Nietzsche and conservatism

I thought this was interesting--perhaps you will too. Jonah Goldberg at National Review Online's The Corner asks if there are any American conservatives who were greatly influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche.

Andrew Sullivan cracks a smile at the thought that the atheistic, Nietzschean Straussians (e.g. Wolfowitz) now draw evangelical voters.

Pejman notes Nietzsche's elitism (and even manages to connect it with The Incredibles).

In a follow-up post, Pejman mentions Judge Richard Posner as a candidate for a Nietzschean conservative. I also recommend Pejman's review of a Nietzsche anthology translated by Walter Kaufmann. Pejman cites this passage (among others) from Nietzsche:

At the risk of displeasing innocent ears I propose: egoism belongs to the nature of a noble soul--I mean that unshakable faith that to a being such as "we are" other beings must be subordinate by nature and have to sacrifice themselves. The noble soul accepts this fact of its egoism without any question mark, also without any feeling that it might contain hardness, constraint, or caprice, rather as something that may be founded in the primordial law of things: if it sought a name for this fact it would say, "it is justice itself." Perhaps it admits under certain circumstances that at first make it hesitate that there are some who have rights equal to its own; as soon as this matter of rank is settled it moves among these equals with their equal privileges, showing the same sureness of modesty and delicate reverence that characterize its relations with itself--in accordance with an innate heavenly mechanism understood by all stars. It is merely another aspect of its egoism, this refinement and self-limitation in its relations with its equals--every star is such an egoist--it honors itself in them and in the rights it cedes to them; it does not doubt that the exchange of honors and rights is of the nature of all social relations and thus also belongs to the natural condition of things.

Pejman finds the sentiment expressed here congenial. I don't. I wonder what Brian Leiter, a Nietzschean elitist of the Left would make of this passage?


I followed some of the thread on The Corner about conservative philosphy in general. I definitely felt a disconnect because my conservatism isn't based on any of the people they talked about, its based more on faith (which is a form of philosophy) and personal nature.

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