The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies Vol. 10, No. 2
Hostility, cruelty, joy in persecuting, in attacking, in change, in destruction—all this turned against the possessors of such instincts: that is the origin of the ‘bad conscience’” (GM, 1:16). Hatred of the strong, self-hatred, internal torment, and revenge fantasies to ease the pain become the lived psychological reality of such slaves. Make this psychological reality a matter of months and years, and the results will be very ugly and poisonous.
More provocatively, Nietzsche argues that such slave individuals who feel the internal war most strongly become the social leaders of the slaves—that is to say, they become their priests. The priests are those individuals among the slaves who prove to have the most drive, however thwarted, and the most cunning: “It is because of their impotence that in them hatred grows to monstrous and uncanny proportions. The truly great haters in world history have always been priests” (GM, 1:7).
In their leadership role, it is the priests who most strongly advocate meekness, humility, and obedience to their flock—and who
condemn priests are
aggressive strength and pride of in a position to use physical power
against the masters,
and the physically powerful masters find it beneath fight against an unarmed and to them contemptible
their dignity to enemy. Instead
the priests develop and use morality as their The morality that enables their survival as
weapon of confrontation. weak slaves is also useful
as a weapon against the strong master. Praising the meek condemning the strong is both a strengthening tool for the weak
a weakening tool against the strong. Made into Judeo-Christian ethics “has waged a war to the death type of person; it has banned the basic instincts of
an explicit code, against this higher this type” (A, 5).
To keep this sketch sketchy, Nietzsche holds that Christianity is a strategy within Judaism and part of its long-range strategy. The decisive battle is not between Jews and Christians but between the slavish morality common to both Jews and Christians—and the master morality of those capable of living a fully human life.
The Judeo-Christian moral code becomes part of their revenge strategy. Its point is to enable the weaker to survive in a harsh world in which they are often on the receiving end of the big stick—but also to undermine the master-type’s confidence in themselves and eventually to subdue and bring down the masters so as to exact a