The Antichrist

(Der Antichrist)

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Published: 1918
Language: English
Wordcount: 34,951 / 113 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 38.5
LoC Category: BL
Downloads: 28,307
Added to site: 2006.09.19 14453

Save for his raucous, rhapsodical autobiography, "Ecce Homo," "The Antichrist" is the last thing that Nietzsche ever wrote, and so it may be accepted as a statement of some of his most salient ideas in their final form. Translated from the German by H.L. Mencken.

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to one of them publicly was already sufficient to set him off as one in imminent need of psychiatrical attention. Belief in them had become a mark of inferiority, like the allied belief in madstones, magic and apparitions.

But though the theology of Christianity had thus sunk to the lowly estate of a mere delusion of the rabble, propagated on that level by the ancient caste of sacerdotal parasites, the ethics of Christianity continued to enjoy the utmost acceptance, and perhaps even more acceptance than ever before. It seemed to be generally felt, in fact, that they simply must be saved from the wreck--that the world would vanish into chaos if they went the way of the revelations supporting them. In this fear a great many judicious men joined, and so there arose what was, in essence, an absolutely new Christian cult--a cult, to wit, purged of all the supernaturalism superimposed upon the older cult by generations of theologians, and harking back to what was conceived to be the pure ethical doc


Average Rating of 4.3 from 3 reviews: *****
Lisa Carr

An interesting book, much too well translated into English. Written at the end of Nietzsche's life, it's a summary of his philosophy of the superior man.
He was trying to do to philosophy what Darwin did to biology—remove god and all invisible delusions from philosophical thought. And, like most non-biologists, he completely misunderstood Darwin.
He believed that the superior man would rise above the rabble of men because of his innate abilities. But rather than examine Nature and society for the type of person who survives to reproduce best, he invented his own characteristics of superior man: strength, power (social, wealth), ego, a need for action (including war,) and enough intelligence to agree with him.
His appeal to the Nazis is obvious. If you can invent a superior man, why not also throw in blond hair, blue eyes, and a tendency towards skin cancer?
He doesn't specifically name inferior people except those who disagree with him, and is not particularly an anti-Semite (he despises Jews and Christians equally, and seems to loathe Germans), but he does suggest that the superior man has an obligation to discourage the existence of those who are not superior. And war is a tool.
Spirituality, including conscience, is a delusion. Christian virtues are actually vices to a superior man. Compassion, tolerance, patience, sacrifice are all for the poor and weak. The worst vice is hope.
Around section 30 he begins an exposé of Christianity, claiming its deification of Jesus and preaching of eternal salvation is a fraud. His point is that Jesus came to demonstrate how to live (and die) a holy life, and nothing else. The apostles and Paul created the rest. This is the most interesting part, to me. He does have a tendency to repeat and over-explain.
H.L. Mencken did the translation, and it is exact and elegant. Nietzsche's scorn and sarcasm come through clearly. I found Mencken's introduction much better than the rest of the book.


Nietzsche was a true philosopher, having the audacity to talk about obvious, when everyone else turn the blind eye. Much more christian community has to be resented for, than it resenting anything. History was written by the hand of christian resentment of anything that was right and good!


Even though the book had been banned for numerous reasons and resented by the Christian Community, this is really a thought provoking one.

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