an international and interdisciplinary journal of postmodern cultural sound, text and image
Volume 18, Winter 2021/2022, ISSN 1552-5112
Nietzsche and Orthodox Transhumanism
“The doctrine of equality! There is no more poisonous poison anywhere: for it seems to be preached by justice itself, whereas it is really the termination of justice.” Nietzsche
“I identify morality with freedom, equality and solidarity.”
Stefan Sorgner (leading 'Nietzschean' transhumanist)
Friedrich Nietzsche has been used, perhaps more than any other writer with the exception of Hegel, as support for diametrically opposed worldviews or political ideas. National Socialists, Marxists, Enlightenment liberals, scientific atheists, postmodernists, and, most recently, transhumanists, to name a few, have all found something in his writings that suits their purposes, or which they have at least represented as doing so. Which of these is right? Perhaps it is only within our power to determine which side is most right; for it is well known that Nietzsche apparently said different things about the same subjects, sometimes even in the same work, and was quite honest about his multi-dimensional judgements; the evolutionary, and sometimes paradoxical, nature of his ideas; and his general skepticism regarding alleged systematic unity. Yet, instead of perplexity, this invokes in one who has read him properly an appreciation of his sense of justice, given that his thoughts encompass with their broad scope such large swaths of the human experience; which can by its very nature only be properly appreciated, like a Bernini statue, from a variety of external and internal perspectives.
The “protean” philosophical approach does not necessarily imply a lack of purpose or an inconsistency. It is thus not out of place to ask, whether the general spirit of Nietzsche’s writings can be called compatible with, or even a precursor to, the main strands of transhumanist thought? It is our contention that the answer depends on the socio-political and cultural use to which the more influential leaders of this movement would like to put emerging technologies, and their view of humanity and its enhancement. In other words, it depends on the quality of their thinking and feeling in general, especially in its socio-political and cultural implications: it depends on their Weltanschauung. We must therefore identify the orientation of a representative sample of these spokespersons on the one hand, and of Nietzsche on the other, in order to assign each to the more appropriate category. The result will show that the entrenched terms of modern political discourse are not adequate to account for some of the most important characterizing and differentiating elements of these worldviews, due in part to the two-dimensional idiom of modern politics. In order to have a non-linear, “pyramidal” paradigm we must include the relevant alternative positions, such as the fascisms of the Interwar period. Only then will we have a view of the political possibilities, and therewith be able to make a meaningful description, comparison, and arrangement of the positions. This will serve as a sort of makeshift map as we progress into a more detailed discussion of transhumanism and Nietzsche, using their own respective documents to test the map's correctness.
This attempt is merely a descriptive and heuristic exercise, not a dogmatic or partisan statement. I have no pretensions of completeness, due not only to time limits but also to the fact that I have neither examined every transhumanist's position, nor even approached the total body of writings of any of those considered here. I do, however, trust that the few selections I offer will be sufficient to substantiate my claims. The main theme of this paper has been and continues to be discussed within transhumanist and Nietzschean circles, perhaps most prominently in the JET series of nearly a decade ago. It is possible that in the interval some of the points I raise have already been dealt with, or that the authors on either side of the debate have modified or refined their views. In the interest of fairness I therefore welcome any necessary corrections or qualifications of my remarks. Nor do I claim to give the final word on Nietzsche's position in all respects. I simply want to emphasize what strikes me as obvious: that it is meaningless and inconsequential to enquire whether or not Nietzsche would endorse or take advantage of emerging technologies in themselves, or whether (per Sorgner and More) certain vague methodological similarities between him and the transhumanist mainstream, such as a rational or perspectival approach, or certain shared notions such as atheism or an “Overhuman” in general, are enough to justify a real connection. Can Nietzsche's writings be construed to support the transhumanist agenda, its worldview? Man will, must, get better: but how? And better than what? This is what matters, and it is my understanding that the answer is blatantly expressed in his writings. It does not take any great interpretive subtlety to see this. Finally, by veering into the political realm I can hardly help but stir controversy, conjuring up ghosts, as it were; and I hope that, if any of the summoned specters give a spook, it will not be held against me. I rely upon academic neutrality; the sanctuary of the lectern; and do not blame you if the suggestions I offer would in other circumstances provoke you to harsh words.
First, let us better understand the metaphor most commonly used today to describe political orientation. What does it mean to be ‘Left-wing’ or ‘Right-wing’? These terms have a referent relative to time and context, much in the way of religious concepts such as Christianity or Islam. That the connotations of words covering such a large part of a person's identity are many, and often clashing, should not come as a surprise. Nevertheless, a recognition of the ambiguity should prompt us to give as clear a content to the concepts as we can, ultimately to prescribe correct usage if this is still salvageable, but initially, as a propaedeutic to this goal, we must become aware of the various phenomenological meanings currently in existence. As we know, during the Liberal revolutions of the Enlightenment Era, the literal left wing of the Estates General was manned by representatives of the Third Estate, the same bourgeoisie which was to be vilified as right-wing reactionary by the Marxists and Socialists a couple generations later, and into today. Who among the “Right” presently identifies as an aristocrat or monarchist? Yet this is exactly what the right wing represented in the 1780s. It was the left-wing middle class that composed the vanguard of nationalism, being as it was a product of liberal ideas. Consider the French nationalism that erupted as the driving force of the Revolution, which then, through Napoleon’s imperialism, awoke the Germans to their own national consciousness. The birth of nationalism can be described as a people’s coming to an ethno-cultural, and thereby political, consciousness; the involvement of the masses in socio-political action; the demand to participate in public affairs and to affect the course of their own future. In short, nationalism is a freeing up of the (political) power of the people. It did not take long for this fever to spread to the ‘Fourth Estate’, i.e., the proletariat and the common man, all the result of a historical process begun with the ascendancy of liberal Enlightenment values. Since these times, of course, there has been a redefinition of terms which calls nationalism a phenomenon of the Right; and the vicissitudes of meaning could be multiplied. Let this brief reminder be enough to suggest that we must reconsider the language of political discourse. At any rate, the words Right and Left have been transformed into denominational terms of religious persuasion, or into Weltanschauungen, and are no longer accurate descriptors of a merely political philosophy. What characterizes the modern Right and Left? Where are the battle lines drawn, and how well do the opposing sides understand one another? Do they perhaps have more in common than they realize?
Now we compare the modern (mainstream) Right and Left, to better understand them and to see whether and to what extent transhumanism and Nietzsche can be assigned to either category. We add the Interwar fascistic movements to the mix, for three reasons: first, to give depth and breadth to the discussion, for fascistic ideas can be seen polyvalently: as outside of, as a combination of, as at the extreme ends of, or in total opposition to the orthodox spectrum (a fascinating study in itself); second, the historical and present-day reception of Nietzsche is bound up with these political movements; and third, transhumanism's mainstream sets itself up explicitly in opposition to them. Therefore, if the right-left spectrum were to prove problematic, the 'third position' category could be a decisive factor in constructing a socio-political and cultural map with enough accuracy to determine the relative positions of Nietzsche and transhumanism, thus enabling us to form a clearer idea of their compatibility (in the sense that I consider the most meaningful).
Given the magnitude of the subject, I have had to limit myself to local examples and particular categories. Though handicapped, I think the outline will still be a useful and informative heuristic, if not universally representative. America will be the setting of comparison between modern Left and Right (it is understood that certain of the parameters would be judged differently in Europe, for example). German National Socialism will stand for fascistic Interwar movements in general. The categories of comparison (approximately twenty in number) are: Religion; relation to Jews; hierarchy vs. equality; (modern) feminism; sexuality; Culture (value of intellect, education in the humanities, art, history); economy (views on capitalism/socialism); political form; virility (masculinity); military; nation; eugenics; race; environmentalism (including animal rights); psychology/physiology (man as programmed by these) Additional comments on masses; mores, futurity (and whether it is a tradition-respecting futurity); meaning (hedonism or “higher”), & mythos/ideology.
Of course different criteria could be chosen, which might lead to a somewhat different result; nevertheless, I believe that the categories I have chosen, some broad and some narrow, though not absolutely comprehensive, are, in combination, a powerful predictor of cultural and socio-political worldview. For the sake of intuitive comprehension we can assign a “compatibility score” to each pair or set of our groups. Because of the ambiguity of some of these categories themselves, it will sometimes be difficult to neatly determine a group's position; or, perhaps two groups nominally agree in one category, but are very different qualitatively (and it is quality that matters). We will attempt to remedy this by giving a range of possible scores depending on interpretation, simplified to an average, and also comment on how an agreement may only be ostensible. This process itself will bring insight to these complex relations.
Three main groupings appear: those ideologies or movements with a high degree of correlation, those with an intermediate degree of correlation, and those with a low degree of correlation. According to our parameters, the Left and Transhumanism, as well as National Socialism and Nietzsche, have the highest degree of correlation. The intermediate group is represented by the Right and Left; the Right, Left and Transhumanism; and the Right and Transhumanism. The group that shows the combinations of lowest affinity consists of Transhumanism and Nietzsche (critical for the purposes of this paper!); the Left and Nietzsche; National Socialism and Transhumanism; the Right and National Socialism; the Right and Nietzsche; and the Left and National Socialism. The compatibility scores and the points of agreement are briefly adumbrated in the Appendix.
I will now justify my placement of Transhumanism and Nietzsche by examining their respective viewpoints in more detail.
As the foregoing propaedeutic indicates, there are so many things wrong with a likening of Nietzsche to orthodox transhumanism that one might well wonder how it was possible that the question could have been posed in the first place. It must be emphasized that many influential transhumanists have themselves recognized this incompatibility (e.g., Hauskeller, Bostrom, Hughes, Pearce). One might admire the attempt by the more 'State-skeptical' or individualist representatives (More, Sorgner) to use a great man to their purposes; and perhaps they really believe that their reading of Nietzsche has inspired them to adopt transhumanist ideas. Unfortunately, I must say this is simply an error of interpretation, if not outright disingenuousness. Sorgner tacitly admits as much in his two follow-up papers to the responses garnered by his initial JET paper of 2009: in the first of these, for example, he often concedes Hauskeller's points, with whose general and brief refutation of Sorgner's gambit I for the most part concur. In the second, he must content himself with a “structural similarity between the views of Nietzsche and those of transhumanists, even though the sound in which they put forward their understandings of the world differs significantly.” Yes, dogs and cats both have four legs, but the bark and meow are more to the point! In a similar grasping at straws Sorgner “wishes to stress that, like Nietzsche, [he] regards aletheic nihilism as a valuable achievement because it helps to avoid the coming about of violent and paternalistic structures.” Sorgner's attempted hedging and qualification are simply not convincing enough as a defense for his interpretation. In the end it can only be through a misappropriation of Nietzsche that he be associated with mainstream transhumanism, precisely because of their conflicting goals and worldviews: “On a political level transhumanists are liberal thinkers”; “most transhumanists agree with Hughes’s social democratic version of transhumanism”; “Nietzsche's political vision is not very appealing”.
To his credit, Sorgner sees that the Übermensch is the hinge upon which N's worldview turns, calling it the “ultimate foundation for N's worldview”, (and it is through this concept that transhumanism would most ardently find its specious kinship to Nietzsche), but it is precisely this element that severs any spiritual link between him and the transhumanists, as we intend to show. Incidentally, one major error has come through a false distinction between 'higher man' and 'overman', which would suggest that Nietzsche believed in a Darwinian speciation: the 'higher man' as the means to the Übermensch; in fact, when Nietzsche refers to these two concepts, he is speaking essentially of the same phenomenon. The only difference is that the 'overman' has, in a projected ideal future, become a generally dominant player in human affairs, such that he is able to inculcate his values into his own time and into subsequent generations, as opposed to the isolated and individual 'higher men' of all ages, who are the former's heralds and equals (often succeeding, in spite of everything, to shape history through their own will [on a political level, cf. Friedrich the Great, Napoleon]). The 'overman' is about creating a norm (or institution) of cultural and socio-political leadership, somewhat like Plato's Guardians. Cf. BGE 251: “...the 'European problem' as I understand it [is] the breeding of a new ruling caste for Europe.” For Nietzsche this is an overcoming of the conflict in the will; instead of the 'flashes' of the Overman that appear, e.g., in Nietzsche, the future Overman will accomplish the Kierkegaardian purity of the heart, to will one thing. This is uniting will with reason; not an enhancement of cognition, as Sorgner, et alia would like to make it, but of moral strength, which is its qualitative inverse.)
We will now substantiate our above socio-political characterization of the orthodox transhumanists through their own statements. First it must be said that they recognize in principle that no political orientation is logically connected to the basic idea of artificial human augmentation. Indeed, Nietzsche or Hitler or the apostle Paul may well have found a use for emerging technologies. In spite of their perfunctory acknowledgement, the movement, understanding to this degree human psychology, has worked to define the very concept of transhumanism in terms of its own worldview. Bostrom, for example, co-founder of the WTA (Humanity+),13 after correctly affirming that in application the ambit [of transhumanism] is not limited to gadgets and medicine [i.e., technology], but encompasses also economic, social and institutional designs, cultural development, and psychological skills and techniques, undertakes a seemingly logical deduction of orthodox transhumanist values, based on the single premise of a desire to “explore the trans- and posthuman realms”. The claim is that the mere hope of a feasible, i.e., actual transhuman condition, requires certain pre-conditions and values: there needs to be a degree of security, i.e. the bare opportunity, to develop the necessary technology, and in order to develop it one must be willing, as he says, to tamper with nature, improve understanding, “get smarter”, be pragmatic and scientific, and be willing to re-examine former assumptions as the journey progresses. Nietzsche, Hitler, and the apostle Paul might so far agree. On the other hand, we are a bit perplexed to learn that “wide access” to new technology, international peace and cooperation, diversity of race, religion and sexuality, and a concern for the well-being of all sentience are, according to Bostrom, essentially bound up with all this. We note that he, perhaps inadvertently, uses the word “moral” only, and quite heavily, in the sections where he links the latter group of requirements to the first. Of course, this is a tactic to serve the real and natural goal, which is to mold the world after one's own image. As Hauskeller says, “there is a moral imperative at the heart of the transhumanist agenda.” Some of these imperatives were enshrined in a more assertive way in the WTA's “Statements on Racialism and Neo-Nazism”:
Any and all doctrines of racial or ethnic supremacy/inferiority are incompatible with the fundamental tolerance and humanist roots of transhumanism. Organizations advocating such doctrines or beliefs are not transhumanist, and are unwelcome as affiliates of the WTA. Neo-Nazi eugenic views...shall be designated as 'not transhumanist / unacceptable to the transhumanist community'.
There is an interesting dynamic to Bostrom's stance, as we will see later. David Pearce, the other founder of the WTA, advocates a “hedonistic imperative”,14 looks forward to “surrendering to a haze of opiated bliss”, and explicitly rejects Nietzsche as a practical guide. Male humans are “the real threat to civilization”, and the “problem” of war which they bring about can be solved by “electing all-female political leadership.” “Darwinian life”, by which he means natural life, “is virulent malware” – for “sentient beings shouldn't hurt, harm, and kill each other” – “Darwinian consciousness [is] a toxic psychosis”, and perhaps most anti-Nietzschean of all, in the hypothetical year 3000 “what passed for “Great Art” in the Darwinian era is no more impressive than year 2000 humans might judge, say, a child’s painting by numbers or Paleolithic daubings and early cave porn.” (We grant Pearce a little bit of entertaining rhetorical exaggeration.) These statements cover a lot of ground in substantiating my earlier categorizations. I note that not all orthodox transhumanists balk at the concept of “nature” or “the natural” for the same reasons. Pearce sees in it the Christian vale of tears, while the non-committal Sorgner, for his part, dislikes that it “implies the epistemic superiority of the judgment to which it applies.” Propagandist Bostrom loathes it as the annoying shibboleth standing in the way of the technological revolution, so often invoked to foil the public's enthusiasm and esprit de corps. Suum cuique. All of them remain far from Nietzsche's dream of a “return to nature”, as “an ascent up into the high, free, even terrible nature and naturalness where great tasks are something one plays with...Napoleon was a piece of 'return to nature'”.
Loeb, too, recognizes the Übermensch as the element most responsible for any alleged similarity between N and transhumanism. Of course the fact is that the Übermensch of Nietzsche/Zarathustra crystallizes all of the fundamental moral differences between himself and the transhumanists, concentrating, as it were, their incompatibility into a single image. Loeb's sole and limited aim is to demonstrate the necessary connection between it and the eternal recurrence. By ignoring all the other antagonisms, he has made up in depth for what he lacks in breadth, providing a novel and ingenious addendum to the present argument, namely with regard to meaning and historicity:
...although transhumanists are influenced by Nietzsche’s concept of the superhuman in wanting to take the next step in the evolutionary process, they do not follow Nietzsche in justifying this desire by reference to the question of the meaning of life. […] The problem is not that current transhumanists don’t justify their quest, but rather that they believe it is possible without a reconsideration of our relation to time.
It is not necessary to linger on the technicality and implications of Loeb's presentation. Let it suffice to say that I am inclined to agree with it to a large extent, with one main caveat: in my view we do not need to take the Übermensch as a literal speciation, nor the eternal recurrence as a cosmological truth, in order to derive great meaning from them. I would guess that Nietzsche felt these ideas modally, now as a truthful, literal explanation of the world, now as a guiding metaphor, in no way less powerful or subjectively true for being an ideal. In terms of Nietzsche's worldview and values this distinction is not decisive. We could therefore magnanimously grant to More and Sorgner the independence of the Übermensch from the eternal recurrence without making their position any more tenable. In other words, even without Loeb's valuable contribution, my general thesis would lack little of its force.
I turn now to a discussion in the journal FIfF-Kommunikation where the interviewees Sorgner, Hughes, and Istvan are called “heavyweights of the transhumanism scene”. It is of interest firstly for being more recent than the other sources I cite, thus helping to minimize the risk of having misrepresented Hughes or Sorgner through ignorance of modifications made to their views over the last few years. The interview affirms that nothing has fundamentally changed. Secondly, the casual context encourages a less guarded tone than in an academic publication, potentially giving us more direct and unvarnished opinions than we have seen so far, if that were possible.
Here Sorgner identifies morality with “freedom, equality, and solidarity”: the values of the French Revolution, which “must be experienced with nausea” according to Nietzsche. “I hate the morality of the Revolution, through which it still works and attracts everything shallow and mediocre”. Sorgner is convinced both “of a significant moral progress over the course of human history” and of “an increase of intelligence during the 20th century”. Pairing the two, he suspects a connection between cognitive enhancement and his version of morality. He reveals a level of cognitive dissonance, however, by being “uncertain whether [AI] would make moral suggestions to which we could hold on.” Artificial intelligence, according to some transhumanists, ought to be humanity's future arbiter; but how many of them trust that the putatively more intelligent system would decide for their cherished ideals? Thus they fall into contradiction – perhaps “physiological contradiction”, to use Nietzsche's definition of modernity – revealing that it is merely a desire (will to power!), not truth, justice or even utilitarianism that motivates their worldview. We observe a comparable phenomenon in Bostrom, to whom I said we would return in this connection. Bostrom exhibits an abnormal amount of objectivity when he confesses that there may be values that we do not currently want, and that “we do not even currently want to want, because we may not be perfectly acquainted with them or because we are not ideal deliberators.”
Yet on the same page this principle is ignored in service of the current worldview: “The posthuman values can be our current values”. Later he says “we cannot take for granted that our old habits and beliefs will prove adequate in navigating our new circumstances”. Again, this seems wise; yet on the previous page he had said “it would be morally unacceptable for anybody to impose a single standard to which we would all have to conform”. Had he not admitted that perhaps we are unaware of what would be best for us, most valued by us, if only we knew it? Who would not welcome the “dragging by the hair” out of the Platonic cave, the ropes that prevent us from following the Siren's song? To quote Nietzsche: “the claim for independence, for free development, for laisser-aller is pressed most hotly by the very people for whom no reins would be too strict.”, Alas, the transhumanists value a freedom from compulsion tout court: “one fears the danger of a new slavery the moment the word 'authority' is even spoken out loud.” But even this is naive at best, for if a value suits their worldview, they will understandably follow their moral imperative to implement it.
Returning to Sorgner's interview, we see that his moral principles of freedom, equality and solidarity do not always apply: “The question of who is in charge of making decisions concerning the use of technologies is political”; we need public awareness to “prevent the coming about of political structures which are not in our interest”, as this would give the coming technological power to “the wrong kind of human beings” (my italics); reference is made to “scholars” who “suggested the use of moral bio-enhancement [by which I can only think is meant compulsive brain alteration] for dealing with this issue”. Finally, he admits the truth that “humans have always been engineered.” So much for freedom. Sorgner closes by advising all of us to “make sure that your very own psychophysiology manages to unfold itself in the fullest possible manner”. Quite a natural, noble, Nietzschean, war-like admonishment, after all...
In his part of the interview Hughes also affirms the scientific fact that “neurology determines behavior”, allowing himself to wonder, given this fact, how culpable anyone could be for anything they do.
every citizen has an obligation to engage in democracy, and in regards emerging technologies, to work to ensure that technologies are as safe and equitably accessible as possible within democratic accountability [...] It is the responsibility of democratic government to determine which technological options are safe and legal, and the responsibility of citizens to participate in that governance.
It is fascinating to see the discrepancies in one's thoughts when acknowledged general facts are applied to specific (value-laden) categories. For the rest, Hughes seems to remain committed to the political goals set out in 2002's “The Politics of Transhumanism”:
Transhumanists and the revolutionary left share the concept of a technologically-determined social revolution. Like the Singularity, Marxian revolution is a sudden, global, discontinuous social rupture, brought about by technological change, beyond which we cannot predict the form that society will take, and about which it is pointless to speculate.
Hughes quotes in the same paper the important earlier transhumanist, Fereidoun Esfandiary or FM-2030, who “included androgyny as an aspect of transhumanity” (“What could be more transhuman than deciding to change one’s gender?”, Hughes asks): “We want to help accelerate the thrust beyond nations, ethnic groups, races to create a global consciousness, global institutions, a global language, global citizenship, global free flow of people, global commitments.”
Another influential man whom Hughes views as an ally, Peter Singer, is described in the following way:
Singer contends that there is a biologically-rooted tendency towards selfishness and hierarchy which has defeated attempts at egalitarian social reform. If the Left program of social reform is to succeed, Singer argues, we must employ the new genetic and neurological sciences to identify and modify the aspects of human nature that cause conflict and competition. Singer also embraces a program of socially subsidized, but voluntary, genetic improvement, while rejecting coercive reproductive policies and eugenic pseudoscience.
This description could stand alone in representing much of the aim and inconsistency of orthodox transhumanism. Here we see the acknowledgement of natural drives, which are to be fought against; equality and social reform as goals; Left politics as the model; and, very characteristically, the strange conflict between “we must modify human nature genetically, eliminating traits we condemn in order to accomplish our goals” and “we reject coercive eugenics”, uttered in the same breath.
The last of the trio, Istvan, re-asserts the apolitical concept of immortality in itself as the desideratum: “This is the main goal of transhumanists, to overcome death”. Despite Istvan's recognition that “most transhumanists are atheists or agnostic, so they don’t believe in concepts like reincarnation or heaven”, we are reminded of, e.g., 1 Cor 15:26: “The last enemy to be destroyed is death”, and other like passages. It is admittedly a cliché by now to compare transhumanism to a religion, but I am sure many of them would acknowledge the similarities, even the shared goals. What is the promise of Christianity, if not immortality? And indeed, (again from the interview) the Kingdom of Heaven follows the resurrection:
We can worry about many other things later, like social equality, ending wars, and ending poverty. Cranial implants, for example, may connect us all in a sort of hive mind, and this might lead to much less violence in society. It might usher in an unprecedented era of empathy, respect, and love.
And what does Nietzsche say about all this?
Liberal institutions cease to be liberal as soon as they are attained […]: they undermine the will to power; they level mountain and valley, and call that morality; they make men small, cowardly, and hedonistic – every time it is the herd animal that triumphs with them. Liberalism: in other words, herd-animalization. 
After these somewhat long preparations, we turn more directly to Nietzsche.
Many of Nietzsche's views, or rather aspects of his one worldview, have already been referred to in the course of this essay, so we do not need to repeat them. Now that we know the Weltanschauung and goals of the people who lead the transhumanist movement, it is quite easy to see that Nietzsche would disavow any connection with it; for the famous and endlessly misappropriated “revaluation of all values” was an attack aimed precisely at the orthodox transhumanist worldview. As divergent as transhumanists may be in other respects, when it comes to the values which shape their socio-political ideology there is widespread and almost unanimous agreement. It has been exactly my contention that the quality and character of the world that these people envision, as an image of their values, is the decisive factor in determining whether Nietzsche can in good faith be considered their ally.
A few general remarks:
In order for my interpretation to carry its full weight one must of course receive Nietzsche’s text with more trust than skepticism. One must assume that Nietzsche is for the most part revealing his true sentiments, or at least the will that he aspires to have, even if this ideal (as Übermensch) conflicts with his all-too human inclinations; for remember, he admits that in a degenerate or decadent era, it is instinctual, even for himself, to have the values or impulses of the weak. In other words, a certain degree of sincerity must be accepted, even if his harshness and malice is tinged with cheerfulness and sarcasm. This algedonic dance, the hallmark of the sublime and tragic, evokes the pitched internal battle of one who saw into the dubiousness, the ambiguity, the nuances, and also the hopes of many things: the spiteful, ironic and cheerful front imbues the harshness of his judgements with a noble hue, for they are meant to encourage change through criticism; though the cheerfulness is also in part a defiant balsam for a soul wounded by the recognition of a harsh reality. Increscunt animi, virescit volnere virtus. Nietzsche is therefore the pessimist par excellence, if this word retains its most useful meaning: ‘one who has the sensitivity to gain insight into the world’. All people who do will come to the same general and fundamental conclusions. A bright-living Goethe would think the same. Goethe's response to this insight is why Nietzsche made him the model of the Übermensch ideal toward the end, anointing him as a believer in the “Dionysian faith”. Again: it was not Schopenhauer, but his epigone followers such as Mainlaender or von Hartmann that grated on N., who perhaps read so much of these lesser lights (Brobjer) that his view of even Schopenhauer – or rather of “pessimism” – was somehow jaded (but see Gay Science 357). Sch. himself simply recognized. He makes it a point to say that he himself does not advocate the rejection or affirmation of the will to life, that it would not be his place to do so; he is simply describing. That Sch.openhauer the man accepted life, but thought it wiser, out of an honest assessment of the situation, to reject it, has nothing to do with the truth of his philosophy. All who have a certain depth of insight are “pessimists” in the sense of “realist” about the world (as N. calls Goethe); this does not mean that they all turn out the same, or have the same theoretical understanding or explanations (Stoics, Nihilists, Epicureans are all pessimists). Nietzsche recognized, and strove to become, the most noble thing on earth, the spiteful pessimist who decides to will himself and those under his influence to greatness, in spite of the disaster of this existence, or rather, because of it. This is in fact the definition of the Uebermensch; it is only a being who displays inhuman will-power (by nature – Goethe still had to work) – above and below human; philosopher as “god and beast” – that could accomplish this task. It is the only thing to give meaning to existence in so far as one chooses existence over resignation. I am disregarding, therefore, deconstructionist, postmodernist, psychoanalytical, or any other shallow interpretations of N’s writings. This does not mean that N’s health, selfinterest, or personality did not have to do with the content of his work, for he confesses this without embarrassment. All views can be reduced to physiology, but this does not strip them of validity; it is no refutation. N is attempting to overcome himself through his works, but regardless of how functional and personal they may be, they can, as was intended, be applied to the wider sphere of society (the “for all and none” of Zarathustra), and this is what matters.
The second caveat is that I have limited myself throughout this paper almost exclusively to the later works. Far from being a limitation, I believe this to be the only proper way to address the question, for it is precisely on the notion of the Uebermensch that the transhumanists base their connection to Nietzsche, and this kernel of his worldview found expression and further elaboration only from 1882’s Gay Science (with the introduction of Zarathustra) onwards, which is to say, during the second half of N’s career. As we said, Sorgner, whose latest monograph (2019, which I have not yet read) continues to argue for a Nietzschean transhumanism, agrees that “the overhuman may be the ultimate foundation for Nietzsche's worldview”; an important insight, but one which I interpret in a totally different way. All that to say that I am not too concerned if a remark from earlier stages could be used to contradict my conclusions, for again, Zarathustra is the archetype of the Uebermensch. I do not use the work bearing his name (Zarathustra) in this essay mainly because it would be a superfluous confirmation of my thesis; but perhaps its literary tone and pathos is, for some people, a reason to devalue it, and at any rate, the later works are just as much the expression of Zarathustran insights and ideals.
I have therefore rested content with the whole of Twilight of the Idols and the Anti-Christian as the latest and most confident expression of Zarathustra’s (and thus of the Uebermensch’s) thought. Indeed, the closing statement of Twilight, taken from Zarathustra and thus proving my point, may serve as the slogan of the whole discrepancy between transhumanism and Nietzsche, being the very gospel of Zarathustra’s Uebermensch in a word: “become hard!” If more is needed, it will be found in the preface and first four sections of the Anti-Christian:
One must never ask if the truth is useful or if it may prove our undoing. […] One must be above mankind in strength, in loftiness of soul – in contempt. [...] This modernity was our sickness: lazy peace, cowardly compromise, the whole virtuous uncleanliness of the modern Yes and No. This tolerance and largeur of the heart, which 'forgives' all because it 'understands' all, is sirocco for us. […] What is good? ...Power itself. What is bad? Everything that is born of weakness. What is happiness?...Not peace but war; not virtue but fitness...The weak and the failures shall perish: first principle of our love of man. And they shall even be given every possible assistance. What is more harmful than any vice? Active pity for all the failures and all the weak: Christianity...The problem I thus pose is not what shall succeed mankind in the sequence of living beings (man is an end), but what type of man shall be bred, shall be willed, for being higher in value, worthier of life, more certain of a future. Even in the past this higher type has appeared often – but as a fortunate accident, as an exception, never as something willed. Mankind does not represent a development toward something better or stronger or higher in the sense accepted today. “Progress” is merely a modern idea, that is, a false idea. The European of today is vastly inferior in value to the European of the Renaissance: further development is altogether not according to any necessity in the direction of elevation, enhancement, or strength. In another sense, success in individual cases is constantly encountered in the most widely different places and cultures: here we really do find a higher type, which is, in relation to mankind as a whole, a kind of overman. Such fortunate accidents of great success have always been possible and will perhaps always be possible. And even whole families, tribes, or peoples may occasionally represent such a bull's-eye.
In this compendious and decisive passage many of the distinctions between transhumanist values and Nietzschean values are found: a will to truth no matter the result; a contempt for modernity, the masses, equality, peace; respect for history; conviction that modern European man is in decline, for being less virile; that not all human beings have value; etc. Also, proof that transhumanists do not despise Christianity for the same reasons as Nietzsche (being, rather, atheistic liberal neo-Christians), and that their idea of the Übermensch is not his idea, i.e. that speciation is not the point. More could be added, though not needed.
V. Fascism, similarities and differences
The previous heuristic showed that, among our five groups, transhumanism and the Left merited the highest compatibility score. Then came the ominous affinity between Nietzsche and fascism. This deserves a few clarifications. First of all, it simply shows that National Socialism is closer to Nietzsche's worldview than are any of the currently accepted political orientations. At its basic level, transhumanism is apolitical; but orthodox transhumanism has aligned itself with the (modern) Left; hence it cannot have an affinity with Nietzsche. Fascism, or more specifically National Socialism, as we said, took values of the Left and the Right, and, to its own understanding, purified them of all dross and added what they lacked, scientifically and culturally, to forge a truly new 'species' of politics – much closer to a religion or worldview than any commonly-understood politics, as Klaus Vondung has argued. That these movements would have been preferable in Nietzsche's eyes to what became post-war modernity is not meant to suggest, however, that he would have personally tied himself to them; and it is important to distinguish why.
The main thing that separates Nietzsche not only from fascism but from all the other groups is his contempt for and distance from the masses. The interwar fascistic movements were certainly as vulgar as any in this respect, as was necessary and natural given their pedigree: 19th and 20th century nationalisms (as their nemesis, the Marxist communisms, as the Hegelian dialectic, etc.) followed as the inevitable conclusion from the premise of the Enlightenment revolutions: no French Revolution, no Italian or German unification. They also showed, even if only out of necessity, an outward respect for and encouragement of the customary religions of their nations, both in order to appeal to the populace and to encourage order in society. (The respect for and educational emphasis on cultural heritage in general is something that ties Nietzsche to them [fascistic movements]; the concessions to vulgar understanding in this, something that separates. It is still up to us to ask, who was more right or more wrong here about the masses? Both had insights.)
The question of the Jews is a complicated one. Certainly, Nietzsche would not have advocated a vulgar anti-Semitism, for as is well known he spoke out against it in his writings before such ideas gained institutional power. But we must ask, why was he against the run-of-the-mill anti-Semite? I would argue that it was not for the same reasons as those of the modern Left, Right, and transhumanism, who are all united on this point. In fact, the reasons for his criticism of anti-Semites and of Germans and Germany, or of petty, jingoistic nationalism in general, were the same: namely, that anti-Semites and nationalists were not critical of Jews or proud of their nations for higher or legitimate reasons, but out of vulgar ressentiment, as an ersatz means of raising themselves up, due to a personal inadequacy or mediocrity (inferiority complex), or even out of materialist greed. Secondly, Beyond Good and Evil §251 is highly insightful on this point, for here Nietzsche says that he himself had felt drawn to the anti-Semitism of his day, and reveals that his renunciation was due not only to the aforementioned contempt for vulgar sentiments, but out of prudence, for he saw the Jews as a powerful people who could conquer Europe at any time, if provoked. It is also worth noting that while ideologically the Nordic and Germanic were set up as the model of most value for the German people, the National Socialists often spoke of a united Europe, albeit one reorganized under their own continental hegemony. They could in this sense be considered allied to Nietzsche. Hitler wrote that if he had been French, he would have fully supported Clemenceau's chauvinism and anti-Germanism, simply because it was about affirming his own identity, the people he represented. And Nietzsche: “An 'altruistic' morality remains a bad sign under all circumstances. This is true of individuals; it is particularly true of nations” §535; the idea being that it is healthy for any being to assert itself and to set itself up as the highest or most valuable, especially when this is done naively, though it seems Hitler believed that his Germans had a long way to go to reach the goal of this ideal. He even stated in a speech, as the tide of the war was turning, that if the Germans lost, they deserved it. In other words, the task was not yet accomplished. All of this sounds quite Nietzschean in some sense, although Nietzsche of course wanted there to be a real value in the Germans, not a hollow one, and thus despised vulgar nationalism on principle: “the new Germany represents a large quantum of fitness...more virile virtues than any other country in Europe...much cheerfulness”; but “what the German spirit might be – who has not had his melancholy ideas about that!” The important point is that Nietzsche is not against nationalism and anti-Semitism in the sense that moderns understand these concepts, which is not to say that he would unequivocally support these elements of National Socialism. By today's standards, Nietzsche would still be called an “anti-Semite” by many people, for being critical of Jewish influence on European morality, for example, or even for considering the Jews a people distinct from other European ethnicities, even as “the strongest race in unstable Europe.”
Lastly, I would like to put forward at least a couple of individuals who can give us an insight into how Nietzsche might have responded to the all-important problems of the 20th century, had he lived through them. These men do not match Nietzsche's particular genius, but in broad outline they may share more with him than do any of the larger movements we have so far considered. The Italian Julius Evola was a participant in the early twentieth century Futurist movement begun by Marinetti. Hughes describes the latter as follows:
Marinetti believed Italy and Europe in general had become stagnant, and he called for a new art glorifying modern technology, energy, and violence. Artists, writers, musicians, architects and many others flocked to the Futurist banner in Italy and from across Europe...Mussolini mixed Marxist and anarchist politics with heroic nationalist romanticism and Nietzschean ideas. Marinetti and many other Italian Futurists joined Mussolini’s new fascist movement and the fascists in turn adopted Futurist ideas and aesthetics.
It is very important to say that Nietzsche would not at all have advocated the style of this “art”, for it was very much in the modern spirit; the principles that Hughes outlines above, though, do fall into line with his thought. Evola himself was quite young at this time, and later turned away from Futurism toward a more specifically Nietzschean, aristocratic, elitist mindset. He was attracted to many principles of Italian Fascism and to German National Socialism, and tried to have an influence on the direction of both, but could not bring himself to fully align himself with either; precisely, I think, for the same three reasons that Nietzsche would have found it difficult to do so: the vulgar, mass appeal of these movements (turning away from the traditional aristocracy); the emphasis on petty nationalist interests instead of a Europe-wide collaboration (though see previous caveat); and too strong an emphasis on purely biological race, as opposed to the Nietzschean idea of race with its less restricted, more “spiritual” sense. This is not to say that Nietzsche or Evola did not think physiology was fundamentally important in this, or neglected the reality of biological race, but only that, to them, great or valuable qualities, or their opposite, were possible for a multitude of races or ethnicities. The Jewish philosopher Otto Weininger strongly emphasized these “Platonic ideas” of race, using “Aryan” and “Jewish” as the opposing categories, not to be taken in a strictly biological sense, just as his Platonic categories of Man and Woman. For Weininger, racial or ethnic Jews could be more Aryan than the majority of racial or ethnic Aryans, and ostensibly Aryan individuals could be more Jewish than the majority of ethnic Jews. Obviously these ideas are generally not accepted today, but they should have at least a historical interest for all of us, and the nuances should not be overlooked. Weininger – a strong influence on Evola and eventually a convert to Christianity – did not appreciate Nietzsche, calling him a third- or fourth-rate philosopher. This was, I believe, almost exclusively due to Nietzsche's total neglect of the metaphysical element (which was, I must add, merely nominal). Evola, however, respected him greatly. One could imagine Nietzsche approving of the theoretical foundations of the SS order, as Evola did, for its attempt to create a higher caste of warriors built on an ideal foundation, with a spiritual or cultic oath of loyalty to a worldview and a life in accordance therewith as the covenant of their fraternal belonging, much like the Spartans (who had to kill Helots), the samurai, or again, Plato's Guardians. A more characteristically Nietzschean parallel would be the knightly troubadours, warrior-poets who lived a life of the highest spiritual tension, and found an outlet in a sort of “lightness” or gaiety, or in the feeling of a romantic song. Such an aristocratic order was a hope that Evola had. Whether he believed it lived up to its aims, I do not know. Evola, having experienced the rarest of rarities, the spectacle of two worldviews in actual struggle over world hegemony, and not fitting neatly into either for the reasons we have discussed, found himself after the war relegated to “riding the tiger” of modernity, to him the last option for the aristocratic of the spirit before the cycle begins again; to be the higher, while living in the most precarious circumstances nobility has ever faced. (He too was a pessimist, after Spengler et al.)
Guillaume Faye is the only other example I will cite. A couple of generations after Evola (Faye's death was earlier this year ), he experienced nothing but the post-war hegemony. He disavowed adherence to any particular political orientation after disillusionment with the French New Right in the 1980s, returning just before the millennium with a presentation of his worldview called Archaeo-futurism. Perhaps some of his views may have found resonance in a contemporary Nietzsche: “The present civilization cannot endure. Its foundations are contrary to reality. The old faith in miracles of egalitarianism and the philosophy of progress – which suggests one can have his cake and eat it too – is now coming to an end. This fairytale ideology has led to a world of illusions that is less and less credible.” Again: “Archaeofuturism enables us to make a break with the obsolete philosophy of progress and the egalitarian, humanitarian and individualist dogmas of modernity, which are unsuited to our need to think about the future.” Most germane to our present context: “Today it is not a matter of ‘conserving’ the present or returning to a recent past that has failed, but rather of regaining possession of our most archaic roots, which is to say those most suited to the victorious life.” One example, among others, of this inclusive logic: to synthesize technological science and archaism – to reconcile Evola and Marinetti, Doctor Faust and the Labourers. And lastly:
The world of the future will be precisely as Nietzsche foresaw it […]; a worldview which makes a radical break with contemporary values and morals, in order to train spirits for the world of the future and create active minorities ready to experience this break and adopt an Archaeofuturist ethic with detachment [...] We should avoid being backward-looking, concerned with restoration and reaction, for it is the last few centuries that have spawned the pox that is now devouring us. It is a matter of returning to archaic and ancestral values, while at the same time envisioning the future as something more than a mere extension of the present. Against modernism, futurism. Against attachment to the past, archaism. Modernity has failed, it is crumbling, and its followers are the real reactionaries. […] Let us explore and continue along the path paved by an early riser and visionary: a certain Friedrich Nietzsche.
The overall conclusion is that these men, and, more importantly for us, Nietzsche, recognize firstly the value of the past, even if “only” as a future-shaping mythology (on a personal and societal level), in that they honor what is to be gained from antiquity, and history taken in a wider sense. To speak more accurately, they honor the conditio sine qua non of Culture, namely the individuals or groups who embody the anti-modern values that create it, and the individuals or groups who sustain the inherited legacy of this cultural infrastructure. Nietzsche and his followers see and are glad that all this – the timeless creation, maintenance, and improvement of Culture – is made possible by establishing hierarchy on a personal and societal level: a will to yield authority to the noble, the aristocratic, the meritorious in whatever realm. Secondly, our “Nietzscheans” are not conservative but forward-looking and “revolutionary-futurist”; all must have a cyclical and not a linear view of time. Phenomenology would suggest that the only real players in the tragic game of world-creation since the 20th century must embrace futurism, as indeed do the Left, transhumanism, fascism, Nietzscheans. What differentiates these groups, then, and sets them on one or the other side of the battle-line, is value-orientation, which taken together effect a worldview, i.e., the application of value in a consistent fashion to every element of experience; and what shapes value-orientation is, in the end, the attitude one takes toward the legacy of the a-temporal past (for past is future), even if unconsciously. Orthodox transhumanism and the Left fall on one side, with the other groups, overall, opposing them.
the end, the critical question has been the following: Does one see in “history”
timeless and typical values for the development of culture? Values to be
applied as guides to any individual or people aspiring to, or capable of, a
future and a unique greatness? Or will these classical-historical modes and the great individuals
who embody “heroic” values in word, thought or deed be, if not reinterpreted
and co-opted for ulterior ends,
then harshly criticized and dismissed as ignorant and outmoded;
and, if history proves recalcitrant to such misinterpretation, then fought against
and criminalized? Perhaps it is most likely of all that, as
the surest means of establishing the orthodox transhumanist paradise,
they will simply be erased from history, and forgotten.
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 It is important to emphasize that despite unanimity on most fundamental value judgements, the orthodox transhumanists disagree on the use of Nietzsche for their cause.
 “There is a structural similarity between the views of Nietzsche and those of transhumanists, even though the sound in which they put forward their understandings of the world differs significantly” (Sorgner, “Zarathustra 2.0 and Beyond”, p. 1).
 Hauskeller, Michael: “Nietzsche, the Overhuman, and the Posthuman: A Reply to Stefan Sorgner”. Journal of Evolution and Technology - Vol. 21 Issue 1 – January 2010 – pp. 5-8
 Sorgner, “Zarathustra 2.0 and Beyond”, The Agonist, 2012
 Sorgner, “Beyond Humanism: Reflections on Trans- and Posthumanism”, Journal of Evolution and Technology - Vol. 21 Issue 2 – October 2010 – pp. 1-19
 Sorgner, “Zarathustra 2.0 and Beyond”, The Agonist, 2012, p. 7
 Ibid., p. 32
 Sorgner, “Beyond Humanism: Reflections on Trans- and Posthumanism”, Journal of Evolution and Technology - Vol. 21 Issue 2 – October 2010 – pp. 1-19
 “The overhuman may even be the ultimate foundation for Nietzsche's worldview.” (Sorgner, 2009)
 E.g., “The couples who give birth to the overhuman must have qualities that Nietzsche would refer to as those of higher humans. One of the conditons necessary for an evolutonary step to occur is that many higher humans exist. ..The overhuman has a signifcantly different potential from that of higher humans.” (Sorgner,
“Nietzsche, the Overhuman, and Transhumanism”, Journal of Evolution and Technology - Vol. 20 Issue 1 – March 2009 - pp 29-42)
 “Transhumanism in its purest form doesn't have any fixed political niche. Instead each host or group of hosts links it to previous political views.” (Sandberg, 1994) ; “In principle, transhumanism can be combined with a wide range of politcal and cultural views” (Sorgner); “ There have also been technocratic fascists, attracted to racialism by eugenics, and to nationalism by the appeal of the unifed, modernizing naton-state” (Hughes, 2002) ; “ I do not think that a logical and necessary connection is given between the structures of transhumanism and totalitarianism.” (Sorgner, 2012)
 Bostrom, “Transhumanist Values” 2005, p. 4
 Twilight, 552
 Loeb, “Nietzsche's Transhumanism”, The Agonist, 2011
 “Expectations and Apprehensions on Transhumanism”, 2016
 Twilight 553
 “Transhumanist Values”, Ethical Issues for the 21st Century, ed. Frederick Adams, Philosophical Documentation Center Press, 2003; reprinted in Review of Contemporary Philosophy, Vol. 4, May (2005)
 Ibid., 8
 Twilight, 546
 Bostrom & Sandberg give another example of a sort of constrained openmindedness. Although for them “it is tempting to dismiss intuitions about the wisdom of nature as vulgar prejudice” (408), they admit that “if we do not understand why a very complex evolved system has a certain property, there is a considerable risk that something will go wrong if we try to modify it” (406), and that “a fitness reducing effect that we have not anticipated might be something very bad” (395). "The Wisdom of Nature: An Evolutionary Heuristic for Human Enhancement” Enhancing Humans, eds. Julian Savulescu & Nick Bostrom (Oxford University Press, 2009): 365-406
 Twilight 543
 As we said, transhumanists and Nietzsche both acknowledge the importance of psychological and physiological determinism and the malleability of human psychology (through education, propaganda, genetics, epigenetics). The transhumanists do not permit themselves to apply this knowledge in all connections.
 Twilight, 541
 Twilight, 465
 Paths to Salvaton: The National Socialist Religion
 Was unterscheidet eigentlich einen Juden und einem Antisemiten: der Jude weiß, daß er lügt, wenn er lügt: der Antisemit weiß nicht, daß er immer lügt.
 Twillight, p. 469, about virtue involving renouncing “advantages” (Inscription for anti-Semite's door)
 Note from mid-'88: Ihre Gescheutheit hindert die Juden, auf unsere Weise närrisch zu werden: zum Beispiel national. Es scheint, sie sind ehemals zu gut geimpft worden, ein wenig blutig selbst, und dies unter allen Nationen: sie verfallen nicht leicht mehr unsrer rabies, der rabies nationalis. [Referring, e.g., to the destruction of Jerusalem, etc.] 35 BGE 251, Nietzsche says the same.
 E.g., BGE 251 the Germans are 'not yet a race', still vulnerable, hence should not antagonize but attempt to assimilate as a matter of tact “the strongest, most tenacious, and purest race now living in Europe” (the Jews)
 Twilight, 506. Also: “An 'altruistc' morality remains a bad sign under all circumstances. This is true of individuals; it is partcularly true of nations.” 535
 The Politcs of Transhumanism
 Sex and Character
 Evola on Weininger: “The importance of Weininger's sketch of the Jewish soul lies in its superiority over the stereotyped formulas of the majority of militant anti-Semites, and in its effort to define the Jewish problem in universal and spiritual terms, prior to being a natonal, social, or even strictly racial one.”
 From Wiki: “Samurai were expected to be cultured and literate […] An early term for warrior, "uruwashii", was written with a kanji that combined the characters for literary study ("bun" 文) and military arts […] The Heike Monogatari makes reference to the educated poet-swordsman ideal. Compare Francis Xavier's account: “Honor with the samurai is placed above everything else”, to the SS moto “Meine Ehre heisst Treue”.
 Cf. Oto Rahn's works on the Cathars and the Grail.
 His desire to defiantly witness cost him his ability to walk; a sign that he was not all talk.
 And it is perhaps here that we see Loeb's insistence on the connection between Übermensch and eternal return, or the “temporal” element, find new meaning.
 Viewing it in terms of actual examples is one way, but the values are not time-bound, and are discoverable or able to be recognized and developed in anyone with this capacity (Plato, anamnesis, etc.)
 I.e., as Nietzschean orthodox transhumanists do.
 I.e., as more honest orthodox transhumanists do.
 An ongoing process.
 It is the strategy we expect to be adopted soon.
Compatibility Scores / Commentary
* = problematic / superficial (Scores range from 0-15)
TH = Transhumanism
NS = National Socialism
N = Nietzsche
Left & TH (15): ath., Jew, eq., fem., sex, no Cult., econ., dem., anti-vir/mil/nat/race, env, ps., eug*
NS & N (11; 8-14): hier., Cult., anti-dem./pro-auth., vir., mil., eug., env., psych, J*, anti-fem*, trad sex*, nat. (Eur.)*, race*, econ*
Right & Left (6.5; 6-7): Jew, equality, no Culture, democrats, anti-eugenics*, anti-race, anti-(ethnic) nationalism
Right & Left & TH (6; 5-7): Jew, equality, no Cult., dem., anti-race, no ethno-nat/Eur.*, eug* Right & TH (5): Jew, equality, no Culture, democrats, anti-race ---
TH & N (3.5; 3-4): atheist, env., psych., eug*
Left & N (3): atheist, environ., psych
NS & TH (3; 2-4): econ (anti-cap/pro soc)*, env., psych, eug*
Right & NS (3; 1-6): respect for Christianity, trad. gender*, trad. sexual mores*, military*, virility*, nationalism*
Right & N (3; 0-6): anti-(modern) feminism*, trad sex*, virility*, military*, nation*, anti-socialism* Left & NS (2.5; 2-3): econ (anti-cap/pro-soc)*, env., psych/phys
Additional parameters: All but N are pro-mass, All but Right are revol.-future oriented (Left/TH without respect for culture-history, NS/N with respect for culture-history [thus 'conservative revolutionary']), All but Right are this-world mythos/ideology oriented, Only NS/N “higher”, this-worldly, non-hedonic-utilitarian meaning, Only Right/NS trad mores* (different application)
Insights: Right and Left have more in common with each other and with TH than with N/NS.; TH is most close to Left; N is neither Left nor Right ; nor is NS, so N would be closest to NS of the 3 “political” groups.