Surprising Intellectual Cousins

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Young Bucky was... influenced by one strong female ancestor, his great-aunt Margaret Fuller... Her platform for change was the written word, and in conjunction with her good friend the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller founded the Transcendentalist literary magazine The Dial... Although she died decades before Bucky’s birth, Margaret Fuller’s influence endured within the Fuller family, and young Bucky was not exempt from it. He was told stories of his famous aunt, her distinguished cohorts, and their Nature-based philosophy which stressed the divine orderliness of the Universe.
Buckminster Fuller’s Universe, p. 2

That means that R. Buckminster Fuller, insofar as he was influenced by Margaret Fuller, shares some common intellectual ancestry with Friedrich Nietzsche, an avid reader of the works of Emerson. It would no doubt be extravagant to suggest that these two had much in common besides an overreaching optimism which Nietzsche, in any case, never extended to the many (or to any sort of divine orderliness); but it’s fascinating to wonder what these two very different heirs of Transcendentalism would have made of each other had they ever met.

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