Friedrich Nietzsche died more than a decade before Fascism became a political movement, but his name is strongly associated with Fascism and he is rejected by many as a Proto-Fascist or Proto-Nazi. Others, such as Walter Kaufmann, have tried to rehabilitate Nietzsche in the public eye and portray him as an apolitical philosopher was an Anti-Anti-Semite with much of the bad things written in by his sister Elizabeth who had been married to a volkisch politician.
But it’s pretty well established that there are common elements of Nietzsche’s thought in Fascism and that he had a direct influence on Benito Mussolini, Georges Sorel, Gabriele D’Annunzio, and others: the celebration of violence, an elitist disdain for the masses, misogyny: belief that women’s place was in the home, irrationalism and voluntarism, etc. He wrote many things that could be considered Nordicist and a precursor to Nazism:
I employ the word state: it is obvious what is meant - some pack of blonde beasts of prey, a conqueror and master race which, organized for war and with the ability to organize, unhesitatingly lays its terrible claws upon a populace perhaps tremendously superior in numbers but still formless and nomad. Or one does not reckon with such natures; they come like fate, without reason, consideration, or pretext; they appear as lightning appears, too terrible, too different, too sudden, too convincing
Incidentally, the Celts were a thoroughly blond race. People are wrong when they link the traces of a basically dark-haired population, which are noticeable on the carefully prepared ethnographic maps of Germany, with any Celtic origin and mixing of blood, as Virchow does. It is much rather the case that in these places the pre-Aryan population of Germany emerged. (The same is true for almost all of Europe: essentially the conquered races finally attained the upper hand for themselves once again in colour, shortness of skull, perhaps even in the intellectual and social instincts. Who can confirm for us that modern democracy, the even more modern anarchism, and indeed that preference for the “Commune,” for the primitive form of society, which all European socialists now share, does not indicate a monstrous counter-attack and that the ruling and master race, the Aryans, is not being defeated, even physiologically?)––
How responsible for Fascism was Friedrich Nietzsche, and in general, how responsible are thinkers for how people put their ideas into practice?
I think that it’s pretty well established that Nietzsche was a major influence on Fascism and that he was not the benign existentialist that some want to portray him as. We cannot understand Fascism and much of far-right thought without Nietzsche. It’s futile to wonder how he would have responded to the Fascist regimes which arose, but he does bear some moral responsibility for a lot of the reprehensible ideas which inspired them.