Friedrich Nietzsche so clearly articulated the problem of uncertainty at the heart of knowledge and rationality, he was the philosopher most intimately connected with the modernity conundrum. Nietzsche severed the Enlightenment connection of reason with freedom – or asserted how the modern world severed that connection, or exposed it to have always been a delusion of misplaced objectivity through the use of the projection fallacy. The uni-linear realisation of liberator y potentialities
contained within reason could no longer be assumed. With Nietzsche, the underpinnings of all such potentialities have all been lost in the actualization where all thought, including our thinking about thought, is merely metaphorical. Indeed, in an unending regress of metaphors, our faith in the presence of any objective grounds or potentialities immanent in the universe fades, leaving human beings totally devoid of any philosophical foundations for claims of definite knowledge and worth. The objective reasons for adopting an authoritative moral and metaphysical position have been lost. We might grieve the loss and complain of its harmful impact. But it is neither a matter of recuperating this viewpoint or of creating a new one. There are no prerequisites for that authoritative declaration and thus the stalemate of morality in the modern society. The existential crisis of the modern world is not one of science or technology or material abundance, which all indicate a riches far greater than before, but a moral crisis, which strikes at the heart of the meaninglessness as well as the absence of being.
Milan Kundera reflecting on Nietzsche’s notion of ‘everlasting recurrence’ in his book “Unbearable lightness of being.’ Nietzsche has taught us how to embrace our destiny, his amor fati ideology. Eternal Recurrence argues that throughout all eternity all things in existence reoccur again. As it is fixed in an unending cycle, the existence is hence heavy. It is ‘the hardest load of burden,’ because ‘if every second
of our life is again repeated, we are clouded into eternity as Jesus Christ is clutched to the cross.’
Naturally, Nietzsche, however, did not argue, but said we should live our life as if it were, to embrace our destiny, regardless of what it is. In this scenario humans are condemned in society, culture and consciousness to be utterly alone. So it is easy to portray Nietzsche as a pessimistic existentialist with his dark perspective of reality. This is true for Max Weber, following him, a man strongly inspired by Marx and Nietzsche, who accepts their criticism of modernity and sheds greater freedom. The inherent importance of the world demands individuals to project on the world every purpose and value in life. Nietzsche’s many works disclose aspects of his position, articulated clearly by Weber’s individual accountability ethic.
This, however, is just a limited understanding of Nietzsche’s philosophy, which confirmed a philosophy of life after a more thorough investigation, that was not unlike Lewis Mumford’s “life insurgency.” Mumford is inspired more by Patrick Geddes and Henri Bergson’s “creative evolution,” but he certainly reads Nietzsche and gives him a very similar philosophy over his entire lives. Instead of blowing the nihilism of an unimportant world without any logically solid moral standard Nietzsche stressed his great commitment to reevaluate values. Nietzsche didn’t create ethical frameworks in the process of disintegration with the nostalgic sorrow, but tried to understand the collapse more quickly and really ethically. Nietzsche was one of the most astute critiques of a world that has lost its dominant moral values in the absence of direction. Therefore, in embracing the theological and intellectual underpinnings that were cut short, he underlined the moral dilemma of the modern day. Such views can still be confirmed, but only as a subjectivism, without any obvious reason to be taken seriously by anyone. The only objectivity in this sense is that it takes the form of common acceptance or approval.