Wednesday 10 September 2014

Nietzsche's Philosophy

The German philosopher,Friedrich Nietzsche ( 1844-1890), has been one of the most misunderstood philosophers in the world, though, in my opinion, one of the greatest. His reputation particularly suffered as he was hijacked by Hitler and the Nazis for their own propaganda, using his concept of ' ubermensch ' ( overman or superman), though Nietzsche's meaning of this concept was totally different from what the Nazis attributed to it.

Nietzsche wrote several books to explain his philosophy, e.g. Thus Spake Zarathustra, The Birth of Tragedy, Beyond Good and Evil, Human all too Human, On the Genealogy of Morals, etc The best book, in my opinion is 'Thus Spake Zarathustra ', and I have read it several times, the first time half a century ago in Allahabad, and the last tiime very recently. Every time I read it I marvel at Nietzsche's ideas.

 Nietzsche stands for very great values, which I may mention :

1. He stands for life affirmation, in contrast to the pessimistic philosopher Schopenhauer, who represents the 'will to nothingness '. Nietzsche's philosophy accepts the reality of the world we live in, over the idea of a world beyond.

2. Nietzsche emphasizes the value of strength, and criticizes the Christian philosophy of 'turning the other cheek ', submission, pity, ascetism, and other worldliness, calling all these 'slave morality ' or the 'morality of the herd '. People should be strong if they wish to live a full life, and not submit before others.

3. He gives great importance to individual creativity, and is against conformity and mass culture ( see 'the Way of the Creator' in his book 'Thus Spake Zarathustra' ). The Creator's life is lonely, and he often has to face great hostility by common people who are conservative by nature,yet he does not flinch or surrender, but carries on a lonely struggle.

4. Nietzsche conceives of the Ubermesch ( Overman or Superman), who is a creator of new values. The Overman does not follow the morality of the common people, since it favours mediocrity, and is the morality of the herd. The Overman rises above the herd, he overcomes great obstacles, engages in epic struggles ( not always successfully), pursues new goals unfamiliar to the common man, and transcends and transforms existing structures and contexts.
 As mentioned earlier, Nietzsche's philosophy was later hijacked by the Nazis for their own fascist propaganda.In this hijacking his sister, Elizabeth Forster played an important role. Elizabeth was married to a rabid anti-semite Bernard Forster, and she supported Hitler after he came to power in 1933.
 In fact Nietzsche abhorred anti-semitism, and his concept of 'Overman ' was totally different from that of the Nazis. The first President of Israel, Chaim Weizman, was a great admirer of Nietzsche.

5. Nietzsche had made a deep study of Greek drama and Greek philosophy. In the ' Birth of Tragedy ' he deals with the Apollo-Dionysius dichotomy. Apollo is the Greek god representing reason, clarity, harmony and progress. In contrast, Dionysus represents disorder, passion, intoxication, emotion and ecstasy. Nietzsche believed that both these forces are necessary, and it is by the interplay of these two contrasting forces that human progress takes place in history.


  1. Nietzsche went insane in the end thinking about philosophy and was looked after by his sister because of Christian values to look after the weak etc..

    His prediction that Christianity would collapse and that the church will die a natural death did not come true.

    Jesus Christ is considered the greatest philosopher even today and the Bible is the world's best selling book of non fiction even today.

  2. Dear Makandey Katju Sir and all his intelligent admirers (fans), I am a helpless guy living alone in Bangalore. Due to Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), my parents disowned me, I did not have any boy/girl friends and lived alone all through my life.I was working as a trainer for Red Hat Linux certifications. I am being continuously harassed and abused for last 4 years by some people who are very close relatives and associates (cronies) of former finance minister Mr. P.Chidambaram's family. Mr. P.Chidambaram's family directly helps them to harass and abuse me. They did phone tapping, spying, character assassination, psychological warfare etc on me. Many things in my life has been crushed cruelly and brutally for their vested interests, pleasure and ego. I cannot bear the pain any longer. The only thing left with me is an asset worth around Rs 1.5 crores without any court litigation or encroachment. The title of the land document is clear and Encumbrance Certificate (E.C) is also clear. But these people want to grab my only asset, crush me completely and leave me on the streets by other means like threatening etc. Since P.Chidambaram was in power till Lok Sabha elections of 2014, I could not do anything. At least now I want to start a new life. . . I beg some good people to rescue and save me. What help I exactly need is some people should stand for me and some powerful honest persons and lawyers with powerful contacts should help me in disposing of the land. I can pay the lawyer fees. I don't have much time left so please help me fast . I promise to work for welfare of India, if people come help me to get out of this problem. Please share this message with your friends and group that might help me. My email id is I am also enclosing a link to a document that contains my whole story.

  3. 1. Mahatma Gandhi was superhuman because of his ascetic qualities (wearing simple clothes) and turning the other cheek to the British by not resorting to violence or taking revenge.

    2. Mother Teresa was superhuman because she was not worldly and looked after lepers, the sick and the poor.

    3. Nelson Mandela was superhuman because he forgave his former enemies who imprisoned him.

    4. Martin Luther King was superhuman because he asked the blacks to show restraint even when subjected to attacks by the whites.

    5. The Dalai Lama is superhuman because he asked his followers not to hate the Chinese govt despite their oppression of Tibetan Buddhists.

    All the above displayed Christian qualities and are famous, not Nietzsche.


    1. They are great people certainly !!

      But the rest (means us) cannot be like a herd (following some leader).

      Every individual is unique.

      To 'realize' Jesus Christ you must 'become' another Christ.

      It requires courage and fierce honesty and unflinching self-esteem.

      Not just following Christianity and going to the church regularly in the weekends.

    2. Mahatma Gandhi did not lose his self esteem by turning the other cheek to the British. He proved his greatness by not taking revenge.

    3. It was necessary for Indians to follow Mahatma Gandhi's principles of non-violence in order to win freedom without much bloodshed

    4. Mahatma Gandhi is rightly called Father of the Indian Nation. By being humble, one does not lose his self esteem.

    5. I like your zeal, Prakash... . Without any disrespect to Gandhi, his solution of "non-violence" can work only against those that have some ethics. There are times when preserving self-esteem by any means necessary is more crucial than preserving semblance of peace.

  4. Bible .. a non-fiction????

    Oh Ok. Perhaps for believers.

  5. Sir, it is easier for you to comment on Judiciary having relinquished the office as CJI and now training guns on corrupt Judges. Though commendable and an act which would instill fear in the hearts of such miscreants and misfits who get promoted to High Court's with political backing, would an ordinary citizen get away with such comment on judiciary without attracting the wrath of entire judiciary or being thrown into prison for contempt of court?
    I have been doing regular pilgrimage of Mirzapur Civil Court in Ahmedabad as my tenant dragged me to court for asking him to vacate my flat despite his overstay without signing the Lease Agreement. For 3 years the movement didn't start as the tenant/his lawyer never appeared in court.Due to my employment in Delhi and my wife too serving in NCERT, both of us would take turns to visit to follow up on our lawyer. Then when we saw our lawyer had lost interest, I personally started coming and found to my horror that the Case Papers were missing for long and only on my allegation that it was in connivance with court staff did the papers emerge from hiding. I religiously attended each hearing fighting my own case ( couldn't afford a lawyer ) and when I asked the Judge as to why for my 1 and a half year of regular visit and no show of tenant side, he is being favored, the judge took exception to the query and told me to either redraft my submissions or get a lawyer which I finally had to. I personally wieghted down the Judge to issue summons to the tenant and when the warning with date was issued, the tenant's lawyer presented himself with an excuse that the earlier lawyer had got promoted as Judge and hence the gap. In just one hearing, the trial court judge granted the stay order till the suit disposal to the plaintiff. I was shocked and shattered. My advocate had indicated earlier that the Judge would give verdict in my favor if I could give him 10% of the flat's market value which I did not agree too as I believed in righteousness and victory of good. The lawyer told me that the offer passed over to plaintiff ( tenant ) who would have bargained and paid and got the verdict swung in his favor. Sir, is Judiciary now a place of bargaining and bartering for gratification with Judgement being dead and buried.? Despite being the owner of the property which I and my wife spent our sweat and savings to get, now we are without our own property which the tenant continues to enjoy having overstayed despite lapse of agreement and snooking a finger at me through connivance of law agencies.
    Stephen Narayanan

  6. The prophets of the Old Testament and Jesus are historical figures, not fiction.

    Even recent archaeological discoveries in Israel testify to the truth of the Bible as a reliable historical book of religious figures and places.

  7. Even the book 'God Father' has references of cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles etc.

    The mafiadom, which is the theme of that book, was there and a fact in the history of America

    That does mean that 'God Father' is a non-fiction.

    Coming to the fact that Bible as the largest selling book over any Nietzsche's work, well... I consider quality, not quantity, as the yardstick for measuring the worth of any piece of work.

    There is nothing permanent in nature.

    But every religion (with no exception) sells permanence or immortality in an attractive package. That is how all the religions survived through millennia (by simply selling ideas and myths).

  8. Below is the list of Nobel laureates and other scientists who believed in God, not Nietzsche.

    The Bible is far superior to Nietzsche in quality. Even great scientists admire the Bible for its quality.

  9. Nobel Laureate: Bible is Key to Jewish Genius

  10. Prakash, Please study about First Council of Nicea. It was conducted in 325 AD and Bible that you see today was more or less compiled in that place by condensing matter from as many as 18 different sources.

    Most importantly, Jesus was elevated to as "Son of God" in Nicea