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Archive for the ‘Nietzsche’ Category

Ain’t nobody praying for Nietzsche – The Herald

Posted: August 30, 2017 at 4:41 am

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Stanely Mushava Literature TodayFrom Cecil John Rhodes in Cape Town to Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, monuments of historys bad guys are in the path of sledgehammer-wielding activists who see them as rallying points for reactionary sentiment. The call has not sat well with resurgent Nazis and rednecks, but many who fit neither category also oppose Photoshopping history to pacify any afterthought.

This year, a character who is neither colonialist nor confederate flared up her own public art brawl, one just as intense. The Fearless Girl, a sculpture of a young girl in the blast radius of the Charging Bull near Wall Street and Broadway, led some to question the adequacy of a child matador with a waving frock, rather than a grown woman, as a symbol of feminist strength.

While the feminists were at it, a grumpy iconoclast weighed in too: Arturo di Monica, the creator of the Charging Bull. According to The Guardian, the sculptor saw the installation of the Fearless Girl in vulnerable proximity to his bull as an overreach.

He felt that his work, originally purposed to represent optimism at a time of market turmoil, had been wrested out of context.

Oddly, metamodernists philosophers of art documenting new attitudes and aesthetics in politics and culture would see optimism and irony pairing just right. The sculpture fits identically into the metamodernist model where informed naivety is the dominant sensibility, where the new default is dizzy oscillation between modernist enthusiasm and postmodernist irony.

This new feeling, first explained by Timotheus Vermeulen and Robin van den Akker in their 2010 essay, Notes on Metamodernism, has been proposed as the gravestone for postmodernism. The duo observes that postmodern tendencies of detachment, relativism and irony are being phased out by millennial forms of correspondence that are reviving engagement, affect and storytelling.

Whereas postmodernism largely maintained cynical detachment and pessimistic divestment from grand narratives and global problems, the turbulent 2000s facilitated a new structure of feeling equal to existential threats crawling the world, the civilisational faultlines and the moral failures of capitalism.

Fastening on to the three Greek definitions of meta as with, between, and beyond, Vermeleun and van ee Akker, place metamodernism epistemologically (its handling of knowledge) with modernism and postmodernism, ontologically (its structure of concepts) between modernism and postmodernism, and historically (its period as the dominant cultural sensibility) beyond modernism and postmodernism.

Yet the new romanticism sitting in the trends and tendencies across current affairs and contemporary aesthetics is not a hopelessly innocent one, Rather, one that basks in defiance while being to the limitations. In the essay, Vermeulen and van den Akker detail art works with lofty ideals but missing rungs, so to speak.

The reason these artists havent opted to employ methods and materials better suited to their mission or task is that their intention is not to fulfil it, but to attempt to fulfil it in spite of its unfulfillableness, notes the duo.

The Fearless Girl is not a fearless woman or a fiery matador, as feminists would have her signify, precisely to allow the irony of optimism. There is enthusiasm, but one alert to the misanthropic tilting of the setting, one that both pulls a cold calcus and thaws it with sunny optimism.

Seth Abramson explains the metamodernist concept of informed naivety as a wilful decision to act as though the facts on the ground arent the facts on the ground. Informed naivete helps us come up with shockingly fresh ideas. In such instances its not that one forgets reality, its rather that, informed by reality, one makes a quite conscious decision to temporarily sidestep or even ignore it in service of ones own mental health and/or the greater good.

Spirit is not tamed by structure. That is what the little girl staring courageously at the charging beast possesses and any alteration would be a needless variable. That is what Kendrick Lamar, precariously standing at pole with a bulls eye on his head, is chanting in defiance of the trigger-happy popo.

Smug elders who perceive in younger peers a naivety they were only plagued with before blending into the practical order of the world, who brush off zeal to change the world with knowing superchill: Thats not how the world works, my dear, are now confronted with a complicated breed of successors.

The Notes on Metamodernism duo imagines young artists telling themselves: I know that the art Im creating may seem silly, even stupid, or that it might have been done before, but that doesnt mean this isnt serious.

Postmodernism is associated with the end of history, captured by Francis Fukuyama as the neoliberal ship landing on Ararat with Karl Marx and others in its ideological body bag. Such complacent times gelled well with postmodernist distrust of meta-narratives, the emergence of late capitalism, the fading of historicism and the waning of affect where modernism had gravitated to utopism, to (linear) progress, to grand narratives, to Reason, to functionalism and formal purism . . .

Enter the turbulent millennium, with climate change, the financial crisis, geopolitical fragmentation, political instability, nuclear brinkmanship, populism, xenophobia, the digital revolution as well as its misanthropic nodes of capital, and nothing is quite the same.

New artists respond to the shifts but, emerging out of postmodernist cynicism, they can no longer move with modernist confidence or romantic abandon. Their defiance, desire and deprivation, oscillates like a pendulum between polar extremes, appropriating the insights inheriting contradictions.

Luke Turners Metamodernist Manifesto sets forth the imperative to liberate ourselves from the inertia resulting from a century of modernist ideological naivety and the cynical insincerity of its antonymous bastard child and proposes a pragmatic romanticism unhindered by ideological anchorage.

Cultural lenses for viewing the world as cynical bystanders and innocuous entertainers have become unsustainable. Artists can no longer push aside the responsibility to be morally invested in the problems of the world. When the art of late modernity self-immolated under its apathy and cynicism, capitalism and state power not only floored the poor but also compromised the planets capacity to support life.

Metamodernists know that artists can no longer treat global problems as teapot storms that will boil out on their own yet they also acknowledge the real-time limitations of their project. They are with their postmodernist predecessors, short-circuiting grand narratives but they also see what can be redeemed from them.

Metamodernism has been theorised from varied angles (I commend articles of Seth Abramson, Luke Turner, Timotheus Vermeulen, Robin van den Akker, Hanzi Freinacht and associated acts for a fuller picture) but I am interested in mapping here changes within more African art forms.

For me, the foregrounding of the prophetic text in popular culture once again is a key metamodernist shift and, tied to it, the suspension of the prophetic from the ego and the hyperliterate blending of prophetic references.

If Sheol is connected to YouTube, Friedrich Nietzsche, the spiritual father of postmodernist Antichrists, may be turning in his grave to realise that the only funeral that happened is his own, not Gods, with invocations of the divine once again reigning atop popular culture. Religion is back, not as the opium of the masses but as the language for speaking truth to power.

The prophetic text is washing away hedonistic decay from popular culture and chanting down power factions. Crucially, the prophetic is suspended from the ego and from narrow sectarianism, both to deflate fanaticism and to maintain a buffer between prophecy and power.

A persuasive case would be the vital and experimental Kendrick Lamar. Visuals and lyrics to Alright, the default soundtrack for Black Lives Matter, where defiance rubs against vulnerability, magic against mortality in metamodernist fashion.

The juxtaposition of u and i, the cathartic progression of To Pimp a Butterfly, the double conflict of DAMN. with its late-cut exclamation: It was always me versus the world until I realised its me versus me are essentially metamodernist.

The sonic experiments, the hyperliterate, part confessional, part sympathetic appropriation of prophetic texts from The Bible to Pan-Africanist figureheads, from Hiii Power mantra and gangsta rap to Hebrew Israelite doctrine, blend the canonical text with pop appeal, utopia and paranoia, the misanthropic system and personal warts into a great experiment of modern art.

In the metamodern, the collapse of the intellectual and the pop, as set for by Seth Abrahamson, is a key feature, a feasible cutting away from the post-moderns anti-world monastery. And one needs only to contrast the Lamartian document with the gore-fetishising, ego-driven, smug and resigned motifs of earlier artists to appreciate the extent of the transgression.

Then there are the midlife spiritual crises of dancehall artistes who led the break from spiritually driven and socially engaged reggae, with Lady Saw, Mr Vegas, Sasha, Stitchie, Papa San and others reaching to the Bible for meaning, and younger acts like Chronixx, Bugle and Raging Fyah making Rasta pop again.

While this cultural front may not be readily bundled into the metamodern school, it shows a resurgent motivation to transcend.

There is new hunger, there is a new feeling and as the world increasingly stares into the Apocalypse, prematurely dismissed cultural strands like romanticism, myth, grand narratives, justice, truth, prophecy, reason and faith will still be pushing out of the postmodernist body bag.

But they will not be free from the darkness and conflict of the elapsed era.

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Ain't nobody praying for Nietzsche - The Herald

Written by grays

August 30th, 2017 at 4:41 am

Posted in Nietzsche

History from below –

Posted: August 23, 2017 at 7:41 am

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Umberto Ecos first novel, The Name of the Rose, narrates a telling fictional story of how a medieval religious order tried to protect itself from the subversive power of laughter. It is the story of William of Baskerville, who came to visit a monastery that was disturbed by the mystery of a suicide.

In this postmodern novel, the concept of truth is possessed by the character of a poor woman, who is depicted as harmless, but tempting. But Adso, the novice, succumbs to his basic instinctssex and love. While he is the supreme portrayal of human innocence, Adso is also the inner desire of the young for existential meaning and moral significance.

Modern logic might reveal the story as something about how a reasonable man will attempt to solve a mysterious crime. Yet Eco actually foretells a postmodern twist describing the excruciating end that awaits the innocent when accused as a threat to old norms and tradition. Linguistically, Eco does not present his point by means of the plot. He employs his postmodern device by intertwining texts after texts after texts. While readers would force their way by making love the central theme of the story, the right conclusion can only be that truth is a paradox that is appealing but at the same time dangerous.

We can find a similar theme in Friedrich Nietzsches The Birth of Tragedy. Nietzsche projects a tapestry of human existence, arguing that reason is nothing but a despondent Western autocracy the aim of which is to destroy human passion. It is the latter, not the former, that powers the inner drive of humankind toward personal achievement and glory. Against the Greek idea of a world that is characterized by nobility and order, the dichotomy of the Apollonian and the Dionysian as proposed by the German thinker intends to show that human existence is determined by a mixture of the moral good and the universes dark forces.

Very close to the same decade that Eco published his remarkable literary masterpiece and more than a century after Nietzsches classic appeared, Filipino historian Reynaldo Ileto published his thought-provoking and highly influential Pasyon and Revolution. The monograph, which is an attempt to defy the grand narratives that mostly define the way history is written, inaugurated the birth in Philippine historiography of an idea known to scholars as history from below. For many years, Filipinos have been forced to read their history from the perspective of their colonial masters. In this emerging paradigm, history is read from the point of view of its voiceless victims.

Iletos work, which is comparable in eloquence to Renato Constantinos The Philippines: A Past Revisited, begins with the story of the strange uprising of a religious and political group called Lapiang Malaya. In May 1967, according to Iletos account, the group met its tragic end from the automatic weapons of the police. Scores of its members would lie lifeless on the street. What happened to the group is a tragedy, but hegemonic forces in Filipino elite culture simply painted the struggle of Lapiang Malaya as nothing but a comic disruption of the familiar and explicable patterns in the countrys history.

The vapid and insular interpretation of elite culture obfuscates the grievous in Philippine politics. Masahiro Kitano thinks that as comedy should pursue the ridiculous and the ridiculous is defined as a kind of error, it follows that an error plays a central role both in tragic and comic plots. The comic dimension of social reality is forced upon the consciousness of the people not only by means of the economic leverage of the oligarchy, but also through high culture. In our country, politics is all about entertainment, not substance. This has become the nefarious strategy of societys triangular structure in order to perpetuate the blind yet unchallenged loyalties of the masses to their own oppressors.

* * *

Christopher Ryan Maboloc, PhD is assistant professor of philosophy at Ateneo de Davao University.

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Written by admin

August 23rd, 2017 at 7:41 am

Posted in Nietzsche

this way – The Outline

Posted: August 17, 2017 at 3:44 pm

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The artist Maira Kalman summed up the current popular regard for walking when she said, Go out and walk. That is the glory of life.

Philosophers and thinkers have long pushed the idea of walking as respite, as a creative fountain or as Nietzsche said: "Only thoughts that are reached by walking have value." But what if walking, far from being benign and noble, instead represents just another conflict of our ongoing culture wars, where the forces of progress have whitewashed the past to reach the present? This proxy battle celebrates the walker of leisure and ignores those who walk because they have no other choice.

Photo: Maggie Shannon for The Outline

Photo: Maggie Shannon for The Outline

In philosophical evocations, walking is routinely an experience described, and subscribed to, by those who don't need to walk. Walking is luxury, a high-minded ramble of the enlightened; its elitism hiding behind a ruse of apparent accessibility. Exactly what you think about when you think about walking is your own internal indicator of where you live, your status, your wealth, your class. Even walking at its seemingly most egalitarian can be anything but. When the father of America's National Parks, John Muir, declared that going out was really going in, he was speaking to people with time, to people whose lives werent monopolized by survival.

Walking is an activity through which the haves are separated from the have-nots. There are the walkers of leisure and the walkers of necessity, who walk to survive, because there is no other way for them to move.

All across the world people walk. They walk in cities not designed for those without means. They walk not as a hobby, or to keep fit, or to save the environment, or to think. They walk out of necessity. While walkers of leisure may strive to escape humanity, indentured walkers seek it out; for trade, for food, for communication, for life. The essayist Edward Abbey once described walking as ... the only form of transportation in which a man proceeds erect like a man on his own legs," forgetting that the walker of necessity is often slumped, tired, searching for satisfaction at the destination, rather than from the act of walking itself.

Photo: Maggie Shannon for The Outline

Photo: Maggie Shannon for The Outline

In much of the world, this walking for survival remains something of a national pastime, with the people who need it most often ill-served by the hand of the state. In Botswana's barren Tuli Block game reserve, I watched workers hitchhike from the side of the road after work, surrounded by a wilderness of lions, elephants, hyenas, and leopards. Across the border in South Africa, I witnessed how a lack of infrastructure makes the process of walking uniquely dangerous. The same scene played on repeat in villages dotted all over the country; groups of men, women and children wandering the roads day and night, often without any source of light save for the headlights of the cars speeding by as darkness fell. The lack of streetlights, crosswalks, and sidewalks make the very process of walking hazardous, with pedestrians accounting for a large proportion of road deaths in the country. This situation is acknowledged by alcohol labeling that sometimes features a unique warning: Dont Drink and Walk on the Road, You May Be Killed.

Social attitudes towards walking historically show a stark divide depending on who's doing the walking. When Muir was trailblazing across America, he was dismissive of the native Americans who'd forged such paths, regarding them as dirty and subhuman in the face of an ever wondrous nature. While his attitudes would change over time, this idea of walking being almost holy when practiced by some, dangerous when practiced by others, has long been established. Lauren Elkin's recent book Flneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London, notes that even today, walking for women remains a dangerous practice in cities around the world, and in the past was something that women were culturally prevented from engaging in. Both wondering and wandering were reserved solely for men.

In Australia the term walkabout has long been used to describe Aboriginal boys becoming men via long periods spent alone in the bush. In recent years the term walkabout has had to be recharacterized as "temporary mobility" due to the negative connotations it has come to represent. In regard to Nicholas Roeg's 1971 film Walkabout, which follows the intertwining stories of two white city kids and an Aboriginal boy, the critic Roger Ebert wondered: "Is it a parable about noble savages and the crushed spirits of city dwellers? That's what the film's surface suggests, but I think it's about something deeper and more elusive: the mystery of communication."

Walking is usually nothing more than a reflection of where we are at any given time. When Napoleon force-marched his men across the Egyptian desert, telling them upon seeing Giza's pyramids, "Forward! Remember that from those monuments yonder 40 centuries look down upon you," he was basking in the realization that such endeavors created on the backs of men were part of a living history. This was walking as triumphalism, for one man at least. But walkings simplicity allows it to take on infinite forms and meanings; virtue or vice. Stalin used walking and work to break the spirit of men in the Soviet Union's Gulags, while Slavomir Rawicz's book The Long Walk details a journey of thousands of kilometers to escape them. Martin Luther King Jr., like others before him, seized the idea of walking as freedom, as protest, and in the 1963 March on Washington, a walk of less than a mile, stoked government fears that a domestic invasion was afoot. You can strip a man of everything, but short of penning him in, you can't strip his ability to walk.

Walking is now big business. In almost every city in the world you'll find some kind of walking tour; modest, extravagant, historical, nature-gazing. There are walking retreats, walking holidays, walking to keep fit, walking as education, walking to "find yourself." When we're not thinking, we're achieving. We record the number steps taken, the calories burned, the Instagram photos taken, the milestones ticked off on any one of the hundreds of fitness apps available. Walking in many ways has become a luxury pursuit, serviced by multi-billion dollar brands like The North Face and Patagonia originally started as bootstrapped operations to serve a few enthusiasts that sell adventure, wilderness and silence to walkers everywhere. Well, to some walkers, at least.

Walking is now at the forefront of a push to boost public health, with its virtues increasingly discovered by authorities the world over. The U.K.'s National Health Service currently touts a myriad of benefits, from lowering the risk of certain cancers to controlling weight to reducing stress levels. Indeed one of the reasons walking is so good for us is ironically because we're so bad at it. Walking is complicated, and humans walk like a bad, inefficient pendulum. In Wanderlust: A History of Walking, Rebecca Solnit captures this simultaneous complexity and simplicity of walking:

But what of the hardship of indentured walking? The sore limbs and muscles, the weight of the water on your head, the goods in your arms, or the child on your back. Walking for miles on end, only to wake up and do the same walk all over again; tired, stiff, aching.

When George A. Romero created the modern zombie genre in 1968 with Night of the Living Dead, he somehow captured this awkwardness, the exaggerated stiltedness as the undead seemed to be learning to walk all over again. Romero's allegorical films over the following decades served up social commentary on many of the perceived ills in American society, from consumerism to racism to suburbanization, something that with a sort of successive approximation led to perhaps the darkest depiction of this gait: AMC's hit show The Walking Dead. With its zombies literally called walkers, the show and the graphic novels before it unintentionally depict the less considered side of walking, with modern society using every tool it can lay its hands on to protect itself from the walkers. In this divided society, the walkers are reduced to using only their ability to walk against the people of means at least until they can sink their teeth into them.

Photo: Maggie Shannon for The Outline

Photo: Maggie Shannon for The Outline

The safe zones of The Walking Dead, brief islands of tranquility until they're eventually breached, are reflected in the design of many of the world's cities. When Baron Georges-Eugene Haussmann set about renovating Paris in the 1850s, his assignment wasn't to create the walking wonderland we may know today, but rather an attempt to eradicate disease, overcrowding and crime, and allegedly the threat of revolution. Narrow streets where revolt could be and had been fomented were demolished, in their place vast boulevards carved. Haussmann would be sacked without finishing the job, but he set in motion a vast vacuum that the state and later the walkers of leisure could fill once again.

Walking through the streets of Paris late last year, it was hard not to be won over by the city, but the centuries of social cleansing that followed Haussmann's renovation has resulted in a Paris today where the walkers of need are marooned outside the walls, in forgotten banlieues, unable to take advantage of the boulevards, instead penned into great poverty traps. Such is the stark inequality at the heart of this that a new lexicon has arisen to deal with it: the comfortable suburb is the banlieue aise, the disadvantaged suburb the banlieue dfavoris. As thousands of cars are set alight in these banlieue dfavoris every summer, it's hard not to be reminded of The Walking Dead.

In Doha, Qatar, I witnessed a city where planners had been confronted by the opposite problem: to raise a city from the dust where there had been none before it. Founded in the early 1800s, but transformed by the discovery of oil and gas, this archly global city has in recent decades seen huge injections of cash. Billions of dollars have been pumped into skyscrapers, modern art and museums, designed by world-renowned architects like Jean Nouvel and I.M. Pei. Visiting it, it seemed fitting that the city was recently named one of the New7Wonders Cities "...that best represent the achievements and aspirations of our global urban civilization."

The end result for the inhabitants however, is a city dripping in wealth but permanently under construction, where Land Cruisers driven by impeccably dressed young men careen at high speeds down monstrous highways. When the city's indentured laborers have their rare days off, they make their way to the waterfront, not via carefully designed sidewalks but crammed against the barriers of highways, playing a constant game of chicken with the very fabric of the place they live, the place they're building.

In some, small, significant way, however, the walkers of necessity may be having the last laugh, realizing at least some of the benefits of a lifestyle we were designed for, rather than the one of endless progress. As much of the world struggles with soaring levels of obesity and diabetes, it's not hard to see why we're being encouraged to get out and walk more. In doing so we should perhaps come to the realization that walking can be both indentured and free, that the walkers of necessity have something to offer that much of the modern world now claws for. For now, the irony persists that the more we embrace the romanticism of walking, the more we seem to look down on those who walk because they have to.

Walking recently in the valleys of North Wales, far away from the inequalities of the city, on routes and paths that appeared Genesis-like, but were carved by need and nurture and nature, I was steadily seduced by Maria Kalman's words. The moorgrime thick round my shoulders, the silence at times all-embracing save for the work of the inefficient pendulum. I'd escaped the dumbfound town, discovered like Henry David Thoreau that This was that Earth of which we have heard, made out of Chaos and Old Night, and become sodden, enlightened, charged revived even of the glory of life.

On my return, I tried to remember that the dirt in the soles of my boots contained no less than an alternative story of man.

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this way - The Outline

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August 17th, 2017 at 3:44 pm

Posted in Nietzsche

The alt-right is drunk on bad readings of Nietzsche. The Nazis were too. – Vox

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You could say I was red-pilled by Nietzsche.

Thats how white nationalist leader Richard Spencer described his intellectual awakening to the Atlantics Graeme Wood in June. Red-pilled is a common alt-right term for that eureka moment one experiences upon confrontation with some dark and previously buried truth.

For Spencer and other alt-right enthusiasts of the 19th-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, that dark truth goes something like this: All the modern pieties about race, peace, equality, justice, civility, universal suffrage thats all bullshit. These are constructs cooked up by human beings and later enshrined as eternal truths.

Nietzsche says the world is in constant flux, that there is no capital-T truth. He hated moral and social conventions because he thought they stifled the individual. In one of his most famous essays, The Genealogy of Morality, which Spencer credits with inspiring his awakening, Nietzsche tears down the intellectual justifications for Christian morality. He calls it a slave morality developed by peasants to subdue the strong. The experience of reading this was shattering, Spencer told Wood. It upended his moral universe.

There is, of course, much more to Nietzsche than this. As someone silly enough to have written a dissertation on Nietzsche, Ive encountered many Spencer-like reactions to his thought. And Im not surprised that the old German philosopher has become a lodestar for the burgeoning alt-right movement. There is something punk rock about his philosophy. You read it for the first time and you think, Holy shit, how was I so blind for so long?!

But if you read Nietzsche like a college freshman cramming for a midterm, youre bound to misinterpret him or at least to project your own prejudices into his work. When that happens, we get bad Nietzsche, as the Weeks Scott Galupo recently put it.

And it would appear that bad Nietzsche is back, and he looks a lot like he did in the early 20th century when his ideas were unjustly appropriated by the (original) Nazis. So nows a good time to reengage with Nietzsches ideas and explain what the alt-right gets right and wrong about their favorite philosopher.

In her recent book about the rise of the alt-right, Irish academic Angela Nagle discusses their obsession with civilizational decay. Theyre disgusted by what they consider a degenerate culture, she told me in a recent interview.

Nietzsche made these same arguments more than 100 years ago. The story he tells in The Genealogy of Morality is that Christianity overturned classical Roman values like strength, will, and nobility of spirit. These were replaced with egalitarianism, community, humility, charity, and pity. Nietzsche saw this shift as the beginning of a grand democratic movement in Western civilization, one that championed the weak over the strong, the mass over the individual.

The alt-right or at least parts of the alt-right are enamored of this strain of Nietzsches thought. The influential alt-right blog Alternative Right refers to Nietzsche as a great visionary and published an essay affirming his warnings about cultural decay.

Future historians will likely look back on the contemporary West as a madhouse, the essays author writes, where the classic virtues of heroism, high culture, nobility, self-respect, and reason had almost completely disappeared, along with the characteristics of adulthood generally.

In his interview with the Atlantic, Spencer, an avowed atheist, surprised Wood with a peculiar defense of Christianity: that the religion is false but it bound together the civilizations of Europe.

Spencers view is common among the alt-right. They have no interest in the teachings of Christ, but they see the whole edifice of white European civilization as built on a framework of Christian beliefs. From their perspective, Christendom united the European continent and forged white identity.

Its a paradox: They believe the West has grown degenerate and weak because it internalized Christian values, but they find themselves defending Christendom because they believe its the glue that binds European culture together.

Last August, Vox Day, a prominent alt-right thinker (who often cites Nietzsche in his posts), laid out the central tenets of the alt-right in a post titled What the Alt-Right is. There are a number of revealing points, one of which reads:

The Alt Right believes Western civilization is the pinnacle of human achievement and supports its three foundational pillars: Christianity, the European nations, and the Graeco-Roman legacy.

Nietzsche accepted that Christianity was central to the development of Western civilization, but his whole philosophy was focused on convincing people that the West had to move beyond Christianity.

When Nietzsche famously declared that God is dead, he meant that science and reason had progressed to the point where we could no longer justify belief in God, and that meant that we could no longer justify the values rooted in that belief. So his point was that we had to reckon with a world in which there is no foundation for our highest values.

The alt-right skipped this part of Nietzsches philosophy. Theyre tickled by the death of God thesis but ignore the implications.

Nietzsche's argument was that you had to move forward, not fall back onto ethnocentrism, Hugo Drochon, author of Nietzsches Great Politics, told me. So in many ways Spencer is stuck in the 'Shadows of God' claiming Christianity is over but trying to find something that will replace it so that we can go on living as if it still existed, rather than trying something new.

The alt-right renounces Christianity but insists on defending Christendom against nonwhites. But thats not Nietzsche; thats just racism. And the half-baked defense of Christendom is an attempt to paper over that fact.

Nietzsche was interested in ideas, in freedom of thought. To the extent that he knocked down the taboos of his day, it was to free up the creative powers of the individual. He feared the death of God would result in an era of mass politics in which people sought new isms that would give them a group identity.

The time is coming when the struggle for dominion over the earth will be carried on in the name of fundamental philosophical doctrines, he wrote. By doctrines, he meant political ideologies like communism or socialism. But he was equally contemptuous of nationalism, which he considered petty and provincial.

Listening to Spencer talk about Nietzsche (and, regrettably, I listened to his Nietzsche podcast) is like hearing someone who never got past the introduction of any of his favorite books. Its the kind of dilettantism you hear in first-year critical theory seminars. He uses words like radical traditionalist and archeofuturist, neither of which means anything to anyone.

Like so many superficial readers of Nietzsche, Spencer is excited by the radicalism but doesnt take it seriously. Spencers rejection of conventional conservatism clearly has roots in Nietzsches ideas, but Spencers fantasy of a white ethnostate is exactly what Nietzsche was condemning in the Germany of his time.

Nietzsche's way forward was not more [racial] purity but instead more mixing, Drochon told me. His ideal was to bring together the European Jew and the Prussian military officer. Spencer, I take it, only wants the latter. Nietzsche, for better or worse, longed for a new kind of European citizen, one free of group attachments, be they racial or ideological or nationalistic.

Racists find affirmation in Nietzsches preference for Aryan humanity, a phrase he uses in several books, but that term doesnt mean what racists think it means. Aryan humanity is always contrasted with Christian morality in Nietzsches works; its a reference to pre-Christian Paganism. Second, in Nietzsches time, Aryan was not a racially pure concept; it also included Indo-Iranian peoples.

People often say that the Nazis loved Nietzsche, which is true. Whats less known is that Nietzsches sister, who was in charge of his estate after he died, was a Nazi sympathizer who shamefully rearranged his remaining notes to produce a final book, The Will to Power, that embraced Nazi ideology. It won her the favor of Hitler, but it was a terrible disservice to her brothers legacy.

Nietzsche regularly denounced anti-Semitism and even had a falling-out with his friend Richard Wagner, the proto-fascist composer, on account of Wagners rabid anti-Semitism. Nietzsche also condemned the blood and soil politics of Otto von Bismarck, the Prussian statesman who unified Germany in 1871, for cementing his power by stoking nationalist resentments and appealing to racial purity.

So theres no way to square Nietzsches philosophy with the racial politics of the alt-right, just as it wasnt fair to charge Nietzsche with inspiring Nazism. But both of these movements found just enough ambiguity in his thought to justify their hate.

Nietzsche liked to say that he philosophized with a hammer. For someone on the margins, stewing in their own hate or alienation or boredom, his books are a blast of dynamite. All that disillusionment suddenly seems profound, like you just stumbled upon a secret that justifies your condition.

He tells you that the world is wrong, that society is upside down, that all our sacred cows are waiting to be slaughtered. So if youre living in a multiethnic society, you trash pluralism. If youre embedded in a liberal democracy, you trumpet fascism. In short, you become politically incorrect and fancy yourself a rebel for it.

Nietzsche was a lot of things iconoclast, recluse, misanthrope but he wasnt a racist or a fascist. He would have shunned the white identity politics of the Nazis and the alt-right. That hes been hijacked by racists and fascists is partly his fault, though. His writings are riddled with contradictions and puzzles. And his fixation on the future of humankind is easily confused with a kind of social Darwinism.

But in the end, people find in Nietzsches work what they went into it already believing. Which is why the alt-right, animated as they are by rage and discontent, find in Nietzsche a mirror of their own resentments. If youre seeking a reason to reject a world you dont like, you can find it anywhere, especially in Nietzsche.

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The alt-right is drunk on bad readings of Nietzsche. The Nazis were too. - Vox

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August 17th, 2017 at 3:44 pm

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They call me bermensch 'cause I'm so driven!


Nietzsche, alongside Socrates and Voltaire, battled the Eastern Philosophers as a part of the Western Philosophersin Eastern Philosophers vs Western Philosophers. He also turned against Socrates partway through the battle. He was portrayed by Nice Peter.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was born on October 15th, 1844, in Rcken bei Ltzen, Germany. He was a German philosopher, scholar, and cultural critic. His works are strongly associated with critical analysis of religion, philosophy, psychology, and morality, and promote atheism, psychologism, and historism. His most known key ideas are: the "bermensch" (or "Superman"), a goal for humanity to set for itself and that God is dead, killed by ourselves as a race. As a writer, he wrote several books such as The Gay Science andThe Antichrist. Nietzsche's ideology was also noted to be very nihilistic and he is believed to have created the ideals of Nazism. However, many of his ideas that formed the backbone of Nazism were actually modified from his original works by his sister, who reworked them to fit her own ideology. In 1889, he had a mental breakdown and was committed to a mental asylum where he spent the rest of his life. He diedat the age of 55 on August 25th, 1900, in Weimar, Germany.

[Note: Nietzsche is in brown, while Socrates and Voltaire are in regular text. All philosophers rapping together is in italics.]

I'm coming off the Acropolis to start some pandemonium.

Don't bring limp raps to a pimp-slap symposium!

The mad gadfly, philosophy was my invention!

Rolling with the flyest nihilist, and me, their French henchman!

We've got the wisdom and the wit that even I couldn't question!

Dropping Western medicine on these East infections!

It's evident you've never been our type of mental brethren!

We're betterthinkers, betterspeakers, betterlovers, better men!

Oh, I'll give you something you can bow and kowtow to

When I squat down and squeeze out a Tao of Pooh on Lao Tzu!

You need to take control of the life you're given!

They call me bermensch 'cause I'm so driven!

And I'm a freethinker, so confronting conformists like you? It's my job!

Got a sharp wit like a spit that'll skewer you like a Confu-shish kebab!

(Oh!) You flubbed the mission. I'm beating your submissive ass into submission!

Dishing out more disses than letters and pamphlets and plays I've been publishing!

Now that we've covered the two Yin and Yang twins, I can move onto Jackie Chan!

Sun Tzu, I'll be picking apart your Wu with my method, man!

The seminal general isn't so tough on the mic; all your men must be like, "Yo, what happened?"

You're pitiful lyrically. Lucky for history, you didn't author The Art of Rapping!

I wouldn't exactly call myself a student of this plebe.

Don't make Nietzsche come over and put a knee up in your chi!

'Cause I'm N-I-E-T-Z-S-C-H-E,

And I'll end any mother fucker like my name in a spelling bee!

Plebe, bitch? I'm toxic like a hemlock sip!

Hang a sandal on the door 'cause you can suck Soc's dick!

Sacr bleu, Socrates! You're making things a little tense!

Come, let's blind these Chinese heinies with some shiny bright enlightenment!

I'll not be taught camaraderie from a frog who rigged the lottery!

You make a mockery of ethics, so keep your fat nose in your coffee!

Let me be frank: don't start beef with the Frank,

Who hangs with B. Franks, giving ladies beef franks!

Like, how did these boring geeks from the Far East get invited?

Well, I hope they can speak their minds better than they can write it!

Oh, I'm delighted by their writing; such charming little thoughts

From such charming simple little men in charming little smocks!

What a fearsome trio! Yes, but what does it all mean?

It means the fate of these ancients is about to be seen!

We got the logical means to philosophically dominate your rhetoric

And get it boiled down to its essentials till it's evident!

But first I'll squat down and drop a Dao of Pooh on Lao Tzu!

And call me bermensch 'cause I'm so driven!

I'm Voltaire; I'm fucking fabulous, bitch!


Motherfucking French, bitch!

I'm Voltaire; motherfucking French, bitch!

That covers the Yin and Yang twins; now it's on to Jackie Chan!

I'll Chang your Wu with my Method, Man!

You're supposed to be the tough one, dude, what happened?

History's lucky that you didn't write The Art of Rapping!

Wise guys from the East are supposed to be the best,

But we've seen more flavor in a Panda Express!

Our philosophy flourishes! Western culture has ascended!

While even your descendants seem a bit disoriented!

That's N-I-T-Z-C-H-E!

When I squat down and drop a Tao of Pooh on who?

Lao Tzu!

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Who knew? Friedrich Nietzsche was also a pretty decent classical composer – Classic FM

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14 August 2017, 16:32

Friedrich Nietzsche argued that the will to power is the force that drives us as humans. He also said that without music, life would be a mistake.

Despite finding most of his influence in philosophy and philology, Nietzsche also composed several works for voice, piano and violin.Surprised? Fear not: Nietzsches compositions might come as a revelation to even the most clued-up classical music geeks.

Nietzsches involvement in music began in 1858 at the prestigious Pforta school in Naumburg, Germany, when he started to work on musical compositions.

He was also introduced to the music and writing of Richard Wagner, who introduced the philosopher to the Hungarian composer Franz Liszt after they met in 1868. Surrounded by great 19thcentury composers, it was easy to see how Nietzsches love for music could be nurtured.

Despite his love for music, the polymaths compositions were heavily criticised even by his friend Wagner. The story goes that in 1871, Nietzsche sent a birthday gift of a piano composition to Wagners wife, Cosima. When Cosima played the piece in public, Wagner left before the end, and one of the guests found him rolling around on the floor, laughing, shortly after. Imagine that: Wagner literally ROFLing at your handiwork. Although, kudos to Nietzsche, he got him back with this epic insult:

However, Wagner wasn't the only one to criticise Nietzsche's work: German conductor and pianist Hans von Blow also labelled another of his pieces the most undelightful and the most antimusical draft on musical paper that I have faced in a long time.


Possibly not the *most* encouraging feedback for poor Friedrich.

Although his compositions were not always positively received, Nietzsches influence on classical composition has been widely accredited.

His philosophical novel Thus Spoke Zarathustra influenced several composers during the 1890s: Gustav Mahlers Symphony No. 3 used the leitmotif from Zarathustra, and Frederick Delius based his choral piece A Mass of Life on the novel.Richard Strauss also based his Also sprach Zarathustraon Nietzsche's novel of the same name.

What do you think of Friedrich Nietzsches compositions? Have a listen to a few more of them on Spotifyand on the Cambridge Press website.

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Who knew? Friedrich Nietzsche was also a pretty decent classical composer - Classic FM

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Thus Spoke Lena Hades: Nietzsche’s Texts Live In Me – HuffPost

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Why did I decide to paint "based on" Zarathustra? Why was not I satisfied enough by simple book text? The fact is that when I read a book Thus Spoke Zarathustra, images appear by themselves. The text of the book is extraordinarily metaphorical. Of course, I will never have the strength and time to paint all the pictures that arise in my imagination. Therefore, it is necessary to choose the strongest from an infinite number of images. Nietzsche himself preferred music more than painting, so his works are full of music, I feel it. And since I'm an artist, it's easier for me to "grab" this musical imagery and embody it on canvas.

Some people believe that my paintings after Thus Spoke Zarathustra are a subjective perception of Nietzsche's images. In addition, most philosophers believe that philosophy can not be "depicted" at all. My biggest disappointment in life was that the overwhelming majority of people do not perceive the world at all in a figurative way. Such people look and do not see. Therefore, when one of such a majority begins to say that Nietzsches metaphorical language can not be translated into the language of images, then the point here is not in my righteousness, but in the fact language of images, then the point here is not in my righteousness, but in the fact that the eyes of the speaker are simply slightly blind. And if this is what the philosopher claims, then one thing I can say: he is not philosophical enough.

What is primary for me - a word or an image? What was in the beginning - a word or an image? I try to explain it. Everyword that comes to me easily turns into an image. Therefore, it's easy for me to write texts. As the physiologists would say, both the right and left brain hemispheres are equally well developed.

By the way, the Egyptian god Ptah, the patron of craftsmen and artists was often portrayed as a bisexual androgyne. Priests, singers and artists prayed to him and offered sacrifices. After all, the ability to embody a word is a gift from God.

The process of painting "based on Nietzsche" continues now, because Nietzsche's texts live in me, its real. I am just one of those who have already memorized them a long time ago, but not in the sense of having learned it, but inwardly absorbing the content itself. "He who writes in parables wants to be not read, but memorized". So I memorized! When one speaks of the demonic Nietzsche, citing quotes taken out of context, (for example, that everything is "allowed", "push the falling one", that "going to a woman, do not forget the whip", etc.), then Nietzsche really can seem some kind of evil demon. But when one really reads Nietzsche, he perceives Nietzsche not in quotes, but in all paradoxical completeness.

I am saddened by the fact that I am alone in this field and that other artists are not engaged in the artistic embodiment of Nietzsche's texts. Perhaps this is because artists in the mass are not enough philosophers, or as Marina Bessonova told me - "they are mostly uneducated people" (although, I think, it's not just about education). Such people do not know how to embody a word, they do not see the word. Very often artists are engaged in cheap substitution - they make the subject of art their inner world and their problems. And since the inner world is often small and unsightly, then such art is also uninteresting and boring. Nietzsche regarded the human history of the past two or three millennia as a personal story. The inner world of this kind has the right for a long life in culture, in art! Such creativity goes beyond individual psychological complexes and garbage, which nobody needs and from which it is necessary to release.

Lena Hades

Once I was asked to describe Nietzsche's ethical teaching in two words, I tried and answered with a question that I should ask myself. "Who are you?" Of whining plebs, waiting for a piece of your pie and accusing everybody else in all the sorrows and misfortunes that have fallen to you? Or are you one of those who make their own life? And themselves are the judges and executioners" for themselves, And this person honestly replied that in this sense he was a" pleb".

As Jos Ortega y Gasset said in his book The Revoltof the Masses, "The select man is not the petulant person who thinks himself superior to the rest, but the man who demands more of himself than the rest, even though he may not fulfil in his person those higher exigencies." The conclusion is simple - compete in all that you do with maximum effort and intensity. Thats what I am doing.

One artist I was acquainted with, once said, so and so, she paints a picture, writes a quote from Nietzsche, and thats all - a masterpiece is ready. Well, and what's the matter? - I replied paint a picture, put a quote on it. Go on, try! Let's see what happens! For some reason, he did not paint a picture with a quote.

I know several artistic attempts of Nietzsche's interpretation. For example, the Russian artist Pyotr Fateev, as well as Pavel Filonov, created several paintings on the themes of Nietzsche's books (Nietzsche was unusually trendy in Russia at the beginning of the 20th century!) And after that they stopped drawing on Nietzsche - Nietzsche was in trend not for long. Nietzsche tried all his life to go beyond human limits, his life was "a cognizers experiment on himself" and a brilliant artistic action at the same time, so all attempts to follow him mechanically will never succeed. To approach Nietzsche, one must be "called out by his spirit." These are very accurate words - to be called out. If we are called out by Nietzsche, we can do something interesting.

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Thus Spoke Lena Hades: Nietzsche's Texts Live In Me - HuffPost

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Christian Apologists, Stop Misusing Nietzsche’s The Madman – Patheos (blog)

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If youre an atheist who has talked with a Christianwho has read Christian apologists, youve probably run into the notion that atheist morality is a failure because it is bankrupt of assigned meaning from God. You have no purpose, you have no meaning, you have no value, you have no worth. This is horrifying, in the Christian scheme, and crippling to the core. You are trapped in a nihilistic nightmare, they claim.

The problem, I think, is worse than that for Christianity. And, at the same time, better than that for atheists. To illustrate why, Ill share a common text that Christian apologists love to quote, which is from the atheist philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. I know its long, but it is one of the most powerful discussions of God in history. If you are somewhere where you can do it, get the full weight of the passage by reading it aloud:

Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market place, and cried incessantly: I seek God! I seek God!As many of those who did not believe in God were standing around just then, he provoked much laughter. Has he got lost? asked one. Did he lose his way like a child? asked another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a voyage? emigrated?Thus they yelled and laughed.

The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. Whither is God? he cried; I will tell you.We have killed himyou and I. All of us are his murderers. But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying, as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us? Do we not need to light lanterns in the morning? Do we hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.

So, the Christian apologist will read this and say that this is terrible. There is no purpose in the atheist scheme, no value, no worth, nada. And, therefore, theyll continue, isnt it better to be Christian? Wouldnt you prefer to have purpose and value in your life?

It has seemed to me that this argument, each of the thousands of times I have heard it in my lifetime, is not fundamentally based on a rational discussion on the existence of God. The argument is based on the assumption that I want there to be some foundation to thought, Iwantto have purpose and meaning in my life. More fundamentally, Iwantto belong in the world, and to know I have a place within it that is fully rationalized and reasonable. I want to know that I have a right to take in every breath, and to do that, the implication is, I have to have a purpose, areason why I am here.

And if God exists, the argument goes, that reason is straightforward. I can embrace and walk the world as if I have a right to be here. Let the vast universe overwhelm the miniscule dot on an infinite timeline, that infinitely small speck I call me that doesnt matter, because the God of it all said that I matter. Thats where I get my worth and value from.

And so, people become Christian because of that insecurity, and they try to force you to share that insecurity too, so they find a Nietzsche quote that seems to them the picture of that desperation, cast it onto you, and insist that you have to accept or convert.

That would be a mistake.

What Neitzsche is doing is changing up the game of morality more fundamentally than these Christian apologists imply.

Now, I dont agree with the entirety of Nietzsches philosophy, but the part I do agree with is his eloquent removal ofGod from the equation. All the way, down to the dregs. For Nietzsche to build his morality, he has to start with a God-free existence, one in which God has absolutely no authority to assign anyone purpose, to tell anyone to be humble, to create our horizons, or to give us a foundation.

He is burning the chess board we have been playing on and then yelling in our faces that it is over, it is done, the game is up, and taunting anyone who would dare try to move the pieces back in place or set up a firm external meaning. There is no God. There is no purpose from God, no foundation made up by Godat all.

All of the God-based morality, the morality that insists you have to be subservient to some type of higher master God all that is wiped away. That entire view of purpose as something that is ordained, that you are given from a Great Beyond its gone. And all we have left iswhat? What is left? God has been so integral to our morality, to the way that we think of ourselves and the world, that we have to start over.

And Nietzsche wants to start over; he wants nothing of God left. We are starting completely and totally from scratch. Hes not even just talking about the idea of God itself hes trying to rip out the roots of where the concept of God has made an impact on the way that we think about each other and the universe, including the way those roots sometimes sink into society for people after they have pruned the above-ground concept of God from their lives.

Lemme make this concrete. When I left Christianity, I had to unlearn a lot. I thought that I had left God, but the old ways of thinking still were there. I had puritanical views for the next couple years, for example, when it came to things like sex and alcohol. Today, I still find ways that the concept of God has infiltrated my thinking or the thinking of supposedly secular society in ways that I had not determined before.

Getting rid of that and starting over is an extreme project. It requires washing away the horizons we have taken for granted, deconstructing the morality we have taken for granted and re-examining the reasons we hold it, and embracing a godless universe which can (and likely should) be a jolting paradigm shift at first, as Nietzsche is articulating the above quote.

But Nietzsche did not see the problem of finding your way in a godless universe as unsolvable. After the God-concept is wiped from the slate, after he has burnt the chessboard of divine morality so that there is no game on the table, and he has forcefully articulated that there is no divine morality available and we have to start over, he has another step in mind, as is revealed when the quote continues.

Do we hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.

We have killed him.

What does that mean?

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Christian Apologists, Stop Misusing Nietzsche's The Madman - Patheos (blog)

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Baby’s All Right Quotes Nietzsche Over Kendall Jenner Tip Controversy – SPIN

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In a social-media snipe-off thats gone on an impressive six full days, a dispute between Kendall Jenner and Brooklyn nightclub Babys All Right trickleson. At the heart of the matter is the alleged absence of gratuity on behalf of Jenner, on a $24 bar tab.

Last Thursday, the evening that Babys hosted a release party for the new A$AP TWELVYY release, Jenner was atthe bar. A$AP Rocky, who Jenner has long been rumored to be dating, performed at the event. Though SPIN has reached out to the establishment for comment, were still not sure what she ordered. However, according to an Instagram post from Babys, we do know it ran $24 even. And thats where it stoppedJenner left the field for a tip completely blank, though her florid signature finds its way into that portion of the receipt.

We know this because, on Friday, Babys posted an Instagram shot of the receipt, with the caption, Dont forget to tip your bartender :). The post has since been deleted, but the image is the one above.

After a weekend of assessing the impending PR disaster, Jenner came back to Twitter on Monday to insist that she did tip. Or at least someone involved in the collective we tipped. Apparently, it was in cash. Was there a stack on the bar top associated with another customer that Kendall hoped would represent her patronage?

Tuesday evening, Babys continued to call out Jenner for the service-industry faux pas (not her first foray into allegedly treating waitstaff poorly). The bar posted a screen cap of Jenners tweet, with a quote from none other than Friedrich Nietzsche: Im not upset that you lied to me, Im upset that from now on I cant believe you, the caption read. This post was deleted by Wednesday morning.

What a world.

SPIN reached out to Babys but received no comment.

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Baby's All Right Quotes Nietzsche Over Kendall Jenner Tip Controversy - SPIN

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Letter: Members of the Alt-Right do not represent the Christian faith – INFORUM

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I was repulsed when I heard a young thug pretending to represent me, a white person in America. He further poisoned my identity by claiming he represented Christianity. He ended his diatribe by, of course, wishing the death to the Jews.

These people do realize that Jesus was not white, right? And that Jesus was born a Jew? As a Christian leader watching white nationalists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members (alt-right) call for "taking America back," I thought, "these people don't understand the idea of America, nor Christ." Their true ideological leader is Friedrich Nietzsche, not Jesus. In "The Antichrist," Nietzsche asserts that Christianity, as a religion and as the predominant moral system of the Western world, is "the religion of pity." It "elevates the weak over the strong."

"Another Christian concept ... has passed even more deeply into the tissue of modernity: the concept of the 'equality of souls before God.' This concept furnishes the prototype of all theories of equal rights."

Nietzsche really understood Christianity, he hated it, but he understood it.

White supremacist Nazi types, ironically, when they attack "liberal values," are fighting against the very values of Jesus while yelling at everyone how they are "Christians."

The spirit of Jesus' teaching is foundational for us all.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

These are the values; this is the America, we must "take back!"

Lindensmith is pastor of Seventh-day Adventist Church in Fargo.

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Letter: Members of the Alt-Right do not represent the Christian faith - INFORUM

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