Sunday, December 10, 2017

Was Friedrich Nietzsche Anti Semitic?

Despite of his staunch criticism of Judaism and in particular Christianity, does Friedrich Nietzsche qualify as anti-Semitic by today’s standards? 

By: Ringo Bones

In terms of the rules of late 20th Century political correctness where supposedly only gay comedians are allowed to do stand up routines criticizing themselves, one can safely say that Friedrich Nietzsche is indeed anti Semitic by today’s standards. And yet there are a number of Jewish scholars – like Robert Holub author of Nietzsche’s Jewish Problem and Benjamin Silver - who had reached a consensus that goes “Friedrich Nietzsche has many faults, but anti-Semitism isn’t one of them”. But why does the name Friedrich Nietzsche seems to have become synonymous to anti Semitism, especially to those college students of whom their rather “right-leaning conservative” philosophy professor skirt through Nietzsche at an alarming pace only to give the impression to their students that humanity’s greatest philosopher is for all intents and purposes anti-Semitic/

In terms of historical accuracy, Friedrich Nietzsche is very critical of what we now know as “Abrahamic Theology” – particularly Christianity on which Nietzsche blames its rise on the Jews. A surprisingly very little known weird fact is that much of the Nazis’ alleged affinity for Nietzsche’s works was not when he was still in full creative control but only after his sister Elisabeth tried to cash in on his work after he became an invalid, especially after Elisabeth met Adolf Hitler and tried to promote her dead brother’s writings. 

Most importantly, Friedrich Nietzsche despised anti-Semitism, especially the institutionalized one that musician Richard Wagner embraced that often got tied in with German nationalism during the 1880s. His sister and her husband both hated Jews and shared visions of a pure race. Nietzsche’s sister and her husband even developed a colony in Paraguay to realize their dream, which later failed - which is quite in contrast to the mindset of Nietzsche during the height of his creative period. In one book - Beyond Good and Evil – Nietzsche proposed that we “expel that anti Semitic squallers out of the country.” In a letter to his sister, he wrote, “Your association with an anti Semitic chief expresses a foreignness to my whole way of life which fills me ever again with ire or melancholy.” Might it be that Friedrich Nietzsche’s anti Semitism might be a case of his sister’s “criminal manipulation” in order to cash in on his works?

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Why Are The Extreme Right Fascinated With Friedrich Nietzsche?

Even though he may be appalled to learn of this but why are the extreme right and the Trump era alt-right fascinated with Friedrich Nietzsche?

By: Ringo Bones 

It is well-known that Friedrich Nietzsche is very critical of the bronze-age precepts that form the foundation of most existing organized religions. This sentiment is also shared by every self-respecting rational people, but why is it that the extreme right – which is not shy in expressing that their concept of right and wrong dates back to the what learned people of the Bronze Age knew of the world around them – seems to be fascinated by, and very specifically, the anti-Semitic leaning religious critiques of Nietzsche? 

Given the horrible uses made of his treatise by others – particularly during Nazi era Germany – it is important to realize that, although he blamed the invention of the concept of slave morality on the ancient Jews, Nietzsche was never a religious persecutor. By today’s standards, Nietzsche could have been a religious satirist frequently pointing out hypocrisies committed by contemporary organized religion. 

As a case-in-point of Nietzsche’s strive to avoid misunderstandings of his treatise, Thus Spake Zarathustra could have been his lone magnum opus that stands on its own merits, but he realized that that his ideas required further explanation to guard against misunderstanding. To that end, he published in 1886 probably his greatest work, Beyond Good and Evil, and in 1887, Toward a Genealogy of Morals. But given the penchant for demagoguery – as opposed to reason – by the current trump era alt-right, Friedrich Nietzsche’s work would thus continue to be politically perverted by the politics of the extreme right.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Friedrich Nietzsche: The First Man To Psychoanalyze Jesus Christ?

Even though Nietzsche was already famous by the time he died, is there any truth to Sigmund Freud’s claim that Friedrich Nietzsche was the first man to “psychoanalyze Jesus Christ”?

By: Ringo Bones 

If the famed father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud really did say that Friedrich Nietzsche was “the first man to psychoanalyze Jesus Christ”, he probably never said it to the faces of fundamentalist Christians. By the time he died in 1900, Friedrich Nietzsche was already world famous. Amateur psychologists have tried to “explain” him, but Sigmund Freud – the founder of psychoanalysis – said: “several times said of Nietzsche that he had a more penetrating knowledge of himself than any other man who ever lived or was likely to live.” according to Ernest Jones, Sigmund Freud’s biographer. And in his published work, Freud remarked that that Nietzsche’s “premonitions and insights often agree in the most amazing manner with the laborious results of psychoanalysis.” With Sigmund Freud’s high opinion of Friedrich Nietzsche, is it even possible that Nietzsche could have been the first man to “psychoanalyzed Jesus Christ”? 

Nietzsche’s main conceptions – even to the novice – centers around deconstructing organized Christianity. As Jesus Christ is a supposed adherent of “teaching by example”, Nietzsche wonders – maybe still – on why Jesus Christ never spoke about the two broad distinctions of morality – namely master morality and slave morality - during his lifetime when what is now the state of Israel was under the rule of the Roman Empire. With organized Christianity’s still “wonky” moral code 2,000 years later, it seems that this oversight by Jesus Christ is the main reason why Friedrich Nietzsche branded Jesus Christ as an “existentialist pauper”. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Was Friedrich Nietzsche Influenced by Charles Darwin?

Even though they are near contemporaries with each other, has Friedrich Nietzsche’s insightful critiques ever been influenced by the works of Charles Darwin? 

By: Ringo Bones 

Even though Charles Darwin has been dead 18 years when Friedrich Nietzsche published his The Will To Power back in 1901, many familiar with Nietzsche’s iconic work swore that it is largely influenced by Charles Darwin’s The Origin Of The Species By Means of Natural Selection, especially about the concept of “survival of the fittest” in an adverse environment. But is this a conjecture that holds water in philosophical terms? 

The term “survival of the fittest” was actually first coined by biologist Herbert Spencer after reading Charles Darwin’s The Origin Of The Species and was used in Spencer’s Principles of Biology back in 1864. During Friedrich Nietzsche’s time as an impressionable student, he noticed that the Aristotelian leaning outlook of the universe adapted by Western Christianity seems to be creating some sort of “Kultur Kampf” during the political turmoil sweeping across Europe during latter half of the 19th Century. It seems that the most cherished of Western Christian values that Nietzsche holds dear since childhood has been subjected to a violent tumultuous disillusionment right before his very eyes, hence his declaration that (the Christian) God is Dead. It seems that towards the end of the 19th Century, the truism of Christianity’s Aristotelian view of the universe had been superseded by Charles Darwin’s more pragmatic “survival of the fittest” which could explain the salient theme behind Nietzsche’s The Will To Power. 

To contemporary readers the term “power” in Nietzsche’s The Will To Power seems to be a catch-all phrase describing his renewed hope of mankind via scientific innovation and exploration as a way of escape from the political turmoil sweeping across Europe at that time. It may have been safe to assume that Friedrich Nietzsche probably agreed with Alfred Nobel that if he invented a weapon powerful enough that it would cause terrible mass casualties, the powers-that-be will refrain from waging war forever. Although Nobel was kind of half-right with the advent of the thermonuclear weapons arms race during the height of the Cold War that limited global conflicts to “conventional police actions” like the Korean War, Vietnam, the then Soviet Union invading Afghanistan, etc. Even though Nietzsche’s philosophical stance may seem anathema to Abrahamic Theology from the point of view of us level-headed high-level thinkers, many a post Cold War religious extremists – like Osama Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda and the current Islamic State - has since adapted Nietzsche’s philosophies to further their own theological political ends.     

Monday, December 30, 2013

Did Friedrich Nietzsche Live A Rather Dull And Boring Life?

If – as a fan of Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda – you have harbored a preconceived notion that Friedrich Nietzsche was a thrill-seeker ahead of his time, but did Nietzsche lived a rather dull and boring life?

By: Ringo Bones

Maybe blame should be placed at that allegedly historically accurate biopic of Friedrich Nietzsche titled: “When Nietzsche Wept” that stars Armand Assante as Friedrich Nietzsche as a “melancholic” – as in someone who suffers from clinical depression - guy always checking himself into the nearest mental asylums whenever he feels blue. Sadly, this supposedly historically accurate version of Nietzsche seems to be largely ignored by a very large majority of today’s science fiction fans, especially fans of Gene Roddenberry But are ignoring this model of a “bland and boring Friedrich Nietzsche” at our own intellectual peril?

Fans of Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda had always harbored this preconceived notion that Friedrich Nietzsche was an avid thrill-seeker way ahead of his time and very much into the extreme sports of his day as based on how the Nietzscheans in the sci-fi TV series so often much behaved. But for better or for worse, are our intellectual selves be better off with a bland and boring version of Friedrich Nietzsche whose existentialist insights is probably the most “thrilling” aspect of the famed philosopher’s life?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

That Nietzsche Movie: Historically Accurate?

Is the movie about Friedrich Nietzsche When Nietzsche Wept historically accurate?

By: Ringo Bones 

Maybe a modicum of blame should be placed on Gene Roddenberry because in his Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda science fiction TV series put forth the impression that Nietzscheans – as in Friedrich Nietzsche – was into late 20th Century extreme games / X-Games or has invented it. And no, snowboarding wasn’t invented by Nietzsche. To those who only knew Nietzsche from Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda could be facing disappointment once he or she knew the “historically accurate” version of Nietzsche. 

Well, even though in some relatively “religiously conservative” regions of the word, the movie When Nietzsche Wept – a.k.a. “That Nietzsche Movie” – that stars Golden Globe award winner Armand Assante and often shown during Valentines day for some high-brow humor effect seems about as far away as the “X-Game enthusiast” Nietzscheans most of us know form Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda. The historically accurate Nietzsche in the movie is often depressed and often checks himself into the nearest mental institution every chance he gets. Sometimes I wonder if I’m watching a lost episode of Dr. Katz. For someone who supposedly inspired the Nazis, the supposedly “historically accurate” Friedrich Nietzsche seems too sedate to have done so. 

Is Friedrich Nietzsche in reality rather sedate and kind of dull despite earning the ire of Organized Christianity and / or adherents of Abrahamic Theology on his brand of atheism? Well it could be if you got excited on that bit where Beavis and Butt-Head tells their own version of the story of Jesus Christ back in the 1990s, then maybe in reality Nietzsche is kind of bland and boring compared to his present-day  disciples. But is it enough to dilute the mystique surrounding Nietzsche? Given that many of today’s under 40 year olds don’t know squat about Friedrich Nietzsche, his very obscurity could be his very mystique.