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What is Nietzsche's place in the history of political thought? This article attempts to situate Nietzsche by contrasting him with two traditions: the social contract, in particular in its Hobbesian variety, which Nietzsche critically engages with in both 'The Greek State' and the Genealogy; and nineteenth-century theories of the 'withering away of the state', which serve as an interesting counterpoint to Nietzsche's own view of the 'decay of the state'. In doing so, the article challenges the view that Nietzsche does not offer a theory of the state, and should therefore not be considered a political thinker of any kind.
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Keywords: Greeks; Herbert Spencer; Hobbes; Locke; Marxism; Nietzsche; Plato; Rousseau; Wagner; Zarathustra; beasts of prey; culture; genealogy; genius; party of life; political thought; slavery; social contract; war of spirits; withering away of the state

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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