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  1. #11
    Senior Member Viridian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I dont believe superman was meant to be God, I also thought he was supposed to be a US comics alternative to the Ayran superman of Nazi Germany, werent there comics wars in which the nationalist hero archetypes of each nation were featured?
    Wasn't Superman based partially on Nietzsche's Übermensch or something like that? However, I'd say that, given his upbringing as Clark Kent, I guess he's supposed to represent tradional - yet not clannish - values, such as working hard and being law-abiding (he's not exactly vigilante material, is he?) - you know, like a superpowered Norma Rae.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viridian View Post
    Wasn't Superman based partially on Nietzsche's Übermensch or something like that? However, I'd say that, given his upbringing as Clark Kent, I guess he's supposed to represent tradional - yet not clannish - values, such as working hard and being law-abiding (he's not exactly vigilante material, is he?) - you know, like a superpowered Norma Rae.
    Eugenics experienced a resurgence in popularity back in the 1920s - 30s. Eugenics is defined as "the study of methods of improving genetic qualities by selective breeding (especially as applied to human mating)." Nietzscheanism may have fed into that. One of the first and most popular pulp heroes of the era was Doc Savage, who was a direct product of eugenics. Superman, however, is just an alien, not the product of human eugenics. I think he was a normal baby on Krypton.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Viridian View Post
    Wasn't Superman based partially on Nietzsche's Übermensch or something like that? However, I'd say that, given his upbringing as Clark Kent, I guess he's supposed to represent tradional - yet not clannish - values, such as working hard and being law-abiding (he's not exactly vigilante material, is he?) - you know, like a superpowered Norma Rae.
    Well the nazi ayran "supermen" were meant to be ubermensch, at least the nazi reading of Nietzsche that is, wasnt there an animation or animated tribute to them by an American source? It is lampooned in family guy, simpsons and even The Rocketman I think, the thing about the "American Way" in Superman comics is that I believe it was meant to be about small town hospitality, conviviality and altruism, the model of "do gooding" which Superman engages in is a model of the same "do gooding" which he benefited from as the baby crashed to earth.

    Its interesting too, in very, very few comics which have covered it, the way that the Clark Kent, journalist, alter ego could afford Superman some means to realise his goals too as a writer/opinion former. I'm unsure if even the series Smallville succeeded in pulling of the smallville vs. metropolis contrast which I think the early comics did, smallville is the American utopia of small town, independent farming families which is as old as Jefferson.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by mal12345 View Post
    Eugenics experienced a resurgence in popularity back in the 1920s - 30s. Eugenics is defined as "the study of methods of improving genetic qualities by selective breeding (especially as applied to human mating)." Nietzscheanism may have fed into that. One of the first and most popular pulp heroes of the era was Doc Savage, who was a direct product of eugenics. Superman, however, is just an alien, not the product of human eugenics. I think he was a normal baby on Krypton.
    Its the sun which gave Superman his powers, I dont think Nietzsche can be linked with eugenics.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Its the sun which gave Superman his powers, I dont think Nietzsche can be linked with eugenics.
    No, I simply don't reduce everything to one cause, but to different influences. That's why I said Nietzsche may have played an [indirect] role in Superman's creation, but the idea of a super-man was in the mainstream of thought at that time, and eugenics played a major role in that, not only in Germany. If you look up American eugenics on Google Books, you will find a lot of books about this relating to the time period before between WWI and WWII, called the Interwar Period.

    Edit - And it is easy enough anyway to trace eugenics in some form clear back to Plato's Republic.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
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  6. #16
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viridian View Post
    Wasn't Superman based partially on Nietzsche's Übermensch or something like that? However, I'd say that, given his upbringing as Clark Kent, I guess he's supposed to represent tradional - yet not clannish - values, such as working hard and being law-abiding (he's not exactly vigilante material, is he?) - you know, like a superpowered Norma Rae.
    He's a mix of Samson and a golem (Shuster and Siegel were Jewish, after all). That's also where the inclination toward hard work and identification with the values of one's group came from.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Viridian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Well the nazi ayran "supermen" were meant to be ubermensch, at least the nazi reading of Nietzsche that is, wasnt there an animation or animated tribute to them by an American source? It is lampooned in family guy, simpsons and even The Rocketman I think, the thing about the "American Way" in Superman comics is that I believe it was meant to be about small town hospitality, conviviality and altruism, the model of "do gooding" which Superman engages in is a model of the same "do gooding" which he benefited from as the baby crashed to earth.
    I've heard the Nazi Party distorted Nietzsche's ideas in order to give eugenics some sort of credibility - didn't he sever ties with Richard Wagner because of Wagner's anti-Semitism?

    The bolded makes a hell lot of sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    He's a mix of Samson and a golem (Shuster and Siegel were Jewish, after all). That's also where the inclination toward hard work and identification with the values of one's group came from.
    That, too. Can you believe someone made a Jewish version of Superman called Shaloman? Way to miss the point, I'd say!

  8. #18
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Really? I watched both of those and didnt think they exhibited any of that, I dont like anti-americanism and I'm pretty aware of it in films.
    I said that the changes were made to appeal to anti-American sentiment, not that the result was anti-American in itself: I'm referring to the deletion of G.I.Joe as the 'Real American Hero' and of Superman fighting for 'the American way'. Basically, the elimination of well-known properties as celebratory representations of American ideals, however idealized.

  9. #19
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    I never cared for Superman anyway.


  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by mal12345 View Post
    No, I simply don't reduce everything to one cause, but to different influences. That's why I said Nietzsche may have played an [indirect] role in Superman's creation, but the idea of a super-man was in the mainstream of thought at that time, and eugenics played a major role in that, not only in Germany. If you look up American eugenics on Google Books, you will find a lot of books about this relating to the time period before between WWI and WWII, called the Interwar Period.

    Edit - And it is easy enough anyway to trace eugenics in some form clear back to Plato's Republic.
    Yeah, I know all about eugenics, I'm a supporter of eugenics and posted about it before. Why do mention Plato's republic? Is it because its a very early source or, preceived as, respectable source?

    Its not connected to the idea of supermen in my thinking though, it was popular with socialists who were not supporters of man and superman thinking.

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