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4 Things You Must Remember to be Free from Nietzsche’s ‘Slave Morality’
by J.L. Morin
Saturday Sep 1st, 2012 1:18 AM
When modern living destroys your family, and the only thing you can pay is attention, here are some time-tested ways to break free.

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4 Things You Must Remember to be Free from Nietzsche’s ‘Slave Morality’

by J.L. Morin ©

Nietzsche says most people choose to be victims. He warns of ‘slave morality’, the guilt-ridden, pessimistic, mediocre, fearful, paralyzing attitude of “those uncertain of themselves.” How to avoid the high price of uncertainty?

1. Nietzsche divides the world into Apollonian and Dionysian, the latter embodied in Cassandra, the beautiful Trojan princess who refused to ‘marry’ Apollo even after he gave her the power to see the future. The ancients did not recognize a woman's right to say “No,” and Apollo took it hard.

But Cassandra knew her worth―as I say in my Occupy novel Trading Dreams, “Pride is expensive. Prostitution is more expensive.” This is how much she was worth: Apollo punished her by making the world disbelieve her prophecies, and humanity has turned a deaf ear to women and squandered riches ever since.

Cassandra warned the Trojans about the horse: the Trojans took the horse inside the city gates. The Greeks captured Cassandra, 'she who selects men,' as a prize of war and made her into a sex-slave. Her ‘ravings’ can still be heard today.

No need to sanitize the story with another genius woman treated poorly― there are plenty of other Trojan horses lying around. You can see the omens better with your own eyes. Foreign countries perform liposuctions of bad debt from afar and explode from within! So we’ll skip the first admonition and go straight to the second:

2. Read between the lines. Take any article. Apart. A New York Times exposé on bogus book reviews called "The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy" pans Todd Rutherford for charging $99 for reviewing books, but fails to mention that bigger reviewers, Kirkus most blatantly, have been functioning the same way all along. Why would the New York Times omit the bigger story that Kirkus, a $70-million-dollar company, has been charging $499 for its reviews for years? To sideline a little guy from publishing? This article appears to contribute to the corporate hegemony, but they forgot one thing. There are too many little guys to squash. With free people reading between the lines, journalism like this will bring on the eventual collapse of a crusty hegemony.

3. Avoid corporate beholdeness. Corporations have many techniques for marginalizing the masses. No one who is drowning in debt, taking medicine to cure the side effects from other medications, distracted by every temptation or spending all their free time in therapy can threaten an oncoming oligopoly.

Most of us aren’t slaves, just like corporations aren’t persons, so you probably have every resource at your disposal to keep alert. Ask the questions that matter to you.

Case study: America is in an election year, and again, candidates from an essentially one-party system are debating the irrelevant. As Noam Chomsky warned in his lecture “America is NOT a Democracy!” the issues most people care about have not been allowed on the agenda.

To keep the country from collapsing like totalitarian regimes in the 80’s, why not pin candidates down and ask where they stand on real issues like bank regulation, outsourcing, or whatever genuinely matters to you?

• Do they favor organic workplaces responsible to the stakeholders working in them on the ground, or do they favor workplaces beholden to the shareholders trading decimals up in the skyscrapers?

• Do they think there is an incentive to make people sick if health insurance companies are allowed to own other types of businesses?

• Do they think the Occupy movement is a worthy cause?

4. Avoid prostitution, however metaphorical. We now know that many prostitutes are actual slaves themselves. They do not share in the enjoyment of services proffered. Their sufferings are a form of misguided globalization. Apply this insight to metaphorical species of parasites. Ask yourself, am I surrounded by people I can invest in?

Case study: Ben’s job was transferred to another city. He left his friends and family and spent all of his one-week’s vacation on the move. He decided the most efficient way to form relationships outside of work in his new environment would be online dating, in industry rife with deception where 86% of online daters believe that the people they meet online have lied. Online relations seemed better to Ben because they cut out nonverbal behavior, which is less controllable and more likely to betray deception. The sword cut both ways. After months of relentless lying about his personal qualifications and hit-and-miss dating, he didn’t feel he could trust his ‘candidates’ and found things wrong with each one. But he knew he could always meet another girl on the web, so he kept on breaking up. A year and twenty-six breakups later, he was unable to have a relationship or feel any kind of love, even for his high school friends, and developed erectile dysfunction. He said, “All the women started to look the same.” He has stopped online dating and is now in therapy on his way to escaping slave morality.

How reasonable is it to accept a social order based on slave morality? Does hierarchy have to depend on exclusions? We can choose to be victims, oblivious to civic choreography. We can also make the world flat!

J.L. Morin, award-winning author of the Occupy novel TRADING DREAMS – Booklist review http://bit.ly/NTHl0x -- a humorous story that unmasks hypocrisy in the banking industry and tosses corruption onto the horns of the Wall Street bull. Adjunct faculty at Boston University, J. L. Morin, was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2011. She is the author of the award-winning novel SAZZAE (Gold medal winner of the 2010 eLit Book Award, 2010 winner of a Living Now Book Award), started as a creative thesis at Harvard, followed by the novel TRAVELLING LIGHT, on sex slavery. Her writing has appeared in THE HARVARD ADVOCATE, HARVARD YISEI, THE DETROIT NEWS, AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE, CYPRUS WEEKLY, LIVONIA OBSERVER ECCENTRIC NEWSPAPERS, and THE HARVARD CRIMSON. J. L. Morin grew up in inner city Detroit, graduated from Harvard, and traded currency derivatives in New York while studying nights at New York University’s Stern School of Business (MBA ‘97) culminating in a job at the Federal Reserve Bank posted to the 103rd floor of the World Trade Center. In 2001, Morin took to the road, traveling to Australia as a diplomatic spouse, a way of life that fueled an interest in the origins of cultures. After 9/11, she worked as a TV newscaster.
by J.L. Morin Saturday Sep 1st, 2012 1:18 AM