On: November 20, 2007
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About Daphne Ben Shachar
Daphne is a Master student of New Media at the University of Amsterdam. She has a bachelor degree Communication & Multimedia Design, Interactive Media with an expertise in Content and Communication. And before that she also graduated at the Graphic School with an expertise in Traffic and Production Management within the graphical industry. In her spare time Daphne likes to go to the theater, mainly cabaret.


The concept of “the overman” (Ubermensch) is one of the most significant ideas in the thinking of Friedrich Nietzsche. He plead for more individualism in stead of being “one of the crowd”.

Nowadays society is a so called “individualistic society”, everything moves around the individual itself. But is it still? Besides the individualistic appearance lies the upcoming network society. Is it still so individualistic as they say? Social networks are more popular then ever, and can social networks be seen as something individualistic or is it more a dualism? One man isn’t a network right, individuals should cooperate together in order to get a network started.

The Ubermensch thought of by Nietszche is totally independent and makes his own decisions on what’s good or not; he doesn’t allow religion or society to determine it for him. Nietszche thought of the Ubermensch as a creation of his own world, the idea of “will to power”.

In todays society everything seems “choosable” but isn’t it really all about suiting the protocols? Protocols of society, internet and/or religion. Or speaking in terms of Michel Foucault, confirm ourselves to “normal” human behaviour?

The “control” isn’t what it was before, is more loosened up. It’s not all about the institutionalized society anymore. The government relies on the responsibility of the citizen itself, his own Norms and Values and that of society itself. In that case, society is still based on individualism. But as it comes to the working society or social society it’s a network society. So basically it’s both?

Maybe the definition of “individualism” changed in time?

The Ubermensch doesn’t place himself above others, he will never help his fellow man out of responsibility or sense of duty, but out of compassion. Everybody is equal and deserves a change to develop themselves as good as possible.

The Networkmensch is, as mentioned above, both individualistic and at the same time focused to work together. He’s involved in society, both online and offline. Nietszsche plead for more individualism in stead of being “one of the crowd”. But the Networkmensch wants both. He wants to be individualistic, independent and at the same time wants to be one of the crowd, one of the network society.

Comments are closed.