Nietzsche and Anarchy | Shahin

Nietzsche and Anarchy | Shahin

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How is it possible to live free and joyful in this world of domination? The key idea Nietzsche offers us is this: don't hide from struggle in fantasy worlds or imaginary futures, but affirm life, say yes to life here and now. With all its violence, cruelty and loneliness; and all its encounters of tenderness, wildness, delight and possibility.

The first part of the book is a reading of Nietzsche's philosophy of individual self-making. It begins with his radical psychology of "drives", which understands human beings as always multiple and always open to change. It works through his theories of incorporation, herd instinct, the sovereign individual, and slave morality, to reach the image of the "free spirit" who stands against the norms and creates new values.

The second part builds on these Nietzschean ideas with others from more recent thinkers, to develop an "ontology for social war", a framework for thinking through relations of conflict and affinity, power and domination. It addresses questions such as: how do we form groups that are not conformist herds? How do we spread anarchic desires, without becoming advertisers or missionaries? How do we fight, without becoming cruel or cold?

While the first part of the book can be read as an accessible introduction to core aspects of Nietzsche's thought, this is not a work of scholarship but one individual's use of some Nietzschean ideas as weapons for self-transformation and social struggle.

A statement by the publisher:

As publishers we believe that anarchism is the lens by which the rest of the world is examined. This means that all of the ideas that are otherwise owned by the bourgeoisie are ours. To do with what we will. To consume and make our body and mind strong. Nietzsche is a figure that is both owned by our enemies and entirely ours for the taking.

This book, freely available on the Anarchist Library, attempts to do what I am not Man, I am Dynamite failed to do, integrate Nietzsche firmly into the anarchist tradition. This is a project we approve of unconditionally.

It's a solid example of philosophical thinking without drowning in jargon, and it doesn't make excuses for the parts of Nietzsche's thoughts that anarchists don't agree with.


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