Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Nietzsche on political science and uncertainty

From The Gay Science:
...the need to be secure in one way or another against the frightful fluctuations of fortune, opens even the nobler hands, as soon as a richer and more powerful person shows himself ready to put gold into them. There is then, so little certainty with regard to the future; people live only for the day : a psychical condition which enables every deceiver to play an easy game,-people of course only let themselves be misled and bribed "for the present", and reserve for themselves futurity and virtue. The individuals, as is well known, the men who only live for themselves, provide for the moment more than do their opposites, the gregarious men, because they consider themselves just as incalculable as the future; and similarly they attach themselves willingly to despots, because they believe themselves capable of activities and expedients, which can neither reckon on being understood by the multitude, nor on rending favour with them...
I read this as similar to Hayek's point in The Road to Serfdom, although the normative valuations attached are reversed.