“At the center of all these noble races we cannot fail to see the blond beast of prey, the magnificent blond beast avidly prowling round for spoil and victory; this hidden center needs release from time to time, the beast must out again, must return to the wild.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

One of the stimulating aspects of philosophy is its subjective nature. The branch of philosophy known as the philosophy of the mind takes an ontological approach in exploring the nature of subjectivity. By examining it through that lens, subjectivity is in flux with objectivity. Philosophy of the mind claims that the way humans experience reality is through a unique emotional or mental state that is infinitely variant to each individual. And while that idea may have strokes of truth brushed over its rather abstract canvas, behind most philosophical works is a foundation constructed with context.

Subjectivity and context could be viewed as in tension with one another if you apply the idea of objectivity to the latter. Context is a basis in which subjectivity can thrive. For example, take into consideration the above quote by the 18thcentury German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche. This quote is derived from his work titled “The Genealogy of Morals,” a collection of essays exploring the histories of moral concepts.

Even though he was credited with saying “there are no facts, only interpretations,” Nietzsche had context behind his philosophy, which was inspired by both the current times as well as his own worldview.

In contrast, there is an unwavering ability for an individual to view a philosopher’s work subjectively, and to assign their own meaning to it in order to advance their own ideologies. Universally speaking, with all instances of this sort of subjectivity, the original context still exists, but the subjective interpretation can bury it. This was demonstrated by Adolf Hitler.

Blond beasts and the Übermensch: A Cultural Critique or Racist Mating Call?

Hitler, a man who needs no introduction, happened to be one of the most prolific misinterpreters of Nietzsche’s philosophy. In 1930’s Germany, Hitler intertwined Nietzschean thought into his orations in parallel to the public media designed by Joseph Goebbels, the Third Reich’s Minister of Propaganda and Hitler’s close confidant. These false interpretations of Nietzsche were used as kindling for the eventual firestorm of racism and white supremacy that was in its incipient stage amongst the German population.