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Will to Power


Suppose nothing else were "given" as real except our world of desires and passions, and we could  not get down, or up, to any other "reality" besides the reality of our drives--for thinking is merely a relation of these drives to each other: is it not permitted to make the experiment and to ask the question whether this "given" would not be sufficient for also understanding on the basis of this kind of thing the so-called mechanistic (or "material") world?...

In the end not only is it permitted to make this experiment; the conscience of method demands it. Not to assume several kinds of causality until the experiment of making do with a single one has been pushed to its utmost limit (to the point of nonsense, if I may say so)... The question is in the end whether we really recognize the will as efficient,  whether we believe in the causality of the will: if we do--and at bottom our faith in this is nothing less than our faith in causality itself--then we have to make the experiment of positing  causality of the will hypothetically as the only one. "Will," of course, can affect only "will"--and not "matter" (not "nerves," for example). In short, one has to risk the hypothesis whether will does not affect will wherever "effects" are recognized--and whether all mechanical occurrences are not, insofar as a force is active in them, will force, effects of will.

Suppose, finally, we succeeded in explaining our entire instinctive life as the development and ramification of one basic form of the will--namely, of the will to power, as my proposition has it... then one would have gained the right to determine all efficient force univocally as--will to power. The world viewed from inside... it would be "will to power" and nothing else.

from Beyond Good and Evil, s.36, Walter Kaufmann transl. 
 

In order to sustain the theory of a mechanistic world, therefore, we always have to stipulate to what extent we are employing two fictions: the concept of motion (taken from our sense language) and the concept of the atom (=unity, deriving from our psychical "experience"): the mechanistic theory presupposes a sense prejudice and a psychological prejudice...

The mechanistic world is imagined only as sight and touch imagine a world (as "moved") --so as to be calculable-- thus causal unities are invented, "things" (atoms) whose effect remains constant (--transference of the false concept of subject to the concept of the atom)...
If we eliminate these additions, no things remain but only dynamic quanta, in a relation of tension to all other dynamic quanta: their essence lies in their relation to all other quanta, in their "effect" upon the same. The will to power is not a being, not a becoming, but a pathos --the most elemental fact from which a becoming and effecting first emerge--

from The Will to Power, s.635, Walter Kaufmann transl. 

My idea is that every specific body strives to become master over all space and to extend its force (--its will to power:) and to thrust back all that resists its extension. But it continually encounters similar efforts on the part of other bodies and ends by coming to an arrangement ("union") with those of them that are sufficiently related to it: thus they then conspire together for power. And the process goes on--

from The Will to Power, s.636, Walter Kaufmann transl. 

[Anything which] is a living and not a dying body... will have to be an incarnate will to power, it will strive to grow, spread, seize, become predominant - not from any morality or immorality but because it is living and because life simply is will to power... 'Exploitation'... belongs to the essence of what lives, as a basic organic function; it is a consequence of the will to power, which is after all the will to life.

from Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, s.259, Walter Kaufmann transl. 
Bill Curry