Nietzsche Society poster uses racist imagery

While students have traditionally been very good at challenging the presence of the far-right on their campuses, Student Rights has continued to document racist or fascist activity.

We have reported on attempts at campus infiltration by the neo-Nazi group National Action, and attempts to set up British National Party front groups by party activists.

This week, Student Rights has been informed that material promoting the Nietzsche Club is once again being distributed at University College London (UCL).

The society caused controversy last year after producing incendiary leaflets declaring that “Equality is a false God” and encouraging students to discuss “traditionalist culture and philosophy”.

As a result UCL’s Student Union condemned the society for promoting a “far-right, fascist ideology” and banned the group, a position that was subsequently reversed due to “insufficient evidence”.

On Monday however, Student Rights saw a new poster advertising the group, which used racist imagery and promoted controversial philosophers, including the anti-Semitic writer Julius Evola.

A major influence on Italian fascism, Evola believed that Jews “lay behind the main sources of the perversion of western civilisation”, and wrote that they sought “to destroy every surviving trace of true order and superior civilisation”.

While it is important that our universities are places in which radical ideas can be studied and discussed, this use of overtly racist images must not go unchallenged by UCL.

Previous attempts to close down the group were flawed as those behind it appear to have been deeply partisan, and to have made no effort to present any evidence other than hearsay.

However, in this case the use of racist material must be punished through UCL’s disciplinary processes – and it should be made clear that societies which use such material will face effective sanctions.

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