Nietzsche presents an interesting study.
Not very many people buy his books and less probably read what he has to say.
There does seem to be a general attitude regarding Nietzsche that his work was at the roots of what took place in Germany during the rise of Hitler and his presentation of the Third Reich. Friedrich Nietzsche and Richard Wagner are seen by many as influences to be shunned as unworthy of any consideration. His writings can be used to show how men like Hitler can come to power But, no one should ever be shunned because their comments are considered unworthy. In fact, being an unworthy influence may be the best argument that such positions should be studied.
What is the basic dissatisfaction with Nietzsche? It is that he taught something about a “superman”? What did he write on that subject? Exactly, what was wrong with his writing on that subject? I’m currently on my third Nietzsche book and I’ve been exposed to a few lectures on his influences.
My take on Nietzsche is that his investigations into human nature are excellent. He was a German with all the ways of the German philosopher. His sentences are long extensions of his thoughts and that makes it a little difficult for the American reader who likes to take his readings in short and to the point sentences—simplified thoughts. We tend to roll our eyes when sentences go on and on divided by dashes and semi-colons. By the time we get to the period at the end of the sentence, we’ve forgotten how the sentence started out. So, reading Nietzsche requires some focus on our part.
Nietzsche investigates the ideas of good and evil in the human experience. He reaches back to primitive times and he gives the subject of our thinking about these ideas great consideration—more than anyone I’ve ever read or heard about. Who else spends entire books on the subject? I think we are forced to accept Nietzsche’s out takes seriously. I want to give an example based on our current situation here in American society.
America finds itself divided between “conservatives” and “liberals” or “progressives”, in our current political situation. Nietzsche writes about the idea of conservative thinking being at odds with liberal or progressive thinking. The conservative, he recounts, is concerned about tradition and how time has proven tradition to be good. He doesn’t just make the statement; but, he writes about it repetitively almost to the point of driving the reader to distraction. He covers every approach he could imagine to prove that traditional thinking has attained the level of good to which conservatives contribute. And, he writes over and again and again in a variety of approaches how the ideas of good are served and to whom they do their service. When the reader gets through reading the arguments, there’s not much room for taking exception. Then, he comes in to show how the liberal and progressive thinker, the one who injects ideas of change is considered to be the evil influence in society. And he works that comparison out in any number of ways to cover all the arguments against his claim.
Nietzsche is an important study. If you aren’t familiar with his writings, you have a hard time arguing against his conclusions.