Is Nietzsche The Answer?

This is an excellent video.

Nietzsche is not the answer to our problems. I don’t say this as a Christian or as someone who dislikes Nietzsche. When I was in college, I read Nietzsche and was deeply influenced by him. I’m still a Nietzschean in the sense that I have always been interested in how morality evolves over time.

I’m currently engaged in a deeply Nietzschean project of exploring the genealogy of modern liberalism. It is my historical research that led me to the conclusion that Modernism greatly influenced liberalism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Modernism merged with liberalism to produce cultural liberalism which is an aesthetic form of liberalism that values expressive individualism and cultural egalitarianism. Cultural liberalism has been a solvent that has dissolved Anglo-American ethnicity. Nietzsche had an enormous intellectual impact on the development of Modernism.

Nietzsche was hardly the only influence on Modernism. Darwinism is the indispensable background to both Niezscheanism and Modernism. Naturalism eliminated the sacred and transcendent and undermined the faith of the European intelligentsia in Christianity. The roots of Modernism trace back to Charles Baudelaire, Gustave Flaubert, Édouard Manet, Henri Murger, Théophile Gautier, Émile Zola and a host of other figures – artists, poets, novelists – who got the avant-garde rolling in late 19th century France. In late 19th century Britain, the aesthetic movement was represented by Walter Pater, Algernon Swinburne, James Abbott McNeill Whistler and Oscar Wilde. In late 19th century Scandinavia, it produced the playwrights Henrik Ibsen and August Strindberg who was personal friend of Nietzsche. Modernism developed into a Europe-wide movement that emphasized the autonomy of aesthetics from morality. Modern art became about the self-expression of the artist. It became detached from God and Nature. It became detached from the public. Ultimately, it became detached from representing reality itself.

Nietzsche was an enemy of both Christianity and traditional morality. He was a champion of the self-expression and self-realization of the “higher men” as opposed to the masses who were herd animals and slaves. Essentially, his message was for the creative geniuses he wanted to liberate from the slave morality of the masses whose work he saw as being the bridge to the Übermensch. The message of Nietzsche, Baudelaire and Oscar Wilde and others who shared this mindset in the late 19th and early 20th century is that aesthetics was superior to religion and ethics. Evil can be beautiful and we shouldn’t be held back from exploring and pursuing it because of traditional religious and ethical considerations.

The reason that Nietzsche isn’t the solution to our problems is because his philosophy is part of the problem which is the legacy of the 20th century. In our times, the problem is that the elites are cosmopolitans who do not identify with the masses. They despise the masses and want to tear down their culture and replace them with foreigners. Meanwhile, both the elites and the public have repudiated their own ethnic, cultural and religious identities in order to pursue their own lifestyles as self-absorbed expressive individualists. Everyone has become detached from everyone else. The world stops at their own doorsteps. We are no longer a part of a larger people with a common past, present and future. The present is the intersectional dystopian point in history where H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine converges with Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, George Orwell’s 1984 and Jean Raspail’s The Camp of the Saints.

Nietzsche wanted to knock down religion and morality. Christianity was knocked down in the 20th century. Traditional morality was also knocked down. There was a transvalution of values. Just not the one he imagined. He wasn’t concerned with our problem which in the 21st century is a world in which all forms of solidarity between the elites and the masses whether it be racial, ethnic, cultural or religious has broken down. Whether it is the absence of the sacred, degenerate art, relativism in epistemology or ethics as being a mask that hides power relations, Nietzsche isn’t much of a guide of out this mess.

None of this is to say you shouldn’t read Nietzsche. I read Nietzsche and learned a lot from him. It is just that other people read Nietzsche in the 20th century and they created our present world.

About Hunter Wallace 9628 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent

31 Comments

  1. The world was changed by technology, not ideology. Cars, planes and antibiotics changed the world. For example, in today’s world, if you have a car and a job (or some other reliable source of income), you don’t really need anyone else. That’s why you have this “lone wolf” mentality proliferating everywhere. That’s why communities and relationships (even between family) aren’t what they were. New ideologies follow technology, not the other way around. Rock came after electric guitars, disco after synthesizers.

    That’s why old ideologies like Christianity aren’t the answer. If you wanted to go back to a society governed by those ideologies, you’d have to convince everyone to give up their cars and smartphones as well.

    • Wrong sir it is no ideologie it is our reality , it is what made us great. Its rejection has led us into the gutter. Better people than us have stood up for it and fought for it. Thee only light we have!

  2. I can’t stand Nietzsche because of his elitism. There are no opportunities in this world, nobody needs nothing from nobody. Nietzche provides false hope to people that they too can be elite if they just remove the shackles of society and of their fellow man. His views are toxic.

    Most of us are just working class people trying to live a simple life. Some of us could have been greater than what we ended up in life but were never afforded the opportunity. We don’t bitch and whine about it, we make the most out of life with what we got.

    Nietzche is about as anti-populist as you can get. If Nietzche were alive today, he would be a globalist.

    • @Gryphon Alinor…

      “Nietzsche is about as anti-populist as you can get. If Nietzsche were alive today, he would be a globalist.”

      Yes,Sir, in fact, he would probably be the pope.

  3. ” I’m still a Nietzschean in the sense that I have always been interested in how morality evolves over time.”

    Then, YOU ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN, Brad Griffin!

    The Law of God does NOT ‘evolve’- it is fixed, immovable, sure, and without spot or wrinkle, able to give us direction, and (with the Grace of the indwelling Christ) is the means for our salvation! [ Rom. 7:12]
    Have you EVER even read Psalm 119? or the Pentateuch?

    Do you even know who Dr. Bahnsen was?
    http://www.cmfnow.com/articles/pe180.htm

    To be blunt, do you even GAF?

    I am more and more astounded at the utter heresy that you spout, while at the same time claiming to be (even, at best) a Protestant Christian!?

    Here’s yet another book that you HAVE NOT READ, and seem determined to AVOID.
    https://www.amazon.com/Trinity-Vindication-Christian-Paradox-Interpretation/dp/1625641281

    Why? Because you are a coward, intellectually? Or because somewhere in your mind, you wish to retain all autonomy? Even Luther’s ‘THE BONDAGE OF THE WILL’ accuses you of your ‘stiff-necked’ stance, Brad.

    This was a STUPID column. A deranged, pompous ass syphilitic Kraut is the LEAST qualified to talk about ANYTHING, let alone the ‘deep things of God.’

    You should repent of this crap.

    • You don’t display the fruits of the spirit. You are a terrible representative of Christ, and no one will be attracted to his life through your delivery here. If you don’t actually have care for the person that you are addressing, it’s better to keep quiet.

      • You call yourself a WASP. If you had one iota of the cojones needed to defend this nation, I MIGHT take your attempt at an insult seriously. But your Evan-jelly-goo variant of viable Christianity is part of the reason for the problems we have here. The Fruits of the Spirit are directed to the Body of Christ, NOT to the goyim around us, whom the Lord has in derision. As you have little part in that Body, I am not impressed with your puerile attempts at denigration.

    • Christianity was demonstrably patched together from many different pre-existing concepts and stories, and isn’t even remotely internally consistently.

      It’s the rather clumsily written word of some Middle Eastern humans, not the “Word of God.”

  4. One of the most interesting things about Nietzsche is how influenced he was by Ralph Waldo Emerson – himself a hyper-individualist of the belief that all worldly institutions corrupt the inherently creative and positive nature of man. It’s easy to see how Nietzsche can lead to Ayn Rand.

    Nietzsche is often a favourite of dissident right figures, but I feel like it’s mostly because selections of his writings put up on Goodread quotes look cool. It’s often not tempered with true self-reflection. And like you, I say this as someone who when he first read Nietzsche was shocked at how it put to words stuff I had thought forever. But it’s not enough.

    • At its core the belief of him and mencken , was survival of the fittest. They wanted to kill gods creation , same as these satanic elites today. It is the comission of our people to rule this world till jesus returns.but when you dont know who you are, you probaly dont know that.

  5. Hunter,
    It might be time now for you to shift towards Metaphysics. It strikes me that you have found the manifestations of the modernist problem but have not yet gotten to the root of it. Your post of that young mans video suggests that you are onto it. Since it appears to me that you are Christian I would suggest engaging the way the Catholic Church has wrestled with modernism. They are been struggling along with it for several hundred years now. Or just go directly toward William of Ockham. Then make the leap to Descartes and from there the path is clear, head back toward Scholasticism once you have that in hand you can find the modern Church discussion on how they are handling the concerns they discovered with Aquinas. All this mess you have so aptly described is the result of a bad understanding of the meaning of Being, what it means to be a Human Being and the purpose of life. Good luck I am very much enjoying your essays.

    • If you see yourself as far beyond HW, why not just cut to the chase? Tell him where you want him to go, Obi-Wan.

      Neo-Platonism is ultimately the direction into which you’re sending him, btw. That is a dead end.

      • Your caricature of me is grossly distorted. I do not see myself as Obi-wan nor do I feel superior to Hunter Wallace or anyone for that matter. I simply have thoughts which I hope might be helpful. I think what Hunter is doing is very interesting yet I think he needs to dig further backward. While I am not telling him what to do I do think a little Ockham will shed light on the matter, as Ockham may be the first of the Modernist thinkers by establishing the logic projecting Into relativism. Descartes to my mind started the radical individuation of humanity by establishing that all is personal consciousness and then also contributing to the mechanization of living organisms (animals being nothing more then machines). These ideas are quite active in todays world and getting more and more extreme. Aquinas was the integrator of Aristotelian Ontology with Christianity and provided a pretty complete perspective on the meaning of human Being. Those are probably reasonable suggestions. The logical trajectory from Ockham to today seems intuitively obvious. The Catholic Church being philosophically and Theologically oriented has been working out the issues devolved from these thinkers for centuries. Metaphysics is an effort to ground reality in Reason and to derive ways of understanding being on the basis of awarenesses which are deemed true. Modernism is the discarding of Metaphysics and consequently the abandonment of objective truth since everything is now nothing more then personal reflection at best and subject to billions of variations. I am not interested in arguing with people nor in handling insults. My comments are meant to offer insight as I understand it nothing more.

        • If I saw your comments as condescending when they weren’t, please accept my apology.

          You don’t see the Enlightenment as the major start of the war against God? Pretending that Man is able to objectively reason (or Reason, as they tellingly capitalized it) and therefore understand the universe? Or, as Hawking said, “the mind of God?” The Enlightenment was a self-deification movement of those that saw themselves as wiser than thou. Cults of personality are the natural consequence of reducing the cosmos to the self.

          But HW has written about this matter. One of his articles on the subject led to me now reading Hamann. He’s an effective proponent of the doctrine of divine condescension, which I think cuts through a lot of theological and philosophical knots. That’s not anywhere near a complete explanation, of course, but I’m trying to say that metaphysics are being dealt with here, although (of course) historical analysis is HW’s wheelhouse.

          • I think we have reached similar conclusions but possibly locating the origins in somewhat different places and maybe from a different angle. I would never challenge anyone who thought the Enlightenment was a problem. My thought is that all the external manifestations we see that are driving us all crazy are the result of a long line of thinkers piecemealing their way into creating this mess. This whole Modernist business was not a radical shift but one more long slow march of degradation.

            I was raised and taught by Catholics so my mind is informed by them at least so far as I have been able to absorb it all and retain it. As such I don’t know of Hamann since in my readings his name has not come up. Nor have I heard of Divine Condescension. I will have to look that up. I am reading “A Deeper Vision, The Catholic Intellectual Tradition by Robert Royal. It is an attempt to clarify the VII experience for us Catholics who have long objected to it. It is quite eye opening to me and reveals a great deal about the strife of the West in dealing with our Intellectual forebearers who were the trouble makers.

            Very much appreciate your reply and thanks for the apology.

          • I’ll be darned Boomer, you have introduced me to a concept I had never heard of. It seems rather pervasive so perhaps I encountered It but did not latch onto it.
            I had assumed Divine Condescension to be a Protestant theology but it turns out to be Catholic, though in my short exposure it would seem the Protestant side must touch upon it as well. . Now that you pointed it out I will be paying attention to it as I read.
            Thanks, I will look for Haman.

          • Thanks for the kind words, Senhor. Hamann was a Lutheran, but most theological concepts originated in the Catholic Church, of course. There’s nothing new under the sun.

    • The “Oath against Modernism”:

      https://www.papalencyclicals.net/pius10/p10moath.htm

      Pope Pius X, in 1910 A.D. had determined that “Modernism” was such a problem in the Church particularly and society in general that he required all clergy and laity involved in teaching to swear an oath against the teaching of Modernism or holding fast to its principles and beliefs.

      The fundamental point of disagreement between the Church and Modernism was Modernism taught, at its root, that all “truth” is changeable, nothing can be known with certainty and therefore, amongst other things, conscience and morality don’t exist or are naturally changeable. One’s own mind is the yardstick used to measure reality without regard to definitive and therefore, limiting external sources such as Catholic doctrines or Natural Law. The existence of God, man’s fallen nature, the Virgin Birth, and ultimately the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus as man’s redemption; eternal life and judgement of one’s soul by God are merely speculations, pious frauds or clever myths. Miracles as related in the Bible are primitive stories used to deceive the gullible and witless and have no more veracity than Greek myths. Everything goes and nothing matters in this brave new world.

      Pope Pius X described Modernism as the “synthesis of all heresies” afflicting Christendom and its most serious opponent because it didn’t quibble with a particular dogma or practice but struck at the root of Faith i.e. belief without personal proof of religious dogmas. It also necessarily struck at the root of belief in everything else in arts, politics, law, society, history, science etc. since Modernism taught that nothing is ultimately, truly known definitively, not just religious dogmas.

      The fact that Modernism was self-contradictory as soon as it tried to teach anything i.e. “nothing is truly knowable or unchanging” was not a weakness of Modernism but a strength. Modernism appealed to the appetites natural to man in all ages but urged their indulgence, not restraint. The Church has dealt with this problem for 2,000 years and has a name for it: “The Fall of Man” beginning with Adam.

      Ironically Pope Pius X’s success against Modernism in the Church was only temporary. The Church Council known as Vatican II (1962 – 1965) was originally called to combat Communism, a towering menace at that time and a pernicious system arrayed against Christendom and running parallel to Modernism. The sympathizers of Modernism in the Church infiltrated the Council and used it to dissolve religious practices and weaken dogmas without ever actually contradicting the Faith directly. The fact that the Church still stands and is slowly recovering in spite of unfaithful bishops like anti-pope Francis lends credence to the hope that Modernism is on its last legs.

      • All of this is moot, in that the RCC cares not a whit for Pope Plus. Or haven’t you noticed in your NOvus Ordo parish, lately? Try reading some of Barnhardt’s posts.

        • But my parish is Tridentine, Latin Mass etc. ending with the Leonine Prayers. I am familiar with Ann’s great work exposing the Novus Ordo Mass’s problems but as Ann has written, it’s still valid. It’s true that most of the bishops are worthless and not to be trusted but Pope Pius X’s writings against Modernism are still valid and used by every critic trying to reform the Church and recover what was lost to Vatican II. Don’t write off the Church so soon, it is eternal.

    • “All this mess you have so aptly described is the result of a bad understanding of the meaning of Being”:

      On the other hand, all this mess might NOT be the result of ontology or rmetaphysics. It might be the result of greed: “For the love of money is the root of all evil….” 1 Timothy 6:10 The common denominator of feudalism, monarchism, neoliberalism….

  6. “… and August Strindberg who was personal friend of Nietzsche.”

    A small point maybe, but that’s incorrect, I think. As far as I’m aware, personal contact between Nietzsche and Strindberg was limited to a brief correspondence, in which, primarily, Nietzsche sought Strindberg’s help in his (Nietzsche’s) effort to attain recognition. Whatever may be the worth of his oeuvre, Nietzsche was not the type of the literary figure, with friends in the scene. He was a band of one.

    PS An account of the correspondence: https://www.jstor.org/stable/25120062?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents

  7. Foucault was not a “disciple” of Nietzsche. At best Foucault was an acolyte. The only disciple of Nietzsche is Martin Heidegger.

    You can’t bring yourself to face the facts of the man’s central argument. So, you engage in fraudulent guilt by association.

  8. I’ve read almost everything by Nietzsche, and I even wrote an academic paper about him many years ago. Now I have more experience and understanding, I can only remark that his philosophy is basically Satanism and reading it is poison.

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