By Vexen Crabtree 2005
Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844 Oct 15 - 1900 Aug 25, was a German philosopher who challenged the foundations of morality and promoted life affirmation and individualism. He was one of the first existentialist philosophers. Some of Nietzsche's philosophies have surfaced as those upheld by Satanists.
“A professor of Greek at Basel at the age of twenty-five, Nietzsche abandoned philology and, influenced by the ideas of Schopenhauer (1788-1860), he attempted to develop a critique of traditional religious and philosophical thought. Deteriorating health and growing insanity after 1889 brought him under the control of his sister, Elizabeth, who edited and distorted his writings.
Nietzsche's complex and ambitious work stressed the important of will, especially the 'will to power', and anticipated modern existentialism in emphasizing that people create their own world and make their own values - 'God is dead'. A fierce critic of Christianity and an opponent of egalitarianism and nationalism, his ideas have influenced anarchism and feminism as well as fascism. Nietzsche's best known writings include Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883-4), Beyond Good and Evil (1886) and On the Genealogy of Morals (1887).”
“His detractors continue to run a smear campaign, based on genuine malevolence or ignorance, associating Nietzsche with Fascism. Modern-day scholars largely refute the idea that Nietzsche would have supported Nazi Germany or its morality, especially given its anti-human, destructive, restricting and oppressive nature. The most horrific actions of the Nazis, the genocide of the Jews, the "lowest" race, was based on a nationalism that predated Nietzsche.”
Friedrich Nietzsche is often referred to as the quintessential Satanist philosopher. Some criticize Satanism by saying that it is a rip-off of Nietzsche's philosophy. It is undoubted that LaVey was influenced by Nietzsche as he would often quote from him. LaVey gave credit, where due, to Nietzsche. But let's not get carried away. Every philosophy derives from the life lessons learned by its founder. All philosophers and religionists have used existing knowledge to fuel and develop their own enterprises. LaVey's teachings matched with parts of Nietzsche's, partly in style and partly in content. The synthesis of Nietzsche with many other teachings and elements has created a new, unique movement. Nietzsche did not found an international Satanic organisation, he merely paved the way philosophically. Satanism is more than philosophy, it is a way of life and a system of symbolism that Nietzsche did and could not have created, and may not even have accepted if he was alive today.
Current edition: 2005 Jan 24
Parent page: The Description, Philosophies and Justification of Satanism
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(2003) Political Ideologies. Paperback book. 3rd edition. Originally published 1992. Current version published by Palgrave MacMillan.