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Nietzsche was a profound believer in the value of tradition, in the value of general discipline lasting over long periods. He knew that all that is great and lasting and intensely moving has been the result of the law of castes or of the laws governing the individual members of a caste throughout many generations.[4] This building up of the rare man, of the great man (of the cultivated type in a Darwinian sense) as every scientist is aware, is utterly frustrated by any thing in the way of injudicious and careless cross-breeding (see Darwin on the degeneration of the cultivated types of animals through the action of promiscuous breeding), by democratic msalliances of all kinds, and by the laisser aller which is one of the worst evils of that kind of freedom which tends to prevail when the slaves of a community have succeeded in asserting and expressing their insignificant and miserable little individualities.

Believing all this, Nietzsche could not help but advocate the rearing of a select and aristocratic caste, and in none of his exhortations is he more sincere than when he appeals to higher men to sow the seeds of a nobility for the future.

"O my brethren, I consecrate you to be, and show unto you the way unto a now nobility. Ye shall become procreators and breeders and sowers of the future.

"Verily, ye shall not become a nobility one might buy, like shopkeepers with shopkeepers' gold. For all that hath its fixed price is of little worth.

"Not whence ye come be your honour in future, but whither ye go!" Your will, and your foot that longeth to get beyond yourselves,—be that your new honour!"

"Your children's land ye shall love (be this your new nobility), the land undiscovered in the remotest sea! For it I bid you set sail and seek!"[5]

"Every elevation of the type man," says Nietzsche, "has hitherto been the work of an aristocratic society—and so will it always be—a society believing in a long scale of gradations of rank and differences of worth among human beings, and requiring slavery in some form or other. Without the pathos of distance, such as grows out of the incarnated differences of classes, out of the constant outlooking and downlooking of the ruling caste on subordinates and instruments, and out of their equally constant practice of obeying and commanding, of keeping down and keeping at a distance that other more mysterious pathos could never have arisen, the longing for an ever new widening distance within the soul itself, the formation of ever higher, rarer, further, more extended, more comprehensive states, in short, just the elevation of the type 'man,' the continued 'self-surmounting of man,' to use a moral formula in a super-moral sense."[6]

I cannot attempt to give a full account of the society Nietzsche would fain have seen established on earth. It will be found exhaustively described in Aph. 57 of the Antichrist: while in the book of Manu (Max Mller's "Sacred Books of the East," No. 25), similar sociological prescriptions are to be found, correlated with all the imposing machinery of divine revelation, supernatural authority, and religious earnestness.

Briefly, Nietzsche says this:—

It is ridiculous to pretend to treat every one without regard to those natural distinctions which are manifested by superior intellectuality, or exceptional muscular strength, or mediocrity of spiritual and bodily powers, or inferiority of both. He tells us that it is not the legislator, but nature herself, who establishes these broad classes, and to ignore them when forming a society would be just as foolish as to ignore the order of rank among materials and structural principles when building a monument. Though the base of a pyramid does not require to be of the very finest marble, we know it must be both broad and massive. Nietzsche declares that no society has any solidarity which is not founded upon a broad basis of mediocrity. Though the stones get fewer in the layers as we ascend to the top of the pyramid, we know that their gradation is necessary if the highest point is to be readied. Nietzsche believes in the long scale of gradations of rank with the ascending line leading always to the highest—even if he be only a single individual. Though the very uppermost point consists of a single stone, it is around that single stone that the weather will rage most furiously and the sun shine most gorgeously. That single stone will be the first to cleave the heavy shower, and the first, for, to meet the lightning. Nietzsche says: "Life always becomes harder towards the summit,—the cold increases, responsibility increases."[7]

"Saepius ventis agitatur ingens
pinus, et celsae graviore casu
decidunt turres, feriuntque summos
fulgura montes."[8]—HORACE, Carm. II. X.

Thus he would have the intellectually superior, those who can bear responsibility and endure hardships, at the head. Beneath them are the warriors, the physically strong, who are "the guardians of right, the keepers of order and security, the king above all as the highest formula of warrior, judge, and keeper of the law. The second in rank are the executive of the most intellectual." And below this caste are the mediocre. "Handicraft, trade, agriculture, science, the greater part of art, in a word, the whole compass of business activity, is exclusively compatible with an average amount of ability and pretension." At the very base of the social edifice, Nietzsche sees the class of man who thrives best when he is well looked after and closely observed,—the man who is happy to serve, not because he must, but because he is what he is,—the man uncorrupted by political and religious lies concerning equality, liberty, and fraternity,—who is half conscious of the abyss which separates him from his superiors, and who is happiest when performing those acts which are not beyond his limitations.

He forestalls this sketch of his ideal society by enunciating the moral code wherewith he would transvalue our present values, and I shall now give this code without a single remark or comment, feeling quite sure that the reader who has understood Nietzsche so far will not require any assistance in seeing that it is the necessary and logical outcome of the rest of his teaching.

     *     *     *      *     *     *

"What is good? All that increases the feeling of power, will to power, power itself in man.

"What is bad?—All that proceeds from weakness.

"What is happiness?—The feeling that power increases, that resistance is overcome.

"Not contentedness, but more power; not peace at any price, but warfare; not virtue, but capacity (virtue in the Renaissance style, virt free from any moralic acid)."[9]

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I cannot well close this chapter on Nietzsche's sociological views without touching upon two of the most important elements in modern society, and his treatment of them. I refer to "altruism" and to "pity." I am more particularly anxious to express myself clearly on these two points, inasmuch as I know how many erroneous opinions are current in regard to Nietzsche's attitude towards them. In all gregarious communities, as is well known, altruism and pity have become very potent life-preserving factors, and it would be hard to find in Europe to-day, a city, a town, or a village, in which these two qualities are not considered the most creditable of virtues. Now apart from the fact that this excessive praise of compassion and selflessness is a sign of slave values being in the ascendant, we must bear in mind two things: (1) that under our present system of society, in which cruelties are perpetrated far more brutal than any that could be found in antiquity, a sort of maudlin sentimentality has arisen among the oppressing classes, whereby they attempt to counterbalance their deeds of oppression with lavish acts of charity. This sentimentality is a sign that their conscience is no longer clean for the act of oppressing; because in their heart of hearts they feel themselves unworthy of being at the top: (2) that wherever two or three human beings collect together, a certain modicum of altruism and compassion is a prerequisite of their social unity.

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