A NEW HETEROTOPIA

We first published this entry in June, 2013. We’ve now revised it in order to give it more clarity and consistency with the larger picture of the philosophical thesis we’re developing …

Michel Foucault, wrestling with the problem of the crisis of space, and, subsequently, the idea of the real and imaginary in spatial terms, came up with the concept of heterotopia to describe a place that is real and unreal at the same time[i] – as opposed to the Utopia which is imaginary only and does not exist.

In his essay Foucault lists the type of places that fit this dual-quality criterion, perhaps his most useful analogy being the mirror. You look in the mirror and see yourself, but you know that you are not really in the mirror. Nevertheless, the mirror exists. Your presence in the mirror is real and unreal at the same time.

The idea of the Heterotopia is an interesting one, that has generated more interest by our own Heterotopic existences in the virtual worlds we can inhabit on the Internet. However, we feel Foucault in a sense could not see the forest for the trees, for, from the point of view of the Human-whole, the very fabric of our civilisation itself is heterotopic and, consequently, so is our human condition. We live a dual reality existence that embraces reality (that which can be found in a space) and the imaginary (that which exists in no space) at the same time. In a sense then, the term Heterotopia opens doors to perceiving the concept of Idealism from a new angle. For this reason, we would like to keep Foucault’s term, but amplify its range.

Heterotopic realities can be true abstractions of what they are intended to be, or they can be false ones. A mirror image, for example, can be true if it is well-made or misleading if the image it reflects is distorted. Likewise, the images we create of ourselves in a social forum or chat room may be attempts to reflect our true personality, or they may be ways of presenting ourselves in another form all together. The ones that are constructed in a falsifying way, conceal the real purpose or nature of their original conception. We call these constructs masking-heterotopias.

Another example of the masking-heterotopia is civilisation. Civilisation is a thing edified from certain human fantasies in order to concentrate power and wealth in the hands of the few within a form that seems admissible. It can only be admissible of course if it hides its desires and designs for wealth. At the same time, the demos, the people, or the civilian population, is also a masking-heterotopic construct. The demos is an ideated form of humanity that has emerged out of the desires of civilisation itself. The Wealth (yes, with a capital W) that runs civilisation began with its selfish-needs’ fantasy of what the human race could be used for, and turned them into a masking-heterotopic reality that the exploited themselves are largely unconscious of. In the masking-heterotopia, the admissible, imaginary form, once created, solidifies and becomes more and more real with time, but, in its essence, it is always that which was created as a mask over the real nature of the thing conceived.

To think of the people as something to be exploited for one’s own gain and for the maintenance of its own falsely heterotopic mega-construction, is a depressing pessimism. Nevertheless, the fact that human reality is an imaginative construct also bears very positive seeds.

If a civilisation serving Wealth can be imagined and constructed from that idea, then so can a future, authentically heterotopic civilisation serving the whole of humanity be construed in abstraction and made real in space. The greater our technological capacity grows the deeper should be our faith in our ability to create any kind of reality we wish.

Nevertheless, such a belief seems to frighten us more than inspire us. We not only have dreams to build; we also have horrible recurring nightmares. The idea of crashing once more into a Quixotic impossibility, a new Third Reich or a new Communist hell of terror and bureaucracy, paralyses us. The idea of the collective dreams, our collective ego-projections of grandeur, terrify us.

To create our own authentic Heterotopia, we need to overcome this fear. Overcome the fear and then imagine the future.

[i] See Michel Foucault’s essay, OF OTHER SPACES. A PDF copy can be found online via MIT http://web.mit.edu/allanmc/www/foucault1.pdf

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16 thoughts on “A NEW HETEROTOPIA

  1. I don’t think this conception of power illustrates the whole picture. We cannot forget that power is a dynamic relationship, and a creative force. By this I mean that what appears to be the few imposing their will upon the many, in fact empowers the masses and creates an entirely legitimate sense of purpose – and if this were not the case the few would to be able to do so.

    As for the question of creating a reality in order to serve a greater human purpose, I don’t think that conception is compatible with Foucault’s conception of power. In his debate with Chomsky he described social structures as being a kind of grid that is necessarily imposed on reality that promote as well as negates certain aspects. Consequently, any delineation of what is purposeful for a human necessarily opens up new possibilities for what it might be. Purpose is the FORCE that can lead us to any number of arbitrary destinations, Hitler or otherwise.

  2. Thank you for your comments Paleorred.

    It is true that Power seems like a dynamic force, but the interests of Power are always its own interests. Power is not creative, it exploits creativity, using it to fulfil its own interests. The relationship between Power (through its own creation, civilisation) and Culture is primarily antagonistic because Culture is an essentially humanist manifestation whilst Power (and therefore civilisation) is basically anti-human. Nevertheless, Power and Culture do achieve a symbiotic relationship that has been very fruitful from a creative point of view in Civilisation. This is because Power is able to use Culture to create a benign mask for itself. At the same time, Culture needs organisation to be able to communicate, spread and preserve itself. But this does not mean that Culture (or any other term for human creativity) always needs Power. Rather it implies that there is presently no other avenue through which Culture can manifest itself. Hence for the need for a new Heterotopia which would imagine a new kind of civilisation created according to human purposes. A new Heterotopia that can unleash the real potential of human creativity rather than maintaining the inhibited variant created to serve the purposes of Power. A new Heterotopia imagined in order to create a new form of civilisation, a human civilisation driven by humanity.

    This article on Heterotopia is not meant to be an inquiry into Foucault’s conceptions of power. Foucault is there because he invented the term Heterotopia which has inspired our thinking on a different level from that conceived by Foucault.

    Our idea is to imagine purposeful, human directions for humanity, that sidestep the purposes of Power. If purpose is dangerous, the purposes of Power are for more dangerous than the purposes of humanity. The FORCE we have at the moment is the purpose of Power. It is greedy and all-consuming. It is anti-human and threatens human survival if it continues to grow. The best thing we can do is think of a place in which it was rendered unnecessary so that we can look toward satisfying real human necessities.

  3. While I agree with your description of how Power and Culture relate with one another, I still disagree with the hard distinction between the two. Creativity is necessarily an act of power as it is before all else a selective process. One has in mind the form of a man’s torso and then must chip away all the excessive substance from marble and mind alike. The reverse is also true, Power is and always has been a creative act – you cannot sanitize humanity (ahem, Hitler). To conceive of and implement a “human purpose” is not only to EXCERCISE, but also TO BE A FUNCTION of Power – from where else does your conception of what is rightfully “human” and “purposeful” come from if not from the centuries of exploitation responsible for creating our modern ideas of morality? (These being the essential ideas of Nietzsche and Foucault)
    But to return to your original question, what is purposeful? Does it involve SUFFERING? If it does, then it necessarily involves Power and all the trimmings. If it does not, then that means abolishing suffering which aside from being absurd, probably involves you know what.
    We derive out purpose and humanity precisely from Power, or it wouldn’t exist. Either alone dies without the other. Anything that wishes to grow, must consume. Let’s not be squeamish. (Apologies if all-caps is irritating, it doesn’t let me italicise)

  4. You seem to be using the term Power to encompass all drives, impetus etc.. As if any act that involves a verb action is an expression of Power. This adds an omnipotent God-like perspective to Power that is, of course, very dangerous and makes it hard for me to make any proposals against Power at all. Nevertheless let me assume that that is NOT what you are trying to do, and thereby allowing me some leeway with those verb actions to contest your propositions.

    If Power is always a creative act, what does that tell us about creativity? Does creativity have to have all the aspects needed to create power? i.e.: ruthlessness, greed, guile and an unquenchable desire to dominate. These are certainly not attributes that the great works of art and technology need to have, and in fact they shouldn’t have them. But we usually associate art with creativity. Likewise these negative kinds of creativity are not reasons for any philosophical musings. If Power is responsible for our modern ideas of morality (for example human rights) it is because it inspires a repulsion of what it itself is capable of.

    Power uses a certain kind of creativity in order to achieve its ends, but that does not mean that it is always creative. Once Power has been achieved it needs to maintain itself. There is not a lot of creativity involved in that, but yes a lot of manipulation. It is far easier to make a list of non-creative dictatorships than the creative ones. Likewise, if we consider all cases of displays of power, shouldn’t they all display creativity if it is a necessary act of power. So then, where would the creativity be in the sadistic expression of Power used by a father locking his daughter away in a room and using her as a sex toy (for example). Doesn’t the combination of Power and creativity sound repulsive and perverse in this instance? If it is creative it is not the kind of creativity we want to propagate. So, if there are kinds of Power that are wrong, why are we so sure that Power itself needs to be preserved? If Civilisation starts to act in an unhealthy way, can’t we also put it on trial? Or is Power beyond judgement?

    Second question:
    What is human purpose? At the moment it is human survival. Survival of the species. No, this does not imply the abolition of suffering. It is a question of species, and a question for all of humanity. Civilisation (Power) has become an all consuming, surplus-creating beast and we are fast approaching an ecological crisis that needs to be tackled if survival is to be assured. We believe that this civilisation driven by Power is not above judgement and needs to be put on trial.

    Power is also guilty, at the present, of inaction, for pressing world problems are not being tackled by Power. This is not because Power is impotent, but because it has its own interests that are contrary to the needs of a healthy relationship with our ecosystem.

    Therefore, if Power ignores the most vital problems facing humanity, then, I propose, humanity itself needs to discover itself and the “power” it has to replace the Power-driven civilisation with a different kind of civilisation. That is our new Heterotopia.

  5. Power is as you have described, a term encompassing all drives and impetus. That seems to me a fairly standard definition and one interesting to observe and think about; Power as a force “beyond good and evil” is fascinating . The alternative, and what I object to (and what seems like you have advocated) is the characterisation of Power being Evil as such.To say that “Power is guilty” would be as you so aptly put it, “because it inspires a repulsion of what it itself is capable of”, a sublime inversion. This strikes at the very core of what Nieztsche was concerned with in his writings. While no one would object to the claim that basic survival should be pursued, the fact that this is your answer to what human purpose is – simply survival – I find to be a dismally nihilistic perspective and categorically animalistic, if you’ll allow me.

    The excessive nature of Power is what makes it good and bad, and consequently human, ultimately redemptive. The alternative is a mindset of scarcity in which creativity is impossible. (Master/Slave morality)

    Whether we are under threat in reality is a separate issue, but Power itself is not the cause of it. But to “morally” condemn Power regardless, speaks of a kind of world-weary sickness of soul that itself is lethal. (I don’t mean this in an ad hominen way).

  6. The debate is starting to get meaty, but are we debating my ideas or just superimposing them with your own definitions?
    Firstly: I make a distinction between Power as an entity, and power as verb, and it is a very important distinction. If Power were an entity that encompasses all drives and impulses then we may as well call that God, for it would be omnipotent and omnipresent. And I am not talking about that at all.
    Secondly: purpose as simply survival may be a dismal perspective if seen from an individualistic point of view, but when I talk about humanity I am talking about our species: the homo sapiens, not isolated, individual human beings.
    If you browse through other blog entries you might get a better idea of my definition of humanity. I see humanity to be of vital importance in an ontological way. Humanity is Berkeley’s God. The God of esse ist percipi, and through its sapiens quality it is the thing that perceives and understands. it is the Dasein of Heidegger, that which exists and knows it exists, and (through Berkeley) that which knows that the universe exists. It is curious and creative. It is the result of a natural will to exist and obtain permanence. The universe exists through sapiens. Humanity is therefore a discoverer and a guardian of the universe. we depend on the world and the world depends on us. Therefore the survival of sapiens (humanity) is a purposeful aim for all of existence.
    I cannot think of anything more purposeful than that.
    And, also important, this humanity described does not actually exist (it is Heterotopic in character). It can’t exist because humans themselves don’t identify themselves with their humanity. That lack of connection with our humanity is largely the fault of the entity of Power and its own Heterotopic creation Civilisation.
    So, the first human purpose is to uncover its true human purpose as homo sapiens and the esse ist percipi god. It is to revaluate all values, especially the Nietzschean values of the Will to Power.
    If Nietzsche were resurrected he would have to revaluate all the values of the Will to Power.
    And … I think this has to be done by transcending the force-field of influence exerted by the entity of Power.
    So, Thirdly: No, I don’t think Power as an entity is evil. I don’t think it is wilfully annihilating existence, but I think it is stupid, greedy and irresponsible, and annihilation will be the eventual result of its stupidity and greed. Without understanding Humanity in the terms I have described it, we remain as the Last Men embracing the Übermensch hope of the Will to Power which has so much scarred the world and humanity over the last century. And that is the dismal, nihilistic, vulgar, money-drugged condition that the human-alas-not-human-at-all race of homo economicus is immersed in now.

  7. I object to your conception of Power because I believe it undermines your conception of humanity and the ways humanity may interact with Power. I do not see Power as an entity that might be personified, moralized, chastised or punished – all of which we in actuality do to OURSELVES through its very functioning; but rather I see it, in that vein, as a property of humanity. It is interesting that you compare Power to God, because truly if there ever were a clearer manifestation of Power it would be no other than God.

    As I don’t necessarily disagree with your conception of humanity so much as how it relates to Power, I’d like to ask for a definition precise definition of Power. Because from what you have so far described, it seems like Power is whatever exists and is able to accomplish things outside of our will that we fear and feel vaguely antagonistic towards after the deed – the universal object of ressentiment.

    I don’t know what you mean by “values of the Will to Power”, Will to Power is a property of humanity not an ideology or entity.

  8. There is nothing mystical or hard to understand about my definition of Power (with a capital P). It is a group of human beings with power (often called regimes) and their instruments (technologies) for establishing, maintaining and expanding their power for acquiring wealth and subsequently more and more power. This Power was first established in the neolithic era with the creations of the first civilisations. We see them in the form of kings and emperors, high-priests and king-priests, tyrants and dictators, and popes and ayatollahs. The form of Power today can be seen in what is commonly called the one percent. It is in the large corporate global monopolies and the international finance world. It is also seen in its effects on the world: in the enormous degrees of poverty and misery in the world, in the wars and in the constant pillage of our natural environment to feed its greedy, money-making machinations.

    As for your question about the values of the Will to Power. Will to Power was coined by Nietzsche, and was part of an unfinished struggle by him for the “revaluation of all values,” (primarily the values of Christianity and the metaphysics of God’s Will and secondly the optimism in humanity fostered by the Enlightenment and the liberal revolutions). The Will to Power was Nietzsche’s metaphysical statement that “All is Power”. He understood that any metaphysical statement is a moral one and, hence, imbued with values.

    The problem of this will to power is that the term power itself is a relative concept: it has different meanings that change according to the context within which it is placed, and, therefore, it does not work as metaphysical concept. For example, the opposite of power is non-power, or “impotence”, but it could also be “partnership”, “love” or “submission” or “enslavement”. This relativity confuses the understanding of the will to power when it is seen as the motivating idea for all human action.

    For example: imagine there is an apocalyptic event and all human life is annihilated from the world except one man and one woman. What should the man and woman do? Does the will to power help them decide? well, yes, obviously … it is a part of their nature, so they know instinctively what to do. And so, yes … the will to power urges them to procreate and they might. But there is a value judgement in that act of procreation … maybe we should procreate, or perhaps not, for these are conscious thinking beings, not vulgar animals with no opinions. But, what happens if the man isn’t too keen on it and can’t manage it? (His will to power is just not up to the task after the stressful apocalypse he has just endured). Won’t the woman have to convince him? Maybe they need to establish a human relationship with each other first. How will that relationship be created through the will to power? Will it be master-slave? If they both have the will to power (which all of us necessary do have according to Nietzsche and you) then we can expect there to be some conflict between them. Power against power usually ends in some nasty business. But the desired result, in this case, is not fighting, is it? After all, the worst thing that could happen would be that one would kill the other before offspring are able to come into the world and guarantee human survival. So, one person will have to submit, perhaps … which means compromising power. Who should it be? Or perhaps they could form a partnership … but partnership is the opposite of power …

    So, in the end … does the Will to Power really enlighten us about our nature and how we should make the most of that nature?

    In Nietzsche’s metaphysical terms one might say that non-being was empowered into being by the will, and conclude from this that the Will to Power is the Creator. But it is less ambiguous to say: non-being was able to come into being, or, non-being was allowed to come into being by the will. In this case we have a Will to Be Able. From this perspective the evolution of the Universe becomes a process of creating the ability for Being to be possible. This fits in better with what science tells us about the evolution of the cosmos.

    Going back to the above example: our couple would work according to the natural will of creating the ability for being to be possible, and do it, because they are thinking beings, in a way that would be the best possible way using all their sapien talents to forge the way for the creation of a new humanity that would not make the same mistakes as the species that had all but absolutely annihilated itself.

    Seen within a scenario of this metaphysics, driven by a need to “create the ability for being possible”, Power becomes either an aid or an impediment to the process. This is because Power can either create ability or impede it. Power therefore is infused with a moral nature. It is positive if it is involved in the process of creating ability and negative if it impedes the process of creating ability.

    Our attacks on Power therefore are stimulated by an observation that it impedes the process of creating ability rather than liberates it. We could simply focus on the positive side of Power, but, Power itself does that so nothing would be revealed if we did. Our critical work is aimed at revealing the absolutely dangerous side of Power not at lulling us into a false sense of submission and security with Power.

    The metaphysics of power, like the metaphysics of God that it was meant to replace, is dangerous because it is life threatening and therefore existence threatening. Power or God, instil their believers with the fantasy of a pre-established permanence, whether life exists or not, and it ignores the necessary role of life in the partnership of being, as well as the innately fragile quality of life itself. Neither the Will to Power nor God’s Will has any fear of an apocalyptic annihilation of humanity, even though such an annihilation would mean the annihilation of existence itself. Esse ist principi means that Being needs the sapiens agent of a conscious perceiving entity in order for it to be revealed. Being is non-Being until revealed and only as long as it can be revealed. Annihilate the perceiving agent and there can be no more revelation of Being. This is the great danger of the Will to Power.

  9. Your definition of Power, I feel still falls under my initial perception: “whatever exists and is able to accomplish things outside of our will that we fear and feel vaguely antagonistic towards after the deed – the universal object of ressentiment”, in that you conceive of Power precisely from the position of its ABSENCE.

    “We would hold no objections to Power if we wielded it, but then again we are ashamed and would feel guilty at merely that, let alone conceive to create what we felt was good. For what is good but that opposite reaction to Power – the object we lack and consequently must be Evil; Evil of course because it does not align to our will, alas.” – This is the conception of Power as defined by Slave Morality (but the part in quotation being my own description), which I think characterizes you definition. As you can see it is ultimately derived from the Will to Power even while being opposed to and undermined by it.

    Your conception of the Will to Power is distorted and I really think you misunderstand Nietzsche completely in this aspect. Power is not a relative concept, or at least not in the way you have described. The way in which you have considered examples of the opposite of power is not consistent with your and Nietzsche’s definition: All is Power. All the examples you have listed are manifestations of (and not opposites) to the Will to Power and serve to elucidate rather than confuse our understanding of Power. If we conceive of love to be the opposite of Power it would be very confusing indeed why one person might love another if only motivated by Power. But Power is a selective force, for when we affirm a certain aspect or person, it is NECESSARILY at the cost of all others (and vice versa). In fact, when we love a person, we never love their whole person in a vacuum; it is a process fraught with ambiguity, likes, dislikes, doubt, faith – comparing them to themselves, with ourselves, with others – aspects grow in our esteem at the expense of others – in short it is precisely a CONFLICT of dazzling complexity from every angle and at every scale. “All that is love occurs beyond Good and Evil” this is because love is a manifestation of the Will to Power – being a dynamic force that overcomes itself and its opposite continuously (in this way power is a relative concept and not as you describe) – to which Good and Evil (as they belong to Slave Morality) act as deadening forces of inertia. And as described above, even Slave Morality, which apparently is a life negating force, the opposite of the Will to Power, is in fact derived from it – being not so much negation of life as it is life preserving desperation.

    • I you feel that your Being is under threat at all times to which a Great Power is to blame and to which one should expend all one’s mental energy to contemplating – regardless of whether the perceived threat is real – that is the very definition of Slave Morality.

  10. The meat of the debate seems to have grown rather tough and rancid, and it is not easy to chew any more, never mind digest.

    To discuss power in this dogmatic way I might as well be debating the character of God with a Mormon.

    I’m sure I’ve not properly understood what Nietzsche really meant by the Will to Power because I don’t agree with it. However, if it all boils down to “All is Power”, then I have certainly not understood him and frankly, wouldn’t want to. After all, what is the difference between All is Power and All is God, or God is Power or Power is God, or Power is All and hence Power is Nothing and any other dead-end argument around the Absolute. Surely that is not what Nietzsche was arguing.

    But then again, what is Nietzsche?

    Nietzsche is attractive to dogmatists and reactionaries, but also to revolutionaries and critics. This may be what makes Nietzsche so “popular”. He has arguments and strategies for everyone. But this also means that he will always be misinterpreted.
    As for the Will to Power: that posthumous work was supposedly conceived to be part of a larger work called The Revaluation of All Values, which would have included the cynical (I mean this in the philosophical, doggy way, of kyniks), critical text of The Antichrist.

    The Will to Power then, was a metaphysical revaluation of the values of the metaphysics and the anti-metaphysics of his own time. I am sure that a great cynic like Nietzsche would not have wanted his revaluations to then become dogmas.

    To use the Will to Power now to defend the institutions of Power, and render them beyond criticism, because they are beyond good and evil, is an absolutely conservative and reactionary attitude that undermines the Will to Power itself.

    The All is Power thesis is paradoxical: how can one follow the Master Morality, or think of themselves in tune with the Will to Power and not become a servant or slave of Power, which means acting contrary to the will you have so much faith in.

    And even if the answer to this is “well it doesn’t matter because everything is Will to Power even the Slave Morality,” then what enlightenment can we get from being in this Absolute will. What purpose can we get from it?

    If your answer to my original question “What is the purpose of humanity?” is All is Power, what does that mean? Must we follow the teachings of Zarathustra once we accept the slogan? What difference is it to saying All is God or Allah is Great and their imposition of slavery to the scriptures?

    • Why do you consider my and Nietzsche’s definition of Power to be dogmatic? It’s precise purpose if it has any is to expose previously dogmatic and un-useful conceptions of Power( of which I include your own), namely that Power is and should be considered the Big Bad Evil Guy (that sometimes isn’t completely bad but mostly is by default) – this I have already discussed.

      Neither is Power an ideology that can be expressed by “following” Master Morality. If you think Nietzsche or I am advocating Master Morality as an ideology or dogma then you are categorically in the wrong and you have not read Nietzsche, (and I think, straw manning me ie “You critique Slave Morality absolutely, therefore you affirm Master Morality absolutely – to abuse the M/S dichotomy in this way would be precisely in the manner of that other dichotomy that it exposes.

      Furthermore, if you don’t find any purpose in revaluating ideologies from the genealogical perspective then I can only be so bold as to repeat that you have not read Nietzsche (or Foucault for that matter). I apologize if the conception that “everything is Will to Power even Slave Morality” sounds a bit nonsensical, as I have only provided a minimal explanation as to why that is meaningful, namely that it is counterintuitive. It is in fact a conclusion that itself is resultant of interesting investigation that leads us even further, along with our mustached friend, to explorations of how Slave Morality has or has not been meaningful and the necessity and role it has played in human development.

      As for Zarathustra – its interesting that you make the comparison of religious dogma, as Zarathustra itself is a parody of that genre and in it Zarathustra himself mentions that he should not be taken as a replacement for God.

      At this point – however irritatingly and for which I apologize – I’d like to end the discussion (on my part at least) because as is evident I’ve turned into a squawking Nietzsche parrot, which isn’t useful for any of us. Thank you for the discussion; it’s been fun.

      • Ok. I will end the discussion too. You have asked a lot of questions again, but, let’s leave them in the air this time, not that I don’t have any answers but … we don’t want to turn this discussion into an eternal torment. Yes, I have enjoyed it too, and it has been useful for giving me insights into certain inquiries I’m wrestling with. Good luck with your own blog.

  11. Ok after rereading this discussion I think I have a clearer explanation that addresses the issues you’ve raised. Power in the Nietzschean sense is analogous to gravity. If we understand gravity to be an omnipresent force, this gives meaning to specific instances we readily observe like an apple falling from a tree, and if we are willing to consider this force generally, then it also adds a new dimension to our understanding of reality as a whole. Why should gravity only refer to “things falling down”? Why should Power only refer to tyranny? Like gravity, Power is an all-encompassing force. Every bit of mass necessarily attracts every other mass in the universe no matter how far – you are attracting Pluto and Pluto is attracting you. The universal nature of gravity by no means renders it a nonsensical tautology nor deifies it, because while being universal it illuminates our understanding of a wide variety of discrete realities. We shouldn’t be afraid to explore Power beyond powerful individuals abusing weak populations than we should be afraid to explore gravity beyond things falling down. I think many of the “paradoxes” of Nietzsche, including his moral “relativity” have correlatives in physics. For example the equation of mass and energy refers to specific instances in reality just as M/S are synthesised in modern morality while remaining discreet concepts.

    I really hope this clarifies things. And for the record I am by no means a neo-con and I don’t support the status quo of today’s politics, I simply object to this misconceived narrow/ideological notion of Power being brought into the mix.

  12. Yes, I know you and Nietzsche think that power is a metaphysical concept. And, I do appreciate that. I have read all the works by Nietzsche and some about him that I know to be translated into English, a few in Spanish, and I have read them closely with a lot of interest. Foucault I’ve read too, but not so much.
    My objection is the fact that you are suggesting that because of the Will to Power I can’t use the term any more in a context that is not the Will to Power, or even that I have to take Will to Power into consideration every time I use the other thing. Can you imagine a writer’s life if every time he used the term love he were attacked by Christians telling him that his use of the term was blasphemous as it didn’t express the love of God? Or if followers of Heidegger took out a copyright on the verb “to be”.
    However, if you can think of a better term for Power to refer to the forces that control civilisation (without inventing a new word), a term that encompasses all of those controlling forces, past and present, I would be very interested in considering it.
    Until then, Power is the best term I can think of to express what I want to express.
    P.S.
    Or perhaps I’ve found a good substitute myself: “Wealth” might do the trick.
    I’ve edited the article and changed Power for Wealth, and it doesn’t seem to have lost the meaning I wished to convey … so, let it be Wealth now, or at least, until someone else takes offence to that term as well.

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