"set Friedrich Nietzsche up as a fascist saint"

Friedrich Nietzsche, c.1869
Public DomainFriedrich Nietzsche, c.1869 - Credit: Studio Gebrüder Siebe, Leipzig
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) was a German philosopher, poet, composer and classical philologist.  At the age of 24, he renounced his Prussian citizenship, and remained officially ‘stateless’ for the rest of his life. 

He wrote critical texts on religion, morality, culture, philosophy and science.  He is particularly influential in the fields of existentialism, nihilism, and postmodernism.  He questioned the value and objectivity of truth, and argued the importance of "life-affirmation", requiring an honest questioning of all doctrines that drain life's energies, however socially entrenched they may be. 

Nietzsche associated the Jewish and Christian religion with ‘slave-morality’ – where value derives from the contrast between good (charity, piety, restraint, meekness, submissive) and evil (worldly, cruel, selfish, wealthy, aggressive).  ‘Slaves’ overcome their sense of inferiority by making their weakness a matter of choice. This results in individuals living in a hypocritical state.  Nietzsche calls for exceptional people to embrace their uniqueness and follow their own “inner law”, while leaving morality to the masses.