RADICAL CANT (even with excitement)
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“He closes your eyes and he hands you a dream you have your promise, your Midnight Promise” — Jeffrey Lee Pierce. “I want to awaken the greatest mistrust of myself: I speak only of things I have experienced, and do not offer only events in the head.” — Friedrich Nietzsche. “It is not the height,” says Zarathustra, “it is the abyss that is terrible.” Contrary to popular belief, the abyss is not a place, it is a moment in perpetual motion, a moment of “darkness and consolation”. The contradiction is intentional. Torn between Superman and Mankind, between the heights and the abyss, Zarathustra must find a way of living with a permanently cracked “I”, a permanently cracked subjectivity. This has nothing to do with madness, and even less to do with Nietzsche. Zarathustra seeks inner preconditions in place of practical conclusions. This is why there is no “theory” or “radical cant” of the eternal return (or of anything else) in Nietzsche’s writings. He made no midnight promise, and didn’t expect to receive one either. Rather, he sought “a life” – a means of living which would enable practical conclusions to lie where inner preconditions determined they should fall. He sought to “live blindly among men, as if [he] did not recognise them”. Nietzsche was the first philosopher to mind his own business. Zarathustra opposed Radical Cant with Manly Prudence: “I let myself be deceived, so as not to be on guard against deceivers.” “I am more considerate to the vain than the proud.” “I do not let your timorousness spoil my pleasure at the sight of the wicked.” “I sit among you disguised, so that I may misunderstand you and myself.” Radical Cant is constitutive of the world and is entirely fictional. Radical Cant seeks to unmask truth, revealing nakedness. Radical Cant hates all masks and simulated surfaces. Radical Cant interrogates the world as if it were a subjectivity. As if it were an individual with a personality. As if it were not unknowable and entirely fictional. As if it were an object to be understood As if it were a State to be achieved.
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