Mill, Nietzsche and Pericles Pericles, the Athenian leader and promoter of democracy, has long been lauded by society and political leaders alike, so it is not surprising that he has been taken up as a symbol for what might be possible by both John Stuart Mill and Friedrich Nietzsche. At the same time, Pericles’ inherent value to politics is perceived entirely differently by Mill and Nietzsche; to Mill he is an emblem of equity between citizens, and to Nietzsche Pericles stands for the need to employ harsh tactics to bring citizens in line with his vision, namely that of a paragon. This essay serves to explore the themes which Mill and Nietzsche seem to ascribe to Pericles. The essay will examine why both Mill and Nietzsche praise him, and...The end:
..... is not surprising. The two authors had such disparate views on the values and challenges facing society that they utilized this popular leader from history, rather than a more modern and contentious figure, in order to prove their points. Nietzsche’s use of Napoleon, for example, would possibly have lacked credibility with some of his readers due to the recentness of his despotism, and the public knowledge of his disgrace. Pericles, on the other hand, could be held up as a symbol which would resonate with educated readers familiar with Thucydides’ writing.References Mill, John Stuart. On Liberty and Other Essays. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008. Nietzsche, Friedrich. Beyond Good and Evil. Trans. Rolf-Peter Horstmann. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.