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The Valkyrie: Page 332
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dependence on fear and coercion to establish and sustain society is what must be changed and expiated, not the individual expression of feeling which traditional society considers its enemy:

“The life-bent of the Individual utters itself forever newly and directly, but the essence of Society is use and wont and its ‘view’ a mediated one. Wherefore the ‘view’ of Society, so long as it does not fully comprehend the essence of the Individual and its own genesis therefrom, is a hindering and shackling one; and it becomes ever more tyrannical, in exact degree as the quickening and innovating essence of the Individual brings its instinctive thrust to battle against habit. [P. 180] (…) … Society appears as the conscious, the capricious (Willkuerliche), the true thing to be explained and exculpated.” [500W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 179-180]

And Wagner could scarcely have penned a better description of Fricka’s conservatism and fear of the new than the following:

“… the State, which had imperceptibly waxed from out the Society, had fed itself on the latter’s habit of view, and had so far become the attorney (Vertreter) of this habit, that now it represented abstract Wont alone, whose core is fear and abhorrence of the thing unwonted.” [503W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 184]

And in another passage already cited, Wagner describes public opinion’s “kernel” as “… nothing but Wont, Care, and dislike of innovation,” and described “absolute Wont” as the “strongest social interest, … ,” that of “joint self-seeking,” i.e., of egoism. [See 504W]

Fricka’s contempt for Wotan’s assertion that his mortal hero has acted spontaneously from his own need (Noth), arises at least in part from Feuerbach’s observation that cultures which assign gods, imaginary beings, the role of creator, or even only the role of ruler and adjudicator of man, deprive man and nature, the true creators, of this honor, and give all credit to the gods. It is noteworthy, in light of Feuerbach’s remarks below, that though Fricka is not prepared to credit Siegmund with freedom of action, saying he’s merely Wotan’s organ, nonetheless she’s prepared to punish Siegmund for the evil he allegedly has done, though Siegmund, according to her own thesis, is incapable of independent action and therefore should neither be praised nor blamed:

[P. 210] “… ‘if [P. 211] man were a mere organ of the Holy Spirit, human freedom would be abolished!’ Oh, what a pitiable argument! Is human freedom, then, of more value than divine truth?” [124F-EOC: p. 210-211]

“If God is the most eminent or principle cause, or rather the one and only cause, of the good things done to me by men – for only the first cause is truly a cause – how can I honor men, how can I feel obligated to those through whom God has favored me? They deserve no credit; not their own heart, their own being, but God has inclined them in my favor … .” [247F-LER: p. 161]

“ … if you look on God as the true cause or purely and simply as the cause of the good – for only the first cause is the true cause – then do not deny that God is also the cause of the evil that is done men by other men or beings. (…) … if you refuse to honor man as a benefactor, you must also refuse to condemn him as an evildoer … . How absurd, and indeed how malicious, to deny man’s

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