Nietzsche is dead

Nietzsche has serious flaws. One is that he is abusive – he’s an intellectual bully which killed his morality and led to him being (rightfully) claimed by the full spectrum of ideologies, including Nazism. Probably the most serious flaw in his philosophy is that it’s entirely personalized – he focuses on psychology, linguistics, and psychohistory. The complete absence of any structural analysis (analysis of the state, for example) meant he ultimately is just writing bourgeois and pro-status quo nonsense. Nietzsche is the last of the individualists – no meaningful philosophy can possibly be derived in modern times absent structural analysis.

Nietzsche is utterly naive, and believes in the triumph or failure of the individual will. He offers a romantic vision for the Libertarian Right, those people who have no attachment to reality.

Orwell killed Nietzsche not only because of his profound understanding of the meaninglessness of the individual but because of his destruction of Nietzsche’s romanticization of schizophrenia. For Nietzsche, schizophrenia was a sign of strength, of the individual fighting himself (after all, what does not kill me only makes me stronger). For Orwell, schizophrenia was a sign of weakness, a fundamental break from access to objective reality (Nietzsche denies objective reality) and a kind of self-serving departure from the world.

Nietzsche is not only himself immature but he has left a devastated world in his wake – a world where adults have the minds and aspirations of children, a world of “parallel worlds”, “inner worlds”, and “trips to the other side”, a world where debate is impossible because culture no longer believes in the objective reality that makes debate meaningful. “To each his own”, “you believe what you want to and I’ll beileve what I want to” are derived from Nietzsche.

Nietzsche is a terrible error, and the world may never recover. If it does it will find other philosophers, other ways to follow.

Nietzsche is dead.

47 Responses to “Nietzsche is dead”

  1. bahram farzady Says:

    First of all, scores of philosophers have rebuked any association, or resemblance between Nietzsche and Naziism. See Robert C. Solomon. Also, Nietzsche was not a political philosopher, so he didn’t support the status quo in government, but someone you might like, Aristotle did. See Politics.

    Also, Nietzsche did suffer from dysintery, and dyferia (however they’re spelt), but this was from his brief service as an orderly in the army.

    Here is a small list of philosophers, writers, artists and psychologists Nietzsche has influenced:

    Rorty
    Foucault
    Jung
    Hesse
    Sartre
    Adler
    Heidegger
    And the author of “Man’s Search for Meaning” concentration camp survivor, Viktor Frankl.

    People like you sicken me. You have to read not only all of a philosophers works, but also ,cuh of what has been written on him to even begin criticism at an intellectual level. Do your analytical schools of thought mention argumentum ad hominum?

    Do they consider history and biography as a means of better understanding a philosopher and where he/she was coming from? No, and do you know why, because they’re shallow attempts at analytical interpretation, which is supposed to lead to truth, what irony!

  2. bahram farzady Says:

    According to wikipedia, these are some other people Nietzsche is said to have influenced:

    Theodor Adorno, Georges Bataille, Jean Baudrillard, Martin Buber, Judith Butler, Albert Camus, Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Martin Heidegger, Iqbal, Karl Jaspers, Ayn Rand, George Santayana, Jean-Paul Sartre, Leo Strauss, Oswald Spengler, Bernard Williams, Ludwig Wittgenstein

  3. bahram farzady Says:

    This blog should be called, “out of the mind of an imbecile”.

  4. bahram farzady Says:

    “Intellectual bully” you fucking twat. Who the fuck are you? You must be a Christian, or a girl.

  5. briankoontz Says:

    Was that supposed to be a defense of Nietzsche? Edward Bernays was influential as well – influential has no relationship to beneficial.

    What influential means is powerful – the US military is influential – their influence is utterly pernicious.

    Any analysis of Nietzsche has to note what Nietzsche’s influence consists of – *how* he affected the world, not *that* he affected the world.

    Only a nihilist treats influence itself as a defense of a philosopher. What an empty, pathetic condition you live in.

    My condemnation of Nietzsche is based on his effect on the world.

  6. bob allen Says:

    For what it’s worth, I liked your analysis of Nietzsche.

  7. briankoontz Says:

    Nietzsche tried to be all things to all people – the omnipresent relativist. He couldn’t shake his revulsion over the Imperial West – a revulsion that caused his ascetic lifestyle. At the same time he intentionally remained ignorant about that imperialism, virtually ignoring it in favor of deep psychological analysis, when what he needed was political analysis.

    His focus on the individual and utter neglect of structural elements was a terminal error, and played into the hands of 20th century monsters and the institutions they controlled. Let’s make sure the same thing doesn’t happen in the 21st century.

  8. bahram farzady Says:

    The Nazis didn’t read NIETZSCHE! They read Heidegger, if anybody. You’re not understanding that Nietzsche’s individualism is the same as Emerson’s! It doesn’t mean he wanted society to crumble. Go read a book about nietzsche and you’ll find out how dumb you are.

  9. bahram farzady Says:

    You’re the type of person who likes when ideological nuts misconstrue philosophers you don’t like so that you can blame the philosopher on the deeds of others. You should be ashamed. If you get your way the only philosophy students will be able to read is Kant, and Plato.

    Also he wasn’t a relativist! Just because there is no absolute good doesn’t mean there is no better or worse. You my friend are worse than Nietzsche!

  10. bahram farzady Says:

    How did he need political analysis? How do you know that? It was 150 years ago when he wrote. Before the Nazis, during a period called the romantic period, which he was an intricate part of. What should he have done politically? Why don’t you tell freud he shouldn’t have been a psychoanalyst? Why is Nietzsche so mistaken for not doing something millions of other people weren’t doing either? Also, he wasn’t influential during his life, it was after he died that people started reading him, so should he have spoken to the politics of the future?

  11. briankoontz Says:

    It’s about ends and means – Nietzsche was trying to achieve an end, increasing the amount of joy of humans, and he chose poor means (psychoanalysis, psychohistory, religion) to get there, therefore he didn’t get there.

    One can’t be a revolutionary (of any type) without political analysis, and specifically structural political analysis (analysis of institutions).

    Nietzsche was born and lived far after the onset of Imperialism, and far after the onset of Western Culture. He has no excuse for such anemic treatments of these subjects. The *reason* for such treatment is the logical one – that Nietzsche was not anti-Imperialist or anti-civilization.

    But this gets at the root of the problem – the joy that Nietzsche, according to Nietzsche, wanted to bring to humanity (and/or enable them to bring to themselves) *requires* the demolition of the culture they live in – the one that entails massive destruction as part of perpetual accumulative control of resources.

    Nietzsche’s method, presaging the psychoanalysis that Freud continued with, was to analyze and correct the “corrupt individual”. He did attack one institution vociferously – Christianity, and virtually ignored a critique of the far more powerful and important like institution – the Roman Empire. Not only did Nietzsche fail to attack Rome but he *worshiped* Rome, stating that Europe could not have done without it (true, but that’s not a positive thing as Nietzsche intended the statement to be).

    Or take Nietzsche’s pathetic position on Europe. He attacked German culture and admired French culture. Both in Nietzsche’s time and subsequently there is little difference between the two. But Nietzsche was fully and entirely *European*, descended from Rome, and hardly the “bringer of joy” to humanity he wanted to be.

    I’m fine with people reading Nietzsche. I’m NOT fine with people who misunderstand Nietzsche. No amount of Nietzsche-books read will ensure you understand the thing that is the key to understanding Nietzsche – knowing the world. Knowing the world requires political analysis, psychological analysis, historical analysis, etc.

    Nietzsche’s most fully articulated project was killing Christianity. But Christianity is not the heart of the problem of the lack of joy inside humanity – the heart is Western Culture.

    So just like a vampire-hunter who misses his mark, Nietzsche failed to bring joy to humanity, and in fact may have made things much worse, as the 20th century humans had to deal with what the 19th century ones didn’t have to – believing they *must* live a life of joy (because an end of Christianity ensures it). So then when they lacked joy (for no good reason, post-Nietzsche) there must be a problem with THEM, and so they turned to Freud and his descendants to help them cope with themselves. Rampant smiling, for example, is a post-Nietzsche phenomenon.

    Nietzsche gave the status quo more power, with his focus on the individual as the root of all problems and all solutions.

    Nietzsche remains a valuable philosopher. But Nietzsche will no longer rule Western culture as he did during the 20th century.

    And for joy, we will have to be elsewhere.

  12. bahram farzady Says:

    He wasn’t trying to increase human happiness, you’re thinking of John Stuart Mills who Nietzsche repudiates with vigor.

    German and French culture are miles apart. Everything from philosophy, to fashion. I don’t know how you can say they’re not very different. Anyone with even a prima facie knowledge of the two cultures will know that that’s a fallacious statement.

    Furthermore, Nietzsche admired Cesar and Rome, but what he was talking about was Shakespeare’s Cesar, the character of Cesar, the unity of so many seemingly disparate elements coming together in one person, not necessarily anything else about him, but his authenticity (to use a term Nietzsche had a lot to do with popularizing, even if it was through Heidegger).

    I agree with a lot of what you’re saying, but I think you should attack, Rousseau, Hobbes, Locke, Aristotle, Plato, etc… It’s hard to take seriously a politically rooted criticism of an anti-political philosopher. Nietzsche is the philosopher of the individual, his morality of harshness, coldness, and brutal honest, painful refinments in taste and expression of drives, refusal to except anything as absolute, is for the philosopher of the future to whom he speak to so much.

    He is primarily concerned with philosophy. His morality is cruel, and deeply objectionable if misconstrued so that it applies to everyone, equally.

    In fact he didn’t object to Christianity for anyone, but philosophers. He never once says that Christianity is bad for the common person, only for those searching for truth. Philosophers of his day were basically all Christian. That’s ridiculous! That you’re aunt Sue is Christian… who cares?

  13. bahram farzady Says:

    I want you to read, “Nietzsche: Life as Literature” by Alexander Nehamas, and if you return with the same feelings, then you can criticize Nietzsche, but until you do that, you’re blog post is just insulting to anyone who thinks Nietzsche needs to be read more and not less; although these people usually revel in the fact that people like you don’t ‘get’ Nietzsche, so do as you please. The only person that is committing a ‘terrible error’ as you put it, is you.

    I don’t even mean to insult you. If you read that book, you’ll see how reprehensibly ignorant what you wrote was.

  14. briankoontz Says:

    It’s possible I’ll get to it at some point, but my book list right now is long and time is short, and Nietzsche is not a focus for me. What you’re saying could be said about anything though – a Neocon for example might say, read “Capitalism and Freedom” by Milton Friedman, then you can criticize capitalism.

    There are huge numbers of sources to learn about anything, and picking out a particular one is not very useful.

    What is a bible to you will probably not be to me. Your interpretation of “Nietzsche: Life as Literature” is almost certain to not be shared by me.

  15. briankoontz Says:

    “He wasn’t trying to increase human happiness, you’re thinking of John Stuart Mills who Nietzsche repudiates with vigor.”

    I didn’t say happiness, I said joy.

    “German and French culture are miles apart. Everything from philosophy, to fashion. I don’t know how you can say they’re not very different. Anyone with even a prima facie knowledge of the two cultures will know that that’s a fallacious statement.”

    Two bugs might be different colors, and one person thinks that’s a big difference and the other doesn’t. Compare people around the world and you’ll find that Western Europe, both in the time of Nietzsche and much more so today, is culturally similar. That’s what happens when so much war and trade occurs in the area over centuries.

    “He is primarily concerned with philosophy. His morality is cruel, and deeply objectionable if misconstrued so that it applies to everyone, equally.”

    His morality is insane. He makes the tragic error of not appreciating that the individual is a social agent, fully rooted in, birthed by, and existing in the culture.

    Nietzsche had a concept of “great men” which was ridiculous. Philosophy itself is 99% appropriation and 1% originality. 99% of what I’ve learned I’ve learned from others, and 1% I’ve come up with myself. I’ve learned from beggars, fools, wise men, philosophers (who are not wise men), anarchists, capitalists, monsters, saints, and all the rest. Nietzsche is no different – noone is any different.

    It is culture that creates – humans are merely the vessels used to articulate the creations of culture. Yet time and again, due to foolish beliefs by those such as Nietzsche, humans believe that *humans* are the ones who create.

    “In fact he didn’t object to Christianity for anyone, but philosophers. He never once says that Christianity is bad for the common person, only for those searching for truth. Philosophers of his day were basically all Christian. That’s ridiculous! That you’re aunt Sue is Christian… who cares?”

    Philosophers are not substantially different from the “common man”!

    There are differences for sure – philosophers love ideas. But that doesn’t mean that non-philosophers don’t HAVE ideas – just that their relationship to them is less embued with passion.

    Poets love words. But that doesn’t mean that non-poets don’t have words – their relationship with them is merely less intense. This intensity may or may not be a *good* thing, since a passion for words means less passion available for other things.

    Of course poets and philosophers are important, and they will be until such time as linguistics and ideas are no longer important. But Nietzsche’s idea that philosophy (and hence philosophers) *gives birth* to reality is sheer nonsense. Nietzsche is not our daddy.

  16. bahram farzady Says:

    It’s not nonsense, because he has a pragmatic view of truth. That is, he defines truth, as what works for him. A view that we create ourselves was not meant to be taken as a metaphysical claim, that corresponds to the reality of human existence. But, as an artist creates his work of art and as the lierary figure his characters in his novels, so does every person create themselves in the world.

    We are not just recepticles of culture and environment. We may not have free will, but our self–that is– a composite of our experiences and biology up to that moment can change the course of his/her life.

    Once you realize that, you don’t have to be Christian, or you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing, you realize that you can be yourself.

    Why is Nietzsche’s concept of ‘great men’ ridiculous?

    Are there not people who have achieved there fullest potential in life, and others who have fallen short of their own marks, and goals in life?

  17. bahram farzady Says:

    Nietzsche say in Thus Spoke Zarathustra something to the extent of:

    Forget Zarathustra, hate me, despise me, call everything I have said a lie, and slander Zrathustra’s name, only when you have done that will you come back to Zarathustra, that is, you will find your own way, and therefore my way.

    Nietzsche’s philosophy is to give you permission to create a world that works for you, a philsophy that you are passionate about, and it is not a guideline of how people should live.

    His moral code is, find your own way to live.

  18. bahram farzady Says:

    If God isn’t dead, at least religion is.

    • briankoontz Says:

      The worship of Mammon is doing pretty well at the moment, as well as the anti-spiritual sterile worship of various traditional religions. Genuine religion is quite rare.

      “Know thyself” is a task only for philosophers and other layabouts – it’s a task which derives from having a lot of time for reflection and analysis. This forms the basis for Nietzsche’s “revaluation of all values”. Every person does not create themselves in the world, since that is a project which requires a lot of time and effort, so other projects must be sacrificed so that it can happen.

      ‘Great men’ derive from culture and circumstance – every “great man” can be explained by explaining the culture that gives birth to him. Culture is formed by the mass of people within it. If one “great man” fails to come along and achieve something enabled by culture, another will. The culture is the creator and the man facilitates and articulates the creation. Culture is the river and “great men” are the foaming rapids at the surface.

      It is a matter of error to bestow individual names upon “discoveries”. Newton did not discover or invent anything – he facilitated human perception, enabled by culture. Culture the creator, Newton the midwife.

      The value of Newton or any other midwife is not in what they “discovered”, but in how they translate this cultural creation into human perception. How well they bring the baby into the world. The midwife’s job is to ensure the health and well-being of the mother and the child. Much less important than the content of a “discovery” is the relationship between the discovery and the culture at large.

      Nietzsche’s philosophy is ridiculous as everyone creating their own world leads to a whole lot of worlds and zero understanding of any world but one’s own. Worlds devoid of anything but having been created.

  19. bahram farzady Says:

    That seems like a load of dribble, but I’ll humour you. When does Nietzsche say anything bad about culture? He says bad things about pop-culture, mass crazes (like religion) and other superficial endevours by unpassionate people. However he has nothing but good things to say about genuine cultural phenomenon, i.e. Goethe.

    I can’t say I completely understand what you’re saying, but I think the relationship between a great writer and his art is as important as the relationship between the art and the “culture at large”. I’ll admit that context is important (something Nietzsche stresses), but I don’t think it’s all that matters.

  20. loop digga Says:

    One small point that can be made whilst you insult Nietzsche, i will admit i have half agreed with some points you have made briankoontz, and up until now i have never come across someone who criticizes Nietzsche so heavily.

    If you speak of people being catalysts or “mid-wives” to ideas, is it not the case that Nietzsche was gonna happen anyway

    “If one “great man” fails to come along and achieve something enabled by culture, another will. The culture is the creator and the man facilitates and articulates the creation” If people are just catalysts to discoveries, is it not the case that another man, would have made the same discoveries as Nietzsche.

    Also, if you have absorbed non of the values Nietzsche has created, you have at least painted your canvas with something completely different, analyzing Nietzsche and deciding not to agree with him is something you would not have done if you did not learn about him, so if he does not serve as an example of a great philosopher, he serves as an example of what one should try to avoid to be one.

  21. briankoontz Says:

    It’s shameful that there has been so little criticism of Nietzsche. Here’s another piece of criticism before I reply to your words:

    In Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World”, the people in the totalitarian society compliment women by calling them “pneumatic”. The definition of pneumatic (in the social context) is “The highest order of humans as opposed to hylics. “spiritual,” fully initiated. immaterial, souls. The Pneumatic saw himself as escaping the doom of the material world via the secret knowledge.”

    Now let’s examine Nietzsche, shall we? Nietzsche celebrated the “rarefied air”, called common people “buzzing flies”, and said “only six people understood him”. He considered himself the bearer of “secret knowledge”, and sought to escape the doom of the material world through his philosophy (focused into the Superman).

    Now let’s examine totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is control of the people from “on high”, where the people are treated as empty vessels to be filled with those commands, and will carry out those commands or face punishment.

    Yet supposedly, according to Nietzsche’s supporters, of which there are vastly more than his critics, Nietzsche is not a totalitarian. Nietzsche might not ONLY be a totalitarian – perhaps he was a totalitarian when he woke up on Monday and a democrat when he woke up on Tuesday. His writing reflects a schizoid nature, or what he might call a “quest for values”. Someone who writes philosophy from a set of contradictory values receives at best muddled and contradictory results. Following someone who produced muddled and contradictory results might account for why the 20th century was so fucked up.

    Whoever examines Nietzsche should take a look at this “rarefied air” Nietzsche supposedly lives in (and/or seeks to live in).

    I also critique Nietzsche based on my own life as a philosopher. I’ve received wisdom from some very unexpected sources, and many who Nietzsche would discard as “the herd”. Recently I quoted a couch potato to help me prove a point. Nietzsche would wave these people away as he climbs the mountain that exists only in his mind.

    As one reads Nietzsche, it becomes apparent that he considers his own mind the only true source of wisdom. He climbs not a real mountain, but a self-invented mountain, a digital mountain if you will.

    In the end the only thing Nietzsche was an expert on was his own mind. It’s remarkable was this explorer found there, but that exploration was necessarily very limited.

    As we examine the 20th century, we find a humanity which has likewise retreated into its own mind. And that humanity thus became ignorant of the real world, and was (and still is) easily controlled by totalitarian forces (the elite). Humanity’s lack of response to issues of global warming is also largely due to the influence of Nietzsche.

    I would rather not have learned about Nietzsche at all. I’d rather the 20th century had gone very differently, with different cultural influences, and thus there would have been no need to learn about Nietzsche. There would have been a need to learn other things. I’m ignorant of those other things, terribly ignorant, precisely because Nietzsche came to power, just as the Nazis were ignorant of other things when Hitler came to power.

    Philosophers don’t climb on mountains – they climb on graveyards. They rise higher based on the toil, the struggles, and ultimately the corpses of the accumulated world before them. The goal of philosophers is to benefit the world by articulating the world that lies before them – to both understand reality and do what it takes to improve that reality. To translate the world and what should be into words.

    Philosophers are covered in filth – they roll in the dirt of the world. They cavort with the dead and laugh with the living. All humans have a little philosopher in them – legitimate philosophers are merely people who have built that little something into something larger.

  22. briankoontz Says:

    Nietzsche’s contemporaries called him “cheerful”. They should have called him pneumatic.

  23. bahram farzady Says:

    “In the end the only thing Nietzsche was an expert on was his own mind. It’s remarkable was this explorer found there, but that exploration was necessarily very limited.”

    He read almost every book by every author before him. He writes and critics everyone from John Stuart Mills, Machiavelli, Wagner, etc…

    “Someone who writes philosophy from a set of contradictory values receives at best muddled and contradictory results.”

    I know you can’t read and understand Nietzsche on your own so read some of his interpretors. He never embraced contradictory values.

    “To translate the world and what should be into words.”

    Really, well what about Quine, Wittgenstein, Rorty, Dewey, Emerson, Heidegger, etc… Along with Nietzsche these are the greatest philosophers of the past two decades and none of them would agree with your definition fo philosophy (not a muddy and unclear definition, but simple, stupid one).

  24. bahram farzady Says:

    Nietzsche was NOT a political philosopher. Stop calling him a totalitarian, democrat, etc… He is mute when it comes to politics.

    God, you’re really ignorant about Nietzsche for a guy criticing him.

  25. briankoontz Says:

    All of philosophy relates to politics. Every philosopher has a direct effect on political reality. The more influential the philosopher, the larger the effect.

  26. briankoontz Says:

    Here’s the political reality of Nietzsche – democracy is not a test of the human spirit. Totalitarianism is the best test of the human spirit politically speaking ever invented. According to Nietzsche then, a human who withstands totalitarianism emerges into the superman.

    It’s insane – his argument is ridiculous on it’s face. But you need not believe me – simply examine the historical evidence. Take Nazi Germany – did the German populace, according to “what does not kill me only makes me stronger” emerge into supermen as a result of the test of Nazism?

    No – they emerged into wrecks of human beings. Nietzsche would argue that they were wrecks to begin with and totalitarianism only showed them their “true face”, which shows not *their* true face but Nietzsche’s himself.

    Nietzsche never could withstand human weakness. His quest to exterminate that weakness is reminiscent of Hitler’s, and was just as misguided.

    Nietzsche’s constant belief in “tests” ensures a violent world. The 20th century fulfilled Nietzsche’s hope. Plenty of tests, ridiculous amounts of violence, and the world has emerged an absolute wreck, continuing in that way into the 21st century.

    Take global warming. A Nietzschean argument places global warming as just another test – just another “well, if it doesn’t kill me it will surely make me stronger”. What utterly irresponsible narcissism.

    Nietzsche’s tunnel vision ultimately placed all value in his own strength – he both embraced his own status as an invalid and sought to “overcome” it. His own fate of insanity should have tipped people off as to the common result, but instead his supporters laud his “genius” as being such *because* of his physical weakness.

    Nietzsche was endlessly optimistic, but optimism is not reality and global warming, totalitarianism, and nuclear weapons are not “tests” of humanity, they are THREATS to humanity. Humanity needs maturity, not Nietzsche.

    Orwell takes us through Nietzsche’s political “test” – an absolute hellhole. Far from making humanity stronger, the test is actually torture – it degrades and permanently damages the humans who undergo it.

    “What does not kill me only makes me stronger” is not wisdom, and is ONLY wisdom when applied highly selectively, in a controlled environment. Nietzsche treated this wisdom as universal instead of identifying the contexts in which it is true, which opened the door for the embrace of human disaster.

    Either Nietzsche will die, or humanity will. I know which I prefer.

    • Bahram Farzady Says:

      “Whatever does not kill me can only make me stronger” is an attitude to be taken towards life and not a universal statement. Is Jack Kerouac a political philosopher? Of course not. Not all philosophers are political philosophers.

      That’s why all that you wrote makes no sense. Living under totalitarianism doesn’t breed overmen. Overmen are not bred. They are individuals, rare, rare individuals.

  27. Bahram Farzady Says:

    Orwell didn’t read Nietzsche either.

  28. briankoontz Says:

    I don’t know what your problem is but I won’t enter into discussions with you in anything resembling your current form. You’ll find your posts ignored or deleted.

  29. Bahram Farzady Says:

    My current form meaning what? Disagreeing with you that Nietzsche was a proto-nazi, or disagreeing with you that all philosophers are political philosophers, inherently by being philosophers?

    There are many scholarly articles written about nietzsche not being a political philosopher, and none written blaming him for naziism.

  30. briankoontz Says:

    You’re not reading what I’m writing, making stuff up which is a hallmark of a troll. Trolls are largely what reduced internet discussion to the sorry 4chan-like state it’s currently in.

    I’ll have a new post up on existentialism shortly where we can attempt a conversation again if you’d like.

  31. Bahram Farzady Says:

    Tell me what I missed. I’m reading your posts. I’ll take a look at what you have to say on existentialism, but you must note that Nietzsche was not an existentialist if you’re planning on including him in that category.

  32. briankoontz Says:

    If you have something interesting to say regarding Nietzsche as not an existentialist then just say it.

    The Nazis stated that Nietzsche was one of their inspirations. Additionally, Existentialism serves Western power, as noted in my recent post, and Nietzsche’s work serves that power regardless of whether you wish to label him an Existentialist or not. In the realm of “good cop/bad cop” the soft kind of totalitarianism found in the US and Europe is “good cop” and the hard kind found in Nazi Germany and elsewhere is “bad cop”. They both serve the same system, the same world empire. The “good cop” often compares himself positively to the “bad cop”, offering himself as a good alternative, just as in the cop routine.

    In terms of terror, the US is far more terrifying than Nazi Germany (from a social standpoint) since it was clear the Nazi regime was out of control and irrational and thus short-lived. The worst form of totalitarianism is the one that can work for decades or centuries. In Nazi Germany it was a matter of weathering a storm – in the US it’s a matter of living a life of terror and raising children to live those same lives.

    The Western elite make it very clear who they like and who they don’t like. Existentialists are very well received by them and Socialists are thoroughly rejected. That’s why the “great men” like Nietzsche and Freud are well known by the West and Socialists and their history and philosophy is virtually unknown.

    One might ask “If we live lives of terror, where’s the whip? Where’s the gun pointed at our heads?”.

    Once the slave bows his head the master always takes away the whip and the gun. He no longer needs it.

  33. Bahram Farzady Says:

    Nietzsche was a fatalist (he did not believe in any sort of free will). Robert Solomon and many other Nietzsche interpretors have made this point. The basic existentialist tenets in “existence precedes essence”. Nietzsche rejected this and therefore he rejected existentialism before it ever existed.

    Nietzsche was the philosopher the Nazis liked because Nietzsche was the philosopher Heidegger liked and Heidegger was a Nazi — Heidegger got the Nazis to claim Nietzche. It’s not clear that Hitler ever read Nietzsche. I’ve actually read that 600 page book called “Mein Kampf” –“My Struggle”. He mentions Marx, Napoleon and just about everyone but not once does he mention Nietzsche.

    Nietzsche was known about when he wrote Mein Kampf, actually he was probably at the peak of his popularity. I like your last line: “Once the slave bows his head the master always takes away the whip and the gun. He no longer needs it.”

    But how did Nietzsche and Freud help with this. Nietzsche wished for the complete emancipation of the mind from all social constraints (camel—lion—child). The camel carries the burdens of society on its back and is the earliest stage of individual development.

    I think you’re wrong though. The US is nothing like Nazi Germany. Not even a little or more benign version. It’s a democratic oligarchy. People elect leader freely, but all the leaders are among the upper class.

  34. Pierre Says:

    One wonders, if Nietzsche is dead, then how come you are holding the burial ceremonies over a century later?

    Death begets forgetfulness, not remembrance. As the poet said, remembrance is a form of meeting.

  35. briankoontz Says:

    We remember the Neocons, but in terms of power they are dead, or at least greatly reduced from their three and a half decade rule.

    Memory is the reflected image of the real. The contents of memory have little to do with whether or not the subject is alive.

    In terms of *resurrection* memory is key – for example we have the ability to resurrect cultures that we *remember* but not those we’ve forgotten. The desire to forget is the desire to lose the ability to resurrect – but even that does not mean the thing cannot be resurrected – simply that it will have to occur without us willing it.

    We remember Zeus and Poseidon – yet they’ve been dead for millennia.

    Nietzsche’s greatest period (in the United States) came with the Neoliberal/Neoconservative age (1973 to the near future)- an age filled with despair, asceticism and rejection of the universal. Modern Western culture breathes the *will to power* and is just as cynical as Nietzsche could have hoped for.

    The utter bankruptcy of this age is substantially *caused* by Nietzsche – he’s the philosopher that offers a justification for people to stick their noses in the air and remove themselves from the world (just as he did), submerging themselves in television, or video games, or consumer goods.

    He’s the philosopher who glorified the individual – so when a modern person creates himself (so he supposes) – builds himself out of brand-name clothing, out of attitudes, out of opinions, creates his “unique identity”, this is lauded by Nietzsche as his “removal from the herd”, his special self.

    Nietzsche played a major role in the alienation and anti-socialization of the modern West. A role that caused and continues to cause vast unhappiness among the populace – a populace reduced to zombies, often in thrall to technology or (other) meaningless diversions.

    For Nietzsche is die is for the West to live again.

  36. Bahram Farzady Says:

    Brand name clothing was never named by Nietzsche as a way to create yourself. You’re just making shit up.

  37. briankoontz Says:

    The power of corporate branding didn’t emerge until the 1980s.

  38. Bahram Farzady Says:

    That’s a great random fact, but you’ll have to actually connect the dots here. Only propaganda artists name facts and expect readers to determine the meaning and value of them.

  39. briankoontz Says:

    Let’s examine the possibilities of Bahram Farzady with respect to me:

    Possibility #1: He thinks I’m a moron and wastes his time here because he has nothing better to do. He’s thus worse than a moron, who can’t help his own stupidity.

    Possibility #2: He’s trying to manipulate me (tough love) in order to get me to produce something he’ll like.

    The problem is, both possibilities render our relationship null and void. I refuse to be manipulated and I refuse to spend time with people who waste their own time.

    This means that, first and foremost, you must become a superior Possibility #3 before you can expect a reasonable reply from me.

    It’s ill-mannered to provide a reply to someone that’s better than the statement that preceded it. Your expectation of something brilliant emerging from an insult is ridiculous.

    I don’t have much interest in Nietzsche any longer. He’s a fantasist living in his own superman world where his physical, psychological, and social disabilities don’t matter because he’s master of the universe through mastering his own will. He’s one of the many philosophical jokes of the world and the joke need not be on us.

    If you’re still living the joke, then the first thing you should do is stop.

  40. briankoontz Says:

    Nietzsche’s solution to the “Death of God” was to punish the people available at the time (the living). His was the philosophy of self-punishment – the celibacy which he fantasized was moral strength in an immoral world or romantic as the day saw fit – the ascetic removal from the human world into the world of superior animals (those particular ones he supposed to be for no good reason) and the world of his fantasies (the superman). Nietzsche’s idea was that this removal would give humanity the freedom to create the next step in human development.

    The natural extension of Nietzsche’s philosophy is the removal from the world into an artificial world. JRR Tolkien and World of Warcraft are direct descendants of Nietzsche’s philosophy.

    People are supposed to enter these worlds, learn from them, and then *come back* to the real world with the knowledge gained and triumph over the problems of the real world. That’s why it’s ridiculous to call these worlds “escapes” – they were never intended as such. JRR Tolkien intended (as I interpret him) his world as an analogy for the real world, and hoped it would help people learn about and deal with the real world.

    People recognize the joke, they recognize the impossibility of this at the same time as holding the conviction that maybe, just maybe, it’s not completely impossible. And if it’s not completely impossible, then maybe, like Neo in the Matrix, they are “The One” who will save the real world after entering a fake one.

    So both the joke and the impossible hope build their own cultures and realities, and the two are mutually incompatible. Those who honor the impossible enter fake worlds and strive, while those who honor the joke enter the world of humanity, as seen broadly. Cell phones and constant communication are aspects of this world.

    The problem, and why I’m on the side of understanding Nietzsche as a joke, is that EVEN IF I’m wrong and it’s not impossible to achieve this method of triumphing over the real world, how many corpses, how many failed attempts, will it require before the triumph is obtained? How many wasted lives will it require before success? How many would-be Neos will be required before the real one happens?

    It’s like playing the lottery. There are 10 million losers for every winner, and that’s not a ratio that any sane human being can accept.

    But we don’t even know that it IS a lottery. We don’t even know that there *can be* a Neo. So there may be millions and then billions of wasted lives, for nothing at all.

    Those who understand Nietzsche as a joke are building a solution not through the “triumph of the will”, but through a new social reality. Building a new appreciation of humanity, a new human intimacy. Despite their problems, projects like Facebook, Twitter, cell phones and constant communication are part of this culture.

    More and more, that’s what I believe. So, Nietzsche is dead.

  41. Bahram Farzady Says:

    You’re right, I am wasting my time.

    You must understand that every declaration you’ve made was pulled right out of your ass, e.g.

    “Nietzsche’s solution to the “Death of God” was to punish the people available at the time (the living).”

    Where do you get that?

  42. briankoontz Says:

    You’re illogical.

    If what you say is true, and “every declaration you’ve made was pulled right out of your ass”, then why are you posting on this site?

    As for your question – Nietzsche blamed humanity in general and Western culture in particular for the death of God. His philosophy was one of punishment and sacrifice – he celebrated suffering and thereby killed it (suffering requires the hatred of suffering).

    Nietzsche said he was living for the people of the future and not the present, and in that he was correct. His solution was to destroy the people of his present and transform them into the people of his future.

    Examine the 20th century. There has never been a more irresponsible and insane time. The 20th century featured tremendous physical damage but little true suffering, because the present was so pathetic as to be deemed irrelevant. Monty Python understood this through their “tis a flesh wound” sketch.

    Westerner after westerner post-Nietzsche speaks of suffering as “character-building” and “artistically creative”, to such an extent that they sought to suffer. But this perverted suffering, because true suffering always requires an opposition toward suffering. Nietzsche *falsified* suffering.

    For all his claims, what Nietzsche lacked most was a deep understanding of human nature. Nietzsche assumed he could control everything. Control suffering, control human progress, control the future. The truth is very close to the exact opposite.

    This desire for control in Nietzsche results from his terror – he is the most terrified philosopher in history. Unable to face his own fears, he invented “will to power”, supermen, his own persona as a sacrificial Jesus-clone, his persona as an explorer and mountain-climber, to console himself. This perverted his mind and rendered his philosophy valueless. Which, unfortunately, didn’t stop it’s influence.

    One of the key concepts Nietzsche lacked that might have saved him was that human reality does not emerge out of the human soul but out of human structures. Exxon Mobil, for example, is a human structure with a set of outcomes. Nietzsche’s lack of political analysis made him use a religious treatment whereby humanity is unified with one soul with all outcomes emerging from that.

    Nietzsche and others demonized their own present and the results were horrifying, so terrible that the world will never recover.

    Nietzsche may well be the Great Destroyer. But… why do so? Build again? After devastating the means of doing so?

    Milton – “It’s better to reign in hell than serve in heaven”

    Long Live Emperor Nietzsche!

  43. zinski Says:

    People do not choose to belong to the status quo; they are born with this natural disposition. Albeit everyone should understand the need to remember others. However, I do believe in survival of the fittest. It seems to me that what you see as fit is far too simplistic and restrictive. The most imporant reason why souls like Nietzche turn on society is because they are so exquisitely tuned in to what they are observing around them…a society filled mostly with capitalism loving control freaks and the poor beggars who serve them. So sad, so disappointing. I believe that Nietzche had a rather aggressive and bombastic way of expressing an otherwise simple truth; the human being needs to seek liberation from the self; the EGO. Einstein himself (you probably HATE him too) declared: “The true value of a human being can be found in the degree to which he has attained liberation from the self.” Do you even get what that means. I admire Nietzche for having the courage to talk about his “radical” ideas though they strayed from blessed “objectivity”. I don’t place him on a pedastal. People who can relate to him do not do so blindly they were born that way just like you’re staus quoer’s I mentioned earlier. Peace Out

  44. James S Says:

    Nietzsche just said God is dead. Which could be interpreted in a number of ways.

    “Nietzsche is the philosopher of the individual, his morality of harshness, coldness, and brutal honest, painful refinments in taste and expression of drives, refusal to except anything as absolute, is for the philosopher of the future to whom he speak to so much.

    He is primarily concerned with philosophy. His morality is cruel, and deeply objectionable if misconstrued so that it applies to everyone, equally.”

    That is 100% correct. Nietzsche created these tools, the superman, the will to power to quote from his philosophy. You have interpreted facets of Nietzsches philosophy incorrectly and for that I pity you. Bahram Farzardy is correct. You are just pulling stuff out of your ass.

  45. briankoontz Says:

    Nietzsche pulled into himself as the world came apart. He is the philosopher of fantasy, of masturbatory disengagement, of self-glorifying madness.

    His is the philosophy not “of the earth” as he would have it, but of departure from the earth, of flight, of escape. His is not a climbing of a mountain as he would have it, but rather a cold flight into a barren whitescape of nothingness.

    He is the father of Timothy Leary’s “turn on, tune in, drop out”. He is the father of Kafka’s panicked transformation away from humanity. He is the father of every serial killer, every perverse sex-fiend, every addict.

    He is precisely what the world didn’t need as it began sailing the troubled waters of the 20th century, and even less what it needs now in these terrible times, times made far more terrible than they had to be by Nietzsche’s horrific philosophy.

    We need to come together, not be pulled apart by fantasies of power, personal asceticism, and inhuman domination made real through corporate and governmental force.

    Love is the greatest force in the world, but there soon may come a time when it is no longer the most powerful. If that time comes, Nietzsche will receive his full share of the blame.

    Nietzsche’s dream of a humanity led by a “few good men” needs to end and the dream of a humanity led by ITSELF needs to finally begin.

    And it has.

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