Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Misinterpreting-Nietzsche Industry Appears To Be Thriving

Or shall we call it Elisabeth-Foerster-Nietzscheanism, after its founder?

A Google News search results in many "think" pieces (I use the term sarcastically here) comparing Nietzsche to -- Donald Trump.

One piece said that Trump has become Amurrka's 2nd-most significant Nietzschean, after -- Ayn Rand.

The #2 Elisabeth-Foerster-Nietzschean, perhaps. The #2 shameless blowhard spouting racism and chasing money and not afraaid to mis-use the name of Nietzsche or anyone else is his thoroughly vulgar exploits. Nietzsche never had a lot of money, and he never complained about that. He did build huge monstrosities, architectural monuments to his own ego which went bankrupt one after the other. Elisabeth was involved in a few boondoggles and wasted some investors' money, but not Friedrich. The architecture with which he was most closely associated were the attic garrets in which he wrote his books. Elisabeth led some vile right-wing political parties, but Friedrich wouldn't touch politics with a 10-foot-pole. He said that the problem with the thinker trying to be a party politician was that he thought his way all too quickly all the way through the party. Trump brags about what big crowds he draws. (He likes them so much that sometimes he pays people to attend his events and pretend that they came their on their own.)

Nietzsche didn't merely hate crowds -- crowds were the quintessence of what he hated.

But of course, if you've ever read as much as one of Nietzsche's books, all the way from the front to the back, and just a few dubious quotes from some Nietzsche For Dummies anthology, then I haven't said anything you didn't already know. You already know that Nietzsche's books weren't in the same genre as The Art of the Deal, and that the comparison of him to Trump is mind-bogglingly far from accurate. And you already know that Elisabeth-Foerster-Nietzscheanism is still alive, thanks to morons like Rand and Trump and their herds of stupid fans. And maybe you're wondering why someone who claims to admire Nietzsche is even bothering to write about the likes of Trump and Rand. And if you're wondering that, perhaps you've got a very good point.

But if you've also read some of these comparisons of Trump to Nietzsche and are wondering whom to believe, me or those other guys, may I suggest you read something like this, front to back:

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