What Nietzsche Taught

Page 14 of 74

Against war it may be said that it makes the victor stupid and the vanquished revengeful. In favour of war it may be said that it barbarises in both its above-named results, and thereby makes more natural; it is the sleep or the winter period of culture; man emerges from it with greater strength for good and for evil. 1, 322

As regards Socialism, in the eyes of those who always consider higher utility, if it is really a rising against their oppressors of those who for centuries have been oppressed and downtrodden, there is no problem of right involved[Pg 69] (notwithstanding the ridiculous, effeminate question, "How far ought we to grant its demands?") but only a problem of power ("How far can we make use of its demands?") 1, 322

Well may noble (if not exactly very intelligent) representatives of the governing classes asseverate: "We will treat men equally and grant them equal rights"; so far a socialistic mode of thought which is based on justice is possible; but, as has been said, only within the ranks of the governing class, which in this case practises justice with sacrifices and abnegations. On the other hand, to demand equality of rights, as do the Socialists of the subject caste, is by no means the outcome of justice, but of covetousness. If you expose bloody pieces of flesh to a beast, and withdraw them again, until it finally begins to roar, do you think that roaring implies justice? 1, 326-327

When the Socialists point out that the division of property at the present day is the consequence of countless deeds of injustice and violence, and, in summa, repudiate obligation to anything with so unrighteous a basis, they only perceive something isolated. The entire past of ancient civilisation is built up on violence, slavery, deception, and error; we, however, cannot annul ourselves, the heirs of all these conditions, nay, the concrescences of all this past, and are not entitled to demand the withdrawal of a single fragment thereof. 1, 327

Those who are bent on revolutionising society may be divided into those who seek something for themselves thereby and those who seek something for their children and grandchildren. The latter are the more dangerous, for they have the belief and the good conscience of disinterestedness. 1, 329

[Pg 70]

The fact that we regard the gratification of vanity as of more account than all other forms of well-being (security, position, and pleasures of all sorts), is shown to a ludicrous extent by every one wishing for the abolition of slavery and utterly abhorring to put any one into this position.... We protest in the name of the "dignity of man"; but, expressed more simply, that is just our darling vanity which feels non-equality, and inferiority in public estimation, to be the hardest lot of all. 1, 330

In all institutions into which the sharp breeze of public criticism does not penetrate an innocent corruption grows up like a fungus (for instance, in learned bodies and senates). 1, 336

The belief in a divine regulation of political affairs, in a mystery in the existence of the State, is of religious origin: if religion disappears, the State will inevitably lose its old veil of Isis, and will no longer arouse veneration. The sovereignty of the people, looked at closely, serves also to dispel the final fascination and superstition in the realm of these sentiments; modern democracy is the historical form of the decay of the State. 1, 342

Socialism is the fantastic younger brother of almost decrepit despotism, which it wants to succeed; its efforts are, therefore, in the deepest sense reactionary. For it desires such an amount of State Power as only despotism has possessed,—indeed, it outdoes all the past, in that it aims at the complete annihilation of the individual, whom it deems an unauthorised luxury of nature, which is to be improved by it into an appropriate organ of the general community. Owing to its relationship, it always appears in proximity to excessive developments of power, like the old typical socialist, Plato, at the court[Pg 71] of the Sicilian tyrant; it desires (and under certain circumstances furthers) the Csarian despotism of this century, because, as has been said, it would like to become its heir. But even this inheritance would not suffice for its objects, it requires the most submissive prostration of all citizens before the absolute State, such as has never yet been realised, and as it can no longer even count upon the old religious piety towards the State, but must rather strive involuntarily and continuously for the abolition thereof,—because it strives for the abolition of all existing States,—it can only hope for existence occasionally, here and there for short periods, by means of the extremest terrorism. It is therefore silently preparing itself for reigns of terror, and drives the word "justice" like a nail into the heads of the half-cultured masses in order to deprive them completely of their understanding (after they had already suffered seriously from the half-culture), and to provide them with a good conscience for the bad game they are to play. Socialism may serve to teach, very brutally and impressively, the danger of all accumulations of State power, and may serve so far to inspire distrust of the State itself. 1, 343-344

It is nothing but fanaticism and beautiful soulism to expect very much (or even, much only) from humanity when it has forgotten how to wage war. 1, 349

Wealth necessarily creates an aristocracy of race, for it permits the choice of the most beautiful women and the engagement of the best teachers; it allows a man cleanliness, time for physical exercises, and, above all, immunity from dulling physical labour. 1, 351

Public opinion—private laziness. 1, 354

Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies. 1, 355

[Pg 72]

The unreasonableness of a thing is no argument against its existence, but rather a condition thereof. 1, 361

People who talk about their importance to mankind have a feeble conscience for common bourgeois rectitude, keeping of contracts, promises, etc. 1, 363

The demand to be loved is the greatest of presumptions. 1, 363

When a man roars with laughter he surpasses all the animals by his vulgarity. 1, 369

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