Mussolini claimed he was influenced by Nietzsche, and Hitler presented himself as a Nietzschean superman leading his Aryan master race to victory. Hail, victory!
The theme of the aesthetic justification of existence Nietzsche introduced from his earliest writings, in "The Birth of Tragedy" declaring sublime art as the only metaphysical consolation of existence; and in the context of fascism and Nazism, the Nietzschean aestheticization of politics void of morality and ordered by caste hierarchy in service of the creative caste, has posed many problems and questions for thinkers in contemporary times.
But the anniversary rally, Unite the Right 2 — which took place on August 12 this year in Washington DC — was a fizzer, with some two dozen far-right participants facing off against thousands of counter-protesters.
The implications of Nietzsche's anti-egalitarianism remains a vexed interpretive question, though as I have argued elsewherethe most plausible reading is that Nietzsche had no political philosophy, that his focus was increasingly esoteric, on transforming the consciousness of select individuals -- his rightful readers -- about the extent to which morality was really compatible with the flourishing of the kinds of genius he most admired, as exemplified by figures like Beethoven and Goethe.
Also inElisabeth gave to Hitler Nietzsche's favorite walking stick, and Hitler was photographed gazing into the eyes of a white marble bust of Nietzsche.
It might go without saying that the Bible has been used to justify pretty much everything; slavery, abolitionism, war, peace, and so on ad infinitum. The student action betrays profound misunderstandings of both Nietzsche and of universities.
Ultimately whether we have the good or the bad, Nietzsche tells us more about ourselves and our times than it does about Nietzsche: when things are good we have the Nietzsche of individual self-creation, when things are bad we have Nietzsche the god-father of fascism.