Los Angeles Times

Commentary: The alt-right misreads Nietzsche. But they aren't the only ones

Richard Spencer, leading light of America's alt-right, said in an interview last year that he was "red-pilled" by reading the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. The reference is to "The Matrix"; in the film, popping the red pill allows you to perceive reality. Scales fall from your eyes. Spencer's recalibration threw up white nationalism, anti-feminism, racial and cultural purity.

But Nietzsche repeatedly wrote against all of the above. He insisted he'd rather be a good European than a good German, calling "Deutschland, Deutschland uber alles" ("Germany, Germany above all") the death of German philosophy. His numerous close friendships with early feminists included Meta von Salis, the first woman in Switzerland to gain a

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times4 min read
Arash Markazi: LA Wildcats Look To Use XFL As A Springboard To NFL
LAS VEGAS - Pepper Johnson is still getting to know his players but he recently told them he hopes many of them are gone next year. Johnson won two Super Bowls as a player with the New York Giants and three more as an assistant coach with the New Eng
Los Angeles Times2 min readSociety
Beverly Hills Police Investigate Vandalism At Nessah Synagogue As A Hate Crime
LOS ANGELES - Beverly Hills police are investigating vandalism of Nessah Synagogue on Saturday morning after an employee arrived at the place of worship at 7 a.m. to discover an open door, overturned furniture and damage to several relics. Police are
Los Angeles Times5 min read
Bill Plaschke: What Pressure? Dave Roberts Unflappable During A Winter Of Discontent
LOS ANGELES_In October, he was booed out of Dodger Stadium. In November, he learned the Dodgers might have been cheated out of a championship by a team managed by one of his best friends. Last week, he excitedly offered clues that the Dodgers could b