[Marxism] Nietzsche on MLK

Gary MacLennan gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com
Mon Jan 20 20:38:46 MST 2014

Hi Jim,

Well you are softer on Nietzsche than I am. I admit though one has to
account for his influence on the left. One could point out that reading and
interpretation are creative acts and so it is not easy to predict what one
will get from a writer.
But that seems something of a cop out to me.

Warren has argued that like Hegel, Nietzsche writings are politically
indeterminate and so can have followers across the political spectrum. The
problem is that I do not think that Nietzsche's politics are politically
indeterminate at all.  They leap out at one from every page.  Nor am I at
all certain that it is correct to say, as most people do, that his
philosophy is not very systematic. He is a proto-fascist through and
through. The genocidal butchers in Germany's colony of South West Africa,
were true Nietzscheans.

Yet the facts are there.  Nietzsche's first followers were on the left.
Feminists too used his ideas, unbelievable as that seems.

I have dipped into Geoff Waite's strange book *Nietzsche's Corps/e* and
what I get from it is the suggestion that the Left were seduced by
Nietzsche's revolutionary fervour.  He was of course a revolutionary of the
right.  Yet in my own time I have seen, leftists try to make cause with the
fascistic right in N. Ireland, and some have even tried that tack in Greece
with the Golden Dawn.

Finally though I settle for the explanation, admittedly not a very good
one, that those who suffer from the pain of "knowledge without power" and
who are isolated from the people/masses/working class, are prone to the
Nietzschean temptation.

Your last point about Foucault and Nietzscheanism, is the very reason why I
took up the study of Nietzsche's work and why I always insisted that
students should read Nietzsche, before going anywhere near Foucault.



On Tue, Jan 21, 2014 at 11:59 AM, Jim Farmelant <farmelantj at juno.com> wrote:

> ======================================================================
> Rule #1: YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.
> ======================================================================
> Here is an old post of mine that I wrote on Nietzsche some years ago. (
> http://archives.econ.utah.edu/archives/marxism/2007w27/msg00166.html).
> I think that any discussion of Nietzsche and politics has to take into
> account the fact that he has long been a popular figure on the left as well
> as the right. Even in his own lifetime, German Social Democrats were
> already striving to integrate his ideas into their brands of Marxism.  In
> Russia, following the failed 1905 revolution, certain Russian Marxists like
> Anatoli Lunacharsky began to take a great interest in him. Trotsky wrote a
> famous polemic against Nietzsche but one can't help feeling that the Old
> Man himself was influenced by Nietzsche.
> Jim Farmelant
> http://independent.academia.edu/JimFarmelant
> http://www.foxymath.com
> Learn or Review Basic Math
> ---------- Original Message ----------
> From: Jeff Rubard <jeffrubard at gmail.com>
> To: farmelantj at juno.com
> Subject: [Marxism] Nietzsche on MLK
> Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2014 14:03:52 -0800
> ======================================================================
> Rule #1: YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.
> ======================================================================
> The essay on Bhaksar and Nietzsche by Gary McLennan is very interesting. I
> personally have never read Bhaksar, since I haven't seen his works in
> bookstores since my days in Pittsburgh, but Nietzsche himself is now
> available in his (German) entirety at a new "munificent" website, Nietzsche
> Source [http://www.nietzschesource.org/], and so there is perhaps no way
> around the confrontation between "populist reason" and a couple of
> varieties of postmodernism.
> A
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