On the Left’s recent anti-Nietzschean turn
[W]hat makes Nietzsche’s influence so un/canny is that there has never been adequate resistance from a real Left.
— Geoff Waite, Nietzsche’s Corps/e (1996)
Few thinkers have enjoyed such widespread appeal over the last forty years as Nietzsche.
— Peter Thomas, “Overman and
the Commune” (2005)
Opposed to everyone, Nietzsche has met with remarkably little opposition.
— Malcolm Bull, “Where is the
If Nietzsche’s arguments could be said to have gone unchallenged during the second half of the twentieth century, as the above-cited authors suggest, the same cannot be said today. Beginning in the early 1990s, but then with increasing rapidity over the course of the last decade, a distinctly anti-Nietzschean consensus has formed — particularly on the Left. Recent years have witnessed a fresh spate of texts condemning both Nietzsche and his thought as irredeemably reactionary, and hence incompatible with any sort of emancipatory politics. Numerous authors have contributed to this shift in scholarly opinion. To wit: William Altman, Fredrick Appel, Malcolm Bull, Daniel Conway, Bruce Detwiler, Don Dombowsky, Ishay Landa, Domenico Losurdo, Corey Robin, and Geoff Waite. The list goes on. Continue reading