Genealogy does not only interpret, it also evaluates. Up to now we have presented things as if different forces struggled over and took successive possession of an almost inert object. But the object itself is force, expression of a force. This is why there is more or less affinity between the object and the force which takes possession of it. There is no object (phenomenon) which is not already possessed since in itself it is not an appearance but the apparition of a force. Every force is thus essentially related to another force. The being of force is plural, it would be absolutely absurd to think about force in the singular. A force is domination, but also the object on which domination is exercised. A plurality of forces acting and being affected at distance, distance being the differential element included in each force and by which each is related to others - this is the principle of Nietzsche's philosophy of nature. The critique of atomism must be understood in terms of this principle. It consists in showing that atomism attempts to impart to matter an essential plurality and distance which in fact belong only to force. Only force can be related to another force. (As Marx says when he interprets atomism, "Atoms are their own unique objects and can relate only to themselves" - Marx "Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature". But the question is; can the basic notion of atom accommodate the essential relation which is attempted to it? The concept only becomes coherent if one thinks of force instead of atom. For the notion of atom cannot in itself contain the difference necessary for the affirmation of such a relation, difference in and according to the essence. Thus atomism would be a mask for an incipient dynamism.)
Nietzsche's concept of force is therefore that of a force which is related to another force: in this form force is called will. The will (will to power) is the differential element of force. A new conception of the philosophy of the will follows from this. For the will is not exercised mysteriously on muscles or nerves, still less on "matter in general", but is necessarily exercised on another will. The real problem is not that of the relation of will to the involuntary but rather of the relation of a will that commands to a will that obeys - that obeys to a greater or lesser extent. " 'Will' can of course operate only on 'will' - and not on 'matter' (not on 'nerves' for example): enough, one must venture the hypothesis that wherever 'effects' are recognised, will is operating on will" (BGE 36 p. 49). The will is called a complex thing because insofar as it wills it wills obedience - but only a will can obey commands. Thus pluralism finds its immediate corroboration and its chosen ground in the philosophy of the will. And Nietzsche's break with Schopenhauer rests on one precise point; it is a matter of knowing whether the will is unitary or multiple. Everything else flows from this. Indeed, if Schopenhauer is led to deny the will it is primarily because he believes in the unity of willing. Because the will, according to Schopenhauer, is essentially unitary, the executioner comes to understand that he is one with his own victim. The consciousness of the identity of the will in all its manifestations leads the will to deny itself, to suppress itself in pity, morality and ascetism (Schopenhauer The World as Will and Idea, Book 4). Nietzsche discovers what seems to him the authentically Schopenhauerian mystification; when we posit the unity, the identity, of the will we must necessarily repudiate the will itself.
Nietzsche denounces the soul, the "ego" and egoism as the last refuges of atomism. Psychic atomism is more valid than physical atomism: "In all willing it is absolutely a question of commanding and obeying, on the basis of a social structure composed of many 'souls' " (BGE 19 p. 31). When Nietzsche praises egoism it is always in an aggressive or polemical way, against the virtues, against the virtue of disinterestedness (Z III "Of the Three Evil Things"). But in fact egoism is a bad interpretation of will, just as atomism is a bad interpretation of force. In order for there to be egoism it is necessary or there to be an ego. What directs us towards the origin is the fact that every force is related to another, whether in order to command or to obey. The origin is the difference in the origin, difference in the origin is hierarchy, that is to say the relation of a dominant to a dominated force, of an obeyed to an obeying will. The inseparability of hierarchy and genealogy is what Nietzsche calls "our problem" (HH Preface 7). Hierarchy is the originary fact, the identity of difference and origin. We will understand later why the problem of hierarchy is precisely the problem of "free spirits". Be that as it may, we can note the progression from sense to value, from interpretation to evaluation as tasks for genealogy. The sense of something is its relation to the force which takes possession of it, the value of something is the hierarchy of forces which are expressed in it as a complex phenomenon.
Gilles Deleuze/ Nietzsche and Philosophy/ The Philosophy Of The Will
Originally published in France in 1962 as Nietzsche et la philosophic by Presses Universitaires de France
Published in the USA and Canada by Columbia University Press
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