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The Evil in the Hearts of Men

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"But neither self-described libertarians today nor psychopaths are deeply motivated by love for their fellow human persons."

Thomas Jefferson answered the question of self-love as the basis for morality, in a letter to Thomas Law, two hundred years ago this year:

"Self-interest, or rather self-love, or egoism, has been more plausibly substituted as the basis of morality. But I consider our relations with others as constituting the boundaries of morality. With ourselves, we stand on the ground of identity, not of relation, which last, requiring two subjects, excludes self-love confined to a single one. To ourselves, in strict language, we can owe no duties, obligation requiring also two parties. Self-love, therefore, is no part of morality. Indeed, it is exactly its counterpart." (The Complete Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Memorial Edition; Volume 14, page 140; 1904.)

So self-love and self-interest, as expressed by so many libertarians--as well as the psychopaths and sociopaths that infect our financial and political world today--has no place in the make-up of the Superman of Zarathustra, Professor Farrell's "Holistic Human." And if you doubt, here is a quote from Nietzsche himself:

"It would be completely unworthy of a more profound spirit to consider mediocrity as such an exception. When the exceptional human being treats the mediocre more tenderly than himself or his peers, this is not mere politeness of the heart--it is simply his duty." (The Antichrist, No. 57; The Portable Nietzsche, translated by Walter Kaufmann.)

Nietzsche never had the opportunity to achieve his "Superman" status. The sorrow--over his lost love and his seeming betrayal by Wagner--in his heart, and a troubled spirit without human or spiritual comfort, drove him mad in 1888, at the age of 44. This was the same age that his father, a Lutheran minister, had gone mad and killed himself. Like so many others who have thought deeply and entered territory that no human mind had entered before--Van Gogh, Schuman, and Tchaikovsky--with no one and nothing to grab onto when his mind began to fall away, the world lost greatness before its time, as Nietzsche sank into a deep depression from which he never recovered.

Creating a Mythology of Heroes

The heroes in Marvel's The Avengers universe of characters, despite their flaws, are made of sterner stuff. Captain America is not only what Professor Farrell was writing of for OpEdNews, but what Joseph Campbell wrote of in Hero With a Thousand Faces: a Zarathustra motivated not by a selfish Will to Power, but one who has learned that real power lies in love, and trust, and most of all, the ability to forgive others as well as yourself. He is unique within the super-hero genre: an individual who has "died" twice; once when he gained his superhuman powers, and once when he was frozen in ice at the end of World War II. The world that he knew has disappeared, so complete was the change during his time frozen in ice. He is learning how to both live and trust again in this new era with its new rules.

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Richard Girard is a polymath and autodidact whose greatest desire in life is to be his generations' Thomas Paine. He is an FDR Democrat, which probably puts him with U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders in the current political spectrum. His answer to (more...)

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