Wikipedia indicates that Nietzsche was anti-consumerist. What writings or evidence suggest that Nietzsche was anti-consumerist?

  • See Consumerism : "The older term and concept of "conspicuous consumption" originated at the turn of the 20th century in the writings of sociologist and economist, Thorstein Veblen." Thus, from an historical point of view, it makes little sense to speak of "consumerism" regarding N. Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 6:55

1 Answer 1


Michael Kilivris provides a survey of Nietzsche's approach to socialism and capitalism from a Marxist perspective emphasizing Nietzche's opposition to hedonism "and by extension consumerism". (page 34)

Theoretically, Nietzsche considers hedonism a close relative of Christianity, insofar as both seek to minimize pain and suffering. In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche talks of a “tranquillizing (for example, Epicurean or Christian) medicine... the happiness of resting, of not being disturbed, of satiety, of finally attained unity, of a ‘sabbath of sabbaths’.” [302] As such, hedonism violates Nietzsche’s “formula for greatness,” amor fati, which demands the affirmation of pleasure and pain, joy and suffering.

That summarizes Nietzsche's theoretical objections to hedonism (consumerism). He took this theory seriously enough to put it into practice.

Practically, while Nietzsche paid close attention to his gustatory habits, he did so in the name of strength, not pleasure. Hence, his guiding concern was, “how do you, among all people, have to eat to attain your maximum of strength, of virtu in the Renaissance style, of moraline-free virtue.” [Ecce Homo, 693] We also learn in this discussion that Nietzsche “abstained” from alcohol: “Alcohol is bad for me: a single glass of wine or beer in one day is quite sufficient to turn my life into a vale of misery... [I] cannot advise all more spiritual natures earnestly enough to abstain entirely from alcohol: Water is sufficient.” [Ecce Homo, 694-695] There is perhaps no better proof than this that Nietzsche did not conceive of the Dionysian in hedonistic terms.

Kilivris may be an initial guide to reading Nietzsche with a focus on what might be called his anti-consumerism.

Kilivris, M. (2011). Beyond goods and services: Toward a Nietzschean critique of capitalism. Hunter College, 5(2), 26-40. Retrieved on September 5, 2019 at http://www.kritike.org/journal/issue_10/kilivris_december2011.pdf

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .