This paper was presented to the conference on "Nietzsche, Culture and Society" at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa, January 13th-14th, 2006
Peoples and Fatherlands
John S Moore
Some of the views expressed in the well known chapter On Peoples and Fatherlands in Beyond Good and Evil can seem much cruder than we have the right to expect from Nietzsche in his published work.
The main theme of the chapter is presented as the overcoming of narrow nationalistic perspectives, to develop what he calls good Europeanism. He himself expresses some of the former. Since he admits to being still to some extent under the spell of an old jingoism, we are presumably to conclude that much of what he says he does not mean, or that at least it is not to be taken entirely at face value. As he proceeds he confesses that he has not always freed himself from patriotic enthusiasm.
More than most in Nietzsche this chapter needs to be read esoterically. He says things here which unfortunately can pass for his considered judgments Accordingly they have often been taken uncritically as pronouncements of Nietzschean wisdom. The whole book is often read as just a collection of aphorisms in which Nietzsche gives us his various opinions on all manner of subjects, just like Zarathustra. Yet if we take everything in this chapter at face value, much of what Nietzsche says conflicts glaringly with what he says elsewhere, even in the same book.
Understanding what he is and is not saying would be clear progress. This is important because it bears on his considered opinion, not only of the English, but more importantly on the history and significance of philosophy.
What precisely is the importance of this book? Nietzsche gives us a
strong hint in his preface.
"Are there not grounds for the suspicion that all philosophers,
insofar as they were dogmatists, have been very inexpert about women?
That the gruesome seriousness, the clumsy obtrusiveness with which
they have usually approached truth so far have been awkward and very
improper methods for winning a woman's heart?"
Perhaps more than any other of his books , Beyond Good and Evil is where he takes an oblique approach to his end. He wants to break the hold of obstinately rooted preconceptions. To reach the truth, he elegantly implies in this passage, it is counterproductive to be too crudely explicit. So much of what he says in the book apparently springs from interested motives which we are to take as different 'perspectives'.
The chapter Peoples and Fatherlands §§ 240-256 in Beyond Good and Evil is devoted to Good Europeanism. By Good Europeanism he is not here thinking primarily of a political project like the European Union or even Napoleonic empire. More interesting is the project of developing a cultural perspective that includes and transcends others that are quite passionately held. This is his focus, which he describes as the breeding of a new ruling caste for Europe”. The question is of how such people are to think, the answers to which remain of interest even if the language of breeding rulers has lost most of its appeal. As to moving beyond Europeanism to some kind of global outlook, that is not something he envisages. He is not looking that far ahead, though there is no reason to think he would have favoured it. Nor does the fact that he stops at Europeanism mean he is at this point advocating some form of greater European nationalism racially hostile to the world outside. His limited focus is sufficiently absorbing in itself.
After the first section on Wagner’s
Meistersingers, with various reflections on the German soul, he writes that we
allow ourselves occasional patriotic drivel and that he has himself just given
an example of it. Here's §241:-
’We `good Europeans': we too have our hours when we permit ourselves a
warm hearted patriotism, a lapse and regression into old loves and
narrownesses ; I have just given an example of it, hours of
national ebullition, of patriotic palpitations and floods of various outmoded
feelings. More ponderous spirits than we may have done with what in
our case is confined to a few hours and is then over only after a
longer period: one takes half a year, another half a life, according
to the speed and power with which he digests it and of his
`metabolism'. Indeed, I can imagine dull, sluggish races which, even
in our fast moving Europe, would need half a century to overcome such
atavistic attacks of patriotism and cleaving to one's native soil and
to be restored to reason, I mean to `good Europeanism'.’
‘Warm hearted patriotism’ is Helen Zimmern’s translation of the German “herzhafte Vaterländerei”. Marianne Cowan has ‘cordial patriotic drivel’, the lapse into which, I would suggest, is how we should see Nietzsche’s praise of Hegel and Kant in this chapter, definitely an aberration in the light of what he writes elsewhere. Of course it is widely accepted that Nietzsche constantly contradicts himself. But if he is doing this here it is particularly glaring. These remarks on philosophy occur in his section on the English at § 252:-
"It was against Hume that Kant rose up; it
was Locke of whom Schelling
had a right to say: ‘je méprise Locke'; in their struggle against the
English-mechanistic stultification of the world, Hegel and
Schopenhauer were (with Goethe) of one accord: those two hostile
brother geniuses who strove apart towards the antithetical poles of
the German spirit and in doing so wronged one another as only brothers
wrong one another."
This is so out of character with what he writes elsewhere that it is surely not to be taken entirely at face value. It is not exactly irony, more
a sort of self indulgence. In this passage there is a strong implication that Kant was right to rise up. He was the beginning of the movement that makes Hegel and Schopenhauer “brother geniuses in philosophy”, a description we can be sure Schopenhauer at least would have found revolting. The premise can only be some form of jingoistic feeling.
In rising up against Hume and his irreligious philosophy, Kant followed in the footsteps of Hamaan and other pietists[i]. Would Nietzsche really want to associate himself with people like that? Kant objected to Hume's critical scepticism on more than purely theoretical grounds, it represented a world view which he found distressing and objectionable. Nietzsche’s obvious sympathies for Lange’s History of Materialism, which he used for his history of philosophy suggest he would not share this attitude.
Compare with what he writes about Kant
Kant's 'depth' is derided in Ecce Homo (§ Case of Wagner)[ii]
In Will to Power § 101 (Spring-Fall 1887)
”Kant: makes the epistemological scepticism
of the English possible for
1. by enlisting for it the sympathy of the moral and religious needs
of the Germans; just as the later philosophers of the Academy used
scepticism for the same reason, as a preparation for Platonism (vice
Augustine); and as Pascal used even moralistic scepticism in order to
excite the need for faith ("to justify it");
2. by scholastically involuting and curlicueing it and thus making it
acceptable for the German taste regarding scientific form (for Locke
and Hume in themselves were too bright, too clear, i.e., judged
according to German value instincts, "too superficial"-)
Kant: inferior in his psychology and knowledge of human nature; way
off when it comes to great historical values (French Revolution); a
moral fanatic a la Rousseau; a subterranean Christianity in his
values; a dogmatist through and through, but ponderously sick of this
inclination, to such an extent that he wished to tyrannize it, but
also weary right away of scepticism; not yet touched by the slightest
breath of cosmopolitan taste and the beauty of antiquity--a delayer
and mediator, nothing original (just as Leibniz mediated and built a
bridge between mechanism and spiritualism, as Goethe did between the
taste of the eighteenth century and that of the "historical sense"
(which is essentially a sense for the exotic), as German music did
between French and Italian music, as Charlemagne did between imperium
Romanum and nationalism--delayers par excellence.)’
Even in BGE itself §11:-
'It seems to me that there is everywhere an attempt at present to
divert attention from the actual influence which Kant exercised on
German philosophy, and especially to ignore prudently the value which
he set upon himself. Kant was first and foremost proud of his Table of
Categories; with it in his hand he said: "This is the most difficult
thing that could ever be undertaken on behalf of metaphysics." Let us
only understand this "could be" He was proud of having discovered a
new faculty in man, the faculty of synthetic judgment a priori:
Granting that he deceived himself in this matter; the development and
rapid flourishing of German philosophy depended nevertheless on his
pride, and on the eager rivalry of the younger generation to discover
if possible something - at all events "new faculties" - of which to be
Nietzsche goes on to jeer at this German
philosophy as containing a lot of empty verbiage invented to counter the
‘omnipresent sensualism’ of the previous century.
In Antichrist §§10-11. the denigration goes to an extreme:-.
“The success of Kant is merely a theological success;… Kant became an idiot.--And such a man was the contemporary of Goethe! This calamitous spinner of cobwebs passed for the German philosopher--still passes today! “
Already in Daybreak he foreshadows, if in more temperate language, his later attack[iii]. If it be thought that the sentiments of Peoples and Fatherlands represents a transitional phase in Nietzsche’s thought then hardly any of it is to be taken in the least bit seriously, all superseded in the fierce thunderings of his final works. We do not have to go so far as that.
For a clue of how to read him look at the sentence immediately preceding the BGE section on the English where his praise of Kant appears:-:-
"But here it is fitting that I should break off my cheerful Germanomaniac address: for already I am touching on what is to me serious, on the `European problem' as I understand it, on the breeding of a new ruling caste for Europe."
‘Cheerful Germanomaniac address’ is
Hollingdale’s translation of “heitere Deutschthümelei”. Instead of
'address' Marianne Cowan's translation has 'twaddle'. Helen Zimmern has 'My
festal discourse and my sprightly Teutonomania'.[iv]
The Teutonomania is not exactly patriotic drivel, indeed much of it is very
anti-German but it still shows a quality of breezy generalisation that can be
So as far as this point, at least on one translation, he admits that he has been twaddling. That is how he tells us to take much of what he has just been writing. Only if we believe that Nietzsche never writes with his tongue in his cheek can we take what immediately follows completely at face value. For rather than moving on directly to discussion of the good European he launches into an attack on the English in the same rough manner.
It would seem a natural conclusion from the preceding that this would not be meant entirely seriously. However, his anti-English sentiments are so refreshing to some people that they are just what they want to hear.
Oscar Levy wrote in his preface to Daybreak, (where the anti-Englishness is actually quite tame).
First of all, of course, there stands in the way the terrible abuse which Nietzsche has poured upon the heads of the innocent Britishers. While France and the Latin countries, while the Orient and India, are within the range of his sympathies, this most outspoken of all philosophers, this prophet and poet-philosopher, cannot find words enough to express his disgust at the illogical, plebeian, shallow, utilitarian Englishman. It must certainly be disagreeable to be treated like this, especially when one has a fairly good opinion of one's self; but why do you take it so very, very seriously? Did Nietzsche, perchance, spare the Germans? And aren't you accustomed to criticism on the part of German philosophers? Is it not the ancient and time-honoured privilege of the whole range of them from Leibnitz to Hegel — even of German poets, like Goethe and Heine — to call you bad names and to use unkind language towards you? Has there not always been among the few thinking heads in Germany a silent consent and an open contempt for you and your ways; the sort of contempt you yourselves have for the even more Anglo-Saxon culture of the Americans?
But Nietzsche himself implies that in upholding German profundity against English shallowness in On Peoples and Fatherlands he is giving way to a measure of patriotic drivel, which is one variety of twaddle..
Someone might try to save his remarks on Kant with the suggestion that however low he regards Kant, his view of English philosophy must be even lower. But then in what respect precisely might it be lower? Hardly clarity or depth surely? Of course there is some truth in his attack on the English, but he adds to it with a German jingoism which is not his usual manner. If he is right to speak of a plebeianism of modern ideas which started in England[v], he is surely wrong if he attributes that to racial factors, rather than intellectual and sociological ones. Would he want to claim that the Celts (mixed with the English) are so inferior to the Slavs (mixed with the Germans)?
In §244 he suggests the German profundity is little more than a confidence trick –
"I meant to say: whatever 'German profundity' may be; and when we are
quite by ourselves we shall perhaps permit ourselves to laugh at it,
we would do well to hold its appearance and good name in respect
henceforth too and not to sell former old reputation as the profound
nation too cheaply for Prussian 'dash' and Berlin wit and sand. It is
clever for a people to be considered, to get itself considered,
profound, clumsy, good natured honest, not clever: it might even be
Early in the long §251 (his ‘sprightly Teutonomania’) he makes an apology:-
"If a people is suffering and wants to suffer from nationalistic
nervous fever and political ambition, it must be expected that all
sorts of clouds and disturbances; in short, little attacks of
stupidity; will pass over its spirit into the bargain:.... May it be
forgiven me that I too, during a daring brief sojourn in a highly
infected area, did not remain wholly free of the disease and began,
like the rest of the world, to entertain ideas about things that were
none of my business: first symptom of the political infection."
It is obvious, one would think, that he is not calling for one national or ethnic perspective to prevail over the others, certainly not the German not the French, nor the Jewish. The English perspective was so triumphant at the time it was something of which no conscious person could fail to be aware. It might therefore have been expected the English spirit was robust enough to take his excoriations without suffering too much hurt thereby. Although many of Nietzsche’s criticisms of the English are fair enough, from a different national perspective they will appear slightly differently.
Different nationalities, ethnic groups, even classes and sexes, have somewhat different perspectives on the same material. Although Nietzsche was a German and his prejudices were therefore those of a German, he is far from asserting the superiority of those or that point of view. An English nationalist outlook should not on his principles have any less claim to validity. Here is a quote from a biography of the English Nietzschean politician Enoch Powell[vi].
“Enoch Powell used his knowledge of German history and culture to debunk the notion that the war was against the Nazi party not against the German people as a whole. The party, he said, identified with some of the strongest traits of that people, ‘anti-semitism, the faith in the hero leader, the application of Darwinian ‘survival of the fittest’ to foreign politics, the admiration of force and power for their own sake, and above all the readiness to sacrifice the present and the real for future and the abstract.. Nothing he said could be less like the English cast of mind, if an anthology were made of reference to England in the best German prose and poetry of the nineteenth century the dominant note of the extracts would be contempt’.”[vii]
Nietzsche’s praise of France was a deliberate provocation in the light of German feelings following the Franco-Prussian war. Of course we would expect him to feel a strong affinity for the Paris of immoralism and decadence, and there may be a touch of the disingenuous in the praise he does give.
What he says about the Jews is also crude, reflecting much mere prejudice. Of their success he writes that it is:-
“thanks above all to a resolute faith that
need not be ashamed in the face of modern
ideas." Beyond Good and Evil §251
Taken at face value, and in an obvious meaning, this is a bizarre statement, though gratifying to many Jewish people, as well as offensive to the anti-Semites he was personally concerned to upset.. This too fits in with the thesis that in Of People's and Fatherlands, he is playing around with stereotypes and prejudices that are all meant to be overcome in the new synthesis[viii] of the Good European.
If he seriously thought that pre-modern Judaism had nothing to be ashamed of in the face of modern ideas that was an eccentric opinion. But it seems a large part of his aim here was to be provocative. He comes close to giving a Jewish perspective. Of course it is not only in BGE that he reveals his penchant for crude stereotyping. In Antichrist he writes:-
"The Jews are the very opposite of decadents:"
The implication is that one is or is not a decadent in virtue of one's beliefs and opinions. So to avoid decadence should one copy the Jews? But didn't the Christians do that? And is not a large part of what makes a Christian a decadent his dishonesty about motives? The idea that the Jew can be dishonest while not being decadent has the effect of turning him into something not to be judged by the same standards as the rest of us.
As he wrote in Antichrist §9
"Whatever a theologian regards as true must
be false: there you have
almost a criterion of truth. His profound instinct of
self-preservation stands against truth ever coming into honour in any
way, or even getting stated. Wherever the influence of theologians is
felt there is a transvaluation of values, and the concepts "true" and
"false" are forced to change places: what ever is most damaging to
life is there called "true," and whatever exalts it, intensifies it,
approves it, justifies it and makes it triumphant is there called
Yet as he writes in § 24:-
"The Jews are the very opposite of decadents: they have simply been
forced into appearing in that guise, and with a degree of skill
approaching the non plus ultra of histrionic genius they have managed
to put themselves at the head of all decadent movements (--for
example, the Christianity of Paul--), and so make of them something
stronger than any party frankly saying Yes to life."
"Very opposite" was Mencken. Kaufmann has
"The Jews are the antithesis
of all decadents:" The German original has “Die Juden sind das Gegenstück aller décadents”.
Significantly Hollingdale's translation has "The Jews are the counterparts of decadents". "Counterparts” is different from "very opposite" and does not raise the problem discussed in so acute a form. Even if we are take Hollingdale as inaccurate in his translation he put his finger on a key difficulty or inconsistency. 'The antithesis of decadence' i.e. health, as advocated by Nietzsche, surely has to be connected with
truthfulness. Otherwise relativism would just make complete havoc of all the distinctions he wants to make. Any idea might serve someone's ambition, power and ascending life.
Convicting his opponents of dishonesty, lies and self deception is a pervasive theme throughout Nietzsche’s work. According to him, the utilitarian, the Kantian, the Hegelian, the egalitarian, do not simply differ from him by their different philosophical premises. They are involved in errors about human nature, history etc and these can be shown.
Looking for the contemporary significance of Nietzsche’s observations, we look to the virtues and qualities of the Good European, who is to be formed from a mixture of different strains. The Good European, and perhaps we might say by extension the good African or good American, is to think beyond good and evil, and is anti Christian in the special sense, which is to say. not as a Jew or a Muslim might be anti-Christian.
In Nietzsche’s writing it is the exoteric aspect that contains the potentially dangerous and irresponsible thoughts. As he writes in BGE § 30:-
Our highest insights must - and should - sound like follies and sometimes like crimes when they are heard without permission by those who are not predisposed and predestined for them. The difference between the exoteric and the esoteric, formerly known to philosophers - among the Indians as among the Greeks, Persians, and Muslims, in short, wherever one believed in an order of rank and not in equality and equal rights - does not so much consist in this, that the exoteric approach comes from outside and sees, estimates, measures, and judges from the outside, not the inside: what is much more essential is that the exoteric approach sees things from below, the esoteric looks down from above.
In saying there is an esoteric reading I am not saying simply that Nietzsche’s key concepts have to be taken in the context of what he is really attacking. However that is perfectly true, and it is important to understand it first. To discover how he should be read we have to understand what he is against. So first I shall say something about his attack on Christianity and on pity. He has quite specific targets.
As several commentators have argued[ix],
Nietzsche’s remarks on Christianity, like those on Jews. need to be taken in the
context of his present political concerns, as responses to particular modern
tendencies and ideas. It is still the same today, mutatis mutandis, when
Christianity often appears to be represented by the sanctimony and highly
selective moral indignation of sections of the popular press, with the
insinuation that anyone who dissents from this faith of the humble is some kind
of arrogant bully. This is the Christian prejudice that is exploited by
democratic governments. In Britain today it is typified by the alliance between
Tony Blair and Rupert Murdoch.
To see Christianity as Nietzsche does as against the strong, means to see it as a value directed against one’s own will in favour of those whose will is radically different and see themselves as weak in relation to you. This is the impulse we can identify as the essential originality of Christianity. Other aspects, like philanthropy, or spirituality, are far from unique to it. The corruption comes when goodness and spirituality are identified with surrender to this impulse. That was the revolutionary impulse against the Roman Empire, it is to be discovered in the torments of Catholic mystics, in some forms of protestant guilt and joylessness, and significantly in the moralistic impulses deeply involved in much modern democracy and socialism. To identify something else with Christianity and defend the latter for essentially political reasons, involves, he insists, a serious lapse from intellectual integrity.
Seeing what is objectionable in Christianity is to see Christianity as an attack on the will. To understand this it is necessary to conceive your own will as under attack in the supposed interests of those you would consider inferior to yourself. It is to imagine yourself subject to an assault on the strong on behalf of the weak. By your strength, you are to understand everything you value and consider good, including your kindness and benevolence. If you are happy to mortify your own will by acceding to this attack then we may take it you are a good Christian. If you call something else Christian then it might be objected that we are only arguing about words. But words are vital here. Unless we identify this decadent principle and root it out, it will continue to infect our culture. To those who insist on identifying Christianity with worthwhile values like benevolence or noblesse oblige we can say that if we are clear what we want, we need not take on the rest of the Christian baggage. If we want a measure of benevolence we do not have to link it to the decadent value we would be far better off without, and which is inextricably tied to the idea of Christianity..
In his objection to pity, Nietzsche is not as such condemning concern for the unfortunate or to charitable giving. He shows the way in which compassion and eudaemonism may come across as harmful and repressive values. To attack these values he denounces pity. Yet it is easy to see how his attack can badly misfire. We think of the SS for a modern example of men deliberately cultivating pitilessness as part of a peculiar zeitgeist. So some critics conclude that he ought to have been more responsible, and perhaps not spoken against pity or Christianity in the way he did.. But that would have been to betray the basic principles of his thinking, leaving all sorts of negative and demoralising forces in place. You put ideas in your head to restore your morale. Everything Nietzsche says he means to say. To water it down would have been pointless. He is not solely concerned with being correctly understood. He wants to encourage creative freedom, so you may say what you feel without censorship. The wisdom he does give immunises against the worst consequences of that.
This is the effect of the transvaluation that comes with his demolition of nihilism.. Nihilism, literally belief in nothing, can be taken as the idea that there is no truth,[x] more specifically the idea that there is no standard by which we can judge between different perspectives, beliefs, value judgments etc. This can be initially exhilarating because it enables us to believe what we like. Its further effect will tend to be depressing and worse, as it prevents us from resisting whatever values, doctrines, perspectives etc threaten to impose themselves on us, The problem then presents itself as of how to resist demoralising and depressing ideas.. The need to escape depressing and demoralising ideas comes to be experienced as an acute personal problem, expressed in terms of the need to overcome nihilism. So it is no longer a mere intellectual problem but is felt in terms of a personal crisis.
Nietzsche’s will to power theory is not a mere recycling of earlier rhetoric. For him it is a discovery because it offers a solution to this problem of nihilism. For this there is no parallel in earlier writers. In the first place it is a perspective that he adopts. Every belief, value, perspective etc is seen as involved in a struggle for dominance against others, and that includes his own, i.e. that of will to power itself. Thus any perspective involves the suppression of alternative perspectives. It is found that the will to power perspective conflicts with other perspectives. For example it involves presenting for our consideration points of view the very possibility of which many people would like to deny. Whether such a possibility is accepted or denied may be argued to be a non factual question dependant on assumptions which govern the perspective and are in principle untestable. But part of Nietzsche’s case is that factual questions are involved, propositions that are true or false in a quite ordinary sense[xi]. There are facts which are revealed from the will to power perspective and hidden from contrary perspectives. Once shown these would be nevertheless be true from whatever perspective is adopted.
To read him esoterically means more than simply paying attention to the context of what he is against. Beyond this there is in his writing something much lazier, a letting go, laissez faire, trust in the invisible hand, loosening of control. Many commentators fail to allow sufficiently for the importance of the factor of laisser aller in Nietzsche’s thought. The ingredients that go up to make the good European do not require training in some new mode of thought. Indeed they are a lot of old prejudices, often lazy and self indulgent thoughts. It is an essential part of his thesis that this need not be harmful. Much of Nietzsche’s philosophy is about thinking whatever you like. The chaos to which such permissiveness might be expected to lead is prevented, not by any form of censorship, but by exposing the lies and falsifications in which a great many currently accepted attitudes and opinions are inextricably implicated. This leaves much conflict that will go on just as it always has. Different egoisms will balance and cancel each other, much as they do already, but without the distorting effect of slave morality. He is far from intending all the perspectives he adopts to override all others.
As for the national characters he identifies, as partial viewpoints they are ingredients in the future that is to be built. We might well think of them in terms of a dialectical synthesis, but not of the Hegelian variety, something more like that expressed by the sixteenth century mystic Jacob Boehme. As William Blake said in Boehmean mode:- “Without contraries is no progression”. This I would suggest, is how we should view Nietzsche’s national stereotypes, English, German, French, Jewish, they are like four of Boehme’s seven qualities of God, struggling against each other in a fruitful antagonism. Whatever Nietzsche says here, immersed for the moment in his own character as a German, others have their own points of view and can speak up for themselves as he well knows and undoubtedly welcomes.
If the interpretation I have put forward here is wrong, and Nietzsche means everything he says to be taken at face value, then not only has he produced much remarkably crude and unworthy generalisation, but it is hard what to make of the perspectivist attitude he apparently espouses in the preface and elsewhere in the book.
Books by Nietzsche
The Antichrist. trans. Walter Kaufmann, in The Portable Nietzsche, ed. Walter Kaufmann. 1968 New York: Viking Press,.
The Antichrist. tr. Hollingdale 1968 Harmondsworth (Penguin),
The Antichrist. Tr. H L Mencken 1923 New York : Knopf, .
Beyond Good and Evil. trans. Walter Kaufmann. 1966 New York: Random House,.
Beyond Good and Evil, tr. Marianne Cowan, 1955 Chicago Gateway
Beyond Good and Evil, Trans Hollingdale, 1973 Harmondsworth Penguin
Beyond Good and Evil, Tr Marion Faber 1998 Oxford: Oxford University Press
Daybreak trans Hollingdale 1982 Cambridge University Press
The Dawn of Day Tr. by J. M. Kennedy. 1911 Edinburgh : Foulis, .(preface by Oscar Levy)
The Genealogy of Morals tr Francis Golffing New York Doubleday 1956
The Genealogy of Morals tr Walter Kaufmann New York Random House 1967
The Case of Wagner, translated Walter Kaufmann, 1967 New York Vintage books
The Will to Power. trans Kaufmann & Hollingdale,
1968 London Weidenfield and Nicolson
The Will to Power. trans Ludovici 2 vols. 1909-1910 Foulis Edinburgh and London
Heffer Simon -Like the Roman- the Life of Enoch Powell Weidenfield and Nicolson London 1998
Santaniello Weaver , Nietzsche, God and the Jews – Albany SUNY 1994
Boehme Jakob The Aurora tr. John Sparrow London Watkins 1914
[viii] Synthesis is Nietzsche’s own term. Here is § 256:- In all the more profound and comprehensive men of this century the general tendency of the mysterious workings of their souls has really been to prepare the way to this new synthesis [neuen Synthesis] and to anticipate experimentally the European of the future: only in their foregrounds, or in hours of weakness, in old age perhaps, were they among the `men of the fatherland' ‑ they were only taking a rest from themselves when they became `patriots'.
'A philosopher recuperates his strength in a way quite his own... he does it, for instance, with nihilism. The belief that there is no such thing as truth, the nihilistic belief, is a tremendous relaxation for one who, as a warrior of knowledge, is unremittingly struggling with a host of hateful truths. For truth is ugly'. (Will to Power §598).
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