Nietzsche and the Jewish Menace to Civilization
|July 27, 2010||Posted by admin under AntiChrist, Aryan, Hitler, Judaism, Nietzsche, Religion||
The Jewish menace to civilization
It is necessary to look at some other ideas about the Jews expressed by Nietzsche in his book. For one thing, he stressed the racial toughness of the Jews: “Psychologically, the Jews are a people gifted with the very strongest vitality . . .” (24). The Jews have “the most profound national instinct, the most powerful national will to live, that has ever appeared on earth.” (27). Hitler had the same idea:
The mightiest counterpart to the Aryan is represented by the Jew. In hardly any people in the world is the instinct of self-preservation developed more strongly than in the so-called ‘chosen.’ Of this, the mere fact of the survival of this race may be considered the best proof. Where is the people which in the last two thousand years has been exposed to so slight changes of inner disposition, character, etc., as the Jewish people? What people, finally, has gone through greater upheavals than this one-and nevertheless issued from the mightiest catastrophes of mankind unchanged? What an infinitely tough will to live and preserve the species speaks from these facts! [Mein Kampf vol. I chapt. 11].
This was by no means unique to Hitler and Nietzsche. How else to explain the mysterious survival of the Jews in strictly human terms? Christians and Jews can explain the mystery as the result of the will of God and his covenant with Abraham. Let those who scoff at this try to present a more credible empirically verifiable and falsifiable alternative. They can’t.
Although I have confined myself so far almost exclusively to one of Nietzsche’s books for the sake of clarity and simplicity, some of Nietzsche’s comments from Beyond Good and Evil are useful in this context. This book too, by the way, was published by Nietzsche before his collapse, so his sister’s influence is not relevant. Anyway, Nietzsche says “But the Jews are undoubtedly the strongest, most tenacious, and purest race now living in Europe. They understand how to assert themselves even under the worst conditions (better even than under favourable conditions) . . .” (Part Eight, 251).[i] In the same context Nietzsche added that it was necessary for thinkers concerned about the future of Europe to “take the Jews as well as the Russians into account as, for the time being, the surest and most probable factors in the great interplay and struggle of forces” (251).
This is rather peculiar. The Jews are the strongest race in Europe? They know how to assert themselves? A sure factor in the great struggles of the day? Even before his breakdown, Nietzsche revealed himself here as a man with a very strange way of looking at things. Significantly, Nietzsche says in this same section that no more Jews should be allowed into Germany because they were a threat to the survival of Germany:
That Germany has a richly sufficient number of Jews, that the German stomach and German blood have difficulty (and will still have difficulty for a long time to come) absorbing even this quantum of “Jew” in the way the Italians, the French, and the English have absorbed them, as a result of a stronger digestive system—that is the clear message and language of a general instinct which we should listen to and according to which we must act. “Let no more Jews in! And especially bar the doors to the east (also to Austria)!” So orders the instinct of a people whose type is still weak and uncertain, so that it could be easily erased, easily dissolved away by a stronger race (251).
Nietzsche’s strangeness becomes even more evident when he says “That the Jews, if they wanted to—or if people were to force them, as the anti-Semites seem to wish to do—could even now become predominant, in fact, quite literally gain mastery over Europe, is certain; that they are not working and planning for that is equally certain” (251).
The Jews could gain mastery over Europe if they wanted to? No sensible person would claim that Jewish butchers, bakers, candle-stick makers, Talmud scholars, lawyers, and teachers had the ability to gain mastery over Europe. Nietzsche is here showing an idea of the Jews that was completely divorced from reality. Within a few years he would progress in his understanding from the perception that the Jews could have the mastery of Europe but were not aiming for it, to the perception, stated in The Antichrist, that they were undermining European civilization to ensure their own survival.
Maybe someone who studied Nietzsche in more depth (not that I recommend this) could show how the progression of his insanity was evident in his writings. That seems to be the case, in this instance at least. Obviously, the man was not the picture of mental health one month and stark raving mad the next month. But, such speculations aside, let us examine Nietzsche’s final view as expressed in The Antichrist. There Nietzsche wrote that the Jews used decadence to ensure their own self-preservation by undermining and weakening people who would otherwise be a threat to them:
Psychologically, the Jews are a people gifted with the very strongest vitality, so much so that when they found themselves facing impossible conditions of life they chose voluntarily, and with a profound talent for self-preservation, the side of all those instincts which make for decadence—not as if mastered by them, but as if detecting in them a power by which “the world” could be defied (24).
The cunning, tricky, and devious Jews are not decadent themselves—they are, after all, “gifted with the very strongest vitality.” No, they use decadence to achieve their goal of domination:
The Jews are the very opposite of decadents: they have simply been forced into appearing in that guise, and with a degree of skill approaching the non plus ultra of histrionic genius they have managed to put themselves at the head of all decadent movements (–for example, the Christianity of Paul–), and so make of them something stronger than any party frankly saying Yes to life. To the sort of men who reach out for power under Judaism and Christianity,–that is to say, to the priestly class–decadence is no more than a means to an end. Men of this sort have a vital interest in making mankind sick . . . (24).
Notice that the Jews are at the head of all movements of decadence. This was the view stated by Wagner, whom Nietzsche deeply admired for a long time. Democracy, a free press, socialism, bad music, capitalism, worker unrest, failure to admire Nietzsche, Christianity—anything that conflicted with an imaginary ideal could be attributed to Jewish corruption. Of course, Bolshevism was unknown in Nietzsche’s day, but someone who could blame the Jews for all forms of decadence, including socialism, would have no difficulty in linking them to whatever else might come up.
Nietzsche went on to point out that the Jewish problem was a racial problem: “The whole disaster was only made possible by the fact that there already existed in the world a similar megalomania, allied to this one in race, to wit, the Jewish . . .”(44). All of this “is not an accident due to the chance talents of an individual, or to any violation of nature. The thing responsible is race. The whole of Judaism appears in Christianity as the art of concocting holy lies . . .” (44).
Defenders of Nietzsche ignore or minimize his comments about the Jews, sometimes even stating the exact opposite of the truth in this matter—whether through ignorance, or through sincere inability to recognize their hero’s faults, or through deliberate deception to protect Nietzsche’s reputation I won’t presume to guess.
It is interesting that the Chinese Communists also saw Christianity as a trick devised to oppress people. They claimed that the American imperialists were “using the Bible to anaesthetize people in order to enslave them.”[ii] This does not mean that they were influenced by Nietzsche—though some Chinese intellectuals were (and are) more well informed about Western philosophical trends than many realize. That religion was used by the capitalists to keep people satisfied with their oppressed state was a basic idea of Marxism long before Nietzsche. He had a similar idea, only he blamed not the capitalists, but the Jews.
[i] Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil.
[ii] Stephen Wang, The Long Road to Freedom: The Story of Wang Mingdao (Tonbridge 2002), p. 32.