Have a read of this piece:
In January 1992 Nixon asked to borrow Crowley’s copy of Friedrich Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil, a book best remembered for the phrase, ‘What does not destroy me makes me stronger’. Nixon was drawn to Nietzsche’s concept of ‘the unbent bow’ — that without struggle in life, man grows soft and directionless.
Nixon spent much of his time thinking about the role of the US as the world’s last remaining superpower. He believed the country needed to recommit itself to the idea of struggle. Thus he saw the relevance of Nietzsche and the concept of ‘the last man’, a character so obsessed with material advancement he was incapable of dedicating himself to a higher cause (whether in the form of ideological, religious or national struggle).
‘Not only is the last man selfish,’ Nixon told Crowley, ‘but he is pathetic. Imagine not being able to achieve anything great because you have grown so soft and lax that you simply don’t have the energy or courage to do it? Material things make life more comfortable while you are here but they are just things. What defines you, what makes you who you are, is what you accomplish, and everything worth accomplishing requires a struggle. Of course, no one wants to hear that but it’s true.’
He also put in a little nark at the end of the column about Bob Carr. I searched Bob's blog today, and couldn't find the article that he wrote about. Either I didn't look hard enough, or it's disappeared down the memory hole.
Latham writes well, and his stuff is always entertaining. If only he could shed his very large chip-on-shoulder.
As it is, it prevents him from offering a sane detached view, which is, I think, what he is trying to do.
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