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The prince of our disorder: Friedrich Nietzsche

Updated: Aug 31


Let’s start at the end, after all, if we live in the eternal return, every end is also a beginning…Nietzsche’s break with sanity was marked by his decision to embrace a horse in Turin; the exact circumstances around this act remain somewhat cloudy, yet it is generally agreed he sought to protect the pathetic creature from a fierce Italian whip. The event was not without precedent, sometime before Nietzsche had imagined—envisioned, hallucinated—a horse in a similarly pitiful condition who was desperate for water…yet refused to drink, being aware that its willingness to drink or not was the sole way it could exercise some nobility in an enslaved state. After Nietzsche’s equine intervention, he quickly spiralled—we always spiral in such cases—into utter madness; at one point, he was found dancing on the bed in his Turin room quite absorbed in Dionysian revelry—and quite lost to the world, ever lost.

So, Nietzsche and the horse: what does this tell us? What does Nietzsche’s act encapsulate? Compassion. What else can it be? You see a horse beaten by some Italian thug, you are so moved by the helpless creature’s plight that you throw your arms around it to stop the punishment. I know, it almost feels mawkish—so much so, when Disney makes the Nietzsche biopic, this moment will compete with All Dogs Go to Heaven in the turn-from-the-screen stakes (at seven, I couldn’t even get past the first twelve minutes of that film—“Mummy, the dogs have d-i-e-d.”). Avert your eyes. Yet what had Nietzsche just spent years upon years writing and thinking against? Compassion. For him, compassion was a disease; and Disney would be, for Nietzsche, an odious sore—a visual wound that encouraged, “All dogs go to heaven—indeed!”, the most vile and poisonous sentiments in the masses.

Yet it seems, per CG Jung, that what we repress will possess: Nietzsche spent years absolutely repressing compassion, absolutely reasoning it away—an essential phase in his transvaluation of values, a desire to overcome the sickly Christian compassion once and for all. Let alone pity! Not pity! Not for a horse whipped on the street—oh no. Not like some old lady with her monthly donations to the donkey sanctuary! It all came back on that street in Turin, Nietzsche’s repressed compassion overwhelmed him: he threw his arms around the horse…to protect it. Then he was claimed by total madness.

In line with my usual diagnosis, Nietzsche was a misbalanced man; and he should have known better, being a classicist who knew and admired Aristotle—the great apostle of moderation (as, indeed, was Epicurus—Nietzsche’s other hero). However, you have to remember that Nietzsche lived in an unbalanced age—if anything, the Victorians suffered from excess compassion and sentiment. The quintessential Victorian: Charles Dickens. You know the Dickens drill: “Gor blimey, guv’nor—you really mean I can come an’ live wi’ you and yer daughter for ever and ever?” “Why yes, Tiny Tim,” replied the Kindly Old Gentleman with Muttonchops, “Yes, indeed, ‘pon my soul, you can and you will live with us—and we shall have a goose every Christmas and plum duff besides. How does that sound, me boy?”.

You get the picture—totally sentimental and totally fake. Nietzsche was the necessary and inevitable reaction to the sentimental Victorian stance epitomised by Dickens—a stance that covered up a rank reality where children were worked to death in mines and their bodies discarded with little ceremony in a pauper’s grave. Nietzsche was, as we shall see, a great campaigner—rather like Jesus—against hypocrisy; and particularly against the syrupy bourgeois illusion that a “Kindly Old Gentleman” would hove into view in the end and make “everything alright” (rather like God). More like: “What ye lollygagging lookin’ at that dead fooker for. Ee’s dead, now ge awn down pit—there’s coal down there to be dug, ye daft bastard.”


The popular explanation for Nietzsche’s madness is usually syphilis, but this is based on a psychiatrist’s notes taken after his immediate committal and Nietzsche was not, frankly, at that time, coherent—the statement should be treated with scepticism. The syphilis idea is further buttressed by oblique earlier references to “a traumatic incident in a brothel”, but this sounds more dramatic that it actually was. In our hyper-sexualised age, a “traumatic incident in a brothel”—especially a German brothel—gives rise to the most lurid images and an expectation that you could well have contracted syphilis due to the trauma (broken skin from flagellation, perhaps); indeed, you can probably get a pretty good idea if you type “traumatic incident German brothel” into RedTube—and it will probably involve scheiße, if you ask me.

However, Victorian times were genuinely demure. When a Victorian lady writes, “It was then, just after dinner, that Charles made violent love to me in the garden,” she basically means, “He squeezed my hand quite hard and kissed me on the cheek with his big bushy moustache.” And this, for many spinster ladies, would be what they meant when they referred to “my youthful erotic adventures”. Hence Nietzsche’s “brothel trauma” was, in fact, a time when as a student a man who claimed to be a city “tourist guide” ushered him to a brothel where he was confronted by several wan and thin whores—Nietzsche felt very awkward, so he started to play tunes on a beat-up piano in the corner of the room (Nietzsche was a highly competent musician). To people today, this is a long way from “a traumatic incident in a German brothel”—though for Nietzsche, the diffident son of a pastor, this was a fairly excruciating experience.

The syphilis story was given further support by a book called Degeneration (1892) published by Max Nordau, a Zionist physician, who corralled Oscar Wilde, Walt Whitman, and Friedrich Nietzsche—along with others—as examples of “degenerate art” in the West. He particularly focussed on Nietzsche’s “morbid sexuality”, a point that, as we shall see, had some justification and chimed with observations made by Richard Wagner. However, the overall thrust of the attack on Nietzsche was that he was “mad and evil” and that this was in some way associated with his perverted sexuality (as with the homosexuals Wilde and Whitman)—and so this naturally dovetailed with the idea Nietzsche’s madness-brilliance was induced by over-indulgence in brothels (traumatically). For the Victorians, certain illnesses had a particular cachet—so that a poet simply had to die from TB, becoming paler and paler by the day as he choked on his own blood. Similarly, the “mad dangerous antichrist Nietzsche” should die from syphilis—given Victorian sexual taboos.

This notion was given wings because there was a definite “Nietzsche industry” that grew up while Nietzsche was alive but mad—an industry that included the famous image of Nietzsche crowned with fawns set over the legend, “Of all that is written, I love only what a person hath written with his blood.” This industry was naturally attracted to the syphilis argument, even if it was conceived as a rebuke to Nietzsche—it was fitting with the nature of the philosophy. As it happens, Nietzsche’s father died young from a brain condition; and, at the biological level, the most likely explanation is that Nietzsche suffered from a similar condition. Indeed, for his whole life, as with many people who had a parent who died early, he suspected he would die at thirty-six—just like his father.

This was not so, yet I think the same biological structure got him in the end—the fact is that Nietzsche seems to have been very sexually diffident, shy, and reserved; obviously, he only had to be unlucky once to contract syphilis, but the idea he was some regular brothel-user felled, in an act of poetic justice, for his Dionysian excess seems unlikely to me. Indeed, as we shall see, it was quite the opposite—Richard Wagner, Nietzsche’s great friend and foil, practically begged Nietzsche to have sex for years…to no avail.

The syphilis argument also attracts because it is a “progressive” disease, so it could be argued by anti-Nietzscheans that Nietzsche’s thought had been poisoned over the years by syphilis, poisoned by his own vice—and so could be discounted. More likely, Nietzsche always had a biologically vulnerable brain and that his final biological collapse was precipitated by the cognitive dissonance brought on by a sudden attack of compassion after years spent extirpating the instinct from his psyche—an act extenuated by his decision to identify with the wild Dionysus and “the antichrist”.


Nietzsche was fundamentally a Christian—and a Christian preacher at that. He came from a family of preachers going two generations back on his father’s side—with preachers on his mother’s side as well. Nietzsche was a man who took Christianity very very seriously; and, in many ways, his complaint about the Victorian era was that it did not take Christianity seriously at all—although it certainly liked to pretend that it did. People like to say that today is a “secular age” and perhaps compare the Victorians favourably to our secularism. Yet a female correspondent wrote to Nietzsche about “our age of disbelief”—and, of course, Matthew Arnold had written about the long roar of the tide that recedes on Dover Beach, the tide in question being the tide of faith.

What was true was that, superficially, people in Victorian times took religion seriously. They went to church and judged people who failed to do so, in middle-class circles anyway, very harshly indeed. Inside, they were about as secular as we are now—and probably had been, especially in educated circles, since the early 17th-century at least (Hobbes already disbelieved in witches). To jump back to today, for example, I once saw a professed Christian who made a big deal about his stern faith who also advised young men to bully other young men—not a Christ-like sentiment. It was men like this that Nietzsche would deplore: filled with pious words about family and faith in public and making unctuous appearances in church every Sunday—yet confidentially advocating bullying and getting a few kicks to the groin in on the sly.

Nietzsche’s point was that his contemporary world was filled with people like that, whereas today this is more rare because so few people go to church. Nietzsche, in preacher mode, had contempt for this hypocritical world; for if Christianity were taken seriously to confidentially advise “bullying” would be to damn your soul to hellfire for eternity, being a total attack on Christ’s message—and yet the “pious Christians” around him indulged in this behaviour all the time. If you protested you would get a pitying look, “Well, got to get on in the world, eh? That’s what the world is like.” In other words, you know you don’t believe this at all—and yet you continue to act like you do, so Nietzsche would say.

Aside from this view, there were those people, such as David Strauss, who would blandly and pleasantly say that Christianity and Darwinism were totally compatible and that, really, all societies are “evolving” towards Christian civilisation—towards Victorian middle-class smugness. Again, Nietzsche, in preacher mode, saw this as hopeless backsliding and laziness: these two views were obviously not compatible—smug middle-class Victorian Christians thought they could just paper over these differences and say “science and Christianity are compatible”. Well, preacher Nietzsche was not going to have it, although not in the sense that he was about to proclaim a return to the “Gospel truth” but in the sense that he refused to stand for such mealy-mouthed hypocrisy and cant.

So Nietzsche is what you get when you arrive at the end of a line of Lutheran preachers who take very seriously the Christian injunction that there is a will-to-truth. Unlike the pagans, who just wanted you to perform the rites, the Christians asserted that they possessed “the truth”—or at least had a will to the truth. This is what gives Christianity (and Islam) an intolerant and absolute character; since Christians profess “the truth” they cannot stand any other group to exist—there is one truth, one way. Nietzsche is the product of this path—as he himself would admit. For the will-to-truth eventually begat modern science and, in the case of Nietzsche, a determination to thoroughly understand “the Gospel truth”.

Hence Nietzsche was a trained philologist and he was a trained philologist because he was originally going to be a priest like his dad; and a priest should know Greek, Latin, and Hebrew to fully understand the Gospels—to know the truth. Nietzsche decided not to pursue the priesthood precisely because as he became an expert in the classical languages at a young age he began to see the deficiencies in the Gospels from a linguistic perspective. “Why does God write such bad Greek?” he jested—by which he meant that the Gospels are written like Facebook posts as compared to a beautifully composed poem.

By the 19th century, you found men like David Strauss and Ernest Renan—with their respective “lives of Jesus”—had arrived to highlight the various contradictions and difficulties present in the Bible. In linguistics, the will-to-truth made it hard to take the Bible itself, a repository of truth, seriously because the restoration of classical knowledge, originally conducted to help better explicate and highlight “the truth” found in the Bible, actually contradicted it and opened up ambiguities—ambiguities of translation and transliteration, aside from the classic atheist takes about narrative contradictions.

Hence Nietzsche is the man at the end of the Christian chain who has followed the will-to-truth so far that it has eaten itself. The will-to-truth is now autonomous, instantiated in science and technology—in a sense, the scientist is a better Christian than the Christian; he truly has the will-to-truth, whereas the Christian has to put constraints on the truth to preserve his faith (as his own child, science, grows). Indeed, most people today are post-Christians and are still, really, very very Christian although they have shed formal Christianity.

Formal Christians like to pretend that today people are “pagans” who will “inevitably” be reconverted to Christianity. This is not so. The typical progressive liberal really thinks: “I seek the truth, and that is why I trust the science—the one demonstrated truth. I renounce all superstition (a Christian teaching) and that is why I never tolerate a cross anywhere. However, I celebrate blacks, homosexuals, and Muslims—for they were the last for so long and now they shall be first. They shall be made first, all shall be made first, by science and technology—these will level all people, and so will fulfil the search for truth.”

In other words, post-Christians, progressive liberals, are ultra-Christians—ultra followers of “the truth”. They look down on “fundamentalist” Bible-bashing Christians with pick-up trucks and crosses because these people are obviously “not real” Christians: they have abandoned the will-to-truth, since they do not follow the implications contained in science; they are superstitious, just like pagans, because they still wave crosses around; and they are obviously “the first”, being straight white men, who really need to become “the last” to fulfil the Christian message. Men like Richard Dawkins think this way and it is why they are so smug; they are really ultra-Christians. They have just carried the Christian precepts to their final and most total conclusion—even formal Christianity, so demonstrably “first” for many centuries, should now become “last”.

Nietzsche differs from these people in that he wants to disconnect from the process bound up in the will-to-truth completely. He wants the inegalitarianism present in science to be foregrounded, so that a secret Christian like Richard Dawkins cannot smugly claim that feminism and Darwinism are compatible; and, further, Nietzsche wants people to recognise that there is no “singular truth”—and that the will-to-truth, as currently conceived, will eventually run everything into mediocrity and ugliness. Yet he can only make these observations because he is “the most complete Christian”: the most perfect end product of about a thousand years of autistic-Germanic will-to-truth—i.e. the drive for truth eventually eats itself and says, “There is no one truth.”


It is difficult to easily reject or accept Nietzsche’s philosophy because it is conceived as a dance and Nietzsche delighted in cross-contradiction—he whirls about the ballroom as he doubles back through his own path, and, indeed, he always preferred music you could dance to (not Wagner). He wanted to contradict himself, to delight in passing through his own traces. So whereas you can easily take Marxism or Freudianism and say what those amount to, list their deficiencies, and then reject them, this is much harder to do with Nietzsche. You could accept one Nietzschean aphorism as the truest thing you ever saw about how humans interact, and then find the next one to be rubbish.

Indeed, Nietzschean thought is much more an aesthetic experience than a philosophy in the sense meant by Kant or Descartes: Nietzsche is a philologist with a passion for music—not a logic chopper here to present you with a formula to be analysed and broken down. In this sense, people either enjoy Nietzsche in the way they enjoy Katy Perry—or not. There is no rational logical way to refute a person’s affection for Katy Perry; similarly, it is hard, though not impossible, to say Nietzsche is “wrong”. Really, either you like his style and adapt it to your purposes or he’s not your cup of tea—to refute him is almost nonsensical, as if you refuted a fashion trend.

However, it is possible to say in a minimal way what Nietzsche stood for. The overman: this is a new man who is neither a Christian nor a vulgar materialist atheist; rather, he is a man who uses scientific insight to aestheticise his life—thus, for example, his own life is to be treated as a one-off experiment; not “an experiment” as science typically recognises (double-blind with a control) but an investigation into possibilities in the scientific spirit. As with Epicurus, who withdrew to his garden—claimed the gods are indifferent to our affairs—the overman cultivates detachment and a pathos of distance. He tends to his own affairs, cultivates a few select friendships in his garden (friendship being the highest virtue in the classical tradition). As with Pilate, he takes the aristocratic attitude: “What is truth?”. Untroubled by a fanatical need to be right—either as a materialist atheist or a Christian—he makes his world beautiful through pragmatic action; for sure, he may indulge in a little science, a little astronomy, as a hobby—yet this is not because he serves “the scientific truth”, rather it just seemed like an interesting divertissement.

The overman is in constant flux: he has many musical chords within him, many strains; and he takes these strains and develops them to their highest potential, sometimes until they change into their opposite—and this is self-overbecoming, the play of crafted masks. All these activities are underpinned by a youthful freshness, rooted in the Greek love of youth, that is connected to the body—the body is not denied, starved, or punished; rather, the body is the source of lithe fresh musicality and an instinctive understanding of life. The Christian medieval world was dark and sensuous precisely because it denied and chastised the body. The Greek world was light and clean, just as with white Apollonian marble with its clear lines: it appreciates the healthy instincts in the body, not necessarily just for sex but for movement—especially rhythmic movement in the Greek sun.

The overman is a blond beast, just like those Renaissance princes: he enjoys war, one-to-one combat with an adversary, and he keeps a woman as plaything—yet he is also a great patron to Leonardo and Michelangelo. Unburdened by “good” or “evil”, everything is a question of degree—a great game untroubled by morbid ideas about “sin”. His prerogative is mastery; firstly of himself—later of objects and people. The overman’s foe is the life-hater, the ugly and weak resentful people who break into private walled gardens because it is “unfair” that “evil men” should have private enjoyments with their friends—they must be made to feel guilt, they must be made to look at the wounds.

Although Nietzsche’s worldview leans on ancient Greece, it is not actually a return to ancient Greece or paganism—Nietzsche might have extensively alluded to Apollo and Dionysus, but he definitely didn’t think Apollo and Dionysus were real. He used them as metaphors. Nietzsche had maximal contempt—frankly, arrogant contempt—even for the Hindus and Buddhists who to some extent instantiated his non-dualist view. The Vedas were dismissed as being completely what he was against.

This was because Nietzsche was adamant that his view was non-metaphysical: there was no “other world” at all—not Christian, not Hindu, not Buddhist. He saw all religion as a manifestation of “life-denying” nay-saying. Put simply: what Nietzsche advocated was to take the material-scientific view and poeticise it, so that it offered more than just Dawkins-style secular Christianity or socialism and fully realised its inegalitarian potential to create a new form of guilt-free beauty that would be related to, though distinct from, the Renaissance and Greek thought. This was the great yea-saying, the great yes to life—to life in this world.

Nietzsche was definitely not, as some Christians have him, the archetypal village atheist who says “we’re all chemical reactions and atoms”—he despised such views; even the comment “God is dead” refers to the Christian God, and is said as a lament—not a triumphal celebration. It is fairer to say that he wanted to poeticise science and emancipate it from its Christian roots so that it could create a new aesthetic sensibility, a new religion and a new non-metaphysical “God”.

Nietzsche revered and valued the Christian legacy that had lasted for about 1000 years in Germany: the Church’s strict hierarchy that underpinned a martial nobility with the virtue ethics of Aristotle. This created a pathos of distance, a seriousness, and a vigour that Nietzsche thought had evaporated to sentimental feminised nonsense and hypocrisy in his time. If Nietzsche saw a “What Would Jesus Do?” wristband or a Christian rock group he would have fumed and frothed at the mouth with absolute contempt, since he would see this as a complete betrayal and sentimental destruction of the high purpose and order found in medieval Christianity—its unhealthy, sensuous aspects notwithstanding. For Nietzsche, such modern “Christians” would need to be struck on the head with the flat of a Crusader’s broadsword—the only remedy for such arrant mob-based nonsense.

Hence Nietzsche has always appealed to those people who are serious about the decline of faith in the West and are not satisfied with lies (“Christianity and Darwinism are compatible”) or to secularise Christianity (aka socialism) and want to recreate a world that, as with medieval Christianity, had a high purpose and order—and a martial aristocracy. However, the Nietzschean is an honest person who knows you cannot simply reanimate medieval Christianity: what we live in today is in some ways the logical result of the Christian metaphysic, not only in its egalitarianism but in its very assumptions (i.e. “the will-to-truth”) that created science and so undermined all religion. Hence the new higher man will owe much to Greece, to Medici, to Aristotle and yet will operate non-metaphysically and with a scientific method—and his life will be a joyful experiment.


The contradiction at the core of Nietzsche’s worldview is that he claims to be “dynamite” and that he has arrived to blow up the hypocrisy and moribund world in which he lives; however, at the same time, he yearns for the stability, order, and pathos of distance found in an established aristocracy—and he admits that an aristocracy naturally looks backwards, seeks to preserve what is and looks back fondly to its “noble line”. In a sense, this is the dilemma that always confronts the radical right: the radical right wants to get back to the healthy aristocratic roots that have been destroyed by degeneration—and this implies that what exists needs to be dug up. Yet how do you disentangle what is healthy from what is corrupt? If you dig everything up, you are just a revolutionary and a “conservative revolution” is an oxymoron. The alternative pessimistic view put forward by conservatives is that you happen to live in a corrupted decadent age, you will just have to accept the melancholy decline—any action to correct it will almost certainly make it worse…

Nietzsche never resolved this contradiction in his thought. His contention: “We must clear away the hypocritical and sentimental remains of Christianity (including socialism and liberalism) and replace them with a new elite, as aristocratic as the Crusader knights and Renaissance princes, who are completely scientific and non-metaphysical and yet poeticise life through a light musicality and instinctual bodily wisdom.” The problem is that if you want genuine pathos of distance, if you want depth and profundity, you will only find these in old things.

If you dynamite traditions and what exists, then you will be left with shallowness; and if, further, your “new world” will be non-metaphysical, a poeticised science, it will make no reference back to the old metaphysical traditions—to Christianity, to Islam, to Buddhism. Where will you get the depth from? From Greece perhaps—yet Nietzsche reads the ancient Greeks as practical atheists like himself, although even his friends disagreed on what the Greeks meant by “soul” (for Nietzsche there is no soul, just flux).

For Nietzsche, ancient Greece was Thucydides: the most practical and “Machiavellian” of writers, whose “real history” acerbically observed that when a plague struck Greece people made different sacrifices to different gods but all died from the plague in the same way. As Nietzsche would have cheerfully echoed, the gods are not real—and his Greece is the Greece of Thucydides (indeed, if you read Thucydides he feels very modern—and that is because “modernity” has happened before, it happened in ancient Greece as it has happened to us). However, I think that for many Greeks—for, many periods of Greek history, the gods were real.

Nietzsche is often counterposed to the Enlightenment today, presented as the originator of “postmodern cultural relativism”. Yet he in many ways adored the Enlightenment, revelled when he received a bust of Voltaire—and admired the light, rapier-thin wit of France before the revolution. As with de Maistre, Nietzsche would agree that pre-revolutionary France was some golden age that few could conceive was possible after the revolution. Nietzsche’s aphoristic style was specifically modelled on French wit—on La Rochefoucauld—as an antidote to “heavy” German beer-and-pretzel thought. It is in line with his Frenchness and his alignment with the Enlightenment that Nietzsche saw the Greeks as being atheistic. He was like Gibbon, who famously said that in ancient Rome the gods were all equally believed in by the masses, equally disbelieved in by the philosophers, and seen as equally useful for the administrators.

For Nietzsche, the accent would be on the administrators—those who understand how useful the gods are to keep the masses busy, while they themselves quietly cultivate their gardens and their friendships. “Whether Apollo is real or not doesn’t overly bother me, so long as it keeps the mob quiet.” In this way, it is possible to be a pragmatic Nietzschean who, for example, endorses Christianity in the 1950s because, comparatively, it was less harmful than Communism—more hierarchical and ordered, less of a threat to the garden. For the overman pragmatist, this is perfectly possible—whether it is true or not is neither here nor there, yet today, for my purpose, Christianity is useful. This facet to Nietzschean thought is another reason why Nietzsche is not “anti-Christian” in an uncomplicated way.

This contradiction within Nietzsche’s thought—dynamite versus tradition—reflects a deeper problem with his outlook. Per his genealogy of morals, Nietzsche thinks that the customs and mores of societies are more easily changed than they really are. He thinks that new figures—Moses, Jesus, Nietzsche—pop up from time to time and lay down new “dualities” (good-bad, modest-immodest, kind-unkind) to shape their respective societies. The new “tablets of values” are carried down from the mountain and eventually, after a struggle, are adopted. The problem with this view is that I doubt it is that simple. Nietzsche has an idea, derived from language, that you can impose new dualities relatively easily; hence the true-false duality was a contribution from Socrates—himself a decadent and resentful man. He imposed his new tablet of values…eventually; indeed, his ideas were not really taken up in Greece until a few centuries later, when the decadence had really set in deeply (a parallel with Christianity’s slow victory).

The problem with this view is that I doubt it is that easy to impose dualities on reality, even if it takes a few centuries. Nietzsche thinks that dualities are used to conceal reality—really, everything is, as we says today, “on a spectrum”. Yet if you look at language, it is hard to coin neologisms that stick; and you can see this in the way slang cycles so quickly. The vocabulary we use to negotiate the world is usually very, very old—millennia old; and this is because a concept like “brave-coward” was not invented by some clever “priest” like Moses or Socrates; rather, it represents a useful duality with which to navigate reality—although nuance is real, although no brave man is “all brave” and no coward is “all coward”, basically the duality reflects reality as well as is required without writing an individual biography or being pedantic. Hence tradition, rather like language, has an inherent connection to reality—and this explains the potency of folklore such as the Brothers Grimm and Aesop’s Fables.

For Nietzsche, history is conceived of as a series of extraordinary men—Moses, Socrates, Jesus, Nietzsche—who arrive and impose their new values on people as an expression of their will-to-power. The will-to-power is partly a desire to dominate people, but it is slightly more nuanced than that: it is also a creative urge to express yourself through mastery—so that it is as much realised in a sculptor who carves a statue from a marble block as in someone who bops another man over the head and takes his goods (and Nietzsche would probably say the sculptor demonstrates a higher mastery). Nietzsche very definitely saw himself, completely unironically, as being the next in line: Moses, Socrates, Jesus…Nietzsche. He was convinced this was so; he was the new man down from the mountain, the new bringer of values. He would shatter the tablets and inscribe the new values for man to follow—obviously, he accepted he would be misunderstood at first, but after a few centuries he would surely prevail.

I just don’t think a notable individual suddenly creatively invented “true-false” from a standing start one fine day and then imposed it upon people as a composer creates a new work. I think these concepts exist because they capture an aspect of reality, albeit imperfectly—the age of our vocabulary, right down to its Indo-Aryan roots, speaks to this being so. Genuine novelty is very difficult and very little keeps. To use an analogy to evolution, nature winnows pitilessly—and that includes values. Words and concepts that are not useful and not in accordance with reality are removed—you cannot develop dualities by fiat.

Indeed, since I know the gods are real, I think men like Moses and Mohammad received their tables of laws from angelic or daemonic entities—from creatures deeply embedded within reality who stand behind reality. Yet even if you do not accept a directly religious account, the evolutionary account suggests “sudden invention” of values is unlikely; and it also follows that “dynamite”, even against a decadent system, is a bad idea—in fact, it is impossible because the primal dualities will reassert themselves. You cannot, for example, just abolish “compassion”—although you might argue it has become sentimentalised, become too prevalent, and been deployed hypocritically…

Nietzsche encourages people to think non-dualistically as an antidote to dualities. Now, there is truth to this contention. If I said, “Napoleon was a fighter,” you might say, “What about Josephine? Napoleon was a lover!”. Any worthwhile biography of Napoleon would cover his relationship with Josephine—and this is the truth in non-dualism. However, in practical terms, Napoleon is known as one of the world’s great generals. To say, “He was a fighter,” is as true as true can be—without being pedantic, so pedantic as to say we need to write a full Napoleon biography to say anything about what Napoleon was. Hence I find Nietzsche’s non-dualism to be scholarly pedantry—of the sort often seen in “the woke” today.

Nietzsche hated scholarly pedants, an idea he took from Schopenhauer—a man who excoriated journalists and academics as total phoneys (he was right). However, the unfortunate fact is that Nietzsche was never independently wealthy like Schopenhauer (who did philosophy as a sideline thanks to his father’s immense wealth as a merchant), nor was Nietzsche an aristocrat. Nietzsche was a professional scholar, a product of the merit system, of modest means; and, in a way, especially when you look at him physically, he looked like a nerd.

In other words, although Nietzsche agreed with Schopenhauer he never really stepped out of being the very precocious scholar-pedant who was appointed full professor in his early twenties. As with Nietzsche’s fascination with physical health and strength, this was about his own weakness—he was fascinated with health and virility because he was himself constantly ill, plagued by headaches and fits of vomiting; he was always neurotically on the move—to Nice, to Turin, to Genoa—in a search for physical ease. Hence his non-dualism is pedantic.

Non-dualism does have a place in the metaphysical systems Nietzsche so disdained—so blamed for the trap of dualism. Hence, for Buddhists, “good and evil” are the coracles you ride to the river’s far bank; once on the other side *Enlightenment* they can be discarded—they can be looked upon without attachment as part of a dynamic growing whole. However, this is not the same as “discarding good and evil”; good and evil still exist, rather they are viewed from a different perspective—they are not as total as they once were. The difference between this view and Nietzsche’s view is that he wants to do away with “good and evil” altogether; and this was bound to have deleterious effects—for the Buddhist, this stance is essentially the prerogative of a saint (from eternity, “good and evil” have no significance); the uninitiated masses must on no account be told “good and evil” exist on a continuum—they cannot handle such a concept without ill occurrence.

Nietzsche, unhampered by metaphysics, decided that dualities must be done away with; and he popularised this view and gave it credence—admittedly, he did not envision it as a mass idea and yet he was happy enough, ecstatic even, when his books sold well. So he effectively popularised this view, at least in an intellectual milieu—and this view eventually filtered down to an undergraduate seminar so that every journalist today says, “Sexuality is on a spectrum, isn’t it?” “Gender is on a spectrum, isn’t it? There’s no such thing as ‘man’ and ‘woman’”. Indeed, the trans—the transvaluation of values—are Nietzsche’s grandchildren.

Child killers, such as Ian Brady, are Nietzsche’s children too; for though Brady undoubtedly had psycho-pathologies that inclined him to crime, he used Nietzsche’s ideas to justify himself. He would tell journalists that he kidnapped, raped, porno photoed, and murdered young children and there was nothing wrong in this because “the state kills people all the time, the state napalms children in Vietnam—do that and they give you a medal”. Ah, the state—coldest of cold gods, Nietzsche might have said. Brady’s point, derived from his reading of Nietzsche, is that “murder” exists on a spectrum and is hypocritically reserved for soldiers when really any “higher individual” should be allowed, if they can get away with it, to murder and rape for sport.

Sadly, it is Nietzsche’s spirit behind these ideas; and the Gnostic position, as instantiated in Buddhism above, is that it is because the uninitiated will misuse the concept of “non-dualism” to commit evil that it should be reserved for the priests—an idea that Nietzsche would naturally spit at; and yet, from woke ideology to serial killers, I see Nietzsche’s “popular non-dualism” and “it’s all on a spectrum” and “right and wrong were just invented to manipulate people by priests” used time and again to justify and facilitate acts that are evil—and this is the very negative influence Nietzsche has exerted on modernity.


At base, Nietzsche’s problem was that he needed to get laid. This was identified by Richard Wagner relatively early in Nietzsche’s life; and, while they were still friends, Wagner implored Nietzsche to get married—even suggested to a doctor that he might hint to Nietzsche that he must marry. In many ways, Wagner was what Nietzsche wished he could be: he was this total artist genius with a lusty take on life (no compunction about “borrowing” another man’s wife, Cosima Wagner). Nietzsche, by contrast, comes across as a dyspeptic neurotic nerd who needs to lighten up—although, paradoxically, he regarded Wagner as being too somber and sensual.

To turn Nietzsche on Nietzsche, I actually think his famous split with Wagner—in which he firmly turned his back on “metaphysics”, Schopenhauer and Wagner and Buddhistic-Christianity—originated in ressentiment. As noted, Nietzsche was a highly capable piano player and composer, a true music-lover in a way that we cannot (Katy Perry) imagine today. He performed a piece he composed before the Wagners, and it was received politely—though in private it was seen as not impressive.

Intellectually, Nietzsche conceived himself as “the soul of music”—yet he was no Wagner. He was a scholar-pedant to the last; and I think he split with Wagner, then vilified him, in a resentful spirit—certainly he always remained “curious” about Wagner, just like some teenage quarrel where one party storms out and says “we’re not friends—don’t talk to me again, ever” and then spends the next year surreptitiously checking up on the abandoned friendship group through their brother’s Facebook account.

Nietzsche-Wagner biographers tend to split on the split, with Nietzsche’s biographers sure that Wagner liked Nietzsche’s compositions really—and Wagner’s biographers noting that the Wagners thought Nietzsche’s problems stemmed from chronic masturbation. Certainly, Nietzsche was very diffident with women; and he was easily bamboozled by Lou Salomé, who was a total slut. There is this famous picture of Nietzsche in a triad with his friend Paul Rée hitched to a cart with Salomé in the back, whip in hand—the “overwoman”. Embarrassingly, Salomé used to show the photo off round the Bayreuth Festival—often to other men she was collecting—just to demonstrate that she “owned” Nietzsche. Throughout this period, Nietzsche remained completely besotted with the useless tart and even wrote ridiculous things like “I’m so glad you have Rée to keep you company”.

I once went to a “salon” and Salomé is the kind of woman these events attract—pseudo-intellectuals who “collect” clever men. Because women are thin on the ground in these circles such women are almost always ugly, the real groupies going for Wagner (Mick Jagger) not the philologist “free-thinking” circle. Salomé was a massive pain in the ass and a difficult cow who milked her association with Nietzsche for years afterwards so that people would ask her in her fifties whether she kissed Nietzsche up a mountain while Rée waited below—she claimed, coquettishly (because she was a whore), that she could no longer recall if she did or did not kiss Nietzsche (she needed to be beaten). The fact the question was over whether or not she kissed Nietzsche pretty much demonstrates quite how innocent, comparatively, 19th-century “free spirited, free love” movements really were. To be alone on a mountain with an unmarried woman, perchance to kiss her—we free spirits!

Anyway, it’s the same bullshit, so far as I can see, over a hundred years later—tedious love triangles orchestrated by the few females, usually masculinised, attracted to intellectual-type men; everything overintellectualised, filled with crap poetry, and basically squalid and ugly—pretentious. The thing with love triangles is that some people really get off on the whole, “You betrayed me, you beast—now tell me about it, every detail!”. You know, the whole sado-masochistic act, not with straightforward whips and chains but with emotional betrayal—it makes me want to vomit and put a bullet through the whole sordid lot.

Anyway, Nietzsche was pretty much putty in Salomé’s hands until he finally saw the light and emancipated himself from this pretentious bullshit, but the whole affair indicated his hopeless situation as regards women. He pictured Salomé as his philosophical “disciple” in an act of romantic self-delusion and harboured—continued to harbour until the end—visions of an “intellectual commune”. To me, these ideas of “discipleship” and “communes” could be more simply expressed: Nietzsche wanted a wife and a family—just like Wagner repeatedly said—yet, tragically, he was too awkward-nerdy to achieve either.

I think that Nietzsche’s neurological symptoms were exacerbated by a lack of sex; rather than being some Dionysian goat who contracted syphilis in a Genoese brothel, his constant headaches and vomiting fits represented acute sexual frustration and lack of female company; although not naturally gregarious, Nietzsche does seem to have felt lonely much of the time after he left his formal teaching position due to ill health.

The split with Wagner was, in fact, Nietzsche’s split with the last chance for good health. You could put it so: the split with Wagner was when Nietzsche fully rejected God. From then on, he was firmly anti-metaphysical and, as it happens, anti-anti-semitic. Nietzsche’s split with Wagner was precipitated by his contacts with Rée, mocked by Nietzsche’s long-time liberal friend von Meysenburg as, “That bundle of chemical atoms”. Rée was a meat and potatoes materialist of the sort that was pretty common by the mid-19th-century (“The brain secretes thoughts as the liver secretes bile”). Nietzsche was never that simplistic in his anti-metaphysical stance, but it was his association with Rée and Salomé that really put him on this path—and eventually placed him in contact with Georg Brandes, a Jewish professor in Denmark, who championed his work and facilitated its breakout success.

This brings us to a common contention: Nietzsche was responsible for Hitler, right? I mean, we’ve seen the picture of Hitler with Nietzsche’s bust—we see the similarity in the term “the overman”. This is a misconception. Hitler was, above all, a Wagnerian—sure, he might have visited Nietzsche’s sister but she was also a Wagnerian who presented her brother’s work to the world in the most “Wagnerite” way possible after his incapacitation. Due to Nietzsche’s passion for self-contradiction it is possible to derive Nietzschean support for almost any position (except, perhaps, Throne and Altar conservatism)—hence Nietzsche could easily be “bent” to Hitlerism.

Nietzsche’s passion for contradiction is no better displayed than in his remarks on the Jews: at times he is absolutely vituperative towards them, especially with regards to Christianity; yet, elsewhere, he excoriates anti-semites, particularly German nationalists and Wagnerites, and praises Jewish intellectual vigour—indeed, Nietzsche noted that it was Jews, such as Georg Brandes, who understood him whereas Germans never did. Nietzsche was anti-Hitler—he rejected Wagner, he rejected German nationalism, he rejected anti-semitism; to reject those three things mean that you reject Hitlerism’s central foundations.

There is a stronger case to be made that Nietzsche influenced Mussolini: after all, Nietzsche loved Italy and did his best work in Genoa and Turin—he adored the Renaissance and the Roman Empire, both of which Mussolini hoped to bring back. Mussolini understood the vitality of the body, the pragmatic approach to life advocated by Nietzsche, and the notion that man stands alone (Mussolini was more atheistic and scientific than Hitler—just think about his association with technological Futurism in art). Mussolini was even more of a “muscle man” than the dreamy Hitler—a more shamanic, “priestly” figure.

Remember, until very late in his alliance with Hitler, never a fait accompli, Mussolini had nothing in particular against the Jews—the majority of Italian Jewry, among Europe’s oldest, were members of the Fascist Party and there was no formal racial policy in Italy (although Nietzsche speaks about aristocracy in a way that must imply race, he is in many ways not a biological thinker—he gives priority to the way values can be changed by significant men; he does not hold that blood necessarily trumps an idea). Hence Italian Fascism is very much “Nietzsche’s child”—all bright lights and fast aeroplanes—whereas Hitler’s National Socialism is Wagner’s child, all dark forests and Romantic religious yearnings.


You will recall the expression “the hermeneutics of suspicion”, and you will also recall that it is said to have three principle exponents: Freud, Marx, and Nietzsche. In this triad—rather like his triad with Lou Salomé and Paul Rée—Nietzsche is the honorary Aryan participant. Hence, the truth: Nietzsche is an honorary participant in the Jewish attempt to dismantle the West. Nietzsche was so well understood—as he was delighted to report—by Jews, unlike the “idiot Germans”, that they were his chief exponents and supporters, even down to notable financiers who supported his archive when he was an incapacitated madman. Why do the Jews like Nietzsche so much? Because he was radically anti-Christian, because he was “the antichrist”—and the Jews dislike Christianity, arguably with good reason.

Hence it really is libel to associate Nietzsche with Hitler; and, in many ways, we live in a Nietzschean world today. We live in a world where everything is justified by a new elite on scientific grounds—where women are “educated in erotics”, not sexually repressed as before; and where everything is seen as “on a spectrum”—from race to sex to sexuality. The “self” is seen as a constant flux, not a stable entity—hence you really could be man today, a woman tomorrow, and a furry the day after. An individual’s life is seen as a quasi-artistic act of self-discovery that is pursued in an amoral scientific way, “conscience” being a superstition and, in line with Bill Hicks, life being “just a ride”—we, through cause-and-effect relations, are going where we are going; and so there is no point in exacting a judgement on people for their faults—just as it would be fruitless to chastise a stone for falling.

Now, of course, due to Nietzsche’s contradictory philosophy, it is difficult to totally ascribe the contemporary elite’s beliefs to Nietzsche; for a start, they are very obviously motivated by ressentiment—they are not keen to build a clean-limbed mind-your-own-business Epicurean community of aristocratic individuals who are without fanaticism. They are not warriors who need mothers. However, there is a strong Nietzschean strain in those ideas that are generally called “progressive liberal”; and even a self-described Nietzschean would have to admit, since they accept Nietzsche’s flux and contradictions, that this is so.

Indeed, one explanation is that the Western elite is in transition from the position I described above—the de facto Christians who have abolished formal Christianity as a superstition but practice its essence—to the Nietzschean position. After all, Nietzsche thought that the transition to his beliefs could take centuries; and Christianity went through a similar period where it moved from its primitive condition to one in which it absorbed elements from paganism, from Platonism, and so on.

I think we see the same with Nietzsche’s beliefs: there is an old guard of secular Christians, men like Dawkins—and then there is a new guard, fully influenced by Nietzsche, who have combined an anti-metaphysical worldview with residual secular Christian sentiments; and this accounts for their ressentiment. We are in the transition stage between the last of Christianity, reduced to a secular rump, and something more like a fully articulated Nietzschean vision that may very well not carry every detail from its founder into practice—then again, as Nietzsche himself said, did Christianity carry over everything Christ said intact? Indeed, no; it is Nietzsche’s contention that St. Paul transformed Jesus’s rather quietist “Buddhistic” message into Christianity—a resentful faith. And who is Nietzsche’s St. Paul? Could it be Derrida? Or Foucault? Or any “woke” thinker?

If Christianity, per Nietzsche, can become a very different thing to “the message of Jesus” in St. Paul’s hands, then was it Nietzsche’s error not to anticipate that his message could become something very different in the hands of his “St. Paul”? Hence Nietzsche gifted us the apparatus of “woke politics”, though his own subjective views would reject such a resentful and democratic stance.

Hence the person who says “Nietzsche informed the EU” is on a much firmer footing than the person who says “Nietzsche informed Hitlerism”. Is not the EU perfectly without metaphysical content, perfectly without conscience, perfectly devoted to a non-Christian vision of Europe—a Europe of, per its anthem, music; a Europe of Beethoven? A Europe of state-subsidised poetry competitions to explore “inner directions and voices”—to bring in new admixtures to Europe, from Africa and Asia. To do away—above all—with German nationalism. The EU is an anti-German project—how could Nietzsche, who was disgusted at “those beer swillers”, not approve of the EU, an organisation staffed by wine-drinkers to the last? Indeed, Nietzsche, like a typical progressive keen to point out that they are 1/8th Cherokee not white, made the case he was Polish not German—no evidence to support this has been found. He even said that to be a good German is to deGermanise yourself—to examine your white supremacist attitudes, perhaps?

Why would an Epicurean be distressed that the Europeans will “die out”, he has his peace and his garden—the gods may or may not exist, what’s the big deal? Is not modern Europe a gigantic Epicurean garden in which “you do you”—in which, as Nietzsche often wrote to women, you can “become what you are” sans conscience? Does not every woman yearn for that? Does she not have the opportunity now, oh we free spirits? And never have there been more opportunities to “overcome” yourself, to explore yourself—to explore every potential, to even cut off your own penis in a fearless act to see how far science can go and to what degree binaries can be collapsed. No, I think the EU is very much Nietzsche’s grandchild too—although with all grandchildren there is not a one-to-one correspondence with the grandfather. That is just genetics, I believe.

The Jews so love Nietzsche because he is a materialist—albeit a sophisticated poetical materialist, and perhaps more dangerous for that; and the Jews, from Nietzsche’s beloved Spinoza to Freud, are a materialistic people in the philosophic sense. Although Nietzsche praised the heights, his emphasis on the will-to-power—on the dark unknown forces that drive us—birthed psychoanalysis and its concentration on the depths: the reduction to Dionysus, the reduction, per Freud, of all things to the sex urge—the repression of which, per Nietzsche, actually projecting his own sexual failure, had “ruined women”.

From Nietzsche via Freud: there is no God—everything comes from sex and violence. It is this down-going with which the Jews are often associated—as they are also associated, in traditional Christianity, with he whom Nietzsche identified himself, the antichrist (i.e. the Prince of this World). Hence Nietzsche: enemy of the nations, enemy of the faiths, enemy of the law—the antichrist, the poetic prophet of the universal technological empire predicated on the idea that there is beauty without metaphysics.

To add the final piece to Nietzsche’s madness: it is a big mistake to identify yourself with the antichrist. As the old Egyptian religion held, to wear the mask of the god is to become the god—Nietzsche put on the mask of the antichrist just as he had completed a hectic work schedule and just as he had started to become, after a decade of obscurity, a notable and talked about figure. Then, just like The Exorcist or similar Hollywood fare, as soon as he completed the book in which he declared himself the antichrist he went mad—permanently mad. Of course, Nietzsche did understand the value of masks, the play of masks—he loved the idea you could try on multiple masks and hone them as works of art. However, unlike Jung, he did not accept there was a centre, a Self, around which the masks sit—all your masks must differ somewhat, yet all must serve the Self (soul).

For Nietzsche, there is just the chaotic rotation of masks hither and thither—each overcoming the other until…they collapse. Nietzsche’s endless mask rotation has in turn served another modern condition, very typical to Western elites: narcissism—the person who wears a mask, whether kindly or evil, but scorns authenticity. The person without conscience who only cares for an endless mask rotation is tiresome to deal with, destroys themselves and others—in Nietzsche’s case he lauded mask rotation because his own character was very changeable, just as he moved lodgings constantly after he left his university post.

To put the madness together: firstly, a biologically infirm brain from his father; secondly, an inhuman attempt to extirpate compassion—a human emotion that cannot be removed; thirdly, active identification with the antichrist and Dionysus. You become your mask, you become drunken revelry and finally, as as Nietzsche did in his madness, nullity (the evil one is nothingness—Nietzsche stared blankly from his mother’s sofa; at night, in bed, he called out “Death in life, life in death” over and over again).


Strange to report, Nietzsche’s final mad fit bore a certain resemblance to the breakdown experienced by Jordan Peterson—a man on whom Nietzsche has exerted a strong influence. This is even evident in the way Peterson almost tears his hair out over whether or not there is a God. Nietzsche said that the true man of faith is always racked by doubt—and so Peterson, as a good apprentice, duly racked himself on the God issue. His project is Nietzschean because he seeks to use material science to justify religion, so that we can get back to something like Christianity but justified by the fact it helps us climb the dominance hierarchy and suppress social instability.

As so often happens with people who abandon metaphysics, Nietzsche and Peterson both started to worship the Jews. Hence among Nietzsche’s last mad letters were instructions that “all anti-semites should be shot” and Peterson cleaves close to Jewish media personalities and worries about the holocaust a very great deal. The most obvious interpretation here is that once you reject all religion—or simply reinterpret it as “useful from an evolutionary standpoint”—you also come to worship those people who rejected their Saviour and instead hope for a false Messiah, for an antichrist. The pattern seems to hold good for more people than just Nietzsche and Peterson, as the millions who followed the disastrous false prophets Freud and Marx in the 20th century attest. “But they’re so clever, with their science—and they’re so wealthy too! They’ve been unfairly demonised by bigoted Christianity down the centuries…” A common refrain on the road to perdition.

As it happens, Nietzsche’s view that he had “overcome metaphysics” was not so. As Heidegger pointed out, the “eternal return” is itself a metaphysical proposition—something that stands behind and before scientific investigation. Nietzscheans often escape this criticism with the claim “it’s a thought experiment, not a serious proposition”; however, if you take that attitude to Nietzsche then you could see the whole thing as “a thought experiment, not a serious proposition”.

Nietzsche is famously associated with an adolescent who dresses all in black, sits at the back of Social Studies class with his earphones on, and, when asked to participate, simply mouths “Die”—this is not so far from the mark as regards Nietzsche himself. There is something adolescent about Nietzsche—he was actually, for all his bluster about warrior aristocrats, quite a nerdy pedantic man. If you look at his picture from the Franco-Prussian War, in which he served as a medical orderly, he looks a bit ridiculous in military garb. Although he praises Schopenhauer’s frank uncensored writing, there is always something of the salon that clings to Nietzsche—a sense that he does not say what he really thinks and feels but what he thinks will “shock Bayreuth” (the adolescent concern with what the circle of friends I just ditched thinks of me now).

Nietzsche’s experimentation with Rée and Salomé, in what today would become a genuine threesome, just reminds me of the awkward ugly middle-class salon creatures I encountered in the 21st century—wannabe poets living on trust funds or academic sinecures involved in phoney “dramatic” love triangles. The whole scene is fake and adolescent—Wagner was much more productive and real; and Nietzsche was only ever Wagner’s greatest critic—who stormed off in a huff because he envied him, constantly thought about what the Wagners thought about him subsequently (there is little indication they gave him much thought).

Nietzsche did make many acute psychological observations; and it is true that most human encounters, most “polite conversations”, are really power struggles—absolutely ruthless power struggles with no quarter given; and I would say that is because it is a fallen age, whereas Nietzsche would say that is just how it is. Nietzsche was correct to identify ressentiment as a force that drives the left—the desire to pull down the strong, productive, and healthy (such as Wagner, perhaps—whom Nietzsche was so keen to topple). However, we should not become too enamoured with ressentiment. When people hone inauthentic masks to conceal reality and create their own idealised image they can do so without any particular spite—though they conceal reality and act irresponsibly; and today’s left is as narcissistic as it is spiteful, and it has been given a rational justification for its narcissistic façade by…Friedrich Nietzsche.

Nietzsche drew the line at Parsifal; he admired the music, but never absorbed anything but small snatches—and he hated the story, he hated the Holy Grail. This means that ultimately Nietzsche rejected what is truly European: the Grail is not only Christian—it is an ancient Indo-Aryan legend, and it is the truth. When Nietzsche said “no” to Parsifal, “no” to the Grail he said “no” to Europe. This is a shame, for Nietzsche had some excellent insights and was in many ways correct to rage against the smug and hypocritical “Christianity” that dominated Europe—and continues in many places today.

Nietzsche had Hyperborean blood: when he was a child he dreamed that his deceased father rose from the grave and snatched up a bundle under his arm and then returned to the grave—the next day Nietzsche’s younger brother fell ill with the sickness that would kill him (his father came for him). The night after a family gathering, Nietzsche dreamed that his maternal grandmother was all alone in the ruins of her rectory—she was inconsolable; and then came the news that Nietzsche’s grandfather, another clergyman, had died. See, he had the blood—he had the ability to see, if only he had not insisted on being so clever. We can only hope that, after another turn of the wheel, this “free spirit” will move towards the light.

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