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Nihilism, democracy and liberalism: Maudemarie Clark’s ‘Nietzsche on Ethics and Politics’

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Drochon, Hugo Halferty 


jats:pMaudemarie Clark is a leading interpreter of Nietzsche’s theory of truth, and as such we are fortunate to have her papers on his ethics, politics and metaphysics collected in one volume. Opening her section on politics – the subject of this review – with a critique of Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind, she condemns Bloom’s Straussian demand that philosophers lie about the fact that no truth exists to protect their way of life as a recurrence of the nihilist ascetic ideal Nietzsche rejected at the end of the Genealogy. In doing so, she definitively frees Nietzsche from Strauss’ grip, and opens up the possibility of questioning anew Nietzsche’s relationship to feminism, queer theory, democracy and community. Her most striking claim is that Nietzsche’s aristocratic ethics can be reconciled with modern democratic politics. Whether that is the case or not is up for debate, but what clearly isn’t, as this collection reminds us, is that we cannot do our thinking about politics without him.</jats:p>


This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from SAGE via


Nietzsche, Allan Bloom, nihilism, feminism, democracy, liberalism

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European Journal of Political Theory

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SAGE Publications