[Marxism] Recommended readings

Johannes Schneider Johannes.Schneider at gmx.net
Mon Jan 2 03:26:55 MST 2006

Jim Farmelant wrote: 

> While there were certainly elements in Nietzsche's
> philosophy which would have lent comfort to fascists
> and Nazis, 

This is a very generous statement towards Nietzsche. After all it is sort of
surprising to read even more favorous opinions about him on a Marxist list.

I think Georg Lukacs puts Nietzsche in the right context in his work "The
Destruction of Reason". Chapter 3 deals with Nietzsche: Nietzsche as Founder
of Irrationalism in the Imperialist Period

There Lukacs writes about Nietzsche:
"He had a special sixth sense, an anticipatory sensitivity to what the
parasitical intelligentsia would need in the imperialist age, what would
inwardly move and disturb it, and what kind of answer would most appease it.
Thus he was able to encompass very wide areas of culture, to illuminate the
pressing questions with clever aphorisms, and to satisfy the frustrated,
indeed sometimes rebellious instincts of this parasitical class of
intellectuals with gestures that appeared fascinating and
hyper-revolutionary. And at the same time he could answer all these
questions, or at least indicate the answers, in such a way that out of all
his subtleties and fine nuances, it was possible for the robust and
reactionary class insignia of the imperialist bourgeoisie to emerge. 

This Jekyll-and-Hyde character corresponds to the social existence, and
hence to the emotional and intellectual world, of this class in a triple
sense. Firstly, an oscillation between the most acute feeling for nuance,
the keenest over sensitivity, and a suddenly erupting, often hysterical
brutality is always an intrinsic sign of decadence. Secondly, it is very
closely linked with a deep dissatisfaction concerning contemporary culture:
an ‘unease about culture’ in Freud’s phrase, a revolt against it. Under no
circumstances, however, would the ‘rebel’ stomach any interference with his
own parasitical privileges and their basis in society. He therefore waxes
enthusiastic if the revolutionary character of his discontent receives a
philosophical sanction, but is at the same time deflected — with regard to
its social substance — into a rebuttal of democracy and socialism."



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