12/28/2006

On Nietszche and Godwin Breakages

Uhg, too many post on the back burner, and too many of them are things that I kinda wnat to post about, like now please, for me to jsut go "meh" and delete what I've written so far so that I can come back to the topic afresh at some indetirminate later date (possibly never, which is what the whole validation theory seems to be aiming for).

Anyhoo, one of those posts ended up with a rather large and quite self contained addendum at it's bottom, which I'll just post because it's finished and it stops the post it's attached too bloating up too much (most of my other posts are just naturally big boned, Okay?).

So anyway:

The connection between nietzsche and the nazis is often remarked upon but rarely understood - the nazis stole from nietzsche quite shameless for lots of their nationalist theology, but they left out one of hte crucial aspects of nietzsche's writing: That the nietzschean superman was specifically atheist, by definition because the superman was defined by its atheism, this was a major driving force behind nietzsche's anti-semitism because a group of people who are ethnically defined according to their religion were to nietzsche's way of thinking as archetypically unter as his theoretical scientific atheists were uber - of course why he chose jews specifically was because they were A) specifically targetted by western culture as an acceptable target for hatred so it's arguable that he was just speaking conservative as FDL and Kos claim they are when they go off with racist or otherwise bigoted language.

Of course the fact that he was a huge bigot as well, and that his entire way of thinking was pretty much designed around the conception of hte rightness of hierarchies that drives social bigotries probably meant that it's much more true to say that he ahted jews because he was a huge flaming antisemitic bigot who threw out horrendously badly done pseudo-scientific ideas ot jsutify his bullshit (which is where neitzsche, the nazis*, fundies, MRAs, lib-cons, twisty faster and the "special" brand of super-conservative "radical" feminism all coincide: Rank and flagrant idiocy held up as truth.

** Comparing someone to the nazis becuase they share a singular commonality is an all to common logical fallacy which Godwin's Law was sort of noting, and the correlaries that put forth that anyone who makes the nazis comparison is instantly forefitting the arguement are actually a serious misunderstanding of why it's generally a stupid arguement - and no I don't buy that whole "we must venerate the holocaust and not besmudge it's awesomeness by comparing mass murdering, illegally invading and occupying, horribly bigoted and/or authorative societies and nations to the nazis" line of arguement because by the time you're able to lessen the mass murder of 10 million people and the widespread use of people as commodities for personal, political and economic use (yes ancient sparta was as barbaric as the nazis, as was america until...erm... it'll get better eventually... I hope...) then it's already been lessened to such a ridiculous degree that further lessening hardly matters really - the harm has been done already.

Nazi comparisons are always apt and informative more often than not, for instance what a person compares the nazis too and for what is the most interesting thing because you can get a really good idea about a person truly holds up as evil - for instance, nazi/isreal comparisons with regard to the occupation of palestine show a deep seated dislike of imperialistic tendencies, the idea of manifest destiny that probably lies buried somewhere beneath subconcious and drives forth the use of palestine as the germans would have used poland and russia; as lebensraum, racism, mass murder, and the use of religion as a cheap and tawdry political tool.

Whereas comparing the nazis and france, not because of the racism aimed by the majority catholic french towards the muslim french of course, but because of some of the social policies (things like a welfare system) of france - shows a hatred of the poor primarily, with a side show in approving of all the various other nastinesses that the nazis went in for.

This is a result of the nazis being held up to the level of an automatically hyperbolic example of evil, how one uses the nazis retorically shows what you consider the epitome of evil, and what you need to ignore about the nazis to make the comparison fit shows what you consider, not good but rather not-evil - maybe a neccesary evil or something you grudgingly would support or at least not care about if it happened again.

For instance, I care not a jot about the nazis use of work schemes to revive the german economy, nor do I begrudge them a love of zepplins and skellingtons BUT, slave labor, the illegal theft of land via illegal invasions, the subjegation of other people, the whole "might makes right" philosophy, racism, misogyny, biogtry in general mass murder, facism, militaristic mationalism, nationalism, pseudo-science, eugenics, gender essentialism, fake military uniforms, conservatism, rape, pedophilia, bad moustaches and general acts of catholicism are generally speaking Bad in my view of the world.

Nazi comparisons are always good comparisons, if only because they're often good examples of how people's values are comparable to the nazis rather than because the thing that a person is comparing is or isn't.

5 comments:

ChasingMoksha said...

how one uses the nazis retorically shows what you consider the epitome of evil, and what you need to ignore about the nazis to make the comparison fit shows what you consider, not good but rather not-evil - maybe a neccesary evil or something you grudgingly would support or at least not care about if it happened again.

But one can compare say Israel to the Nazis, thus demonstrating that imperialism is bad (or the worse evil) yet by default they are not automatically embracing everything else that is bad from the Nazis just because they left it out of the assertion.

ChasingMoksha said...

I always felt that Godwin whined about the comparison but he was too mentally lazy to dive into it.


As far as Nietszche it seems to me like he always just wanted the "moral" permission to do whatever the hell he wanted to do. Of course I am no Nietszche scholar.

R. Mildred said...

well the people who are really responsible for that sort of thing (I can think of that Iranian/british guy who started the whole "the iranians are going to start making iranian jews wear yellow stars" story from a while back who specifically made some sort of weird assertion that the paris riots were the fault of france's "soviet style" apartment blocks and welfare system that france employs - because obviously the bad thing, the thing that caused the gulags was the welfare state of soviet russia, not the racism, classism and misogyny that ran the whole affair) generally go into specifics on why someone is like hitler/the nazis and it's often so deeply weird.

A good example of this is the "hitler was a vegetarian/anti-animal-vivisectionist/gay" accusations, you point to this one thing which you're making out to be bad, then finding the quality in hitler (symbolic badness figure) to prove how bad it is - which implies a causal link between the nastiness of hitler with the presupposed nastiness of gays/vegetarians, so that vegetarians lead to the holocaust and the rise of facism.

ChasingMoksha said...

to prove how bad it is - which implies a causal link between the nastiness of hitler with the presupposed nastiness of gays/vegetarians, so that vegetarians lead to the holocaust and the rise of facism.

Okay I see I think. It seems like the comparison is a subtle way of insulting who is being compared. As in the vegetarian example. I was taking the "good" example for being just that, an isolation of the greater bad. Even though I know nothing can stand alone I was giving credit to the person using the comparison as have the "intent" (has become a bad word, LOL) of just using the good. But now that you spell it out, it becomes a passive aggressive round the way method to insult.

ChasingMoksha said...

On further thought, perhaps you are saying that the fact that the Hitler/Nazi example is even brought up is a subconscious and/or conscious (hence the passive aggressiveness) to tie the two together. If so, then I get it now.