Nietzsche: An inquiry into his influence on modern racial nationalism
by Joe McCarthy
21 March 2004
Among the more secular, pagan, and National Socialist-tinged elements of the White Nationalist or pro-White movement, the 19th century German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche has amassed a veritable cult of drooling sychophants. To many, Nietzsche is an iconic figure approaching demi-god status. The adulation accorded this man is overwhelming, and has thus acquired a certain peculiar curiosity which merits critical analysis.
Nietzsche certainly had valid insights. He spoke out against the equalitarian contagion running rampant at the time in Europe, and wholly rejected the socialist notion that man's progress could be furthered by the dead weight masses. However, the one thing truly distinguishing Nietzsche's writings is a confused, insecure vacillation that had him taking several positions on given issues either explicitly or implicitly. Notable examples of this was his sometimes pro, sometimes con view regarding socialism, his strange Francophilia, which given France's abysmal battlefield record comports very poorly with his concept of the 'overman', and his fulsome praise of Napoleon, which is utterly incomprehensible given Nietzsche's disdain for equality and Napoleon's leading role in promoting it continent-wide. A line from Thus Spake Zarathustra serves as perhaps an unintentional epitaph on Nietzsche's work:
"I change too quickly: my to-day refuteth my yesterday."
Nietzsche's ethical views can be regarded as a sort of pre-cursor of '60s era situation ethics. Rejecting moral absolutes, Nietzsche faced the problem relativists commonly face by taking solace in a sort of prescriptivism. While not rejecting right and wrong outright, he developed a formula of extreme egotism, which viewed the matter of right or wrong as subjective individual choice. To him no objective truth existed. He even acknowledged that his own work was his alone, and in his iconoclastic assault on anything absolute, predicted the kind of post-modernist rejection of systemic ideological theories later to be popularized by the tedious Jew, Jacques Derrida, and the pervert Michel Foucalt. Of course, like all relativists (or relativists in disguise) Nietzsche was faced with the irreconcilable problem of establishing a necessary absolute in establishing that his own views were right. For if no absolutes exist, how can one even claim one's ideas to be correct, given the fact that such a statement is an absolute in itself?
Nietzsche's notorious disdain for Christianity, particularly his attacks on puritan asceticism, is pertinent on at least two levels. Philosophically, Nietzsche's view of asceticism and self-denial as a form of decadence can only be described as bizarre. Such a provocative assertion hearkens one to probe further, only to be disappointed in his failure to explain (or really even attempt to explain) just how self-denial, temperance, and moral piety so typical of the puritan ethic, is decadent. Surely it can be said that self-denial can be a vice if taken to the extreme of lifelong celibacy and the failure to beget children, but the ascetics that Nietzsche attacked, puritans, were believers in large families. Nietzsche's notion is certainly in keeping with his famous capacity for innovation of thought, and is no doubt consistent with his "transvaluation of values" in attempting to turn traditional morality on its head. What it isn't, however, is an idea that makes even a bit of sense. Perhaps more important is the incongruity of Nietzsche's statements when considering his personal life. Nietzsche lived the very ascetic lifestyle that he condemned. His abstinence from alcohol, coffee, practice of chastity, etc., was of a nature that would likely have made even Joseph Smith cringe. Such a mixed up, confused, inconstant, even schizophrenic person does not merit the adulation of anyone.
Of particular interest and relevance is Nietzsche's view on the Jewish question. His position on this matter makes one wonder if his adoring acolytes have even bothered to read him. Several excerpts from Beyond Good and Evil reveal a condescending philo-Semitism which reeks of hostility to anything critical of the Chosen People. Here Nietzsche's view of Germans as backward and intolerant is manifested:
"If a people is suffering and wants to suffer from nationalistic nervous fever and political ambition, it must be expected that all sorts of clouds and disturbances -- in short, little attacks of stupidity -- will pass over its spirit into the bargain: among present-day Germans, for example, now the anti-French stupidity, now the anti-Jewish, now the anti-Polish, now the Christian-romantic, now the Wagnerian, now the Teutonic, now the Prussian (just look at those miserable historians, those Sybels and Treitschkes, with their thickly bandaged heads --), and whatever else these little obfuscations of the German spirit and conscience may be called."
After a few followup remarks contending that the Jews were the 'toughest and strongest race' in Europe, Nietzsche stated clearly his opinion of "anti-Semites" that believed Jews were trying to take over Europe. His contention was that Jews, while certainly strong enough to dominate Europe, were not trying to do so.
"That the Jews could, if they wanted -- or if they were compelled, as the anti-Semites seem to want -- even now predominate, indeed quite literally rule over Europe, is certain; that they are not planning and working towards that is equally certain." (emphasis in the original)
Nietzsche then escalated his praise of the Jews with a call for a mixing with Germans and assimilation of Jewry into Germany, followed by a suggestion that those Germans that opposed this be thrown out of the country:
"In the meantime they are, rather, wanting and wishing, even with some importunity, to be absorbed and assimilated by and into Europe, they are longing to be finally settled, permitted, respected somewhere and to put an end to the nomadic life, to the `Wandering Jew' -; one ought to pay heed to this inclination and impulse (which is perhaps even a sign that the Jewish instincts are becoming milder) and go out to meet it: for which it would perhaps be a good idea to eject the anti-Semitic ranters from the country."
Nietzsche's favorable sentiment toward Jews, and his hostility toward Germans that opposed them would have found him in company with today's German punditry which lampoons and attacks anyone that dares take a contrarian view. One can easily picture Nietzsche, the ultimate egotist, appointing himself as some modern hack sophisticate and arbiter of what is fashionable; pumping out one declamatory screed after another talking down to the very racialists that worship him. Nietzsche in his last letters even declared that "anti-Semites" should be shot, and protested bitterly when his sister married an "anti-Semite." (His sister of course being a notorious forger of supposed anti-Jewish remarks made by him.)
The reason for Nietzsche's popularity in the pro-White movement is surely a matter of debate. Obviously the eugenic implications of the Superman, his belief in quality over quantity, and his rabid hatred of Christianity has genuine appeal. Given his baggage however, the reasoning for his acclaim requires a less superficial explanation. A more accurate view is that pro-Whites, being very sensitive to media stereotypes, feel a certain security in citing and admiring an acknowledged intellectual of Nietzsche's caliber. Nietzsche's well known influence on the Nazis cannot be discounted as a factor either. For good or bad, many in the pro-White movement take a position which boils down to thinking that if the Nazis liked it, it must be good. No further examination is therefore needed. Ironically, such uncritical and ignorant devotion of a man so at variance with National Socialist and White Nationalist ideology, has brought on the very (mainly media driven) denunciations that pro-White Nietzscheans have tried so hard to avoid.