What Nietzsche Taught

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It tries to acquire strength of will by every kind of asceticism.

It is not expansive; it practises silence; it is cautious in regard to all charms.

It learns to obey in such a way that obedience provides a test of self-maintenance. Casuistry is carried to its highest pitch in regard to points of honour.

It never argues, "What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander"—but conversely! it regards reward, and the ability to repay, as a privilege, as a distinction.

It does not covet other people's virtues. 341

The blind yielding to a passion, whether it be generosity, pity, or hostility, is the cause of the greatest evil. Greatness of character does not consist in not possessing these passions—on the contrary, a man should possess them to a terrible degree: but he should lead them by the bridle.... 346

Education: essentially a means of ruining exceptions in favour of the rule. Culture: essentially the means of directing taste against the exceptions in favour of the mediocre. 349

What is noble?—The fact that one is constantly forced to be playing a part. That one is constantly searching for situations in which one is forced to put on airs. That one leaves happiness to the greatest number: the happiness which consists of inner peacefulness, of virtue, of comfort, and of Anglo-angelic-back-parlour-smugness, la Spencer. That one instinctively seeks for heavy responsibilities. That one knows how to create enemies everywhere, at a pinch even in one's self. That one contradicts the greatest number, not in words at all, but by continually behaving differently from them. 357

The first thing that must be done is to rear a new kind[Pg 327] of man in whom the duration of the necessary will and the necessary instincts is guaranteed for many generations. This must be a new kind of ruling species and caste—this ought to be quite as clear as the somewhat lengthy and not easily expressed consequences of this thought. The aim should be to prepare a transvaluation of values for a particularly strong kind of man, most highly gifted in intellect and will, and, to his end, slowly and cautiously to liberate in him a whole host of slandered instincts hitherto held in check.... 363-364

The revolution, confusion, and distress of whole peoples is in my opinion of less importance than the misfortunes which attend great individuals in their development. We must not allow ourselves to be deceived: the many misfortunes of all these small folk do not together constitute a sum-total, except in the feelings of mighty men. 369

The greatest men may also perhaps have great virtues, but then they also have the opposites of these virtues. I believe that it is precisely out of the presence of these opposites and of the feelings they suscitate, that the great man arises,—for the great man is the broad arch which spans two banks lying far apart. 370

In great men we find the specific qualities of life in their highest manifestation: injustice, falsehood, exploitation. But inasmuch as their effect has always been overwhelming, their essential nature has been most thoroughly misunderstood, and interpreted as goodness. 370-371

We must not make men "better," we must not talk to them about morality in any form as if "morality in itself," or an ideal kind of man in general, could be taken for granted; but we must create circumstances in which stronger men are necessary, such as for their part will[Pg 328] require a morality (or, better still: a bodily and spiritual discipline) which makes men strong, and upon which they will consequently insist! 379

We must not separate greatness of soul from intellectual greatness. For the former involves independence; but without intellectual greatness independence should not be allowed; all it does is to create disasters even in its lust of well-doing and of practising "justice." Inferior spirits must obey, consequently they cannot be possessed of greatness. 380

I teach that there are higher and lower men, and that a single individual may under certain circumstances justify whole millenniums of existence—that is to say, a wealthier, more gifted, greater, and more complete man, as compared with innumerable imperfect and fragmentary men. 386

He who determines values and leads the will of millenniums, and does this by leading the highest natures—he is the highest man. 386

We should attain to such a height, to such a lofty eagle's ledge, in our observation, as to be able to understand that everything happens, just as it ought to happen: and that all "imperfection," and the pain it brings, belong to all that which is most eminently desirable. 389

Pleasure appears with the feeling of power.

Happiness means that power and triumph have entered into our consciousness.

Progress is the strengthening of the type, the ability to exercise great will-power: everything else is a misunderstanding and a danger. 403

Man is a combination of the beast and the superbeast: higher man a combination of the monster and the superman: these opposites belong to each other. With every[Pg 329] degree of a man's growth towards greatness and loftiness, he also grows downwards into the depths and into the terrible:... 405

The word "Dionysian" expresses: a constraint to unity, a soaring above personality, the commonplace, society, reality, and above the abyss of the ephemeral; the passionately painful sensation of superabundance, in darker, fuller, and more fluctuating conditions; an ecstatic saying of yea to the collective character of existence, as that which remains the same, and equally mighty and blissful throughout all change; the great pantheistic sympathy with pleasure and pain, which declares even the most terrible and most questionable qualities of existence good, and sanctifies them; the eternal will to procreation, to fruitfulness, and to recurrence; the feeling of unity in regard to the necessity of creating and annihilating. 415-416

At this point I set up the Dionysus of the Greeks: the religious affirmation of Life, of the whole of Life, not of denied and partial Life.... 420

God on the Cross is a curse upon Life, a signpost directing people to deliver themselves from it;—Dionysus cut into pieces is a promise of Life: it will be for ever born anew, and rise afresh from destruction. 421

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In the following list no attempt has been made at completion. I have set down only the important and more useful works concerning Nietzsche and his philosophy, and have further limited myself to such volumes as are in English. I have omitted entirely the large number of essays on Nietzsche which have appeared in magazines, as well as those books which embody only the various Nietzschean ideas.

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