John Martindale's Reviews > Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future

Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche
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Sep 29, 12

bookshelves: philosophy, classics, audiobook
Read in July, 2011

Nietzsche is for the atheist what Charles Spurgeon was for Christian preachers. He has a creative way of saying things and this book is filled with one liners. He makes me think of a preacher, in that he says extreme things with absolute confidence, but does not back anything up or go into much depth. This book seemed to me not so much about going beyond good and evil, but rather a justification of evil. Alexander, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin and Mao in their rejecting the "slave" morality and embracing the pursuit of power, could have felt virtuous and good about themselves. If power corrupts and absolutely power corrupts absolutely, I got the impression that in the mind of Nietzsche, this absolute corruption is the highest end for man, for power justifies everything! If I am not completely misinterpreting what he says (I may be) then what a disgusting philosophy and how scary it is, that it resonates with people! But I suppose if "God is dead" and therefore mankind and the universe is the mere product of blind unguided processes, then maybe what Nietzsche presents here logically follows. We got to see Nietzsche's philosophy lived out to its fullest in WWII. Hitler loved Nietzsche writings, in fact most of Germany embraced his philosophy as a way of life (watch the documentary "Neitzsche and the Nazis" by Stephen Hicks). The war loving Nietzsche, had he lived to see it, would have seen all these enlightened, Nazi free-spirits killing the weak and surely would have felt proud. And wow, how could woman like this guy? His chapter on woman was something else. If you are a woman, according to this beloved philosopher, you can't think and never should even be allowed to try, your only purpose as the weaker vessel is to have babies, that's it!
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Agata (new)

Agata And people like this guy, why? Yikes.


message 2: by Cyrus (new)

Cyrus I feel like you've fundamentally misunderstood what Nietzsche was trying to say.


John Martindale Cyrus wrote: "I feel like you've fundamentally misunderstood what Nietzsche was trying to say."

Hey, Cyrus, good chance your right. What are some of the ways that you feel I misunderstood him?


message 4: by Danmcleod1987 (new)

Danmcleod1987 Did he say "God is dead" or "God is dead in the marketplace", or both? I've heard both quotes. But yeah, ol' Friedrich, I don't know if I don't understand what I have read of his, or if I don't want to understand it! haha


message 5: by Thewhitewhale (new)

Thewhitewhale Regardless of what the Nietzschean apologists try to say in his defense, his ideas are ultimately dangerous and harmful to the human condition. Of course, a true Nietzschean would not care one lick about the "human condition" as in Nietzsche's philosophy the human condition is simply a limiting factor on the true freedom of man. And this is why his ideas will always and forever be intrinsically selfish and harmful to mankind. Nietzsche had some profound and interesting things to say. There are certainly some points to consider and in terms of a revolutionary thinker one would be hard pressed to find a better candidate. Yet at the end of the day, Nietzsche's philosophy ultimate claims that the sinner is better than the saint. Hitler supersedes Ghandi. Stalin trumps mother Teresa. It is the philosophy of the insane.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

I was going to leave this alone and let you wallow in your ignorance, but I just cannot. You fundamentally misunderstood "The Will to Power." As a matter of fact, the term "Power" in Nietzschean context should be used freely. This is why I'm against anyone picking up Nietzsche without some background knowledge. Power manifests itself in many ways. Everything from giving candy to a child and feeling "good" about it to conquering Poland. Nietzsche is not here to be your judge, you are the only judge to decide what your virtues are. He outright says that men have different beliefs and some have beliefs that are stamped which cannot be removed (In the case of his views on women). The goal is self-overcoming. Your whole review sounds like something American propagandists would say. Nietzsche hated Nationalism, so there goes his connection to Hitler. His sister was a Anti-Semite and Chauvinist, she made him look like one when she took the liberty of publishing "The Will to Power."


John Martindale D wrote: "I was going to leave this alone and let you wallow in your ignorance, but I just cannot. You fundamentally misunderstood "The Will to Power." As a matter of fact, the term "Power" in Nietzschean co..."

Thanks for sharing. Maybe your understanding of what Nietzsche means by power is correct. in which case, it's not near as bad as what i intuited. As far as Stephen Hicks documentary on Nietzsche and the Nazis, don't judge it before you watch it. Hick shows that Nietzsche was not anti-semantic nor nationalistic, but he also shows the influence of Nietzsche philosophy (Hitler raved about it and gave "Beyond good and evil" to friends as gifts) and it shows the many (there are several) aspects of the philosophy that Hitler did put into practice. It's a interesting documentary, that shows what the Nazis had in common and how he differed with Nietzsche. It's not produced by Christian propagandist, but a serious philosopher who studied these things. it's worth watching


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