Los Angeles Times

Commentary: The alt-right misreads Nietzsche. But they aren't the only ones

Richard Spencer, leading light of America's alt-right, said in an interview last year that he was "red-pilled" by reading the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. The reference is to "The Matrix"; in the film, popping the red pill allows you to perceive reality. Scales fall from your eyes. Spencer's recalibration threw up white nationalism, anti-feminism, racial and cultural purity.

But Nietzsche repeatedly wrote against all of the above. He insisted he'd rather be a good European than a good German, calling "Deutschland, Deutschland uber alles" ("Germany, Germany above all") the death of German philosophy. His numerous close friendships with early feminists included Meta von Salis, the first woman in Switzerland to gain a

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