ABSTRACT

Nietzsche's early essay “The Greek State” has been understood as unambiguous evidence of Nietzsche's “aristocratic radicalism,” that he rejected liberal democracy and advocated slavery, war, and the sacrifice of the many for the few. This article challenges the scholarly consensus. I argue that “The Greek State” critiques liberal culture, not its institutions, and it proposes modern functional alternatives to ancient practices of slavery and war. The broader aim of my article is to move beyond the debate between “aristocratic” and “democratic” readings of Nietzsche's perfectionism.

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