The Misinterpellated Subject
“[A Person] Is Something That Shall Be Overcome”: The Misinterpellated Messiah, or How Nietzsche Saves Us from Salvation
This chapter looks at the work of Friedrich Nietzsche and the way he lures his readers with promises of salvation only to dash those hopes. The purpose of this maneuver, I argue, is to bring out our deepest hope for salvation (a hope that for Nietzsche is a form of self-hatred and nihilism) and then show that there is not going to be a rescue, leaving the reader bereft and on her own. He engineers prophets and messiahs (Zarathustra and the overman, respectively) who arrive and refuse to save us, thus ruining messianism itself as a site for our possible salvation. This action, I suggest, highlights the way we are all misinterpellated subjects; we are never the person we want to be, the one who is intended by the call for subjectivity but we are the ones who show up anyway. I also look at the way that for Nietzsche the subjects that we are (as opposed to who we want to be) are not a unitary cohesive agent, like the false subject that interpellation calls for. Instead we are multiple and anarchic subjects, with many overlapping and exogenous sources. In this way, I argue that Nietzsche offers anarchism a way to anarchize the individual down to the level of her psyche.