The Left and Right both get Nietzsche wrong

The aristocratic radical

Everyone seems to think Nietzsche fits with their political agenda. Contemporary right-wing figures like Jordan Peterson and Dinesh D’Souza see in Nietzsche the great diagnostician of the decadence that would follow the death of God, and use his insights to dismiss the “woke” left as being driven by resentiment towards the powerful. On the left, 20th century thinkers like Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze found in Nietzsche powerful tools to use against societal power structures and embraced his emancipatory message. Both get him wrong, argues Matt McManus.


Along with Marx, Nietzsche was the great 19th century critic of modernity. His influence on our culture is as expansive as his thought, which ranged across philosophy, psychology, history and theology with irreverent genius. Given the scope of Nietzsche’s interests, it is therefore surprising to think that for a long time many thought he had little to say about politics. In the anglosph

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