The following is a conversation about Luther, Nietzsche, and Christianity, which took place in a private Skype group in late October, 2016.
Edited by Octavian (additional ed. by Adam).
Octavian: Jack, what is your view on Martin Luther?
Jack: I think he was a bit of a nutter, honestly. His characteristically German hysterical anti-Semitism shows that. He was obviously right about indulgences, but sola scriptura and the universal priesthood are just truly awful ideas. Although, I will say he was far, far better than Calvin and Knox. They were just straight-out madmen as far as I’m concerned.
Octavian: Nietzsche didn’t like Luther apparently, and Nietzsche had no love for Catholicism.
Jack: His hysterical anti-Semitism being one of the main reasons.
Kaiter Enless: This is probably the work that most typifies what you just mentioned, Jack. [Refers to Luther’s On the Jews and Their Lies, 1543]
Jack: Nietzsche never really embraced any sort of anti-Jewish sentiment probably because of the hysterical nature of anti-Semitism in Germany.
Kaiter: Well, he also admired their cleverness as well.
Jack: Yeah, but at that time every German intellectual — even Marx — was bashing the Jews.
Kaiter: Very true, it was probably a reactionary knee-jerk. But he really doesn’t talk much about it in his works so it’s hard to say.
Jack: Nietzsche saw the rather pathetic form it was taking and rejected it completely because of that, which is unfortunate. I think he’d have had some good commentary on the matter if he’d gone the direction that Evola did and actually get to the root of the Jewish problem without any of the German hysteria. Nietzsche despised pettiness, and German anti-Semitism was certainly that.
Kaiter: Hm, yes, that would have been interesting; fuel for historical fiction. Indeed, his stance on pettiness and pity was really what principally drew me to his work. That and his style of course. “Man walks backwards like a crab!” was always a line that stuck with me.
Octavian: Apparently Nietzsche saw the death of Christianity in the Renaissance and the triumph of paganism, and thereby saw Luther as reviving Christianity, in its purer form closer to St. Paul.
Jack: Yeah, Evola actually shared that opinion moreorless, that Protestantism was merely the true Semitic religion asserting itself after having been suppressed by pagans calling themselves Christians.
Octavian: Which makes sense to be honest. Hence why I think Protestantism is a bit more internally consistent theologically/philosophically.
Jack: Well, in classical Catholicism the idea is that Christianity is the realisation of the prisca theologia, known to the pagans and Jews alike, and Christ was the realisation of such. Hence the declaration of Greek philosophers before Christ as esoteric Christians. “Our faith is the faith of the ancients,” and such. Excising the pagan elements of Christianity is rejecting the earliest Traditions of the church in Europe upon its founding.
Kaiter: Bah, give me Cernunnos over Jesus any day.
Jack: Honestly, I’d rather the ancient paganism to Christianity, but the immediately pre-Christian paganism was corrupt, decadent and degenerate beyond hope of restoration.
Kaiter: I wouldn’t disagree, though I fancy the Wolves of Vinland would be rather depressed to hear it.
Octavian: But there was a reason that people turned to Christ.
Jack: The moral uprightness of Christians compared to pagans mainly, I’d say
Kaiter: Conscientiousness, at the cost of strength.
Jack: They saw that Christianity actually offered a path to virtue which had been barred to them by decadent and immoral priests and leaders.
Jack: Well, in the short term perhaps — it gave them Europe in the end.
Octavian: So it wasn’t necessarily the promise of eternal life? Through repentance?
Jack: For the truly miserable perhaps, but for most I imagine it was simply an observation of actually ordered lives. This is just my interpretation though.
Octavian: Nietzsche essentially saw Luther as a reactionary and a man of “self-hatred.” But he respected his master of the German language.
Kaiter: Ah, I don’t think anyone would dispute his linguistic skill. Maybe Noam Chomsky or some such academic…
Jack: It is telling that many of the Right-wing anti-Christians come from Protestant countries, where accusations of slave morality have more truth to them. Although that has infected all of Christianity by now.
Kaiter: Indeed. I do have a question for you though, Jack, as you strike me as a man better suited to prognostication than I: do you believe it is possible for Christianity to regain its lost strength or that all such attempts, or at least most of them, would be nothing more than posturing?
Jack: I’m honestly not sure if it’s possible, but if it’s not then Europe will die as a cultural/spiritual entity and every good man in the West will be dead. So I try and hope it is possible. If not, pray that Kalki comes tomorrow.
Kaiter: I thought you would say something along those lines.
Octavian: Hopefully an asteroid hits Earth as soon as it happens. Scorched Earth to be honest.
Kaiter: You two have taken too many blackpills. You might be blackpilled but I like your fight — the fire in the belly, as they say.
Jack: As Evola said, in the Traditional worldview, there is no true defeat in war, either you win and inherit the Kingdom of the Earth, or fall and inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.
Octavian: [Links paper “Of The New Idol: Nietzsche’s Critique of Leviathan” by Graham R. Howell, PhD. Leviathan referring to Thomas Hobbes, 1651] Interesting paper about Nietzsche’s critique of Hobbes. I like the idea of a Zarathustra and a Leviathan competing or working in tandem. Literally an oxymoron to be honest.
Jack: What do you mean by that?
Octavian: A binary competition between the overman and the state. Competing until eventually they become one.
Jack: Sounds Fascistic, in the real sense of the word.
Octavian: Yes it does. It is missing a transcendent element though.
Jack: I hate to keep referencing him, but that’s almost explicitly what Evola spent about two decades trying to do, add that element to an authoritarian Nietzscheanism.
Octavian: True. You may have just come up with an easy way to explain Evola.
Jack: His first real attempt was the doctrine of the absolute individual, which took certain pagan/Hindu ideas of a higher self and the Gods as divine archetypes and combined it with the overman ideal. Evola basically says it himself near the start of Ride The Tiger.
[Conversation returns to Luther]
Octavian: I think what attracts me to Luther is his emphasis on a sort of individuality of conscience. Which is fairly apparent in the 95 Theses. Perhaps that sounds like moral relativism. But of course he was anchored by Christ.
Jack: It’s an understandable sentiment from a man who probably spent the vast majority of his time around other well-educated intellectual men, but it just doesn’t work out that well when you tell the masses to think for themselves. They do not possess that capability.
Octavian: True. But isn’t it interesting that as Christianity became more “Judaised” under Protestantism, Luther was also highly anti-Semitic. Is there an explanation for this?
Jack: It’s not at all confusing to me, hysterical anti-Semites are nearly always somewhat Judaic in their mentality.
Octavian: Hm. I see.