The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies Vol. 10, No. 2
instrument. “One must learn from war: . . . one must learn to sacrifice many and to take one’s cause seriously enough not to spare men” (WP, 982).
Nietzsche also praises war’s psychological benefits in developing a better kind of man. “I welcome all signs that a more virile, warlike age is about to begin, which will restore honor to courage above all. For this age shall prepare the way for one yet higher, and it shall gather the strength that this higher age will require one day—the age that will carry heroism into the search for knowledge and that will wage wars for the sake of ideas and their consequences” (GS, 283). The horrific religious wars of the Reformation and Counter-Reforma- tion were, for Nietzsche, a major achievement for men: “Religious war has signified the greatest progress of the masses hitherto; for it proves that the mass has begun to treat concepts with respect” (GS, 144). War thus has been a symptom and means of the elevation of mankind, and, Nietzsche argues, it is absolutely necessary for that end:
War essential.—It is vain rhapsodizing and sentimentality to continue to expect much (even more, to expect a very great deal) from mankind, once it has learned not to wage war. For the time being, we know of no other means to imbue exhausted peoples, as strongly and surely as every great war does, with that raw energy of the battleground, that deep impersonal hatred, that murderous coldbloodedness with a good conscience, that communal, organized ardor in destroy- ing the enemy, that proud indifference to great losses, to one’s own existence and to that of one’s friends. That muted, earthquakelike convulsion of the soul. (HA, 477)
Consequently, Nietzsche has nothing but scorn for the trade-and-
peace liberals of his day: “Our liberal representatives, known, lack the time for reflecting on the nature of man: would know that they work in vain when they work for decrease of the military burden’” (WS, 284).
as is well else they a ‘gradual
Conclusion My hope is that this essay will contribute to putting to rest the traditional, widespread, and careless identifications of Nietzsche’s and