3Third Reich,” and Martin Schwab’s “Nietzsche’s Nazi Affinities,” yet neither paper iscurrently published.
Discursive Formations: Culture, Morality, and Race in Germany 1800- 1945.
Rather than a focus, from the outset, of a purported causal connection between Nietzsche and Nazism (which can all too easily run into a hermeneutic tar-pit),The first part of the research would be a thorough textual and discursive analysis of both the ideologies and movements that led to, fed into or inspired Nazism. Thisanalysis would take into consideration such philosophers as Fichte or Schelling,ideologues and theorists such as Count Joseph Gobineau (1816-1882), HoustonStewart Chamberlain (1885-1927), Wilhelm Marr, Richard Wagner, Charles Maurras(1868- 1952) Ernst Jünger or Oswald Spengler, and semi- secret cultic societies, suchas the Volkish movement and the Thule movement. (Nietzsche had strong, usuallynegative, opinions on many of the nationalistic and anti- Semitic groups, so the picture will be no doubt be complex by the time it is complete). I will also brieflydiscuss some of the central ideas in Nietzsche, with a clear Nazi resonance, that havea far older heritage, in particular the goals of eradicating Jewish- Christian moralityon the European continent, and of returning to the more rustic, life- affirmingmoralities of pre- Christian Europe. Baron D’Holbach, Claude- Adrien Helvétius andthe anonymous author of
The Three Imposters
are some of the more extremeexponents of such proto- Nietzschean ideals, yet similar ideas are to be found in theworks of such ‘moderates’ as Jean- Jacques Rousseau.Of the texts associated with Nazism itself, and an analysis and retracing of the basic doctrines, value assumptions and underlying premises concerning State,Culture, Power, Gender, Strength, Health, Race, Socialism, Liberalism,
the celebration of warfare and militarism, Democracy, and so on. That is, The Nietzsche- Nazism question will be answered only through approaching the
Greg Canada carefully notes the depth of the Nazi appropriation of Nietzsche, but nevertheless rejectsthe association, noting serious disaffinities between Nietzsche and Nazism. Schwab takes an extremelycautious approach, rejecting even Nietzsche’s call for the ‘destruction of the weak’ as being toocontingent. Instead, Schwab notes such fundamental similarities between Hitler and Nietzsche as theinsistence of the Will to Power, Value Naturalism, and notions of morally relevant gradients of Rank and Hierarchy as core values.