When Napoleon conquered Europe he pretended he was Julius Caesar. When Caesar conquered the known world he pretended he was Alexander the Great. When Alexander conquered the world he was pretending to be a Greek demigod.
Alexander was a Macedonian pretending to be a Greek. Napoleon was a Corsican Pretending to be a Frenchman. Adolf Hitler was an Austrian pretending to be a German. Stalin was a Georgian pretending to be a Russian.
Why couldn’t these conquerors just be themselves? Because they knew that they were only men and what was needed was a superman. They borrowed from idealized representations of man’s greatness. History is always full of this kind of material because it was written by man and man can’t help but envision himself as a superman.
Since the day Adam decided he wanted to be like God man has striven to prove he is more than just a man. The Egyptian Pharaohs were considered gods. So great was the Babylonian superman’s arrogance The dynasty is portrayed in ancient writings as bragging: “To the heavens I shall go up. Above the stars of God I shall lift up my throne, and I shall sit down upon the mountain of meeting, in the remotest parts of the north….I shall make myself resemble the Most High.” The Medo-Persian king was also viewed as a superman. Laws passed in the Persian monarch’s name could not be revoked such was his supposed infallibility. Greece believed strongly in the superman. These supermen were considered to be a combination of man and Greek god. Hercules is an example of such a superman. Another Greek example is that of Greece’s greatest ruler Alexander the Great. He was rumored to have been conceived by the union of his mother and a god behind the back of her husband Philip II then current king of Macedonia. Thus Alexander, half-man, half-god was considered destined to become the next superman.
And then there was Caesar…
In this article we’ll focus on the historic timeline from Caesar to our day. Caesar is a preferable starting point considering he was arguably the pinnacle of man’s arrogant claim of being a superman.
Extending from Western Europe to Northern Africa and Western Asia, The Roman Empire was so large that it became difficult for one superman to rule it. Eventually one of the Caesars decided to divide it into two halves with one of his super sons ruling the western half while his other super son ruled the eastern half. After centuries of arrogant rule with its most powerful weapon the Roman Ego, finally the Germanic tribes called its bluff and the western half of the Roman Empire fell. The eastern half would last much longer but eventually it too would fall. Is that the last we will hear of Caesar the superman and his absolute rule? No.
Modern nation states couldn’t let go of Caesar’s superman. The Russians influenced by the eastern Roman Empire created The Czar which is Russian for Caesar. The Germans influenced by the western half of the Roman Empire created The Kaiser which is German for; you guessed it, Caesar.
Modern nation states, politicians and religious organizations like The Catholic Church are expected to be infallible which is why the church is forced to wait generations after its members have long since died before admitting any errors. (ie. the inquisitions)
German philosophers like Friedrich Nietzsche took the search for a superman to a whole new level by claiming that man needed to break free from his mortal fetters at all costs. He regarded any other striving except pushing ones self to the next evolutionary step (that of the superman) was slave mentality. He wasn’t just all talk. He pushed himself with this aim. The result? Nietzsche went straight out of his mind.
Both Hitler and Benito Mussolini believed in Nietzsche’s superman or in German the übermensch. They also believed in his diametrically opposed counterpart the üntermensch or subhuman.
Modern day Neitzches like rapper Kanye West encourage a whole new generation to feed their egos on the idea of the superman. Using both lyrics and behavior such rappers persuade young ones into believing that humility is equivalent to weakness. They also enforce the age old belief that man is not enough. In order to succeed you must be a superman.
In my new book ‘Metaphysical Man the Don Quijote of the Digital Age’ I try to examine our current belief in ourselves as supermen and women. The book is an attempt to suggest the unpopular idea that perhaps man doesn’t need to kill himself trying to become the superman. Maybe man, real man is enough. Maybe as long as he’s trying to be his best, man is great just as he is.Follow @WChasterson
Are you a fan of Don Quijote? You may enjoy this new book. When Metaphysical Man, Atro City’s resident superhero and trendsetter is inadvertently sucked into an alternate world by a mysterious super villain he’s forced to overcome his only weakness; reality. Read more at http://smashwords.com/books/view/540303#amreading #amwriting
William Chasterson’s Smashwords Author Profile: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/WilliamChasterson
BREED The secret design to maintain racial inequality among the despised classes: https://smashwords.com/books/view/456166