Nietzsche's On The Genealogy Of Good And Evil

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In his first essay of On the Genealogy of Morals, “‘Good and Evil,’ ‘Good and Bad,” Nietzsche makes accusations against priests that could easily be interpreted in a pro-Nazi light if misinterpreted. At first glance, this charge seems to be an attack against Judaism; however careful reading of text reveals that Nietzsche is actually criticizing Christianity. Nietzsche asserts that “priests are, as is notorious, the worst enemies—why? Because they are the weakest, their weakness causes their hate to expand into a monstrous and sinister shape, a shape which is most crafty and most poisonous” (1.7). Because the Jewish priests that Nietzsche describes are powerless and weak, they turn to hate. However, it is this hatred that makes the Jewish priests more dangerous, and therefore “evil.” Nietzsche continues his attack on the priests by stating, “ All of the world’s efforts against the ‘aristocrats,’ the ‘mighty,’ the ‘masters,’ the holders of power,’ are negligible by comparison with what has been accomplished against those classes by the Jews—the Jews, that priestly nation which eventually realised that the one method of effecting satisfaction on its enemies and tyrants was by means of a radical transvaluation of values, which was at the same time an act of cleverest revenge”…show more content…
In identifying the Jews as a key example of the priestly caste, Nietzsche essentially labels them the most refined haters in human history. The Jews manage to effect a complete reversal in moral evaluations, associating themselves, the “low”, the “vulgar”, the “plebian”, with "good," and the “aristocratic”, “noble”, and “high caliber” as "evil” (1.4). However, according to Nietzsche, the crowning achievement of Judaism is the development of
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