After Nietzsche’s Beyond
AbstractNietzsche’s writing on nationalism raises a series of questions about how we interpret his genealogical and constructivist insights in light of his often mendacious cultural stereotyping. More importantly, the misinterpretations of his work in the name of nationalism have required careful examination to ‘salvage’ his work from the wreckage of his posthumous Nazi career. A close reading of Nietzsche raises critical questions about modern political subjectivity. This piece relates these questions to the methodological problem associated with studying nationalist violence in the wake of Nietzsche’s academic revival. It argues that Nietzsche’s desire to place his own subjectivity beyond the dilemmas of his day is ethically incomplete. If we only understand oppression in terms of different subject positions or personal subjectivity, then we fail to recognize the ethical responsibility that inter-subjectivity makes possible through the act of bearing witness to the oppression experienced by others.
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