Hugo Drochon is a historian of nineteenth- and twentieth-century political thought and a postdoctoral research fellow at CRASSH, the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities, at the University of Cambridge.
His new book is Nietzsche's Great Politics.
From Drochon's Q&A with Joe Humphreys at The Irish Times:
We tend to think of Nietzsche’s Übermensch as a perfected, almost supernatural individual. What sort of ruler did Nietzsche envisage for the ideal state?The Page 99 Test: Nietzsche's Great Politics.
“What is most important about the term Übermensch is the prefix: ‘über’ or ‘over’. For Nietzsche life was the perpetual overcoming of itself, and in this more precise sense the Übermensch are those who shall overcome modern mankind.
“Nietzsche’s rulers, if we can call them thus, would not themselves be strictly speaking Übermensch, but would attempt to set up a society within which the Übermensch could come into existence.”
How, in Nietzsche’s view, was democracy a product of Christianity, and does his analysis raise questions about the stability of democracy in what is arguably a post-Christian Europe?
“Democracy, on Nietzsche’s terms, is the extension of slave morality into politics, as it promotes the values of the many over the few. It transforms the metaphysics of equality before God into the metaphysics of political equality. But what if, as Nietzsche notoriously announces, ‘God is dead’? What if people no longer believe in the transcendental religion that provided a metaphysical underpinning for belief in universal political equality?
“This is not to say, as has often been understood, that Nietzsche rejects democracy as a whole. He is...[read on]