From the conflict of the ultra-left Acéphale and the Fascist regimes we are offered the two polarities Nietzsche appears torn between: Nietzsche the fascist, Nietzsche the revolutionary.
Who can claim the proper name 'Nietzsche'?
Within the given space of this article the full extent of Nietzsche’s fascist appropriation cannot be addressed— however, two instances, taken together, may serve as a synecdoche for it:
First, in Benito Mussolini’s La dottrina del fascismo (The Doctrine of Fascism) we find occasional, though significant, references to Nietzsche’s concept of the will to power (“volontà di potenza”), particularly in the ‘Fundamental ideas’ section.
Ghost-written by Giovanni Gentile, this opening section is naturally foremost an extension of his neo-Hegelian ‘actual idealism’, his ‘actualism’, as opposed to Nietzscheanism as such (as is aptly pointed out by Bataille in his titular article in Nietzsche et les Fascistes). In this context, the will to power is to be understood as the will of the people as subordinated to the State— the latter held to be the locus of absolute value —to expand and perpetuate itself beyond its frontiers (whether actually or potentially). Such generalized subordination is certainly formalized within Nietzsche’s work, though to proclaim it as a political dictate of Nietzsche is untenable at best.
Second, and undoubtedly more notorious, is the Nazi appropriation of the concept of the Übermensch, in which the concept is racialized in the most vulgar sense, naturally often paired with the opposite concept of the ‘Untermensch’— the latter term in this sense likely adopted from American white supremacist Lothrop Stoddard.
Here the Overman, as opposed to referring to the figure that overcomes Christian morality (the passage from the ‘two world’ moral system to a creative-affirmative ethics), expresses an insistence on the a tergo biological superiority of the ‘Aryan’ race. This figuration of mastery is definitively reactive (predicated upon negating and limiting the other, as opposed to active and thus affirmative) and therefore subordinated to the ‘weakness’ that Nietzschean philosophy seeks to overcome.
To the sum of these appropriations, we may swiftly respond as French Philosopher Gilles Deleuze does:
—GILLES DELEUZE, PURE IMMANENCE
And, to the end of understanding the relation of Nietzsche, Nietzschean thought, and politics, we may conclude by affirming the thesis of French (Non-)Philosopher François Laruelle: