Friday, October 21, 2005


From the FT Magazine, 15 Oct, 'Weak leaders' by John Lloyd:
One of Nietzsche’s aphorisms (in Human, All Too Human) is that degenerates foster change - degenerates, that is, to those within the system being changed. Noting that societies with “good, robust mores” learn how to subordinate the individual and inculcate character according to their moral laws, he writes: “The danger to those strong communities founded on homogeneous individuals who have character is growing stupidity, which follows all stability like a shadow. It is the individuals who have fewer ties and are much more uncertain and morally weaker upon whom spiritual progress depends in such communities; they are the men who make new and manifold experiments.”

Those within any system imbibe and live by its morality, its “this-is-how-we-do-things-here” code. People who don’t observe that morality are seen as degenerates, or “morally weaker” - which they are, judged by the morality of the system. But they are also - to repeat a phrase of Tony Blair’s - the “change-makers”.

The rest of this article is for subscribers only
Lloyd argues:
Labour, perhaps because historically it has seen itself as the party of outsiders, has had fewer obvious degenerates ("we're all degenerates here"). Clement Atlee [...] was, like Harold Wilson after him, in a familiar line of middle-class leftist intellectuals.
(This is in the way of being an experiment. I shall google for the article in a week or so and see what turns up.)


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