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Contesting ConformityDemocracy and the Paradox of Political Belonging$
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Jennie C. Ikuta

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190087845

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190087845.001.0001

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Refusing Conformity through Creativity in Nietzsche

Refusing Conformity through Creativity in Nietzsche

(p.113) 4 Refusing Conformity through Creativity in Nietzsche
Contesting Conformity

Jennie C. Ikuta

Oxford University Press

While Tocqueville and Mill show us the value of fostering nonconformity within democratic societies, Nietzsche reminds us that there is nothing inherently democratic about nonconformity. According to Nietzsche, creativity and democracy are underwritten by distinct subjectivities—radical uniqueness and moral equality, respectively—that point to distinct sources of authority. While creativity centers on individual authority, democracy consists in collective authority. Thus divergent subjectivities underwrite creativity and democracy, and Nietzsche sees that these subjectivities inevitably conflict with one another. His rejection of democracy for the sake of creativity therefore reveals an irreducible tension between democracy and creativity, emphasizing the indispensability of moral and political equality to democracy. To the extent that we are committed to democracy, the ideal of nonconformity cannot be absolute.

Keywords:   Friedrich Nietzsche, creativity, moral equality, values, uniqueness, subjectivity

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