It is “because of this origin,” writes the contrarian Nietzsche, “that the word ‘good’ is far from having any necessary connection with altruistic acts, in accordance with the superstitious belief of these moral philosophers.” Nietzsche described Christianity as “hostile to life” and called for a “revaluation of all values,” excoriating Judeo-Christian beliefs as “slave morality.” The radical iconoclasm expressed in works like The Genealogy of Morals sits side by side with what can seem like the most reactionary valorizations of “nobility” and hierarchy. Nietzsche may have had nothing but contempt for liberal, bourgeois society, but he did not seek to replace it with egalitarian socialism or anything of the kind. It is this sometimes jarring contrast between his seemingly rightist politics and his unsystematic dismantling of the ideological mechanisms by which state power justifies itself that make Nietzsche such a confusing philosopher, one so easily misinterpreted and misread.

« Nietzsche on morality and society »

A quote saved on Nov. 27, 2014.


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