Actor Keith Hamilton Cobb website

The Relativity of Ethics

My father was quite fond of reading and quoting a Nietzschean  supremacist poet who called himself King Darius, or “The King”.  He wrote, “Glorious son, go up from the nightside and look down on us. / Where the lights shine brightest, there! There are we. / Where darkness alone resides, yet there are peoples whose one resource is wishing. / Go up because you can. / It will remind you of who you are. / And of who you shall not ever be again.”   King Darius’ writings reflected upon Nietzschean world scenarios that existed ten to twelve generations prior to his words ever reaching my father’s eyes.  Subjugation of inferiors, or “primitives” as is perhaps the more accurate term, was commonplace, and necessary to ensure economic development.  His works enjoyed a resurgence of popularity during my childhood among Nietzschean slavers and those who refused to either denounce or condone their practices.  My father was one of the latter. While the Kodiak had never subsisted on slave labor, it was folly, he espoused, to frown on others who, in an incessantly hostile universe, found that the fittest use of their fittest selves was to press inferiors into their service, thus unleashing themselves to pursuits beyond the purview of basic survival.  There is, of course, a huge argument in the direction of which I tend to lean, that slavery breeds weakness and dependency in the oppressor.  Perhaps.  Yet further my father would expound that in the deadly environs of pre and post-Commonwealth space which have invariably demanded the undivided focus of nearly all previous generations just to draw breath, perhaps the only reason any Nietzschean ever found reflective moments enough to begin thinking outside of the strict, genetically driven Nietzschean frame of mind was because some slave was busy doing his grunt work for him.  In that light, anyone grateful for the Nietzscheans ever having come to sit at the Commonwealth table might do well to also show gratitude for the fact that only multiple prior generations of Nietzschean enforced labor could ever have afforded them the leisure to ponder such non-Nietzschean ideas as were presented there.

Tyr1Knee-jerk moralizing is a human failing.  So too is the need to lament one’s state when one is not in the power position, and to justify it when one is, yet all the while espousing equality.  There is no equality.  There will be inferior always, struggling and pathetic, perhaps due to circumstance, not perhaps without strength, which is another matter, but without leverage certainly.  They in their place and the superior in theirs amble together and evolve through time and an infinitely disinterested Universe.  Where in that time and space we stumble upon the roles reversed and the Nietzschean in bondage, oppressors of any other breed, humans among them, for the most part, spare no rationale to justify keeping him there.  And no Nietzschean, bound or free, would ever expect them to do otherwise.  Power is never passed from the hands of the powerful into those of the powerless freely.  The Commonwealth has created an opiate language of oxymora with terms like “power sharing”.  Embracing the concept that any way to win is the best way does not automatically render one void of ethics.  None do more ill than those perpetually endeavoring to do “good”.  And I believe that fascism also has its place in the balance.  Benevolence, if it is a question of ethics, is not reflected so much in how gently or harshly the powerful wield their power.  It is reflected rather in whether or not they have wielded it adroitly enough to put themselves at liberty to be kind.  And are they then?

My father was kind.  I miss him.

14 Thoughts on “The Relativity of Ethics

  1. Becky Sharp on April 26, 2016 at 1:24 pm said:

    “If you look in those places, you will also see and hear about a film being made with the play as the focus” – I have hunted around and still never found mention of a film. I would much rather see the play, ideally on DVD; think I would probably need to see it over and over to fully appreciate it. Please, please, Keith, is there any possibility of a disc?

  2. Becky Sharp on April 6, 2016 at 9:00 am said:

    I know I’ve said this ad nauseum but I’ve just been watching the clips from Eyes Beyond Seeing on YouTube again, and I wanted to say how privileged I feel to own the DVD of this wonderful film. Thank you again, with all my heart, Keith. Best regards, Miranda

  3. Becky Sharp on March 21, 2016 at 12:56 pm said:

    Surely kindness is the one luxury all can afford, no?

  4. Miranda on December 10, 2015 at 2:11 pm said:

    Your writing is so amazing. I know it’s entirely moot now but could I please ask, did you never consider trying to “save” Andromeda? Gordon Michael Hewitt wrote one episode, Lisa Ryder wrote a short film, in which you appeared (which I would love to see) I imagine it is unusual for a show to have that many actors who can write… I think they are a fairly rare breed?

    • “Save it???” Well… It’s never quite that simple in Hollywood, Miranda. What I have of the show that belongs to me was really not of the show at all. It’s just these writings that people are welcome to view here. But beyond that, no one was interested in my creative contributions. The business is like that.

      • Miranda on December 15, 2015 at 3:33 pm said:

        That I can believe! I would have been tempted to submit a script just to annoy them, not to have it accepted but I’m sure you had far better things to do. I love these writings; they provide a far better insight into Tyr’s character than the DVDs, except maybe season 1… so some of us are interested, for whatever that’s worth. Thanks again, especially for the wonderful Eyes Beyond Seeing. I don’t suppose we in the UK will ever get to see American Moor? DVD, any possibility???

        • Well, Miranda… You can certainly get a strong taste of American Moor from all that is posted on my website and at the American Moor Facebook Page. If you look in those places, you will also see and hear about a film being made with the play as the focus. On top of all that, there is indeed a push to get a production of American Moor happening in the UK. I, and many of my colleagues have always thought that it will be an intrinsic part of the play’s performance life. So, I would suggest that you continue to check back. You can register to the mailing list at the bottom of the American Moor Splash Page on the website. You’ll be the first to know when a production of the play is headed your way. I’d like it to be soon. However, at the moment, our focus remains on Manhattan. Whatever the case, I’d say your chances are good to experience the play in a bigger way sooner of later. Thank you for all of your kind words and attention. Bless’d be.

          • Miranda on December 16, 2015 at 3:24 pm said:

            Well, I think I’ve signed up… bit of a technophobe and more paranoid than a Nietzschean about social media (once bitten)
            I have read quite a bit, hence the interest but will certainly read the rest. I am sorry I am soooo useless at navigating. I wonder where the Andromeda would have ended up if I’d been forced to pilot the slipstream ;0)

          • Miranda on December 16, 2015 at 3:31 pm said:

            Many congrats on the award, well deserved and thank you for being so patient and so lovely.

  5. Miranda on December 2, 2015 at 12:09 pm said:

    Do you think Paul Museveni was a fascist? I suspect there was far more to his intentions than that… can’t get a handle on this, any thoughts?

  6. Miranda on June 12, 2015 at 4:37 am said:

    I have hunted for these for ages, thank you so much for putting them back where I can find them. I came across a blog the other day from someone who raised the question of what such a wonderful actor might do with a decent script. He needs to check out Eyes Beyond Seeing, then put that where I can find it! The clips on YouTube just make me want to watch it more every time I see them.
    Thank you also for your kindness replying to “Polly Flinders”, I could not believe someone I admire so much would actually bother to answer. You rock, Mr. Cobb! xxx

    • Miranda on July 11, 2015 at 9:51 am said:

      Footnote to my last comment: Eyes Beyond Seeing exceeded all my expectations. What a beautiful, wonderful film starring a terrific actor. Thank you, Mr. Cobb.

  7. kcsue on July 5, 2014 at 11:56 pm said:

    I’m so glad you held onto these, I’ve missed them so much…then again, I miss Tyr.

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