In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche takes up and expands on the ideas of his previous work, Thus Spoke Zarathustra. In doing so he attacks past philosophers for their alleged lack of critical sense and their blind acceptance of Christian premises in their consideration of morality. The work moves into the realm "beyond good and evil" in the sense of leaving behind the...
Quotes on 19th Century Western Political Thought
"In the nineteenth century...[l]iberals paid homage to the Enlightenment and invoked its individualistic vision of citizens voluntarily consenting to government, acting freely in the marketplace and thinking, publishing, and believing what they wanted to, without interference from church or state. Science and its seemingly unbounded power to tame nature, to ameliorate the human condition, and to fuel progress kept alive a vital part of the Enlightenment legacy."
"Marx and Engels were themselves products of Enlightenment optimism, with their assumptions about inevitable historical progress, their self-proclaimed scientism, and their dismissal of religion. Yet they also offered a full-blown critique of the Enlightenment, for the 'kingdom of reason,' Engels wrote, 'was nothing more than the idealized kingdom of the bourgeoisie.'"
"In short, however we debate the causes for the 'Rise of the West,' the term itself is something of a misnomer that entrenches a terrible misunderstanding. The development of 19th century European military and economic hegemony, or the 'great divergence,' was not in fact the rapid advance of historically Western societies at the expense of non-Western ones. Instead, it was the first phase of the eclipse of traditional societies based on closed authoritarian hierarchies, beginning with Western societies. Only once their own societies had begun their transformation toward liberal social relationships (what North, Wallis, and Weingast call 'open access orders') could Europeans challenge the power of the major Asian civilizations. Only then could free thought and market action continuously revolutionize science, technology and economic production."