Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Beyond Lies and Slavery (The dishonesty of the far-right regarding Nietzsche)
"There were many things that drew anarchists to Nietzsche: his hatred of the state; his disgust for the mindless social behavior of “herds”; his (almost pathological) anti-Christianity; his distrust of the effect of both the market and the State on cultural production; his desire for an “overman” — that is, for a new human who was to be neither master nor slave; his praise of the ecstatic and creative self, with the artist as his prototype, who could say, “Yes” to the self-creation of a new world on the basis of nothing; and his forwarding of the “transvaluation of values” as source of change, as opposed to a Marxist conception of class struggle and the dialectic of a linear history." - Spencer Sunshine: “Nietzsche and the Anarchists” (2005) https://radicalarchives.org/2010/05/18/nietzsche-and-the-anarchists/
As people of varying alternative world views, I think we can all agree that the deconstruction of narratives regarding things like moralism, economics and social order, is very important. I was first introduced to this line of thinking by reading/studying up on Nietzsche. I was immediately captured by his views on "the herd mentality" a poor substitute for the exertion of the will of the liberated individual on the world/material conditions around them. Recently I've noticed many people using the deconstructionist rhetoric of Nietzsche to justify a wide variety of claims, namely the far-right citing Nietzsche as a support for ideas such as radical nationalism, propertarinism (a disgusting pile of ideological vomit spewed by the disgustingly pretentious and disjointed Curt Doolittle), and ethnocentrism/race realism. These misconceptions however, are by no means limited to the right. The gigantic cluster-fuck of moralist dribble (wrongly) attributed to the anti-Christian ideas endorsed by thinkers like Nietzsche, otherwise known as new atheism/secular humanism and other postmodern interpretations of Enlightenment values (ideas which Nietzsche violently opposed in his day and age), which time and time again have proven themselves at best as laughably fallacious and at worst, outright dangerous (Sam Harris is living breathing proof of how, despite their humanist/egalitarian claims, monstrous the cult of new atheism and their anointed leaders can be).
Fascists and some Alt-Right folks (Contemporary fascists, national anarchists and a good amount of libertarians/ancaps) claim that the Nietzsche's idea of the overman justifies oppression in order to achieve something akin to social Darwinism and a state or individuals to create the conditions (via the forced subjugation of other individuals) to achieve this goal. His support of the aristocratic individual does on the surface, appear to lend itself to this idea but it is an interpretation which is far from the whole truth, as referenced here; “The state is the coldest of all old monsters. Coldly, it lies, too; and this lie creeps from its mouth: ‘I, the state, am the people.'” [Thus Spoke Zarathustra] Compare this statement of Nietzsche to the fascist conception of the state, which is 100% opposite to this." – http://souciant.com/2012/08/nietzsche-for-anti-capitalists/
I posit that Nietzsche's opinion regarding the illegitimacy of the state (and the deconstruction of systems imposed on the individual in general) does not lend itself to the pseudo- science and romanticism of the nation that fascists worship. [Their] old God of dominance and parasitism are just as dead as any other. It also stands to reason that a person who is against the ethos of modern establishment on these grounds would also be against authoritarian mechanisms which restrict the will of the individual (including but not limited to all systems and tactics of statism).
His views on aesthetics also lend themselves to an anarchist perspective; "One of the most outstanding features of Nietzsche's work is his highly elaborated and ornamental poetic prose. Frederick Nietzsche was an artist above all and as artist he ought to be judged. The popular view of Nietzsche as a misanthropic nihilist is totally invalid... Nietzsche states in "Twilight of the Idols": "In art man enjoys himself as perfection." Art is then the supreme delight of existence; art is the fountain and source of joy in the world par excellence. And joy for Nietzsche does not require justification because joy justifies itself; joy, too, justifies existence: through joy, life is affirmed. Thus, we reach another basic role of art: art as the supreme source of joy." - http://jorbon.tripod.com/niet01.html) His prose reveals a true passion for the unshackled joy in art and a desire for aesthetic fulfillment. Given this, I support the idea that a person living purposefully and passionately is not some sad little sociopath worshiping at the shrine of oppression. An empty man who would suppress the ability of the individual to create by restricting their social and economic mobility is no overman.
In short I feel Nietzsche’s views are largely hijacked to suit the rhetoric of rightest identity politics. He was after all, largely apolitical and seemed to reserve nothing but contempt for all who participated in such a cruel joke. From leftists to the far right. His attacks on nationalism provide sufficient evidence supporting this idea; “... We who are homeless are too manifold and mixed racially and in our descent, being "modern men," and consequently do not feel tempted to participate in the mendacious racial self-admiration and racial indecency that parades in Germany today as a sign of a German way of thinking and that is doubly false and obscene among the people of the "historical sense." –Nietzsche the Gay Science. No Nietzsche, first and foremost admired greatness and overcoming the limits of the human condition by the exertion of a will to power on the status quo. At the very least the works of Nietzsche serve as a useful tool in deconstructing the external authority of morality, religion, identity politics and the state. I firmly believe that by applying these extrapolated principles we will one day be able to do away with the entire master and slave dynamic.