From Ressentiment to Redemption
Chapter 5: The struggle for power: the revolt
If ressentiment was made by Nietzsche a terminus technicus, according to Scheler (Scheler 2003: 20), his concept of the slave revolt (Sklavenaufstand) is a key element in his construction of the Genealogy of Morals (1892). Without the slave revolt there would be no genealogy, just morality. Nietzsche’s explanation departs from the idea of a historical beginning when human groups were disorganized, ‘inorganic and errant’, upon which fell a superior race (sic), a blonde, fair, brave race whose members created order, the State (GM: II,17). This people, the warriors, the conquerors, the noble, the masters, create value. They will value most, and call good, their own qualities: fairness, bravery, loyalty, knowledge, wealth, truth, and so forth. The ‘master morality’. But 2000 years before his time, says Nietzsche, a faction from the ruling classes, who were secondary in wealth and power or who lacked the moral qualities of the real masters, especially bravery, raised a revolt against the masters’ morality: the slave revolt. What is this morality?
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