The role of philosophy and hierarchy in Friedrich Nietzsche's political thought
I argue that Friedrich Nietzsche provides us with a political philosophy that deserves serious consideration as a uniquely anti-democratic position within the canon of modern political theory. Beyond recent attempts to democratise Nietzsche's thoughts on power and self-creation, I provide an analysis of Nietzsche's anti-democratic impulse that demonstrates how the elements of hierarchy and philosophy form the core of an antidemocratic and anti-universalist political project in Nietzsche's mature thought. Hitherto, many of Nietzsche's interpreters have assumed that his thought yields no unambiguous political philosophy because he fails to present his ideas in a systematic way. Yet it may be argued that Nietzsche's political thought does reveal a significant, if skeletal, structure that is built upon consistent ideas, however unsystematically presented. The overall aim of this thesis is to determine the best way to characterize what is uniquely political in Nietzsche. I claim that the political in Nietzsche has to do with the relationship between politics as hierarchy and philosophy as independent value creation. I present my thesis in three parts. Firstly, I develop my argument within a critique of recent democratic interpretations of Nietzsche. Secondly, I illustrate the relationship between hierarchy and philosophy through an original exegesis of Nietzsche's texts. And finally, by engaging in a comparative analysis of Hannah Arendt's political theory, I offer an example of how Nietzsche's anti-democratic project may be employed as a tool in the ongoing consideration of important issues in political theory.