Friedrich Nietzsche died on this day in 1900. But who dares to celebrate the death in an insane asylum of this radical thinker, whose works – admittedly violated, even in places re-written, by his self-serving sister – contributed so much of demerit to the vile Nazi war machine of Adolf Hitler and his criminal cronies? Who but intellectuals with too much time on their hands would dare to attempt to extricate his incendiary thinking from below the mushroom cloud of hate that it helped to create, indeed that even he himself anticipated would be a result of realising such extravagant and remote concepts? Of course Nietzsche is not entirely to blame for Germany’s early-20th century slide into the moral cesspool of anti-Semitism and white supremacism. But his hugely intellectual writings ensured that Nazism’s absurd and medieval Beast-thought was lent, at least temporarily, a valid philosophical footing. Who dares to celebrate the death of this man who admitted “I am not a man, I am dynamite”? But who could dare to ignore it?
[Written by Julian Cope]