Philosophers are just like rappers, they always start off by calling out everyone they think are punks and posers, then move on to describe the ways in which their rivals are a bunch of little bitches. The opening to Beyond Good and Evil might as well just be Nietzsche going, “Imma let you finish Spinoza but Schopenhauer had one of the best philosophies of all time!” In fact, not even that, because he quite frankly thinks the lot of them have been wrong-headed up until now.
No one really needs to read Nietzsche. Reading what he thought and stood for will do just as well. This is the thing I have learned from reading Nietzsche. His writing is not exciting or overly engaging and continually rings with smugness.
One thing that stands out from having read Beyond Good and Evil is how, because so much emphasis is placed on Neitzsche’s influence on racism, his spectacularly strong sexism seems to have got overlooked. I mean, it’s not like he simply does not have a progressive view on ‘the woman question’ – there is practically not a single instance where he describes something he detests without his immediate go-to of it being “womanish” or “feminine” or lacking in manliness. Practically every philosopher he disagrees with he describes as being a grandam, or effeminate or giving into womanish tendencies. It’s like he has no other language of insult. I keep imagining him just shouting at other philosophers, “Ya big Jessie!” Which is hilarious really, because for all his idolisation of gruff, brutal, pitiless manliness, he’s hardly a fucking lumberjack is he? Look at that moustache, that is clearly what passed for a penis substitute when luxury cars still weren’t readily available to the public.
Anyway Friedrich I’ve-got-a-small-dick-moustache Nietzsche is not fun to read, even by 19th century philosophers’ standards. This is one of those books where it’s better to read the spark notes or even the Wikipedia entry on it rather than the actual thing. Now, I’m away find a Discworld I haven’t read yet.