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Nietzsche’s Last Dance
Post-Leftists Ruin Everything...
I have my hands full with family matters this week. My friend Rachel Haywire kindly offered to author a guest post so I could enjoy a week off.
Rachel is an author and philosopher focused on how the future and culture intersect. Her book, The New Art Right, is available on Amazon. Her blog, The Cultural Futurist, can be found here on Substack. She is currently working on an AI fashion line. All praise and pathos resulting from this essay should kindly be directed to her. :-)
Nietzsche’s Last Dance
Post-Leftists Ruin Everything Around Me
By Rachel Haywire
Many of us grew up wishing for a Nietzschean renaissance. Well, our wish came true. We’re looking at it. There’s just one little problem: it isn’t Nietzchean. It’s a post-leftist popularization of Nietzsche, which is about as un-Nietzchean as you can get.
It has never been so trendy to be into Nietzsche. This resurgence is undeniable in the age of Twitter/X. With the popularization of Nietzsche, we’ve reached new levels of depravity. His name is now plastered across the most perverse of social media feeds as his concepts are casually tossed around by people who have no understanding of his work. Nietzsche has been reduced to a meme. That, my friends, is our “Nietzschean renaissance.” Our philosopher of the isolated few has been mangled into a meme, his very essence whored out for social capital.
Gazing into the Abyss - The Other Turing Test
Anna Khachiyan of The Red Scare Podcast once broadcasted that “you don’t need to have read Nietzsche to be a spiritual Nietzschean.” What could possibly go wrong?
Well, a lot went wrong. When you read Nietzsche, his writing ignites a flame inside of you if you already possess the flame. This very flame that Nietzsche reawakens is communicated through his writing. Thus, you actually do need to read him to be a spiritual Nietzschean. His message is a call to the few who harbor an inferno within, a whisper that turns into a roar upon the pages of his works. To be a spiritual Nietzschean demands a journey through the heart of his prose—an odyssey that transcends mere surface-level understanding. His philosophy isn't for those seeking superficial novelties, but those who nourish an innate rebelliousness that burns through the mundane.
Yet Khachiyan is far from Nietzsche’s worst offender. She is, at least, beyond good and evil as a part of her persona. The issue is the mindless fans of her podcast, and other assorted post-leftist scenesters; dollar-store irony-bros who suddenly got into Nietzsche because it was trendy. The fans, the followers, and the herd are the problem. They were the problem in Nietzsche’s era and they are the problem in ours.
How did Nietzsche Become Trendy?
Remember politics? Let’s be historians. Remember the last presidential election? Let’s be commentators. As leftwing populist Bernie Sanders was cast to the wolves in a corrupt sideshow called democracy, (this actually happened twice, but most of these people are too young to remember it the first time around) the populist left found themselves disillusioned and adrift, seeking solace in the cracks between political ideologies. Suddenly, the dissident right's long-standing insights became glaring truths for these newly disenfranchised souls. A migration ensued, these leftists flocked from DSA podcasts like Chapo Trap House to edgier outfits like Red Scare, now putting on the costume of “post-leftist.”
They began cowardly expressing their opinions in a way that wasn’t outwardly right-wing. It was post-left, but it had the same spiritual characteristics of the irony-left that was behind the cancel culture they now felt safe enough to criticize. Suddenly, it was safe to be anti-woke, just like it was safe to get into Nietzsche. So, they got into Nietzsche because it was safe and trendy, just like they became ironically racist because it was safe and trendy to become ironically racist. Yet Nietzsche has never been safe or trendy. (he hasn’t even been ironically racist) If something is safe or trendy, it is decidedly not Nietzschean.
My gods, it gets even more twisted. These post-leftists who turned from cancelistas to anti-woke scenesters overnight became fans of personalities like Bronze Age Pervert, who actually had read Nietzsche. BAP sought to channel Nietzsche’s essence for a new generation of isolated fews, (and let’s just say it: nerds wishing to become jocks) yet the post-leftists and their penchant for insincerity and co-opting trends were far from his intended audience. So as they boarded the BAP train, they became a one-way ticket to triviality, in a display of appropriation that cast Nietzsche's legacy into a grotesque contortion. Yet was BAP going to denounce his fans just for being irony-bros? His own soldiers? Was Anna Khachiyan going to denounce her fans just for being annoying bores? Her own simps?
Never Post Left - What Happens When Scenesters Chatter
We could call it a journey if we wanted to be allegorical. The post-left had embarked on a journey from the halls of cancel culture to the temple of Nietzschean philosophy. Their journey served as a cautionary tale and a stark reminder that genuine transformation could not be reduced to a trend or a meme. Nietzsche’s fiery spirit demands a profound engagement that transcends the superficial realm of irony. He wrote for the Übermensch, the individual who defied conformity and rose above the herd. He railed against the suffocating embrace of social approval. Similarly, he would have rallied against these post-leftist “Nietzscheans” who exhibit the gravitas of a sagging blimp.
Their modern misinterpretation of Nietzsche, exemplified by cheap soundbites and cliché brags about bodybuilding, undermines the essence of his brilliance. The notion that one can grasp his spiritual dynamism without delving into his labyrinthine texts is a misstep that extinguishes the flames his words seek to fan. This alchemical reaction, this communion between author and reader, is the cornerstone of Nietzsche’s spiritual philosophy.
The trajectory is a familiar one. A leader that mocks conformity becomes the new conformity. A leader against the flock develops a flock. Yet this time it cannot be. Nietzscheans have two uses for flocks: eliminate or ignore. Lead, if you need a secret third use for them. Certainly do not join. You are not going to join a flock if you are a Nietzschean. Therefore, you cannot be a Nietzchean if you are a post-leftist, because post-leftists are watered-down versions of the dissident right who have joined the flock. They have recycled memes from 2015 in 2023, and are about as Nietzschean as Greta Thunberg.
At Least his Message is Getting Out There, Right?
One may say that at least Nietzsche’s message is getting out there, and perhaps someone like Marshall McLuhan would see this as a systematic process. Yet we’ve gotta be clear. Nietzsche did not write for the multitude; he wrote for the fearless few. His words were a call to reject societal norms, not to regurgitate them with bits of irony. If his message is getting out to the wrong people, it’s better that it does not spread any further.
As Nietzsche’s name resounds through the corridors of modern culture, the devotees who flock to his philosophy like moths to a flame have missed the mark. His challenge to stand apart from the herd has been reduced to a mere trend—a Nietzsche for the masses, diluted and sanitized. This is the wrong message. This is the wrong history. His legacy is being co-opted by a generation more interested in performance than substance, and it’s time to stop the show.
Preserving the Culture
So, in an age where post-leftist scenesters trivialize Nietzsche's prose into fleeting meme material, we stand at a crossroads where the essence of his philosophy dangles perilously over an abyss of mediocrity. The relentless vigor that once surged through his words, a tempest that shook the foundations of convention, now teeters on the edge of annihilation, threatened by a feeble imitation that would stir his righteous disdain.
Let the misconceptions be dispelled, and let the true spirit of his writing reignite like a phoenix from the ashes. Let this be a call to arms for the unyielding souls who reject the insipid and embrace the vitality of his teachings. Rise, not as mere spectators, but as keepers of the untamed flame—a flame that devours the tepid and illuminates the path of the Übermensch, the rare breed of individual who defies convention with every breath.
Let us unshackle ourselves from the confines of misconception and assert our dominion over this intellectual battleground. Let us seize the torch of truth and incinerate the fog of falsehoods that threaten to obscure his legacy. Nietzsche's flame roars with a vitality that cannot be extinguished—a testament to those who heed his call and embrace his challenge.
Vintage photograph of Friedrich Nietzsche performing his last dance at the Sils Maria dance hall near St. Moritz in Switzerland (1887)1
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Definitely not an image I made with Midjourney AI. Definitely not.