The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies Vol. 10, No. 2
(TI, “Skirmishes of an Untimely Man,” 33, 35). Some, to use Nietz- sche’s language, are born to be masters, and some are born slaves.
There is a continuum here, but one cannot do anything about which type one essentially is. There is a brute biological fact here: Our traits are evolutionarily bred into us. Just as a sheep cannot help but be sheepish and a hawk cannot help but be hawkish, each of us inherits from our parents a long line of inbuilt traits. “It cannot be effaced from a man’s soul what his ancestors have preferably and most constantly done” (BGE, 264). Biological determinism is for Nietzsche a consequence of a more general metaphysical determinism: “the single human being is a piece of fatum from the front and from the rear, one law more, one necessity more for all that is yet to come and to be. To say to him, ‘Change yourself!’ is to demand that everything be changed, even retroactively” (TI, “Morality as Anti- Nature,” 6).
The master types live by strength, creativity, independence,
assertiveness, and related traits.
They respect power, courage,
follow their own path no matter what, to rebel against social pressure
and conformity (GM, 1:6). conformity. They tend to
And by contrast the slave types passivity, dependence, meekness
live in (BGE,
199). It is natural herd animals do.
Psychology and Morality
Nietzsche then turns to morality—good and bad, right and wrong. For a long time we have been taught that morality is a matter of commandments set in stone thousands of years ago.
Not so, says Nietzsche: what we take to be moral depends on our biological nature—and different biological natures dictate different moral codes.
Think of it this way: If you are a sheep, then what will seem good to you as a sheep? Being able to graze peacefully, sticking close together with others just like you, being part of the herd and not straying off. What will seem bad to you? Wolves will seem bad, and anything wolf-like, predatory, or aggressive. But what if you are a wolf? Then strength, viciousness, and contempt for the sheep will come naturally to you and seem good. There is nothing the wolves