Nietzsche, Godfather of Fascism?: On the Uses and Abuses of a Philosophy Paperback – 1 Sep 2002
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An excellent new collection of essays. -- Jonathan Ree, Times Literary Supplement
An excellent new collection of essays. -- Jonathan R e, Times Literary Supplement
A serious and rewarding look at Nietzsche the thinker.--Adam Kirsch "New York Sun "
A superb set of essays covering all aspects of Nietzschean thought.--Michael Milston "The Jewish Quarterly "
A serious and rewarding look at Nietzsche the thinker.
--Adam Kirsch "New York Sun "
An excellent new collection of essays.
--Jonathan R e "Times Literary Supplement "
A superb set of essays covering all aspects of Nietzschean thought.
--Michael Milston "The Jewish Quarterly "
An excellent new collection of essays.--Jonathan Ree "Times Literary Supplement "
"An excellent new collection of essays."--Jonathan Ree, "Times Literary Supplement""
"A serious and rewarding look at Nietzsche the thinker."--Adam Kirsch, New York Sun
"A superb set of essays covering all aspects of Nietzschean thought."--Michael Milston, The Jewish Quarterly
"An excellent new collection of essays."--Jonathan Ree, Times Literary Supplement
-A serious and rewarding look at Nietzsche the thinker.---Adam Kirsch, New York Sun
-An excellent new collection of essays.---Jonathan Ree, Times Literary Supplement
-A superb set of essays covering all aspects of Nietzschean thought.---Michael Milston, The Jewish Quarterly
From the Back Cover
"Addressing the question of Nietzsche's relationship to fascism in complex ways, this is an impressive, important, and varied volume. It presents a series of morsels for the reader and is a solid addition to both the literature on Nietzsche and that on fascism."--Sander L. Gilman, University of Illinois, Chicago
"The cumulative effect of these essays contributes to the discussion of the relationship between Nietzsche and fascism and between Nietzsche and anti-Semitism. This book looks at both how to read the 'nasty' parts of Nietzsche and how to read what various people who used or read Nietzsche in a potentially 'nasty' way made of him."--Tracy B. Strong, University of California, San DiegoSee all Product description
Top customer reviews
Was Nietzsche a Nazi (that is, did he write everything the Nazis stood for)? No, in some ways he would have opposed what the Nazis did. The problem that arises with this book, of dealing with the argument in this fashion, is that some of the focus becomes lost on what Nietzsche actually stood for, it ultimately remains unclear.
For this reason, the contributors of this book are never able to reach a full affirmation that Nietzsche is a precursor of fascism, and beyond that make it clear precisely why, it is too tied up in the debate of polemics to set the record straight. There is a clear and definite reason why Nietzsche was adopted by fascist ideologues, despite the fact that they diverged from his teaching, perhaps opposed it on certain matters. Nietzsche's work was not taken as something like biblical scripture, always consulted, studied, interpreted in a scholastic manner, applying his thoughts to various problems. The fascist ideology builders had other disparate influences from which they picked and chose. This is pointed to in the book (Immanuel Kant was big in Nazi scholarship, for example), but the way it is presented makes it unclear what this actually means. It's like a constant teetering, did Nietzsche influence the ideology or did he not? There is an either/or at work despite the effort to remain neutral and present a coherent many sided explication of the issue.
For Nietzsche's connection to fascism to be truly understood, a full and clear explication of his own teaching must be presented, which would not be without problems for the scholarship. The main issue which would then arise is how the ideas that were adoptable to fascism would be drowned out by others that were irrelevant to that particular issue, which is where the problem of these types of polemical studies arises. To present only the aspects of Nietzsche's philosophy that are congruent with fascism is to present him as a protofascist, which isn't entirely fair either.
This is actually a Nietzschean problem in any case. He would not really believe in fairness in the moralistic sense. Nietzsche felt in any case that much our actions (including interpretation and speech) are the result of instinctual drives that set out to support ourselves. In this way even a polemical study of Nietzsche that denies him is really more Nietzschean than a "fair" study, because tied up in polemics is the will to power.
In case you're wondering about some of the defining aspects which made Nietzsche ammenable to fascism, you must understand that his interpretation of nature which he calls "immoral" means that he will look at nature and describe it without seeking out moral categories. If we see the strong conquer the weak, he does not interpret it as evil conquering the good, he would describe it merely as the way of nature. It is for this reason that he rejected Christianity, because it wished to impose moral categories onto nature. He also saw Christianity as nature denying. St. Augustine wrote that good Christians must reject the material world as dominated by evil and look forward to an afterlife under God where good finally reigns.
Nietzsche saw that view as nihilism, life rejecting. Nietzsche felt that the only way to overcome nihilism was to affirm all that was true of life, which included species vying for power, the strong conquering the weak, aristocracy, which was the rule of the strong, the smart, the noble, and affirmation of slavery, which was the conquering of the weak and ignoble.
In this sense there is a desire in Nietzsche's philosophy to understand the world realistically, what is truly going on here? Is the world run by "moral laws" as the Christians (and later the secular Humanists) supposed, or were there other "immoral" (non-moral) things going on? How could we learn to accept and appreciate life for what it is?
Nietzsche did not deny that his philosophy was dangerous.
The questions that arise then are, is this truly how nature is? If it is, how do we deal with this aspect of nature? Can we learn to love a life that possesses these qualities? How? If peoples follow Nietzsche and affirm his philosophy, what will the results look like in an active government?
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Also recommended: _Heidegger's Crisis_ by Hans Sluga.
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