These essays seem immensely similar to Rousseau’s writing and his ideas. I was surprised how many times Nietzsche’s words reminded me of Rousseau and even his ideas seem slightly Rousseau-esque while his writing style brings to mind that of Plato’s. Nietzsche starts of the collection of essays with the idea of the etymology (in his own way) of the words good and bad and he points out that the word good seems to stem from the rich and noble and that the word bad appeared to stem from the poor and unfortunate – in this way it reminded me of Rousseau’s idea that property become peoples the instant one man decided that a section of land was his. Nietzsche also has an interesting idea about resentment and anger in humans which is a little bit confusing but seems to somehow lead to creativity (in the section about the slave revolt) and this all somehow led to the idea that ‘slave morality’ needs a hostile environment in order to exist which is interesting because people sometimes think that if something bad had not happened to them then it would have been better but they seem to forget that without such experiences (and in this case hostile environments) creativity and action does not just instantaneously happen it needs inspiration and according to Nietzsche that inspiration comes from a hostile environment.
It is also interesting to note that Nietzsche uses many references to Ancient Greece – like Rousseau did – and it seems as if most philosophers and authors use Greek texts, myths and philosophers as a starting and reference point in their own essays, novels and the like. It somehow seems as if most people consider Ancient Greek texts as a reference point for all of their ideas and thinking. Nietzsche even talks about how Hesiod found it difficult to put Homer’s Greece into understandable sections so he had to subdivide Ancient Greece – this subdivision appears to have become how the Greeks explained the absence of the gods since one division ended with the Trojan War and that was the last known point in myth where the gods roamed the earth. It is also interesting that Nietzsche calls mans “the maggot” – which is a creature which eats flesh (dead or alive) and consumes other creatures from the inside out, a parasite of sorts. Nietzsche’s text, while difficult to read, has some interesting points and ideas.