Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) and His Worldview of Postmodernism

By Brannon S. Howse

“Postmodernism” is a term so widely known these days that you might think it is simply a word that’s become attached to a vast but vague set of contemporary ideas. But its origin is actually very traceable—right to the subject of this chapter. Friedrich Nietzsche, along with Michael Foucault, founded postmodern thought. 


Postmodernism argues that truth and reality are created by man and not by God, that something is true “if it works for you.” Truth is neither absolute nor binding over the entire globe, but merely situational and subjective. What’s more, postmodernism is a dominant worldview in America today, largely because Friedrich Nietzsche is one of the most widely read authors on college campuses. 


Nietzsche is best known for declaring “God is dead,” but few know that he went on to say that not only is God dead but that “we have killed him.” Nietzsche hated Christians. “Christianity has been the most calamitous kind of arrogance yet,” wrote Nietzsche, and, “I call Christianity the one great curse, the one enormous and innermost perversion, the one moral blemish of mankind…I regard Christianity as the most seductive lie that has yet existed.” Nietzsche believed that Christianity made his fellow Germans weak, so he described himself as “The Anti-Christian Friedrich Nietzsche” or sometimes as just “The Antichrist” (also the title of one of his books—Antichrist).


So exactly why should Americans be concerned that Nietzsche’s worldview is so popular? Let’s start with his connection to Adolf Hitler.

Hitler was so enamored with postmodern thought that he visited Nietzsche’s museum to have his picture taken while staring at a bust of Nietzsche.  Hitler declared, “Creation is not yet at an end. Man is becoming God…Man is God in the making.” And: “Do you really believe the masses will be Christian again? Nonsense! Never again. That tale is finished. No one will listen to it again.” He even passed the writings of Nietzsche along to his Italian counterpart, Benito Mussolini. 


Hitler combined the survival-of-the-fittest worldview of Darwinian evolution with the “superman” concept of Frederick Nietzsche and developed eugenics—the systematic elimination of individuals the State deemed to be the weakest link, the racially defective, and subhuman. Both Hitler and Nietzsche championed the eradication of guilt from the human conscience. Nietzsche elevated Darwin’s survival of the fittest to the next level and proclaimed that “Life simply is will to power.” Whatever it takes, one should purpose to be a ruler, a master over the less desirable. Thus, in promoting his master-and-slave morality, Nietzsche, in his book Beyond Good and Evil, proclaimed the need to look beyond Christian definitions of good and evil to whatever it takes to gain power, part which means endorsing cruelty when necessary to accomplish the goal.  Nietzsche explained: 


"We should reconsider cruelty and open our eyes….Almost everything we call “higher culture” is based on the spiritualization of cruelty, on its becoming more profound: this is my proposition."

“Master morality” means the strong rule over the weak. Nietzsche includes among the weak Christians with their compassion for the sick, aged, and vulnerable.  Anyone who held to a fixed morality, he maintained, would make themselves slaves—and deservedly so. Nietzsche thoroughly rejected the Christian worldview, its absolute truth, standards of justice and injustice, righteous and unrighteous. For Nietzsche, the only standard that matters is what puts and keeps someone in power. He believed “…that the demand of one morality for all is detrimental for the higher men….” notice that this is why today’s cultural elite have set standard for the masses and a completely different one for themselves. 


In contrast to Nietzsche, why do Christians have such a strong commitment to the life of the unborn, the sick, the disabled, and the elderly? Because we understand—as did America’s Founding Fathers—that man is created in the image of God, and therefore every person has a right to life, liberty, and property. With the loss of the Christian worldview and the ever-increasing acceptance of Nietzsche’s postmodernism, Christians and conservatives in America are at risk of being portrayed as the enemies of the State—intolerant, out of touch, bigoted, extremist, or even domestic terrorists—all because their Biblical worldview conflicts with that of “the higher man,” the cultural elite, or the master morality. 


America’s sick, handicapped, and elderly will also be at risk as man’s intrinsic, God-given worth is replaced by a value measured only by what a person can do for the State. Once national healthcare is a reality and the majority of Americans come to see it as a right, only the threat of its removal will be needed to convince younger, postmodern generations that the lifeboat is too full, and it is time to toss the weak overboard. 


I’ve predicted this for many years, and there are those who once believed I was talking foolishness. But Bloomberg news reported that in the early 2009 stimulus bill a new bureaucracy was created: 

[quote] The National Coordinator of Health Information Technology will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and “guide” your doctor’s decisions.

Medicare now pays for treatments deemed safe and effect. The stimulus bill would change that and apply a cost-effective standard set by the Federal Council. The Federal Council is modeled after a U.K board…This board approves or rejects treatments using a formula that divides the cost of treatment by the number of years the patient is likely to benefit. Treatments for young patients are more often approved than treatments for diseases that affect the elderly...” [end quote]

When this was added to the stimulus bill, U.S. Representative Dr. Charles Boustany Jr., (R., La.), who is also a heart surgeon, predicted that this would lead to "denying seniors and the disabled lifesaving care."

On June 19, 2009, Betsy McCaughey, writing in The Wall Street Journal on the proposed healthcare bill of President Obama and U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, declared:

[quote] While the house bill being pushed by the president reduces access to such cures and specialists, it ensures that seniors are counseled on end-of-life options, including refusing nutrition where state law allows it (pp.425-446). In Oregon, the state is denying some cancer patients care that could extend their lives and is offering them physician-assisted suicide instead.

The harshest misconception underlying the legislation is that living longer burdens society. Medicare data proves this is untrue. A patient who dies at 67 spends three times as much on health care at the end of life as a patient who lives to 90, according to Dr. Herbert Pardes, CEO of New York Presbyterian Medical Center. [end quote]


The Obama/Kennedy healthcare bill proposed cutting $500 billion dollars out of Medicare spending over ten years. And just how would that be achieved? It would be accomplished by denying care to elderly and disabled people—active euthanasia through the rationing of healthcare.

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, was appointed to two important government boards to assist in drafting and passing socialized medicine. Emanuel declared that healthcare should be saved for people the State deems are productive human resources and that it should not be given to those:

"Who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens …An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia"

In a sad irony, many retired teachers will experience first-hand the brutal, inhumane consequences of the worldview they inculcated into their pupils through situational ethics courses. Americans will not likely escape the consequences of their duplicity or apathy. Whether parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, elected officials, pastors, Sunday school teachers, journalists, butchers, bakers, or candlestick makers, they will find that Aristotle was correct when he said, “All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth.” 

Hitler understood that through socialized medicine he could further his goal of eugenics and active euthanasia. America is rushing toward government-sponsored, national healthcare at the time I am writing this book in August 2009. Hitler, too, expanded and centralized Germany's healthcare system, as Melchior Palyi explained:


"The ill-famed Dr. Ley, boss of the Nazi labor front, did not fail to see that the social insurance system could be used for Nazi politics as a means of popular demagoguery, as a bastion of bureaucratic power. [and] as an instrument of regimentation."

In another, perhaps more satisfying irony, Nietzsche went insane just a few months after writing his book The Antichrist and spent the next ten years out of his mind. The godless worldview of Nietzsche will lead individuals into self-inflicted insanity and despair and will cause nations to be ruled by madmen. 


I fear the insane consequences of assimilating the worldview of Friedrich Nietzsche are coming soon to a country (very) near you. 


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