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Nihilism and fc


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Nihilism and fc

  1. 1. Nietzsche and Fight Club To what extent can you apply the ideas/ philosophy of Nietzsche to Fight Club? Key question
  2. 2. Freidrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) • One of the most influential moral philosophers of the modern era. (He is German) • Famously announced that ‘God is dead and we have killed him” and ‘that which does not kill me makes me stronger’ • Key concepts such as ‘Nihilism’ ‘master/slave morality’ ‘ubermensch’ were seized on by the Nazis to back up their Fascist politics and the cult of their leader, the Fuhrer. • A decadent culture is a nihilistic one. A culture without values and without the ability or strength to form new ones • The meaning of our lives had become unstable thanks to Darwin and the loss of religious faith.
  3. 3. In some ways you can apply the ideas of Nietzsche to Fight Club 1. Nihilism 2. Ubermensch 3. Slave/ master morality
  4. 4. What is the film saying that is wrong with society? • Capitalism • Materialism • Loss of identity • Isolation and loneliness • Advertising A decadent culture. Nihilism states that this is a culture without values and without the ability or strength to form new ones.
  5. 5. Nihilism: the rejection of all religious and moral principles Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. It is often associated with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism that condemns existence. A true nihilist would believe in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy. “God is dead”
  6. 6. Tyler is a Nihilist • "You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake, you are the same decaying organic matter as everything else...all part of the same compost heap. You are not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive, the contents of your wallet". Nihilistic chant said by Tyler. • Fight Club seems to suggest at times that society needs to embrace the ideas of Nietzsche and redesign society accordingly.
  7. 7. Nihilism and FC Jack lives in a society where everyone values what they should be or own. They are afraid to be what they want to be, and stick to their boring routines. Nietzsche solution to this state is…
  8. 8. The solution for this=‘Ubermensch’ or the Superman Nietszhe said we should reject: • Christian morality (humility, pity, meakness) • Modern democracy (compromise and commonality) • Traditional values/ cultures As they were producing a decadent culture, the meaning of our lives was unstable. • We must find our ‘ubermensch” a solution to freedom from everything. • Nietzsche thinks that we shouldn’t be content with a state of mediocrity, but instead strive for perfection.
  9. 9. Enter…Tyler Durden as the ‘ubermensch’ Tyler offers people an outlet. In fight club they learn to defend themselves, and gain confidence.
  10. 10. Tyler the ‘ubermensch’ • Tyler forcefully gives Jack a chemical burn on his hand and lectures him while he writhes in pain, • "Without pain, without sacrifice, we would have nothing. What you're feeling is premature enlightenment. You have to consider the possibility that God does not like you; he never wanted you. In all probability he hates you. We don’t need him! Fuck damnation! Fuck redemption!“ • Rejecting God for rejecting us is empowering for Tyler, as Nietzsche famously said, "God is dead".
  11. 11. Ubermensch, Tyler and ‘Narrator’ • Tyler pushes Narrator to become more than he is. He wants to strive for distinction from the rest of the world. • Nietzsche argues that the only way this can be achieved is by accepting responsibility for one’s actions and values, and always trying to surpass one’s old self by continually taking risks. • As the übermensch Tyler offers the weak an outlet: violence and anarchy. He enters Narrator’s life and philosophically evaluates his pathetic and passive lifestyle and pushes him (and others) towards becoming the ubermensch.
  12. 12. How does Fight Club contradict Nietzsche and his social messages? • Is Tyler really the solution to the problems of the modern world – what new meaning does he offer? • Tyler has power which he has gained through dehumanising others as the ubermensch • What happens to Tyler and his beliefs in the end?
  13. 13. Slave/ master morality • Nietzsche believes that there are two types of moralities: slave morality and master morality. – Slave morality are “the abused, the oppressed, the suffering, and unemancipated, the weary, and those uncertain of themselves” (Nietzsche). – Narrator is slave – evidence? This is an issue in our society
  14. 14. Slave morality= Jack • Jack regards himself as a slave • Tyler refers to the members of his first FC as ‘slaves with white collars’ • Jack is powerless and sickly • Heavily mediated life, shallow consumerist values have destroyed his sense of personal worth. • Depression/ mental illness are a result of his descent into nihilism. • Unable to find true meaning in his life.
  15. 15. Master morality= Tyler (Jack?) – Master morality- great, noble human beings who “…determine what is good and what is bad on the basis of their own values…” (Stewart,). These individuals do not follow set values and morals; rather, they create their own. They see killing, “suffering,” and “hardships” as a means to an end: if it leads to the betterment of society or greatness, then that is what must be done.
  16. 16. Morality and Nietzsche • Tyler says to the Narrator, “all the ways you wish you could be, that's me. I look like you wanna look, I fuck like you wanna fuck, I am smart, capable, and most importantly, I am free in all the ways that you are not.” • At this moment in the film, the stark contrast of the Narrator’s slave morality and Tyler’s master morality is shown. While Narrator is proverbially chained down, he uses ‘Tyler’ to assert his power, and he asserts this through “Project Mayhem.” • This film seems to be suggesting that we need to overthrow the way our society is organised
  17. 17. Challenging Morality • Project Mayhem would destroy the Slave Morality. Tyler wants the members of Fight Club to be their own masters: “man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars.” • BUT: Jack rejects Project Mayhem • Tyler’s moral values are confused, negative, nostalgic • Jack dispenses with Tyler and reformulates his values- finds love with Marla. • Jack is the ubermensch
  18. 18. Recap: Nihilism means: Slave/ master morality is: The ubermensch is:
  19. 19. To what extent can you apply the ideas/ philosophy of Nietzsche to Fight Club?