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Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900), German author and intellectual, is a favorite subject of Nazis, Spookykids, and second year philosophy majors. He remains one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th Century, if only because acolytes ranging from Hitler to Marilyn Manson to a thousand and one USEnetters keep him alive through misattributed quotations. His best-selling works today are "Beyond Good and Evil," "Thus Spake Zarathustra," and "The Anti-Christ." It's important to note that, despite their steady sales, these books are rarely read by the end user. Rather, they generally serve to prove how cool one is when displayed prominently on bookshelves and mantles.

Next to "God is Dead," Nietzsche's most famous contribution to the philosophical (and political) landscape is the concept of the uberman / Overman -- a romanticized, perfect individual who is above petty, transient pleasures and morals, devoted to scientific truth and absolute power over himself and his environment. At the same time, the Superman ideal is likely his most misunderstood concept, which probably why it is favored by pointy-headed nihilists and LFP poppers as an excuse to be a self-important jerk.