巴岱伊論尼采 24

Bataille 24

Bataille on Nietzsche
Summit and Decline
Juxtaposed with these propositions, the essence of “popular morality” is most clearly brought to the fore when dealing with sexual license.


To the extent human beings take it on themselves to give others a rule of life, they must make an appeal to merit, propose the good of being as an end that finds accomplishment in the time to come.


If my life is threatened for some comprehensible good–for instance, for the nation or a useful cause–my behavior is deserving and is popularly considered moral. And for the same reasons I’ll kill and wreck havoc in conformity to moral law.


In another area, squandering resources through gambling and drinking is wrong: though it’s right to improve the fate of the poor.


Blood sacrifice itself is execrated (a cruel waste). But the object of the greatest loathing is the freedom of the senses.


Sexual life considered in relation to these ends is almost entirely excess–a savage eruption toward an inaccessible summit-exuberance as essential opposition to concerns for the time to come. The nothingness of obscenity can’t be subjected to anything. The fact that it’s not a cancellation of existence but only a notion, and one resulting from contact, far from alleviates, and actually increases the disapproval generally felt. It is unrelated to value. It is not as if the erotic summit is something heroic attained at the cost of harsh sufferings. Clearly, the results bear no relation to the efforts. Only chance seems in charge here.


Chance plays a role in wartime disorders-though effort and courage assign the appreciable part to merit. War’s tragical aspects, in contrast with the laughable indecencies of lovemaking, have the effect of raising the tone of morality, which extols war (and economic profits) to the detriment of any sensual life. I am afraid that I still haven’t clearly enough demonstrated the naïveté of a moral bias. The weightier argument stresses the benefit to family life, which is clearly injured by sensual excess. Constantly identified with the harshness of moral yearnings, concern for the integrity of beings is painfully demonstrated.


In popular opinion, the substantive aspect of moral action is its subordination to utility, and the impulses for a yearning to transcend being are related to the good of one’s being. In this view, morality becomes simply a negation of morality. The result of this equivocation is to contrast the good of others with the good of the particular being that I am. In fact, this shift continues to identify a superficial contempt with the deep submission that acts on behalf of being. Evil is egotism–altruism good.



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