This is an extremely well made three part BBC series. It's a new series and I don't think this will stay up long on You Tube, so watch it as soon as you can.
Although Marx, Nietzsche and Freud are quite different in their thinking, they are usually studied together, as they each, in their own way, exploded the cosy idiocy of bourgeois Europe and North America. The word "idiot" comes from a Greek word for a man who is private and individual and not part of the human collective of his city and nation. And indeed, individualism is the idea of an idiot. This idiocy finds its zenith in the brain disease of Anglo-Saxon capitalism - and in keeping with idiocy, the chief idiot of Anglo-Saxon idiocy is not at all an Anglo-Saxon, but the Jew.
Genius of the Modern World Historian Bettany Hughes retraces the lives of three great thinkers whose ideas shaped the modern world - Karl Marx, Frederick Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud.
Well, he's talking about the man who can look the absolute nihilism of Liberal Capitalism in the face without shriveling up in horror, even become a nihilist himself, and yet transcend that nihilism in himself and all around him. These will be the Ubermenschen, the Supermen. Not some silly individual on his own playing at philosophizing and self assertion (that's a paltry Liberal), or even individually sacrificing himself for some great cause, but a new order of beings - the Dionysian Collective. Nietzsche writes - "There must be many Ubermenschen." Marx also saw this new order of beings, but as the Collective of the Revolutionary Proletariat. Heidegger says that beings are not enough - what's needed is a new beginning of Being itself. I'd say that all of them are correct and we need to achieve all of what they foresaw if we are to live as genuine human beings.
Some may object that Nietzsche glorified slave owning societies and had nothing but contempt for pity. But if you really look at what he was getting at, there is a valid point. He was contemptuous of the Socialists of his day, as he felt that they wanted to bring all of society down to the level of the most wretched. Ironically, it was not the Socialists who ended up doing that, but the Capitalists. High art was more or less scrapped over the last hundred years in Europe, and everything reduced to the lowest common denominator - not out of pity for the uneducated to be sure - but because it's simply more profitable. I don't think that Nietzsche wanted the poor to starve, but he didn't want to turn them into social welfare junkies either - which has now happened to tens of millions of people in Europe. Again not so much through the work of the Socialists as the Capitalists - who want to sideline huge sections of the community and keep them safely docile. Nietzsche didn't live to see that happen, but he did seem to have a presentiment that it would happen. And let's accept the fact that even the greats of philosophy go through periods of just saying and thinking weird things that are just wrong. Sadly, certain people will zoom in on the silly stuff - particularly if it suits their own foibles. As Marx said, the point of philosophy is to change the world, and change can only come through action. Perhaps the most famous action of Nietzsche's whole life, and his last as a sane man, was when he saw a sick horse lying on the street being flogged by its owner. He threw himself across the animal to protect it from the whip, with floods of tears flowing down his face. If we would all do as much, what a better world this would be.