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Fascism

YYW
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3/28/2014 4:07:47 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Fascism as a word is derived from the Italian "fasces" which literally translates to a bundle of rods with a protruding axe blade. The bundle of rods represents stregth through national unity, and thus the fasces was a symbol of imperial Rome's authority. It is fitting that Mussolini's usage of the word "fascismo" was the first time that "fascism" carried ideological weight. Fascism begins with the premise that strength is something with organic roots, something that is necessarily collective and that individual worth is only realized through group or national belonging.

(As an aside, I want to draw specific attention to my usage of the word "national." A nation is a singular ethnic body, not necessarily the population of a country or the whole of a country. Even though the terms "nation" and "state" are often used interchangeably, they do not mean the same thing. A state is an internationally recognized sovereign political entity with the right to rule in a given territory. A nation specifically is a large aggregate of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory.)

Fascism's ideal of a new man (something like Nietzsche's "overman") posits that such a person exists as as a national hero and achieves glory. He is motivated by honor, duty and diligent self sacrifice to the collective and ready at any moment to die in the name of country. Like conservatism, fascism can be loosely seen as a response to left-wing values of rationalism, progress, individualism, freedom, and the like which have underscored much of western political thought since the French Revolution. In their place, fascism values struggle, leadership, power, strength, glory and heroism. Fascism is anti-individualistic, anti-rational, anti-capitalist, anti-bourgeois, anti-communist, anti-everything that is not itself.

It is no coincidence that the Italians and the Germans both carried banners through their streets declaring that '1789 was dead.' Fascism exists principally as a modern phenomenon (insofar as it is conspicuously a reaction to enlightenment ideals and modernity) of the 20th century and so in two varieties: Italian and German. Whereas the former was more or less characterized by absolute faith in an absolutist and totalitarian state, state totalitarianism was the by product of a foundational anti-Semitic creed of Aryan supremacy. However, like the 1789 revolution, fascism functioned very much to destroy the ideological legacy against which it fought. Other historical incidences of fascism's translation into social/political orders are found in Imperial Japan, and Peron's Argentina.

Exactly where fascism specifically came from remains a matter for historical debate; and numerous historical forces can be cited as having contributed to fascism's onslaught. Among them include democracy's periodically tumultuous replacement of autarchy in Europe, industrialization's disruption of European social order, World War I's aftermath, global economic depression in the 1930s and enduring international political struggles in the wake of the Weimar republic's collapse. Some have offered meta-psychological reasons explaining fascism's rise in that because fascism promises stability and order is a necessary human response to "fear of freedom."

Fascism's most basic principle reduces to a belief in strength through unity, but fascism itself is conceptually difficult to analyze because on the one hand it is hard to classify fascism as an ideology. On the other even if fascism is an ideology the sheer complexity of it's development renders isolating core principles a nearly impractical exercise. Alas, fascism's themes might include anti-rationalism, the glory of struggle, leadership/hierarchy/elitism, socialism and hypernationalism.

Fascism is describable as anti-rational due to its rejection of Enlightenment ideals and Enlightenment thinking, generally. Enlightenment thinkers believed in universal reason, natural goodness, progression and liberation from superstition. These were rejected by fascists, who believed that there were higher impulses which superseded enlightenment optimism. Among them are Nietzsche's Will to Power, which George Sorel cited as the impetus for political myths which inspire auspicious action. Likewise, Henri Bergson's theory of vitalism (the idea that life's purpose was to give expression to visceral human impulse) can trace ideological roots to Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathrusta. Anti-rationlaism's impact on fascism characterizes fascism as decidedly anti-intellectual and of a perniciously destructive character. In that fascism rejects universal human reason, likewise, its standard for what ought to be is derivable only from history, culture and communal organicism.

Darwin's theory of natural selection contributed to fascists understanding of national and ethnic supremacy. Natural selection fit the fascist framework for glorifying struggle in that it implied a process of "weeding out" weaker species in favor of stronger ones such that only competition and conflict were the means to success. Hitler saw a similar process among people, and described it as an immutable law of human existence. Fascism regarded war, then, as both a good and an end unto itself. Darwinism and ideals of natural selection connoted strength with goodness and evil with weakness such that domination was not only necessary but right and proper.

Fascism is innately elitist in that its belief in national supremacy implies that humans are inherently unequal such that society is compressed of three kinds of people: those who possess absolute authority, warriors who serve that leader and the masses (Nietzsche's "herd") who seek obedience and submission. As such, fascism shared common traits with socialism in that it's distaste for individualistic capitalism drew from a contempt of business and financial institutions. Fascism opposes the existence of a monied middle class and materialistic consumerism in that both detract from focus on the all-powerful state. Paraphrasing Oswald Mosely, whereas capitalism is a system in which capital uses a nation for its purposes, national socialism (fascism) is a system in which a nation uses capital for its purposes. Marxists criticism of capitalism, then, was that fascism's function was to modify capitalism to its own ends rather than abrogate it from existence. This, again, begins with Darwinian natural selection. Fascism's breed of nationalism is uniquely chauvinistic and expansionist in nature in that it presupposes that nations exist not as independent entities but as inherent rivals in perpetual cycles of domination and submission. Fascism's nationalism, then, was integral, in that it framed individual identity as inseparable from the national whole.

Further Reading:

Benito Mussolini; Fascism: Doctrine and Institutions
Adolf Hitler; Mein Kampf
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Jifpop09
Posts: 2,243
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3/28/2014 4:16:27 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I debated Tophatdoc over whether Hitler was a fascist. His arguments did not make a whole ton of sense to me, so maybe we should do another debate.
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YYW
Posts: 36,391
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3/28/2014 4:18:48 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/28/2014 4:16:27 PM, Jifpop09 wrote:
I debated Tophatdoc over whether Hitler was a fascist. His arguments did not make a whole ton of sense to me, so maybe we should do another debate.

Hitler was a fascist.
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Jifpop09
Posts: 2,243
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3/28/2014 4:20:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/28/2014 4:18:48 PM, YYW wrote:
At 3/28/2014 4:16:27 PM, Jifpop09 wrote:
I debated Tophatdoc over whether Hitler was a fascist. His arguments did not make a whole ton of sense to me, so maybe we should do another debate.

Hitler was a fascist.

Exactly, but he argued against this point. He claimed Hitler was a national socialist. Here was my debate....

http://www.debate.org...
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YYW
Posts: 36,391
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3/28/2014 4:30:16 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/28/2014 4:20:39 PM, Jifpop09 wrote:
At 3/28/2014 4:18:48 PM, YYW wrote:
At 3/28/2014 4:16:27 PM, Jifpop09 wrote:
I debated Tophatdoc over whether Hitler was a fascist. His arguments did not make a whole ton of sense to me, so maybe we should do another debate.

Hitler was a fascist.

Exactly, but he argued against this point. He claimed Hitler was a national socialist. Here was my debate....

http://www.debate.org...

National socialism is fascism.
Tsar of DDO
Jifpop09
Posts: 2,243
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3/28/2014 4:31:31 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/28/2014 4:30:16 PM, YYW wrote:
At 3/28/2014 4:20:39 PM, Jifpop09 wrote:
At 3/28/2014 4:18:48 PM, YYW wrote:
At 3/28/2014 4:16:27 PM, Jifpop09 wrote:
I debated Tophatdoc over whether Hitler was a fascist. His arguments did not make a whole ton of sense to me, so maybe we should do another debate.

Hitler was a fascist.

Exactly, but he argued against this point. He claimed Hitler was a national socialist. Here was my debate....

http://www.debate.org...

National socialism is fascism.

Yes, that is exactly what he said. His argument was that hitlers fascism differed from mussolinis, so it became something else. I had to explain it was a sect of fascism.
Leader of the DDO Revolution Party
YYW
Posts: 36,391
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3/28/2014 4:32:07 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/28/2014 4:31:31 PM, Jifpop09 wrote:
At 3/28/2014 4:30:16 PM, YYW wrote:
At 3/28/2014 4:20:39 PM, Jifpop09 wrote:
At 3/28/2014 4:18:48 PM, YYW wrote:
At 3/28/2014 4:16:27 PM, Jifpop09 wrote:
I debated Tophatdoc over whether Hitler was a fascist. His arguments did not make a whole ton of sense to me, so maybe we should do another debate.

Hitler was a fascist.

Exactly, but he argued against this point. He claimed Hitler was a national socialist. Here was my debate....

http://www.debate.org...

National socialism is fascism.

Yes, that is exactly what he said. His argument was that hitlers fascism differed from mussolinis, so it became something else. I had to explain it was a sect of fascism.

Wow. Strange...
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Noumena
Posts: 6,047
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4/4/2014 2:24:50 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/28/2014 4:18:48 PM, YYW wrote:

What do you think about the relationship between Nietzsche and 20th century fascism?
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
YYW
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4/4/2014 2:26:54 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/4/2014 2:24:50 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 3/28/2014 4:18:48 PM, YYW wrote:

What do you think about the relationship between Nietzsche and 20th century fascism?

Nazi's read Nietzsche, and got hard for what they thought he meant. Heidegger, I think, had a bigger impact, but measuring that impact would be hard to do.
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Noumena
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4/4/2014 2:30:51 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/4/2014 2:26:54 AM, YYW wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:24:50 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 3/28/2014 4:18:48 PM, YYW wrote:

What do you think about the relationship between Nietzsche and 20th century fascism?

Nazi's read Nietzsche, and got hard for what they thought he meant. Heidegger, I think, had a bigger impact, but measuring that impact would be hard to do.

Well Heidegger seems especially relevant given his connection with the Nazis AND if one is ever in the mood for hermeneutic fun with Nietzschian texts.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
YYW
Posts: 36,391
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4/4/2014 2:35:42 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/4/2014 2:30:51 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:26:54 AM, YYW wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:24:50 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 3/28/2014 4:18:48 PM, YYW wrote:

What do you think about the relationship between Nietzsche and 20th century fascism?

Nazi's read Nietzsche, and got hard for what they thought he meant. Heidegger, I think, had a bigger impact, but measuring that impact would be hard to do.

Well Heidegger seems especially relevant given his connection with the Nazis AND if one is ever in the mood for hermeneutic fun with Nietzschian texts.

I think the thing with Nietzsche is that his style lends itself to all kinds of trouble, and that young men get intellectual boners for what they think he means. I think more than a few of the less mature Nazi's did too. But, that's kind of why I'm glad that Nietzsche is more of a historical relic than a cultural phenomenon, these days. Best that he's relegated to the periphery of intellectual thought -and he is, even if some of his ideas still resonate throughout the modern Western world.
Tsar of DDO
Noumena
Posts: 6,047
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4/4/2014 2:44:16 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/4/2014 2:35:42 AM, YYW wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:30:51 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:26:54 AM, YYW wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:24:50 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 3/28/2014 4:18:48 PM, YYW wrote:

What do you think about the relationship between Nietzsche and 20th century fascism?

Nazi's read Nietzsche, and got hard for what they thought he meant. Heidegger, I think, had a bigger impact, but measuring that impact would be hard to do.

Well Heidegger seems especially relevant given his connection with the Nazis AND if one is ever in the mood for hermeneutic fun with Nietzschian texts.

I think the thing with Nietzsche is that his style lends itself to all kinds of trouble, and that young men get intellectual boners for what they think he means. I think more than a few of the less mature Nazi's did too. But, that's kind of why I'm glad that Nietzsche is more of a historical relic than a cultural phenomenon, these days. Best that he's relegated to the periphery of intellectual thought -and he is, even if some of his ideas still resonate throughout the modern Western world.

*cough*postmodern Western world*cough*
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
YYW
Posts: 36,391
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4/4/2014 2:47:27 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/4/2014 2:44:16 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:35:42 AM, YYW wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:30:51 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:26:54 AM, YYW wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:24:50 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 3/28/2014 4:18:48 PM, YYW wrote:

What do you think about the relationship between Nietzsche and 20th century fascism?

Nazi's read Nietzsche, and got hard for what they thought he meant. Heidegger, I think, had a bigger impact, but measuring that impact would be hard to do.

Well Heidegger seems especially relevant given his connection with the Nazis AND if one is ever in the mood for hermeneutic fun with Nietzschian texts.

I think the thing with Nietzsche is that his style lends itself to all kinds of trouble, and that young men get intellectual boners for what they think he means. I think more than a few of the less mature Nazi's did too. But, that's kind of why I'm glad that Nietzsche is more of a historical relic than a cultural phenomenon, these days. Best that he's relegated to the periphery of intellectual thought -and he is, even if some of his ideas still resonate throughout the modern Western world.

*cough*postmodern Western world*cough*

haha, every time I see someone *cough* [something salient]*cough*ing I think of brief insights of wisdom while a doctor is holding your balls to make sure that everything's working properly.

But yeah, it's true.
Tsar of DDO
Noumena
Posts: 6,047
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4/4/2014 2:56:41 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/4/2014 2:47:27 AM, YYW wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:44:16 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:35:42 AM, YYW wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:30:51 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:26:54 AM, YYW wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:24:50 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 3/28/2014 4:18:48 PM, YYW wrote:

What do you think about the relationship between Nietzsche and 20th century fascism?

Nazi's read Nietzsche, and got hard for what they thought he meant. Heidegger, I think, had a bigger impact, but measuring that impact would be hard to do.

Well Heidegger seems especially relevant given his connection with the Nazis AND if one is ever in the mood for hermeneutic fun with Nietzschian texts.

I think the thing with Nietzsche is that his style lends itself to all kinds of trouble, and that young men get intellectual boners for what they think he means. I think more than a few of the less mature Nazi's did too. But, that's kind of why I'm glad that Nietzsche is more of a historical relic than a cultural phenomenon, these days. Best that he's relegated to the periphery of intellectual thought -and he is, even if some of his ideas still resonate throughout the modern Western world.

*cough*postmodern Western world*cough*

haha, every time I see someone *cough* [something salient]*cough*ing I think of brief insights of wisdom while a doctor is holding your balls to make sure that everything's working properly.

But yeah, it's true.

I seriously think he's gaining more traction currently. It seems difficult to analyze post-anything without reference back to him.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
YYW
Posts: 36,391
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4/4/2014 3:02:31 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/4/2014 2:56:41 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:47:27 AM, YYW wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:44:16 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:35:42 AM, YYW wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:30:51 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:26:54 AM, YYW wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:24:50 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 3/28/2014 4:18:48 PM, YYW wrote:

What do you think about the relationship between Nietzsche and 20th century fascism?

Nazi's read Nietzsche, and got hard for what they thought he meant. Heidegger, I think, had a bigger impact, but measuring that impact would be hard to do.

Well Heidegger seems especially relevant given his connection with the Nazis AND if one is ever in the mood for hermeneutic fun with Nietzschian texts.

I think the thing with Nietzsche is that his style lends itself to all kinds of trouble, and that young men get intellectual boners for what they think he means. I think more than a few of the less mature Nazi's did too. But, that's kind of why I'm glad that Nietzsche is more of a historical relic than a cultural phenomenon, these days. Best that he's relegated to the periphery of intellectual thought -and he is, even if some of his ideas still resonate throughout the modern Western world.

*cough*postmodern Western world*cough*

haha, every time I see someone *cough* [something salient]*cough*ing I think of brief insights of wisdom while a doctor is holding your balls to make sure that everything's working properly.

But yeah, it's true.

I seriously think he's gaining more traction currently.

I don't disagree, but I think that influence is conspicuously limited, though I'm far more interested in hearing why you think he's gaining traction than rambling on any morel lol

It seems difficult to analyze post-anything without reference back to him.

Details? I'm just curious what made you think that, but, again, I'm inclined to agree to an extent.
Tsar of DDO
Noumena
Posts: 6,047
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4/4/2014 3:23:10 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/4/2014 3:02:31 AM, YYW wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:56:41 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:47:27 AM, YYW wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:44:16 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:35:42 AM, YYW wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:30:51 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:26:54 AM, YYW wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:24:50 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 3/28/2014 4:18:48 PM, YYW wrote:

What do you think about the relationship between Nietzsche and 20th century fascism?

Nazi's read Nietzsche, and got hard for what they thought he meant. Heidegger, I think, had a bigger impact, but measuring that impact would be hard to do.

Well Heidegger seems especially relevant given his connection with the Nazis AND if one is ever in the mood for hermeneutic fun with Nietzschian texts.

I think the thing with Nietzsche is that his style lends itself to all kinds of trouble, and that young men get intellectual boners for what they think he means. I think more than a few of the less mature Nazi's did too. But, that's kind of why I'm glad that Nietzsche is more of a historical relic than a cultural phenomenon, these days. Best that he's relegated to the periphery of intellectual thought -and he is, even if some of his ideas still resonate throughout the modern Western world.

*cough*postmodern Western world*cough*

haha, every time I see someone *cough* [something salient]*cough*ing I think of brief insights of wisdom while a doctor is holding your balls to make sure that everything's working properly.

But yeah, it's true.

I seriously think he's gaining more traction currently.

I don't disagree, but I think that influence is conspicuously limited, though I'm far more interested in hearing why you think he's gaining traction than rambling on any morel lol

Limited to what? A specific school, field, country?

It seems difficult to analyze post-anything without reference back to him.

Details? I'm just curious what made you think that, but, again, I'm inclined to agree to an extent.

How can a figure like Nietzsche who furiously resisted formal systemization, targeted the pretenses of epistemology (anthropologizing them), is curiously caught up with the Nazis/WW2, wrote on power and the subjectification of the individual, etc. not get caught up in it? With the advent of postmodernism (whenever you want to place it), many looked back for 'precursors'. Nietzsche and Stirner seem to be popular targets in my experience. Or maybe it's not something inherent to Nietzsche's thought itself. Deleuze might have simply played a pivotal role in reviving serious consideration of his work. I'm terrible with Deleuze but I know a bit (a tiny bit) about his 'Nietzsche and Philosophy' which was rather popular at the time of its publication.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
YYW
Posts: 36,391
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4/4/2014 5:31:51 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/4/2014 3:23:10 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 4/4/2014 3:02:31 AM, YYW wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:56:41 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:47:27 AM, YYW wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:44:16 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:35:42 AM, YYW wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:30:51 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:26:54 AM, YYW wrote:
At 4/4/2014 2:24:50 AM, Noumena wrote:
At 3/28/2014 4:18:48 PM, YYW wrote:

What do you think about the relationship between Nietzsche and 20th century fascism?

Nazi's read Nietzsche, and got hard for what they thought he meant. Heidegger, I think, had a bigger impact, but measuring that impact would be hard to do.

Well Heidegger seems especially relevant given his connection with the Nazis AND if one is ever in the mood for hermeneutic fun with Nietzschian texts.

I think the thing with Nietzsche is that his style lends itself to all kinds of trouble, and that young men get intellectual boners for what they think he means. I think more than a few of the less mature Nazi's did too. But, that's kind of why I'm glad that Nietzsche is more of a historical relic than a cultural phenomenon, these days. Best that he's relegated to the periphery of intellectual thought -and he is, even if some of his ideas still resonate throughout the modern Western world.

*cough*postmodern Western world*cough*

haha, every time I see someone *cough* [something salient]*cough*ing I think of brief insights of wisdom while a doctor is holding your balls to make sure that everything's working properly.

But yeah, it's true.

I seriously think he's gaining more traction currently.

I don't disagree, but I think that influence is conspicuously limited, though I'm far more interested in hearing why you think he's gaining traction than rambling on any morel lol

Limited to what? A specific school, field, country?

Yeah, that wasn't clear. Limited in extremity, meaning that while we see increased amoralism (and amoralism that masquerades as subjectivism or glorified hedonism), we don't also see wannabe Zarathrusta's -or, at least not many.


It seems difficult to analyze post-anything without reference back to him.

Details? I'm just curious what made you think that, but, again, I'm inclined to agree to an extent.

How can a figure like Nietzsche who furiously resisted formal systemization, targeted the pretenses of epistemology (anthropologizing them), is curiously caught up with the Nazis/WW2, wrote on power and the subjectification of the individual, etc. not get caught up in it? With the advent of postmodernism (whenever you want to place it), many looked back for 'precursors'. Nietzsche and Stirner seem to be popular targets in my experience.

I'd agree with most of that, especially the last sentence above.

Or maybe it's not something inherent to Nietzsche's thought itself.

Probably.

Deleuze might have simply played a pivotal role in reviving serious consideration of his work. I'm terrible with Deleuze but I know a bit (a tiny bit) about his 'Nietzsche and Philosophy' which was rather popular at the time of its publication.
Tsar of DDO