2011 Abstracts Stage 3

Nietzsche made me do it!!!!

Wendy Wheatley, 2011, Stage 3

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, a German philosopher, notorious for his blistering eruptions on Christianity, moral conventions and contemporary modern society. Estranged from the outside world and in deep mental breakdown, Nietzsche left the world with an astounding legacy that would carry on to question and criticize traditional customs and morality long after his death. Nietzsche writings would have ramifications for more than a hundred years for how certain psychopathic criminals would distinguish and rationalize their crimes, and attribute their atrocities to the influence Nietzsche’s writing would have on them. However in every writers fan base there may be a misguided group of readers, this does not make the writer responsible for the misinterpretation and even less guilty of the perpetrators crimes. Nietzsche seems more than most writers to come under a lot of criticism and suspicion, this is partly to do with the content of his writing but also he seems to be attacked from another more biased angle, these are the people who want the mud to stick because Nietzsche seems to be threatening their value or belief system. One such writer who seems determined to tarnish the philosophers name is Katherine Ramsland, Ph. D. Graduate of the private, exclusive, Catholic DeSales University, established by the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, who’s foundation for teaching are on the theology of the believed saint.

Ramslands writes an article which seems to be leaning in the direction of this bias view the title of her article was; “Existential Murder: The Nietzsche Syndrome” and within this article she claims that “Nietzsche inspired Hitler and other killers.” Within this project I will be investigating what Ramsland coined the “Nietzsche Syndrome” and looking at the killers which she suggests were influenced by Nietzsche’s philosophy. I hope to prove that not only is Nietzsche misunderstood in many of his concepts but that he can actually be looked at from a positive angle, I also hope to show how Nietzsche’s work has been used for good. In my research I have also noticed that Ramsland has handpicked the murderers she uses, but in no way compares them to killers who have not used Nietzsche as an inspiration, failing to draw any comparisons and pinning down any common traits held by killers seems as though she is trying to strengthen the blame on Nietzsche without any real investigation, I hope to provide these comparisons and links, and hopefully vindicate the work of Nietzsche.

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