Nietzsche, Friedrich (1844–1900)

Friedrich Nietzsche was one of the most controversial writers of the 19th century. He left a remarkably ambiguous legacy for political thought, and his sweeping and often cryptic denunciations of existing institutions inspired a wide variety of thinkers, including both libertarians and many others who were profoundly hostile to libertarianism. His own views on liberty and the state are subject to a wide variety of interpretations. In his early account of Nietzsche's philosophy, H. L. Mencken interprets him as a sort of anarchist. There is certainly some reason to see Nietzsche in that way; he refers to himself repeatedly as “antipolitical,” which must be rather different from being merely “apolitical,” and he has blisteringly caustic things to say about the state in his Thus Spoke ...

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