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Prophet Nietzsche – Prophet for the Postmodern Age

You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.

Friedrich Nietzsche in Thus Spoke Zoroaster.

At the age of 24 years, Friedrich Nietzsche became a professor and was shortly thereafter appointed to head the Department of Classical Philology at the University of Basel. This set the young Nietzsche on the path to becoming one of the greatest thinkers of the 19th Century. His thoughts and ideas – such as Will to Power, Übermensch, Master–slave morality – made a momentous impact on human history. In The 7 Archangels of German Ingenuity, Nietzsche is described as one of the arch-thinkers alongside his intellectual hero, Arthur Schopenhauer, and his posthumous student, Martin Heidegger.

This post focuses on a prediction – which turned out to be a true prophecy – that he made about the outcome of the collapse of the grand narrative of Christianity and its associated Death of God. He also laid the foundation of what became postmodernism following the mass destruction caused by World War II when two post-Christian ideologies – Communism and Fascism – engaged in a violent titanic struggle that can only be expressed in superlatives: the most brutal war fought by the largest armies ever raised and resulted in the highest combat death toll in human history.

Nietzsche Gnosophia org
Friedrich Nietzsche in 1875. CREDIT: Wikipedia.

The mortal fear of Nietzsche was that the death of God would unleash previously suppressed barbarous instincts while simultaneously empowering human beings to try to create a Godless utopia – a fatal combination where the Freudian ego and id operate (unrestrained) without oversight by the superego. The result was the barbarity that befell Europe during the First World War when the successor of the idea of Death of God i.e Death of the Monarch led to the deaths of the monarchs of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Russian Empire, and the eventual collapse of all the continental empires in Europe – the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Russian Empire, and the Ottoman Empire. This collapse destroyed the existing political and social order, and its remarkable feature was the genocide and mass killings made possible by the collapse of unifying narratives and advances in technology (and education) that allowed powerful and quite lethal weapons – such as phosgene and chlorine gas – to be produced in large amounts and be deployed more effectively in the task of decimating enemy combatants. Still, World War I paled in barbarity compared to World War II whose most destructive conflict can be described as the War of the Gods – a conflict between Nazism and Soviet Communism that was fought as a war of annihilation with the people who honored the defeated God suffering horrible cruelties. Following the blood-drenched Vistula-Oder Strategic Offensive that brought the Soviets to the heart of the Third Reich, the 2.5-million-strong Soviet military was tasked with killing the narrative of the Aryan Übermensch [Superman] (which can be described as killing the egregore/God of Nazism).

It is the death of the narrative of the Aryan superman that led to the questioning of all grand narratives including the idea of progress and scientism, thus birthing what is now recognized as postmodernism.

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