Nietzsche’s critique of work in Aurora

Work and culture are the two themes chosen for the 2014 IEP competition.

“The apologists of work. – In the glorification of “work”, in the tireless speeches on the “blessing of work”, I see the same ulterior motive as in the praise of impersonal acts that conform to the general interest: the fear of everything that is individual. It is now very clear from the appearance of work – that is to say, of this hard work from morning to night – that this is the best police force, that it keeps everyone in check and that it vigorously endeavors to hinder the development of reason, of desires, of the taste for independence. For work wears out the nervous force in extraordinary proportions, and removes it from reflection, from meditation, from dreams, from worries, from love and hatred; it always places a minimal goal before the eyes and grants easy and regular satisfactions. Thus a society, where one works ceaselessly hard, will enjoy greater security: and it is security that is now worshipped as the supreme deity.”

Friedrich NIETZSCHE – Aurora (1881)

Friedrich Nietzsche makes a vigorous criticism of work in Aurora.

To all those who praise work, who glorify work, Nietzsche opposes work as a police force that enslaves man. Work holds man in chains, it prevents him from meditating, from reflecting, from blossoming.

Work hides an aversion to the individual, in that it is one of those values erected by men in the same way as the search for the general interest.

The small satisfactions that work gives blind man who only seeks his own security.

Did you like it? You may also be interested in : Nietzsche and justice, culture as seen by Nietzsche.

→ Best-Of articles on WORK for IEPs

→ Best-Of articles on CULTURE for IEPs