The Life ; Philosophy Of Friedrich Nietzsche Essay

Philosophy Class Essay
Born: 1844. Rocken, Germany
Died: 1900. Weimar, Germany
Major Works: The Gay Science (1882),
Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883-1885),
Beyond Good & Evil (1886),
On the Genealogy of Morals (1887),
Self deception is a particularly destructive
characteristic of West Culture. Life is The Will To Power; our
natural desire is to dominate and reshape the world to fit our
own preferences and assert our personal strength to the fullest
degree possible. Struggle, through which individuals achieve a
degree of power commensurate with their abilities, is the basic
fact of human existence. Ideals of human equality perpetuate
mediocrity — a truth that has been distorted and concealed by
modern value systems. Christian morality, which identifies
goodness with meekness and servility is the prime culprit in
creating a cultural climate that thwarts the drive for excellence
and self realization God is dead; a new era of human creativity
and achievement is at hand.
— Great Thinkers In The Western World.
By: Ian P. McGreal, 1992
Much information is available on Mr. Friedrich Nietzsche,
including many books that he wrote himself, during his
philosophical career. I took this as a good sign I would find a
fountain of enlightened material produced by the man. I’ve had
to go through a bit of my own philosophical meditations to put my
own value judgements aside, and truly look for the contributions
Nietzsche gave to philosophy. Much of my understanding came only
after I had a grasp of Neitzsche’s history; therefore, I
encourage you to read-up on his history before diving into his
philosophy (see Appendix I). The modern Westerner might
disagree with every aspect of his philosophy, but there are many
things one must unfortunately admit are true (only if you put
your morality aside). So, from here, I will present his
contributions to philosophy, and do my best to delete my own
opinions, other than to say that he was not the chosen topic of
this paper out of any admiration.
Sometimes philosophy is called “timeless,” implying that it’s
lessons are of value to any generation. This may be hard to see
in Nietzsche’s work; but, we are assured that it was
appropriate thought for his time. However, even Nietzsche’s
critics admit that his words hold an undeniable truth, as hard as
it is to accept. Perhaps this is why his work is timeless,
and has survived 150 years in print.
Christianity “God is Dead!” announced Zarathustra (better known
as Zoroaster), in Neitzsche’s proudest book, Thus Spoke
Zarathustra (1883-1885). Unlike many philosophers, Nietzsche
never tried to prove or disprove the existence of God, just that
belief in God can create sickness; and to convince that highest
achievements in human life depend on elimination of
God. Whether God existed had no relevance in his goal.
Proclamation of the death of God was a fundamental ingredient in
the revaluation of values Nietzsche advocated.
“Nothing has done more than Christianity to entrench the
morality of mediocrity in human consciousness.”
“Christian love extols qualities of weakness; it causes
guilt. Charity is just teaching hatred and revenge directed
toward nobility.”
“Belief in God is a tool to bring submission to the
individual of noble character.”
— F. Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
Hero Morality
Nietzsche had an ideal world in mind, with an ideal government
and an ideal God: the “Overman” or “Superman.” These Gods were a
product of natural selection, or social Darwinism. He felt, very
strongly, that any kind of moral limitations upon man would only
stand in the way of The Overman. “The Will To Power,” his
strongest teaching, meant that The Overman should and would do
anything possible to gain power, control and strength.
If one showed the smallest bit of weakness or morality, he would
be killed by the stronger Overman, and taken over. Thus, the
advancement of The Master Race (Nietzsche’s “Master Race” will be
discussed later).
“Not mankind, but superman is the goal. The very last
thing a sensible man would undertake would be to improve mankind:
mankind does not improve, it doesn’t even exist – it is an
“… his superman as the individual rising precariously
out of the mire of mass mediocrity, and owing his existence more
to deliberate breeding and careful nurture than to the hazards of
natural selection.”
Master Race
Nietzsche is often referred to as a pre-Nazi thinker, by his
idealism of The Master Race. He was, in fact, a prime influence
on the writing of Hitler’s highest men, and quoted in Hitler’s
speeches. But, his writings were mostly taken out of context,
because he was very open about his distaste for “those anti-
semites.” If one is able to come from a more intelligent
place, regarding the breeding of best-fit humans, Nietzsche was
far beyond Hitler. Nietzsche understood the necessity for
variation in a population, and especially was able to
appreciate the contributions of other races and cultures. His
ideal society would be a race that included select bits from many
races/cultures. The only culture that he seemed to have
a special appreciation for were the Polish. He wrote, “The
Poles, I consider the most gifted and gallant among Slavic
people…” Still, he wrote about his value for the Jews, as
response to the growing anti-semite culture in Germany during his
“The whole problem of the Jews exists only in nation
states, for here their energy and higher intelligence, their
accumulated capital of spirit and will, gathered from generation
to generation though a long schooling in suffering, must become
so preponderant as to arouse mass envy and hatred. In almost all
contemporary nations, therefore — in direct proportion to the
degree which they act up nationalistically — the literary
obscenity of leading the Jews to slaughter as scapegoats of every
conceivable public and internal misfortune is spreading. As soon
as it is no longer a matter of preserving nations, but of
producing the strongest possible Euro-Mixed race, the Jew is just
as useful and desirable as ingredient as any other national
War Mentality
Nietzsche had an incredible infatuation with evil and violence.
He did so much to find evil and cruelty in the world, that he
seemed to have a sadistic pleasure in celebrating it; “man is
the cruelest animal,” he states in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. In
his book, Beyond Good and Evil, he really aims at changing the
reader’s opinion as to what is good and what is evil, but
professes, except at moments, to be raising what is “evil” and
decrying what is “good.” It is necessary for higher men to make
war upon the masses, and resist the democratic tendencies of the
age, for in all directions mediocre people are joining hands
to make themselves masters. “Everything that pampers, that
softens, and that brings the ‘people’ or ‘woman’ to the front,
operates in favor of universal suffrage — that is to say, the
dominion of ‘inferior’ men.”
Women & The Family
This brings us to Nietzsche’s view of women. At this point, I
believe it’s important to note Nietzsche’s experience with women,
because his writings about them seemed to begin closely after
being rejected by the only woman he admitted to love. She
rejected him as heasked her hand in marriage.
“Men shall be trained for war and woman for the
recreation of the warrior. All else is folly.”
“The patriotic member of a militant society will look
upon bravery and strength as the highest virtues of a man; upon
obedience as the highest virtue of the citizen; and upon silent
submission to multiple motherhood as the highest virtue of
“Thou goest to woman? Do not forget thy whip.”
From Nietzsche’s experience with women, as author Betrand Russell
said, “Nine out of ten women would get the whip away from him,
and he knew it, so he kept away from women, and soothed his
wounded vanity with unkind remarks.” Many of his comments
toward women reflected what a lonely and unloved person he was.
In some poems he wrote after his prospective wife left him, he
wrote this lonely line: “I could sing a song, and I will sing it,
although I am alone in an empty house and must sing it to mine
own ears.” So, he added appropriately to his beliefs the
“How absurd it is, after all, to let higher individuals
marry for love — heroes with servant girls and geniuses with
seamstresses! When a man is in love he should not be permitted
to make decisions affecting his entire life. We should declare
invalid the vows of lovers and should make love a legal
impediment to marriage.”
The Aristocracy
Nietzsche loved his aristocratic anarchism, and had such a hate
for democracy, that it consumes nearly every bit of his
philosophy. His ideal society was divided into three classes:
producers (farmers, merchants, business men), officials (soldiers
and government), and rulers. The latter would rule, but they
would not officiate in government; the actual government is a
menial task. The rulers would be philosopher-statesmen rather
than office-holders. Their power will rest on the control of
credit and the army; but they would live more like the proud-
soldier than like the financier.
Nietzsche believed that some people were inherently more
important than others; their happiness or unhappiness counted for
more than the happiness of average people. He dismissed John
Stuart Mill as a “blockhead” for the presupposition that
everyone was equal. He wrote about Mill:
“I abhor the man’s vulgarity when he says “what is right
for one man is right for another. Such principals wild fain
establish the whole of human traffic upon mutual services, so
every action would appear to be a cash payment for something done
to us. The hypothesis here is ignoble to the last degree; it is
taken for granted that there is some sort of equivalence in value
between my actions and thine.”
Nietzsche, as I said before, hated democracy, but he recognized
Christianity as a greater risk. Perhaps this was because people
are always more loyal to their od, than their government.
He felt that democracy began with Christianity: “…holy
epileptics like saint Paul, who had no honesty. The new
testament is the gospel of a completely ignoble species of
man. Christianity is the most fatal and seductive lie that ever
existed.” So, before stripping people of their choice and
equality, their God had to be taken first, Then the government.
“Consequently, the road to the superman must lie through
aristocracy. Democracy – – this manner for counting noses — must
be eradicated before it Is too late. The first step here is the
destruction of Christianity so far as all higher men are
As Will Durant stated Nietzsche’s faults so eloquently, “we can
see him suffering at every line, and we must love him even where
we question him,” I couldn’t agree more. I always ask the
supremacist the question, “why do you support a supremacist
government that would probably reject you into it’s lower class?”
I have no doubt, that if Nietzsche lived in his ideal society, he
would have no honor, as he misses every requirement, being a
sickly man who was rejected from the army, and lacking the
strength to compete with his own “superman.”

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