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Friedrich Nietzsche Philosophy Theology


against the Cross, 15

Of French origin, although German was the family language, Lou Salomé’s Huguenot ancestors arrived in St Petersburg in 1810. Her father Gustav Salomé had a successful military career and was appointed inspector of the army by Tsar Alexander II. He later married Louise Wilm, of Danish descent, nineteen years younger. The marriage produced six children: after five boys, a cute girl who was named after her mother.

Louise (later called Lou) grew up in a male environment, just the opposite of Nietzsche, who grew up in a female environment after his father’s untimely death. Lou’s birth coincided with the day of the abolition of slavery in Russia. As liberalism—what we call neo-Christianity—claims more and more equality, the abolition of slavery was the antecedent of equal rights for women: an ideal that appeared early in Lou’s life. Thus, contrary to the rules of her time, the teenager refused to receive religious confirmation.

At the age of eighteen, Lou began her studies under the guidance of Pastor Hendrick Gillot, who had her study the philosophers. Thin, blonde, flirtatious and with deep blue eyes, Gillot soon fell in love with her, ready to leave his family to marry the precocious brat, but Lou rejected him outright and realised that she had to go abroad. Her mother decided to accompany her.

The first destination was Zurich, where Gottfried Kinkel, an apostle of women’s rights at universities, was teaching (the University of Zurich was the only university at the time that accepted women). Falling ill with a lung condition, Lou travelled to warmer climes in search of therapy, and with her mother came to Rome. Kinkel had recommended that they meet Malwilda von Meysenburg (Nietzsche’s very close friend), at whose house literary gatherings were held. In February 1882 Malwilda received the young Russian woman, who dressed sternly and never wore feminine ornaments. Paul Rée met her there and soon fell in love with her, but it occurred to both Rée and Malwilda to introduce Lou to Nietzsche.

He was then on one of his eternal healing journeys, always in search of a clear, cloudless sky, and had been to Messina. It is curious to note that when Nietzsche received Rée’s invitation, he replied with humour that indicated that he had overcome the depression that had led him to believe he would die at his father’s age: ‘I shall soon launch myself on the assault on her. —I need it in consideration of what I want to do for the next ten years’. He who yesterday was a candidate for death is now thinking of the great life!

When Nietzsche arrived in Rome he inquired where he could find Rée, and was told that he was visiting the Vatican. He went there to find him, who was with Lou, and asked them: ‘From which stars have we fallen to meet each other here?’ The retired professor was sixteen years older than Lou, who, at twenty-one, would soon captivate him with her feminine charms.

The ‘Trinity’, as the freethinkers Nietzsche, Rée and Lou called their alliance, had a problem: both father and son fell in love with the holy spirit, which would eventually arouse great jealousy on Nietzsche’s part, as they both made marriage proposals.

For Lou’s self-esteem—Rée bombarded her with letters—, it was in her interest to continue collecting men whose proposals she had rejected since her experience with her mentor Gillot. Thus, the following weeks and months passed with great sorrow for the lovers, who had never before faced such a woman. Nietzsche in particular, now almost in his forties, had fallen in love like an adolescent, so much so that he was now willing to go to Bayreuth if Lou would accompany him, and precisely at the premiere of Parsifal, even if it was a Christian play! Nietzsche would have given anything to travel with Lou to the premiere, and he wrote to his sister notifying her that he had regained his health, adding: ‘I no longer want to be alone and wish to learn to be a man again’. Elisabeth would meet Lou in Jena.

It is unnecessary to go into the details, but in discussing some of Nietzsche’s indecorous proposals, Elisabeth and Lou became deadly enemies—enemies, as only women can be to each other. Suffice it to say that the whole pathetic episode of Rée and Nietzsche’s falling in love, which separated the two friends, shows that this pair had no experience whatsoever with women, let alone liberated women. The philosopher who would preach that when a man goes out with a woman he should never forget the whip allowed himself to be photographed, literally, with a woman holding a whip behind him! Even in his amorous letters, the typical mistake of the inexperienced bachelor in his dealings with women is evident. Instead of being masculine, Nietzsche behaved like a supplicant bridegroom in search of the bride’s ‘yes’:

My dear Lou!

Sorry about yesterday!
A violent attack of my stupid headaches—today they have passed.
And today I see some things with new eyes.
At noon I’ll accompany Dornburg, but before that, we still have to talk for half an hour… yes?

It didn’t occur to the poorly pensioned man, clumsy and almost blind when he walked, that these weren’t ways of winning her over, least of all a woman of steel like Lou, brought up among Aryan men with connections in the army.

When Nietzsche would later become disappointed with Lou, he would write things like ‘frightfully repressed sensuality / delayed motherhood—due to sexual atrophy and delay’. Of course, at Schulpforta the children were never taught that male sexuality is literally a thousand per cent more intense than female sexuality, and perhaps Nietzsche believed that Lou’s sexuality wouldn’t be much different from his! Interestingly, in that list of Lou’s faults that Nietzsche noted, we read that one of them was that she was not ‘docile’.

Nietzsche had in mind not a new philosophical system but rather a new religion. And as a new religion that despised the weak and ennobled the strong, what he now needed was a new metaphysics and disciples, and in his fantasies he had designated Lou and Rée as the first. It didn’t occur to him that he was forcing things, that they both had their own goals in life. For example, the way he wanted to overcome the competition was incredibly clumsy. In Lebensrückblick (Life Review), Lou informs us that nothing had damaged her image of Nietzsche more than his attempts to demean Rée, and although the word wasn’t yet used, she blames him for lack of empathy: not realising that such a crude tactic was immediately detected as such.

Lou didn’t need Nietzsche. Nietzsche, the eternal bachelor whom Wagner had psychoanalysed well—to appease Eros the professor badly needed to get married!—did need Lou. Or rather, he didn’t need this liberated woman but one of the many ‘docile’ old-fashioned educated little women who at that time it wasn’t so difficult to ask for their hands. But the way Nietzsche wanted to pull her into his gravitational field was simply to imagine her as an apostle for his budding religion. In a letter to Overbeck, Nietzsche confessed: ‘At the moment—I don’t yet have a single disciple’. And in a missive to Malwilda, he clarifies: ‘By “disciple” I would understand a person who would swear an oath of unconditional fidelity to me—and for that, he would have to undergo a long period of trial and overcome difficult undertakings’.

The most sophisticated readers of Nietzsche’s work are unaware of his biography! It is very clear, from his own words, that he wanted to form a new cult. From this point of view the two scholarly, heavy treatises that Heidegger wrote about his favourite philosopher which begin with the lapidary sentence ‘Nietzsche, the name of the thinker attests to the content of his thought’ are rubbish! In the hundreds of pages that follow, Nietzsche the man is altogether missing, only his philosophical ‘insights’ are present!

Let’s not forget that Heidegger acknowledged to have read Luther. Much of the mission of the priest of holy words is to shake off the metaphysical cobwebs of the neo-theologians and to philosophise from the real world: the real biography of an Aryan man, the protection of his race and the analysis of his enemies.

It is more than significant that, before his death, the neo-theologian Heidegger claimed that philosophy had come to an end and that now ‘Only a God can save us’. He also claimed that for only a few months he had believed in National Socialism, and that during his ten months as rector of the University of Freiburg he refused NS orders to put up an anti-Jewry poster; to remove works by Jewish authors from the library, and to allow the burning of books at the university. But on one thing I agree with Heidegger: academic philosophy (i.e., neo-theology) is dead. The religion of sacred words must emerge, stripped now from all Christian vestiges, and not in the form of ontologies written in corrupted German.

Nietzsche wanted to create a religion very different from ours (the 14 and 4 words). In her Friedrich Nietzsche in seinen Werken, published when the philosopher was already mad, Lou would reveal juicy anecdotes that open a window into his mind. In their conversations, Nietzsche revealed to Lou that he wanted to spend a decade of his life studying the natural sciences in order to obtain a scientific basis for his theory of the eternal return! Lou adds: ‘Only after whole years of absolute silence did he intend… to appear among men as the master of the eternal return’. The following passage is key to understanding how Nietzsche wanted to drag Lou toward the dark side of the force so to speak, as if this woman was to become a sort of Sith apprentice in the wake of the philosopher’s terrible revelation:

Then he rose to take his leave, and as we stood on the threshold his features suddenly transformed. With a fixed expression on his face, casting fearful glances around him, as if a terrible danger threatened us should any curious person eavesdrop on his words, muffling the sound of his voice with a hand to his mouth, he announced to me in a whisper the ‘secret’ that Zarathustra had whispered into the ear of Life, to which Life would have replied: ‘Do you know, Zarathustra? No one knows’. There was something extravagant—indeed, sinister—in the way Nietzsche communicated to me ‘the eternal return of the identical’, and the incredible transcendence of this idea.

In Freemasonry, they speak of ‘The Great Secret’ that only the highest initiates can have access to. What Lou says was the great secret of the religion that Nietzsche now wanted to inaugurate.

That the pensioned philologist wanted to make a new religion out of such an idea is noticeable in that he even wanted to erase the fact that this idea was traceable to his readings of Heraclitus. Instead, he wanted us to believe that Zarathustra arrived at the great secret by himself. The critic of mysticism had himself fallen into the initiatory practices of the ancient Greeks. Recall that for the Pythagoreans some mathematical findings were to be hidden from the people. Only the initiated were qualified for this knowledge, such as the existence of the dodecahedron.

But Heraclitus was not Zarathustra. Nietzsche put something of his own into this doctrine since he didn’t want it to be merely an updating of the old one.

It is not the professional philosophers, like Heidegger et al, who get to the heart of the matter but the biographers, and sometimes the translators. If any scholars had to delve into the marrow of Nietzsche’s thought, it was his translators into English and Spanish: Reginald John Hollingdale (1930-2001) and Andrés Sánchez Pascual (1936-). It was precisely because of Sánchez Pascual’s translations that I began to read Nietzsche in 1976 when I was seventeen years old; translations accompanied by countless erudite footnotes, without which it would have been impossible for me to understand the obscure passages of Nietzsche’s legacy.

Hollingdale for his part made me see that Nietzsche had mixed what he had read in Schulpforta about Heraclitus with the ruthless Lutheran pietism with which he had been brought up—programmed, rather—: a mixture of Christian beatitudes with the terror of eternal damnation.

Let us remember what we have called on this site parental introjects, and that Nietzsche came from a family of theologians in both his father’s and his mother’s line. From his childhood, he had been imprinted with the idea of infinite individual responsibility in every personal affair, which would result in either reward or punishment. From this Nietzsche derived, according to R.J. Hollingdale, the idea of his new metaphysics. The question ‘Is this how you would do it an infinite number of times?’ or the imperative ‘Let us live in such a way that we wish to live again and live like this eternally!’ surpass even the categorical imperative of the other German philosopher whose Id had also been shattered by the bogeyman of the pietistic superego: Kant.

On the eternal return of the identical Nietzsche said that ‘a doctrine of this kind is to be taught as a new religion’, Zarathustra’s gospel. But even though it was a post-theistic religion, it was still in some ways the old one. This reminds me of what someone who was in Freemasonry once told me: that to enter that cult, the candidate was required to believe in the immortality of the human soul. In other words, it doesn’t matter that 19th-century Freemasons were rabid anti-clericals: they were still slaves to parental introjects (unlike Nietzsche, they even asked the novice to believe in the existence of God).

Hollingdale hit the nail. In his introduction to his translation of the Zarathustra, he interprets Nietzsche’s Amor fati as the Lutheran acceptance of life’s events as divinely willed, and the implication is that to hate our fate is blasphemous. For if in Lutheran pietism the events of life are divinely willed, it is impiety to wish that things should have turned out differently than they did.

Thus, the Nietzschean doctrine of eternal return was strongly influenced by Christian concepts of eternal life. Same song, different tune. When Hollingdale published a biography of Nietzsche, professor Marvin Rintala responded in The Review of Politics in January 1969 with a review saying that Hollingdale had failed to understand the essence of Pietist Lutheranism: ‘The great petition of the Lord’s Prayer is for Pietists “Thy will be done”.’ In his introduction to Penguin Books’ Thus spoke Zarathustra released after the biography of Nietzsche he had published, Hollingdale was honest enough to concede that he stood corrected, and writes: ‘This is much in line with the Christian origin of the conception of Zarathustra that I ought to have guessed even if I did not know it’.

Like the Freemasons, and despite the anti-clericalism that Nietzsche shared with them, none of them was free of the malware that our parents installed in our souls. With his Zarathustra, Nietzsche himself thus became a neo-theologian, and the same could be said of the much more recent New Age, and even of secular neo-Christianities as I have so often exposed on this site. There is always a neo-theological tail that drags even the most radical racialist into the abyss, as Balrog’s whip of fire dragged Gandalf into the bowels of the earth. Our mission is to cleanse these last vestiges of Christian programming, however recondite they may be hidden in the Aryan collective unconscious: something that can be done by fulfilling the commandment of the Delphic oracle, to know thyself (which is why I have written introspective autobiography).

But let us return to our biographee. By post, Nietzsche received a refusal from Lou, who went alone to Bayreuth where she had a great time and would even meet the great Wagner himself. (These were times when Nietzsche, for his part, was to receive the printing proofs of The Gay Science.) Never was he so close to despair and suicide as in the winter that followed his farewell to Lou. Eventually, this smart woman would write the novel Im Kampf um Gott (The Struggle for God). The central character is the son of a parish priest who falls in love with a girl…

‘Poor Nietzsche’—Wagner’s expression—didn’t impregnate Lou. But nine months after his amorous disaster, and in the greatest intoxication of Dionysian inspiration he ever suffered, he gave birth to his most beloved son, Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Like Dante who never savagely possessed the body of his Beatrice he coveted so much—which is what he really needed instead of terrorising the Aryan man with hellish nonsense—, Nietzsche thus transformed his tragicomic private life into the high flights of lyricism, pushing the expressive power of the German language to its limits like no other poet.

Friedrich Nietzsche Philosophy


against the Cross, 10

Nietzsche was never entangled in the cobwebs of what, misleadingly, Bertrand Russell would later call ‘Wisdom of the West’ (in reality, the philosophy of the Christian era had only been mental darkness). Nietzsche knew this, as he wrote in On the Pathos of Truth about the true lovers of wisdom: ‘Such people live in their own solar system’. Such sovereign independence was the antithesis of the mental illness that Kant’s apotheosis had meant in Germany, a folie en masse that even Schopenhauer was infected by. The new philosopher ‘speaks in forbidden metaphors and unheard-of complexes of concepts in order at least to respond creatively, by destroying and mocking the old conceptual barriers’. This new ‘philosopher, insofar as he poeticises, knows; and insofar as he knows, poeticises’: a liberating vindication of the Id against the ogre of the neo-theologians’ Superego.

Thus, in Nietzsche’s mind, an innovation emerged: that of the philosopher-poet. And since one of his pillars was pre-Platonic philosophy, Heraclitus became his philosopher-artist. Years later, in Ecce homo, Nietzsche would come to confess that he felt more at home with Heraclitus: the philosopher of the burning of worlds from whom he would draw—oops!—his own metaphysics: that of the eternal return. It was already the time when Nietzsche was beginning to cultivate a thicker moustache than in his earlier years. And before he came up with the word Umwertuung (transvaluation), in his personal notebook we can read about the new philosopher: ‘If he found a word which, if uttered, would destroy the world, do you think he wouldn’t utter it?’ As Stefan Zweig would write in Der Kampf mit dem Dämon, this man, who was not yet thirty, already knew that he had a daimon inside him. Werner Ross comments:

Nietzsche found himself slowly and painfully. Decisions matured: separation from Wagner and separation from the university. Both measures were necessary to achieve full independence and to face what awaited him which he himself defined as ‘the sorrows of truthfulness’. But he was an anguished eagle [hence the title Der ängstliche Adler] and, equipped as he had long been with the weapons of a bird of prey, he preferred to return to the home nest [spend some time in Naumburg]. The heroic had been applied to his soft temperament with violence: with cold water and unheated rooms, with swimming trials [in a lake] and a lot of early rising, with a lot of study and sexual abstinence.

Nietzsche, who had no contact with young girls, suffered from bodily ailments, perhaps psychosomatic in that, until the onset of madness in later times, Christmas was a critical time for his depression. In an attempt to cure himself, he wrote to his friend Malwida: ‘Now I wish for myself, in confidence, a good woman very soon, and then I’ll consider the wishes of my life to be fulfilled’. Meanwhile, the visionary Wagner believed that the symphony was to be replaced by his musical drama (Wagner didn’t call his works ‘operas’). And he somewhat was right, for with the advent of cinema—musical dramas with new technology—soundtracks would replace the conventional symphony genre.

I don’t want to recount all the anecdotes about the eleven days Nietzsche later spent in Bayreuth, recorded lightly in Cosima’s diary, except that at one point Wagner ‘became very angry and spoke of his longing to find in music something about the superiority of Jesus Christ’, as Ross writes. Suffice it to say that Nietzsche had dared to have brought a Brahms score! Later, when Nietzsche sent them his essay Schopenhauer as Educator, the Wagners received the text with delight. Richard wrote to him: ‘I have thought that you should either marry or compose an opera; both would be useful to you. But marriage seems better to me’ and invited him once more to his home. Unfortunately, Nietzsche declined the invitation because he wanted to go on a pilgrimage to a high, lonely Swiss mountain. What he had in mind was to fulfil the role of the new philosopher: ‘When there is much to destroy, in times of the chaos of degeneration, it is most useful’.

But Nietzsche lamented that he didn’t yet know how to fly. For the moment the young eagle could only flap its wings, and he confessed that he was staggering backwards in the face of the immense free space, but that the day would come ‘to soar as high as a thinker has never soared before, to the pure air of the Alps and the ice’. And more telling still: ‘Or, to leave absolutely no doubt as to what I mean, when it matters unspeakably more the appearance of a philosopher on earth than the persistence of a State or a university’.

Shortly afterwards he would be thirty years old.

Friedrich Nietzsche Philosophy


against the Cross, 9

David Friedrich Strauss

Between 1873 and 1876 Nietzsche published separately four major essays, David Strauss: the Confessor and the Writer, On the Use and Abuse of History for Life, Schopenhauer as Educator, and Richard Wagner in Bayreuth (these four were later collected and entitled, together, Untimely Meditations). All four essays shared the orientation of a general critique of German culture in an attempt to change its course, which Nietzsche foresaw as wrong.

Since in this series on Nietzsche I am not trying to deal in depth with his complex legacy, but only to show how the anti-Christianity of Hitler’s private conversations in the 20th century had been brewing in his homeland since the previous century, I will only say a few words about the first of the Untimely Meditations: the attack on David Friedrich Strauss.

If we remember that Nietzsche had read Strauss’ magnum opus, Das Leben Jesu, kritisch bearbeitet (The Life of Jesus, Critically Examined, published in Tübingen in 1835-1836); that the book helped his apostasy; and that he even wanted to communicate this reading to his sister, it seems a mystery that in this first great essay after The Birth of Tragedy Nietzsche should fiercely attack Strauss. But it must be understood that Nietzsche was attacking another book by Strauss that was selling like a bestseller, published decades after Das Leben Jesu. I refer to The Old and the New Faith: A Confession (1871).

So far I have based much of the biographical information in this series on Werner Ross’ book on Nietzsche, originally published in German under the title Der ängstliche Adler. But I am afraid to say that, as far as the acerbic satire of the ‘Straussiade’ is concerned, Ross is wrong in saying that Nietzsche’s essay was simply a commission from Wagner, whom Strauss had long before attacked mercilessly.

What prompts me to say a word about this Nietzschean diatribe is that, on this site, I have held Strauss in high esteem, in the sense that since 2012 and 2013 we have presented him as a pioneer of New Testament textual criticism (here, here, here and here). Critical exegesis aside, the normie Ross, who had a poor idea of Hitler, didn’t realise that Nietzsche’s concerns about Strauss’ bestseller were genuine and that they arose naturally from his point of view. (To use a vulgar analogy, it is as if in our century I were to attack Richard Carrier’s Wokism even though I accept the thesis of his book on the non-historicity of Jesus.) We must understand that Nietzsche had erected for himself an ideal of culture based on three pillars: pre-Platonic Greece, Schopenhauer and Wagner. Strauss’ book was in exemplary opposition to them, and its success indicated that the danger for Germany was more serious than could have been supposed.

In David Strauss: der Bekenner und der Schriftsteller (David Strauss: the Confessor and the Writer, 1873) Nietzsche presents Strauss as an example of the German thought of the time. He casts the Straussian ‘New Faith’, based on the ‘scientific’ progression of history, as a vulgar reading of history in the service of a degenerate culture. Throughout his essay Nietzsche uses the term ‘Philistine culture’. Philistinism was a pejorative term that, although of German origin, it was used from the 19th century onwards in the English language. By comparison with the ancient Philistines, in the cultural milieu of the Victorian era it was applied to vulgar, uneducated or insensitive people. Today the term is in disuse because vulgarity in the ‘culture’ of the masses, and even of the elites, is no longer seen as vulgar.

It is difficult to present Nietzsche’s critique of culture in a blog post because one must be immersed in the spirit of 19th-century Germany. Such an enterprise could only be of value to a scholar writing retrospectively. But for a taste of Nietzsche’s essay, I will quote a few passages from his heated polemic. After prefacing his critique with the sentence ‘There was once a Strauss who was a brave, rigorous scholar, not at all lightly clad, and we liked him just as much’, Nietzsche tells us:

What kind of people are these who must have attained dominion in Germany and who can forbid such strong and simple feelings and prevent their expression? That power, that kind of people I will call by their name—they are the cultiphilistine

Because of this lack of self-knowledge, the Philistine has the firm and convinced feeling that his ‘culture’ is the full expression of true German culture: and since everywhere the Philistine goes he meets cultured people of his kind, and since all public institutions, all educational, cultural and artistic establishments are organised by the Philistine’s cult and needs, he wanders everywhere with the triumphalist feeling that he is the worthy representative of present-day German culture…

He finds everywhere the uniform imprint of himself, and from this uniform imprint of all ‘cultured’ people he derives a unity of style of German culture.

The posthumous fragments from the time of the composition of this first of the Untimely Meditations, such as one fragment from the spring-summer of 1873 (the time when Tolstoy was publishing Anna Karenina) are even more direct in probing Nietzsche’s thinking:

Strauss is not a philosopher. He lacks feeling for style. He is not an artist…

The horrendous dilapidation of Hegelianism! Not even those who have been able to save themselves from it, like Strauss, are ever completely cured.

Two misfortunes befell Strauss: firstly, Hegelianism took possession of him and made him dizzy at a time when he should have been guided by a serious philosopher. Secondly, his opponents made him fall into the mania that his cause was popular and that he was a popular author. As a result, it has never been possible for him to cease to be a theologian, and it has never been permissible for him to begin again to be a rigorous disciple of his science. Now he has done his utmost to eliminate Hegel and the theological ingredient as much as possible: but in vain. The former is evident in Strauss’ chatteringly optimistic way of looking at the world, in which the Prussian state is the ultimate goal of world history; the latter in the irritated invective he hurls against Christianity. Strauss lacks something to lean on and throws himself into the arms of the State and of success; his thinking is not at any point a thinking sub specie aeternitatis [in the perspective of eternity], but a thinking sub specie decennii vel biennii [from the standpoint of the decade or the biennium]. This is how he becomes a ‘classic populist’, just like Büchner…

The cultiphilistine ignores what culture-unity of style is. He agrees that there are classics (Schiller, Goethe, Lessing) and forgets that they wanted a culture, but that they are not a foundation on which to rest.

What to say about Nietzsche’s political ideas, would the philosopher have approved of the Third Reich had he lived lucidly and for as many years as his sister? What is certain is that more than one pundit answered his diatribe against Strauss. For example, ‘Herr Friedrich Nietzsche and German Culture’ from the pen of B.F., published in the Leipzig journal Die Grenzboten in October 1873 by the mysterious ‘B.F.’[1] rebuked Nietzsche for his lack of patriotism.

Politics aside one thing is certain: the philologist was left behind and a philosopher was born: a critic of culture, the Kulturkampf.

The context of Nietzsche’s Untimely Meditations must be understood within the legacy of Wagner and the work of ‘total art’, which detested the scientific fever, the faith in so-called progress and the mercantile spirit of the present. (He who advocates the transvaluation of these Judaizing values would say: Let’s go back to the Germanic myths!) These were the times when Nietzsche had made his first solo trip abroad, and in his diary, he wrote things like ‘This Alpine valley is absolutely my pleasure: here there are strong, pure airs, mountains’ and ‘roads I walk along for hours’.

This is already the new Nietzsche, the philosopher-poet of little or no company. Even to his mother he cites pen, ink and paper as his best companions: ‘All together we greet you from the bottom of our hearts’. This was also the year in which the opening of the Bayreuth theater was planned. Wagner was already sixty years old, and Nietzsche was brimming with euphoria.

Strauss was to die the following year.


[1] It hasn’t been possible to find out who was behind the initials B.F. The official documents of the journal list Hans Blum, who was then its editor, as the author. Many years later, in 1909, Blum denied that he was the author of the article, but he couldn’t remember exactly who had given it to him; he hinted that it might have been a professor at the University of Leipzig or a publicist inspired by university media. It has also been claimed that the author may have been Bernhard Forster (the initials match), then and always an ardent supporter of the Reich, who later married Nietzsche’s sister. If this is so, Nietzsche’s critic would thus have become Nietzsche’s brother-in-law. Elisabeth, of course, denied it.


On atheism

In his correspondence our friend Gaedhal tells a group of correspondents:

Clarification on my theistic status (a critique of right-wing atheism)

As I said before, I am very clear as to which gods I disbelieve in. I disbelieve in the gods of Classical Theism. I disbelieve in the gods of revealed religion: Yahweh, Zeus, Krishna et al. However, other conceptions and formulations of Deity I am extremely open to. I like to speculate upon this topic in the privacy of my own mind, and entertain my own god concepts within the sanctuary of my own mind.

The reason why I don’t critique atheism that much is because Christianity is a trillion-dollar conspiracy. Atheism is not. Atheism runs on a shoestring. Richard Dawkins does not own any basilicas. Sam Harris does not own a microstate in Rome, filled with jewels and priceless works of art. However, there are things about atheism that must be critiqued. Atheism, in my view, is full of disturbing ideas. Dr Robert Morgan, here, seems to drift into Benatarian antinatalism.

The link to the Wikipedia article is mine.

Morgan calls himself a misanthrope. I personally, do not hate humanity: I hate the mob. As Aron Ra puts it: thanks to competing evolutionary strategies, humanity is both the best species on the planet, as well as the worst.

This seems obvious to me. Although Gaedhal doesn’t appreciate Uncle Adolf, I think people like him would redeem the world from its evil, if only we would follow him (that’s why I recently uploaded so many posts about the New Order).

Morgan says that love does not exist, only hate. I say that hate is this planet’s ruling passion, but that love also exists. With Schopenhauer, I say that hate is our default setting, but that love is an active negation of hate. Hate is an effortless default state. Love takes effort, and is a negation of hate.

Morgan believes that existence is homo homini lupus, ‘man is a wolf to man’. Morgan believes that existence is a war of all against all. However, as Aron Ra and P.Z. Myers point out, cooperation is also an evolutionary strategy. The reason why humans are this planet’s apex predator is because humans cooperate the best.

I sometimes use ‘atheism’ as a lazy shorthand for: ‘a rejection of classical theism’. However, I kinda agree with Sheldrake quoting Bertrand Russell: Deterministic materialism culminating in heat death [also known as the Big Chill or Big Freeze in cosmology—Ed.] is a philosophy of unyielding despair. I agree with Benatar, in that if this universe really is a machine that is slowly running out of steam, and will soon disintegrate into the heat death of maximum entropy, then, yes, it is immoral to bring children into such a quicksand existence.

Perhaps Gaedhal didn’t read what I wrote about the hypothetical Big Chill in a post of December 2021, ‘Time here becomes Space’ in honour of the numinous music of Wagner’s Parsifal: ‘Once in the very distant future, where there are no more corpses of stars, and not even black holes that evaporate with time (remember Stephen Hawking’s phrase: “black holes are not so black”), leaving only photons in an expanding universe, if time ceases to make sense—then space, in our Newtonian sense, will cease to make sense. The moment time ceases to exist, space ceases to exist as well! And that would mean a new beginning or big bang insofar as astronomically large space would be, without time, nothing: equivalent again to a mathematical point or a new singularity. I hadn’t thought of that possibility…’ In other words, perhaps an eternal Big Chill won’t happen. Gaedhal continues:

One of Benatar’s books is The Misanthropic Argument for Anti-natalism. Morgan has ‘skimmed through’ Benatar, and is undoubtedly familiar with this book. Morgan’s comment below [not quoted here—Ed.] reminds me of Benatar’s book. However, the reason that I do not espouse Benatarian antinatalism is because I do not positively believe in deterministic materialism culminating in heat death. I call atheists ‘oblivion chasers’.

Oblivion chasers? This reminds me a lot of a scene from ‘A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms’, the second episode of the last season of Game of Thrones, where Bran Stark reveals the mind of the Night King: he wants perpetual night (the Big Chill). I think I’ve already talked on this site about that scene where Sam says in public, before the Battle of the Long Night, that this is precisely why the Night King wants to kill Bran, who represents the knowledge of Westeros’ past.

I do not see myself represented in either the atheism of the left or in the atheism of the right. To call oneself an ‘atheist’ is to place oneself as a member in the set of atheism—and this is not something that I am comfortable with. I don’t want to be associated with co-members in the set of atheism.

That’s why I don’t call myself an atheist either!

Postscript. Atheists say that atheism is not a belief system and technically, they are correct. However, is it mere coincidence that most of them—damn near all of them—positively believe in deterministic materialism culminating in heat death?

There is a lot of the etymological fallacy going on with the definition of ‘atheism’. If ‘atheism’ is commonly used to denote deterministic materialism culminating in heat death, then that is its definition. If 99.9% of atheists believe in deterministic materialism culminating in heat death, then it is not wrong to say that this is a tenet of atheism. A word is not defined by its etymology, but by how it is used. Atheism is very very often used to denote deterministic materialism culminating in heat death.

That’s why it is worth re-reading what I wrote about a phrase from Wagner’s Parsifal. Roger Penrose made me see that space—like time—is also an illusion, although this won’t be apparent until the last black hole evaporates. The Night King might not get his way after all in the cosmological song of ice and fire!

Film Philosophy

Taylor’s soliloquy

People of the new generations cannot have an accurate idea of the incredible level of degeneration that the last generations have experienced. True, the boomers behaved like traitors, but for non-traitor boomers like us, the culture shock we experience when talking to those of later generations is brutal.

As I tell in Whispering Leaves, one of the most beautiful experiences I had as a child was going to the best cinema with my dad. One of the films that made the biggest impression on me at the age of ten was the first Planet of the Apes (the sequels are endless crap that should be destroyed in their entirety in the ethnostate).

But even in the pure mind of a child, it struck me when I saw it on the big screen in 1968 that it was odd that one of the astronauts was black. It is amazing how a child untainted by the surrounding culture sees things exactly as they are!

The coloured astronaut aside, several lines in that film reflect the depth of the science-fiction novel on which the film was based. Nothing stupid or childish like the next decade would see with the Star Wars trilogy. On the contrary: Taylor’s soliloquies, played by Charlton Heston, and I am referring to the opening lines, could very well come in the literary genre of philosophical autobiography that I want to inaugurate:

George Taylor: And that completes my final report until we reach touchdown. We’re now on full automatic, in the hands of the computers. I have tucked my crew in for the long sleep and I’ll be joining them soon. In less than an hour, we’ll finish our sixth month out of Cape Kennedy. Six months in deep space—by our time, that is. According to Dr. Haslein’s theory of time, in a vehicle travelling nearly the speed of light, the Earth has aged nearly 700 years since we left it, while we’ve aged hardly at all. Maybe so. This much is probably true—the men who sent us on this journey are long since dead and gone. You who are reading me now are a different breed—I hope a better one. I leave the 20th century with no regrets. But one more thing—if anybody’s listening, that is. Nothing scientific. It’s purely personal. Seen from out here, everything seems different. Time bends. Space is boundless. It squashes a man’s ego. I feel lonely…

Emphasis added and YouTube clip here. Of course, later there are some fascinating dialogues from a philosophical point of view, such as Taylor having fled from human civilisation because he could no longer stand it, as we see when he argues with Landon in the desert crossing. Not to mention the wise words of Zaius at the end of the film.

What I would give to be in that world and see the Statue of Liberty in ruins and half buried between the sea and the rocks… If we remember Savitri’s quotable quote, that is the world to which we should aspire.

Philosophy Roger Penrose Science

Computers can’t think

Responding to Adunai:

You have the mental block, not me. You got to read Roger Penrose to see what we mean. No computer to date has more consciousness than a washing machine.

P.S. The Penrose book I read is The Large, the Small and the Human Mind. Fascinating philosophy of science!

Philosophy Sponsor

WDH needs sponsors to survive

I don’t know exactly why donations to The West’s Darkest Hour (WDH) have decreased in recent times. Is it due to criticism of Christianity (when I wasn’t so critical I received more donations)? If that is the cause, donors should note that if we reject Christian ethics, the Jewish problem is automatically solved. As we have seen on this site, it is precisely Christian ethics, especially potent in the ‘secular’ West, that has empowered Jewry (I will continue my excerpts from Tom Holland’s book in January).

Are the diminished donations due to my criticism of the United States? If that is the cause, Americans who used to donate must understand that, while WDH defends the DNA of the white American, we also believe that the culture of that country is the number one enemy of white American and European blood (cf. Yockey’s The Enemy of Europe).

A normie doesn’t know how to distinguish between culture and nation (nation here understood as a specific ethnic group). American culture has been the enemy of the white nation on American soil so to speak. If we compare it with Latin America, the Catholicism of the subcontinent has been the enemy of the Iberian whites since the end of the 15th century, when they arrived on the continent. The mestizaje is proof of this. Just as the few Iberian whites south of the Rio Grande shouldn’t hate me, the Anglo-Germans north of that river shouldn’t hate me either. The advocate of the 14 words should repudiate both projects of so-called nationhood: the one that came out with the Counter-Reformation and the one that came out with the Reformation.

In other words, if I hate the nationalist symbols of, say, the country I live in (the Aztec civilisation, the War of Independence and the Mexican Revolution), it is because I am taking the side of the very few white Latin Americans, even if they stupidly accept those symbols and hate me (because they simply don’t care about their white blood). Likewise, if I hate the symbols of Yankee nationalism (the puritanism of the early settlers, the American Constitution, Mammon worship, etc.), it is because I want to save the white man in the US and Canada from extinction. Although there are incomparably more pure whites in those countries than south of the Rio Grande as far as Argentina, the principle is the same: hatred of Catholic and Protestant cultures—Christianity conquered the entire continent!—because Christian axiology is the cause of white decline on both sides of the Rio Grande.

Will the diminished donations be due to inflation in 2022? Apparently, such inflation doesn’t impede thousands of whites travelling to Qatar to watch the Football Cup being played this very moment (and I believe the final will be played this week).

Without regular donations, however modest, WDH cannot continue as I would have to suspend my activities to look for a job in the third-world country where I live.

I won’t post new entries until next year. The revision of the translation of Savitri Devi’s book, Souvenirs et Réflexions d’une Aryenne, which we will publish here, is taking up all my time. Savitri’s book is vital because, given that WDH is a National Socialist site that differs from American white nationalism, NS requires a formal presentation: a text written after the catastrophe of 1945. It is such an important book that I will put it second in the featured post.

I would like to end this post with a few quotes from Émile Michel Cioran (1911-1995). As will be recalled in my preface to the 2022 edition of Deschner’s book on the history of Christianity that we recently published, there I quoted this Romanian philosopher (‘The whole world has forgiven Christianity…’). The book I own by Cioran contains some aphorisms that remind me of Nietzsche’s style, and I would like to collect a few of them. The first, which can be read below, reminds me of the pre-Hispanic religions of the American continent, the Christianity that Europeans later imposed across the same continent, and the Woke religion of our days led by the US. The book from which I took these quotes is titled Adiós a la Filosofía (Ediciones Altaya 1998), with an introduction by Fernando Savater:

• ‘History is nothing but a parade of false Absolutes.’

• ‘We only really began to live at the end of philosophy, on its ruins: when we have realised its terrible nullity, and that it was useless to resort to it; that it was not going to be of any help to us.’

• ‘You destroy a civilisation only when you destroy its gods.’

• ‘…to exchange the old gods for a nailed corpse… To abandon the gods who made Rome was to abandon Rome itself to ally yourself with this new race of men…’

Tommaso Laureti: The Triumph of Christianity also
known as The Triumph of the Cross, painted in 1585.

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Der Antichrist (book) Friedrich Nietzsche Philosophy

The Antichrist § 12

If you stop and think that among almost all peoples the philosopher is just a further development of the priestly type, then this legacy of the priests, the art of falling for your own forgeries, will not seem particularly surprising.

Der Antichrist (book) Friedrich Nietzsche Philosophy

The Antichrist § 10

Germans understand me immediately when I say that philosophy has been corrupted by theologian blood…

What German philosophy really is—an underhanded theology…

Why were Germans so convinced that Kant marked a change for the better? The theologian instinct of the German scholar had guessed just what was possible again: a hidden path to the old ideal lay open…

Kant’s success is just a theologian success: Kant, like Luther, like Leibniz, was one more drag on an already precarious German sense of integrity —

Der Antichrist (book) Friedrich Nietzsche Philosophy Theology

The Antichrist § 8

We need to say whom we feel opposed to—theologians and everything with theologian blood in its veins—the whole of our philosophy…