Nietzsche, Camus, God and Marxism

soil_ride soilride at SPAMemail.msn.com
Tue Jan 2 11:26:34 MST 2001


Comrades,
Reading from many of your posts have certainly been engrossing especially
about religion and marxism.  I can't ingore religion any more than I can
ignore social injustice and for many people, religion and social injustice
are one and the same.  I also feel like I can't ignore religion simply
because it has served to be an instrument for historical progress, just as
well as many of the other social factors.  I certainly feel that it religion
deserves a correct analysis related to the realities of social and economic
progress.

Just as much as I love reading and studying different religions, I also find
myself in love with Western philosophical thought.  I am also looking
towards Eastern philosophy also, but perhaps I will digress for the sole
purpose of another post, especially on this...

Reading Nietzsche, I must concur with many of what he had to say, especially
about Christianity.  Nietzsche's dealing with christianity is different in
the way that Marx have dealt with Christianity.  Nietzsche's Christianity is
a denial of life while Marx's Christianity justifies class rule.  However I
agree more with the social analysis by Marx on the principles of
Christianity, much of what Jose on the list has expressed, The Communism of
the Paper Rheinischer Boebachter.  I however reject Nietzsche's
anti-socialist stance, his claiming "the morality of the weak" and also his
"radical aristocracy".  I am attracted to his poetry-like expression,
especially in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and claiming the overman,
ubermensch...the person who overcomes himself.  While taking great notice of
his anti-christianity, I have noticed that Nietzsche's Overman somehow
re-hearses the resurrection of the Bible.  After reasearching this, there
has been many essays that echoe the same theme.

Just finished reading an email that was posted on the net about Albert
Camus's intrepretation on Nietzsche and Christianity and I thought it really
interesting.  Although I love Camus's works such as the Stranger and The
Myth Of Sisphyus, he hardly touched on the social reality of whole classes
of people, but talks about the alienation of the individual which edges
towards depravity and nihilism...very much infleunced by the work of
Dostoevsky, a Russian writer, especially on human hopelessness and depravity
in such works as Notes from the Underground, The Dreams of a Ridiculous Man,
and the The Brothers Karamazov.

I would like to share with you this post that was brought to my attention
and I thought it would be quite interesting about Camus's The Rebel in which
there is a section where Camus talks about Nietzsche and God.  This is an
esay about The Rebel not an essay from it.  Have a great day!

In solidarity
Josh

I'm looking now at the chapter - 'Absolute Affirmation' - in 'The Rebel', in
which Camus looks at Nietzsche. In terms of rebellion, it is interesting
that Camus claims that Nietzsche 'did not formulate a philosophy of
rebellion, but constructed a philosophy on rebellion.' And the rebellion
which Nietzsche grounds his philosophy on is that against Christianity,
which results in the 'death of God'. But, as I've already said, this simply
results in atheism; and as I've said, atheism may be construed as a
religious position which simply regards God as so transcendental that, for
all intents and purposes, He is dead to the world. After all, as Camus said
of Nietzsche: 'He found Him dead in the soul of his contempories' - in other
words, dead to the world rather than to Himself.
     What further makes this interesting is that Nietzsche's attack on
Christianity 'always leaves intact the person of Jesus'. This is interesting
because it means that the mediator between man and God remains. And as I've
already said, this position, this mediator between man and (the now dead)
God is the nihilist. It's no wonder why Nietzsche admires him so much.
     Now what I understand Camus does with this, in terms of Nietzsche, is
to regard this form of the nihilistic messiah as having a dead God on his
left, the world of man on his right, and to be looking ahead of him into the
future in which he has prophesied an inevitable apocalypse, but which will
result in an eventual renaissance. This is where History enters the picture.
And we see that the absurd which once marked the territory between man and
God - which separated them - has now been replaced with certain nihilists
riding the crest of History into a destructive future. But this future can
only come into fruition if a) God is resurrected in some form, and b) this
resurrected God and the world of man are once more reunited - but only after
some catastrophe.
     One way that Camus sees this as coming to pass is through Marxism's
form of historical determinism: at one point later in 'The Rebel' (though I
can't find it now - anyone?), and if I remember correctly, Camus introduces
an argument against such determinism. Now if the movement of History is of a
thesis and antithesis erupting out of a synthesis, which only creates a new
synthesis, and if a further thesis and antithesis is said to erupt out of
this new synthesis, and so on - which marks the progress of History - then
at what point can the Historical determinists claim this process will come
to rest at the prophesied final Synthesis? By their own logic, this process
cannot end, as each synthesis must erupt into a further contradiction of
terms - another thesis and antithesis. Camus claims that this process can
only be come to rest through an intervening force which must necessarily
come from outside this mechanism. And this point marks the resurrection of
God, and the point that He intervenes and brings History to a halt is the
point that He is reunited with the world of man; if - and this seems to be
Camus' point - there can be said to be any men left alive to witness this
utopia.
     Another form of this process, and one more in terms of Nietzsches'
philosophy, is Hitler's National Socialism, which takes the Historical
determinism and Utopian idealism from Socialism, and Nietzsche's notion of
the solitary will to power acting on behalf of the state (Nationalism),
which results in a 'Roman Caesar with the soul of Christ'.
     The Nietzsche section of 'The Rebel' is therefore a preparatory chapter
to reveal the coordinates with which Camus navigates his way through the
large discussion on 'Historical Rebellion'.
     Of course, and as I've already said, I'm not sure if any of this is
correct, and so I'd be happy to hear of any amendments.

article found
http://www.listproc.bucknell.edu/archives/philcamus/199905/msg00100.html








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