefine actual strength and power as privilege based on unfair, unjust exploitation.  At this point, there is no chance in facing up to the ressentiment beneath it… the worldview has shifted as in some gestalt image, up becomes down. There is not much chance for them to reflect and realize, “hey, I should really be taking full responsibility for my condition in life, like a real adult.”

Squandering a great opportunity

How does this tie in with the mass exodus of Sharia Law following Muslims into the docile West? Maybe… just maybe, this is an opportunity reinvigorate our virtue, to let the rubber finally meet the road, to walk the walk of liberty and Enlightenment after talking the talk for so long.  This is the West’s chance to shine.  Vigor grows through a wound!  We’ve all been infected with this crippling sickness of egalitarianism and here comes the lance of Islam to pierce it and let out the bad blood.

We all still remember the stories that our great great grandfather’s fathers told each other… we have stories of bravery and wisdom! We have heroes of valor and strength, let them be revived within us! This is a chance to completely cast aside this false narrative that all people, cultures, and religions are “equal” by recognizing our own dire need to re-affirm the hierarchy. Let us re-affirm the bold and strong and fear no contempt from the politically-correct weaklings. What leaders will step up? Let me follow you.
Where are the artists? Great painters, sculptors, musicians, poets, playwrights– where are you now in our time of need? Where is your virtuous strength and your will to persevere? And not just to persevere but to thrive and stand victorious upon the battlefield of Culture’s great war! Paint us, sculpt us, play us something great… something that enriches and inspires and allows one to see beyond to what may be promised, to “white shores and a far green country” that we may all belong to. Does your heart not leap for such historical makings? There before you lies destiny itself, and it is your responsibility to play a role in this epic drama of our times.

Dust yourself off, stretch yourself out, because you will be called upon in our time of need. They will not stop with the destruction of artifacts in Libya, Syria, and Iraq. Will you be there to defend the Louvre when ISIL tries to break in to destroy the Mona Lisa? Or the Galleria dell’Accademia when they aim to break Michelangelo’s David? Will you be ready to defend your women? Your elders? Or will you continue to let them be assaulted en masse? The more migrants come by the hundreds of thousands, the more one can expect these threats… even purely by statistics, let alone the psychological factors which amplify the tension, and therefore possibility.

So prepare yourselves, and be cheerful in doing it.  One can only be strong if there is something to test one’s strength against, and this invasion of a culture that is incompatible with the Enlightenment virtues of individualism, religious freedom, and social freedom regardless of race or gender or anything else, is a perfect test of strength.  Will we conquer in this cultural war? Will there be parades of triumph through Paris, London, and Berlin?  Or will Sharia Law and orthodox Islam erase a legacy of progress that has taken hundreds of years to achieve? In any case, the stronger will prevail and the human species will benefit from this new strength.

Whether the new strength is found in my brothers, or in the Muslims barging in, humanity will become stronger for it.  I just hope that my brothers and sisters in and from Europe will prevail… I see myself in the spirit of Europe, and my desire to preserve her values, history, sovereign identity, culture, art, folklore… all of its glory… is essentially a desire for self-preservation.  I want to visit the home of my ancestors again and experience it the way they would have seen it when it was truly their land, when they were strong and united.  Perhaps we can achieve that again. In summation:

Maintaining cheerfulness in the midst of a gloomy task, fraught with immeasurable responsibility, is no small feat; and yet what is needed more than cheerfulness? Nothing succeeds if prankishness has no part in it. Excess strength alone is the proof of strength. A revaluation of all values: this question mark, so black, so huge that it casts a shadow over the man who puts it down — such a destiny of a task compels one to run into the sunlight at every opportunity to shake off a heavy, all-too-heavy seriousness. Every means is proper to do this; every “case” is a case of luck. Especially, war. War has always been the great wisdom of all spirits who have become too introspective, too profound; even in a wound there is the power to heal. A maxim, the origin of which I withhold from scholarly curiosity, has long been my motto:

Increscunt animi, virescit volnere virtus.

[“The spirits increase, vigor grows through a wound.”]
-Friedrich Nietzsche

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