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‘Blond Beasts of Prey’: A Nietzschean interpretation of the language of Britain's colonisation of New Zealand

‘Blond Beasts of Prey’: A Nietzschean interpretation of the language of Britain's... This article explores the efficacy of applying Friedrich Nietzsche's hypothetical reconstruction of the emergence of human morality, to examples of the language used by agents of the British colonisation of New Zealand in the nineteenth century, with a particular focus on notions of cultural and racial superiority/inferiority. The particular nexus of psychology and philosophy that Nietzsche formulated provides a useful ontological framework for examining the phenomenon of colonisation, especially its often explicitly racial orientation. Nietzsche's architecture of the history of morality, with its constituent elements of race, mastery, civilisation, savagery, morality, imperial expansion, and pan-Europeanism, is evident in much of the language used by various agents of Britain's colonisation of New Zealand in the nineteenth century. The analogies are not always exact, and the connections are correlative rather than causative (necessarily so, on the basis that Neitzsche's reconstruction of the emergence of human morality is retrospectively applied in this article), but the particular nexus of psychology and philosophy that Nietzsche formulated does provide a useful ontological framework for examining the phenomenon of colonisation, especially its often explicitly racial orientation. Nietzsche's theories in this area also resonate with the notion of settler colonialism, in which an expanding dominant population spreads out into new territories, and then encodes and reproduces the unequal relationships that it has used to coerce other populations during previous phases of its expansion. The conclusion reached is that Nietzsche's architecture of the history of morality, despite being largely conjectural, can serve as a theoretical model that assists in interpreting and contextualising some of the language that accompanied Britain's colonisation of New Zealand in ways not afforded by other theoretical approaches. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Settler Colonial Studies Taylor & Francis

‘Blond Beasts of Prey’: A Nietzschean interpretation of the language of Britain's colonisation of New Zealand

Settler Colonial Studies , Volume 6 (1): 16 – Jan 2, 2016

‘Blond Beasts of Prey’: A Nietzschean interpretation of the language of Britain's colonisation of New Zealand

Settler Colonial Studies , Volume 6 (1): 16 – Jan 2, 2016

Abstract

This article explores the efficacy of applying Friedrich Nietzsche's hypothetical reconstruction of the emergence of human morality, to examples of the language used by agents of the British colonisation of New Zealand in the nineteenth century, with a particular focus on notions of cultural and racial superiority/inferiority. The particular nexus of psychology and philosophy that Nietzsche formulated provides a useful ontological framework for examining the phenomenon of colonisation, especially its often explicitly racial orientation. Nietzsche's architecture of the history of morality, with its constituent elements of race, mastery, civilisation, savagery, morality, imperial expansion, and pan-Europeanism, is evident in much of the language used by various agents of Britain's colonisation of New Zealand in the nineteenth century. The analogies are not always exact, and the connections are correlative rather than causative (necessarily so, on the basis that Neitzsche's reconstruction of the emergence of human morality is retrospectively applied in this article), but the particular nexus of psychology and philosophy that Nietzsche formulated does provide a useful ontological framework for examining the phenomenon of colonisation, especially its often explicitly racial orientation. Nietzsche's theories in this area also resonate with the notion of settler colonialism, in which an expanding dominant population spreads out into new territories, and then encodes and reproduces the unequal relationships that it has used to coerce other populations during previous phases of its expansion. The conclusion reached is that Nietzsche's architecture of the history of morality, despite being largely conjectural, can serve as a theoretical model that assists in interpreting and contextualising some of the language that accompanied Britain's colonisation of New Zealand in ways not afforded by other theoretical approaches.

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References (66)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2014 Taylor & Francis
ISSN
1838-0743
eISSN
2201-473X
DOI
10.1080/2201473X.2014.982495
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article explores the efficacy of applying Friedrich Nietzsche's hypothetical reconstruction of the emergence of human morality, to examples of the language used by agents of the British colonisation of New Zealand in the nineteenth century, with a particular focus on notions of cultural and racial superiority/inferiority. The particular nexus of psychology and philosophy that Nietzsche formulated provides a useful ontological framework for examining the phenomenon of colonisation, especially its often explicitly racial orientation. Nietzsche's architecture of the history of morality, with its constituent elements of race, mastery, civilisation, savagery, morality, imperial expansion, and pan-Europeanism, is evident in much of the language used by various agents of Britain's colonisation of New Zealand in the nineteenth century. The analogies are not always exact, and the connections are correlative rather than causative (necessarily so, on the basis that Neitzsche's reconstruction of the emergence of human morality is retrospectively applied in this article), but the particular nexus of psychology and philosophy that Nietzsche formulated does provide a useful ontological framework for examining the phenomenon of colonisation, especially its often explicitly racial orientation. Nietzsche's theories in this area also resonate with the notion of settler colonialism, in which an expanding dominant population spreads out into new territories, and then encodes and reproduces the unequal relationships that it has used to coerce other populations during previous phases of its expansion. The conclusion reached is that Nietzsche's architecture of the history of morality, despite being largely conjectural, can serve as a theoretical model that assists in interpreting and contextualising some of the language that accompanied Britain's colonisation of New Zealand in ways not afforded by other theoretical approaches.

Journal

Settler Colonial StudiesTaylor & Francis

Published: Jan 2, 2016

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