Beyond Good and Evil is a breath of fresh air against the platitudes of my social-academic life at the moment. After bonding with others on a real and meaningful level and living without hierarchies among us during the summer, to re-enter the university ‘system’ is harrowing for me.
Here the general population of students doesn’t think with instinct or passion. They talk as though they are thinking ‘reasonably’, ‘tolerably’, ‘politely’, etc. It is a civilization for people civilized into a particular way of thought. It’s also disenchanting. And it is apparent from most of my formal learning environments that the university would rather have you ask an ‘academic’ question rather than a ‘sincere’ one, and this is where the university has failed our sense of community and provided us with alienation, where it has deepened the proletarianization of student life.
But in reading Nietzsche, I find that sincerity. His critique of the ‘philosophers’ in particular is that all their work – which typically makes a formal point to categorize truths and falsehoods or more generally “binary opposites” – has been taken more seriously than it should. This probably sounds ridiculous because he has himself been elevated more recently to the status of ‘philosopher’. I think his particular way of thinking really gets to the heart of our distinctions, and our reasons for having them – which go so far beyond analytic thought that it makes hardly any sense to talk about it in analytic terms.