Why Nietzsche is a terrible role model for the left
Instead of writing up a longer, meandering argument against Nietzsche’s philosophy, I found that his quotations themselves make the strongest argument for why he makes a terrible role model for the left.
The core concepts of his philosophy, Masculine virtue and elitism, the Superman, Will to Power, worship of warrior heroes and militarism, Anti-democracy, Anti-Socialism, Reverence for hereditary Aristocracy (whether Teutonic, or Roman), Anti-feminism, Anti-Christianity / Buddism, Biological determinism, are shown through his quotes. After getting past his love of contradictory statements, and his propensity to try to gain hipster cred through the shock-value of anti-moralism, we’re left with a system of thought that’s as aristocratic and supportive of the status quo as has ever existed.
It shouldn’t be surprising that this proto-incel, lover of masculinity and war, who decried democracy, socialism, and feminism, who revered the Teutonic and Roman conquerors, would produce fertile material to be used by the Nazis, even if he wasn’t anti-semitic himself.
Great man / Aristocracy
There is only nobility of birth, only nobility of blood. When one speaks of “aristocrats of the spirit,” reasons are usually not lacking for concealing something. As is well known, it is a favorite term among ambitious Jews. For spirit alone does not make noble. Rather, there must be something to ennoble the spirit. What then is required? Blood.
The possibility has been established for the production of…a master race, the future “masters of the earth”…made to endure for millennia — a higher kind of men who…employ democratic Europe as their most pliant and supple instrument for getting hold of the destinies of the earth.
Will this aristocracy be a caste, and their power hereditary? For the most part yes, with occasional openings to let in new blood. But nothing can so contaminate and weaken an aristocracy rich vulgarians, after the habit of the English aristocracy; As it was such intermarriage that ruined the greatest governing body the world has ever seen: the aristocratic Roman senate.
The European man nowadays […] glorifies his qualities, such as public spirit, kindness, deference, industry, temperance, modesty, indulgence, sympathy, by virtue of which he is gentle, endurable, and useful to the herd, as the peculiarly human virtues.
[…] In spite of all, what a blessing, what a deliverance from a weight becoming unendurable, is the appearance of an absolute ruler for these gregarious Europeans of this fact the effect of the appearance of Napoleon was the last great proof; the history of the influence of Napoleon is almost the history of the higher happiness to which its worthiest individuals and periods.
The Superman can survive only by human selection, by eugenic foresight and an ennobling education.
The homogenizing of European man … requires a justification: it lies in serving a higher sovereign species that stands upon the former which can raise itself to its task only by doing this. Not merely a master race whose sole task is to rule, but a race with its own sphere of life, with an excess of strength … strong enough to have no need of the tyranny of the virtue-imperative.
Not Mankind, but Superman is the goal.
God created woman. And boredom did indeed cease from that moment — but many other things ceased as well! Woman was God’s second mistake.
Women are considered profound. Why? Because we never fathom their depths. But women aren’t even shallow.
From the beginning, nothing has been more alien, repugnant, and hostile to woman than truth—her great art is the lie, her highest concern is mere appearance and beauty.
Woman’s love involves injustice and blindness against everything that she does not love… Woman is not yet capable of friendship: women are still cats and birds. Or at best cows…
Woman! One-half of mankind is weak, typically sick, changeable, inconstant… she needs a religion of weakness that glorifies being weak, loving, and being humble as divine: or better, she makes the strong weak–she rules when she succeeds in overcoming the strong… Woman has always conspired with the types of decadence, the priests, against the ‘powerful’, the ‘strong’, the men.
[I’ve grown] tired with disgust of all that is feminism and undisciplined rhapsody in that romanticism, that idealistic lying, that softening of the human conscience, which had conquered here one of the bravest souls [referring to Wagner].
Man shall be educated for war, and women for the recreation of the warrior; everything else is folly.
Man is for woman a means; the end is always the child. But what is woman for man? … a dangerous toy.
Here is little of man; therefore women try to make themselves manly. For only he who is enough of a man will save the woman in woman.
It is dangerous to try equality with a woman; she will not be content with that; she will be rather content with subordination if the man is a man. Above all, her perfection and happiness lie in motherhood.
Whom do I hate most among the rabble of today? The socialist rabble, the chandala apostles, who undermine the instinct, the pleasure, the worker’s sense of satisfaction with his small existence–who make him envious, who teach him revenge. The source of wrong is never unequal rights but the claim of “equal” rights.
With feminism come socialism and anarchism; all of them the litter of democracy; if equal political power is just, why not equal economic power? There are some that preach my doctrine of life but at the same time are preachers of equality. … I do not wish to be confounded with these preachers of equality. For within me justice saieth: “Men are not equal”, “We wish to possess nothing in common”.
A high civilization is a pyramid; it can stand only upon a broad base; its prerequisite is a strongly and soundly consolidated mediocrity.
Only a man of intellect should hold property.
Socialism itself can hope to exist only for brief periods here and there, and then only through the exercise of the extremest terrorism. For this reason it is secretly preparing itself for rule through fear and is driving the word “justice” into the heads of the half-educated masses like a nail so as to rob them of their reason… and to create in them a good conscience for the evil game they are to play.
The doctrine of equality! … But there is no more venomous poison in existence: for it appears to be preached by justice itself, when it is actually the end of justice.
Socialism–as the logical conclusion of the tyranny of the least and the d***est, i.e., those who are superficial, envious, and three-quarters actors–is indeed entailed by “modern ideas” and their latent anarchism; but in the tepid air of democratic well-being the capacity to reach conclusions, or to finish, weakens. One follows–but one no longer sees what follows. Therefore socialism is on the whole a hopeless and sour affair; and nothing offers a more amusing spectacle than the contrast between the poisonous and desperate faces cut by today’s socialists–and to what wretched and pinched feelings their style bears witness!–and the harmless lambs’ happiness of their hopes and desiderata.
[…] In any case, even as a restless mole under the soil of a society that wallows in st***ity, socialism will be able to be something useful and therapeutic: it delays “peace on earth” and the total mollification of the democratic herd animal; it forces the Europeans to regain spirit, namely cunning and cautious care, not to abjure manly and warlike virtues altogether, and to retain some remnant of spirit, of clarity, sobriety, and coldness of the spirit–it protects Europe for the time being from the marasmus femininus that threatens it.
How can the superman arise in such a soil [democracy]? And how can a nation become great when its greatest men lie unused, discouraged, perhaps unknown? Such a society loses character; imitation is horizontal instead of vertical; not the superior man but the majority man becomes the ideal and the model; everybody comes to resemble everybody else; even the sexes approximate - the men become women and the women become men.
Europe is threatened with a new Buddhism. […] The whole of the morality of Europe is based upon the values which are useful to the herd.
Railing against the Collectivism of Eastern philosophies:
The world has been Orientalized long enough; and men now yearn to be Hellenized.
A declaration of war on the masses by higher men is needed! … Everything that makes soft and effeminate, that serves the end of the people or the feminine, works in favor of universal suffrage, i.e. the domination of the inferior men. But we should take reprisal and bring this whole affair to light and the bar of judgment.
A herd of blond beasts of prey, a race of conquerors and masters, with military organizations, with the power to organize, unscrupulously placing their fearful paws upon a population perhaps vastly superior in numbers, … this herd founded the State. The dream is dispelled which made the State begin with a contract. What has he to do with contracts who can command, who is master by nature, who comes on the scene with violence.
Freedom means that the manly instincts which delight in war and victory dominate over other instincts, for example, over those of “pleasure.” The human being who has become free — and how much more the spirit who has become free — spits on the contemptible type of well-being dreamed of by shopkeepers, Christians, cows, females, Englishmen, and other democrats. The free man is a warrior.
A good war halloweth any cause.
I felt for the first time that the strongest, highest Will to Life does not find expression in a miserable struggle for existence, but in a Will to War, a Will to Power, a Will to Over-Power!
What is good? All that heightens the feeling of power in man, the will to power, power itself. What is bad? All that is born of weakness. What is happiness? The feeling that power is growing, that resistance is overcome.
Does anybody at last understand, will anybody understand what the Renaissance was? The transvaluation of Christian values, the attempt undertaken with all means, all instincts and all genius to make the opposite values, the noble values triumph. […] Caesar Borgia as Pope. … Do you understand me?
In contrast to all this, everyone ought to say to himself: ‘better to go abroad, to seek to become master in new and savage regions of the world and above all master over myself; to keep moving from place to place for just as long as any sign of slavery seems to threaten me; to shun neither adventure nor war and, if the worst should come to the worst, to be prepared for death: all this rather than further to endure this indecent servitude, rather than to go on becoming soured and malicious and conspiratorial!’ This would be the right attitude of mind: the workers of Europe ought henceforth to declare themselves as a class a human impossibility and not, as usually happens, only a somewhat harsh and inappropriate social arrangement; they ought to inaugurate within the European beehive an age of a great swarming-out such as has never been seen before, and through this act of free emigration in the grand manner to protest against the machine, against capital, and against the choice now threatening them of being compelled to become either the slave of the state or the slave of a party of disruption. Let Europe be relieved of a fourth part of its inhabitants!
What follows, then? That one had better put on gloves before reading the New Testament. The presence of so much filth makes it very advisable. One would as little choose early Christians for companions as Polish Jews: not that one need seek out an objection to them — neither has a pleasant smell.
Do I still have to add that in the entire New Testament there is only one solitary figure one is obliged to respect? Pilate, the Roman governor. To take a Jewish affair seriously — he cannot persuade himself to do that. One Jew more or less — what does it matter ?
Those races that cannot bear this philosophy are doomed; and those that regard it as the greatest blessing are destined to be the masters of the world.