"The Book of the Law announces a new dichotomy in human society; there is the master and there is the slave; the noble and the serf; the 'lone wolf' and the herd. Nietzsche may be regarded as one of our prophets." - Aleister Crowley.
"How to philosophize with a hammer" is the subtitle of Nietzsche's book Twilight of the Idols, and indeed described the whole character of his philosophy.
Nietzsche is the hammer who smashed the tablets of Moses, the cross of Jesus and the heads of Marx and Rousseau. Nietzsche stands as the great Adversary - as the Hebrews called their concept of Satan, of all slave moralities, religions and ideologies which would level mankind down into an egalitarian, undifferentiated herd.
Nietzsche's philosophy is directed towards the breaking of old moral codes and the erecting of new ones, enabling the emergence of Higher Man.
Let us see how Nietzschean philosophy compares with the philosophy of neo-Satanism as articulated by Anton LaVey.
LaVey writes of herd conformity as one of the 'Satanic sins'. "Only fools follow along with the herd," he writes, and warns against "being enslaved by the many."
In Beyond Good & Evil Nietzsche writes:
"The collective degeneration of man down to that which the socialist dolts and blockheads today see as their 'man of the future' - as their ideal - this degeneration and diminution of man to the perfect herd animal... this animalization of man to the pygmy animal of equal rights and equal pretensions is possible... He who has once thought this possibility through to the end knows one more kind of disgust than other men do - and perhaps also a new task!"
The ego is given a central place in the philosophies of both Nietzsche and LaVey.
"Satanism, in fact, is the only religion which advocates the intensification or encouragement of the ego... Religionists keep their followers in line by suppressing their egos. By making their followers feel inferior, the awesomeness of their god is ensured. Satanism encourages its members to develop a good strong ego because it gives them self-respect necessary for a vital existence in this life."
Nietzsche advocates, "The natural value of egoism [which] depends on the physiological value of him who possesses it: it can be very valuable, it can be worthless and contemptible. Every individual may be regarded as representing the ascending or descending line of life. When one has decided which, one had thereby established a canon for the value of his egoism. If he represents the ascending line his value is in fact extraordinary - and for the sake of the life-collective, which with him takes a step forward, the care expended on his preservation, on the creation of optimum conditions for him, may even be extreme... If he represents the descending development, decay, chronic degeneration, sickening... then he can be accorded little value..."
There is thus a hierarchy of human worth, an inegalitarian antithetical to the levelling religion, ideologies and moralities of mass-man. And it is these which have caused so much misery and bloodshed for mankind in their attempts to impose an impossible equality, as our own civilization has witnessed in the form of the French Revolutionary Terror and the Red Terror, to cite but two examples.
To Nietzsche the superior individual stands above the mass, he is the 'Higher Man', a transitional type between mass-man and the 'Over Man', the latter being still a higher form of existence.
LaVey is referring to this Higher Man when he writes of the unique individual who stands above the herd:
"With the sinews of Satan moving through his flesh, then he either escapes from the cacklings of righteousness, or stands proudly in his secret places of the earth and manipulates the folly-ridden masses through his own Satanic might, until the day when he may come forth in splendour proclaiming 'I am a Satanist! Bow down, for I am the highest embodiment of human life!'"
Nietzsche similarly writes of the "solitaries of today, you who have seceded from society", from whom shall spring "...a new nobility... to oppose all mob rule... and to write anew upon new law-tables the word 'noble'." He advises the Higher Man to withdraw from the market place - mass society - where the mob yell at him, "we are all equal before god."
LaVey's concept of the Satanist as the "highest embodiment of human life" is that of the Nietzschean Higher Man towering above the mass.
"Christianity is called the religion of pity" writes Nietzsche:
"Pity stands in antithesis to the tonic emotions which enhance the energy of the feeling of life: it has a depressive effect. One loses force when one pities... Pity on the whole thwarts the law of evolution, which is the law of selection. It preserves what is ripe for destruction; it defends life's disinherited and condemned; through the abundance of ill-constituted of all kinds which it retains in life, it gives life itself a gloomy and questionable aspect. One has ventured to call pity a virtue (- in every noble morality it counts as a weakness -); one has gone further, one has made of it THE virtue... This depressive and contagious instinct thwarts those instincts bent on preserving and enhancing the value of life: both as multiplier of misery and as a conservator of everything miserable it is one of the chief instruments for the advancement of decadence."
LaVey writes of a new creed for Higher - Satanist - Man which repudiates pity:
"Blessed are the strong, for they shall posses the earth - Cursed are the weak, for they shall inherit the yoke! Blessed are the powerful for they shall be reverenced among men - Cursed are the feeble, for they shall be blotted out! Blessed are the bold, for they shall be masters of the earth - cursed are the righteously humble - for they shall be trodden under cloven hoofs!"
Such is the 'master morality' in opposition to the 'slave morality', in Nietzschean terminology. The 'noble human being', whom we call the Satanist, separates himself from those whose nature is that of the slave, "the cowardly, the timid, the petty - these are to be despised, not pitied as are those who abase themselves, the dog-like type of man who lets himself be mistreated, the fawning flatterer, above all the liar..."
"Let established sophisms be dethroned, rooted out, burnt and destroyed, for they are a standing menace to all true nobility of thought and action", writes LaVey.
This is precisely the rationale for Nietzsche's attack on Christianity and all other slave creeds.
"One should not embellish or dress up Christianity: it has waged war to the death against the higher type of man, it has excommunicated all the fundamental instincts of this type, it has distilled evil, the Evil One, out of these instincts - the strong human being as the type of reprehensibility, as the 'outcast'. Christianity has taken the side of everything weak, base, ill-constituted, it has made an ideal out of opposition to the preservative instincts of strong life."
LaVey, Nine Satanic Sins. Church of Satan, San Francisco, 1987.
Nietzsche, Beyond Good & Evil. Penguin, England, 1984.
LaVey, Satanic Bible, page 94. Avon Books, NY 1969.
Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, page 86. Penguin, 1985.
LaVey, Satanic Bible, page 45.
Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Penguin, 1975.
Nietzsche, The Anti Christ, page 118. Penguin, 1985.
LaVey, Satanic Bible, page 34.
Nietzsche, Beyond Good & Evil, page 175-176. Penguin, England, 1984.
LaVey, Satanic Bible, page 32.
Nietzsche, The Anti Christ, page 117.
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