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Title: What Nietzsche Taught
Author: Wright, Willard Huntington
Language: English
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I am writing for a race of men which
does not yet exist: for "the lords of the
earth."  _The Will to Power_





the critic who has given the greatest impetus
to the study of Nietzsche in America





It is no longer possible to ignore the teachings of Friedrich
Nietzsche, or to consider the trend of modern thought without giving
the philosopher of the superman a prominent place in the list of
thinkers who contributed to the store of present-day knowledge. His
powerful and ruthless mind has had an influence on contemporary
thought which even now, in the face of all the scholarly books of
appreciation he has called forth, one is inclined to underestimate.
No philosopher since Kant has left so undeniable an imprint on modern
thought. Even Schopenhauer, whose influence coloured the greater part
of Europe, made no such widespread impression. Nietzsche has penetrated
into both England and America, two countries strangely impervious
to rigorous philosophic ideals. Not only in ethics and literature
do we find the moulding hand of Nietzsche at work, invigorating and
solidifying; but in pedagogics and in art, in politics and religion,
the influence of his doctrines is to be encountered. The books and
essays in German elucidating his philosophy constitute a miniature
library. Nearly as many books and articles have appeared in France,
and the list of authors of these appreciations include many of
the most noted modern scholars. Spain and Italy, likewise, have
contributed works to an inquiry into his teachings; and in England
and America numerous volumes dealing with the philosophy of the
superman have appeared in recent years. In M. A. Mügge's excellent
biography, "Friedrich Nietzsche: His Life and Work," there is appended
a bibliography containing 850 titles, and this list by no means
includes all the books and articles devoted to a consideration of this
philosopher's doctrines.

In this regard one should note that this interest is not the result of
a temporary popularity, such as that which has met the philosophical
pieties of Henri Bergson. To the contrary, Nietzsche's renown is
gaining ground daily among serious-minded scholars, and his adherents
have already reached the dimensions of a small army. But despite this
appreciation there is still current an enormous amount of ignorance
concerning his teachings. The very manner in which he wrote tended to
bring about misunderstandings. Viewed casually and without studious
consideration, his books offer many apparent contradictions. His style,
always elliptic and aphoristic, lends itself easily to quotation, and
because of the startling and revolutionary nature of his utterances,
many excerpts from his earlier works were widely circulated through the
mediums of magazines and newspapers. These quotations, robbed of their
context, very often gave rise to immature and erroneous judgments, with
the result that the true meaning of his philosophy was often turned
into false channels. Many of his best-known aphorisms have taken on
strange and unearthly meanings, and often the reverse of his gospel has
gained currency and masqueraded as the original canon.

To a great extent this misunderstanding has been unavoidable.
Systematisers, ever eager to bend a philosopher's statements to their
own ends, have found in Nietzsche's writings much material which, when
carefully isolated, substantiated their own conclusions. On the other
hand, the Christian moralists, sensing in Nietzsche a powerful and
effective opponent, have attempted to disqualify his ethical system by
presenting garbled portions of his attacks on Christianity, omitting
all the qualifying passages. It is impossible, however, to understand
any of Nietzsche's doctrines unless we consider them in their relation
to the whole of his teachings.

Contrary to the general belief, Nietzsche was not simply a destructive
critic and a formulator of impossible and romantic concepts. His
doctrine of the superman, which seems to be the principal stumbling
block in the way of a rationalistic interpretation of his philosophy,
is no vague dream unrelated to present humanity. Nor was his chief
concern with future generations. Nietzsche devoted his research to
immediate conditions and to the origin of those conditions. And--what
is of greater importance--he left behind him a very positive and
consistent system of ethics--a workable and entirely comprehensible
code of conduct to meet present-day needs. This system was not
formulated with the precision which no doubt would have attached to
it in its final form had he been able to complete the plans he had
outlined. Yet there are few points in his code of ethics--and they
are of minor importance--which cannot be found, clearly conceived
and concisely stated, in the main body of his works. This system of
conduct embraces every stage of society; and for the rulers to-day--the
people for whom Nietzsche directly voiced his teachings--he outlines a
method of outer conduct and a set of inner ideals which meet with every
modern condition. His proposed ethical routine is not based on abstract
reasoning and speculative conclusions. It is a practical code which has
its foundation implanted in the dominating instincts of the organic
and inorganic world. It is directly opposed to the prevailing code,
and has for its ideal the fulness of life itself--life intensified
to the highest degree, life charged with a maximum of beauty, power,
enthusiasm, virility, wealth and intoxication. It is the code of
strength and courage. Its goal is a race which will possess the hardier
virtues of strength, confidence, exuberance and affirmation.

This ideal has been the source of many misunderstandings, and it is
the errors which have arisen from the vicious and inept dissemination
of his teachings, that I have striven to rectify in the present book.
I have hoped to accomplish this by presenting the whole of Nietzsche's
philosophy, as far as possible, in his own words. This has not been so
difficult a matter. His writings, more than those of any other modern
philosopher, offer opportunities for such treatment. There is no point
in his entire system not susceptible to brief and clear quotation.
Furthermore, his thought developed consistently and logically in
straight-away, chronological order, so that at the conclusion of each
book we find ourselves just so much further along the route of his
thinking. Beginning with "Human, All-Too-Human," his first destructive
volume, we can trace the gradual and concise pyramiding of his
teachings, down to the last statement of his cardinal doctrine of will
as set forth in the notes which comprise the second volume of "The Will
to Power." Each one of the intervening books embodies new material: it
is a distinct, yet co-ordinated, division in the great structure of his
life's work. These books overlap one another in many instances, and
develop points raised speculatively in former books, but they organise
each other and lead one surely, if at times circuitously, to the
crowning doctrines of his thought.

The majority of critics have chosen to systematise Nietzsche's
teachings by separating the ideas in his different books, and by
drawing together under specific captions (such as "religion," "the
state," "education," etc.,) all the scattered material which relates
to these different subjects. In many cases they have succeeded in
offering a very coherent and consistent résumé of his thought. But
Nietzsche's doctrines were inherently opposed to such arbitrary
dividing and arranging, because beneath the various sociological
points which fell under his consideration, were two or three general
motivating principles which unified the whole of his thought. He did
not work from modern institutions back to his doctrines; but, by
analysing the conditions out of which these institutions grew, he
arrived at the conclusions which he afterward used in formulating
new methods of operation. It was the change in conditions and needs
between ancient and modern times that made him voice the necessity of
change between ancient and modern institutions. In other words, his
advocacy of new methods for dealing with modern affairs was evolved
from his researches into the origin and history of current methods. For
instance, his remarks on religion, society, the state, the individual,
etc., were the outcome of fundamental postulates which he described
and elucidated in terms of human institutions. Therefore an attempt to
reach an explanation of the basic doctrines of his philosophy through
his _applied_ teachings unconsciously gives rise to the very errors
which the serious critics have sought to overcome: this method focuses
attention on the _application_ of his doctrines rather than on the
doctrines themselves.

Therefore I have taken his writings chronologically, beginning with his
first purely philosophical work--"Human, All-Too-Human"--and have
set down, in his own words, every important conclusion throughout his
entire works. In this way one may follow Nietzsche throughout every
step in the development of his teachings--not only in his abstract
theories but also in his application of them. There is not a single
important point in the entire sweep of his thought not contained in
these pages. Naturally I have been unable to give any of the arguments
which led to these conclusions. The quotations are in every instance
no longer than has been necessary to make clear the idea: for the
processes of thought by which these conclusions were reached the
reader must go direct to the books from which the excerpts are made.
Also I have omitted Nietzsche's brilliant analogies and such desultory
critical judgments, literary and artistic, as have no direct bearing on
his philosophy; and have contented myself with setting down only those
bare, unelaborated utterances which embody the positive points in his
thought. By thus letting Nietzsche himself state his doctrines I have
attempted to make it impossible for anybody who goes carefully through
these pages to misunderstand those points which now seem clouded in

In order to facilitate further the research of the student and to make
clear certain of the more obscure selections, I have preceded each
chapter with a short account of the book and its contents. In these
brief essays, I have reviewed the entire contents of each book, set
down the circumstances under which it was written, and attempted to
weigh its individual importance in relation to the others. Furthermore,
I have attempted to state briefly certain of the doctrines which
did not permit of entirely self-explanatory quotation. And where
Nietzsche indulged in research, such as in tracing the origin of
certain motives, or in explaining the steps which led to the acceptance
of certain doctrines, I have included in these essays an abridged
exposition of his theories. In short, I have embodied in each chapter
such critical material as I thought would assist the reader to a clear
understanding of each book's contents and relative significance.

This book is frankly for the beginner--for the student who desires a
survey of Nietzsche's philosophy before entering upon a closer and more
careful study of it. In this respect it is meant also as a guide; and I
have given the exact location of every quotation so that the reader may
refer at once to the main body of Nietzsche's works and ascertain the
premises and syllogisms which underlie the quoted conclusion.

In the opening biographical sketch I have refrained from going into
Nietzsche's personality and character, adhering throughout to the
external facts of his life. His personality will be found in the racy,
vigorous and stimulating utterances I have chosen for quotation, and
no comments of mine could add colour to the impression thus received.
It is difficult to divorce Nietzsche from his work: the man and his
teachings are inseparable. His style, as well as his philosophy, is
a direct outgrowth of his personality. This is why his gospel is so
personal and intimate a one, and so closely bound up in the instincts
of humanity. There are several good biographies of Nietzsche in
existence, and a brief account of the best ones in English will be
found in the bibliography at the end of this volume.

It must not be thought that this book is intended as a final, or
even complete, commentary on Nietzsche's doctrines. It was written
and compiled for the purpose of supplying an introductory study,
and, with that end in view, I have refrained from all technical or
purely philosophical nomenclature. The object throughout has been to
stimulate the reader to further study, and if this book does not send
the reader sooner or later to the original volumes from which these
quotations have been made, I shall feel that I have failed somewhat in
my enterprise.

The volumes of Nietzsche's philosophy from which the quotations in this
book are taken, comprise the first complete and authorised edition of
the works of Nietzsche in English. To the courageous energy of Dr.
Oscar Levy do we owe the fact that Nietzsche's entire writings are
now obtainable in English. The translations of these books have, in
every instance, been made by competent scholars, and each volume is
introduced by an illuminating preface. As this edition now stands,
it is the most complete and voluminous translation of any foreign
philosopher in the English language. The edition is in eighteen
volumes, and is published in England by T. N. Foulis, and in America by
the Macmillan Company. The volumes and their contents are given below.

    I. "The Birth of Tragedy," translated by William A.
    Haussmann, B.A., Ph.D., with a biographical introduction
    by the author's sister; a portrait of Nietzsche, and a
    facsimile of his manuscript.

    II. "Early Greek Philosophy and Other Essays," translated by
    Maximilian A. Mügge, Ph.D. Contents: "The Greek State," "The
    Greek Woman," "On Music and Words," "Homer's Contest," "The
    Relation of Schopenhauer's Philosophy to a German Culture,"
    "Philosophy During the Tragic Age of the Greeks" and "On
    Truth and Falsity in Their Ultramoral Sense."

    III. "The Future of Our Educational Institutions,"
    translated by J. M. Kennedy. Besides the titular essay, this
    volume contains "Homer and Classical Philology."

    IV. "Thoughts Out of Season," Vol. I., translated by Anthony
    M. Ludovici. Contents: "David Strauss, the Confessor and the
    Writer" and "Richard Wagner in Bayreuth."

    V. "Thoughts Out of Season," Vol. II., translated with
    introduction by Adrian Collins, M.A. Contents: "The Use and
    Abuse of History" and "Schopenhauer as Educator."

    VI. "Human, All-Too-Human," Vol. I., translated by Helen
    Zimmern, with introduction by J. M. Kennedy.

    VII. "Human, All-Too-Human," Vol. IL, translated, with
    introduction, by Paul V. Cohn, B.A.

    VIII. "The Case of Wagner," translated by Anthony M.
    Ludovici and J. M. Kennedy, with introductions by the
    translators. Contents: "The Case of Wagner," "Nietzche
    _contra_ Wagner," "Selected Aphorisms" and "We Philologists."

    IX. "The Dawn of Day," translated, with introduction, by J.
    M. Kennedy.

    X. "The Joyful Wisdom," translated, with introduction, by
    Thomas Common. The poetry which appears in the appendix
    under the caption of "Songs of Prince Free-As-A-Bird," is
    translated by Paul V. Cohn and Maude D. Petre.

    XI. "Thus Spake Zarathustra," revised introduction by Thomas
    Common, with introduction by Mrs. Förster-Nietzsche, and
    commentary by A. M. Ludovici.

    XII. "Beyond Good and Evil," translated by Helen Zimmern,
    with introduction by Thomas Common.

    XIII. "The Genealogy of Morals," translated by Horace
    B. Samuel, M.A., with introductory note. "People and
    Countries," an added section to this book, is translated by
    J. M. Kennedy with an editor's note by Dr. Oscar Levy.

    XIV. "The Will to Power," Vol. I., translated, with an
    introduction, by A. M. Ludovici.

    XV. "The Will to Power," Vol. IL, translated, with an
    introduction, by A. M. Ludovici.

    XVI. "The Twilight of the Idols," translated, with an
    introduction, by A. M. Ludovici. Contents: "The Twilight
    of the Idols," "The Antichrist," "Eternal Recurrence," and
    "Explanatory Notes to 'Thus Spake Zarathustra.'"

    XVII. "Ecce Homo," translated by A. M. Ludovici. Various
    poetry and epigrams translated by Paul V. Cohn, Herman
    Scheffauer, Francis Bickley and Dr. G. T. Wrench. In
    addition this volume contains the music of Nietzsche's "Hymn
    to Life"--words by Lou Salomé--with an introduction by A.
    M. Ludovici.

    XVIII. "Index to Complete Works," compiled by Robert Guppy,
    with vocabulary of foreign quotations occurring in the
    works of Nietzsche translated by Paul V. Cohn, B.A., and an
    introductory essay, "The Nietzsche Movement in England (A
    Retrospect--A Confession--A Prospect)," by Dr. Oscar Levy.

There are in the present volume no quotations from Nietzsche's
_"Ecce Homo"_ or from the pamphlets dealing with Wagner. The former
work is an autobiography which, while it throws light on both
Nietzsche's character and his work, is nevertheless outside his purely
philosophical writings. And the Wagner documents, though interesting,
have little to do with the Nietzschean doctrines, except as showing
perhaps the result of their application. I have therefore left
them intact for the student who wishes to go more deeply into the
philosopher's character than I have here attempted.

W. H. W.



Biographical Sketch

Nietzsche liked to believe that he was of Polish descent. He had a
greater admiration for the Poles than for the Germans, and went so far
as to instigate an investigation by which he hoped to prove beyond
a shadow of a doubt that he was not only Polish but was descended
from the Polish nobility. His efforts, his sister tells us, were not
entirely successful, although some evidence was turned up which pointed
to the truth of this theory. Several of the dates in the report,
however, did not accurately tally, and since many of Nietzsche's
papers containing the results of his genealogical research were lost
in Turin after his breakdown, the hypothesis of his Polish descent
consequently remains somewhat mythical. Nietzsche's theory was that his
great-great-grandfather was a nobleman named Nicki who fled from Poland
during the religious wars, as a fugitive under sentence of death, and
took with him a young son who afterward changed his name to Nietzsche.
There is a romance in this belief which appealed strongly to the
philosopher. He saw a genuine grandeur in the fact that his ancestor
had become a fugitive for his religious and political opinions. This
belief in time became a conviction with him, and in the later years of
his life we find him definitely asserting the truth of this family

The matter, however, one way or the other, is of little consequence,
for Nietzsche's mind embodied universal traits: it was uncommonly free
from distinctly national characteristics. All the important facts of
his life and of his immediate ancestry are known to us. He was born at
Röcken, a little village in the Prussian province of Saxony, on October
15, 1844. The day was the anniversary of the birth of Friedrich Wilhelm
IV, King of Prussia, and Nietzsche was christened Friedrich Wilhelm in
honour of the event. The coincidence was all the more marked by the
fact that Nietzsche's father, three years previous, had been tutor to
the Altenburg Princesses, in which capacity he had met the sovereign
and made so favourable an impression that it was by the royal favour he
was living at Röcken. There were two other children in the Nietzsche
household--a girl born in 1846, and a son born in 1850. The girl
was named Therese Elizabeth Alexandra after the Duke of Altenburg's
three daughters who had come under her father's tutorship. Afterward
she became the philosopher's closest companion and guardian and his
most voluminous biographer. The boy Joseph, named after the Duke of
Altenburg himself, did not survive his first year.

The longevity and hardiness which marked the stock of Nietzsche's
ancestors does away with the theory, often advanced, that his sickness
and final mental breakdown were the outcome of hereditary causes.
Out of his eight great-parents only two failed to reach the age of
seventy-five, while one reached the age of eighty-six and another
did not die until ninety. Both of his grand-fathers attained to
the age of seventy, and his maternal grandmother lived until she
was past eighty-two. Furthermore, the Nietzsche families for three
generations had been very large and in every instance healthy and
robust. Nietzsche's grandmother Nietzsche had twelve children, and his
grandmother Oehler had eleven children--both families being strong and
free from sickness. Nietzsche himself, so his sister tells us in her
biography, was strong and healthy from his earliest childhood until
maturity. He participated in outdoor sports such as swimming, skating
and ball playing, and was characterised by a ruddy complexion which
in his school days often called forth remarks concerning his evident
splendid health. It seems that only one physical defect marked the
whole of his younger life--a myopia inherited from his father. This
impediment, though slight at first, became rapidly aggravated by the
constant use to which he put his eyes in his sedulous application to

Nietzsche, the most terrible and devastating critic of Christianity
and its ideals, was the culmination of two long collateral lines of
theologians. His grandfather Nietzsche was a man of many scholarly
attainments, who, because of his ecclesiastical writings, had received
the degree of Doctor of Divinity. His second wife, the mother of
Nietzsche's father, came from a whole family of pastors by the name
of Krause. Her favourite brother was a preacher in the Cathedral at
Naumburg; and of the other two one was a Doctor of Divinity and one
a country clergyman. The father of Nietzsche's mother was also a
pastor by the name of Oehler, and had a parsonage in Pobles. Likewise
Nietzsche's father, Karl-Ludwig Nietzsche, was a pastor in the
Lutheran church; but he possessed a greater culture than we are wont
to associate with the average country clergyman, and was a man looked
up to and revered by all those who knew him. In fact, his appointment
to the post at Röcken was an expression of appreciation paid his
talents by the Prussian King. He was thirty-one years of age and had
been married only a year when his son Friedrich was born. Though in
perfect health, he was not destined to live more than five years after
this event, for in 1848 he fell down a flight of stone stairs, and died
after a year's invalidism, as a result of concussion of the brain.

The event cast a decided influence on the Nietzsche household and
altered completely its plans. After lingering eight months at the
parsonage, the family left Röcken and moved to Naumburg-on-the-Saale,
there establishing a new domicile in the home of the pastor's mother.
The household was composed of the two children, Friedrich and
Elizabeth, their mother, then only twenty-four, their grandmother
Nietzsche, and two maiden sisters of the dead father. This
establishment was run on strict and puritanical lines. All the women
were of strong theological inclinations. One of the maiden aunts,
Rosalie, devoted herself to Christian benevolent institutions. The
other aunt, Augusta, was not unlike the paternal grandmother--pious
and God-fearing and constantly busied with her duties to others. The
widowed mother carried on the Christian tradition of the family, and
never forgot that she was once the wife of a Lutheran pastor. Daily
prayers and Biblical readings were fixed practices. The young Friedrich
was the pet of the household, and there were secret hopes held by all
that he would grow up in the footsteps of his father and become an
honoured and respected light in the church. To the realisation of this
hope, all the efforts and influences of the four women were given.
Such was the atmosphere in which the early youth of the author of "The
Antichrist" was nurtured.

Soon after the family's arrival at Naumburg, Friedrich, then only six
years old, was sent to a local Municipal Boys' School, in accordance
with the educational theories of his grandmother, who believed in
gregarious education for the very young. But she had failed to count
upon the unusual character of her grandson, and the attempt to educate
him at a municipal institution resulted in failure. His upbringing had
made him somewhat priggish and hypersensitive. He was ridiculed by the
other boys who taunted him with the epithet of "the little minister."
He refused to mingle with the riff-raff which composed the larger part
of the pupils, and held himself isolated and aloof. Consequently,
before the year was up, he was withdrawn from the school and entered in
a private educational institution which prepared the younger students
for the Cathedral Grammar School. Here he was in more congenial
surroundings. He had for schoolmates two youths whose families were
friends of the Nietzsche household--young Wilhelm Pinder and Gustav
Krug, who later were to influence his youth. Nietzsche remained at this
school for three years.

As a boy Nietzsche was always thoughtful and studious. He was a
taciturn child and took long walks in the country alone, preferring
solitude to companionship. He was sensitive to a marked degree,
polite, solicitous of all about him, and inclined to moodiness. As
soon as he could write he started a diary in which he included not
only the external events of his life but his thoughts and ideas and
opinions. The pages of this diary, partially preserved, make unique
and interesting reading. At a very early age he began writing poetry.
His verses, though conventional in both theme and metre, reflected a
knowledge of contemporary prosody unusual in a boy of his years. He had
ample opportunity in his home of hearing good music, and he manifested
a great love for it in very early youth. He devoted much time to
studying the piano, and not infrequently tried his hand at composing.
Later in his life we still find him writing music, and also publishing
it. In deportment Nietzsche was a model child. He was thoroughly
imbued with the religious atmosphere of his surroundings, and was
far more pious than the average youth of his own age. For a long
while he gave every indication of fulfilling the ecclesiastical hopes
which his family harboured for him. Consequently there was no lack of
encouragement on the part of his guardians toward his first literary
efforts which reflected the piety of his nature.

After a few years in the Naumburg school, where he distinguished
himself as a model student and incidentally impressed the visiting
inspectors by his quickness and brilliance in answering test
questions, Nietzsche took the entrance examinations for the
well-known Landes-Schule at Pforta, an institution then noted for
its fostering and promotion of scientific studies. The vacancy at
Pforta had been offered Nietzsche's mother by the Rector who had heard
rumours concerning the intellectual gifts of the young "Fritz." The
examinations were passed successfully, and in October, 1858, after a
tearful leave-taking, he entered the Lower Fourth Form. Pforta, at that
time, was an institution of considerable eminence, with a tradition
attaching to it not unlike that of Eton. It was a hot-bed of academic
culture, and the professors were among the most learned in the country.
The school had been founded as a monastery in the twelfth century by
the Cistercian monks. In the sixteenth century it had fallen under
the rule of the Duke Moritz of Saxony, who turned it into a secular
educational academy, making way for the advance of the newer ideals.

The life at Pforta in Nietzsche's day was strict, and we learn that
the young philosopher chafed somewhat under the stringent discipline.
But in time he accustomed himself to the regulations, and it was not
long before we find him actively and interestedly participating in
the school life. However, new ideas were fomenting. If outwardly he
acquiesced to the routine, inwardly he was in a state of revolt. He had
already begun to indulge in original thinking, and he felt the lack
of freedom in communicating his ideas to others. His only confidante
during these days was his sister whom he always saw during the holidays
and on brief leaves of absence. His spare moments were devoted to music
and literature other than that prescribed by the school curriculum.
He resented the fact that one had to think of particular themes
at specified times, and no doubt caused his good tutor, Professor
Buddensieg, much uneasiness, for, to judge from his diary, he did not
keep to himself the resentment he felt toward the enforcement of the
irksome and repressive calendar of studies.

This resentment doubtlessly had much to do with the inauguration of
a society which was called the Germania Club. Wilhelm Pinder and
Gustav Krug, Nietzsche's former school companions at Naumburg, were
participants in its formation; and on the highest ledge of the watch
tower, overlooking the Saale valley, its object was discussed and
its inception dedicated and solemnised with a bottle of red wine.
This society, while bearing many of the ear-marks of mere youthful
enthusiasm, formed an important turning point in Nietzsche's life. It
acted, at a psychological moment, as a safety-valve for the heretical
ideas and aspirations which, up to that time, he had confided only to
his sister and his diary. The purpose of the club can best be stated
in Nietzsche's own words: "We resolved to found a kind of small club
which would consist of ourselves and a few friends, and the object of
which would be to provide us with a stable and binding organisation,
directing and adding interest to our creative impulses in art and
literature; or to put it more plainly, each of us would be pledged to
present an original piece of work to the club once a month, either a
poem, a treatise, an architectural design, or a musical composition,
upon which each of the others, in a friendly spirit, would have to
pass free and unrestricted criticism. We thus hoped by means of mutual
correction to be able both to stimulate and to chasten our creative
impulses." It was during one of his lectures before this group of
youthful individualists that Nietzsche first expressed his true views
on Christianity--views, which, could they have been overheard by his
devoted family, would have brought sorrow to their pious hearts. The
list of Nietzsche's contributions to this synod numbered thirty-four,
and included musical compositions, poems, political orations and
various literary works.

Nietzsche remained at Pforta until 1864. He had been confirmed at
Easter, 1861, and to all outward manifestations retained his religious
principles. His final report states that "he showed an active and
lively interest in the Christian doctrine." In religion he was given
the grade of "excellent." During his later years at Pforta he
manifested an interest in the works of Emerson and Shakespeare and
especially in the Greek and Latin authors. His dislike for mathematics
increased steadily, and his love for Sophocles, Æschylus, Plato and
the Greek lyricists "grew by leaps and bounds." His final paper--the
departing thesis which was compulsory for all graduating students--was
a Latin essay on Theognis of Megara, _"De Theognide Megarensi"_ Between
Nietzsche and that ancient aristocrat, with his fine contempt for
democracy, there existed many temperamental affinities; and this final
essay was no less than a foundation on which the young Dionysian later
built his philosophy of aristocracy. On the 7th of September he left

After resting at Naumburg until the middle of October, Nietzsche set
forth for the University of Bonn. It was here that he came under
the guidance of Professor Ritschl, who later was to exert a great
influence over him. Friedrich Wilhelm Ritschl was not only the
foremost philologist of his time, but a scholar deeply versed in
classical literature and rhetoric. It was he who founded the science
of historical literary criticism as we know it to-day. When he first
met Nietzsche his interest in the young man at once became very great,
and the relationship between them rapidly developed into the warmest
of friendships. To Ritschl Nietzsche owed many things. It was at the
former's house that he became acquainted with many of the leading
learned men of the day. And it would be unfair not to credit Ritschl
with much of the future philosopher's ardent and lasting interest in
ancient cultures.

At Bonn Nietzsche entered the collegiate life with unusual zest. He
became a member of the Franconia Student Corps, and participated
freely in the drinking bouts which, from what we can learn from his
letters home, constituted one of the main duties attached to his
membership. But this phase of the student life was foreign to his
tastes, and after brief activities in the rôle of "good fellow," he
found a more spontaneous recreation in attending concerts and the
better class theatres. He privately studied Schumann, and during 1864
and 1865 his life bore a marked musical stamp.

It was during Nietzsche's days at Bonn that a decided change came over
his religious views. His critical studies in the literature and culture
of the ancients had done much toward weaning him from the formal and
almost literal theological beliefs of his family. The first open breach
between his newer ideals and the established prejudices of his mother
came at Easter-time about midway of his course at Bonn. He was home
for the holidays, and when the good people were preparing to attend
communion, he suddenly informed them of his decision not to accompany
them. Arguments were unavailing. An animated discussion arose in which
he firmly defended his attitude; and from that time on there was never
a reconciliation between his religious standpoint and the one held by
his family. Two learned ecclesiastics were called into consultation,
but they were unable to meet the disquieting arguments of the young
heretic, and his case was dismissed for the moment on his Aunt
Rosalie's theory that even in the lives of the devoutest Christians
there often come periods of doubt, and that during such periods it is
best to leave the backslider to his own conscience. Nietzsche, however,
never again entered the fold.

Curiously enough it was at this same period that came his revulsion
toward the dissipations of student life. He went so far as to attempt
an imposition of his moral theories on the members of the Franconia,
but this attempt at reformation resulted only in his own unpopularity.
In his attitude toward duelling--a pastime somewhat over-emphasised at
Bonn--Nietzsche was consistent with his other beliefs. The chivalrous
side of it appealed to him, although he detested the spirit of it
from the standpoint of the student body. However, he took heroic, if
unconventional, means to involve himself in a duel lest his position
be misconstrued as cowardice. He selected an adversary he thought
worthy of him, and pleasantly demanded a combat on the field of honour,
ending his request: "Let us waive all the usual preliminaries."
The other agreed, and the duel was fought. But the incident merely
resulted in emphasising Nietzsche's disgust for student life. Says
his sister, "The circumstances which above all aroused my brother's
wrath was the detestable 'beer materialism' with which he met on
all sides, and owing to these early experiences in Bonn he for ever
retained a very deep dislike for smoking, drinking, and the whole of
so-called 'beer-conviviality.'" His decision to leave Bonn and enter
the University of Leipzig was due to his fondness for Ritschl. In the
dispute which arose between the two Professors, Jahn and Ritschl,
Nietzsche's friendship for the latter made him a partisan, although he
held Jahn in the highest respect; and when Ritschl decided to transfer
himself to Leipzig, the young philosopher, along with several of the
other students, followed him. This was in the autumn of 1865. Nietzsche
reached Leipzig on the 17th of October, and the next day he presented
himself to the Academic Board. It was the centennial anniversary
of the day when Goethe had entered his name on the register, and
the University was celebrating the event. The coincidence delighted
Nietzsche greatly, who regarded it as a good omen for his future at the
new institution.

It was during his residence at Leipzig that there came into his life
two events which were to have a profound and lasting influence on his
future. One of these was his acquaintance with Wagner--an acquaintance
which several years later developed into the strongest friendship of
his life. The other event (in many ways more important than the first)
was his discovery of Schopenhauer. This discovery is characteristically
described in a letter to his sister: "One day I came across this book
at old Rohn's curiosity shop, and taking it up very gingerly I turned
over its pages. I know not what demon whispered to me: 'Take this
book home with thee.' At all events, contrary to my habit not to be
hasty in my purchase of books, I took it home. Once in my room I threw
myself into the corner of the sofa with my booty, and began to allow
that energetic and gloomy genius to work upon my mind. In this book,
in which every line cried out renunciation, denial, and resignation, I
saw a mirror in which I espied the whole world, life and my own mind
depicted in frightful grandeur. In this volume the full celestial eye
of art gazed at me; here I saw illness and recovery, banishment and
refuge, heaven and hell. The need of knowing myself, yea, even of
gnawing at myself, forcibly seized me." This book went far in arousing
the philosophic faculties of the young philologist, and later he
wrote many essays, long and short, both in praise and in refutation
of the great pessimist. That he should at first have subscribed to
all of Schopenhauer's teachings is natural. Nietzsche was vital and
susceptible to enthusiasms. It was in accord with his youthful nature,
full of courage and strength, that he should have been seduced to

At Leipzig Nietzsche accomplished an enormous amount of work: and his
nature developed in proportion. The life was freer than it had been
at Pforta or at Bonn. Far from being hampered in the voicings of his
inner beliefs, he found his environment particularly congenial to
self-expression. He made numerous friends, principal among them being
Erwin Rohde, who crossed his later life at many points. He showed
a great interest in political, as well as in literary and musical,
events; and the war between Prussia and Austria fanned his youthful
ardour to an almost extravagant degree. Twice he offered himself to
the authorities, hoping to be permitted to serve as a soldier, but was
rejected both times on account of his shortsightedness. His interest
in his studies, however, was in no wise diminished. He read widely in
English, French, Greek and Latin, and devoted much scholarly research
to Theognis, Diogenes Laertius, and Democritus. His essay on the
subject, _"De Fontibus Diogenis Laertii"_ won the first university
prize, and was later published, with other of his essays on philology,
in the _Rheinisches Museum._

At this time the Prussian army found itself in sore need of men, and
although Nietzsche had been exempt from military duties and had failed
to secure enlistment, he suddenly found himself, in the autumn of 1867,
called upon for compulsory training. A new army regulation had just
been passed requiring all young men, if otherwise physically sound,
to enter military service even though their eyesight was partially
impaired. As a consequence Nietzsche had to leave Leipzig and go into
training. He made an effort to enlist in a Berlin Guard Regiment, but
was finally compelled to join the horse artillery at Naumburg. Although
he had previously volunteered for service, he now found that the life
of a soldier was far more irksome and far less romantic than he had
imagined. He was unhappy and disconsolate, and deplored the slavery
attached to the life of a mounted artilleryman. He was not destined,
however, to fulfil his arduous military duties to the full term of his
proscription. Barely a year had gone by when he was thrown from his
horse and received what at first was thought a slight strain, but what
later turned out to be a serious injury. The pommel of his saddle had
compressed his chest, and the inflammation which set in necessitated
his permanent withdrawal from service.

For a long time Nietzsche was under the care of the famous specialist,
Volkmann, to whom the military doctors had turned him over when
they had begun to despair of his recovery. During convalescence, he
busied himself with preparations for his coming university year and
assisted in some intricate indexing for members of the faculty. In
October, 1868, he was able to return to Leipzig and resume his work.
But another unexpected event--this one of an advantageous nature and
destined to alter his whole future--came in the form of an inquiry
from the University of Bale in Switzerland. The members of that
institution's educational board, attracted by Nietzsche's essays in
the _Rheinisches Museum,_ wrote to Ritschl for information regarding
the young philologist. Ritschl replied that Nietzsche was a genius and
could do whatever he put his mind to. Thus it happened that, although
only 24, he was offered the vacant post of Classical Philology at Bâle,
without even being put through the formalities of an examination.
However, he was straightway granted a Doctor's degree by the University
of Leipzig, and on the 13th of April, 1869, he left Naumburg to assume
the duties of his new appointment. His departure marked the passing
of the Nietzsche household. His grandmother and both the maiden aunts
were dead, and because, no doubt, of religious differences, he and his
mother became estranged. Of that intimately welded family circle, only
the deep friendship between Nietzsche and his sister remained.

On May 28, Nietzsche delivered his inaugural address at Bâle, using
the personality of Homer as his subject. The hall was crowded, and the
address made a decided impression on both students and faculty. The
lecture was an unusual one and well off the conventional track. It
created riot a little mild excitement among the professors at Leipzig,
and the cut-and-dried philologists of that institution were frankly
scandalised by its boldness. The address, however, was an index to
Nietzsche's character, and, in looking back on it, we can see that it
unmistakably pointed the way along which the future development of
his mind was to take place. At Bâle, the young philologist, despite
the people's kindly disposition toward him, suffered from solitude.
His classes were small. Although he had made an impassioned plea for
his particular science, the interest in philology was slight, and
his morning lectures were attended by only eight students. Nietzsche
was without a companion with whom he might exchange his ideas and
personal thoughts. His only diversion came in the form of occasional
trips to neighbouring parts of the country; and the letters he wrote
to his sister and his former friends were tinged with melancholy.
But he was conscientious in his work, and a year later he was given a

Before he could accept this later appointment it had been necessary
for him to become a naturalised subject of Switzerland, so that when
the Franco-German War of 1870 broke out, he could not serve as a
combatant--a fact which caused him keen disappointment. He was able,
however, to secure service as an ambulance attendant in the Hospital
Corps, and set forth upon his patriotic duties with a glad heart.
Having been granted the leave he asked for at the University, he went
to Erlangen, where he entered for a course of surgery and medicine at
the Red Cross Society. After a brief training as a nurse, in which line
of work he showed remarkable adaptability, he was sent to the seat of
war at the head of an ambulance corps. He was untiring in his energies
and laboured day and night in the midst of the battlefields. But the
overwork proved too much for him, and he soon reached the limit of
his endurance. One day, after long exposure in a cattle truck filled
with severely wounded and diseased men, he began to show signs of
serious illness, and when, after great difficulty, he managed to reach
Erlangen, it was discovered that he was suffering from diphtheria and
severe dysentery. Though he had seen but a few weeks' hospital service,
it was now necessary for him to discontinue his duties entirely. His
sister tells us that this illness greatly undermined his health, and
was the first cause of his subsequent condition. To make matters worse,
the slight medical education which he had received in preparation
for his ambulance service led him to pursue a fateful course of
self-doctoring--a practice which he continued to his own detriment
throughout the remainder of his life. Nietzsche did not even wait
until he was well before resuming his duties at the University, and
this new strain imposed on his already depleted system had much to do
with bringing on his final breakdown.

As a result of the Philistinism which broke out all over Germany at
the end of the war, Nietzsche delivered a course of lectures at Bonn,
which he entitled "On the Future of Our Educational Institutions."
Germany had insisted that her victory was due not only to physical
bravery but also in a large measure to the superiority of Germanic
culture and Teutonic ideals. Nietzsche beheld in this snobbish attitude
a very grave danger for his country, and endeavoured in a small way to
rectify this attitude by a series of lectures. He severely criticised
the German educational institutions of the day and went so far as to
deny them the great culture which they so ardently claimed. While these
lectures in no wise stemmed, even locally, the tide of Philistinism
at which they were aimed, the criticisms contained in them are of the
greatest importance in reviewing the development of the philosopher
himself. The lectures contained, perhaps unconsciously but none the
less clearly, many of the elements of that philosophy which later was
to have so tremendous an influence not only on Germany but on the whole
civilised world.

In the same year, 1872, Nietzsche's first important book appeared. This
work, dedicated to Richard Wagner, had been begun in 1869, and was
first called "The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music." When the
third edition appeared in 1886 the title was changed to "The Birth of
Tragedy, or Hellenism and Pessimism," and a preface called "An Attempt
at Self-Criticism" was added. In a large measure this book was a
tribute to Wagner, and was written by Nietzsche in an effort to be of
immediate benefit to the musician who at that time was passing through
a period of despondency. Wagner was then living at Tribschen, not far
from Bâle, and Nietzsche's visits to him were frequent. It was during
these years that the great friendship between the two men developed.
"The Birth of Tragedy," however, was not well received by the public.
Musicians were pleased with it, but philologists in particular
deplored its utterances. They looked upon its author as a traitor to
their science for having dared to venture beyond the narrow bounds of
academic formalism. One well-known philologist, Wilamowitz-Moellendorf,
attacked Nietzsche in an ill-humoured pamphlet; and although Erwin
Rohde answered it adequately with another pamphlet, the attack proved
detrimental to Nietzsche's standing at Bale. During the following
winter term the young philologist was entirely without pupils.

His mind, however, was now undergoing decided and important changes. He
was becoming bolder and surer of himself. New ideals were taking the
place of old ones, and in 1873 he began a series of famous pamphlets
which later were put into book form under the title of "Thoughts Out
of Season." His first attack was upon David Strauss; the second was
directed towards the German historians of the day; the third was aimed
at Schopenhauer; and the fourth was the famous panegyric, "Richard
Wagner in Bayreuth." These essays, together with his work at Bâle,
occupied him until 1876. Nietzsche was now suffering severely from
the malady he carried to his grave, catarrh of the stomach. This was
accompanied by severe headaches, and during his holidays he alternated
between Switzerland and Italy in an endeavour to recover his health.
In the former place he was with Wagner. In Italy, at Sorrento, he met
Dr. Paul Rée, who, if we are to believe Max Nordau, was the father
of all Nietzsche's ideas. Credence, however, cannot be given to this
accusation, for the nucleus of all of his later ideas was undeniably
contained in his writings previous to his meeting with Rée. That Rée
influenced him to some small extent no one will deny, for it was he who
turned the young philosopher's attention to the latter day scientists
of both England and France; and it was shortly after this meeting that
Nietzsche began his first independent philosophical work, "Human,

It was in the year 1876 that his famous friendship with Wagner began
to cool. Nietzsche had gone to Bayreuth to witness the performance
of _"Der Ring des Nibelungen."_ Already he had begun to question
his own high opinion of the composer, and Bayreuth solidified his
doubts. It had been two years since he had seen Wagner, and after a
brief conversation, Nietzsche became bitter and disgusted. When he
finally went away his revulsion was complete, and one of the greatest
of historic friendships was at an end. Whatever were the individual
merits in the quarrel between these two great contemporaneous men,
Nietzsche's attitude was at least consistent with his innermost ideals.
He had admired in Wagner certain definite, revolutionary qualities,
and when he was convinced, as he had every reason to be, that Wagner
was compromising his art for the purpose of popularity, the ideal
was broken. He could no longer remain true to himself and also to
his friendship for the great composer. "Parsifal" was undoubtedly
a decadent work, viewed from the standpoint of Wagner's previous
performances. Decadence is simply the inability to create new tissue;
and when Wagner forswore modern ideas and reverted to the past, it
attested to an entire change of mental attitude: and no purely æsthetic
doctrine can controvert the fact. Had Cézanne in later life essayed the
painting of conventionally posed saints--no matter what his technical
means might have been--his art would have contained the elements of
decadence, for an artist's mental attitude cannot be dissevered from
his product. This, I believe, was Nietzsche's theory in regard to
Wagner. That the breaking off of this friendship was a great blow to
the philosopher we know from his diary and from his letters. In fact,
his affection for Wagner, the man, was so great that it was not until
ten years had passed that he could bring himself to write the essay
which he had long had in mind, "The Fall of Wagner."

The year after the appearance of "Human, All-Too-Human," Nietzsche's
ill-health compelled him to resign his professorship at Bâle. He had a
small income which, together with the three thousand francs retiring
allowance granted him by the University, permitted him now to travel
moderately and to devote his entire time to his literary labours. He
first went to Berne, where he stayed a few weeks. Later he visited
Zürich and then St. Moritz. It was a brief holiday, but the change of
_locale,_ coupled with the relaxation from work, improved him both in
physical health and in spirits. The winter of 1879-80 he spent with his
mother at Naumburg, his old home; but the climate and the uncongenial
surroundings dragged down his health once more, and it was not until
toward the following spring, when he went to Venice, that he regained
even a semblance of his normal condition. Here he was in company with
Paul Rée and his life-long friend and disciple, Heinrich Köselitz,
commonly known as Peter Gast. Nietzsche stayed at Venice until October,
when he went to Genoa. The following year appeared "The Dawn of Day,"
his first book of constructive thinking.

The remainder of Nietzsche's life up to the time of his final breakdown
in January, 1889, was spent in a fruitless endeavour to regain his
undermined health. For eight years, during all of which time he was
busily engaged in writing, he sought a climate that would revive
him. His summers were spent for the most part in the quiet solitude
of Sils-Maria, a little Swiss village to which the tourist rarely
ventured. In 1882 he visited Genoa and, with Paul Rée as companion,
made a trip to Monaco. This journey ended disastrously for his health,
and by his physician's order he made a trip to Messina. Soon after he
settled at Grunewald, near Berlin; but the place depressed him, and
we find him later in Tautenburg. Again Genoa claimed him for several
months, and then, addicted to chloral, and despondent, he sought relief
at Rome. But he could not stand the hot weather, and again he visited
Sils-Maria, where, it seems, he was for the time greatly improved.
In 1884, we find him again at Naumburg, and a little later at Nice
and Venice. In the autumn of the same year, he spent several weeks
travelling with his sister in Germany, but at the approach of winter,
he proceeded to Mentone. In 1885 he again sought the company of Peter
Gast at Venice, and spent the larger part of that year and the next
at Venice and Nice. The lonely philosopher then paid a short visit to
Leipzig to be once again with his old friend Rohde. But the years had
estranged them; their views were now at opposites. Another of his few
friends thus lost to him, he immediately returned to Nice. The year
1886 found him at the Riviera, and in 1887 he was again at Sils-Maria.
Here he laboured incessantly, travelling to both Venice and Nice in the
meantime. In the spring of 1888 he changed his plans and went to Turin.
Then after his usual summer visit to Sils-Maria, he returned to Turin,
where he remained until the fatal winter of 1888-89. Nietzsche was
rarely happy during his travels. He was constantly ill and for the most
part alone, and this perturbed and restless period of his life resolved
itself into a continuous struggle against melancholy and physical

During these eight years of solitary labour and futile seeking for
health, Nietzsche had written "Thus Spake Zarathustra," "The Joyful
Wisdom," "Beyond Good and Evil," "The Genealogy of Morals," "The Case
of Wagner," "The Twilight of the Idols," "The Antichrist," _"Ecce
Homo"_ "Nietzsche _contra_ Wagner," and an enormous number of notes
which were to constitute his final and great philosophical work, "The
Will to Power." The cold reception with which his books met tended to
discourage him and to retard his physical recovery. His "Zarathustra"
was as greatly misunderstood by the critics as had been his earlier
volumes. With the exception of Burckhardt and Taine, the critics were
unfavourable to "Beyond Good and Evil." "The Genealogy of Morals" met
with scarcely more friendly a reception, and "The Case of Wagner,"
while arousing the ire of the Wagnerians, caused no comment of any kind
in any other quarter. "The Twilight of the Idols" appeared about the
time of his breakdown, and "The Antichrist" and _"Ecce Homo"_ were not
published until long after his death. The notes on "The Will to Power"
have only recently been put together and issued.

The events during this period of Nietzsche's career were few. Perhaps
the most important was his meeting with Miss Lou Salomé. But even this
episode had small bearing on his life, and has been unduly emphasised
by biographers because of its isolation in an existence outwardly drab
and uneventful. It was while Nietzsche was at Tautenburg that Paul
Rée and another friend, Malvida von Mysenburg, hearing that he was in
need of a secretary, sent to him Miss Salomé, a young Russian Jewess.
That it would have been difficult to find a person less suited to the
philosopher's needs was borne out by subsequent events. According to
some accounts Nietzsche fell mildly in love with her, and was upset
and irritated by her aloofness. But such a hypothesis is substantiated
only by the flimsiest of evidence, and, when we take into consideration
the temperamental gulf between these two people, it is highly
incredible that Nietzsche had any desire to form an alliance with his
amanuensis. The truth of the matter probably is that the philosopher
was sadly disappointed in his secretary--if not indeed disgusted with
her--and, in showing his regret, piqued her to retaliation. In fact,
we have a letter from Nietzsche to the young lady which bears out this
contention. In any event, we know that their companionship lasted but
a short time and that Miss Salomé wrote a most inept and unreliable
book on Nietzsche, _"Friedrich Nietzsche in seinen Werken"_ published
in Vienna in 1894. The affair had other painful results. Rée defended
his protegée, and he and Nietzsche became bitter enemies. Nietzsche's
sister also was dragged into the episode, and quarrelled with both Rée
and Miss Salomé.

Shortly after this unpleasant event, Nietzsche, urged by his sister,
made a half-hearted attempt to secure a professorship at the
University of Leipzig, but negotiations for the post fell through,
due largely to Nietzsche's own indifference in the matter. Soon after
this the philosopher became estranged from his sister because of
her intention to marry Dr. Förster. Nietzsche's opposition to the
marriage--an opposition which was supported by his mother--was due
to several reasons. First, it would necessitate his sister leaving
him and accompanying her husband to Paraguay. Secondly, it had been
rumoured that Dr. Förster had severely criticised his books. And
thirdly, Nietzsche had small respect for Dr. Förster himself, who
was an impractical idealist and an anti-Semite. However, despite all
the family protestations, the marriage took place. Nietzsche was
disappointed and brooded over the event, but a year later he became
reconciled with his sister, and she remained, to the end of his life,
his closest friend and companion.

In January, 1889, an apoplectic fit, which rendered Nietzsche
unconscious for two days, marked the beginning of the end. His manner
suddenly became alarming. He exhibited numerous eccentricities, so
grave as to mean but one thing: his mind was seriously affected.
There has long been a theory extant that his insanity was of gradual
growth. Nordau holds that he was unbalanced from birth. But there
is no evidence to substantiate these two theories. For seven years
Nietzsche's physical condition had been improving, and his mind up to
the end of 1888 was perfectly clear and gave no indication of what
his end would be. During this period his books were thought out in
his most clarified manner; in all his intercourse with his friends he
was restrained and normal; and his voluminous correspondence showed
no change either in sentiment or in tone. The theory advanced in some
quarters that his books, and especially his later ones, were the work
of a madman, is entirely without foundation. His insanity was sudden;
it came without warning; and it is puerile to point to his state of
mind during the last years of his life as a criticism of his work. His
books must stand or fall on internal evidence--and on nothing else.
Judged from that standpoint they are scrupulously sane.

The direct cause of Nietzsche's mental breakdown is not known. As a
matter of fact, there was probably no direct cause. It was due to a
number of influences--his excessive use of chloral which he took for
insomnia, the tremendous strain to which he put his intellect, his
constant disappointments and deprivations, his mental solitude, his
prolonged physical suffering. We know little of his last days before he
went insane. He was living alone in Turin and working desperately. Then
suddenly to Professor Burckhardt at Bâle he wrote a letter which was
obviously the work of a madman. "I am Ferdinand de Lesseps," he wrote.
"I am Prado. I am Schambige.[1] I have been buried twice this autumn."
This was the first indication of his insanity. Immediately after he
wrote a similar letter to his old friend, Professor Overbeck. Other of
Nietzsche's friends received disquieting and indecipherable notes. To
Georg Brandes he sent a letter signed "The Crucified." To Peter Gast
he wrote, "Sing me a new song. The world is clear and all the skies
rejoice." To Cosima Wagner: "Ariadne, I love you."

There was now no doubt of his condition. Overbeck went immediately
to Turin. He found the philosopher playing wildly on the piano, and
crying blasphemies to the empty room. Nietzsche was taken back to Bâle,
and then placed in a private psychiatric institution at Jena. Here he
stayed until the following spring when he was permitted to be taken
to the home of his mother at Naumburg. It was three years later that
his sister returned from Paraguay, where her husband had died, and
Nietzsche was sufficiently recovered to meet her when she arrived. But
though he lived for another seven years, his mind was irretrievably
ruined. When his mother died in 1897, his sister removed him to a
villa at Weimar. There on a great veranda, overlooking the hills and
the river valley, he remained until the end, receiving a few of his
friends and taking his old delight in music. His sister watched over
him tenderly, and though he was never strong enough to resume work,
he would often talk of his books. When shown a portrait of Wagner, he
said, "Him I loved dearly." He was all tenderness toward the end. The
mighty yea-sayer had become as a little child. "Elizabeth," he would
say, "do not cry. Are we not happy?"

Nietzsche died on the 25th of August, 1900, and was buried at Röcken,
his native village.

[Footnote 1: Schambige and Prado were two assassins whose exploits were
then occupying the French journals.]


"Human, All-Too-Human"

Volumes I and II

"Human, All-Too-Human" (_"Menschliches Allzu Menschliches"_) was
first published in 1878. Previous to this time Nietzsche had devoted
himself to a sedulous study of the French philosophers--Pascal,
La Rochefoucauld, Vanergues, Montaigne and others--and these men
influenced him in his selection of the aphoristic style as a medium
for his thoughts. His serious illness at the time made it impossible
for him to attempt any large and co-ordinated philosophical task which
would have required sustained thinking and continual physical labour,
and the detached manner of writing employed by the French thinkers
fitted in with the intermittent manner in which he was necessitated to
work. "Miscellaneous Maxims and Opinions," the second part of "Human,
All-Too-Human," appeared the following year; and "The Wanderer and his
Shadow," the third section, was made public in 1880. Six years later
these three parts were put together in two volumes under the caption of
the original book, and were subtitled "A Book of Free Spirits."

At that time Nietzsche already had numerous writings to his credit.
"The Birth of Tragedy" (_"Die Geburt der Tragödie"_) was composed
between 1869 and 1871, and issued in January, 1872. It was a treatise
on pessimism and Hellenism, and in it Nietzsche endeavoured to
ascertain the origin of Greek tragedy. In his research he passed over
many of the lesser philological discussions which were then occupying
the minds of his academic confrères, and, mild as was this first
published work of his, he suddenly found himself the centre of a
discussion which augured ill for his future at the University of Bâle.
In this book he undertook to explain the constant conflict between the
Apollonian and Dionysian ideals, and defined the differences underlying
these two great influences in Greek art. Later in his writings we find
him applying the theories stated in "The Birth of Tragedy" to all human

"On the Future of our Educational Institutions" and "Homer and
Classical Philology," contained in one volume, were addresses
delivered during Nietzsche's professorship of classical philology
at Bâle University. In these lectures he pointed out the necessity
of protecting the man of genius, and denied the existence of actual
culture in the educational institutions of modern Germany, holding that
true culture is only for the higher type of man. He made a plea for an
institution where genuine culture, founded on the ideals of ancient
Greece, would be harboured for the few who would devote their lives
to it. Here unquestionably was the faint beginning of his conception
of the superman. While these lectures dealt only with the educational
institutions of Germany, the criticisms in them may nevertheless be
applied in a broader sense to the general principles underlying all
schools. This book is the first visible step in the development of his

More evidences of what was to come later are found in a series of
essays written during the early seventies, which are now published
under the general caption of "Early Greek Philosophy and Other Essays."
The seven essays contained in this volume are: "The Greek State"
(1871), in which he attacked the modern conception of labour, and
advanced a brief for slavery based on the assumption that without it
true culture cannot exist; "The Greek Woman" (1871), an outline of
Nietzsche's ideal of woman; "On Music and Words" (1871), an analysis
of the origins of music and language and a statement of the functions
of each; "Homer's Contest" (1872), a comparison of the ancient and
modern individualistic strife, in which was pointed out the necessity
of competition in any successful commonwealth; "The Relation of
Schopenhauer's Philosophy to a German Culture" (1872), a gay attack
upon certain phases of German philistinism, with the suggestion that
Schopenhauer's philosophy would prove an excellent counter-irritant;
"Philosophy During the Tragic Age of the Greeks" (1873), a brilliant
account and exposition of those Greek thinkers who preceded Socrates;
and "On Truth and Falsity in their Ultramoral Sense" (1873), a
rhapsodic refutation of the theory of absolute truth, in which we find
many denials of the values attached to current conventions. These
denials we are constantly meeting in the major part of Nietzsche's
later work.

In Volume I of "Thoughts Out of Season" we find two essays: "David
Strauss, the Confessor and Writer" (written in 1873), and "Richard
Wagner at Bayreuth" (written during the close of 1875 and at the
beginning of 1876). The first essay is an attack upon an ex-clerical
who set up a philosopher's shop in Nietzsche's day and succeeded in
sufficiently inflaming the popular mind to secure for himself a wide
and ardent following. Nietzsche, angered by the effect that Strauss's
sophistries had upon the German mind, undertook to answer them and
show up their spuriousness. In the essay on Richard Wagner, Nietzsche
praised the composer in no uncertain terms, hailing him as a saviour
of mankind through the medium of the drama. Nietzsche thought he saw
in Wagner a kindred spirit, a man free from the narrow dictates of his
time, one capable of establishing a new order of things in the realm of
art. Subsequently the philosopher turned against Wagner and denounced
him bitterly for his anti-Hellenic tendencies.

Volume II of "Thoughts out of Season" contains "The Use and Abuse of
History" and "Schopenhauer as Educator," both written in 1874. In the
first of these essays Nietzsche attacked the study of history which was
then the foremost educational fad in Germany. He denied it a place in
the curriculum of culture unless it had for its foundation a profound
knowledge of the causes of history. Also in this essay he made a plea
for the individualistic interpretation of history, arguing that the
events founded on the activities of majorities are useless to a true
understanding of the fundamentals of racial development. Here again
we encounter the foreshadowing of the philosophy of the superman.
Nietzsche paid high tribute to Schopenhauer in his essay "Schopenhauer
as Educator." Without subscribing unqualifiedly to all the doctrines
of the great pessimist, he nevertheless allied himself philosophically
with Schopenhauer's theory that all logic is an outgrowth of the law of

In the autumn of 1874 Nietzsche wrote a series of brief comments
dealing with the subject of education. These paragraphs contain
about 20,000 words, and were to have constituted, when completed,
the fifth part of "Thoughts Out of Season." He never finished them,
however, and they were not published until after his death. These
fragments appear, under the caption of "We Philologists," at the end
of the volume entitled "The Case of Wagner." "We Philologists" is a
protest against the manner in which classical culture was promulgated
in the universities. It offers a stinging criticism of those German
professors, the philologists, to whom was entrusted the duty of
disseminating Greek cultural ideals, and in addition presents a concise
outline of what genuine Hellenic culture should consist. Nietzsche
protests against the filtering of pagan antiquity through Christian
doctrines--the method of teaching then in vogue--and insists that such
a form of education entirely misses its aim. Although "We Philologists"
is comparatively of small value to the student of Nietzsche's later
philosophy, it is interesting to note that as early as 1874, his
anti-Christian spirit was already well defined.

The four essays contained in the two volumes of "Thoughts out of
Season" and "We Philologists" were the first of an intended series
of pamphlets to be called _"Unzeitgemässe Betrachtungen"_[1] but the
series was never finished. However, the Nietzschean philosophical
ideas had unquestionably begun to take definite form. Already there
had been attempts at idealistic and moralistic valuations. There had
also been a considerable amount of that preliminary analysis which was
to form a foundation for the destructive and constructive thoughts of
later years. In these essays Nietzsche had already begun to strike his
bearings, and while they cannot be taken as a part of his philosophical
scheme, they nevertheless form an excellent introduction for those
students who care to go behind the final expression of his ideas and
behold them in embryo.

"Human, All-Too-Human," following two years later, came as a distinct
surprise even to Nietzsche's most intimate friends: Wagner especially
was horrified at the heresies contained in it. There had not been
sufficient indications in his earlier writings for one to predict so
devastating an arraignment of modern life as was contained in this
work. It was a departure, not only in thought but also in manner, from
all else he had written. The conventional essay form had been set aside
for an aphoristic style. Here we find a series of paragraphs varying in
length from a few lines to a page or more, each dealing with a separate
and syllogistically detached idea. The epigram, which was to play
such an important part in all of Nietzsche's writings, is also found
in abundance. The form in which these two volumes are cast gives the
effect of a man felling a giant tree with a thousand blows of an axe,
as distinguished from the method of the man who saws it down gradually
and continuously.

Despite its muscular and incisive qualities, the manner of this work
is calm. As a whole it is an excellent example of those writings which
Nietzsche himself has called Apollonian. At times one even feels a
tentativeness in its utterances not unlike that which attaches to
the steps a man takes in a region he knows to be full of quicksands.
In this regard it is interesting to note how a certain insecurity at
the beginning of the work, which manifests itself in ultra-obscure
passages, later gives way to a clarity and humour indicative of almost
wanton temerity. In this book Nietzsche passes from the academician
to the iconoclast. He bridges the chasm from the doctor of philology
to the independent thinker. It is the record of the psychological
transition of his mind; and this record is evident in both his outlook
and his habits of expression.

Nietzsche, at his birth as a thinker, presents himself as an
arch-nihilist. He realised the necessity of destroying the universe
before an understanding of it was possible, and so the two volumes of
"Human, All-Too-Human" are almost entirely destructive. In this work
we have Nietzsche the trail-blazer, the incendiary, the idol-smasher,
the pessimist, the devastator. One by one the doctrines and tenets,
strengthened by the accumulative acceptance of centuries, go down
before his bludgeon. Piece by piece the universe of reality is
neutralised by his analyses. Every human transaction, every phase of
human hope and aspiration, is reduced to negation. Ancient and modern
cultures are dissected unsparingly. Political systems are stripped
of their integuments and their origins exposed. New valuations are
attached to the great artists and writers. Many of Nietzsche's most
famous definitions grow out of the ruthless inquests he makes in this

This uncompassionate clearing away of accepted values prepared the
way for the books which were to come. Once having ascertained the
foundation on which human actions are built, the path was clear for
reconstruction and reorganisation. "Human, All-Too-Human," then, was
the first indirect voicing of Nietzsche's philosophy. All else had
been mere skirmishing with ideas. Only vaguely and desultorily had
his opinions been heretofore voiced. His analysis of history, his
criticisms of ancient and modern thought, had actually pried away the
superficial manifestations of existence and given him that insight
into the undercurrents of causation which was later to inspire him
in his work. For this reason we are more conscious of the man than of
the philosopher when reading the series of aphorisms which constitute
the main body of this document. "Human, All-Too-Human" is in the main
an inquiry into the fundamental reasons for human conduct. Nietzsche
devotes his efforts to showing that ideals, when pushed to their
final analysis, reveal a basis in human need. Especially does he
concern himself with the causes underlying current moral doctrines.
He points out that there is no static and absolute morality, but that
all moral codes are systems of deportment founded on human conditions
in accordance with the environmental needs of a people. From this
he states the corollary that all morality is subject to alteration,
amendment and abrogation. He asserts the relativity of the terms "good"
and "evil," and denies the justice of any final criticism of right and
wrong as applied to any human action.

From this Nietzsche deduces the formula which is at the bottom of all
individualistic philosophy, namely: that what is immoral for one man
is moral for another, and that the application of any moral code is
undesirable for the reason that no system of conduct can apply alike
to all men. Thus any attempt on the part of any one man to direct the
actions of any other man is in itself an immorality, because it is an
attempt to hinder and retard the development of the individual. It
must not be thought that Nietzsche's arrival at this conclusion is a
direct and simple affair based on superficial observation. Nor is it in
itself the end for which he strives. To the contrary, the conclusion
is stated mainly by inference. The work he lays out for himself is one
of analysis, and under his critical scalpel fall religions, political
institutions and nations, as well as individuals. Wherever he finds
a belief whose origin is considered divine, he tears away its surface
characteristics and inquires into it. In every instance he finds a
human ground for it. Going still further, he points out that all
institutions, in order to meet the constantly fluctuating conditions of
society, must subject themselves to change.

A multiplicity of themes comes under Nietzsche's observation in this
work. Not only is there a great deal of abstract reasoning but also
a vast amount of brilliant and penetrating criticism of men and
art. Ancient and modern philosophers, novelists, poets, musicians,
dramatists, as well as theories of art, literature and music, here come
under his careful and acute analysis. There are passages of startling
poetry interpolated between paragraphs of cynical and destructive
research. Nietzsche reveals himself as a scholar, the philologist, the
historian and the scientist, as well as the thinker. The amount of
general knowledge he displays in nearly every line of human endeavour
is astonishing. In his most elaborate processes of ratiocination he is
always capable of adhering to authenticated facts. He never side-steps
into the purely metaphysical or denies the existence of corporeality
once it has been assumed as a hypothesis. He breaks once and for all
with the metaphysicians and word-jugglers. Denying all reason in the
Kantian sense, he is always scrupulously reasonable.

Although no direct philosophical doctrines are propounded in "Human,
All-Too-Human," Nietzsche had undoubtedly outlined in his mind the
constructive works which were to come later. However, in reading
this work one finds but little indication--and that only obscurely
hinted at--of the transvaluation of values which was to follow the
devaluation. We have no hint, for instance, of the doctrine of the
superman other than an implied ideal of an intellectual aristocracy
which will permit of the highest development; of the individual.
Evolution beyond the present is mentioned but indirectly. The
future, to this destructive Nietzsche, is non-existent. His eyes are
continually turned toward the past and they shift no further than the
present. Only through implication is the Hellenic ideal voiced, and
then it is with a certain degree of speculation as to its efficacy in
meeting the demands of the modern man. Greek culture is used largely as
a means of comparison, or as an arbitrary premise of his dialectic. The
doctrine of eternal recurrence, which was to form one of the bases of
"Thus Spake Zarathustra," is not even suggested. The "will to power,"
the anti-Schopenhauerian doctrine, which is the framework on which all
of Nietzsche's constructive thinking is hung, was, at the time of his
writing "Human, All-Too-Human," a hypothesis, vague and undeveloped.

"Human, All-Too-Human" is the first work of Nietzsche one should read.
In reality it is an elaborate introduction to his later works. In his
following book, "The Dawn of Day," comes the birth of his philosophy;
it is the first real battle in his righteous warfare, the first great
blasphemous assault upon the accepted order of things. But it cannot be
readily understood or appreciated unless we have prepared ourselves for

The selection of the passages from the present two volumes has been
extremely difficult, due to their multiplicity of themes and to
the heterogeneity of their treatment. It is impossible to create a
convincing effect of a razed forest by presenting a picture of an
occasional fallen tree. Herein has lain my chief difficulty. I have
been able to show only sections of the destruction of human values
which Nietzsche here accomplishes. Furthermore, it has been impossible
to give any very adequate idea of the vast amount of brilliant
criticism of men and art which is to be encountered in these two
volumes. All this must be got direct. It has been possible only to
suggest it here. Those portions of the books which I have been able to
comprehend in these excerpts are necessarily limited to Nietzsche's
more important destructive conclusions.

[Footnote 1: "Inopportune Speculations."]


Everything _essential_ in human development happened in pre-historic
times, long before those four thousand years which we know something
of.... 1, 15

Everything has evolved; there are _no eternal facts,_ as there are
likewise no absolute truths. 1, 15

It is probable that the objects of religious, moral, æsthetic and
logical sentiment likewise belong only to the surface of things, while
man willingly believes that here, at least, he has touched the heart of
the world.... 1, 17

Nothing could be said of the metaphysical world but that it would be
a different condition, a condition inaccessible and incomprehensible
to us; it would be a thing of negative qualities. Were the existence
of such a world ever so well proved, the fact would nevertheless
remain that it would be precisely the most irrelevant of all forms of
knowledge.... 1, 21-22

Belief in the freedom of the will is an original error of everything
organic, as old as the existence of the awakenings of logic in it; the
belief in unconditioned substances and similar things is equally a
primordial as well as an old error of everything organic. 1, 33

A degree of culture, and assuredly a very high one, is attained when
man rises above superstitious and religious notions and fears, and,
for instance, no longer believes in guardian angels or in original
sin, and has also ceased to talk of the salvation of his soul,--if he
has attained to this degree of freedom, he has still also to overcome
metaphysics with the greatest exertion of his intelligence. 1, 35

Away with those wearisomely hackneyed terms Optimism and Pessimism!...
We must get rid of both the calumniating and the glorifying conception
of the world. 1, 43-44

_Error_ has made man so deep, sensitive, and inventive that he has put
forth such blossoms as religions and arts. Pure knowledge could not
have been capable of it. 1, 44-45

The usual false conclusions of mankind are these: a thing exists,
therefore it has a right to exist. Here there is inference from the
ability to live to its suitability; from its suitability to its
rightfulness. Then: an opinion brings happiness; therefore it is the
true opinion. Its effect is good; therefore it is itself good and true.
1, 45

Every belief in the value and worthiness of life is based on vitiated
thought; it is only possible through the fact that sympathy for the
general life and suffering of mankind is very weakly developed in the
individual. 1, 47-48

Science ... has no consideration for ultimate purposes, any more than
Nature has, but just as the latter occasionally achieves things of the
greatest suitableness without intending to do so, so also true science,
as the _imitator of nature in ideas,_ will occasionally and in many
ways further the usefulness and welfare of man,--_but also without
intending to do so._ 1, 58

All single actions are called good or bad without any regard to their
motives, but only on account of the useful or injurious consequences
which result for the community. But soon the origin of these
distinctions is forgotten, and it is deemed that the qualities "good"
or "bad" are contained in the action itself without regard to its
consequences.... 1, 59

The hierarchy of possessions ... is not fixed and equal at all times;
if any one prefers vengeance to justice he is moral according to the
standard of an earlier civilisation, but immoral according to the
present one. 1, 63

People who are cruel nowadays must be accounted for by us as the grades
of earlier civilisations which have survived.... 1, 63

Certainly we should _exhibit_ pity, but take good care not to _feel_
it, for the unfortunate are so _stupid_ that to them the exhibition of
pity is the greatest good in the world. 1, 68

The thirst for pity is the thirst for self-gratification.... 1, 69

There must be self-deception in order that this and that may _produce_
great _effects._ For men believe in the truth of everything that is
visibly, strongly believed in. 1, 71

One of the commonest mistakes is this: because some one is truthful and
honest towards us, he must speak the truth. 1, 71

Why do people mostly speak the truth in daily life?... Because ... the
path of compulsion and authority is surer than that of cunning. 1,72

One may promise actions, but no sentiments, for these are involuntary.

Our crime against criminals lies in the fact that we treat them like
rascals. 1,79

Every virtue has its privileges; for example, that of contributing its
own little fagot to the scaffold of every condemned man. 1, 80

Why do we over-estimate love to the disadvantage of justice, and say
the most beautiful things about it, as if it were something very much
higher than the latter? Is it not visibly more stupid than justice?
Certainly, but precisely for that reason all the _pleasanter_ for every
one. 1, 81

Hope,--in reality ... is the worst of all evils, because it prolongs
the torments of man. 1, 82

One will seldom go wrong if one attributes extreme actions to vanity,
average ones to habit, and petty ones to fear. 1, 83

Religion is rich in excuses to reply to the demand for suicide, and
thus it ingratiates itself with those who wish to cling to life. 1,

The injustice of the powerful, which, more than anything else, rouses
indignation in history, is by no means so great as it appears.... One
unconsciously takes it for granted that doer and sufferer think and
feel alike, and according to this supposition we measure the guilt of
the one by the pain of the other. 1, 86-87

When virtue has slept, it will arise again all the fresher. 1, 87

What a great deal of pleasure morality gives! Only think what a sea of
pleasant tears has been shed over descriptions of noble and unselfish
deeds! This charm of life would vanish if the belief in absolute
irresponsibility Were to obtain supremacy. 1, 90

Justice (equity) has its origin amongst powers which are fairly
equal.... The character of _exchange_ is the primary character of
justice.... Because man, according to his intellectual custom, has
_forgotten_ the original purpose of so-called just and reasonable
actions, and particularly because for hundreds of years children have
been taught to admire and imitate such actions, the idea has gradually
arisen that such an action is un-egoistic; upon this idea, however, is
based the high estimation in which it is held.... 1, 90-91

The feeling of pleasure on the basis of human relations generally makes
man better; joy in common, pleasure enjoyed together is increased, it
gives the individual security, makes him good-tempered, and dispels
mistrust and envy, for we feel ourselves at ease and see others at
ease. _Similar manifestations of pleasure_ awaken the idea of the same
sensations, the feeling of being like something; a like effect is
produced by common sufferings, the same bad weather, dangers, enemies.
Upon this foundation is based the oldest alliance, the object of which
is the mutual obviating and averting of a threatening danger for the
benefit of each individual. And thus the social instinct grows out of
pleasure. 1, 97

The aim of malice is _not_ the suffering of others in itself, but our
own enjoyment.... 1, 102

If self-defence is allowed to pass as moral, then almost all
manifestations of the so-called immoral egoism must also stand....
1, 104

He who is punished does not deserve the punishment, he is only used as
a means of henceforth warning away from certain actions; equally so, he
who is rewarded does not merit this reward, he could not act otherwise
than he did. 1, 105

Between good and evil actions there is no difference of species, but at
most of degree. Good actions are sublimated evil ones; evil actions are
vulgarised and stupefied good ones. 1, 108

The religious cult is based upon the representations of sorcery between
man and man.... 1, 121

Christianity ... oppressed man and crushed him utterly, sinking him
as if in deep mire; then into the feeling of absolute depravity it
suddenly threw the light of divine mercy, so that the surprised man,
dazzled by forgiveness, gave a cry of joy and for a moment believed
that he bore all heaven within himself. 1, 124

People to whom their daily life appears too empty and monotonous easily
grow religious; this is comprehensible and excusable, only they have no
right to demand religious sentiments from those whose daily life is not
empty and monotonous. 1, 125

No man _ever_ did a thing which was done only for others and without
any personal motive.... 1, 134

In every ascetic morality man worships one part of himself as a God,
and is obliged, therefore, to diabolise the other parts. 1, 140

What is it that we long for at the sight of beauty? We long to be
beautiful, we fancy it must bring much happiness with it. But that is a
mistake. 1, 156

There is an art of the ugly soul side by side with the art of the
beautiful soul.... 1, 157

Artists of representation are especially held to be possessed of
genius, but not scientific men. In reality, however, the former
valuation and the latter under-valuation are only puerilities of
reason. 1, 166-167

A good author possesses not only his own intellect, but also that of
his friends. 1, 178

To look upon writing as a regular profession should justly be regarded
as a form of madness. 1, 181

A conversation with a friend will only bear good fruit of knowledge
when both think only of the matter under consideration and forget that
they are friends. 1, 183

Complete praise has a weakening effect. 1, 184

There will always be a need of bad authors; for they meet the taste of
readers of an undeveloped, immature age.... 1, 185

The born aristocrats of the mind are not in too much of a hurry; their
creations appear and fall from the tree on some quiet autumn evening,
without being rashly desired, instigated, or pushed aside by new
matter. The unceasing desire to create is vulgar, and betrays envy,
jealousy, and ambition. If a man _is_ something, it is not really
necessary for him to do anything--and yet he does a great deal. There
is a human species higher even than the "productive" man.... 1, 189

Deviating natures are of the utmost importance wherever there is to
be progress. Every wholesale progress must be preceded by a partial
weakening. The strongest natures _retain_ the type, the weaker ones
help it to _develop_. 1, 208

In the knowledge of truth, what really matters is the _possession_ of
it, not the impulse under which it was sought, the way in which it was
found. 1, 210

The fettered spirit does not take up his position from conviction,
but from habit; he is a Christian, for instance, not because he
had a comprehension of different creeds and could take his choice;
he is an Englishman, not because he decided for England, but he
found Christianity and England ready-made and accepted them without
any reason, just as one who is born in a wine-country becomes a
wine-drinker. 1, 211

The restriction of views, which habit has made instinct, leads to what
is called strength of character. 1, 212-213

The highest intelligence and the warmest heart cannot exist together
in one person, and the wise man who passes judgment upon life looks
beyond goodness and only regards it as something which is not without
value in the general summing-up of life. The wise man must _oppose_
those digressive wishes of unintelligent goodness, because he has an
interest in the continuance of his type and in the eventual appearance
of the highest intellect; at least, he will not advance the founding of
the "perfect State," inasmuch as there is only room in it for wearied
individuals. 1, 218-219

Interest in Education will acquire great strength only from the moment
when belief in a God and His care is renounced.... An education that no
longer believes in miracles must pay attention to three things: first,
how much energy is inherited? secondly, by what means can new energy
be aroused? thirdly, how can the individual be adapted to so many and
manifold claims of culture without being disquieted and destroying his
personality,--in short, how can the individual be initiated into the
counterpoint of private and public culture, how can he lead the melody
and at the same time accompany it. 1, 224-225

A higher culture must give man a double brain, two brain-chambers, so
to speak, one to feel science and the other to feel non-science, which
can lie side by side, without confusion, divisible, exclusive; this
is a necessity of health. In one part lies the source of strength,
in the other lies the regulator; it must be heated with illusions,
onesidednesses, passions; and the malicious and dangerous consequences
of overheating must be averted by the help of conscious Science. 1, 232

Simultaneous things hold together, it is said. A relative dies far
away, and at the same time we dream about him,--Consequently! But
countless relatives die and we do not dream about them.... This species
of superstition is found again in a refined form in historians and
delineators of culture, who usually have a kind of hydrophobic horror
of all that senseless mixture, in which individual and national life is
so rich. 1, 235

It is true that in the spheres of higher culture there must always be
a supremacy, but henceforth this supremacy lies in the hands of the
_oligarchs of the mind._ In spite of local and political separation
they form a cohesive society, whose members _recognise and acknowledge_
each other, whatever public opinion and the verdicts of review and
newspaper writers who influence the masses may circulate in favour
of or against them. Mental superiority, which formerly divided and
embittered, nowadays generally _unites._ ... Oligarchs are necessary
to each other, they are each other's best joy, they understand their
signs, but each is nevertheless free, he fights and conquers in _his_
place and perishes rather than submit. 1, 243

The greatest advance that men have made lies in their acquisition of
the art to _reason rightly._ 1, 249-250

The strength and weakness of mental productiveness depend far less on
inherited talents than on the accompanying amount of _elasticity._
1, 250

Whoever, in the present day, still derives his development from
religious sentiments, and perhaps lives for some length of time
afterwards in metaphysics and art, has assuredly gone back a
considerable distance and begins his race with other modern men
under unfavourable conditions; he apparently loses time and space.
But because he stays in those domains where ardour and energy are
liberated and force flows continuously as a volcanic stream out of an
inexhaustible source, he goes forward all the more quickly as soon as
he has freed himself at the right moment from those dominators....
1, 252

Whoever wishes to reap happiness and comfort in life should always
avoid higher culture. 1, 255-250

All mankind is divided, as it was at all times and is still, into
slaves and freemen; for whoever has not two-thirds of his day for
himself is a slave.... 1, 259

If idleness is really the _beginning_ of all vice, it finds itself,
therefore, at least in near neighbourhood of all the virtues; the idle
man is still a better man than the active. You do not suppose that in
speaking of idleness and idlers I am alluding to you, you sluggards?
1, 260

I believe that every one must have his own opinion about everything
concerning which opinions are possible, because he himself is a
peculiar, unique thing, which assumes towards all other things a new
and never hitherto existing attitude. 1, 260-261

Whoever earnestly desires to be free will therewith and without any
compulsion lose all inclination for faults and vices; he will also be
more rarely overcome by anger and vexation. 1, 261-262

You must have loved religion and art as you loved mother and
nurse,--otherwise you cannot be wise. But you must be able to see
beyond them, to outgrow them; if you remain under their ban you do not
understand them. 1, 264

The rage for equality may so manifest itself that we seek either to
draw all others down to ourselves (by belittling, disregarding, and
tripping up), or ourselves and all others upwards (by recognition,
assistance, and congratulation). 1, 268

We set no special value on the possession of a virtue until we perceive
that it is entirely lacking in our adversary. 1, 269

We forget our pretensions when we are always conscious of being amongst
meritorious people; being alone implants presumption in us. The young
are pretentious, for they associate with their equals, who are all
ciphers but would fain have a great significance. 1, 271

In warring against stupidity, the most just and gentle of men at last
become brutal. They are thereby, perhaps, taking the proper course for
defence; for the most appropriate argument for a stupid brain is the
clenched fist. But because, as has been said, their character is just
and gentle, they suffer more by this means of protection than they
injure their opponents by it. 1, 284

The perfect woman is a higher type of humanity than the perfect man,
and also something much rarer. 1, 295

Every one bears within him an image of woman, inherited from his
mother: it determines his attitude towards woman as a whole, whether to
honour, despise, or remain generally indifferent to them. 1, 295-296

Mothers are readily jealous of the friends of sons who are particularly
successful. As a rule mother loves _herself_ in her son more than the
son. 1, 296

If married couples did not live together, happy marriages would be more
frequent. 1, 298

As a rule women love a distinguished man to the extent that they wish
to possess him exclusively. They would gladly keep him under lock and
key, if their vanity did not forbid, but vanity demands that he should
also appear distinguished before others. 1, 299

Those girls who mean to trust exclusively to their youthful charms
for their provision in life, and whose cunning is further prompted by
worldly mothers, have just the same aims as courtesans, only they are
wiser and less honest. 1, 300

For goodness' sake let us not give our classical education to girls!
1, 301

The intellect of woman manifests itself as perfect mastery, presence
of mind, and utilisation of all advantages. They transmit it as a
fundamental quality to their children, and the father adds thereto the
darker background of the will. His influence determines as it were
the rhythm and harmony with which the new life is to be performed;
but its melody is derived from the mother. For those who know how to
put a thing properly: women have intelligence, men have character and
passion. This does not contradict the fact that men actually achieve
so much more with their intelligence: they have deeper and more
powerful impulses; and it is these which carry their understanding (in
itself something passive) to such an extent. Women are often silently
surprised at the great respect men pay to their character. When,
therefore, in the choice of a partner men seek specially for a being
of deep and strong character, and women for a being of intelligence,
brilliancy, and presence of mind, it is plain that at bottom men seek
for the ideal man, and women for the ideal woman,--consequently not
for the complement but for the completion of their own excellence.
1, 302-303.

It is a sign of women's wisdom that they have almost always known how
to get themselves supported, like drones in a bee-hive. Let us just
consider what this meant originally, and why men do not depend upon
women for their support. Of a truth it is because masculine vanity and
reverence are greater than feminine wisdom; for women have known how to
secure for themselves by their subordination the greatest advantage,
in fact, the upper hand. Even the care of children may originally
have been used by the wisdom of women as an excuse for withdrawing
themselves as much as possible from work. And at present they still
understand when they are really active (as housekeepers, for instance)
how to make a bewildering fuss about it, so that the merit of their
activity is usually ten times over-estimated by men. 1, 303

Marriage is a necessary institution for the twenties; a useful, but not
necessary, institution for the thirties; for later life it is often
harmful, and promotes the mental deterioration of the man. 1, 308

Marriage regarded in its highest aspect, as the spiritual friendship
of two persons of opposite sexes, and accordingly such as is hoped for
in future, contracted for the purpose of producing and educating a new
generation,--such marriage, which only makes use of the sensual, so to
speak, as a rare and occasional means to a higher purpose, will, it is
to be feared, probably need a natural auxiliary, namely, _concubinage._
For if, on the grounds of his health, the wife is also to serve, for
the sole satisfaction of the man's sexual needs, a wrong perspective,
opposed to the aims indicated, will have most influence in the choice
of a wife. The aims referred to: the production of descendants, will be
accidental, and their successful education highly improbable. 1, 309

We always lose through too familiar association with women and friends;
and sometimes we lose the pearl of of our life thereby. 1, 312

Women always intrigue privately against the higher souls of their
husbands; they want to cheat them out of their future for the sake of a
painless and comfortable present. 1, 315

It is laughable when a company of paupers decree the abolition of the
right of inheritance, and it is not less laughable when childless
persons labour for the practical law-giving of a country: they have
not enough ballast in their ship to sail safely over the ocean of the
future. But it seems equally senseless if a man who has chosen for his
mission the widest knowledge and estimation of universal existence,
burdens himself with personal considerations of a family, with the
support, protection, and care of wife and child, and in front of his
telescope hangs that gloomy veil through which hardly a ray from the
distant firmament can penetrate. Thus 1, too, agree with the opinion
that in matters of the highest philosophy all married men are to be
suspected. 1, 316

A higher culture can only originate where there are two distinct castes
of society: that of the working class, and that of the leisured class
who are capable of true leisure; or, more strongly expressed, the caste
of compulsory labour and the caste of free labour. 1, 319

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 (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

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 of the Sicilian tyrant; it desires (and under
certain circumstances furthers) the Cæsarian 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

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

The first opinion that occurs to us when we are suddenly asked about
anything is not usually our own, but only the current opinion belonging
to our caste, position, or family; our own opinions seldom float on the
surface. 1, 372

Nobody talks more passionately of his rights than he who, in the depths
of his soul, is doubtful about them. 1, 380.

Unconsciously we seek the principles and opinions which are suited to
our temperament, so that at last it seems as if these principles and
opinions had formed our character and given it support and stability,
whereas exactly the contrary has taken place. Our thoughts and
judgments are, apparently, to be taken subsequently as the causes of
our nature, but as a matter of fact _our_ nature is the cause of our so
thinking and judging. 1, 384

The man of unpleasant character, full of distrust, envious of the
success of fellow-competitors and neighbours, violent and enraged
at divergent opinions, shows that he belongs to an earlier grade of
culture, and is, therefore, an atavism; for the way in which he behaves
to people was right and suitable only for an age of club-law; he is
an _atavist._ The man of a different character, rich in sympathy,
winning friends everywhere, finding all that is growing and becoming
amiable, rejoicing at the honours and successes of others and claiming
no privilege of solely knowing the truth, but full of a modest
distrust,--he is a forerunner who presses upwards towards a higher
human culture. 1, 388

He who has not passed through different phases of conviction, but
sticks to the faith in whose net he was first caught, is, under
all circumstances, just on account of this unchangeableness, a
representative of _atavistic_ culture.... 1, 400

Opinions evolve out of _passions; indolence of intellect_ allows those
to congeal into _convictions_. 1, 404

He who has attained intellectual emancipation to any extent cannot, for
a long time, regard himself otherwise than as a wanderer on the face
of the earth--and not even as a traveller _towards_ a final goal, for
there is no such thing. 1, 405

If we make it clear to any one that, strictly, he can never speak
of truth, but only of probability and of its degrees, we generally
discover, from the undisguised joy of our pupil, how greatly men prefer
the uncertainty of their intellectual horizon, and how in their heart
of hearts they hate truth because of its definiteness. 2, 15

With all that enthusiasts say in favour of their gospel or their master
they are defending themselves, however much they comport themselves as
the judges and not the accused: because they are involuntarily reminded
almost at every moment that they are exceptions and have to assert
their legitimacy. 2, 18

The belief in truth begins with the doubt of all truths in which one
has previously believed. 2, 20

Philosophic brains will ... be distinguished from others by their
disbelief in the metaphysical significance of morality. 2, 29

You hold that sacrifice is the hallmark of moral action?--Just consider
whether in every action that is done with deliberation, in the best as
in the worst, there be not a sacrifice. 2, 30

It is more convenient to follow one's conscience than one's
intelligence, for at every failure conscience finds an excuse and an
encouragement in itself. That is why there are so many conscientious
and so few intelligent people. 2, 33

All moralists are shy, because they know they are confounded with spies
and traitors, so soon as their penchant is noticed. Besides, they are
generally conscious of being impotent in action, for in the midst of
work the motives of their activity almost withdraw their attention from
the work. 2, 42

No one accuses without an underlying notion of punishment and revenge,
even when he accuses his fate or himself. All complaint is accusation,
all self-congratulation is praise. Whether we do one or the other, we
always make some one responsible. 2, 44

We must know how to emerge cleaner from unclean conditions, and, if
necessary, how to wash ourselves even with dirty water. 2, 44

The origin of morality may be traced to two ideas: "The community is
of more value than the individual," and "The permanent interest is
to be preferred to the temporary." The conclusion drawn is that the
permanent interest of the community is unconditionally to be set above
the temporary interest of the individual, especially his momentary
well-being, but also his permanent interest and even the prolongation
of his existence. 2, 46-47

We should not shrink from treading the road to a virtue, even when we
see clearly that nothing but egotism, and accordingly utility, personal
comfort, fear, considerations of health, reputation, or glory, are
the impelling motives. These motives are styled ignoble and selfish.
Very well, but if they stimulate us to some virtue--for example,
self-denial, dutifulness, order, thrift, measure, and moderation--let
us listen to them, whatever their epithets may be! 2, 48

The tendency of a talent towards moral subjects, characters, motives,
towards the "beautiful soul" of the work of art, is often only a glass
eye put on by the artist who lacks a beautiful soul. 2, 78

Art is above all and meant to embellish life, to make us ourselves
endurable and if possible agreeable in the eyes of others. With this
task in view, art moderates us and holds us in restraint, creates
forms of intercourse, binds over the uneducated to laws of decency,
cleanliness, politeness, well-timed speech and silence. Hence art must
conceal or transfigure everything that is ugly--the painful, terrible,
and disgusting elements which in spite of every effort will always
break out afresh in accordance with the very origin of human nature.
Art has to perform this duty especially in regard to the passions and
spiritual agonies and anxieties, and to cause the significant factor
to shine through unavoidable or unconquerable ugliness. To this great,
super-great task the so-called art proper, that of works of art, is a
mere accessory. A man who feels within himself a surplus of such powers
of embellishment, concealment, and transfiguration will finally seek to
unburden himself of this surplus in works of art. The same holds good,
under special circumstances, of a whole nation. 2, 01-92

On great minds is bestowed the terrifying all-too-human of their
natures, their blindnesses, deformities, and extravagances, so
that their more powerful, easily all-too-powerful influence may be
continually held within bounds through the distrust aroused by such
qualities. 2, 100

Original minds are distinguished not by being the first to see a new
thing, but by seeing the old, well-known thing, which is seen and
overlooked by every one, as something new. The first discoverer is
usually that quite ordinary and unintellectual visionary--chance. 2, 105

The obvious satisfaction of the individual with his own form excites
imitation and gradually creates the form of the many--that is, fashion.
2, 107

Who of us could dare to call himself a "free spirit" if he could not
render homage after his fashion, by taking on his own shoulders a
portion of that burden of public dislike and abuse, to men to whom this
name is attached as a reproach? 2, 108

Immediate self-observation is not enough, by a long way, to enable us
to learn to know ourselves. We need history, for the past continues to
flow through us in a hundred channels. We ourselves are, after all,
nothing but our own sensation at every moment of this continued flow.
2, 117

To young and fresh barbarian nations ... Christianity is a poison.
2, 120

Faith, indeed, has up to the present not been able to move real
mountains, although I do not know who assumed that it could. But it can
put mountains where there was none. 2, 121

Among travellers we may distinguish five grades. The first and
lowest grade is of those who travel and are seen--they become really
travelled and are, as it were, blind. Next come those who really see
the world. The third class experience the results of their seeing. The
fourth weave their experience into their life and carry it with them
henceforth. Lastly, there are some men of the highest strength who,
as soon as they have returned home, must finally and necessarily work
out in their lives and productions all the things seen that they have
experienced and incorporated in themselves.--Like these five species
of travellers, all mankind goes through the whole pilgrimage of life,
the lowest as purely passive, the highest as those who act and live out
their lives without keeping back any residue of inner experiences.
2, 125

To treat all men with equal good-humour, and to be kind without
distinctions of persons, may arise as much from a profound contempt for
mankind as from an in-grained love of humanity. 2, 127

Towards science women and self-seeking artists entertain a feeling that
is composed of envy and sentimentality. 2, 134

The intellectual strength of a woman is best proved by the fact that
she offers her own intellect as a sacrifice out of love for a man and
his intellect, and that nevertheless in the new domain, which was
previously foreign to her nature, a second intellect at once arises as
an aftergrowth, to which the man's mind impels her. 2, 136

By women Nature shows how far she has hitherto achieved her task of
fashioning humanity, by man she shows what she has had overcome, and
what she still proposes to do for humanity. 2, 137

Whence arises the sudden passion of a man for a woman, a passion so
deep, so vital? Least of all from sensuality only: but when a man finds
weakness, need of help, and high spirits united in the same creature,
he suffers a sort of overflowing of soul, and is touched and offended
at the same moment. At this point arises the source of great love.
2, 140

Profundity of thought belongs to youth, clarity of thought to old age.
2, 140

The only remedy against Socialism that still lies in your power is to
avoid provoking Socialism--in other words, to live in moderation and
contentment, to prevent as far as possible all lavish display, and to
aid the State as far as possible in its taxing of all superfluities and
luxuries. 2, 145

Only a man of intellect should hold property: otherwise property is
dangerous to the community. For the owner, not knowing how to make use
of the leisure which his possessions might secure to him, will continue
to strive after more property.... It excites envy in the poor and
uncultured--who at bottom always envy culture and see no mask in the
mask--and gradually paves the way for a social revolution. 2, 147-148

Only up to a certain point does possession make men feel freer and
more independent; one step farther, and possession becomes lord, the
possessor a slave. 2, 149

The governments of the great States have two instruments for keeping
the people independent, in fear and obedience: a coarser, the army, and
a more refined, the school. 2, 152

To call a thing good not a day longer than it appears to us good, and
above all not a day earlier--that is the only way to keep joy pure.
2, 158

To honour and acknowledge even the bad, when it _pleases_ one, and
to have no conception of how one could be ashamed of being pleased
thereat, is the mark of sovereignty in things great and small.
2, 158-159

When life has treated us in true robber fashion, and has taken away all
that it could of honour, joys, connections, health, and property of
every kind, we perhaps discover in the end, after the first shock, that
we are richer than before. For now we know for the first time what is
so peculiarly ours that no robber hand can touch it, and perhaps, after
all the plunder and devastation, we come forward with the airs of a
mighty real estate owner. 2, 162

You rank far below others when you try to establish the exception and
they the rule. 2, 167

The most senile thought ever conceived about men lies in the famous
saying, "The ego is always hateful," the most childish in the still
more famous saying, "Love thy neighbour as thyself."--With the one
knowledge of men has ceased, with the other it has not yet begun. 2, 172

You find your burden of life too heavy? Then you must increase the
burden of your life. 2, 176

That the world is _not_ the abstract essence of an eternal
reasonableness is sufficiently proved by the fact that that _bit of the
world_ which we know--I mean our human reason--is none too reasonable.
And if _this_ is not eternally and wholly wise and reasonable, the rest
of the world will not be so either. 2, 184

There exists a simulated contempt for all things that mankind actually
holds most important, for all everyday matters. For instance, we say
"we only eat to live"--an abominable _lie,_ like that which speaks
of the procreation of children as the real purpose of all sexual
pleasure. Conversely, the reverence for "the most important things" is
hardly ever quite genuine. 2, 185

The doctrine of free will is an invention of the ruling classes. 2, 190

If a God created the world, he created man to be his ape, as a
perpetual source of amusement in the midst of his rather tedious
eternities. 2, 193

The robber and the man of power who promises to protect a community
from robbers are perhaps at bottom beings of the same mould, save that
the latter attains his ends by other means than the former--that is
to say, through regular imposts paid to him by the community, and no
longer through forced contributions. 2, 200

The sting of conscience, like the gnawing of a dog at a stone, is mere
foolishness. 2, 217

Rights may be traced to traditions, traditions to momentary agreements.
2, 217

Morality is primarily a means of preserving the community and saving it
from destruction. Next it is a means of maintaining the community on a
certain plane and in a certain degree of benevolence. Its motives are
fear and hope, and these in a more coarse, rough, and powerful form,
the more the propensity towards the perverse, one-sided, and personal
still persists. 2, 221

Moral prohibitions, like those of the Decalogue, are only suited to
ages when reason lies vanquished. 2, 223

It is difficult to explain why pity is so highly prized, just as we
need to explain why the unselfish man, who is originally despised or
feared as being artful, is praised. 2, 224

The sum-total of our conscience is all that has regularly been demanded
of us, without reason, in the days of our childhood, by people whom we
respected or feared. 2, 224

Every word is a preconceived judgment. 2, 225

The fatalism of the Turk has this fundamental defect, that it contrasts
man and fate as two distinct things. Man, says this doctrine, may
struggle against fate and try to baffle it, but in the end fate will
always gain the victory. Hence the most rational course is to resign
oneself or to live as one pleases. As a matter of fact, every man is
himself a piece of fate. When he thinks that he is struggling against
fate in this way, fate is accomplishing its ends even in that struggle.
The combat is a fantasy, but so is the resignation in fate--all these
fantasies are included in fate.--The fear felt by most people of the
doctrine that denies the freedom of the will is a fear of the fatalism
of the Turk. They imagine that man will become weakly resigned and
will stand before the future with folded hands, because he cannot
alter anything of the future. Or that he will give a free rein to his
caprices, because the predestined cannot be made worse by that course.
The follies of men are as much a piece of fate as are his wise actions,
and even that fear of belief in fate is a fatality. You yourself, you
poor timid creature, are that indomitable _Moira,_ which rules even the
Gods; whatever may happen, you are a curse or a blessing, and in any
case the fetters wherein the strongest lies bound: in you the whole
future of the human world is predestined, and it is no use for you to
be frightened of yourself. 2, 228-229

In the first era of the higher humanity courage is accounted the most
noble virtue, in the next justice, in the third temperance, in the
fourth wisdom. 2, 230

Superficial, inexact observation sees contrasts everywhere in nature
(for instance, "hot and cold"), where there are no contrasts, only
differences of degree. 2, 231

On two hypotheses alone is there any sense in prayer, that not quite
extinct custom of olden times. It would have to be possible either
to fix or alter the will of the godhead, and the devotee would have
to know best himself what he needs and should really desire. Both
hypotheses, axiomatic and traditional in all other religions, are
denied by Christianity. 2, 235-233

Distrust is the touchstone for the gold of certainty. 2, 266

Wrath and punishment are our inheritance from the animals. Man does
not become of age until he has restored to the animals this gift of
the cradle.--Herein lies buried one of the mightiest ideas that men
can have, the idea of a progress of all progresses.--Let us go forward
together a few millenniums, my friends! There is still reserved for
mankind a great deal of joy, the very scent of which has not yet been
wafted to the men of our day! Indeed, we may promise ourselves this
joy, nay summon and conjure it up as a necessary thing, so long as the
development of human reason does not stand still. Some day we shall no
longer be reconciled to the logical sin that lurks in all wrath and
punishment, whether exercised by the individual or by society--some
day, when head and heart have learnt to live as near together as they
now are far apart. That they no longer stand so far apart as they did
originally is fairly palpable from a glance at the whole course of
humanity. The individual who can review a life of introspective work
will become conscious of the _rapprochement_ arrived at, with a proud
delight at the distance he has bridged, in order that he may thereupon
venture upon more ample hopes. 2, 284-285

Natural death is independent of all reason and is really an irrational
death, in which the pitiable substance of the shell determines how long
the kernel is to exist.... 2, 286

The more fully and thoroughly we live, the more ready we are to
sacrifice life for a single pleasurable emotion. 2, 288

All intellectual movements whereby the great may hope to rob and the
small to save, are sure to prosper. 2, 311-312

The desire for victory and pre-eminence is an ineradicable trait of
human nature, older and more primitive than any respect of or joy in
equality. 2, 312

If all alms were given only out of compassion, the whole tribe of
beggars would long since have died of starvation.... The greatest of
almsgivers is cowardice. 2, 317

The exertion of power is laborious and demands courage. That is why so
many do not assert their most valid rights, because their rights are a
kind of power, and they are too lazy or too cowardly to exercise them.
_Indulgence_ and _patience_ are the names given to the virtues that
cloak these faults. 2, 319-320

"Stupid as a man," say the women; "Cowardly as a woman," say the men.
Stupidity in a woman is unfeminine. 2, 328

All political work, even with great statesmen, is an improvisation that
trusts to luck. 2, 332

The so-called armed peace that prevails at present in all countries is
a sign of a bellicose disposition, of a disposition that trusts neither
itself nor its neighbour, and, partly from hate, partly from fear,
refuses to lay down its weapons. Better to perish than to hate and
fear, and twice as far better to perish than to make oneself hated and
feared--this must some day become the supreme maxim of every political
community!... 2, 236

In order that property may henceforth inspire more confidence and
become more moral, we should keep open all the paths of work for small
fortunes, but should prevent the effortless and sudden acquisition of
wealth. Accordingly, we should take all the branches of transport and
trade which favour the accumulation of large fortunes--especially,
therefore, the money market--out of the hands of private persons or
private companies, and look upon those who own too much, just as upon
those who own nothing, as types fraught with danger to the community.
2, 340

If we try to determine the value of labour by the amount of time,
industry, good or bad will, constraint, inventiveness or laziness,
honesty or make-believe bestowed upon it, the valuation can never be a
just one. For the whole personality would have to be thrown into the
scale, and this is impossible. 2, 340

The _exploitation_ of the worker was, as we now understand, a piece
of folly, a robbery at the expense of the future, a jeopardisation of
society. We almost have the war now, and in any case the expense of
maintaining peace, of concluding treaties and winning confidence, will
henceforth be very great, because the folly of the exploiters was very
great and long-lasting. 2, 341

The masses are as far as possible removed from Socialism as a
doctrine of altering the acquisition of property. If once they get the
steering-wheel into their hands, through great majorities in their
Parliaments, they will attack with progressive taxation the whole
dominant system of capitalists, merchants, and financiers, and will in
fact slowly create a middle class which may forget Socialism like a
disease that has been overcome. 2, 343

The Two Principles of the New Life.--_First Principle:_ to arrange
one's life on the most secure and tangible basis, not as hitherto
upon the most distant, undetermined, and cloudy foundation. _Second
Principle:_ to establish the rank of the nearest and nearer things, and
of the more and less secure, before one arranges one's life and directs
it to a final end. 2, 351

Through the certain prospect of death a precious, fragrant drop of
frivolity might be mixed with every day life--and now, you singular
druggist-souls, you have made of death a drop of poison, unpleasant to
taste, which makes the whole of life hideous. 2, 355

We speak of Nature, and, in doing so, forget ourselves: we ourselves
are Nature, _quand même_. 2, 356-357

We should not let ourselves be burnt for our opinions--we are not so
certain of them as all that. But we might let ourselves be burnt for
the right of possessing and changing our opinions. 2, 358

Man has been bound with many chains, in order that he may forget to
comport himself like an animal. And indeed he has become more gentle,
more intellectual, more joyous, more meditative than any animal.
But now he still suffers from having carried his chains so long,
from having been so long without pure air and free movement--these
chains, however, are, as I repeat again and again, the ponderous
and significant errors of moral, religious, and metaphysical ideas.
Only when the disease of chains is overcome is the first great goal
reached--the separation of man from the brute. 2, 362-363


"The Dawn of Day"

The first work to follow the transitional and preparatory
criticism and comment of "Human, All-Too-Human" was "The Dawn of
Day" ("_Morgen-röte_"). Such a treatise dealing with Nietzsche's
constructive and analytical thinking, was no doubt expected. No
man could so effectively rattle the bones of the older gods, could
so wantonly trample down the tenets strengthened by the teachings
of centuries, could so ruthlessly annihilate the accepted ethical
standards and religious formulæ, unless there existed back of his
bludgeon a positivity of will which implied creation and construction.
Nietzsche realised the significance of this new book, and at its
completion, early in 1881, sent an urgent letter to his publisher
requesting its immediate printing. The publisher, however, failing to
attach any importance to the document, delayed its issuance until late
in the summer, at which time its appearance caused no excitement and
but little comment.

"The Dawn of Day" nevertheless ranks among Nietzsche's best works. Its
title, frankly symbolic, reflects the nature of its contents. It was
the beginning of Nietzsche's positive philosophy. In it he begins his
actual work of reconstruction. Many of its passages form the foundation
of those later books wherein he augmented and developed his theories.
However, there is here no radical change in his thought. The passages
are logical sequences to that simple nihilism of prevailing customs
which occupied him in his former essays. In his earliest beginnings
we can see evidences of the direction his teachings were to take. His
books up to the last were mainly developments and elaborations of the
thoughts which were in his mind from the first. Though often vaguely
conceived and unco-ordinated, these thoughts were the undeniable
property of his own thinking. Although there have been many attempts
to trace eclectic influences to the men of his time, and especially to
Schopenhauer, the results of such critical endeavours have been easily
controverted by the plainest of internal evidence. The philosophical
Nietzsche has his roots firmly implanted in the scholastic Nietzsche;
and though in superficial and non-important phases of his thought he
changed from time to time, the most diligent research fails to reveal
direct contradictions in any of his fundamental doctrines.

In "The Dawn of Day" Nietzsche goes again into the origin of morality.
He carries his analyses further and supports them by additional
enquiries and by more complicated processes of reasoning. Having
ascertained the place which morals assume in the human scale and
determined their relation to racial necessities, he points out that
their application as permanent and unalterable mandates works havoc in
any environment save that in which they were conceived. Inasmuch as
all morality is at bottom but an expression of expediency, it follows
that, since the means of expediency change under varying conditions,
morality must change to meet the constantly metamorphosing conditions
of society. And since the conditions of life are never the same in all
nations, moral codes must likewise adapt themselves to geography in
order to fulfil their function. The existing code of morals, namely:
the Christian doctrine, grew out of conditions which were not only
different from those in which we live to-day, but in many instances
diametrically opposed to them. Nietzsche saw a grave danger in adhering
to an ethical system which was not relative to the modern man, and
argues that the result of such a morality would produce effects which
would have no intelligent bearing on the racial problems of the present
day. Knowing the deep-rooted superstition in man regarding the "divine"
origin of moral laws, he undertakes the task of relating all ancient
codes to the racial conditions existent at their inception, thus
constructing a human origin for them.

Christianity, being the greatest moral force of the day, attracted
Nietzsche's attention the most, and in "The Dawn of Day" much space is
devoted to a consideration of it. While in tone these paragraphs are
milder than those which followed in "The Antichrist," they nevertheless
are among the profoundest criticisms which Nietzsche made of Nazarene
morality. Though only a portion of the aphorisms contained in this work
are devoted to an evaluation of theological modes of conduct, stumbling
blocks are thrown in the path of an acceptance of Jewish ethics which
the most sapient of modern ecclesiastics have been unable to remove.
Out of certain aphorisms found here grew "The Antichrist" which is the
most terrible and effective excoriation that Christianity has ever
called forth. Beginning on page 66 of "The Dawn of Day" there appears
one of Nietzsche's most fundamental passages dealing with Christianity.
It is called "The First Christian," and is an analysis of the Apostle
Paul. No theological dialectician has been able to answer it. Here is
an aphorism so illuminating, so profound, yet so brief, as to dazzle
completely the lay mind.

However, Christianity is but one of the subjects dealt with in "The
Dawn of Day." The book covers the whole field of modern morality. Says
Nietzsche in his introduction; "In this book we find a 'subterrestrial'
at work, digging, mining, undermining.... I went down into the deepest
depths; I tunnelled to the very bottom; I started to investigate and
unearth an old _faith_ which for thousands of years we philosophers
used to build on as the safest of all foundations.... I began to
undermine our _faith in morals."_ It is true that from the beginning
of history there has existed a ruling scale of values determining the
acts of humanity. Morality implies the domination of certain classes
which, in order to inspire reverence in arbitrary dictates, have
invested their codes with an authority other than a human one. Thus
has criticism been stifled. Morality has had the means of intimidation
on its side, and has discouraged investigation by exercising severe
penalties. Consequently morality has accumulated and grown, gathered
power and swept on without its thinkers, its philosophers or its
analysts. Of all the sciences, the science of conduct has been the last
to attract investigators.

The vogue of that style of philosophy which was founded on the
tradition of speculation and honeycombed with presuppositions, did
not pass out until the advent of Darwin's evolutionism. But even the
inauguration of biology and sociology did not entirely eliminate the
metaphysical assumption from constructive thinking. The scientists
themselves, not excluding Darwin, hesitated to acknowledge the laws of
natural selection and of the survival of the fit. Neo-Lamarckism was
but one of the reactions against this tough and unpleasant theory.
Alfred Russel Wallace and, to take an even more significant figure,
Herbert Spencer, endeavoured to refute the possibility of a biological
basis in thought and thus to avoid an acquiescence to the Darwinian
research. John Fiske, an avowed evolutionist, indirectly repudiated
the scientific origin of philosophy; and likewise most of the lesser
thinkers, following the exposition of Darwin's theories, refused to
apply to man the biological laws governing the animal kingdom. Balfour
and Huxley sensed the incongruities and variances in this new mode
of thinking, and strove to bridge the chasm between natural science
and human conduct, and to construct a system of ethics which would
possess a logical and naturalistic foundation. But in both cases the
question was begged. We find Balfour building up a moral system which,
while it did not deny Darwinism, had for its end the destruction, or
at least the alteration, of natural laws. And Huxley defines human
progress as an overcoming of biological principles. Thus, even in the
most materialistic of physio-psychologists, the subjugation of natural
laws was the primary thesis. Biology, therefore, instead of being used
as a basis to further philosophy, was considered an obstacle which
philosophy had to overcome.

Nietzsche saw that a science of conduct based on natural and
physiological laws was a possible and logical thing. And in him, for
the first time in the history of philosophical thought, do we find a
scholarly and at the same time an intellectual critic of authorised
standards. The biological point of view was never lost sight of by him.
If at times he seemed to abandon it, it was but for a brief period; he
ever came back to it. Even his most abstract passages have their feet
implanted in the fact that all phenomena are answerable to the law
of vital fitness. Before the tribunal of biology Nietzsche arraigns
and tries every phase of his thought, whether it deals with physical
phenomena, ethical conduct or with abstract reasoning. Philosophy,
for centuries divorced from science, is here clothed in the garments
of scientific experimentation; a relationship is established between
these two planes of rationalism and empiricism which have always been
considered by other thinkers as detached and unrelated. Nor does
Nietzsche ally himself, either consciously or unconsciously, with such
philosophers as Bruno and Plato (who stood between the scientific
thinkers on the one hand and the abstract dialecticians on the other),
and attempt a formulation of a system of thought founded on intuitive
processes. Such poetic conceptions had no fascination for him except
as they were directly applicable to the problem of the universe. Those
men who busied themselves with the mere theory of knowledge he held as
supererogatory cobweb-spinners; and even in the realm of metaphysicians
such as Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz, he dallied but casually. His
aim was to relate all thought to determinable values of life.

In his introduction Nietzsche calls morality the Circe of philosophies,
and adds: "For, to what is it due that, from Plato onwards, all the
philosophic architects in Europe have built in vain?" Later beneath
his analysis--which never assumes the negative qualities of the
metaphysical--the moral phenomenon goes to pieces, not by a few simple
strokes, nor yet by the effrontery of cynicism or pessimism, but
by the most careful and intricate surgery. He points out the great
heretics of history as examples of the men who, looked at through the
eyes of contemporaries, were "wicked" men, but who, under different
environmental circumstances, were considered "good." He denies the
static hypothesis on which morality is built, and postulates the
theory that immorality is not without its place in the development
of the reason. He is constantly attempting to translate the existing
moral values into terms of their true nature, not necessarily into
immoralities, but into natural unmoralities. The accepted virtues,
such as pity, honesty, faith, obedience, service, loyalty and
self-sacrifice, are questioned in their relation to racial needs; and
modern attitudes toward all human activities are traced to their causes
and judged as to their influence.

The research work in the present book differs from that contained in
previous volumes. Heretofore Nietzsche indulged in inquiry without
speculation; he dealt mainly with generalities. His analyses were along
broad lines of human conduct. He confined himself for the most part
to principles. But in "The Dawn of Day" these principles are balanced
with existent morality. Specific modes of moral and ethical endeavour
are weighed against expediency. Nietzsche presents a diagnosis of the
fundamental nature of society to-day, and discovers many contradictions
and inconsistencies between modern social needs and those virtues held
in the highest reverence. He finds that deportmental means made use of
by weak and subjugated peoples of ancient times to protect themselves
against hostile invaders, are retained and practised to-day by nations
whose position has been reversed to one of domination. In short, he
points out that certain moralities have, by the alteration of national
and racial conditions, become irrelevancies. Consequently there is
often a compromise between ethical beliefs and ethical practices--a
compromise made necessary by the demands of social intercourse. Even
when the practice of these ancient moralities is conscientiously
indulged in, Nietzsche denies their adequacy in coping with modern
conditions, pointing out specific instances in which necessity and
habit are constantly impinging. For instance, the softer virtues of
a democratic and socialistic morality are shown to be desirable only
in weakened nations where the hardier virtues of egotism, cruelty,
efficiency, hard-mindedness, selfishness and retaliation would work
directly against preservation.

Out of these conclusions grows a plea for individualism, and out of
this individualism the superman can be seen rearing his head above
the horizon of present-day humanity. The qualities of this man of the
future are defined, and a finger is pointed along the necessary lines
of racial culture. Nietzsche's first definite voicing of marriage
ideals follows in the train of the superman's appearance, and the first
comments of this philosopher in his criticism of woman are set down.
In this latter regard Nietzsche has been unfairly interpreted by those
who have considered his attitude toward woman superficially or without
relating it to his general theories. It would be well therefore for
the student to withhold judgment in this particular until the various
elements of Nietzsche's philosophical system have been co-ordinated and
understood. Woman plays an important, if small, part in his writings,
and his passages dealing with women should be carefully weighed in
conjunction with his theory of the superman.

In "The Dawn of Day" Nietzsche's conception of class distinction is
defined and related to his later teachings. Throughout his analyses
runs a subtle undercurrent of his doctrine, of social segregation
which finds definite expression toward the end of the volume where
modern socialism, with its altruism and philanthropy, is traced to
its birth in Nazarene morality. In place of this present popular form
of ethics Nietzsche proposes a social régime in which aristocratic
culture will be set apart from mere utilitarian culture by very
definite boundaries. He argues that not only is this disassociation
in accord with the instincts of mankind, but that, as a workable
theorem, it adequately answers the needs of present conditions. The
slave-morality and the master-morality which he develops in his later
works are defined tentatively and suggested by inference in many of
the aphorisms. Out of this conception grew his dominant principle of
the "will to power," and in "The Dawn of Day" we find this principle
set forth in adequate definition for the first time, although the
development of the idea is left till later. However, Nietzsche makes
clear its point of divergence from the Schopenhauerian theory of the
"will to live" as well as from the Darwinian theory of the survival of
the fittest.

But it is not alone abstract theory that occupies the pages of this
book. Nietzsche is never the mere metaphysician battling in an unreal
world. There are few dark closets and secret passageways in his
thought. Beyond a metaphysical hypothesis he does not go. He adheres to
demonstrable formulas, and reasons along lines of strictest reality.
The practical man he holds in high esteem, and constantly praises
the advance of science. He devotes pages to the blowing to pieces of
metaphysical air-castles. But, as I have previously pointed out, he is
in no sense of the word a materialist; nor is his assumption of the
world that of the realists. Life to Nietzsche is an eternal struggle
toward--no goal. The lessons the world has to teach are as so much
false doctrine. The meaning of life--the so-called absolute truth--is
but a chimera. Intelligence is a process, not an ultimatum. The truth
is mobile and dual, dependent on varying causes. In accepting the
material world, Nietzsche does not grant it. In assuming natural laws,
he denies them. In his adherence to logic and to the processes of cause
and effect, he is accepting phantoms and inconsistencies, and yet it is
along these lines that the race progresses.

In "The Dawn of Day" Nietzsche makes use of the same aphoristic style
as that employed in "Human, All-Too-Human." (This broken, staccato
form he uses throughout the remainder of his works, except in certain
parts of "Thus Spake Zarathustra.") Each paragraph is captioned and
deals with a specific phase of morality or with a definite critical
attitude toward human conduct. Some of these paragraphs are scarcely
a line in length--mere definitions or similes. Others extend over
several pages. But they always pertain to a single idea. Occasionally
they are in the form of a brief conversation; at other times they
are short queries. One of these aphorisms is entitled "The Battle
Dispensary of the Soul," and this is what follows: "What is the most
efficacious remedy? Victory." That is all--brief, and perhaps, on first
reading, inconsequent. But study it a moment, and you will find in
it the nucleus of a great revolutionary doctrine. On the other hand,
turn to aphorism 142, called "Sympathy," and you will discover several
pages of flashing commentary. Out of the chaos of his style springs
a feeling of plastic form. These brief paragraphs are not detached
and desultory. They are pyramided on one another, and beneath them
runs an undercurrent of unified thinking. When the end of the book
is reached we have a carefully fabricated edifice, and we realise
that each paragraph has been some necessary beam or decoration in its


Morality is nothing else (and, above all, nothing more) than obedience
to customs, of whatsoever nature they may be. But customs are simply
the traditional way of acting and valuing. Where there is no tradition
there is no morality; and the less life is governed by tradition, the
narrower the circle of morality. The free man is immoral, because it
is his _will_ to depend upon himself and not upon tradition: in all
the primitive states of humanity "evil" is equivalent to "individual,"
"free," "arbitrary," "unaccustomed," "unforeseen," "incalculable." In
such primitive conditions, always measured by this standard, any action
performed--_not_ because tradition commands it, but for other reasons
_(e.g.,_ on account of its individual utility), even for the same
reasons as had been formerly established by custom--is termed immoral,
and is felt to be so even by the very man who performs it, for it has
not been done out of obedience to tradition. 14-15

Popular medicines and popular morals are closely related, and should
not be considered and valued, as is still customary, in so different a
way: both are most dangerous and make-believe sciences. 19

All those superior men, who felt themselves irresistibly urged
on to throw off the yoke of some morality or other, had no other
resource--_if they were not really mad--_than to feign madness, or
actually to become insane. And this holds good for innovators in every
department of life, and not only in religion and politics. 21

Every one who has hitherto overthrown a law of established morality
has always at first been considered as a _wicked man:_ but when it
was afterwards found impossible to re-establish the law, and people
gradually became accustomed to the change, the epithet was changed by
slow degrees. History deals almost exclusively with these _wicked men,_
who later on came to be recognised as _good men._ 28

A man who is under the influence of the morality of custom comes
to despise causes first of all, secondly consequences, and thirdly
reality, and weaves all his higher feelings (reverence, sublimity,
pride, gratitude, love) _into an imaginary world:_ the so-called higher
world. And even to-day we can see the consequences of this: wherever,
and in whatever fashion, man's feelings are raised, that imaginary
world is in evidence. 40

The history of the moral feelings is entirely different from the
history of moral conceptions. The first-mentioned are powerful before
the action, and the latter especially after it, in view of the
necessity for making one's self clear in regard to them. 41

Trusting in our feelings simply means obeying our grandfather and
grandmother more than the gods within _ourselves:_ our reason and
experience. 41

The same impulse, under the impression of the blame cast upon it by
custom, develops into the painful feeling of cowardice, or else the
pleasurable feeling of _humility,_ in case a morality, like that of
Christianity, has taken it to its heart and called it _good._ 43

_The origin becomes of less significance in proportion as we acquire
insight into it;_ whilst things nearest to ourselves, around and
within us, gradually begin to manifest their wealth of colours,
beauties, enigmas, and diversity of meaning, of which earlier humanity
never dreamed. 52

Only when man shall have acquired a knowledge of all things will he be
able to know himself. For things are but the boundaries of man. 53

To whatever height mankind may have developed--and perhaps in the end
it will not be so high as when they began!--there is as little prospect
of their attaining to a higher order as there is for the ant and the
earwig to enter into kinship with God and eternity at the end of their
career on earth. What is to come will drag behind it that which has
passed: why should any little star, or even any little species on
that star, form an exception to that eternal drama? Away with such
sentimentalities! 54

Those earnest, able, and just men of profound feelings, who are still
Christians at heart, owe it to themselves to make one attempt to live
for a certain space of time without Christianity! They owe it to
_their faith_ that they should thus for once take up their abode "in
the wilderness"--if for no other reason than that of being able to
pronounce on the question as to whether Christianity is needful. 63

Christianity has the instinct of a hunter for finding out all those who
may by hook or by crook be driven to despair--only a very small number
of men can be brought to this despair. Christianity lies in wait for
such as those, and pursues them. 65

The "demon" Eros becomes an object of greater interest to mankind
than all the angels and saints put together, thanks to the mysterious
Mumbo-Jumboism of the Church in all things erotic: it is due to the
Church that love stories, even in our own time, have become the one
common interest which appeals to all classes of people--with an
exaggeration which would be incomprehensible to antiquity, and which
will not fail to provoke roars of laughter in coming generations. 78

It is only those who never--or always--attend church that underestimate
the dishonesty with which this subject is still dealt in Protestant
pulpits; in what a clumsy fashion the preacher takes advantage of his
security from interruption; how the Bible is pinched and squeezed; and
how the people are made acquainted with every form of _the art of false
reading._ 85

Christianity wants blindness and frenzy and an eternal swan-song above
the waves under which reason has been drowned!... 90

What if God were not exactly truth, and if this were proved? And if he
were instead of vanity, the desire for power, the ambitious, the fear,
and the enraptured and terrified folly of mankind?... 93

One Becomes Moral--but not because one is moral! Submission to morals
may be due to slavishness or vanity, egoism or resignation, dismal
fanaticism or thoughtlessness. It may, again, be an act of despair,
such as submission to the authority of a ruler; but there is nothing
moral about it _per se._ 97

Morals are constantly undergoing changes and transformations,
occasioned by successful crimes. 97

I deny morality in the same way as I deny alchemy, _i.e.,_ I deny its
hypotheses; but I do not deny that there have been alchemists who
believed in these hypotheses and based their actions upon them. I also
deny immorality--not that innumerable people feel immoral, but that
there is any true reason why they should feel so, should not, of
course, deny--unless I were a fool--that many actions which are called
immoral should be avoided and resisted; and in the same way that many
which are called moral should be performed and encouraged; but I hold
that in both cases these actions should be performed from motives other
than those which have prevailed up to the present time. We must learn
anew in order that at last, perhaps very late in the day, we may be
able to do something more: feel anew. 100

It is a prejudice to think that morality is more favourable to the
development of the reason than immorality. It is erroneous to suppose
that the unconscious aim in the development of every conscious being
(namely, animal, man, humanity, etc.) is its "great happiness"; on
the contrary, there is a particular and incomparable happiness to be
attained at every stage of our development, one that is neither high
nor low, but quite an individual happiness. Evolution does not make
happiness its goal; it aims merely at evolution, and nothing else. It
is only if humanity had a universally recognised goal that we could
propose to do this or that: for the time being there is no such goal.
It follows that the pretensions of morality should not be brought
into any relationship with mankind: this would be merely childish and
irrational. It is quite another thing to recommend a goal to mankind:
this goal would then be something that would depend upon our own will
and pleasure. Provided that mankind in general agreed to adopt such a
goal, it could then impose a moral law upon itself, a law which would,
at all events, be imposed by their own free will. 105

Our duties are the claims which others have upon us. How did they
acquire these claims? By the fact that they considered us as capable of
making and holding agreements and contracts, by assuming that we were
their like and equals, and by consequently entrusting something to us,
bringing us up, educating us, and supporting us. 110

My rights consist of that part of my power which others have not only
conceded to me, but which they wish to maintain for me. 111

The desire for distinction is the desire to subject one's neighbor....

On this mirror--and our intellect is a mirror--something is going on
that indicates regularity: a certain thing is each time followed by
another certain thing. When we perceive this and wish to give it a
name, we call it cause and effect,--fools that we are! as if in this
we had understood or could understand anything! For, of course, we
have seen nothing but the images of causes and effects, and it is just
this figurativeness which renders it impossible for us to see a more
substantial relation than that of sequence!... 129

Pity, in so far as it actually gives rise to suffering--and this
must be our only point of view here--is a weakness, like every other
indulgence in an injurious emotion. It increases suffering throughout
the world, and although here and there a certain amount of suffering
may be indirectly diminished or removed altogether as a consequence of
pity, we must not bring forward these occasional consequences, which
are on the whole insignificant, to justify the nature of pity which, as
has already been stated, is prejudicial. Supposing that it prevailed,
even if only for one day, it would bring humanity to utter ruin. In
itself the nature of pity is no better than that of any other craving;
it is only where it is called for and praised--and this happens when
people do not understand what is injurious in it, but find in it
a sort of joy--that a good conscience becomes attached to it; it
is only then that we willingly yield to it, and do not shrink from
acknowledging it. In other circumstances where it is understood to be
dangerous, it is looked upon as a weakness; or, as in the case of the
Greeks, as an unhealthy periodical emotion the danger of which might be
removed by temporary and voluntary discharges. 144-145

You say that the morality of pity is a higher morality than that of
stoicism? Prove it! But take care not to measure the "higher" and
"lower" degrees of morality once more by moral yardsticks; for there
are no absolute morals. So take your yardstick from somewhere else, and
be on your guard!... 149

If, in accordance with the present definition, only those actions are
moral which are done for the sake of others, and for their sake only,
then there are no moral actions at all! If, in accordance with another
definition, only those actions are moral which spring from our own free
will, then there are no moral actions in this case either! What is it,
then, that we designate thus, which certainly exists and wishes as a
consequence to be explained? It is the result of a few intellectual
blunders; and supposing that we were able to free ourselves from these
errors, what would then become of "moral actions"? It is due to these
errors that we have up to the present attributed to certain actions a
value superior to what was theirs in reality: we separated them from
"egoistic" and "non-free" actions. When we now set them once more
in the latter categories, as we must do, we certainly reduce their
value (their own estimate of value) even below its reasonable level,
because "egoistic" and "non-free" actions have up to the present been
undervalued owing to that alleged profound and essential difference.

If I were a god, and a benevolent god, the marriages of men would cause
me more displeasure than anything else. 162

We ought publicly to declare invalid the vows of lovers, and to refuse
them permission to marry: and this because we should treat marriage
itself much more seriously, so that in cases where it is now contracted
it would not usually be allowed in future! Are not the majority of
marriages such that we should not care to have them witnessed by a
third party? And yet this third party is scarcely ever lacking--the
child--and he is more than the witness; he is the whipping-boy and
scapegoat. 163

Shame! You wish to form part of a system in which you must be a wheel,
fully and completely, or risk being crushed by wheels! where it is
understood that each one will be that which his superiors make of
him! where the seeking for "connections" will form a part of one's
natural duties! where no one feels himself offended when he has his
attention drawn to some one with the remark, "He may be useful to you
some time"; where people do not feel ashamed of paying a visit to ask
for somebody's intercession, and where they do not even suspect that
by such a voluntary submission to these morals, they are once and for
all stamped as the common pottery of nature, which others can employ
or break up of their free will without feeling in any way responsible
for doing so,--just as if one were to say, "People of my type will
never be lacking, therefore, do what you will with me! Do not stand on
ceremony!" 169

In the glorification of "work" and the never-ceasing talk about the
"blessing of labour," I see the same secret _arrière-pensée_ as I do
in the praise bestowed on impersonal acts of a general interest, viz.,
a fear of everything individual. 176

Behind the principle of the present moral fashion: "Moral actions
are actions performed out of sympathy for others," I see the social
instinct of fear, which thus assumes an intellectual disguise.... 177

Whatever may be the influence in high politics of utilitarianism and
the vanity of individuals and nations, the sharpest spur which urges
them onwards is their need for the feeling of power--a need which rises
not only in the souls of princes and rulers, but also gushes forth from
time to time from inexhaustible sources in the people. 186

As the aristocrat is able to preserve the appearance of being possessed
of a superior physical force which never leaves him, he likewise wishes
by his aspect of constant serenity and civility of disposition, even in
the most trying circumstances, to convey the impression that his mind
and soul are equal to all dangers and surprises....

This indisputable happiness of aristocratic culture, based as it
is on the feeling of superiority, is now beginning to rise to ever
higher levels; for now, thanks to the free spirits, it is henceforth
permissible and not dishonourable for people who have been born and
reared in aristocratic circles to enter the domain of knowledge, where
they may secure more intellectual consecrations and learn chivalric
services even higher than those of former times, and where they may
look up to that ideal of victorious wisdom which as yet no age has been
able to set before itself with so good a conscience as the period which
is about to dawn. 203-205

What induces one man to use false weights, another to set his house
on fire after having insured it for more than its value, a third to
take part in counterfeiting, while three-fourths of our upper classes
indulge in legalised fraud, and suffer from the pangs of conscience
that follow speculation and dealings on the Stock Exchange: what gives
rise to all this? It is not real want,--for their existence is by
no means precarious; perhaps they have even enough to eat and drink
without worrying--but they are urged on day and night by a terrible
impatience at seeing their wealth pile up so slowly, and by an equally
terrible longing and love for these heaps of gold. In this impatience
and love, however, we see re-appear once more that fanaticism of the
desire for power which was stimulated in former times by the belief
that we were in the possession of truth, a fanaticism which bore such
beautiful names that we could dare to be inhuman with a good conscience
(burning Jews, heretics, and good books, and exterminating entire
cultures superior to ours, such as those of Peru and Mexico). The means
of this desire for power are changed in our day, but the same volcano
is still smouldering, impatience and intemperate love call for their
victims, and what was once done "for the love of God" is now done
for the love of money, _i.e.,_ for the love of that which at present
affords us the highest feeling of power and a good conscience. 209-210

"Enthusiastic sacrifice," "self-immolation"--these are the catch-words
of your morality.... In reality ... you only _appear_ to sacrifice
yourselves; for your imagination turns you into gods and you enjoy
yourselves as such. 226-227

Ceremonies, official robes and court dresses, grave countenances,
solemn aspects, the slow pace, involved speech--everything, in short,
known as dignity--are all pretences adopted by those who are timid at
heart: they wish to make themselves feared (themselves or the things
they represent). The fearless (_i.e.,_ originally those who naturally
inspire others with awe) have no need of dignity and ceremonies.... 230

A strange thing, this punishment of ours! It does not purify the
criminal; it is not a form of expiation; but, on the contrary, it is
even more defiling than the crime itself. 235

When a vigorous nature has not an inclination towards cruelty, and is
not always preoccupied with itself, it involuntarily strives after
gentleness--this is its distinctive characteristic. Weak natures, on
the other hand, have a tendency towards harsh judgments.... 236

Kindness has been best developed by the long dissimulation which
endeavoured to appear as kindness: wherever great power existed
the necessity for dissimulation of this nature was recognised--it
inspires security and confidence, and multiplies the actual sum of
our physical power. Falsehood, if not actually the mother, is at all
events the nurse of kindness. In the same way, honesty has been brought
to maturity by the need for a semblance of honesty and integrity:
in hereditary aristocracies. The persistent exercise of such a
dissimulation ends by bringing about the actual nature of the thing
itself: the dissimulation in the long run suppresses itself, and organs
and instincts are the unexpected fruits in this garden of hypocrisy. 242

Neither necessity nor desire, but the love of power, is the demon of
mankind. You may give men everything possible--health, food, shelter,
enjoyment--but they are and remain unhappy and capricious, for the
demon waits and waits; and must be satisfied. 243

It is probable that there are no pure races, but only races which have
become purified, and even these are extremely rare. 253

How many married men have some morning awakened to the fact that their
young wife is dull, although she thinks quite the contrary! not to
speak of those wives whose flesh is willing but whose intellect is
weak! 255

Could there be anything more repugnant than the sentimentality which
is shown to plants and animals--and this on the part of a creature who
from the very beginning has made such ravages among them as their most
ferocious enemy--and who ends by even claiming affectionate feelings
from his weakened and mutilated victims! Before this kind of "nature"
man must above all be serious, if he is any sort of a thinking being.

Among cowards it is thought bad form to say anything against bravery,
for any expression of this kind would give rise to some contempt; and
unfeeling people are irritated when anything is said against pity. 259

It is the most sensual men who find it necessary to avoid women and to
torture their bodies. 261

A young man can be most surely corrupted when he is taught to value the
like-minded more highly than the differently minded. 262

The general knowledge of mankind has been furthered to a greater extent
by fear than by love. 267

The sum-total of those internal movements which come naturally to men,
and which they can consequently set in motion readily and gracefully,
is called the soul--men are looked upon as void of soul when they let
it be seen that their inward emotions are difficult and painful to
them. 268

All rules have this effect: they distract our attention from the
fundamental aim of the rule, and make us more thoughtless. 273

We are most certain to find idealistic theories among unscrupulously
practical men; for such men stand in need of the lustre of these
theories for the sake of their reputation. They adopt them
instinctively without by any means feeling hypocritical in doing so--no
more hypocritical than Englishmen with their Christianity and their
Sabbath-keeping. 277

It is not sufficient to prove a case, we must also tempt or raise men
to it. 278

Asceticism is the proper mode of thinking for those who must extirpate
their carnal instincts, because these are ferocious beasts,--but only
for such people! 278

You refuse to be dissatisfied with yourselves or to suffer from
yourselves, and this you call your moral tendency! Very well; another
may perhaps call it your cowardice! One thing, however, is certain,
and that is, that you will never take a trip round the world (and you
yourselves are this world), and you will always remain in yourselves an
accident and a clod on the face of the earth! 282

The first effect of happiness is the feeling of power, and this
feeling longs to manifest itself, whether towards ourselves or other
men, or towards ideas and imaginary beings. Its most common modes of
manifestation are making presents, derision, and destruction--all three
being due to a common fundamental instinct. 286

We approve of marriage in the first place because we are not yet
acquainted with it, in the second place because we have accustomed
ourselves to it, and in the third place because we have contracted
it--that is to say, in most cases. And yet nothing has been proved
thereby in favour of the value of marriage in general. 287

The criminal who has been found out does not suffer because of the
crime he has committed, but because of the shame and annoyance caused
him either by some blunder which he has made or by being deprived of
his habitual element. 289

Where our deficiencies are, there also is our enthusiasm. The
enthusiastic principle "love your enemies" had to be invented by the
Jews, the best haters that ever existed; and the finest glorifications
of chastity have been written by those who in their youth led dissolute
and licentious lives. 293

Women turn pale at the thought that their lover may not be worthy of
them; Men turn pale at the thought that they may not be worthy of the
women they love. I speak of perfect women, perfect men. 300-301

You wish to bid farewell to your passion? Very well, but do so without
hatred against it! Otherwise you have a second passion.--The soul
of the Christian who has freed himself from sin is generally ruined
afterwards by the hatred for sin. Just look at the faces of the great
Christians! they are the faces of great haters. 302

Men have become suffering creatures in consequence of their morals,
and the sum-total of what they have obtained by those morals is simply
the feeling that they are far too good and great for this world, and
that they are enjoying merely a transitory existence on it. As yet the
"proud sufferer" is the highest type of mankind. 309-310

Rights can only be conferred by one who is in full possession of power.

"The rule always appears to me to be more interesting than the
exception"--whoever thinks thus has made considerable progress in
knowledge, and is one of the initiated. 319

Through our love we have become dire offenders against truth, and even
habitual dissimulators and thieves, who give out more things as true
than seem to us to be true. 337-333

All the great excellencies of ancient humanity owed their stability to
the fact that man was standing side by side with man, and that no woman
was allowed to put forward the claim of being the nearest and highest,
nay even sole object of his love, as the feeling of passion would
teach. 351

Even if we were mad enough to consider all our opinions as truth, we
should nevertheless not wish them alone to exist. I cannot see why we
should ask for an autocracy and omnipotence of truth: it is sufficient
for me to know that it is a great power. Truth, however, must meet with
opposition and be able to fight, and we must be able to rest from it at
times in falsehood--otherwise truth will grow tiresome, powerless, and
insipid, and will render us equally so. 352-353.

To hear every day what is said about us, or even to endeavour to
discover what people think about us, will in the end kill even the
strongest man. Our neighbours permit us to live only that they may
exercise a daily claim upon us! They certainly would not tolerate us
if we wished to claim rights over them, and still less if we wished to
be right! In short, let us offer up a sacrifice to the general peace,
let us not listen when they speak of us, when they praise us, blame us,
wish for us, or hope for us--nay, let us not even think of it. 357

How many really individual actions are left undone merely because
before performing them we perceive or suspect that they will be
misunderstood!--those actions, for example, which have some intrinsic
value, both in good and evil. The more highly an age or a nation values
its individuals, therefore, and the more right and ascendency we accord
them, the more will actions of this kind venture to make themselves
known, 359-360.

Love wishes to spare the other to whom it devotes itself any feeling
of strangeness: as a consequence it is permeated with disguise and
simulation; it keeps on deceiving continuously, and feigns an equality
which in reality does not exist. And all this is done so instinctively
that women who love deny this simulation and constant tender trickery,
and have even the audacity to assert that love equalises (in other
words that it performs a miracle)! 361

Truth in itself is no power at all.... Truth must either attract power
to its side, or else side with power, for otherwise it will perish
again and again. 363

We should ... take the greatest precautions in regard to everything
connected with old age and its judgment upon life.... The reverence
which we feel for an old man, especially if he is an old thinker and
sage, easily blinds us to the deterioration of his intellect. 368

We must not make passion an argument for truth. 372

Have you experienced history within yourselves, commotions,
earthquakes, long and profound sadness, and sudden flashes of
happiness? Have you acted foolishly with great and little fools? Have
you really undergone the delusions and woe of the good people? and also
the woe and the peculiar happiness of the most evil? Then you may speak
to me of morality, but not otherwise! 376

"What do I matter?" is written over the door of the thinker of the
future. 379

The great man ever remains invisible in the greatest thing that claims
worship, like some distant star: his victory over power remains without
witnesses, and hence also without songs and singers. The hierarchy of
the great men in all the past history of the human race has not yet
been determined. 380

Whether what we are looking forward to is a thought or a deed, our
relationship to every essential achievement is none other than that
of pregnancy, and all our vainglorious boasting about "willing" and
"creating" should be cast to the winds! True and ideal selfishness
consists in always watching over and restraining the soul, so that our
productiveness may come to a beautiful termination. ... Still, these
pregnant ones are funny people! Let us therefore dare to be funny also,
and not reproach others if they must be the same. 384-385

Honest towards ourselves, and to all and everything friendly to us;
brave in the face of our enemy; generous towards the vanquished; polite
at all times: such do the four cardinal virtues wish us to be. 387

There is no "eternal justice" which requires that every fault shall
be atoned and paid for,--the belief that such a justice existed was a
terrible delusion, and useful only to a limited extent; just as it is
also a delusion that everything is guilt which is felt as such. It is
not the things themselves, but the opinions about things that do not
exist, which have been such a source of trouble to mankind. 391

What is the most efficacious remedy?--Victory. 393

The snake that cannot cast its skin perishes. So too with those minds
which are prevented from changing their views: they cease to be minds.


"The Joyful Wisdom"

In 1882 Nietzsche wrote and published "The Joyful Wisdom" ("_La Gay
a Scienza_"). Although originally intended as a supplement to "The
Dawn of Day," under which title it was to have been issued in a later
edition of this earlier work, it differs greatly, not only from "The
Dawn of Day," but from everything else Nietzsche ever wrote. The
destructive spirit of "Human, All-Too-Human" is nowhere to be found in
it. The revolutionary doctrines of "The Dawn of Day" are but vaguely
echoed. It is a book which shows Nietzsche in a unique and isolated
mood--a mood which, throughout his whole life did not return to him.
Temperamentally "The Joyful Wisdom" comes nearer being a parallel to
"Thus Spake Zarathustra" than to any of his other writings. But even
this comparison goes to pieces when pushed beyond the most superficial
aspects of the two books. Nietzsche was at Naumburg at the time of
writing this work. A long-standing stomach malady had suddenly shown
signs of leaving him, and the period during which he wrote "The Joyful
Wisdom" was one of the happiest of his life. Heretofore a sombre
seriousness had marked both his thoughts and the expression of them. In
the two volumes of "Human, All-Too-Human" he had attempted a complete
devastation of all codes and ideals. In "The Dawn of Day" he waged a
bitter and serious warfare on modern moral standards and made attempts
at supplanting them with new dogma. In "The Joyful Wisdom" he revealed
an entirely new phase of his character--a lenient, jovial, almost
buoyant attitude toward the world.

Although "The Joyful Wisdom" may be considered in the light of an
interpolation into Nietzsche's philosophical works, the book is
nevertheless among the most interesting of his output--not so much
because it gives us any additions to the sum of his thinking, but
because it throws a light on the philosopher himself. It may be lifted
bodily out of his works without leaving a gap in the development of
his doctrines, but it cannot be set aside without closing up a very
important and significant facet in the man's nature. Unfortunately
Nietzsche is looked upon as a man who was entirely consumed with
rancour and hatred--a man unconscious of the comic side of existence--a
thinker with whom pessimism was chronic. But this is only a half
truth, a conclusion founded on partial evidence. Nietzsche's very
earnestness at times defeated his own ends. "The Joyful Wisdom" is one
of the most fundamentally hilarious books ever written. It deals with
life as a supreme bit of humour. Yet there is little in it to provoke
laughter. Nietzsche's humour is deeper than the externals. One finds
no superficial jesting here, no smartness, no transient buffoonery.
The book is a glorification of that subtle joy which accompanies the
experiencing of knowledge. In order to catch its spirit it is necessary
that one be familiar with the serious and formulating Nietzsche, for
on his most serious doctrines is founded that attitude which makes
"The Joyful Wisdom" hilarious. Once familiar with Nietzsche's earlier
writings one may read the present book with a feeling of exhilaration
unlike that produced by his more manifestly solemn writings.

However, despite the buoyancy of this document, it is, beneath the
surface, as serious as anything Nietzsche has ever written. His
conception of the world and his assumption of the underlying aspects of
existence are founded on deeply conceived formulas. It must be borne
in mind that Nietzsche's thought is in a large measure personal, that
the development of his doctrines is due to very definite biographical
causes and to the flux and reflux of his own emotions. His system is
not a spontaneous and complete conception, the sudden fruit of his
entire research given to the world in a unified body. To the contrary,
it is an amassing of data, a constant building up of ideas. No one book
contains his entire teachings, logically thought out and carefully
organised. Rather is his philosophy an intricate structure which begins
with his earliest essays and does not reach completion until the end
of "The Will to Power." Each book has some specific place in his
thought: each book assumes a position relative to all the rest. Thus in
"The Joyful Wisdom" we have the turning point between the denying and
destructive Nietzsche and the asserting and fashioning Nietzsche. Says
he in the fourth and most important section called "Sanctus Januarius":
_"Amor fati:[1]_ let that henceforth be my love! I do not want to wage
war with the ugly. I do not want to accuse, I do not want even to
accuse the accusers. _Looking aside,_ let that be my sole negation!
And all in all, to sum up: I wish to be at any time hereafter only a

In "The Joyful Wisdom" begins Nietzsche's almost fanatical joy in
life. Here, too, we encounter for the first time the symbol of the
dance. Nietzsche constantly makes use of this figure in his later
writings. Especially in "Thus Spake Zarathustra" does he exhort his
readers to indulge themselves in dancing. The blasphemies and hatreds
characteristic of the philosopher in his more solemn moods are
nowhere discernible in this new book. It is therefore of considerable
importance to the student in forming a just estimate of Nietzsche. Here
the hater has departed; the idol-smasher has laid down his weapons;
the analyst has become the satyr; the logician has turned poet; the
blasphemer has become the child. Only occasionally does the pendulum
swing toward the sombre Apollonian pole: the Dionysian ideal of joy is
dominant. The month of January inspired the book, and Nietzsche says
in his _Ecce Homo_ that it was the most wonderful month of January he
had ever spent. This spirit of gaiety was to remain with him in some
degree throughout the remainder of his life. He realised that his
preparatory work was completed. He saw his way clear to forge ahead
as his doctrines led him; and his exuberance no doubt grew out of the
satisfaction he took in this prospect.

Although the contents of "The Joyful Wisdom" are not inherently a
part of Nietzsche's philosophy, but only detached applications of his
theories--ideas which floated to the surface of his doctrines--the
material encountered here is of wide and varied interest. There are
criticisms of German and Southern culture; valuations of modern
authors; views on the developments of art; theories of music; analyses
of Schopenhauer and an explanation of his vogue; judgments of the
ancient and the modern theatre; excursions into philological fields;
arraignments of contemporary classicism; doctrines of creative
artistry; personal paragraphs on mental culture, politics and commerce.
... The book is, in fact, more critical than philosophical.

Nietzsche never entirely dissevered himself from his time and
from the habits, both of thought and action, which characterised
his contemporaries. From his first academic essays to his last
transvaluation of values, he remained the patient and analytical
observer of the life about him. For this reason it has been argued
among disciples of "pure" thinking that he was not, in the strictest
sense of the word, a "philosopher," but rather a critically
intellectual force. This diagnosis might carry weight had not
Nietzsche avowedly built his philosophical structure on a repudiation
of abstract thinking. This misunderstanding of him arose from the
adherents of rational thinking overlooking the fact that, where the
older philosophers had detached themselves from reality because of the
instability of natural hypotheses, Nietzsche re-established human bases
on which he founded his syllogisms. Therefore one should not attempt
to divorce the purely critical from the purely philosophical in his
writings. Even in a book so frankly critical as "The Joyful Wisdom"
there is a directing force of theoretical unity.

This is especially true of the third section. This division is made up
almost entirely of comments on men and affairs, short analyses of human
attitudes, desultory excursions into the sociological, brief remarks on
man's emotional nature, apothegms dealing with human attributes, bits
of racy philosophical gossip, religious and scientific maxims, and the
like. Sometimes these observations are cynical, sometimes gracious,
sometimes bitter, sometimes buoyant, sometimes merely witty. But all
of them are welded together by a profound conception of humanity.

The most stimulating division of the book is the fourth, in which
Nietzsche's good humour is at its height. This section is a
glorification of victory and of all those hardy qualities which go
into the perfecting of the individual. Nietzsche reverses Schiller's
famous doctrine expressed in "_Die Braut von Messina_": "Life is not of
all good the highest." He sees no good over and beyond that of human
relationships. The normal instincts to him are the ones which affirm
life; the abnormal instincts are those which deny it. The former are
summed up in the ethics of Greece under the sway of Dionysus; the
latter are epitomised in the Christian religion.

The fifth book, called "We Fearless Ones," and the appendix of "Songs
of Prince Free-as-a-Bird" were written four years later than the other
material and added with an introduction in a later edition of the book.
These addenda, while less specific and of a more dialectic nature than
the preceding parts, are in spirit manifestly the same as the rest of
the book.

In "The Joyful Wisdom" we have again an aphoristic style of writing,
although it has become keener and more sure of itself since "Human,
All-Too-Human" and "The Dawn of Day." In making selections from this
book I have chosen those passages which are more general in tone. The
connection between the various aphorisms is here even slighter than
is Nietzsche's wont, and for that reason no attempt has been made to
present a continuous perception of the work. However, the excerpts
which follow, though of a less popular nature, are more intimately
related to his thoughts than the ones omitted, and consequently are of
more interest to the student.

[Footnote 1: Love of (one's) destiny.]


Whether I look with a good or an evil eye upon men, I find them always
at one problem, each and all of them: to do that which conduces to the
conservation of the human species. 31

To laugh at oneself as one would have to laugh in order to laugh _out
of the veriest truth,_--to do this the best have not hitherto had
enough of the sense of truth, and the most endowed have had far too
little genius! There is perhaps still a future even for laughter! 32

The ignoble nature is distinguished by the fact that it keeps its
advantage steadily in view, and that this thought of the end and
advantage is even stronger than its strongest impulse: not to be
tempted to inexpedient activities by its impulses--that is its
wisdom and inspiration. In comparison with the ignoble nature the
higher nature is more irrational:--for the noble, magnanimous, and
self-sacrificing person succumbs in fact to his impulses, and in his
best moments his reason _lapses_ altogether. 37

The strongest and most evil spirits have hitherto advanced mankind the
most: they always rekindled the sleeping passions--all orderly arranged
society lulls the passions to sleep. 39

The lust of property and love: what different associations each of
these ideas evokes!--and yet it might be the same impulse twice named.

The poison by which the weaker nature is destroyed is strengthening to
the strong individual--and he does not call it poison. 56-57

The virtues of a man are called _good,_ not in respect of the results
they have for himself, but in respect of the results which we expect
therefrom for ourselves and for society.... The praise of the virtues
is the praise of something which is privately injurious to the
individual; it is praise of impulses which deprive man of his noblest
self-love, and the power to take the best care of himself.... The
"neighbour" praises unselfishness because _he profits by it!_ If the
neighbour were "unselfishly" disposed himself, he would reject that
destruction of power, that injury for _his advantage,_ he would thwart
such inclinations in their origin, and above all he would manifest his
unselfishness just by _not giving it a good name!_ 58-60

Living--that is to be cruel and inexorable towards all that becomes
weak and old in ourselves, and not only in ourselves. 68

It is probable that the manufacturers and great magnates of commerce
have hitherto lacked too much all those forms and attributes of a
_superior race,_ which alone make persons interesting; if they had
had the nobility of the newly-born in their looks and bearing, there
would perhaps have been no socialism in the masses of the people. For
these are really ready for _slavery_ of every kind, provided that
the superior class above them constantly shows itself legitimately
superior, and _born_ to command--by its noble presence! 78

When one continually prohibits the expression of the passions as
something to be left to the "vulgar," to coarser, bourgeois, and
peasant natures--that is, when one does not want to suppress the
passions themselves, but only their language and demeanour, one
nevertheless realises _therewith_ just what one does not want: the
suppression of the passions themselves, or at least their weakening and
alteration.... 83

In magnanimity there is the same amount of egoism as in revenge....

Where bad eyesight can no longer see the evil impulse as such,
on account of its refinement,--there man sets up the kingdom of
goodness.... 88

To become the advocate of the rule--that may perhaps be the ultimate
form and refinement in which nobility of character will reveal itself
on earth. 90

Women are all skilful in exaggerating their weaknesses, indeed they are
inventive in weaknesses, so as to seem quite fragile ornaments to which
even a grain of dust does harm; their existence is meant to bring home
to man's mind his coarseness, and to appeal to his conscience. 101

There is something quite astonishing and extraordinary in the education
of women of the higher class; indeed, there is perhaps nothing more
paradoxical. All the world is agreed to educate them with as much
ignorance as possible _in erotics,_ and to inspire their soul with a
profound shame of such things, and the extremest impatience and horror
at the suggestion of them. It is really here only that all the "honour"
of women is at stake; what would one not forgive in them in other
respects! But here they are intended to remain ignorant to the very
backbone:--they are intended to have neither eyes, ears, words, nor
thoughts for this, their "wickedness"; indeed knowledge here is already
evil. And then! To be hurled as with an awful thunderbolt into reality
and knowledge with marriage--and indeed by him whom they most love and
esteem: to have to encounter love and shame in contradiction, yea, to
have to feel rapture, abandonment, duty, sympathy, and fright at the
unexpected proximity of God and animal, and whatever else besides! all
at once!--There, in fact, a psychic entanglement has been effected
which is quite unequalled! Even the sympathetic curiosity of the wisest
discerner of men does not suffice to divine how this or that woman
gets along with the solution of this enigma and the enigma of this
solution; what dreadful, far-reaching suspicions must awaken thereby
in the poor unhinged soul; and forsooth, how the ultimate philosophy
and scepticism of the woman casts anchor at this point!--Afterwards the
same profound silence as before: and often even a silence to herself,
a shutting of her eyes to herself.--Young wives on that account make
great efforts to appear superficial and thoughtless; the most ingenious
of them simulate a kind of impudence.--Wives easily feel their husbands
as a question-mark to their honour, and their children as an apology or
atonement,--they require children, and wish for them in quite another
spirit than a husband wishes for them.--In short, one cannot be gentle
enough towards women! 104-105

Of what consequence is all our art in artistic products, if that higher
art, the art of the festival, be lost by us? 124

The best thing I could say in honour of Shakespeare, _the man,_ is that
he believed in Brutus and cast not a shadow of suspicion on the kind of
virtue which Brutus represents! 131

We must rest from ourselves occasionally by contemplating and looking
down upon ourselves, and by laughing or weeping _over_ ourselves from
an artistic remoteness: we must discover the _hero,_ and likewise the
_fool,_ that is hidden in our passion for knowledge; we must now and
then be joyful in our folly, that we may continue to be joyful in our
wisdom! And just because we are heavy and serious men in our ultimate
depth, and are rather weights than men, there is nothing that does us
so much good as the _fool's cap and bells:_ we need them in presence of
ourselves--we need all arrogant, soaring, dancing, mocking, childish
and blessed Art, in order not to lose the _free dominion over things_
which our ideal demands of us. 146

The general character of the world ... is to all eternity chaos;
not by the absence of necessity, but in the sense of the absence of
order, structure, form, beauty, wisdom, and whatever else our æsthetic
humanities are called. Judged by our reason, the unlucky casts are far
oftenest the rule, the exceptions are not the secret purpose; and the
whole musical box repeats eternally its air, which can never be called
a melody,--and finally the very expression, "unlucky cast" is already
an anthropomorphising which involves blame. But how could we presume to
blame or praise the universe! Let us be on our guard against ascribing
to it heartlessness and unreason, or their opposites; it is neither
perfect, nor beautiful, nor noble; nor does it seek to be anything of
the kind, it does not at all attempt to imitate man! It is altogether
unaffected by our æsthetic and moral judgments! Neither has it any
self-preservative instinct, nor instinct at all; it also knows no law.
Let us be on our guard against saying that there are laws in nature.
There are only necessities: there is no one who commands, no one who
obeys, no one who transgresses. When you know that there is no design,
you know also that there is no chance: for it is only where there is a
world of design that the word "chance" has a meaning. Let us be on our
guard against saying that death is contrary to life. The living being
is only a species of dead being, and a very rare species.--Let us be on
our guard against thinking that the world eternally creates the new.
There are no eternally enduring substances; matter is just another such
error as the God of the Eleatics. 152-153.

Man has been reared by his errors: firstly, he saw himself always
imperfect; secondly, he attributed to himself imaginary qualities;
thirdly, he felt himself in a false position in relation to the animals
and nature; fourthly, he always devised new tables of values, and
accepted them for a time as eternal and unconditioned, so that at one
time this, and at another time that human impulse or state stood first,
and was ennobled in consequence. When one has deducted the effect of
these four errors, one has also deducted humanity, humaneness, and
"human dignity." 160

Morality is the herd-instinct in the individual. 161

There is no such thing as health in itself, and all attempts to define
a thing in that way have lamentably failed. It is necessary to know thy
aim, thy horizon, thy powers, thy impulses, thy errors, and especially
the ideals and fantasies of thy soul, in order to determine _what_
health implies even for thy _body._ 163

Mystical explanations are regarded as profound; the truth is that they
do not even go the length of being superficial. 169

I set the following propositions against those of Schopenhauer
--Firstly, in order that Will may arise, an idea of pleasure and pain
is necessary. Secondly, that a vigorous excitation may be felt as
pleasure or pain, is the affair of the interpreting intellect, which,
to be sure, operates thereby for the most part unconsciously to us,
and one and the same excitation _may_ be interpreted as pleasure
or pain. Thirdly, it is only in an intellectual being that there is
pleasure, displeasure and Will; the immense majority of organisms have
nothing of the kind. 171

Prayer has been devised for such men as have never any thoughts of
their own, and to whom an elevation of the soul is unknown, or passes
unnoticed. 171

Sin, as it is at present felt wherever Christianity prevails or has
prevailed, is a Jewish feeling and a Jewish invention. 174

A Jesus Christ was only possible in a Jewish landscape--I mean in one
over which the gloomy and sublime thunder-cloud of the angry Jehovah
hung continually. 176

Where there is ruling there are masses: where there are masses there is
need of slavery. Where there is slavery the individuals are but few,
and have the instincts and conscience of the herd opposed to them. 183

We love the _grandeur_ of Nature and have discovered it; that is
because human grandeur is lacking in our minds. 186

Egoism is the _perspective_ law of our sentiment, according to which
the near appears large and momentous, while in the distance the
magnitude and importance of all things diminish. 187

He who knows that he is profound strives for clearness; he who would
like to appear profound to the multitude strives for obscurity. The
multitude thinks everything profound of which it cannot see the bottom;
it is so timid and goes so unwillingly into the water. 190

Thoughts are the shadows of our sentiments--always, however, obscurer,
emptier, and simpler. 192

**To laugh means to love mischief, but with a good conscience. 196

Virtue gives happiness and a state of blessedness only to those who
have a strong faith in their virtue:--not, however, to the more refined
souls whose virtue consists of a profound distrust of themselves and
of all virtue. After all, therefore, it is "faith that saves" here
also!--and be it well observed, not _virtue_! 198

Although the most intelligent judges of the witches, and even the
witches themselves, were convinced of the guilt of witchcraft, the
guilt, nevertheless, was not there. So it is with all guilt. 205

It makes me happy to see that men do not want to think at all of the
idea of death! I would fain do something to make the idea of life even
a hundred times _more worthy of their attention._ 215-216

I greet all the signs indicating that a more manly and warlike age is
commencing, which will, above all, bring heroism again into honour!
For it has to prepare the way for a yet higher age, and gather the
force which the latter will one day require,--the age which will carry
heroism into knowledge, and _wage war_ for the sake of ideas and their
consequences. 218-219

They are disagreeable to me, those men in whom every natural
inclination forthwith becomes a disease, something disfiguring, or
even disgraceful. _They_ have seduced us to the opinion that the
inclinations and impulses of men are evil; _they_ are the cause of our
great injustice to our own nature, and to all nature! There are enough
of men who _may_ yield to their impulses gracefully and carelessly: but
they do not do so, for fear of that imaginary "evil thing" in nature!
_That is the cause_ why there is so little nobility to be found among
men: the indication of which will always be to have no fear of oneself,
to expect nothing disgraceful from oneself, to fly without hesitation
whithersoever we are impelled--we free-born birds! Wherever we come,
there will always be freedom and sunshine around us. 229

Every one knows at present that the ability to endure contradiction is
a high indication of culture. Some people even know that the higher man
courts opposition, and provokes it, so as to get a cue to his hitherto
unknown partiality. But the _ability_ to contradict, the attainment of
_good_ conscience in hostility to the accustomed, the traditional and
the hallowed,--that is more than both the above-named abilities, and is
the really great, new and astonishing thing in our culture, the step of
all steps of the emancipated intellect: who knows that? 232

In the main all those moral systems are distasteful to me which say:
"Do not do this! Renounce! Overcome thyself!" On the other hand I am
favourable to those moral systems which stimulate me to do something,
and to do it again from morning till evening, and dream of it at
night, and think of nothing else but to do it _well,_ as well as it is
possible for _me_ alone!... 238

In pain there is as much wisdom as in pleasure: like the latter it
is one of the best self-preservatives of a species. Were it not so,
pain would long ago have been done away with; that it is hurtful is no
argument against it, for to be hurtful is its very essence. 247

One form of honesty has always been lacking among founders of religions
and their kin:--they have never made their experiences a matter of the
intellectual conscience. ... But we who are different, who are thirsty
for reason, want to look as carefully into our experiences, as in the
case of a scientific experiment, hour by hour, day by day! We ourselves
want to be our own experiments, and our own subjects of experiment. 248

Let us no longer think so much about punishing, blaming, improving!
We shall seldom be able to alter an individual, and if we should
succeed in doing so, something else may also succeed, perhaps unawares:
_we_ may have been altered by him! Let us rather see to it that our
own influence on _all that is to come_ outweighs and overweighs his
influence! Let us not struggle in direct conflict!--all blaming,
punishing, and desire to improve comes under this category. 249

Who could know how to laugh well and live well, who did not first
understand the full meaning of war and victory? 250

That delightful animal, man, seems to lose his good-humour whenever he
thinks well; he becomes "serious"! And "where there is laughing and
gaiety, thinking cannot be worth anything:"--so speaks the prejudice of
this serious animal against all "Joyful Wisdom." 252-253

If you had thought more acutely, observed more accurately, and had
learned more, you would no longer under all circumstances call this
and that your "duty" and your "conscience": the knowledge _how moral
judgments have in general always originated,_ would make you tired of
these pathetic words.... 261

We _would seek to become what we are,_--the new, the unique, the
incomparable, making laws for ourselves and creating ourselves! And for
this purpose we must become the best students and discoverers of all
the laws and necessities in the world. We must be _physicists_ in order
to be _creators_ in that sense,--whereas hitherto all appreciations and
ideals have been based on _ignorance_ of physics, or in _contradiction_
to it. 203

Our "benefactors" lower our value and volition more than our enemies.

It is always a _metaphysical belief_ on which our belief in science
rests,--and that even we knowing ones of to-day, the godless and
anti-metaphysical, still take _our_ fire from the conflagration kindled
by a belief a millennium old, the Christian belief, which was also the
belief of Plato, that God is truth, that the truth is divine. 279

Belief is always most desired, most pressingly needed where there
is a lack of will: for the will, as emotion of command, is the
distinguishing characteristic of sovereignty and power. That is to say,
the less a person knows how to command, the more urgent is his desire
for one who commands, who commands sternly,--a God, a prince, a caste,
a physician, a confessor, a dogma, a party conscience. 286

To seek self-preservation merely, is the expression of a state of
distress, or of limitation of the true, fundamental instinct of life,
which aims at the _extension of power,_ and with this in view often
enough calls in question self-preservation and sacrifices it. 289

The subtlety and strength of consciousness are always in proportion
to the _capacity for communication_ of a man (or an animal), the
capacity for communication in its turn being in proportion to the
_necessity for_ communication. ... _Consciousness generally has only
been developed under the pressure of the necessity for communication,_
--that from the first it has been necessary and useful only between man
and man (especially between those commanding and those obeying), and
has only developed in proportion to its utility. 296-297

The Church is under all circumstances a _nobler_ institution than the
State. 314

It seems to me one of my most essential steps and advances that I have
learned to distinguish the cause of the action generally from the
cause of action in a particular manner, say, in this direction, with
this aim. The first kind of cause is a quantum of stored-up force,
which waits to be used in some manner, for some purpose; the second
kind of cause, on the contrary, is something quite unimportant in
comparison with the first, an insignificant hazard for the most part,
in conformity with which the quantum of force in question "discharges"
itself in some unique and definite manner: the lucifer-match in
relation to the barrel of gunpowder. 317

I will never admit that we should speak of _equal_ rights in the love
of man and woman: there are no such equal rights. The reason is that
man and woman understand something different by the term love,--and it
belongs to the conditions of love in both sexes that the one sex does
_not_ presuppose the same feeling, the same conception of "love," in
the other sex. What woman understands by love is clear enough: complete
surrender (not merely devotion) of soul and body, without any motive,
without any reservation, rather with shame and terror at the thought
of a devotion restricted by clauses or associated with conditions. In
this absence of conditions her love is precisely a _faith:_ woman has
no other.--Man, when he loves a woman, _wants_ precisely this love from
her; he is consequently, as regards himself, furthest removed from the
prerequisites of feminine love; granted, however, that there should
also be men to whom on their side the demand for complete devotion is
not unfamiliar,--well, they are really--not men. A man who loves like
a woman becomes thereby a slave: a woman, however, who loves like a
woman becomes thereby a _more perfect_ woman.... Woman wants to be
taken and accepted as a possession, she wishes to be merged in the
conceptions of "possession" and "possessed"; consequently she wants
one who _takes,_ who does not offer and give himself away, but who
reversely is rather to be made richer in "himself"--by the increase
of power, happiness and faith which the woman herself gives to him.
Woman gives herself, man takes her.--I do not think one will get over
this natural contrast by any social contract, or with the very best
will to do justice, however desirable it may be to avoid bringing the
severe, frightful, enigmatical, and unmoral elements of this antagonism
constantly before our eyes. For love, regarded as complete, great,
and full, is nature, and as nature, is to all eternity something
"unmoral."--_Fidelity_ is accordingly included in woman's love, it
follows from the definition thereof; with man fidelity _may_ readily
result in consequence of his love, perhaps as gratitude or idiosyncrasy
of taste, and so-called elective affinity, but it does not belong
to the _essence_ of his love--and indeed so little, that one might
almost be entitled to speak of a natural opposition between love and
fidelity in man, whose love is just a desire to possess, and _not_ a
renunciation and giving away; the desire to possess, however, comes to
an end every time with the possession. 321-323

Everything that is thought, versified, painted and composed, yea, even
built and moulded, belongs either to monologic art, or to art before
witnesses. Under the latter there is also to be included the apparently
monologic art which involves the belief in God, the whole lyric of
prayer; because for a pious man there is no solitude,--we, the godless,
have been the first to devise this invention. 328

A "scientific" interpretation of the world as you understand it might
consequently still be one of the _stupidest,_ that is to say, the most
destitute of significance, of all possible world-interpretations....
An essentially mechanical world would be an essentially _meaningless
World!_ 339-340

We, the new, the nameless, the hard-to-understand, we firstlings of a
yet untried future--we require for a new end also a new means, namely,
a new healthiness, stronger, sharper, tougher, bolder and merrier than
any healthiness hitherto. 351

Another ideal runs on before us, a strange, tempting ideal, full of
danger, to which we should not like to persuade any one, because we
do not so readily acknowledge any one's _right thereto:_ the ideal
of a spirit who plays naively (that is to say involuntarily and from
overflowing abundance and power) with everything that has hitherto been
called holy, good, inviolable, divine; to whom the loftiest conception
which the people have reasonably made their measure of value, would
already imply danger, ruin, abasement, or at least relaxation,
blindness, or temporary self-forgetfulness; the ideal of a humanly
superhuman welfare and benevolence, which may often enough appear
_inhuman._ ... 352-353


"Thus Spake Zarathustra"

He student of Nietzsche can well afford to leave the reading of "Thus
Spake Zarathustra" _("Also Sprach Zarathustra")_ until he has prepared
himself for the task by studying Nietzsche's other and less obscure
books. In both its conception and execution it differs markedly from
all the works which preceded and followed it. It is written in an
archaic and poetical style, and in many places is purposely obscure.
Nietzsche did not intend it for the general public, and the fourth part
was not published until seven years after its completion. It would
have been better had "Zarathustra" been withheld from the presses
until Nietzsche's other works had gained a wider recognition, for
it unfortunately lays itself open to all manner of misunderstanding
and misinterpretation. In fact, it is impossible to read "Thus Spake
Zarathustra" comprehendingly until several of the other books of this
philosopher, such as "The Dawn of Day," "The Genealogy of Morals" and
"Beyond Good and Evil," have been consumed and assimilated.

Unfortunately this book, because of the attractive medium of its
style, was one of the first to fall into the hands of English speaking
people. For many years it was the principal source of the many
false accusations against Nietzsche which gained wide circulation.
The figures of speech contained in it and the numerous parables
which are used to set forth its ideas lend themselves all too
easily to falsities of judgment and erroneous evaluations. Reading
the book unpreparedly one may find what appear to be unexplainable
contradictions and ethical sophistries. Above all, one may wrongly
sense the absence of that higher ethical virtue which is denied
Nietzsche in quarters where he is least understood, but which every
close student of his works knows to form the basis of his thought.

Nietzsche began the writing of "Thus Spake Zarathustra" early in the
year 1883, and he did not finish it until the middle of February,
1885. The actual conception of the book came much before this time
even, as far back as the summer of 1881. This is when the idea of
eternal recurrence first took possession of him. At once he began
making notes, using this idea as the basis of Zarathustra's teachings.
At this time Nietzsche was just recovering from a siege of ill health
which had extended over many years, and no doubt the buoyant and
rhapsodic form in which he conceived this work was due to his sudden
acquisition of bodily health. The first part was written in ten days,
the second part a few months later, and the third part in the autumn of
the same year. But it was not until after a lapse of eighteen months
that the fourth and last section was completed. Because of this long
interval we see a radical difference between the first three parts of
the book and the last part. The language remains very much the same
throughout--spectacular, poetic and symbolic--but the form is changed.
The epigrammatic and non-sequacious mandates give way to a long
connected parable. The psalmodie brevity of the utterances of the first
three sections is supplanted by description and narrative. A story
runs through the entire fourth part; and it is in the obscurities of
this fable, rather than in any specific statements, that we must seek
the gist of Nietzsche's doctrines. This would be an impossible task
were we not more or less familiar with his other books. Yet, once we
understand the general trend of his thought, we can penetrate at once
to the meanings hidden in the fantastic divagations of his story and
can understand the dithyrambic utterances of both Zarathustra and the
"higher men" in the cave.

"Thus Spake Zarathustra" is unique for the reason that there are few
points in Nietzsche's system of ethic--and for the most part they are
the unimportant ones--which we cannot find somewhere in its pages. But
do not think that one can grasp an idea of the sweep of his entire
thought merely by reading this book. Even in the most simply worded and
most lucidly phrased passages one would find difficulty in following
the steps in his philosophy, unless there had been considerable
preparatory study. To be sure, there are numerous isolated epigrams
and bits of observation which are easily understood, but their mere
isolation very often robs them of the true meaning they hold when
related to the other precepts. The very literalness with which these
passages have been taken by those who have read "Zarathustra" before
studying any of the other works of Nietzsche, accounts in a large
measure for the ignorance in which he is held even by those who profess
to have read him and understood him. A philosophy such as his, the
outposts of which are so far removed from the routine of our present
social life, is naturally hampered by the restricted connotation of
current words--even those technical words used to express abstract and
infinite things. For this reason it is inevitable that false meanings
should attach to many of his statements, and that misunderstandings
should arise in quarters where there does not exist a previous general
knowledge of the co-ordinated structure of his teachings. This general
knowledge cannot be gained from "Thus Spake Zarathustra." Many of its
pages are entirely without significance to the reader not already
acquainted with Nietzsche's thought. And much of its nomenclature is
meaningless without the explanations to be found in the main body of
his work.

For the reader, however, who picks up this book after having equipped
himself for an understanding of it, there is much of fascination and
stimulation. Nietzsche regarded it as his most intimate and personal,
and therefore his most important, work. He even had plans for two
more parts which were to be included in it. But these were never
finished. The indifference with which the book was received, even
by those on whose sympathy and understanding he had most counted,
reacted unfavourably upon him. It is nevertheless, just as it stands,
one of the most remarkable pieces of philosophic literature of modern
times. Its form alone makes it unique. Instead of stating his beliefs
directly and without circumlocution, as was always his method both
before and after the writing of this book, Nietzsche chose for his
mouthpiece a poet and philosopher borrowed from the Persians, namely:
Zoroaster. This sage of the ancients was used as a symbol of the higher
man. Into his mouth were put Nietzsche's own ideas in the form of
parables, admonitions, exhortations and discourses. The wanderings and
experiences of this Zoroaster are chronicled, and each event in his
life embodies a meaning in direct accord with the Nietzschean system of

Because of the Persian origin of Zoroaster one might imagine that
influences of Persian philosophy would be discoverable in the teachings
of this nomadic poet. But with the name all similarity between the
spokesman and his doctrines ends. Nietzsche's choice of Zoroaster
as his mouthpiece grew out of his early admiration for the Persians
who, he declared, "were the first to take a broad and comprehensive
view of history." As we see Zoroaster in this book we recognise him
at once as none other than Nietzsche himself; and the experiences
through which he goes in his wanderings are but picturesquely stated
accounts of Nietzsche's own sufferings, raptures, aspirations and
disappointments. To those familiar with Nietzsche's life, many of the
characters introduced in the book will be recognised as portraitures of
men whose lives crossed that of the philosopher. Likewise, many of the
parables and fables are thinly disguised accounts of the incidents in
his own life. In the last part of the book we find Nietzsche creating
a fantastic poet to represent Wagner, and holding him up to severe and
uncompromising criticism.

Zoroaster, as he appears in this book, is an itinerant law-giver
and prophet who seeks the waste places of the earth, the mountains,
plains and sea shores, avoiding mankind and carrying with him two
symbolic animals, an eagle and a snake. At the end of his wanderings
he discovers a lion which is for him the sign that his journey is
drawing to a close, for this lion represents all that is best and
most powerful in nature. The book is comprised of the discourses and
sermons which Zoroaster delivers from day to day to the occasional
disciples and unbelievers who cross the path of his wanderings. There
are conversations between him and his accompanying animals; and in the
last part of the book he gathers together in his cave a number of men
representing types of the higher man and talks with them. In all his
discourses he makes use of a rhapsodic and poetic style, not unlike
that found in the Psalms of David. The text telling of Zoroaster's
wanderings and experiences is cast in the manner of the early religious
books of the Orientals.

"Thus Spake Zarathustra" was the first book to follow "Human,
All-Too-Human," "The Dawn of Day" and "The Joyful Wisdom," and many of
Nietzsche's constructive ideas are presented here for the first time.
Part I is more lucid and can be more easily understood than the parts
which follow. In it Nietzsche designates the classes of humanity and
differentiates between them. His three famous metamorphoses of the
spirit--symbolised by the camel, the lion and the child--are stated
and explained. Here we find the philosopher's most widely quoted
passages pertaining to marriage and child-bearing; his doctrine of
war and peace; and those passages wherein he reverses the beatitudes.
The passions and preferences of the individual are criticised in
their relation to the higher man, and the more obvious instincts are
analysed. Nietzsche outlines methods of conduct, and dissects the
actions and attitudes of his disciples, praising them or blaming them
in accordance with his own values. He presents an illuminating analysis
of charity, and outlines in his chapter, "The Bestowing Virtue," the
conditions under which it may become a means to existence. He poses
the problem of relative morality, and suggests the lines along which
his thesis will be developed at a later date. The superman is defined
briefly but with a completeness sufficient for us to sense his relation
to the philosophical scheme of which he is a part. The conception of
the superman was founded on Darwin's doctrine of organic evolution,
and Nietzsche seeks to bring this superman about by the application
of the law of natural selection and by giving the law of the survival
of the fittest an open field for operation. Here, too, we have the
statement of Nietzsche's racial ideal: the highest exemplars of the
race, and not a standardized goal, is the aim of his philosophy.

In Part II the doctrine of the will to power is clearly set forth in
its framework. The chapter wherein this appears--"Self-Surpassing"--is
merely a brief exposition founded on observation. The development of
this idea is not to be found until toward the end of Nietzsche's life;
but that the theory was clearly conceived in his mind is evidenced by
the fact that it is constantly being applied throughout the remainder
of his works. In its present form it is no more than a statement, but
so clearly is it presented that one is able to grasp its significance
and to determine in just what manner it differed from the Darwinian
and Spencerian doctrines. In this same section are contained many
personal chapters, including an excoriation of his early critics, a
comparison between himself and Schopenhauer, an account of his early
anti-scholastic warfare, a criticism of modern scientific methods, a
reference to his friendship with Wagner, and an expression of regret at
the misunderstanding which greeted his earlier works. One of the final
chapters offers a definition of "profundity" which goes deep into the
very undercurrents of his philosophy.

The most important material to be found in the book is encountered
in Part III. Under the caption, "The Old and the New Tables," we
have an important summing up of the principal teachings in the
Nietzschean philosophical scheme. Here also we meet the doctrine of
eternal recurrence which, as I have said, generated the conception
of this book. Its present statement is limited to a few tentative
speculations; later on it was developed and set forth with greater
force and certainty. But despite the fact that in his autobiography
Nietzsche calls this speculative philosophic doctrine "the highest of
all possible formulæ of a Yea-saying philosophy," too much importance
must not be attached to it in its relation to his writings. In the
first place it was by no means new with him: he himself reconnoitred
a bit in one of his early essays looking for its possible origin. And
in the second place it had little influence on his main doctrine of
the superman. Although he spent considerable time and space in its
elucidation, it never became an integral part of any of his teachings.
Rather was it something superimposed on his other formulæ--a condition
introduced into the actualities of his conception of the universe. I am
inclined to think that he flirted with this idea of recurrence largely
because it was the most disheartening obstacle he could conceive in
the path of the superman; and as no obstacle was too great to be faced
triumphantly by this man of the future, he imposed this condition of
eternal recurrence upon him as an ultimate test of fortitude. This idea
would have added the final touch of futility to ambition, and Nietzsche
could not conceive of true greatness in man unless futility was at
the bottom of all ambitions. However, it is possible to eliminate
the entire idea of eternal recurrence from Nietzsche's work without
altering fundamentally any of his main teachings, for it is, in his
very conception of it, a deputy condition of existence.

Part IV, the narrative section, answers the query often raised: For
whom is Nietzsche's philosophy intended? It does away once and for all
with the assumption of certain critics that his writings were for all
classes. In fact, this assumption, constantly posited by scholars--even
those who claim to possess an intimate knowledge of Nietzsche's
work--is nowhere borne out in his text. As far back as "Thoughts out of
Season" the reverse of this supposition was inferentially stated; and
in "The Antichrist" and "The Will to Power" we have definite denials
that his doctrines were intended for every one. Yet one is constantly
encountering critical refutations of his philosophy based on the theory
that he addressed his teachings to all men. Nothing could be further
from the truth. He held no vision of a race of supermen: a millennium
founded on the exertion of power was neither his aim nor his hope.
His philosophy was entirely aristocratic. It was a system of ethics
designed for the masters of the race; and his books were gifts for
the intelligent man alone. Locke, Rousseau and Hume are often brought
forward by critics as answers to his attempts at transvaluation; but
a close inspection of Nietzsche's definition of slave-morality, which
was an important factor in his ethical scheme, will show that it is
possible to accept the philosophy of the superman without abrogating
the softer ethics of these three other thinkers. Nietzsche's stand in
regard to his audience is made obvious in the fable of Zarathustra. The
poet-philosopher experiences the instinct for pity, but on going out
into the world, he recognises this instinct as pertaining only to the
"higher men." When he finds numerous of these men in danger from the
ignorance of the populace and from the restrictions of environment,
he leads them to his cave, and there, isolated from the inferior man,
discourses with them on the problems of life and points out to them
the course they must take in order to bring about the superman.

Because of the nature of the book it is extremely difficult to select
detached passages from it which will give an entirely adequate idea of
its contents. Often a single philosophical point will be contained in
a long parable, and the only way to present that point in Nietzsche's
own words would have been to embody the whole parable in this chapter.
That, of course, would have been impossible. Therefore, many of the
ideas set forth in the book have not been included in the following
excerpts. Part IV does not lend itself at all to mutilation, and I have
been unable to take anything save a few general passages from this
section. However, "Thus Spake Zarathustra" is not a book to which one
should go to become familiar with Nietzsche's teachings. When one sits
down to read it, my advice is that the notes of Mr. Anthony M. Ludovici
which are to be found in the appendix of the standard English edition,
be followed closely.


_I teach you the Superman.._. Man is something that is to be surpassed.

What is the ape to man? A laughing-stock, a thing of shame. And just
the same shall man be to the Superman: a laughing-stock, a thing of
shame. 6

Ye have made your way from the worm to man, and much within you is
still worm. Once were ye apes, and even yet man is more of an ape than
any of the apes. 7

I conjure you, my brethren, _remain true to the earth._ and believe not
those who speak unto you of super-earthly hopes! Poisoners are they,
whether they know it or not. 7

To blaspheme the earth is now the dreadfulest sin.... 7

Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Superman--a rope
over an abyss. 9

What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal.... 9

I tell you: one must still have chaos in one, to give birth to a
dancing star.... 12

Three metamorphoses of the spirit do I designate to you: how the spirit
becometh a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child.

Many heavy things are there for the spirit, the strong load-bearing
spirit in which reverence dwelleth: for the heavy and the heaviest
longeth its strength.

What is heavy? so asketh the load-bearing spirit; then kneeleth it down
like the camel, and wanteth to be well laden.

What is the heaviest thing, ye heroes? asketh the load-bearing spirit,
that I may take it upon me and rejoice in my strength.

Is it not this: To humiliate oneself in order to mortify one's pride?
To exhibit one's folly in order to mock at one's wisdom?

Or is it this: To desert our cause when it celebrateth its triumph? To
ascend high mountains to tempt the tempter?

Or is it this: To feed on the acorns and grass of knowledge, and for
the sake of truth to suffer hunger of soul?

Or is it this: To be sick and dismiss comforters, and make friends of
the deaf, who never hear thy requests?

Or is it this: To go into foul water when it is the water of truth, and
not disclaim cold frogs and hot toads?

Or is it this: To love those who despise us, and give one's hand to the
phantom when it is going to frighten us?

All these heaviest things the load-bearing spirit taketh upon itself:
and like the camel, which, when laden, hasteneth into the wilderness,
so hasteneth the spirit into its wilderness.

But in the loneliest wilderness happeneth the second metamorphosis:
here the spirit becometh a lion; freedom will it capture, and lordship
in its own wilderness.

Its last Lord it here seeketh: hostile will it be to him, and to its
last God; for victory will it struggle with the great dragon.

What is the great dragon which the spirit is no longer inclined to call
Lord and God? "Thou shalt," is the great dragon called. But the spirit
of the lion saith, "I will."

"Thou shalt," lieth in its path, sparkling with gold--a scale-covered
beast; and on every scale glittereth golden, "Thou shalt!"

The values of a thousand years glitter on those scales, and
thus speaketh the mightiest of all dragons: "All the values of
things--glitter on me."

"All values have already been created, and all created values--do I
represent. Verily, there shall be no 'I will' any more." Thus speaketh
the dragon.

My brethren, wherefore is there need of the lion in the spirit? Why
sufficeth not the beast of burden, which renounceth and is reverent?

To create new values--that, even the lion cannot yet accomplish: but to
create itself freedom for new creating--that can the might of the lion

To create itself freedom, and give a holy Nay even unto duty: for
that, my brethren, there is need of the lion.

To assume the right to new values--that is the most formidable
assumption for a load-bearing and reverent spirit. Verily, unto such a
spirit it is preying, and the work of a beast of prey.

As its holiest, it once loved "Thou shalt": now is it forced to find
illusion and arbitrariness even in the holiest things, that it may
capture freedom from its love: the lion is needed for this capture.

But tell me, my brethren, what the child can do, which even the lion
could not do? Why hath the preying lion still to become a child?

Innocence is the child, and forgetfulness, a new beginning, a game, a
self-rolling wheel, a first movement, a holy Yea.

Aye, for the game of creating, my brethren, there is needed a holy Yea
unto life: _its own_ will, willeth now the spirit; _his own_ world
winneth the world's outcast.

Three metamorphoses of the spirit have I designated to you: how the
spirit became a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child.

A new pride ... teach I unto men: no longer to thrust the head into the
sand of celestial things, but to carry it freely, a terrestrial head,
which giveth meaning to the earth!

A new will teach I unto men: to choose that path which man hath
followed blindly, and to approve of it--and no longer to slink aside
from it, like the sick and perishing!

The sick and perishing--it was they who despised the body and the
earth, and invented the heavenly world, and the redeeming blood-drops;
but even those sweet and sad poisons they borrowed from the body and
the earth! 33-34

The awakened one, the knowing one, saith: "Body am I entirely, and
nothing more; and soul is only the name of something in the body." 35

The body is a big sagacity, a plurality with one sense, a war and a
peace, a flock and a shepherd.

An instrument of thy body is also thy little sagacity, my brother,
which thou callest "spirit"--a little instrument and plaything of thy
big sagacity.

Instruments and playthings are sense and spirit: behind them there
is still the Self. The Self seeketh with the eyes of the senses, it
hearkeneth also with the ears of the spirit. 36

Behind thy thoughts and feelings, my brother, there is a mighty lord,
an unknown sage--it is called Self; it dwelleth in thy body, it is thy
body. 36

When thou hast a virtue, and it is thine own virtue, thou hast it in
common with no one. 38

If thou be fortunate, then wilt thou have one virtue and no more: thus
goest thou easier over the bridge. 39

"Enemy" shall ye say but not "villain," "invalid" shall ye say but not
"wretch," "fool" shall ye say but not "sinner." 41

Of all that is written, I love only what a person hath written with his
blood. Write with blood, and thou wilt find that blood is spirit. 43

Ye look aloft when ye long for exaltation; and I look downward because
I am exalted.

Who among you can at the same time laugh and be exalted?

He who climbeth on the highest mountains, laugheth at all tragic plays
and tragic realities.

Courageous, unconcerned, scornful, coercive--so wisdom wisheth us; she
is a woman, and ever loveth a warrior. 44

It is true we love life; not because we are wont to live, but because
we are wont to love. 44

I should only believe in a God that would know how to dance. 45

Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit
of gravity! 45

Full is the earth of the superfluous; marred is life by the
many-too-many. May they be decoyed out of this life by the "life
eternal"! 49

Ye are not great enough not to know of hatred and envy. Then be great
enough not to be ashamed of them! 51

Ye shall love peace as a means to new wars--and the short peace more
than the long.

You I advise not to work, but to fight. You, I advise not to peace, but
to victory. Let your work be a fight, let your peace be a victory! 52

Ye say it is the good cause which halloweth even war? I say unto you:
it is the good war which halloweth every cause. 52

"What is good?" ye ask. To be brave is good. 52

Ye shall only have enemies to be hated, but not enemies to be despised.
Ye must be proud of your enemies; then, the successes of your enemies
are also your successes. 53

A state is called the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly lieth it
also; and this lie creepeth from its mouth: "I, the state, am the
people." 54

Just see these superfluous ones! They steal the works of the inventors
and the treasures of the wise. Culture, they call their theft--and
everything becometh sickness and trouble unto them! 56

Around the devisers of new values revolveth the world:--invisibly it
revolveth. But around the actors revolve the people and the glory: such
is the course of things. 58

Would that ye were perfect--at least as animals! But to animals
belongeth innocence. 61

Chastity is a virtue with some, but with many almost a vice. 61

To whom chastity is difficult, it is to be dissuaded: lest it become
the road to hell--to filth and lust of soul. 62

If one would have a friend, then must one also be willing to wage war
for him: and in order to wage war, one must be _capable_ of being an
enemy. 63

In one's friend one shall have one's best enemy. Thou shalt be closest
unto him with thy heart when thou withstandest him. 63

Art thou a slave? Then thou canst not be a friend. Art thou a tyrant?
Then thou canst not have friends.

Far too long hath there been a slave and a tyrant concealed in woman.
On that account woman is not yet capable of friendship: she knoweth
only love.

In woman's love there is injustice and blindness to all she doth
not love. And even in woman's conscious love, there is still always
surprise and lightning and night, along with the light. 65

Values did man only assign to things in order to maintain himself--he
created only the significance of things, a human significance!
Therefore, calleth he himself "man," that is, the valuator. 67

A thousand goals have there been hitherto, for a thousand peoples have
there been. Only the fetter for the thousand necks is still lacking;
there is lacking the one goal. As yet humanity hath not a goal. 69

Do I advise you to neighbour-love? Rather do I advise you to
neighbour-flight and to furthest love!

Higher than love to your neighbour is love to the furthest and future
ones; higher still than love to men, is love to things and phantoms.

The phantom that runneth on before thee, my brother, is fairer than
thou; why dost thou not give unto it thy flesh and thy bones?... 69

Art thou one _entitled_ to escape from a yoke? Many a one hath cast
away his final worth when he hath cast away his servitude.

Free from what? What doth that matter to Zarathustra! Clearly, however,
shall thine eye show unto me: free _for what?_ 71

Everything in woman is a riddle, and everything in woman hath one
solution--it is called pregnancy.

Man is for woman, a means: the purpose is always the child. But what is
woman for man?

Two different things wanteth the true man: danger and diversion.
Therefore wanteth he woman, as the most dangerous plaything.

Man shall be trained for war, and woman for the recreation of the
warrior: all else is folly.

Two sweet fruits--these the warrior liketh not. Therefore liketh he
woman;--bitter is ever the sweetest woman.

Better than man doth woman understand children, but man is more
childish than woman.

In the true man there is a child hidden: it wanteth to play. Up then,
ye women, and discover the child in man!

A plaything let woman be, pure and fine like the precious stone,
illumined with the virtues of a world not yet come.

Let the beam of a star shine in your love! Let your hope say: "May I
bear the Superman!"

In your love let there be valour! With your love shall ye assail him
who inspireth you with fear!

In your love be your honour! Little doth woman understand otherwise
about honour. But let this be your honour: always to love more than ye
are loved, and never be the second.

Let man fear woman when she loveth: then maketh she every sacrifice,
and everything else she regardeth as worthless.

Let man fear woman when she hateth: for man in his innermost soul is
merely evil; woman, however, is mean.

Whom hateth woman most?--Thus spake the iron to the loadstone: "I hate
thee most, because thou attractest, but art too weak to draw unto thee."

The happiness of man is, "I will." The happiness of woman is, "He
will." 76

Thou goest to women? Do not forget thy whip! 77

When ... ye have an enemy, then return him not good for evil: for that
would abash him. But prove that he hath done something good to you.

And rather be angry than abash any one! And when ye are cursed, it
pleaseth me not that ye should then desire to bless. Rather curse a
little also! 78

Tell me: where find we justice, which is love with seeing eyes? 78

Thou art young, and desirest child and marriage. But I ask thee: Art
thou a man entitled to desire a child? Art thou the victorious one, the
self-conqueror, the ruler of thy passions, the master of thy virtues?
Thus do I ask thee.

Or doth the animal speak in thy wish, and necessity? Or isolation? Or
discord in thee?

I would have thy victory and freedom long for a child. Living monuments
shalt thou build to thy victory and emancipation.

Beyond thyself shalt thou build. But first of all must thou be built
thyself, rectangular in body and soul. 79

Marriage: so call I the will of the twain to create the one that is
more than those who created it. 80

That which the many-too-many call marriage, those superfluous ones--ah,
what shall I call it?

Ah, the poverty of soul in the twain! Ah, the filth of soul in the
twain! Ah, the pitiable self-complacency in the twain!

Marriage they call it all; and they say their marriages are made in

Well, I do not like it, that heaven of the superfluous; No, I do not
like them, those animals tangled in the heavenly toils!

Far from me also be the God who limpeth thither to bless what he hath
not matched!

Laugh not at such marriages! What child hath not had reason to weep
over its parents? 80

Every one regardeth dying as a great matter: but as yet death is not
a festival. Not yet have people learned to inaugurate the finest
festivals. 82

My death, praise I unto you, the voluntary death, which cometh unto me
because I want it.

And when shall I want it?--He that hath a goal and an heir, wanteth
death at the right time for the goal and the heir. 83

It is your thirst to become sacrifices and gifts yourselves: and
therefore have ye the thirst to accumulate all riches in your soul.

Insatiably striveth your soul for treasures and jewels, because your
virtue is insatiable in desiring to bestow.

Ye constrain all things to flow towards you and into you, so that they
shall flow back again out of your fountain as the gifts of your love.

Verily, an appropriator of all values must such bestowing love become;
but healthy and holy, call I this selfishness. 86

When ye are exalted above praise and blame, and your will would command
all things, as a loving one's will: there is the origin of your virtue.

Remain true to the earth, my brethren, with the power of your virtue!
Let your bestowing love and your knowledge be devoted to be the meaning
of the earth! Thus do I pray and conjure you.

Let it not fly away from the earthly and beat against eternal walls
with its wings! 88

The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies, but
also to hate his friends. 90

Once did people say God, when they looked out upon distant seas; now,
however, have I taught you to say, Superman. 98

Could ye _conceive_ a God?--But let this mean Will to Truth unto you,
that everything be transformed into the humanly conceivable, the
humanly visible, the humanly sensible! Your own discernment shall ye
follow out to the end! 99

Creating--that is the great salvation from suffering, and life's
alleviation. But for the creator to appear, suffering itself is needed,
and much transformation. 100

What would there be to create if there were--? Gods! 101

Man himself is to the discerning one: the animal with red cheeks. 102

Verily, I like them not, the merciful ones, whose bliss is in their
pity: too destitute are they of bashfulness.

If I must be pitiful, I dislike to be called so; and if I be so, it is
preferably at a distance. 102

Since humanity came into being, man hath enjoyed himself too little:
that alone, my brethren, is our original sin! 103

Great obligations do not make grateful, but revengeful; and when a
small kindness is not forgotten, it becometh a gnawing worm. 103

The sting of conscience teacheth one to sting. 103

Ah, where in the world have there been greater follies than with the
pitiful? And what in the world hath caused more suffering than the
follies of the pitiful?

Woe unto all loving ones who have not an elevation which is above their

Thus spake the devil unto me, once a time: "Even God hath his hell: it
is his love for man." 105

All great love is above all its pity: for it seeketh--to create what is

"Myself do I offer unto my love, _and my neighbour as myself"_--such is
the language of all creators. 105

"Here are priests: but although they are mine enemies, pass them
quietly and with sleeping swords!"

Even among them there are heroes; many of them have suffered too
much:--so they want to make others suffer.

Bad enemies are they: nothing is more revengeful than their meekness.

When a person goeth through fire for his teaching--what doth that
prove! It is more, verily, when out of one's own burning cometh one's
own teaching! 108

That _your_ very Self be in your action, as the mother is in the child:
let that be _your_ formula of virtue! 112

Life is a well of delight; but where the rabble also drink, there all
fountains are poisoned. 113

Ye who make the soul giddy, ye preachers of _equality!_ Tarantulas are
ye unto me, and secretly revengeful ones! 116

Ye preachers of equality, the tyrant-frenzy of impotence crieth thus
in you for "equality": your most secret tyrant-longings disguise
themselves thus in virtue-words!

Fretted conceit and suppressed envy--perhaps your fathers' conceit and
envy: in you break they forth as flame and frenzy of vengeance. 117

Distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful!

They are people of bad race and lineage; out of their countenances peer
the hangman and the sleuth-hound.

Distrust all those who talk much of their justice! Verily, in their
souls not only honey is lacking.

And when they call themselves "the good and just," forget not, that for
them to be Pharisees, nothing is lacking but--power! 118

With these preachers of equality will I not be mixed up and confounded.
For thus speaketh justice _unto me:_ "Men are not equal."

And neither shall they become so! 118

Good and evil, and rich and poor, and high and low, and all names of
values: weapons shall they be, and sounding signs, that life must again
and again surpass itself! 119

Steadfast and beautiful, let us also be enemies, my friends I Divinely
will we strive _against_ one another! 120

Hungry, fierce, lonesome, God-forsaken: so doth the lion-will wish

Free from the happiness of slaves, redeemed from Deities and
adorations, fearless and fear-inspiring, grand and lonesome: so is the
will of the conscientious. 122

Wherever I found a living thing, there found I Will to Power; and even
in the will of the servant found I the will to be master.

That to the stronger the weaker shall serve--thereto persuadeth he his
will who would be master over a still weaker one. That delight alone he
is unwilling to forego.

And as the lesser surrendereth himself to the greater that he may have
delight and power over the least of all, so doth even the greatest
surrender himself, and staketh--life, for the sake of power.

It is the surrender of the greatest to run risk and danger, and play
dice for death. 136

Good and evil which would be everlasting--it doth not exist! Of its own
accord must it ever surpass itself anew. 137

He who hath to be a creator in good and evil--verily, he hath first to
be a destroyer, and break values in pieces. 138

Ye tell me, friends, that there is to be no dispute about taste and
tasting? But all life is a dispute about taste and tasting.

Taste: that is weight at the same time, and scales and weigher; and
alas for every living thing that would live without dispute about
weight and scales and weigher! 139

Alien to me, and a mockery, are the present-day men, to whom of late my
heart impelled me; and exiled am I from fatherlands and motherlands.

Thus do I love only my _children's land,_ the undiscovered in the
remotest sea: for it do I bid my sails search and search.

Unto my children will I make amends for being the child of my fathers:
and unto all the future--for _this_ present-day! 145

Where is innocence? Where there is will to procreation. And he who
seeketh to create beyond himself, hath for me the purest will.

Where is beauty? Where I _must will_ with my whole Will; where I will
love and perish, that an image may not remain merely an image.

Loving and perishing: these have rhymed from eternity. Will to love:
that is to be ready also for death. 147

Dare only to believe in yourselves--in yourselves and in your inward
parts! He who doth not believe in himself always lieth. 147

All Gods are poets-symbolisations, poet-sophistications! 153

"Freedom" ye all roar most eagerly: but I have unlearned the belief in
"great events," when there is much roaring and smoke about them.

And believe me, friend Hollaballoo! The greatest events--are not our
noisiest, but our stillest hours.

Not around the inventors of new noise, but around the inventors of new
values, doth the world revolve: _inaudibly_ it revolveth. 158

To redeem what is past, and to transform every "It was" into "Thus
would have it!"--that only do I call redemption! 168

_The spirit of revenge:_ my friends, that hath hitherto been man's best
contemplation; and where there was suffering, it was claimed there was
always penalty.

"Penalty," so calleth itself revenge. With a lying word it feigneth a
good conscience. 169

This is my first manly prudence, that I allow myself to be deceived,
so as not to be on my guard against deceivers. 172

He who would not languish amongst men, must learn to drink out of all
glasses; and he who would keep clean amongst men, must know how to wash
himself even with dirty water. 172

Verily, there is still a future even for evil! And the warmest south is
still undiscovered by man.

How many things are now called the worst wickedness, which are only
twelve feet broad and three months long! Some day, however, will
greater dragons come into the world.

For that the Superman may not lack his dragon, the superdragon that
is worthy of him, there must still much warm sun glow on moist virgin

Out of your wild cats must tigers have evolved, and out of your
poison-toads, crocodiles: for the good hunter shall have a good hunt!

And verily, ye good and just! In you there is much to be laughed at,
and especially your fear of what hath hitherto been called "the devil"!

So alien are ye in your souls to what is great, that to you the
Superman would be _frightful_ in his goodness!

And ye wise and knowing ones, ye would flee from the solar-glow of the
wisdom in which the Superman joyfully batheth his nakedness!

Ye highest men who have come within my ken! this is my doubt of you,
and my secret laughter: I suspect ye would call my Superman--a devil!

Ah, I became tired of those highest and best ones: from their "height"
did I long to be up, out, and away to the Superman!

A horror came over me when I saw those best ones naked: then there grew
for me the pinions to soar away into distant futures.

Into more distant futures, into more southern souths than ever artist
dreamed of: thither, where Gods are ashamed of all clothes!

But disguised do I want to see _you,_ ye neighbours and fellowmen, and
well-attired and vain and estimable, as "the good and just";--

And disguised will I myself sit amongst you--that I may _mistake_ you
and myself: for that is my last manly prudence. 174-175

He who would become a child must surmount even his youth. 178

Thou goest the way to thy greatness: here shall no one steal after
thee! Thy foot itself hath effaced the path behind thee, and over it
standeth written: Impossibility. 184

From the gateway, This Moment, there runneth a long eternal lane
_backwards:_ behind us lieth an eternity.

Must not whatever _can_ run its course of all things, have already run
along that lane? Must not whatever _can_ happen of all things have
already happened, resulted, and gone by?

And if everything have already existed, what thinkest thou, dwarf, of
This Moment? Must not this gateway also--have already existed?

And are not all things closely bound together in such wise that This
Moment draweth all coming things after it? _Consequently_--itself also?

For whatever _can_ run its course of all things, also in this long lane
_outward--must_ it once more run!--

And this slow spider which creepeth in the moonlight, and this
moonlight itself, and thou and I in this gateway whispering together,
whispering of eternal things--must we not all have already existed? 186

And must we not return and run in that other lane out before us, that
long weird lane--must we not eternally return? 190-191

All things are baptised at the font of eternity, and beyond good and
evil; good and evil themselves, however, are but fugitive shadows and
damp afflictions and passing clouds.

Verily, it is a blessing and not a blasphemy when I teach that "above
all things there standeth, the heaven of chance, the heaven of
innocence, the heaven of hazard, the heaven of wantonness."

"Of Hazard"--that is the oldest nobility in the world; that gave I back
to all things; I emancipated them from bondage under purpose.

This freedom and celestial serenity did I put like an azure bell above
all things, when I taught that over them and through them, no "eternal

This wantonness and folly did I put in place of that will, when I
taught that "In everything there is one thing impossible--rationality!"

I pass through this people and keep mine eyes open: they do not forgive
me for not envying their virtues.

They bite at me, because I say unto them that for small people, small
virtues are necessary--and because it is hard for me to understand that
small people are _necessary!_ 203

Only he who is man enough, will--_save the woman_ in woman. 205

So much kindness, so much weakness do I see. So much justice and pity,
so much weakness.

Round, fair, and considerate are they to one another, as grains of sand
are round, fair, and considerate to grains of sand.

Modestly to embrace a small happiness--that do they call "submission"!
and at the same time they peer modestly after a new small happiness.

In their hearts they want simply one thing most of all: that no one
hurt them. Thus do they anticipate every one's wishes and do well unto
every one.

That, however, is _cowardice,_ though it be called "virtue."

And when they chance to speak harshly, those small people, then do _I_
hear therein only their hoarseness--every draught of air maketh them

Shrewd indeed are they, their virtues have shrewd fingers. But they
lack fists: their fingers do not know how to creep behind fists.

Virtue for them is what maketh modest and tame: therewith have they
made the wolf a dog, and man himself man's best domestic animal.

"We set our chair in the _midst_"--so saith their smirking unto
me--"and as far from dying gladiators as from satisfied swine."

That, however, is--_mediocrity,_ though it be called moderation. 206

Those teachers of submission! Wherever there is aught puny, or
sickly, or scabby, there do they creep like lice; and only my disgust
preventeth me from cracking them. 207

Too tender, too yielding: so is your soil! But for a tree to become
_great,_ it seeketh to twine hard roots around hard rocks! 208

Do ever what ye will--but first be such as _can will._ 208

Love ever your neighbour as yourselves--but first be such as _love
themselves._ 208

Out of love alone shall my contempt and my warning bird take wing; but
not out of the swamp! 216

In indulging and pitying lay ever my greatest danger; and all human
hubbub wisheth to be indulged and tolerated. 226

He who liveth amongst the good--pity teacheth him to lie. Pity maketh
stifling air for all free souls. For the stupidity of the good is
unfathomable. 227

Voluptuousness: to free hearts, a thing innocent and free, the
garden-happiness of the earth, all the future's thanks overflow to the

Voluptuousness: only to the withered a sweet poison; to the
lion-willed, however, the great cordial, and the reverently saved wine
of wines.

Voluptuousness: the great symbolic happiness of a higher happiness and
highest hope. For to many is marriage promised, and more than marriage.

To many that are more unknown to each other than man and woman:--and
who hath fully understood _have unknown_ to each other are man and

Voluptuousness:--but I will have hedges around my thoughts, and even
around my words, lest swine and libertine should break into my gardens!

Passion for power: the earthquake which breaketh and upbreaketh all
that is rotten and hollow; the rolling, rumbling, punitive demolisher
of whited sepulchres; the flashing interrogative-sign beside premature

Passion for power: before whose glance man creepeth and croucheth and
drudgeth, and becometh lower than the serpent and the swine:--until at
last great contempt crieth out of him,--

Passion for power: the terrible teacher of great contempt, which
preacheth to their face to cities and empires: "Away with thee!"--until
a voice crieth out of themselves: "Away with _me!_"

Passion for power: which; however, mounteth alluringly even to the pure
and lonesome, and up to self-satisfied elevations, glowing like a love
that painteth purple felicities alluringly on earthly heavens.

Passion for power: but who would call it _passion,_ when the height
longeth to stoop for power! Verily, nothing sick or diseased is there
in such longing and descending!

That the lonesome height may not for ever remain lonesome and
self-sufficing: that the mountains may come to the valleys and the
winds of the heights to the plains:

Oh, who could find the right prenomen and honouring name for such
longing! "Bestowing virtue"--thus did Zarathustra once name the

And then it happened also,--and verily, it happened for the first
time!--that his word blessed _selfishness,_ the wholesome, healthy
selfishness, that springeth from the powerful soul:--

From the powerful soul, to which the high body appertaineth, the
handsome, triumphing, refreshing body, around which everything becometh
a mirror:

The pliant, persuasive body, the dancer, whose symbol and epitome is
the self-enjoying soul. Of such bodies and souls the self-enjoyment
calleth itself "virtue." 232

He who wisheth to become light, and be a bird, must love himself:--thus
do I teach.

Not, to be sure, with the love of the sick and infected, for with them
stinketh even self-love!

One must learn to love oneself--thus do I teach--with a wholesome and
healthy love: that one may endure to be with oneself, and not go roving

Such roving about christeneth itself "brotherly love"; with these words
hath there hitherto been the best lying and dissembling, and especially
by those who have been burdensome to every one.

And verily, it is no commandment for to-day and to-morrow to _learn_ to
love oneself. Rather is it of all arts the finest, subtlest, last and
patientest. 235

_No one yet knoweth_ what is good and bad:--unless it be the creating

It is he however createth man's goal, and giveth to the earth its
meaning and its future: he only _effecteth_ it _that_ aught is good and
bad. 240

Man is a bridge and not a goal. 241

_Be not considerate of thy neighbour!_ Man is something that must be
surpassed. 243

He who cannot command himself shall obey. And many a one _can_ command
himself, but still sorely lacketh self-obedience! 243

He who is of the populace wisheth to live gratuitously; we others,
however, to whom life hath given itself--we are ever considering
_what_ we can best give _in return!_ 243

One should not wish to enjoy where one doth not contribute to the
enjoyment. And one should not _wish_ to enjoy! 243

"Thou shalt not rob! Thou shalt not slay!"--such precepts were once
called holy; before them did one bow the knee and the head, and took
off one's shoes.

But I ask you: Where have there ever been better robbers and slayers in
the world than such holy precepts?

Is there not even in all life--robbing and slaying? And for such
precepts to be called holy, was not _truth_ itself thereby--slain? 246

Let it not be your honour henceforth whence ye come, but whither ye go!
Your Will and your feet which seek to surpass you--let these be your
new honour! 248

The best shall rule, the best also _willeth_ to rule! And where the
teaching is different, there--the best _is lacking._ 257

Thus would I have man and woman: fit for war, the one, fit for
maternity, the other; both, however, fit for dancing with head and legs.

And lost be the day to us in which a measure hath not been danced. And
false be every truth which hath not had laughter along with it! 257

The stupidity of the good is unfathomably wise.

The good _must_ crucify him who deviseth his own virtue! That _is_ the

The second one, however, who discovered their country--the country,
heart and soil of the good and just,--it was he who asked: "Whom do
they hate most?"

The _creator,_ hate they most, him who breaketh the tables and old
values, the breaker,--him they call the law-breaker.

For the good--they _cannot_ create; they are always the beginning of
the end:--

They crucify him who writeth new values on new tables, they sacrifice
_unto themselves_ the future--they crucify the whole human future! 260

This new table, O my brethren, put I up over you: _Become hard!_ 262

Everything goeth, everything returneth; eternally rolleth the wheel
of existence. Everything dieth, everything blossometh forth again;
eternally runneth on the year of existence.

Everything breaketh, everything is integrated anew; eternally buildeth
itself the same house of existence. All things separate, all things
again greet one another; eternally true to itself remaineth the ring of

Every moment beginneth existence, around every "Here" rolleth the ball
"There." The middle is everywhere. 266

For man his baddest is necessary for his best.

That all that is baddest is the best _power,_ and the hardest stone for
the highest creator; and that man must become better _and_ badder:--267

The plexus of causes returneth in which I am intertwined,--it will
again create me! I myself pertain to the causes of the eternal return.

I come again with this sun, with this earth, with this eagle, with this
serpent--_not_ to a new life, or a better life, or a similar life:

I come again eternally to this identical and selfsame life, in its
greatest and its smallest, to teach again the eternal return of all

To speak again the word of the great noontide of earth and man, to
announce again to man the Superman. 270-271

"Ye higher men,"--so blinketh the populace--"there are no higher men,
we are all equal; man is man, before God--we are all equal!"

Before God!--Now, however, this God hath died. Before the populace,
however, we will not be equal. Ye higher men, away from the
market-place! 351

Have a good distrust to-day, ye higher men, ye enheartened ones! Ye
open-hearted ones! And keep your reasons secret! For this to-day is
that of the populace.

What the populace once learned to believe without reasons, who
could--refute it to them by means of reasons?

And on the market-place one convinceth with gestures. But reasons make
the populace distrustful.

And when truth hath once triumphed there, then ask yourselves with good
distrust: "What strong error hath fought for it?" 355

Unlearn, I pray you, this "for," ye creating ones: your very virtue
wisheth you to have naught to do with "for" and "on account of" and
"because." Against these false little words shall ye stop your ears.

"For one's neighbour," is the virtue only of the petty people: there it
is said "like and like" and "hand washeth hand":--they have neither the
right nor the power for _your_ self-seeking! 356-357

What hath hitherto been the greatest sin here on earth? Was it not the
word of him who said: "Woe unto them that laugh now!"

Did he himself find no cause for laughter on the earth? Then he sought
badly. A child even findeth cause for it. 359-360


"The Eternal Recurrence"

He following excerpts from Nietzsche's notes relating to eternal
recurrence are set down here merely as supplementary passages to "Thus
Spake Zarathustra," in which book this doctrine of the eternally
recurring irrationality of all things first made its appearance.
Nietzsche's notations on this subject were undoubtedly written in the
latter part of 1881, when the idea of Zarathustra first came to him.
They were not published, however, until years later, and now form a
section of Volume XVI of Nietzsche's complete works in English, along
with "The Twilight of the Idols," "The Antichrist" and some explanatory
notes on "Thus Spake Zarathustra." This is the only material in
Nietzsche's writings which I have not put in chronological order,
and my reason for placing these extracts here, and not between "The
Dawn of Day" and "The Joyful Wisdom," is due to the fact that after
conceiving this doctrine and making notes pertaining to it, Nietzsche
put the idea aside and wrote "The Joyful Wisdom" in which this doctrine
was not embodied. Not until "Thus Spake Zarathustra" appeared did he
make use of this principle of recurrence, and inasmuch as this was the
first published statement of it, I have placed that book first and have
followed it with these explanatory notes.

Another section of Nietzsche's works also deals with eternal
recurrence, namely: the last part of the second volume of "The Will to
Power." But here too we find but fragmentary jottings which contain
no material not found in the present quotations. It is true that
Nietzsche intended to elaborate these notes, but even had he done so I
doubt if this doctrine would have assumed a different aspect from the
one it at present possesses, or would have become more closely allied
with the main structure of his thought; for, even though it is not
fully elucidated in its present form, it at least is complete in its

In my introduction to the quotations from "Thus Spake Zarathustra"
in the preceding chapter will be found a statement relating to this
doctrine, in which I have endeavoured to point out just what influence
it had on Nietzsche's philosophy, and to offer an explanation for its
appearance in his thought.

A reading of the following notes is not at all necessary for an
understanding of the Nietzschean ethic, and I have placed these
passages here solely for the student to whom every phase of Nietzsche's
philosophy is of interest.


The extent of universal energy is limited; it is not "infinite": we
should beware of such excesses in our concepts! Consequently the number
of states, changes, combinations, and evolutions of this energy,
although it may be enormous and practically incalculable, is at any
rate definite and not unlimited. The time, however, in which this
universal energy works its changes is infinite--that is to say, energy
remains eternally the same and is eternally active:--at this moment an
infinity has already elapsed, that is to say, every possible evolution
must already have taken place. Consequently the present process of
evolution must be a repetition, as was also the one before it, as will
also be the one which will follow. And so on forwards and backwards!
Inasmuch as the entire state of all forces continually returns,
everything has existed an infinite number of times. 237

Energy remains constant and does not require to be infinite. It is
eternally active but it is no longer able eternally to create new
forms, it must repeat itself: that is my conclusion. 238

The energy of the universe can only have a given number of possible
qualities. 238

The assumption that the universe is an organism contradicts the very
essence of the organic. 239

We are forced to conclude: (1) either that the universe began
its activity at a given moment of time and will end in a similar
fashion,--but the beginning of activity is absurd; if a state of
equilibrium had been reached it: would have persisted to all eternity;
(2) or there is no such thing as an endless number of them which
continually recurs: activity is eternal, the number of the products and
states of energy is limited. 239

The last physical state of energy which we can imagine must necessarily
be the first also. The absorption of energy in latent energy must be
the cause of the production of the most vital energy. For a highly
positive state must follow a negative state. Space like matter is a
subjective form, time is not. The notion of space first arose from the
assumption that space could be empty. But there is no such thing as
empty space. Everything is energy. 240

Anything like a static state of energy in general is impossible. If
stability were possible it would already have been reached. 241

Physics supposes that energy may be divided up: but every one of its
possibilities must first be adjusted to reality. There can therefore
be no question of dividing energy into equal parts; in every one of
its states it manifests a certain quality, and qualities cannot be
subdivided: hence a state of equilibrium in energy is impossible. 241

If equilibrium were possible it would already have been reached.--And
if this momentary state has already existed then that which bore
it and the previous one also would likewise have existed and so on
backwards,--and from this it follows that it has already existed not
only twice but three times,--just as it will exist again not only twice
but three times,--in fact an infinite number of times backwards and
forwards. That is to say, the whole process of Becoming consists of a
repetition of a definite number of precisely similar states. 242

Imaginic matter, even though in most cases it may once have
been organic, can have stored up no experience as it is always
without a past! If the reverse were the case a repetition would be
impossible--for then matter would for ever be producing new qualities
with new pasts. 247

Let us guard against believing that the universe has a tendency to
attain to certain forms, or that it aims at becoming more beautiful,
more perfect, more complicated! All that is anthropomorphism! 248

Our whole world consists of the ashes of an incalculable number of
living creatures: and even if living matter is ever so little compared
with the whole, everything has already been transformed into life once
before and thus the process goes on. If we grant eternal time we must
assume the eternal change of matter. 249

The world of energy suffers no diminution: otherwise with eternal
time it would have grown weak and finally have perished altogether.
The world of energy suffers no stationary state, otherwise this would
already have been reached, and the clock of the universe would be at
a standstill. The world of energy does not therefore reach a state of
equilibrium; for no instant in its career has it had rest; its energy
and its movement have been the same for all time. Whatever state this
world could have reached must ere now have been attained, and not only
once but an incalculable number of times. 249

My doctrine is: Live so that thou mayest desire to live again,--that
is thy duty,--for in any case thou wilt live again! He unto whom
striving is the greatest happiness, let him strive; he unto whom peace
is the greatest happiness, let him rest; he unto whom subordination,
following, obedience, is the greatest happiness, let him obey. 251

The mightiest of all thoughts absorbs a good deal, of energy which
formerly stood at the disposal of other aspirations, and in this way
it exercises a modifying influence; it creates new laws of motion in
energy, though no new energy. 252

Ye fancy that ye will have a long rest ere your second birth takes
place,--but do not deceive yourselves! 'Twixt your last moment of
consciousness and the first ray of the dawn of your new life no time
will elapse,--as a flash of lightning will the space go by, even though
living creatures think it is millions of years.... 253

Are ye now prepared? Ye must have experienced every form of
scepticism and ye must have wallowed with voluptuousness in ice-cold
baths,--otherwise ye have no right to this thought; I wish to protect
myself against those who gush over anything! I would defend my
doctrine in advance. It must be the religion of the freest, most
cheerful and most sublime souls, a delightful pastureland somewhere
between golden ice and a pure heaven! 256


"Beyond Good and Evil"

Double purpose animated Nietzsche in his writing of "Beyond Good and
Evil" _("Jenseits von Gut und Böse")._ It is at once an explanation
and an elucidation of "Thus Spake Zarathustra," and a preparatory book
for his greatest and most important work, "The Will to Power." In it
Nietzsche attempts to define the relative terms of "good" and "evil,"
and to draw a line of distinction between immorality and unmorality.
He saw the inconsistencies evolved in the attempt to harmonise an
ancient moral code with the needs of modern life, and recognised the
compromises which were constantly being made between moral theory and
social practice. His object was to establish a relationship between
morality and necessity, and to formulate a workable basis for human
conduct. Consequently "Beyond Good and Evil" is one of his most
important contributions to a new system of ethics, and touches on many
of the deepest principles of his philosophy. As it stands, it is by
no means a complete expression of Nietzsche's doctrines, but it is
sufficiently profound and suggestive to be of valuable service in an
understanding of his later works. The book was begun in the summer of
1885 and finished the following winter. Again there was difficulty with
publishers, and finally the book was issued at the author's own expense
in the autumn of 1886.

Nietzsche opens "Beyond Good and Evil" with a long chapter headed
"Prejudices of Philosophers," in which he outlines the course to be
taken by his dialectic. The exposition is accomplished by two methods:
first, by an analysis and a refutation of the systems of thinking
made use of by antecedent doctrinaires, and secondly, by defining the
hypotheses on which his own philosophy is built. This chapter is a
most important one, setting forth, as it does, the _rationale_ of his
doctrine of the will to power. It has been impossible to make extracts
of any unified sequence from this chapter because of its intricate and
compact reasoning, and the student would do well to read it in its
entirety. It establishes Nietzsche's philosophic position and presents
a closely knit explanation of the course pursued in the following
chapters. The relativity of all truth--the hypothesis so often assumed
in his previous work--Nietzsche here defends by analogy and argument.
Using other leading forms of philosophy as a ground for exploration, he
questions the absolutism of truth and shows wherein lies the difficulty
of a final definition. Here we become conscious of that plasticity
of mind which was the dominating quality of his thinking. It is not,
however, that form of plasticity which on inspection resolves itself
into amorphic and unstable reasoning, but a logical, almost scientific,
method of valuing. The mercurial habits of the metaphysicians who deny
absolutism are nowhere discernible in Nietzsche's thought. His mind is
definite without being static. The basis of his argumentation is what
one might call floating. It rises and falls with the human tide of
causation; yet the structure built upon it remains at all times upright
and unchanged.

Nietzsche points out that the numerous "logical" conclusions of
philosophers have been for the most part _a priori_ propositions, the
results of prejudices or desires, and that the syllogistic structures
reared to them came as explanations and defences, rather than as
dialectic preambles. In their adopting a hypothetical truth as a
premise, he sees only the advocacy for a point of view, arguing that
in order to erect a system of logic the initial thesis must be proved.
Therefore he questions the fundamental worth of certainty as opposed
to uncertainty, and of truth as opposed to falsity, thus striking at
the very foundations reared by those philosophers who have assumed,
without substantiation, that only certainty and truth are valuable.
Nietzsche calls these absolutists astute defenders of prejudices, and
characterises the verbalistic prestidigitation of Kant as a highly
developed form of prejudice-defending. Spinoza, with his mathematical
system of reasoning, likewise falls in the category of those thinkers
who first assume conclusions and then prepare explanations for them
by a process of inverted reasoning. Nietzsche proceeds to pose the
instinctive functions against conscious thinking. He asserts that the
channels taken by thought are defined by the thinker's nature, and that
even logic is influenced by physiological considerations. The whole
fabric of philosophic thought is held up to the light of immediate

Going further, he inquires into the "impulse to knowledge." He finds
that a specific purpose has always been the actuating force of any
philosophy, and that consequently philosophy, even in its most abstract
form, has had a residuum of autobiography in it. In fine, that
philosophy, far from being a search, has been an aim toward a definite
preconceived result. The moral or ethical impulse, being always
imperious, has not infrequently resulted in philosophising, and in all
such cases knowledge has been used as an instrument. Thus knowledge
which led to a philosophical conclusion has been the outgrowth of
a personal instinct. In those cases where an impersonal "impulse
to knowledge" may have existed, it has led, not into philosophical
channels, but into practical and often commercial activities. The
scholar has ever remained personal in his quest for philosophical
formulas. In Kant's "Table of Categories," wherein that philosopher
claimed to have found the faculty of synthetic judgment _a priori,_
Nietzsche finds only a circle of reasoning which begins and ends in
personal instinct. And in Kant's discovery of a new moral faculty,
Nietzsche sees only sophistical invention, and accounts for its
widespread acceptance by the moral state of the Germans at that period.
Ignoring the _possibility_ of synthetic judgments _a priori,_ Nietzsche
advances the query as to their _necessity,_ and lays stress on the
impracticability of truth without _belief._ The inherent falsity or
truth of a proposition has no bearing on philosophical doctrines so
long as a contrary belief is present, a belief such as we exert toward
the illusions of the world of reality when we make practical use of
that world's perspective.

The schemes of personal philosophy, such, for instance, as we find in
Schopenhauer, are dealt with by Nietzsche in a single paragraph: "When
I analyse the process that is expressed in the sentence, 'I think,' I
find a whole series of daring assertions, the argumentative proof of
which would be difficult, perhaps impossible: for instance, that it is
I who think, that there must necessarily be something that thinks,
that thinking is an activity and operation on the part of a being who
is thought of as a cause, that there is an 'ego,' and finally, that
it is already determined what is to be designated by thinking--that I
_know_ what thinking is. For if I had not already decided within myself
what it is, by what standard could I determine whether that which is
just happening is not perhaps 'willing' or 'feeling'? In short, the
assertion 'I think,' assumes that I _compare_ my state at the present
moment with other states of myself which I know, in order to determine
what it is: on account of this retrospective connection with further
'knowledge,' it has at any rate no immediate certainty for me." Thus
the smug materialistic philosopher finds himself necessitated to fall
back on purely metaphysical explanations for answers to the questions
arising out of his definition of truth.

Locke falls under a critical survey in this chapter. In answer to
this thinker's theory regarding the origin of ideas, Nietzsche names
the great cycles of philosophical systems and calls attention to the
similarity of processes in such cycles. Furthermore, he shows that the
foundations of all previous philosophies are discoverable in the new
styles of contemporaneous thought. And in those national schools of
philosophy conceived in languages which stem from the same origin, he
finds an undeniable resemblance. All of which leads to a conclusion
incompatible with Locke's theory. Nietzsche attacks the conclusions
of the physicists, denying them any place in philosophy because
their research consists solely in interpretations of natural laws in
accordance with their own prejudices and beliefs. The theories which
might be deduced from natural phenomena are not discoverable in their
doctrines; their activities have consisted in twisting natural events
to suit preconceived valuations.

Finally Nietzsche inquires into the habits and practices of
psychologists. Not even among these workers does he find a basis for
philosophy. Psychology, he argues, has been guided, not by a detached
and lofty desire to ascertain truth in its relation to the human
mind, but by prejudices and fears grounded in moral considerations.
He finds a constant desire on the part of experimenters to account
for "good" impulses as distinguished from "bad" ones. And in this
desire lies the superimposing of moral prejudices on a science which,
more than all others, deals with problems farthest removed from
moral influences. These prejudices in psychology, as well as in all
branches of philosophy, are the obstacles which stand in the way of any
deep penetration into the motives beneath human conduct. Nietzsche,
in his analyses and criticisms, is not solely destructive: he is
subterraneously constructing his own philosophical system founded
on the will to power. This phrase is used many times in the careful
research of the first chapter. As the book proceeds, this doctrine

Nietzsche's best definition of what he calls the "free spirit," namely:
the thinking man, the intellectual aristocrat, the philosopher and
ruler, is contained in the twenty-six pages of the second chapter of
"Beyond Good and Evil." In a series of paragraphs--longer than is
Nietzsche's wont--the leading characteristics of this superior man
are described. The "free spirit," however, must not be confused with
the superman. The former is the "bridge" which the present-day man
must cross in the process of surpassing himself. In the delineation
and analysis of him, as presented to us here, we can glimpse his most
salient mental features. Heretofore, as in "Thus Spake Zarathustra,"
he has been but partially and provisionally defined. Now his instincts
and desires, his habits and activities are outlined. Furthermore, we
are given an explanation of his relation to the inferior man and to
the organisms of his environment. The chapter is an important one,
for at many points it is a subtle elucidation of many of Nietzsche's
dominant philosophic principles. By inference, the differences of class
distinction are strictly drawn. The slave-morality _(sklavmoral)_ and
the master-morality (_herrenmoral_), though as yet undefined, are
balanced against each other; and the deportmental standards of the
masters and slaves are defined by way of differentiating between these
two opposing human factions. While the serving class is constantly
manifesting its need of a guiding dogma, the ruling class is constantly
approaching the state wherein the arbitrary moral mandates are denied.
Nietzsche sees a new order of philosophers appearing--men who will
stand beyond good and evil, who will be not only free spirits, "but
something more, higher, greater, and fundamentally different." In
describing these men of the future, of which the present free men are
the heralds and forerunners, Nietzsche establishes an individualistic
ideal which he develops fully in later chapters.

A keen and far-reaching analysis of the various aspects assumed by
religious faith constitutes a third section of "Beyond Good and Evil."
Though touching upon various influences of Christianity, this section
is more general in its religious scope than even "The Antichrist,"
many indications of which are to be found here. This chapter has to
do with the numerous inner experiences of man, which are directly
or indirectly attributable to religious doctrines. The origin of the
instinct for faith itself is sought, and the results of this faith are
balanced against the needs of the individuals and of the race. The
relation between religious ecstasy and sensuality; the attempt on the
part of religious practitioners to arrive at a negation of the will;
the transition from religious gratitude to fear; the psychology at the
bottom of saint-worship;--to problems such as these Nietzsche devotes
his energies in his inquiry of the religious mood. The geographical
considerations which enter into the character and intensity of
religious faith form an important basis for study; and the differences
between Comte's sociology and Sainte-Beuve's anti-Jesuit utterances are
explained from a standpoint of national influences. Nietzsche examines
the many phases of atheism and the principal anti-Christian tendencies
of all philosophy since Descartes. There is an illuminating exposition
of the important stages in religious cruelty and of the motives
underlying the various forms of religious sacrifices. Again we run upon
the doctrine of eternal recurrence, but here, as elsewhere, it may be
regarded, not as a basic element in Nietzsche's philosophical scheme,
but as a by-product of his thought. Nietzsche emphasises the necessity
of idleness in all religious lives, and shows how the adherence to the
religious mood works against the activities, both of mind and of body,
which make for the highest efficiency.

A very important phase of Nietzsche's teaching is contained in this
criticism of the religious life. The detractors of the Nietzschean
doctrine, almost without exception, base their judgments on the
assumption that the universal acceptation of his theories would result
in social chaos. As I have pointed out before, Nietzsche desired
no such general adoption of his beliefs. In his bitterest diatribes
against Christianity, his object was not to shake the faith of the
great majority of mankind in their idols. He sought merely to free
the strong men from the restrictions of a religion which fitted the
needs of only the weaker members of society. He neither hoped nor
desired to wean the mass of humanity from Christianity or any similar
dogmatic comfort. On the contrary, he denounced those superficial
atheists who endeavoured to weaken the foundations of religion. He
saw the positive necessity of such religions as a basis for his slave
morality, and in the present chapter he exhorts the rulers to preserve
the religious faith of the serving classes, and to use it as a means
of government--as an instrument in the work of disciplining and
educating. In paragraph 61 he says: "The selecting and disciplining
influence--destructive as well as creative and fashioning--which can
be exercised by means of religion is manifold and varied, according to
the sort of people placed under its spell and protection." Not only is
this an expression of the utilitarian value of religious formulas, but
a definite voicing of one of the main factors in his philosophy. His
entire system of ethics is built on the complete disseverance of the
dominating class and the serving class; and his doctrine of "beyond
good and evil" should be considered only as it pertains to the superior
man. To apply it to all classes would be to reduce Nietzsche's whole
system of ethics to impracticability, and therefore to an absurdity.

Passing from a consideration of the religious mood, Nietzsche enters a
broader sphere of ethical research, and endeavours to trace the history
and development of morals. He accuses the philosophers of having
avoided the real problem of morality, namely: the testing of the faith
and motives which lie beneath moral beliefs. This is the task he sets
for himself, and in his chapter, "The Natural History of Morals," he
makes an examination of moral origins--an examination which is extended
into an exhaustive treatise in "The Genealogy of Morals." However, his
dissection here is carried out on a broader and far more general scale
than in his previous books, such as "Human, All-Too-Human" and "The
Dawn of Day." Heretofore he had confined himself to codes and systems,
to _acts_ of morality and immorality, to judgments of conducts. In
"Beyond Good and Evil" he treats of moral prejudices as forces working
hand in hand with human progress. In addition, there is a definite
attitude of constructive thinking here which is absent from his earlier
work. He outlines the course to be taken by the men of the future, and
points to the results which have accrued from the moralities of modern
nations. He offers the will to power in place of the older "will to
belief," and characterises the foundations of acceptance for all moral
codes as "fictions" and "premature hypotheses." He defines the racial
ideals which have grown up out of moral influences, and, applying them
to the needs of the present day, finds them inadequate and dangerous.
The conclusion to which his observations and analyses point is that,
unless the rulers of the race take a stand beyond the outposts of good
and evil and govern on a basis of expediency divorced from all moral
influences, the individual is in constant danger of being lowered to
the level of the gregarious conscience.

In the chapter, "We Scholars," Nietzsche continues his definition
of the philosopher, whom he holds to be the highest type of man.
Besides being a mere description of the intellectual traits of this
"free spirit," the chapter is also an exposition of the shortcomings
of those modern men who pose as philosophers. In the path of these
new thinkers Nietzsche sees many difficulties both from within and
from without, and points out methods whereby these obstacles may be
overcome. Also the man of science and the man of genius are analyzed
and weighed as to their relative importance in the community. In
fact, we have here Nietzsche's most concise and complete definition
of the individuals upon whom rests the burden of progress. These
valuations of the intellectual leaders are important to the student,
for by one's understanding them, along with the reasons for such
valuations, a comprehension of the ensuing volumes is facilitated.
Nietzsche hereby establishes the qualities of those entitled to the
master-morality code; and, by thus drawing the line of demarcation in
humanity, he defines at the same time that class whose constitutions
and predispositions demand the slave-morality. In addition, he affixes,
according to his philosophical formula, a scale of values to such
mental attributes as objectivity, power to will, scepticism, positivity
and constraint.

Important material touching on many of the fundamental points of
Nietzsche's philosophy is embodied in the chapter entitled "Our
Virtues." The more general inquiries into conduct and the research
along the broader lines of ethics are supplanted by inquiries into
specific moral attributes. The current virtues are questioned, and
their historical significance is determined. The value of such virtues
is tested in their relation to different types of men. Sacrifice,
sympathy, brotherly love, service, loyalty, altruism and similar ideals
of conduct are examined, and the results of such virtues are shown
to be incompatible with the demands of modern social intercourse.
Nietzsche poses against these virtues the sterner and more rigid
forms of conduct, pointing out wherein they meet with the present
requirements of human progress. The chapter is a preparation for his
establishment of a new morality and also an explanation of the dual
ethical code which is one of the main pillars in his philosophical
structure. Before presenting his precept of a dual morality, Nietzsche
endeavours to determine woman's place in the political and social
scheme, and points out the necessity, not only of individual feminine
functioning, but of the preservation of a distinct polarity in sexual

In the final chapter many of Nietzsche's philosophical ideas take
definite shape. The doctrine of slave-morality and master-morality,
prepared for and partially defined in preceding chapters, is here
directly set forth, and those virtues and attitudes which constitute
the "nobility" of the master class are specifically defined. Nietzsche
designates the duty of his aristocracy, and segregates the human
attributes according to the rank of individuals. The Dionysian ideal,
which underlies all the books that follow "Beyond Good and Evil,"
receives its first direct exposition and application. The hardier
human traits such as egotism, cruelty, arrogance, retaliation and
appropriation are given ascendency over the softer virtues such
as sympathy, charity, forgiveness, loyalty and humility, and are
pronounced necessary constituents in the moral code of a natural
aristocracy. At this point is begun the transvaluation of values which
was to have been completed in "The Will to Power." The student should
read carefully this chapter, for it is an introduction as well as an
explanation for what follows, and was written with that purpose in


_To recognise untruth as a condition of life:_ that is certainly to
impugn the traditional ideas of value in a dangerous manner, and a
philosophy which ventures to do so, has thereby alone placed itself
beyond good and evil. 9

Psychologists should bethink themselves before putting down the
instinct of self-preservation as the cardinal instinct of an organic
being. A living thing seeks above all to _discharge its strength_--life
itself is _Will to Power;_ self-preservation is only one of the
indirect and most frequent _results_ thereof. 20

It is the business of the very few to be independent; it is the
privilege of the strong. And whoever attempts it, even with the best
right, but without being _obliged_ to do so, proves that he is probably
not only strong, but also daring beyond measure. 43

The virtues of the common man would perhaps mean vice and weakness in a
philosopher; it might be possible for a highly developed man, supposing
him to degenerate and go to ruin, to acquire qualities thereby alone,
for the sake of which he would have to be honoured as a saint in the
lower world into which he had sunk. 44

Books for the general reader are always ill-smelling books, the odour
of paltry people clings to them. Where the populace eat and drink, and
even where they reverence, it is accustomed to stink. One should not go
into churches if one wishes to breathe pure air. 44

"Will" can naturally only operate on "will"--and not on "matter"
(not on "nerves," for instance): in short, the hypothesis must be
hazarded, whether will does not operate on will wherever "effects" are
recognised--and whether all mechanical action, inasmuch as a power
operates therein, is not just the power of will, the effect of will.
Granted, finally, that we succeed in explaining our entire instinctive
life as the development and ramification of one fundamental form of
will--namely, the Will to Power, as _my_ thesis puts it; granted that
all organic functions could be traced back to this Will to Power, and
that the solution of the problem of generation and nutrition--it is one
problem--could also be found therein: one would thus have acquired the
right to define _all_ active force unequivocally as _Will to Power._
The world seen from within, the world defined and designated according
to its "intelligible character"--it would simply be "Will to Power,"
and nothing else. 52

Happiness and virtue are no arguments. It is willingly forgotten,
however, even on the part of thoughtful minds, that to make unhappy
and to make bad are just as little counter-arguments. A thing could be
_true,_ although it were in the highest degree injurious and dangerous;
indeed, the fundamental constitution of existence might be such that
one succumbed by a full knowledge of it--so that the strength of a mind
might be measured by the amount of "truth" it could endure--or to speak
more plainly, by the extent to which it _required_ truth attenuated,
veiled, sweetened, damped, and falsified. 53-54

Everything that is profound loves the mask; the profoundest things have
a hatred even of figure and likeness. Should not the _contrary_ only be
the right disguise for the shame of a God to go about in? 54-55

One must renounce the bad taste of wishing to agree with many people.
"Good" is no longer good when one's neighbour takes it into his mouth.
And how could there be a "common good." The expression contradicts
itself; that which can be common is always of small value. In the end
things must be as they are and have always been--the great things
remain for the great, the abysses for the profound, the delicacies and
thrills for the refined, and, to sum up shortly, everything rare for
the rare. 57-58

In every country of Europe, and the same in America, there is at
present ... a very narrow, prepossessed, enchained class of spirits....
Briefly and regrettably, they belong to the _levellers,_ these wrongly
named "free spirits"--as glib-tongued and scribe-fingered slaves of
the democratic taste and its "modern ideas"; all of them men without
solitude, without personal solitude, blunt honest fellows to whom
neither courage nor honourable conduct ought to be denied; only, they
are not free, and are ludicrously superficial, especially in their
innate partiality for seeing the cause of almost _all_ human misery
and failure in the old forms in which society has hitherto existed--a
notion which happily inverts the truth entirely. 53-59

We believe that severity, violence, slavery, danger in the street and
in the heart, secrecy, stoicism, tempter's art and revelry of every
kind,--that everything wicked, terrible, tyrannical, predatory, and
serpentine in man, serves as well for the elevation of the human
species as its opposite.... 59

The Christian faith from the beginning, is sacrifice: the sacrifice of
all freedom, all pride, all self-confidence of spirit; it is at the
same time subjection, self-derision, and self-mutilation. 65

The mightiest men have hitherto always bowed reverently before
the saint, as the enigma of self-subjugation and utter voluntary
privation.--Why did they thus bow? They divined in him--and as it were
behind the questionableness of his frail and wretched appearance--the
superior force which wished to test itself by such a subjugation; the
strength and love of power, and knew how to honour it: they honoured
something in themselves when they honoured the saint.... The mighty
ones of the world learned to have a new fear before him, they divined
a new power, a strange, still unconquered enemy:--it was the "Will to
Power" which obliged them to halt before the saint. 70-71

Perhaps the most solemn conceptions that have caused the most fighting
and suffering, the conceptions "God" and "sin," will one day seem to us
of no more importance than a child's plaything or a child's pain seems
to an old man.... 75

To love mankind _for God's sake_--this has so far been the noblest and
remotest sentiment to which mankind has attained. 79

For those who are strong and independent, destined and trained
to command, in whom the judgment and skill of a ruling race is
incorporated, religion is an additional means for overcoming, betraying
and surrendering to the former the conscience of the latter, their
inmost heart, which would fain escape obedience. 80

Asceticism and Puritanism are almost indispensable means of educating
and ennobling a race which seeks to rise above its hereditary baseness
and work itself upward to future supremacy. And finally, to ordinary
men, to the majority of the people, who exist for service and general
utility, and are only so far entitled to exist, religion gives
invaluable contentedness with their lot and condition, peace of heart,
ennoblement of obedience, additional social happiness and sympathy,
with something of transfiguration and embellishment, something of
justification of all the commonplaceness, all the meanness, all the
semi-animal poverty of their souls. 81

"Knowledge for its own sake"--that is the last snare laid by morality:
we are thereby completely entangled in morals once more. 85

He who attains his ideal, precisely thereby surpasses it. 86

Sympathy for all--would be harshness and tyranny for _thee,_ my good
neighbour! 88

To be ashamed of one's immorality is a step on the ladder at the end of
which one is ashamed also of one's morality. 89

A discerning one might easily regard himself at present as the
animalisation of God. 90

Not their love of humanity, but the impotence of their love, prevents
the Christians of to-day--burning us. 91

There is no such thing as moral phenomena, but only a moral
interpretation of phenomena. 91

The criminal is often enough not equal to his deed: he extenuates and
maligns it. 91

The great epochs of our life are at the points when we gain courage to
rebaptise our badness as the best in us. 92

It is a curious thing that God learned Greek when he wished to turn
author--and that he did not learn it better. 93

Even concubinage has been corrupted--by marriage. 93

A nation is a detour of nature to arrive at six or seven great
men--Yes, and then to get round them. 94

From the senses originate all trustworthiness, all good conscience, all
evidence of truth. 95

Our vanity would like what we do best to pass precisely for what is
most difficult to us.--Concerning the origin of many systems of morals.

When a woman has scholarly inclinations there is generally something
wrong with her sexual nature. Barrenness itself conduces to a certain
virility of taste; man, indeed, if I may say so, is "the barren
animal." 96

That which an age considers evil is usually an unseasonable echo of
what was formerly considered good--the atavism of an old ideal. 97

What is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil. 98

Objection, evasion, joyous distrust, and love of irony are signs of
health; everything absolute belongs to pathology. 98

The Jews---a people "born for slavery," as Tacitus and the whole
ancient world say of them; "the chosen people among the nations," as
they themselves say and believe--the Jews performed the miracle of the
inversion of valuations, by means of which life on earth obtained a
new and dangerous charm for a couple of millenniums. Their prophets
fused into one the expressions "rich," "godless," "wicked," "violent,"
"sensual," and for the first time coined the word "world" as a term of
reproach. In this inversion of valuations (in which is also included
the use of the word "poor" as synonymous with "saint" and "friend") the
significance of the Jewish people is to be found; it is with _them_
that the _slave-insurrection in morals_ commences. 117

The beast of prey and the man of prey (for instance, Cæsar Borgia) are
fundamentally misunderstood, "nature" is misunderstood, so long as one
seeks a "morbidness" in the constitution of these healthiest of all
tropical monsters and growths.... 118

All the systems of morals which address themselves to individuals
with a view to their "happiness," as it is called--what else are they
but suggestions for behaviour adapted to the degree of _danger_ from
themselves in which the individuals live; recipes for their passions,
their good and bad propensities in so far as such have the Will to
Power and would like to play the master; small and great expediencies
and elaborations, permeated with the musty odour of old family
medicines and old-wife wisdom; all of them grotesque and absurd in
their form--because they address themselves to "all," because they
generalise where generalisation is not authorised; all of them speaking
unconditionally, and taking themselves unconditionally; all of them
flavoured not merely with one grain of salt, but rather endurable only,
and sometimes even seductive, when they are over-spiced and begin to
smell dangerously, especially of "the other world." 118-119

In view ... of the fact that obedience has been most practised and
fostered among mankind hitherto, one may reasonably suppose that,
generally speaking, the need thereof is now innate in every one, as a
kind of _formal conscience._... 120

The history of the influence of Napoleon is almost the history of
the higher happiness to which the entire century has attained in its
worthiest individuals and periods. 121

As long as the utility which determines moral estimates is only
gregarious utility, as long as the preservation of the community is
only kept in view, and the immoral is sought precisely and exclusively
in what seems dangerous to the maintenance of the community, there can
be no "morality of love to one's neighbour." 123

"Love of our neighbour," is always a secondary matter, partly
conventional and arbitrarily manifested in relation to our _fear of our
neighbour._ 123

Everything that elevates the individual above the herd, and is a
source of fear to the neighbour, is henceforth called _evil;_ the
tolerant, unassuming, self-adapting, self-equalising disposition, the
_mediocrity_ of desires, attains to moral distinction and honour. 125

The _democratic_ movement is the inheritance of the Christian movement.

We, who regard the democratic movement, not only as a degenerating
form of political organisation, but as equivalent to a degenerating,
a waning type of man, as involving his mediocrising and depreciation:
where have _we_ to fix our hopes? In _new philosophers_--there is no
other alternative: in minds strong and original enough to initiate
opposite estimates of value, to transvalue and invert "eternal
valuations"; in forerunners, in men of the future, who in the present
shall fix the constraints and fasten the knots which will compel
millenniums to take _new_ paths. To teach men the future of humanity
as his _will,_ as depending on human will, and to make preparation
for vast hazardous enterprises and collective attempts in rearing and
educating, in order thereby to put an end to the frightful rule of
folly and chance which has hitherto gone by the name of "history" (the
folly of the "greatest number" is only its last form)--for that purpose
a new type of philosophers and commanders will some time or other be
needed, at the very idea of which everything that has existed in the
way of occult, terrible, and benevolent beings might look pale and
dwarfed. 128-129

The _universal degeneracy of mankind_ to the level of the "man of the
future"--as idealised by the socialistic fools and shallow-pates--this
degeneracy and dwarfing of man to an absolutely gregarious animal (or
as they call it, to a man of "free society"), this brutalising of man
into a pigmy with equal rights and claims, is undoubtedly _possible!_
He who has thought out this possibility to its ultimate conclusion
knows _another_ loathing unknown to the rest of mankind--and perhaps
also a new _mission!_ 130-131

Supposing ... that in the picture of the philosophers of the future,
some trait suggests the question whether they must not perhaps be
sceptics in the last-mentioned sense, something in them would only
be designated thereby--and _not_ they themselves. With equal right
they might call themselves critics; and assuredly they will be men of
experiments.... They will be _sterner_ (and perhaps not always towards
themselves only) ... they will not deal with the "truth" in order that
it may "please" them, or "elevate" and "inspire" them--they will rather
have little faith in _"truth"_ bringing with it such revels for the
feelings. They will smile, those rigorous spirits, when any one says in
their presence: "that thought elevates me, why should it not be true?"
or; "that artist enlarges me, why should he not be great?" Perhaps they
will not only have a smile, but a genuine disgust for all that is thus
rapturous, idealistic, feminine and hermaphroditic; and if any one
could look into their inmost heart, he would not easily find therein
the intention to reconcile "Christian sentiments" with "antique taste,"
or even with "modern parliamentarism" (the kind of reconciliation
necessarily found even amongst philosophers in our very uncertain and
consequently very conciliatory century). Critical discipline, and every
habit that conduces to purity and rigour in intellectual matters,
will not only be demanded from themselves by these philosophers of
the future; they may even make a display thereof as their special
adornment--nevertheless they will not want to be called critics on
that account. It will seem to them no small indignity to philosophy to
have it decreed, as is so welcome nowadays, that "philosophy itself is
criticism and critical science--and nothing else whatever!" 149-151

_The real philosophers ... are commanders and law-givers;_ they say:
"Thus _shall_ it be." They determine first the Whither and the Why of
mankind, and thereby set aside the previous labour of all philosophical
workers, and all subjugators of the past--they grasp at the future with
a creative hand, and whatever is and was, becomes for them thereby a
means, an instrument, and a hammer. Their "knowing" is _creating,_
their creating is a law-giving, their will to truth is--_Will to
Tower._... 52

At present ... when throughout Europe the herding animal alone
attains to honours, and dispenses honours, when "equality of right"
can too readily be transformed into equality in wrong: I mean to say
into general war against everything rare, strange, and privileged,
against the higher man, the higher soul, the higher duty, the higher
responsibility, the creative plenipotence and lordliness--at present
it belongs to the conception of "greatness" to be noble, to wish to be
apart, to be capable of being different, to stand alone, to have to
live by personal initiative; and the philosopher will betray something
of his own ideal when he asserts: "He shall be the greatest who can
be the most solitary, the most concealed, the most divergent, the man
beyond good and evil, the master of his virtues, and of superabundance
of will; precisely this shall be called _greatness:_ as diversified as
can be entire, as ample as can be full." 154-155

Morality as attitude is opposed to our taste nowadays. This is _also_
an advance, as it was an advance in our fathers that religion as an
attitude finally became opposed to their taste.... 161

The practice of judging and condemning morally is the favourite revenge
of the intellectually shallow on those who are less so.... 162

Whoever has really offered sacrifice knows that he wanted and obtained
something for it--perhaps something from himself for something from
himself; that he relinquished here in order to have more there, perhaps
in general to be more, or even feel himself "more." 164

Wherever sympathy (fellow-suffering) is preached nowadays ... let the
psychologist have his ears open: through all the vanity, through all
the noise which is natural to these preachers (as to all preachers), he
will hear a hoarse, groaning, genuine note of _self-contempt._ 65

We are prepared as no other age has ever been for a carnival in the
grand style, for the most spiritual festival-laughter and arrogance,
for the transcendental height of supreme folly and Aristophanic
ridicule of the world. Perhaps we are still discovering the domain
of our _invention_ just here, the domain where even we can still be
original, probably as parodists of the world's history and as God's
Merry-Andrews,--perhaps, though nothing else of the present have a
future, our _laughter_ itself may have a future! 168

The discipline of suffering, of _great_ suffering--know ye not that
it is only _this_ discipline that has produced all the elevations of
humanity hitherto? 171

It is desirable that as few people as possible should reflect upon
morals, and consequently it is _very_ desirable that morals should not
some day become interesting! 174

Not one of those ponderous, conscience-stricken herding-animals (who
undertake to advocate the cause of egoism as conducive to the general
welfare) wants to have any knowledge or inkling of the facts that the
"general welfare" is no ideal, no goal, no notion that can be at all
grasped, but is only a nostrum,--that what is fair to one _may not_
at all be fair to another, that the requirement of one morality for
all is really a detriment to higher men, in short, that there is a
_distinction of rank_ between man and man, and consequently between
morality and morality. 175

That which constitutes the painful delight of tragedy is cruelty; that
which operates agreeably in so-called tragic sympathy, and at the basis
even of everything sublime, up to the highest and most delicate thrills
of metaphysics, obtains its sweetness solely from the intermingled
ingredient of cruelty. 177

Enlightenment hitherto has fortunately been men's affair, men's
gift--we remained therewith "among ourselves"; and in the end,
in view of all that women write about "woman," we may well have
considerable doubt as to whether woman really _desires_ enlightenment
about herself--and _can_ desire it. If woman does not thereby seek a
new _ornament_ for herself--I believe ornamentation belongs to the
eternally feminine?--why, then, she wishes to make herself feared;
perhaps she thereby wishes to get the mastery. But she does not _want_
truth--what does woman care for truth. From the very first nothing is
more foreign, more repugnant, or more hostile to woman than truth--her
great art is falsehood, her chief concern is appearance and beauty. 183

It betrays corruption of the instincts--apart from the fact that it
betrays bad taste--when a woman refers to Madame Roland, or Madame
de Staël, or Monsieur George Sand, as though something were proved
thereby in _favour_ of "woman as she is." Among men, these are the
three _comical_ women as they are--nothing more--and just the best
involuntary _counter-arguments_ against feminine emancipation and
autonomy. 184

Stupidity in the kitchen; woman as cook; the terrible thoughtlessness
with which the feeding of the family and the master of the house is
managed. Woman does not understand what food _means,_ and she insists
on being cook. If woman had been a thinking creature, she should
certainly, as cook for thousands of years, have discovered the most
important physiological facts, and should likewise have got possession
of the healing art. Through bad female cooks--through the entire lack
of reason in the kitchen--the development of mankind has been longest
retarded and most interfered with. 184-185

To be mistaken in the fundamental problem of "man and woman," to deny
here the profoundest antagonism and the necessity for an eternally
hostile tension, to dream here perhaps of equal rights, equal
training, equal claims and obligations: that is a _typical_ sign of
shallow-mindedness; and a thinker who has proved himself shallow at
this dangerous spot--shallow in instinct--may generally be regarded
as suspicious, nay more, as betrayed, as discovered: he will probably
prove too "short" for all fundamental questions of life, future as well
as present, and will be unable to descend into _any_ of the depths. On
the other hand, a man who has depth of spirit as well as of desires,
and has also the depth of benevolence which is capable of severity and
harshness, and easily confounded with them, can only think of woman as
Orientals do: he must conceive of her as a possession, as confinable
property, as a being predestined for service and accomplishing her
mission therein.... 186-187

The weaker sex has in no previous age been treated with so much respect
by men as at present--this belongs to the tendency and fundamental
taste of democracy, in the same way as disrespectfulness to old
age--what wonder is it that abuse should be immediately made of this
respect? They want more, they learn to make claims, the tribute of
respect is at last felt to be well-nigh galling.... 187

Wherever the industrial spirit has triumphed over the military
and aristocratic spirit, woman strives for the economic and legal
independence of a clerk: "woman as clerkess" is inscribed on the portal
of the modern society which is in course of formation. While she
thus appropriates new rights, aspires to be "master," and inscribes
"progress" of woman on her flags and banners, the very opposite
realises itself with terrible obviousness: _woman retrogrades._ Since
the French Revolution the influence of woman in Europe has _declined_
in proportion as she has increased her rights and claims; and the
"emancipation of woman," in so far as it is desired and demanded by
women themselves (and not only by masculine shallow-pates), thus proves
to be a remarkable symptom of the increased weakening and deadening of
the most womanly instincts. There is _stupidity_ in this movement, an
almost masculine stupidity, of which a well-reared woman--who is always
a sensible woman--might be heartily ashamed. 187-188

Every elevation of the type "man," 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. 223

The essential thing ... in a good and healthy aristocracy is that it
should _not_ regard itself as a function either of the kingship or
the commonwealth, but as the _significance_ and highest justification
thereof--that it should therefore accept with a good conscience the
sacrifice of a legion of individuals, who, _for its sake,_ must be
suppressed and reduced to imperfect men, to slaves and instruments.
Its fundamental belief must be precisely that society is _not_ allowed
to exist for its own sake, but only as a foundation and scaffolding,
by means of which a select class of beings may be able to elevate
themselves to their higher duties, and in general to a higher
_existence._... 225

Life itself is _essentially_ appropriation, injury, conquest of the
strange and weak, suppression, severity, obtrusion of peculiar forms,
incorporation, and at the least, putting it mildest, exploitation....

People now rave everywhere, even under the guise of science, about
coming conditions of society in which "the exploiting character" is to
be absent:--that sounds to my ears as if they promised to invent a mode
of life which should refrain from all organic functions. "Exploitation"
does not belong to a depraved, or imperfect and primitive society;
it belongs to the _nature_ of the living being as a primary organic
function; it is a consequence of the intrinsic Will to Power, which is
precisely the Will to Life. 226

In a tour through the many finer and coarser moralities which have
hitherto prevailed or still prevail on the earth, I found certain
traits recurring regularly together and connected with one another,
until finally two primary types revealed themselves to me, and a
radical distinction was brought to light. There is _master-morality_
and _slave-morality;_--I would at once add, however, that in all higher
and mixed civilisations, there are also attempts at the reconciliation
of the two moralities; but one finds still oftener the confusion
and mutual misunderstanding of them, indeed, sometimes their close
juxtaposition--even in the same man, within one soul. 227

The noble type of man regards _himself_ as a determiner of values;
he does not require to be approved of; he passes the judgment: "What
is injurious to me is injurious in itself"; he knows that it is he
himself only who confers honour on things; he is a _creator_ of
values. He honours whatever he recognises in himself: such morality
is self-glorification. In the foreground there is the feeling of
plenitude, of power, which seeks to overflow, the happiness of high
tension, the conscientiousness of a wealth which would fain give
and bestow:--the noble man also helps the unfortunate, but not--or
scarcely--out of pity, but rather from an impulse generated by the
superabundance of power. The noble man honours in himself the powerful
one, him also who has power over himself, who knows how to speak and
how to keep silence, who takes pleasure in subjecting himself to
severity and hardness, and has reverence for all that is severe and
hard. 229

A morality of the ruling class ... is ... especially foreign and
irritating to present-day taste in the sternness of its principle
that one has duties only to one's equals; that one may act towards
beings of a lower rank, towards all that is foreign, just as seems
good to one, or "as the heart desires," and in any case "beyond good
and evil": it is here that sympathy and similar sentiments can have a
place. The ability and obligation to exercise prolonged gratitude and
prolonged revenge--both only within the circle of equals,--artfulness
in retaliation, _raffinement_ of the idea in friendship, a certain
necessity to have enemies as outlets for the emotions of envy,
quarrelsomeness, arrogance--in fact, in order to be a good _friend:_
all these are typical characteristics of the noble morality. 229-230

Slave-morality is essentially the morality of utility. Here is the seat
of the origin of the famous antithesis "good" and "_evil":_--power
and dangerousness are assumed to reside in the evil, a certain
dreadfulness, subtlety, and strength, which do not admit of being
despised. According to slave-morality, therefore, the "evil" man
arouses fear; according to master-morality, it is precisely the "good"
man who arouses fear and seeks to arouse it, while the bad man is
regarded as the despicable being. The contrast attains its maximum
when, in accordance with the logical consequences of slave-morality,
a shade of depreciation--it may be slight and well-intentioned--at
last attaches itself even to the "good" man of this morality; because,
according to the servile mode of thought, the good man must in any
case be the _safe_ man: he is good-natured, easily deceived, perhaps a
little stupid, _un bonhomme._ Everywhere that slave-morality gains the
ascendency, language shows a tendency to approximate the significations
of the words "good" and "stupid."--A last fundamental difference: the
desire for _freedom,_ the instinct for happiness and the refinements
of the feeling of liberty belong as necessarily to slave-morals and
morality, as artifice and enthusiasm in reverence and devotion are the
regular symptoms of an aristocratic mode of thinking and estimating.

A _species_ originates, and a type becomes established and strong in
the long struggle with essentially constant _unfavourable_ conditions.
On the other hand, it is known by the experience of breeders that
species which receive superabundant nourishment, and in general a
surplus of protection and care, immediately tend in the most marked way
to develop variations, and are fertile in prodigies and monstrosities
(also in monstrous vices). 234

I submit that egoism belongs to the essence of a noble soul, I mean
the unalterable belief that to a being such as "we," other beings must
naturally be in subjection, and have to sacrifice themselves. 240

Woman would like to believe that love can do _everything_--it is the
_superstition_ peculiar to her. Alas, he who knows the heart finds
out how poor, helpless, pretentious, and blundering even the best and
deepest love is--he finds that it rather _destroys_ than saves! 246

Signs of nobility: never to think of lowering our duties to the rank
of duties for everybody; to be unwilling to renounce or to share our
responsibilities; to count our prerogatives, and the exercise of them,
among our _duties._ 249

A man strives after great things, looks upon every one whom he
encounters on his way either as a means of advance, or a delay and
hindrance--or as a temporary resting-place. 249

If one wishes to praise at all, it is a delicate and at the same time a
noble self-control, to praise only where one _does not_ agree.... 254

All society makes one somehow, somewhere, or sometimes--"commonplace."

_The noble soul has reverence for itself._ 256

A man who can conduct a case, carry out a resolution, remain true to
an opinion, keep hold of a woman, punish and overthrow insolence; a
man who has his indignation and his sword, and to whom the weak, the
suffering, the oppressed, and even the animals willingly submit and
naturally belong; in short, a man who is a _master_ by nature--when
such a man has sympathy, well, _that_ sympathy has value! 259

I would even allow myself to rank philosophers according to the quality
of their laughing--up to those who are capable of _golden_ laughter.


"The Genealogy of Morals"

("_Zur Genealogie der Moral_") was written by Nietzsche primarily as an
elaboration and elucidation of the philosophic points which were merely
sketched in "Beyond Good and Evil." This former work had met with small
success, and the critics, failing to understand its doctrines, read
converse meanings in it. One critic hailed Nietzsche at once as an
anarchist, and this review went far in actuating him in drawing up the
three essays which comprise the present book. As will be remembered,
several of Nietzsche's most important principles were stated and
outlined in "Beyond Good and Evil," especially his doctrine of
slave-morality and master-morality. Now he undertakes to develop this
proposition, as well as many others which he set forth provisionally
in his earlier work. This new polemic may be looked upon both as a
completing of former works and as a further preparation for "The Will
to Power." The book, a comparatively brief one (it contains barely
40,000 words), was written in a period of about two weeks during the
early part of 1887. In July the manuscript was sent to the publisher,
but was recalled for revisions and addenda; and most of Nietzsche's
summer was devoted to correcting it. Later that same year the book
appeared; and thereby its author acquired another friendly reader,
Georg Brandes, to whom, more than to any other critic, Nietzsche owes
his early recognition.

The style of "The Genealogy of Morals" is less aphoristic than any
of the books which immediately preceded or followed it. Few new
doctrines are propounded in it; and since it was for the most part
an analytic commentary on what had gone before, its expositional
needs were best met by Nietzsche's earlier style of writing. I have
spoken before of the desultory and sporadic manner in which Nietzsche
was necessitated to present his philosophy. Nowhere is his method
of work better exemplified than in this new work. Nearly every one
of his books overlaps another. Propositions are sketchily stated in
one essay, which receive elucidation only in future volumes. "Beyond
Good and Evil" was a commentary on "Thus Spake Zarathustra"; "The
Genealogy of Morals" is a commentary on the newly propounded theses in
"Beyond Good and Evil" and is in addition an elaboration of many of
the ideas which took birth as far back as "Human, All-Too-Human." Out
of "The Genealogy of Morals" in turn grew "The Antichrist" which dealt
specifically with the theological phase of the former's discussion
of general morals. And all of these books were but preparations for
"The Will to Power." For this reason it is difficult to acquire a
complete understanding of Nietzsche's philosophy unless one follows
it consecutively and chronologically. The book at present under
discussion is a most valuable one from an academic standpoint, for,
while it may not set forth any new and important doctrines, it goes
deep into the origins and history of moral concepts, and explains many
of the important conclusions in Nietzsche's moral code. It brings more
and more into prominence the main pillars of his ethical system and
explains at length the steps in the syllogism which led to his doctrine
of master-morality. It ascertains the origin of the concept of sin, and
describes the racial deterioration which has followed in the train of
Christian ideals.

In many ways this book is the profoundest of all the writings Nietzsche
left us. For the first time he separates theological and moral
prejudices and traces them to different origins. This is one of the
most important steps taken by him. By so doing he became an explorer
of entirely new fields. The moral historians and psychologists who
preceded him had considered moral precepts and Christian injunctions
as stemming from the same source: their genealogies had led them to
the same common spring. Nietzsche entered the search with new methods.
He applied the philologie test to all moral values. He brought to his
task, in addition to a historical sense, what he calls "an innate
faculty of psychological discrimination _par excellence._" He posed the
following questions, and endeavoured to answer them by inquiring into
the minutest aspects of historical conditions: "Under what conditions
did Man invent for himself those judgments of value, 'good' and 'evil'?
_And what intrinsic value do they possess in themselves?_ Have they
up to the present hindered or advanced human well-being"? Are they a
symptom of the distress, impoverishment, and degeneration of Human
Life? Or, conversely, is it in them that is manifested the fulness, the
strength, and the will of Life, its courage, its self-confidence, its
future?" In his research, Nietzsche first questioned the value of pity.
He found it to be a symptom of modern civilisation--a quality held in
contempt by the older philosophers, even by such widely dissimilar
minds as Plato, Spinoza, La Rochefoucauld and Kant--but a quality
given high place by the more modern thinkers. Despite the seemingly
apparent isolation of the problem of pity-morality, Nietzsche saw that
in truth it was a question which underlay all other moral propositions;
and, using it as a ground-work for his research, he began to question
the utility of all those values held as "good," to apply the qualities
of the "good man" to the needs of civilisation, and to inquire into the
results left upon the race by the "bad man."

So great was the misunderstanding which attached to his phrase, "beyond
good and evil," and so persistently was this phrase interpreted in
its narrow sense of "beyond good and bad," that he felt the necessity
of drawing the line of distinction between these two diametrically
opposed conceptions and of explaining the origin of each. His first
essay in "The Genealogy of Morals" is devoted to this task. At the
outset he devotes considerable space criticising the methods and
conclusions of former genealogists of morals, especially of the English
psychologists who attribute an _intrinsic_ merit to altruism because
at one time altruism possessed a utilitarian value. Herbert Spencer's
theory that "good" is the same as "purposive" brings from Nietzsche a
protest founded on the contention that because a thing was at one time
useful, and therefore "good," it does not follow that the thing is good
_in itself._ By the etymology of the descriptive words of morality,
Nietzsche traces the history of modern moral attributes through class
distinctions to their origin in the instincts of the "nobles" and the
"vulgarians." He shows the relationship between the Latin _bonus_ and
the "warrior," by deriving _bonus_ from _duonus. Bellum,_ he shows,
equals _duellum_ which equals _duen-lum,_ in which word _duonus_
is contained. Likewise, he points out the aristocratic origin of
"happiness"--a quality arising from an abundance of energy and the
consciousness of power.

"Good and evil," according to Nietzsche, is a sign of slave-morality;
while "good and bad" represents the qualities in the master-morality.
The one stands for the adopted qualities of the subservient races; the
other embodies the natural functioning of dominating races. The origin
of the "good" in these two instances is by no means the same. In the
strong man "good" represented an entirely different condition than the
"good" in the resentful and weak man; and these two "goods" arose out
of different causes. The one was spontaneous and natural--inherent in
the individual of strength: the other was a manufactured condition, an
optional selection of qualities to soften and ameliorate the conditions
of existence. "Evil" and "bad," by the same token, became attributes
originating in widely separated sources. The "evil" of the weak man was
any condition which worked against the manufactured ideals of goodness,
which brought about unhappiness--it was the beginning of the conception
of a slave-morality, a term applied to all enemies. The "bad" of the
strong man was the concept which grew directly out of his feeling for
"good," and which had no application to another individual. Thus the
ideas of "good" and "bad" are directly inherited from the nobles of the
race, and these ideas included within themselves the tendency toward
establishing social distinctions.

The second section of "The Genealogy of Morals," called "'Guilt,' 'Bad
Conscience,' and the Like," is another important document, the reading
of which is almost imperative for the student who would understand the
processes of thought which led to Nietzsche's philosophic conclusions.
In this essay Nietzsche traces the origin of sin to debt, thereby
disagreeing with all the genealogists of morals who preceded him. He
starts with the birth of memory in man and with the corresponding will
to forgetfulness, showing that out of these two mental qualities was
born responsibility. Out of responsibility in turn grew the function of
promising and the accepting of promises, which at once made possible
between individuals the relationship of "debtor" and "creditor." As
soon as this relationship was established, one man had rights over
another. The creditor could exact payment from the debtor, either in
the form of material equivalent or by inflicting an injury in which
was contained the sensation of satisfaction. Thus the creditor had the
right to punish in cases where actual repayment was impossible. And in
this idea of punishment began not only class distinction but primitive
law. Later, when the power to punish was transferred into the hands
of the community, the law of contract came into existence. Here, says
Nietzsche, we find the cradle of the whole moral world of the ideas of
"guilt," "conscience," and "duty"; and adds, "Their commencement, like
the commencement of all great things in the world, is thoroughly and
continuously saturated in blood."

Carrying out the principle underlying the relationship of debtor and
creditor we arrive at the formation of the community. In return for
protection and for communal advantages the individual pledged his good
behaviour. When he violated this contract with the community, the
community, in the guise of the defrauded creditor, took its revenge, or
exacted its payment, from the debtor, the criminal. And, as was the
case in early history, the community deprived the violator of future
advantages and protection. The debtor was divested of all rights, even
of mercy, for then there were no degrees in law-breaking. Primitive law
was martial law. Says Nietzsche, "This shows why war itself (counting
the sacrificial cult of war) has produced all the forms under which
punishment has manifested itself in history." Later, as the community
gathered strength, the offences of the individual debtors were looked
upon as less serious. Out of its security grew leniency toward the
offender: the penal code became mitigated, and, as in all powerful
nations to-day, the criminal was protected. Only when there was a
consciousness of weakness in a community did the acts of individual
offenders take on an exaggerated seriousness, and under such conditions
the law was consequently harshest. Thus, justice and the infliction of
legal penalties are direct outgrowths of the primitive relation of debt
between individuals. Herein we have the origin of guilt.

Nietzsche attempts an elaborate analysis of the history of punishment,
in an effort to ascertain its true meaning, its relation to guilt
and to the community, and its final effects on both the individual
and society. It has been impossible to present the sequence of this
analysis by direct excerpts from his own words, due to the close,
synthetic manner in which he has made his research. Therefore I offer
the following brief exposition of pages 88 to 99 inclusive, in which he
examines the causes and effects of punishment. To begin with, Nietzsche
disassociates the "origin" and the "end" of punishment, and regards
them as two separate and distinct problems. He argues that the final
utility of a thing, in the sense that revenge and deterrence are the
final utilities of punishment, is in all cases opposed to the origin of
that thing; that every force or principle is constantly being put to
new purposes by forces greater than itself, thus making it impossible
to determine its inception by the end for which it is used. Therefore
the "function" of punishing was not conceived with a view to punishing,
but may have been employed for any number of ends, according as a will
to power has overcome that function and made use of it for its own
purpose: in short; punishment, like any organ or custom or "thing,"
has passed through a series of new interpretations and adjustments and
meanings--and is _not_ a direct and logical _progress as_ to an end.

Having established this point, Nietzsche endeavours to determine
the utilisation to which the custom of punishment has been put--to
ascertain the meaning which has been interpreted into it. He finds
that even in modern times not one but many uses have been made of
punishment, and that in ancient times so diverse have been the
utilisations of punishment that it is impossible to define them all.
In fact, one cannot determine the _precise reason_ for punishment. To
emphasise this point, Nietzsche gives a long list of possible meanings.
Taking up the more popular _supposed_ utilities of punishment at the
present time--such as creating in the wrong-doer the consciousness of
guilt, which is supposed to evolve into conscience and remorse--he
shows wherein punishment fails in its object. Against this theory
of the creation of remorse, he advances psychology and shows that,
to the contrary, punishment numbs and hardens. He argues also that
punishment for the purpose of making the wrong-doer conscious of the
intrinsic reprehensibility of his crime, fails because the very act for
which he is chastened is practised in the service of justice and is
called "good." Eliminating thus the _supposed_ effects of punishment,
Nietzsche arrives at the conclusion (included in the excerpts at
the end of this chapter) that punishment makes only for caution and
secrecy, and is therefore detrimental.

In his analysis of the origin of the "bad conscience," Nietzsche lends
himself to quotation. Therefore I have been able to present in his own
words a fair _resume_ of the course pursued by him in his examination
of the history of conscience. This particular branch of his research
is carried into the formation of the "State" which, according to him,
grew out of "a herd of blonde beasts." The older theory of the state,
namely: that it originated in the adoption of a contract, is set aside
as untenable when dealing with a peoples who possessed conquerors or
masters. These masters, argues Nietzsche, had no need of contracts.
By using the "bad conscience" as a ground for inquiry, the causes for
the existence of altruism are shown to be included in the self-cruelty
which followed in the wake of the instinct for freedom. (This last
point is developed fully in the discussion of ascetic ideals which
is found at the end of the book now under consideration.) Nietzsche
traces the birth of deities back along the lines of credit and debt.
First came the fear of ancestors. Then followed the obligation to
ancestors. At length the sacrifice to ancestors marked the beginning
of a conception of duty (debt) to the supernatural. The ancestors of
powerful nations in time became heroes, and finally evolved into gods.
Later monotheism came as a natural consequence, and God became the
creditor. In the expiation of sin, as symbolised in the crucifixion
of Christianity, we have this same relationship of debtor and
creditor carried out into a more complex form through the avenues of

The most important essay in "The Genealogy of Morals" is the last,
called "What is the Meaning of Ascetic Ideals?" Nietzsche examines
this question in relation to the artist, to the philosopher, to the
priest, and to the race generally. In his examination of the problem in
regard to artists he uses Wagner as a basis of inquiry, comparing the
two phases of Wagner's art--the Parsifalian and the ante-Parsifalian.
Artists, asserts Nietzsche, need a support of constituted authority;
they are unable to stand alone--"standing alone is opposed to their
deepest instincts"--and so they make use of asceticism as a rampart,
as building material, to give their work authority. In his application
of the ascetic ideal to philosophers, Nietzsche presents the cases
of Schopenhauer and Kant, and concludes that asceticism in such
instances is used as an escape from torture--a means to recreation
and happiness. With the philosopher the ideal of asceticism is not
a denial of existence. Rather is it an affirmation of existence. It
permits him freedom of the intellect. It relieves him of the numerous
obligations of life. Furthermore, the philosophic spirit, in order to
establish itself, found it necessary to disguise itself as "one of the
_previously fixed_ types of the contemplative man," as a priest or
soothsayer. Only in such a religious masquerade was philosophy taken
with any seriousness or reverence.

The history of asceticism in the priest I have been able to set forth
with a certain degree of completeness in Nietzsche's own words.
The priest was the sick physician who administered to the needs of
a sick populace. His was the mission of mitigating suffering and
of performing every kind of consolation. Wherein he failed, says
Nietzsche, was in not going to the source, the cause, of suffering, but
in dealing merely with its manifestations. These manifestations were
the result of physiological depressions which prevailed at intervals
among portions of the population. These depressions were the outgrowth
of diverse causes, such as long wars, emigration to unsuitable
climates, wrong diet, miscegenation on a large scale, disease, etc.
According to Nietzsche the cure for such physiological phenomena can
be found only in the realm of moral psychology, for here the origin
is considered and administered to by disciplinary systems grounded in
true knowledge. But the method employed by the priest was far from
scientific. He combated these depressions by reducing the consciousness
of life itself to the lowest possible degree--that is, by a doctrine
of asceticism, of self-abnegation, equanimity, self-hypnotism. By
thus minimising the consciousness of life, these depressions took on
more and more the aspect of normality. The effects of this treatment,
however, were transient, for the starving of the physical desires and
the abstinence from exercising the physical impulses paved the way for
all manner of mental disorders, excesses and insanity. Herein lies
Nietzsche's explanation for religious ecstasies, hallucinations, and
sensual outbursts.

Another form of treatment devised by the ascetic priests for a
depressed people gave birth to the "blessedness" which, under the
Christian code, attaches to work. These priests attempted to turn the
attention of the people from their suffering by the establishment of
mechanical activity, namely: work, routine and obedience. The sick man
forgot himself in the labour which had received sanctification. The
priests also combated depression by permitting pleasure through the
creation and production of joy. That is, they set men to helping and
comforting each other, by instilling in them the notion of brotherly
love. Thereby the community mutually strengthened itself, and at the
same time it reaped the joy of service which had been sanctioned by the
priests. Out of this last method sprang many of the Christian virtues,
especially those which benefit others rather than oneself.

Such methods as these--devitalisation, labour, brotherly love--are
called by Nietzsche the "innocent" prescriptions in the fight against
depression. The "guilty" ones are far different, and are embodied in
the one method: the production of emotional excess. This, the priests
understood, was the most efficacious manner in overcoming protracted
depression and pain. Confronted by the query: By what means can this
emotional excess be produced? they made use of "the whole pack of
hounds that rage in the human kennel"--rage, fear, lust, revenge, hope,
despair, cruelty and the like. And once these emotional excesses became
established, the priests, when asked by the "patients" for a "cause" of
their suffering, declared it to be within the man himself, in his own
guiltiness. Thus was the sick man turned into a sinner. Here originated
also the conception of suffering as a _state of punishment,_ the fear
of retribution, the iniquitous conscience, and the hope of redemption.
Nietzsche goes further, and shows the racial and individual decadence
which has followed in the train of this system of treatment. Dr. Oscar
Levy says with justice that this last essay, considered in the light
which it throws upon the attitude of the ecclesiast to the man of
resentment and misfortune, "is one of the most valuable contributions
to sacerdotal psychology."


The pathos of nobility and distance,... the chronic and despotic
_esprit de corps_ and fundamental instinct of a higher dominant race
coming into association with a meaner race, an "under race," this is
the origin of the antitheses of good and bad. 20

The knightly-aristocratic "values" are based on a careful cult of the
physical, on a flowering, rich, and even effervescing healthiness,
that goes considerably beyond what is necessary for maintaining life,
on war, adventure, the chase, the dance, the tourney--on everything,
in fact, which is contained in strong, free, and joyous action. The
priestly aristocratic mode of valuation is--we have seen--based on
other hypotheses: it is bad enough for this class when it is a question
of war! Yet the priests are, as is notorious, _the worst enemies_--why?
Because they are the weakest. 29

The slave-morality requires as the condition of its existence an
external and objective world, to employ physiological terminology,
it requires objective stimuli to be of action at all--its action is
fundamentally a reaction. The contrary is the case when we come to the
aristocrat's system of values: it acts and grows spontaneously, it
merely seeks its antithesis in order to pronounce a more grateful and
exultant "yes" to its own self.... 35

The aristocratic man conceives the root idea "good" spontaneously and
straight away, that is to say, out of himself, and from that material
then creates for himself a concept of "bad"! This "bad" of aristocratic
origin and that "evil" out of the cauldron of unsatisfied hatred--the
former an imitation, an "extra," an additional nuance; the latter, on
the other hand, the original, the beginning, the essential act in the
conception of a slave-morality--these two words "bad" and "evil," how
great a difference do they mark in spite of the fact that they have an
identical contrary in the idea "good." 39

It is impossible not to recognise at the core of all these aristocratic
races the beast of prey; the magnificent _blonde brute,_ avidly
rampant for spoil and victory; this hidden core needed an outlet from
time to time, the beast must get loose again, must return into the
wilderness--the Roman, Arabic, German, and Japanese nobility, the
Homeric heroes, the Scandinavian Vikings, are all alike in this need.
It is the aristocratic races who have left the idea "Barbarian" on all
the tracks in which they have marched; nay, a consciousness of this
very barbarianism, and even a pride in it, manifests itself even in
their highest civilisation. 40

What produces to-day our repulsion towards "man"?--for we _suffer_
from "man," there is no doubt about it. It is not fear; it is rather
that we have nothing more to fear from men; it is that the worm "man"
is in the foreground and pullulates; it is that the "tame man," the
wretched mediocre and unedifying creature, has learnt to consider
himself a goal and a pinnacle, an inner meaning, an historic principle,
a "higher man." ... 42-43

In the dwarfing and levelling of the European man lurks _our_ greatest
peril, for it is this outlook which fatigues--we see to-day nothing
which wishes to be greater, we surmise that the process is always
still backwards, still backwards towards something more attenuated,
more inoffensive, more cunning, more comfortable, more mediocre, more
indifferent, more Chinese, more Christian. 44

To require of strength that it should _not_ express itself as strength,
that it should not be a wish to overpower, a wish to overthrow, a wish
to become master, a thirst for enemies and antagonisms and triumphs, is
just as absurd as to require of weakness that it should express itself
as strength. A quantum of force is just such a quantum of movement,
will, action. 45

The impotence which requites not, is turned to "goodness," craven
baseness to meekness, submission to those whom one hates, to obedience
(namely, obedience to one of whom they say that he ordered this
submission--they call him God). The inoffensive character of the weak,
the very cowardice in which he is rich, his standing at the door, his
forced necessity of waiting, gain here fine names, such as "patience,"
which is also called "virtue"; not being able to avenge one's self, is
called not wishing to avenge one's self, perhaps even forgiveness. 48

They are miserable, there is no doubt about it, all these whisperers
and counterfeiters in the corners, although they try to get warm by
crouching close to each other, but they tell me that their misery is
a favour and distinction given to them by God, just as one beats the
dogs one likes best; that perhaps this misery is also a preparation, a
probation, a training; that perhaps it is still more something which
will one day be compensated and paid back with a tremendous interest in
gold, nay in happiness. This they call "Blessedness." 45-49

The two _opposing values_ "good and bad," "good and evil," have fought
a dreadful, thousand-year fight in the world, and though indubitably
the second value has been for a long time in the preponderance, there
are not wanting places where the fortune of the fight is still
undecisive. It can almost be said that in the meanwhile the fight
reaches a higher and higher level, and that in the meanwhile it has
become more and more intense, and always more and more psychological;
so that nowadays there is perhaps no more decisive mark of the _higher
nature,_ of the more psychological nature, than to be in that sense
self-contradictory, and to be actually still a battle-ground for those
two opposites. The symbol of this fight, written in a writing which
has remained worthy of perusal throughout the course of history up to
the present time, is called "Rome against Judæa, Judæa against Rome."
Hitherto there has been no greater event than _that_ fight, the putting
of _that_ question, _that_ deadly antagonism. Rome found in the Jew
the incarnation of the unnatural, as though it were its diametrically
opposed monstrosity, and in Rome the Jew was held to be _convicted of
hatred_ of the whole human race: and rightly so, in so far as it is
right to link the well-being and the future of the human race to the
unconditional mastery of the aristocratic values, of the Roman values.
What, conversely, did the Jews feel against Rome? One can surmise it
from a thousand symptoms, but it is sufficient to carry one's mind
back to the Johannian Apocalypse, that most obscene of all the written
outbursts, which has revenge on its conscience. 53-54

_Beyond Good and Evil_--at any rate that is not the same as "Beyond
Good and Bad." 57

The proud knowledge of the extraordinary privilege of _responsibility,_
the consciousness of this rare freedom, of this power over himself and
over fate, has sunk right down to his innermost depths, and has become
an instinct, a dominating instinct--what name will he give to it, to
this dominating instinct if he needs to have a word for it? But there
is no doubt about it--the sovereign man calls it his _conscience._ 65

Have these current genealogists of morals ever allowed themselves to
have even the vaguest notion, for instance, that the cardinal moral
idea of "ought" originates from the very material idea of "owe"? Or
that punishment developed as a _retaliation_ absolutely independently
of any preliminary hypothesis of the freedom or determination of the
will?--And this to such an extent, that a _high_ degree of civilisation
was always first necessary for the animal man to begin to make those
much more primitive distinctions of "intentional," "negligent,"
"accidental," "responsible," and their contraries, and apply them
in the assessing of punishment. That idea--"the wrong-doer deserves
punishment _because_ he might have acted otherwise," in spite of the
fact that it is nowadays so cheap, obvious, natural, and inevitable,
and that it has had to serve as an illustration of the way in which
the sentiment of justice appeared on earth is in point of fact
an exceedingly late, and even refined form of human judgment and
inference; the placing of this idea back at the beginning of the world
is simply a clumsy violation of the principles of primitive psychology.

The sight of suffering does one good, the infliction of suffering does
one more good--this is a hard maxim, but none the less a fundamental
maxim, old, powerful, and "human, all-too-human"; one, moreover, to
which perhaps even the apes as well would subscribe: for it is said
that in inventing bizarre cruelties they are giving abundant proof
of their future humanity, to which, as it were, they are playing
the prelude. Without cruelty, no feast: so teaches the oldest and
longest history of man--and in punishment too is there so much of the
_festive._ 75

The darkening of the heavens over man has always increased in
proportion to the growth of man's shame _before man._The tired
pessimistic outlook, the mistrust of the riddle of life, the icy
negation of disgusted ennui, all those are not the signs of the _most
evil_ age of the human race: much rather do they come first to the
light of day, as the swamp-flowers, which they are, when the swamp to
which they belong comes into existence--I mean the diseased refinement
and moralisation, thanks to which the "animal man" has at last learnt
to be ashamed of all his instincts. 75

The curve of human sensibilities to pain seems indeed to sink in an
extraordinary and almost sudden fashion, as soon as one has passed the
upper ten thousand or ten millions of over-civilised humanity, and I
personally have no doubt that, by comparison with one painful night
passed by one single hysterical chit of a cultured woman, the suffering
of all the animals taken together who have been put to the question of
the knife, so as to give scientific answers, are simply negligible.

Man ... arrived at the great generalisation "everything has its price,
_all_ can be paid for," the oldest and most naïve moral canon of
_justice_ the beginning of all "kindness," of all "equity," of all
"goodwill," of all "objectivity" in the world. 80

The self-destruction of Justice! we know the pretty name it calls
itself--_Grace!_ it remains, as is obvious, the privilege of the
strongest, better still, their super-law. 83-84

The aggressive man has at all times enjoyed the stronger, bolder, more
aristocratic, and also _freer_ outlook, the _better_ conscience. On
the other hand, we already surmise who it really is that has on his
conscience the invention of the "bad conscience,"--the resentful man! 86

To talk of intrinsic right and intrinsic wrong is absolutely
nonsensical; intrinsically, an injury, an oppression, an exploitation,
an annihilation can be nothing wrong, inasmuch as life is _essentially_
(that is, in its cardinal functions) something which functions by
injuring, oppressing, exploiting, and annihilating, and is absolutely
inconceivable without such a character. 88

Evildoers have throughout thousands of years felt when overtaken by
punishment _exactly like Spinoza,_ on the subject of their "offence":
"here is something which went wrong contrary to my anticipation,
_not_ I ought not to have done this."--They submitted themselves
to punishment, just as one submits one's self to a disease, to a
misfortune, or to death, with that stubborn and resigned fatalism which
gives the Russians, for instance, even nowadays, the advantage over
us Westerners, in the handling of life. If at that period there was
a critique of action, the criterion was prudence: the real _effect_
of punishment is unquestionably chiefly to be found in a sharpening
of the sense of prudence, in a lengthening of the memory, in a will
to adopt more of a policy of caution, suspicion, and secrecy; in the
recognition that there are many things which are unquestionably beyond
one's capacity; in a kind of improvement in self-criticism. The broad
effects which can be obtained by punishment in man and beast, are the
increase of fear, the sharpening of the sense of cunning, the mastery
of the desires: so it is that punishment _tames_ man, but does not make
him "better"--it would be more correct even to go so far as to assert
the contrary. 99

All instincts which do not find a vent without, _turn inwards_--this is
what I mean by the growing "internalisation" of man: consequently we
have the first growth in man, of what subsequently was called his soul.
The whole inner world, originally as thin as if it had been stretched
between two layers of skin, burst apart and expanded proportionately,
and obtained depth, breadth, and height, when man's external outlet
became _obstructed._ These terrible bulwarks, with which the social
organisation protected itself against the old instincts of freedom
(punishments belong pre-eminently to these bulwarks), brought it
about that all those instincts of wild, free, prowling man became
turned backwards _against man himself._ Enmity, cruelty, the delight
in persecution, in surprises, change, destruction--the turning all
these instincts against their own possessors: this is the origin of
the "bad conscience." It was man, who, lacking external enemies and
obstacles, and imprisoned as he was in the oppressive narrowness and
monotony of custom, in his own impatience lacerated, persecuted,
gnawed, frightened, and ill-treated himself; it was this animal in the
hands of the tamer, which beat itself against the bars of its cage; it
was this being who, pining and yearning for that desert home of which
it had been deprived, was compelled to create out of its own self, an
adventure, a torture-chamber, a hazardous and perilous desert--it was
this fool, this homesick and desperate prisoner--who invented the "bad
conscience." 100-101

A herd of blonde beasts of prey, a race of conquerors and masters,
which with all its warlike organisation and all its organising power
pounces with its terrible claws on a population, in numbers possibly
tremendously superior, but as yet formless, as yet nomad. Such is
the origin of the "State." That fantastic theory that makes it
begin with a contract is, I think, disposed of. He who can command,
he who is a master by "nature," he who comes on the scene forceful
in deed and gesture--what has he to do with contracts? Such beings
defy calculation, they come like fate, without cause, reason, notice,
excuse, they are there like the lightning is there, too terrible, too
sudden, too convincing, too "different," to be personally even hated.
Their work is an instinctive creating and impressing of forms, they are
the most involuntary, unconscious artists that there are.... 103

It is only the bad conscience, only the will for self-abuse, that
provides the necessary conditions for the existence of altruism as a
_value._ 105

The feeling of owing a debt to the deity has grown continuously for
several centuries, always in the same proportion in which the idea
of God and the consciousness of God have grown and become exalted
among mankind. (The whole history of ethnic fights, victories,
reconciliations, amalgamations, everything, in fact, which precedes
the eventual classing of all the social elements in each great race
synthesis, are mirrored in the hotch-potch genealogy of their gods, in
the legends of their fights, victories, and reconciliations, Progress
towards universal empires invariably means progress towards universal
deities; despotism, with its subjugation of the independent nobility,
always paves the way for some system or other of monotheism.) The
appearance of the Christian god, as the record god up to this time, has
for that very reason brought equally into the world the record amount
of guilt consciousness. 109

This is a kind of madness of the will in the sphere of psychological
cruelty which is absolutely unparalleled:--man's _will_ to find
himself guilty and blameworthy to the point of inexpiability, his
_will_ to think of himself as punished, without the punishment ever
being able to balance the guilt, his _will_ to infect and to poison
the fundamental basis of the universe with the problem of punishment
and guilt, in order to cut off once and for all any escape out of this
labyrinth of "fixed ideas," his will for rearing an ideal--that of the
"holy God"--face to face with which he can have tangible proof of his
own unworthiness. Alas for this mad melancholy beast man! 112-113

What is the meaning of ascetic ideals? In artists, nothing, or too
much; in philosophers and scholars, a kind of "flair" and instinct for
the conditions most favourable to advanced intellectualism; in women,
at best an _additional_ seductive fascination, a little _morbidezza_
on a fine piece of flesh, the angelhood of a fat, pretty animal; in
physiological failures and whiners (in the _majority_ of mortals),
an attempt to pose as "too good" for this world, a holy form of
debauchery, their chief weapon, in the battle with lingering pain and
ennui; in priests, the actual priestly faith, their best engine of
power, and also the supreme authority for power; in saints, finally a
pretext for hibernation, their _novissima gloria cupido,_ their peace
in nothingness ("God"), their form of madness. 121

All good things were once bad things; from every original sin has grown
an original virtue. Marriage, for example, seemed for a long time a sin
against the rights of the community; a man formerly paid a fine for the
insolence of claiming one woman to himself. 144-145

The soft, benevolent yielding, sympathetic feelings--eventually valued
so highly that they almost become "intrinsic values," were for a very
long time actually despised by their possessors; gentleness was then a
subject for shame, just as hardness is now. 145

_The ascetic ideal springs from the prophylactic and self-preservative
instincts which mark a decadent life,_ which seeks by every means in
its power to maintain its position and fight for its existence; it
points to a partial physiological depression and exhaustion, against
which the most profound and intact life-instincts fight ceaselessly
with new weapons and discoveries. The ascetic ideal is such a weapon:
its position is consequently exactly the reverse of that which the
worshippers of the ideal imagine--life struggles in it and through it
with death and _against_ death; the ascetic ideal is a dodge for the
_preservation_ of life. 154

The ascetic priest is the incarnate wish for an existence of another
kind, an existence on another plane,--he is, in fact, the highest
point of this wish, its official ecstasy and passion: but it is the
very _power_ of this wish which is the fetter that binds him here; it
is just that which makes him into a tool that must labour to create
more favourable conditions for earthly existence, for existence on the
human plane--it is with this very _power_ that he keeps the whole herd
of failures, distortions, abortions, unfortunates, _sufferers from
themselves_ of every kind, fast to existence, while he as the herdsman
goes instinctively on in front. 154-155

The _sick_ are the great danger of man, _not_ the evil, _not_ the
"beasts of prey." They who are from the outset botched, oppressed,
broken, those are they, the weakest are they, who most undermine the
life beneath the feet of man, who instil the most dangerous venom and
scepticism into our trust in life, in man, in ourselves. 157

Preventing the sick making the healthy sick ... this ought to be our
supreme object in the world--but for this it is above all essential
that the healthy should remain _separated_ from the sick, that they
should even guard themselves from the look of the sick, that they
should not even associate with the sick. Or may it, perchance, be their
mission to be nurses or doctors? But they could not mistake or disown
_their_ mission more grossly--the higher _must_ not degrade itself to
be the tool of the lower, the pathos of distance must to all eternity
keep their missions also separate. The right of the happy to existence,
the right of bells with a full tone over the discordant cracked bells,
is verily a thousand times greater: they alone are the _sureties_ of
the future, they alone are _bound_ to man's future. 160-161

The ascetic priest must be accepted by us as the predestined saviour,
herdsman, and champion of the sick herd: thereby do we first understand
his awful historic mission. 162

"I suffer: it must be somebody's fault"--so thinks every sick sheep.
But his herdsman, the ascetic priest, says to him, "Quite so, my sheep,
it must be the fault of some one; but thou thyself art that some one,
it is all the fault of thyself alone--_it is the fault of thyself alone
against thyself":_ that is bold enough, false enough, but one thing is
at least attained; thereby, as I have said, the course of resentment
is--_diverted_. 165

All sick and diseased people strive instinctively after a
herd-organisation, out of a desire to shake off their sense of
oppressive discomfort and weakness; the ascetic priest divines this
instinct and promotes it; wherever a herd exists it is the instinct
of weakness which has wished for the herd, and the cleverness of the
priests which has organised it, for, mark this: by an equally natural
necessity the strong strive as much for _isolation_ as the weak for
_union:_ when the former bind themselves it is only with a view to an
aggressive joint action and joint satisfaction of their Will for Power,
much against the wishes of their individual consciences; the latter,
on the contrary, range themselves together with positive _delight_ in
such a muster--their instincts are as much gratified thereby as the
instincts of the "born master" (that is the solitary beast-of-prey
species of man) are disturbed and wounded to the quick by organisation.

The keynote by which the ascetic priest was enabled to get every kind
of agonising and ecstatic music to play on the fibres of the human
soul--was, as every one knows, the exploitation of the feeling of
_"guilt."_ 182

The ascetic ideal and its sublime moral cult, this most ingenious,
reckless, and perilous systématisation of all methods of emotional
excess, is writ large in a dreadful and unforgettable fashion on the
whole history of man, and unfortunately not only on history. I was
scarcely able to put forward any other element which attacked the
_health_ and race efficiency of Europeans with more destructive power
than did this ideal; it can be dubbed, without exaggeration, _the real
fatality_ in the history of the health of the European man. 186-187

The ascetic ideal has corrupted not only health and taste, there are
also third, fourth, fifth, and sixth things which it has corrupted--I
shall take care not to go through the catalogue (when should I get to
the end?). 190

The periods in a nation in which the learned man comes into prominence;
they are the periods of exhaustion, often of sunset, of decay--the
effervescing strength, the confidence of life, the confidence in the
future are no more. The preponderance of the mandarins never signifies
any good, any more than does the advent of democracy, or arbitration
instead of war, equal rights for women, the religion of pity, and all
the other symptoms of declining life. 200

The ascetic ideal simply means this: that something _was lacking,_
that a tremendous _void_ encircled man--he did not know how to justify
himself, to explain himself, to affirm himself, he _suffered_ from the
problem of his own meaning. He suffered also in other ways, he was
in the main a _diseased_ animal; but his problem was not suffering
itself, but the lack of an answer to that crying question, "_To what
purpose_ do we suffer?" Man, the bravest animal and the one most inured
to suffering, does _not_ repudiate suffering in itself: he _wills_ it,
he even seeks it out, provided that he is shown a meaning for it, a
_purpose_ of suffering was the curse which till then lay spread over
humanity--_and the ascetic ideal gave it a meaning!_ It was up till
then the only meaning; but any meaning is better than no meaning;
the ascetic ideal was in that connection the _"faute de mieux" par
excellence_ that existed at that time. In that ideal suffering _found
an explanation;_ the tremendous gap seemed filled; the door to all
suicidal Nihilism was closed. The explanation--there is no doubt about
it--brought in its train new suffering, deeper, more penetrating, more
venomous, gnawing more brutally into life: it brought all suffering
under the perspective of _guilt;_ but in spite of all that--man was
_saved_ thereby, he had _a meaning,_ and from henceforth was no more
like a leaf in the wind, a shuttlecock, of chance, of nonsense, he
could now "will" something--absolutely immaterial to what end, to what
purpose, with that means he wished: _the will itself was saved._ It
is absolutely impossible to disguise _what_ in point of fact is made
clear by every complete will that has taken its direction from the
ascetic ideal: this hate of the human, and even more of the animal,
and more still of the material, this horror of the senses, of reason
itself, this fear of happiness and beauty, this desire to get right
away from all illusion, change, growth, death, wishing and even
desiring--all this means--let us have the courage to grasp it--a will
for Nothingness, a will opposed to life, a repudiation of the most
fundamental conditions of life, but it is and remains _a will!_--and
to say at the end that which I said at the beginning--man will wish
_Nothingness_ rather than not wish _at all._ 210-211


"The Twilight of the Idols"

Nietzsche followed "The Genealogy of Morals" with "The Case of Wagner,"
that famous pamphlet in which he excoriated the creator of Parsifal.
Immediately after the publication of this attack, he began work on
what was to be still another preparatory book for "The Will to Power."
For its title he first chose "Idle Hours of a Psychologist." The book,
a brief one, was already on the presses when he changed the caption
to _"Götzendämmerung"_--"The Twilight of the Idols"--a titular
parody on Wagner's _"Götterdämmerung"_ For a subtitle he appended a
characteristically Nietzschean phrase--"How to Philosophise with the
Hammer." The writing of this work was done with great rapidity: it was
accomplished in but a few days during August, 1888. In September it
was sent to the publisher, but during its printing Nietzsche added a
chapter headed "What the Germans Lack," and several aphorisms to the
section called "Skirmishes in a War with the Age." In January, 1889,
the book appeared.

Nietzsche was then stricken with his fatal illness, and this was the
last book of his to appear during his lifetime. "The Antichrist" was
already finished, having been written in the fall of 1888 immediately
after the completion of "The Twilight of the Idols." _"Ecce Homo"_
his autobiography, was written in October, 1888; and during December
Nietzsche again gave his attention to Wagner, drafting "Nietzsche
_contra_ Wagner," a pamphlet made up entirely of excerpts from his
earlier writings. This work, intended to supplement "The Case of
Wagner," was not published until 1895, although it had been printed
and corrected before the author's final breakdown. "The Antichrist"
appeared at the same time as this second Wagner document, while _"Ecce
Homo"_ was withheld from publication until 1908. "The Twilight of the
Idols" sold 9,000 copies, but Nietzsche's mind was too clouded to
know or care that at last he was coming into his own, that the public
which had denied him so long had finally begun to open its eyes to his

In many ways "The Twilight of the Idols" is one of Nietzsche's most
brilliant books. Being more compact, it consequently possesses a
greater degree of precision and clarity than is found in his more
analytical writings. It is not, however, a treatise to which one may
go without considerable preparation. With the exception of "Thus
Spake Zarathustra," it demands more on the part of the reader than
any of Nietzsche's other books. It is, for the most part, composed
of conclusions and comments which grow directly out of the laborious
ethical research of his preceding volumes, and presupposes in the
student an enormous amount of reading, not only of Nietzsche's own
writings but of philosophical works in general. But once equipped with
this preparation, one will find more of contemporary interest in it
than in the closely organised books such as "Beyond Good and Evil"
and "The Genealogy of Morals." There are few points in Nietzsche's
philosophy not found here. For a compact expression of his entire
teaching I know of no better book to which one might turn. Nietzsche
himself, to judge from a passage in his _"Ecce Homo"_ intended this
book as a statement of his whole ethical system. He probably meant
that it should present _in toto_ the principal data of his foregoing
studies, in order that the reader might be familiar with all the steps
in his philosophy before setting forth upon the formidable doctrines
of "The Will to Power." Obviously, therefore, it is not a book for
beginners. Being expositional rather than argumentative, it is open
to misunderstanding and misinterpretation. It contains apparent
contradictions which might confuse the student who has not followed
Nietzsche in the successive points which led to his conclusions, and
who is unfamiliar with the exact definitions attached to certain words
relating to human conduct.

Other qualities of a misleading nature are to be encountered in this
book. Many of the paragraphs have about them an air of mere cleverness,
although in reality they embody profound concepts. The reader ignorant
of the inner seriousness of Nietzsche will accept these passages only
at their surface value. Of the forty-four short epigrams which comprise
the opening chapter, I have appended but three, for fear they would be
judged solely by their superficial characteristics. Many of the other
aphorisms throughout the book lend themselves all too easily to the
same narrow judgment.

Again, "The Problem of Socrates," the second division of the book,
because of its profundity, presents many difficulties to the unprepared
student. Here is a criticism of the Socratic ideals which requires,
in order that it be intelligently grasped, not only a wide general
knowledge, but also a specific training in the uprooting of prejudices
and of traditional ethical conceptions--such a training as can be
acquired only by a close study of Nietzsche's own destructive works.
The explanation of Socrates's power, the condemnation of that ancient
philosopher's subtle glorification of the _canaille,_ the reasons
for his secret fascination, and the interpretation of his whole
mental progress culminating in his death--all this is profound and
categorical criticism which has its roots in the very fundamentals of
Nietzsche's philosophy. But because it is so deep-rooted, it therefore
presents a wide and all-inclusive vista of that philosophy from which
it stems. Furthermore, this criticism of Socrates poses a specific
problem which can be answered only by resorting to the doctrines which
underlie Nietzsche's entire thought. In like manner the chapter,
"Reason in Philosophy," is understandable only in the light of those
investigations set forth in "Beyond Good and Evil."

Under the caption, "The Four Great Errors," Nietzsche uproots a series
of correlated beliefs which have the accumulated impetus of centuries
of acceptance behind them. These "errors," as stated, are (1) the
error of the confusion of cause and effect, (2) the error of false
causality, (3) the error of imaginary causes, and (4) the error of
free will. The eradication of these errors is necessary for a complete
acceptance of Nietzsche's philosophy. But unless one is familiar with
the vast amount of criticism which has led up to the present discussion
of them, one will experience difficulty in following the subtly drawn
arguments and analogies presented against them. To demonstrate briefly
the specific application of the first error, namely: the confusion of
cause and effect, I offer an analogy stated in the passage. We know
that Christian morality teaches us that a people perish through vice
and luxury--that is to say, that these two conditions are _causes_ of
racial degeneration. Nietzsche's contention to the contrary is that
when a nation is approaching physiological degeneration, vice and
luxury result in the guise of stimuli adopted by exhausted natures.
By this it can be seen how the Christian conscience is developed by
a misunderstanding of causes; and it can also be seen how this error
may affect the very foundation on which morality is built. I am here
stating merely the conclusion: for the reasons leading up to this
conclusion one must go to the book direct.

Nietzsche denies the embodiment of the motive of an action in the
"inner facts of consciousness" where, so we have been taught by
psychologists and physicists, the responsibilities of conduct are
contained. The will itself, he argues, is not a motivating force;
rather is it an effect of other deeper causes. This is what he
discusses in his paragraphs dealing with the second error of false
causality. In his criticism of the third error relating to imaginary
causes, he points to the comfort we obtain by attributing a certain
unexplained fact to a familiar cause--by tracing it to a commonplace
source--thereby doing away with its seeming mystery. Thus ordinary
maladies or afflictions, or, to carry the case into moral regions,
misfortunes and unaccountable strokes of fate, are explained by finding
trite and plausible reasons for their existence. As a consequence
the habit of postulating causes becomes a fixed mental habit. In the
great majority of cases, and especially in the domain of morality and
religion, the causes are false, inasmuch as the operation of finding
them depends on the mental characteristics of the searcher. The error
of free will Nietzsche attributes to the theologians' attempt to make
mankind responsible for its acts and therefore amenable to punishment.
I have been able to present his own words in explanation of this
error, and they will be found at the end of this chapter--41-42 and 43.

In "Skirmishes in a War with the Age," the longest section in the
book, Nietzsche gives us much brilliant and incisive criticism of men,
art and human attributes. He is here at his best, both in clarity of
mind and in his manner of expression. This passage, one of the last
things to come from his pen, contains the full ripeness of his nature,
and is a portion of his work which no student can afford to overlook.
It contains the whole of the Nietzschean philosophy applied to the
conditions of his age. Because it is not a direct voicing of his
doctrines it does not lend itself to mutilation except where it touches
on principles of conduct and abstract aspects of morality. Many of the
most widely read passages of all of Nietzsche's work are contained in
it. But here again, as in the case of "Thus Spake Zarathustra," one
regrets that the surface brilliance of its style attracted readers in
England and America before these nations were acquainted with the books
which came before. The casual reader, unfamiliar with the principles
underlying Nietzsche's ethic, will see only a bold and satanic
flippancy in his definition of Zola--"the love of stinking," or in his
characterisation of George Sand as "the cow with plenty of beautiful
milk," or in his bracketing of "tea-grocers, Christians, cows, women,
Englishmen and other democrats." Yet it is significant that Nietzsche
did not venture upon these remarks until he had the great bulk of his
life's work behind him.

In this chapter are discussions of Renan, Sainte-Beuve, George Eliot,
George Sand, Emerson, Carlyle, Darwin, Schopenhauer, Goethe and other
famous men and women. In the short essays devoted to these writers
we have, however, more than mere detached valuations. Beneath all the
criticisms is a _rationale_ of judgment based on definite philosophical
doctrines. This same basis of appreciation is present in the discussion
of art and artists, to which subjects many pages are devoted. In fact,
"The Twilight of the Idols" contains most of the art theories and
æsthetic doctrines which Nietzsche advanced. He defines the psychology
of the artist, and draws the line between the two concepts, Apollonian
and Dionysian, as applied to art. He analyses the meaning of beauty
and ugliness, and endeavours to show in what manner the conceptions of
these qualities are related to the racial instincts. He also inquires
into the doctrine of _"l'art pour l'art"_ and points out wherein it
fails in its purpose. A valuable explanation of "genius" is put forth
in the theory that the accumulative power of generations breaks forth
in the great men of a nation, and that these great men mark the end of
an age, as in the case of the Renaissance.

The most significant brief essay in this section is an answer made
to certain critics who, in reviewing "Beyond Good and Evil," claimed
a superiority for the present age over the older civilisations.
Nietzsche calls this essay "Have We Become Moral?" and proceeds to make
comparisons of contemporaneous virtues with those of the ancients.
He denies that to-day, without our decrepit humanitarianism and our
doctrines of weakness, we would be able to withstand, either nervously
or muscularly, the conditions that prevailed during the Renaissance.
He points out that our morals are those of senility, and that we
have deteriorated, physically as well as mentally, as a result of
an adherence to a code of morality invented to meet the needs of a
weak and impoverished people. Our virtues, he says, are determined
and stimulated by our weakness, so that we have come to admire the
moralities of the slave, the most prominent among which is the doctrine
of equality. In the decline of all the positive forces of life
Nietzsche sees only racial decadence. In this regard it is important
to take note of one of the passages relative to the discussion of this
decadence, namely: the one wherein he characterises the anarchist as
"the mouthpiece of the decaying strata of society." The appellation of
"anarchist" has not infrequently been applied to Nietzsche himself by
those who have read him superficially or whose acquaintance with him
has been the result of distorted hearsay. I know of no better analysis
of anarchistic motives or of no keener dissection of anarchistic
weakness than is set forth here. Nor do I know of any better answer to
those critics who have accused Nietzsche of anarchy, than the criticism
contained in this passage.

In a final chapter, under the caption of "Things I Owe to the
Ancients," Nietzsche outlines the inspirational source of many of his
doctrines and literary habits. This chapter is important only to the
student who wishes to go to the remoter influences in Nietzsche's
writings, and for that reason I have omitted from the following
excerpts any quotation from it.


Man thinks woman profound--why? Because he can never fathom her depths.
Woman is not even shallow. 5

The trodden worm curls up. This testifies to its caution. It thus
reduces its chances of being trodden upon again. In the language of
morality: Humility. 5-6

The Church combats passion by means of excision of all kinds: its
practise, its "remedy," is _castration._ It never inquires "how can a
desire be spiritualised, beautified, deified?"--In all ages it has laid
the weight of discipline in the process of extirpation (the extirpation
of sensuality, pride, lust of dominion, lust of property, and
revenge).--But to attack the passions at their roots, means attacking
life itself at its source: the method of the Church is hostile to life.

Only degenerates find radical methods indispensable: weakness of will,
or more strictly speaking, the inability not to react to a stimulus,
is in itself simply another form of degeneracy. Radical and mortal
hostility to sensuality, remains a suspicious symptom: it justifies
one in being suspicious of the general state of one who goes to such
extremes. 27

A man is productive only in so far as he is rich in contrasted
instincts; he can remain young only on condition that his soul does not
begin to take things easy and to yearn for peace. 28-29

All naturalism is morality--that is to say, every sound morality is
ruled by a life instinct--any one of the laws of life is fulfilled by
the definite canon "thou shalt," "thou shalt not," and any sort of
obstacle or hostile element in the road of life is thus cleared away.
Conversely, the morality which is antagonistic to nature--that is to
say, almost every morality that has been taught, honoured and preached
hitherto, is directed precisely against the life-instincts.... 30

Morality, as it has been understood hitherto, is the instinct of
degeneration itself, which converts itself into an imperative: it says:
"Perish!" It is the death sentence of men who are already doomed. 31

Morality, in so far it condemns _per se,_ and _not_ out of any aim,
consideration or motive of life, is a specific error, for which no one
should feel any mercy, a degenerate idiosyncrasy, that has done an
unutterable amount of harm. 32

Every mistake is in every sense the sequel to degeneration of the
instincts to disintegration of the will. This is almost the definition
of evil. 35

Morality and religion are completely and utterly parts of the
psychology of error: in every particular case cause and effect are
confounded. 41

At present we no longer have any mercy upon the concept "free-will":
we know only too well what it is--the most egregious theological trick
that has ever existed for the purpose of making mankind "responsible"
in a theological manner--that is to say, to make mankind dependent upon
theologians. 41

The doctrine of the will was invented principally for the purpose of
punishment,--that is to say, with the intention of tracing guilt. The
whole of ancient psychology, or the psychology of the will, is the
outcome of the fact that its originators, who were the priests at the
head of ancient communities, wanted to create for themselves a right to
administer punishments--or the right for God to do so. Men were thought
of as "free" in order that they might be held guilty.... 42

The fact that no one shall any longer be made responsible, that the
nature of existence may not be traced to a _causa prima,_ that the
world is an entity neither as a sensorium nor as a spirit--_this alone
is the great deliverance,_--thus alone is the innocence of Becoming
restored. ... The concept "God" has been the greatest objection to
existence hitherto.... We deny God, we deny responsibility in God: thus
alone do we save the world. 43

Moral judgment has this in common with the religious one, that
it believes in realities which are not real. Morality is only an
interpretation of certain phenomena: or more strictly speaking, a
misinterpretation of them. Moral judgment, like the religious one,
belongs to a stage of ignorance in which even the concept of reality,
the distinction between real and imagined things, is still lacking....

In the early years of the Middle Ages, during which the Church was
most distinctly and above all a menagerie, the most beautiful examples
of the "blond beast" were hunted down in all directions,--the noble
Germans, for instance, were "improved." But what did this "improved"
German, who had been lured to the monastery look like after the
process? He looked like a caricature of man, like an abortion: he had
become a "sinner," he was caged up, he had been imprisoned behind a
host of appalling notions. He now lay there, sick, wretched, malevolent
even toward himself: full of hate for the instincts of life, full of
suspicion in regard to all that is still strong and happy. In short
a "Christian." In physiological terms: in a fight with an animal,
the only way of making it weak may be to make it sick. The Church
understood this: it ruined man, it made him weak,--but it laid claim to
having "improved" him. 45-46

All means which have been used heretofore with the object of making man
moral, were through and through immoral. 49

_My impossible people_--Seneca, or the toreador of virtue.--Rousseau,
or the return to nature, _in impuris naturalibus._--Schiller, or
the Moral Trumpeter of Säckingen.--Dante, or the hyæna that writes
poetry in tombs.--Kant, or _cant_ as an intelligible character.--Victor
Hugo, or the lighthouse on the sea of nonsense.--Liszt, or the
school of racing--after women.--George Sand, or _lactea ubertas,_
in plain English: the cow with plenty beautiful milk.--Michelet,
or enthusiasm in its shirt sleeves.--Carlyle, or Pessimism after
undigested meals.--John Stuart Mill, or offensive lucidity.--The
brothers Goncourt, or the two Ajaxes fighting with Homer. Music by
Offenbach.--Zola, or the love of stinking. 60

For art to be possible at all--that is to say, in order that an
æsthetic mode of action and of observation may exist, a certain
preliminary physiological state is indispensable: ecstasy. This state
of ecstasy must first have intensified the susceptibility of the whole
machine: otherwise, no art is possible. All kinds of ecstasy, however
differently produced, have this power to create art, and above all
the state dependent upon sexual excitement--this most venerable and
primitive form of ecstasy. The same applies to that ecstasy which is
the outcome of all great desires, all strong passions; the ecstasy of
the feast, of the arena, of the act of bravery, of victory, of all
extreme action; the ecstasy of cruelty; the ecstasy of destruction;
the ecstasy following upon certain meteorological influences, as for
instance that of springtime, or upon the use of narcotics; and finally
the ecstasy of will, that ecstasy which results from accumulated and
surging will-power. 68-68

What is the meaning of the antithetical concepts _Apollonian_ and
_Dionysian_ which I have introduced into the vocabulary of Æsthetic, as
representing two distinct modes of ecstasy?--Apollonian ecstasy acts
above all as a force stimulating the eye, so that it acquires the power
of vision. The painter, the sculptor, the epic poet are essentially
visionaries. In the Dionysian state, on the other hand, the whole
system of passions is stimulated and intensified, so that it discharges
itself by all the means of expression at once, and vents all its power
of representation, of imitation, of transfiguration, of transformation,
together with every kind of mimicry and histrionic display at the same
time. 67-68

As to the famous "struggle for existence," it seems to me, for the
present, to be more of an assumption than a fact. It does occur, but
as an exception. The general condition of life is not one of want or
famine, but rather of riches, of lavish luxuriance, and even of absurd
prodigality,--where there is a struggle, it is a struggle for power. 71

The most intellectual men, provided they are also the most courageous,
experience the most excruciating tragedies: but on that very account
they honour life, because it confronts them with its more formidable
antagonism. 73

When the anarchist, as the mouthpiece of the decaying strata of
society, raises his voice in splendid indignation for "right,"
"justice," "equal rights," he is only groaning under the burden of his
ignorance, which cannot understand _why_ he actually suffers,--what his
poverty consists of--the poverty of life. 86

To bewail one's lot is always despicable: it is always the outcome
of weakness. Whether one ascribes one's afflictions to others or to
_one's self,_ it is all the same. The socialist does the former, the
Christian, for instance, does the latter. That which is common to both
attitudes, or rather that which is equally ignoble in them both, is the
fact that somebody must be to _blame_ if one suffers--in short that the
sufferer drugs himself with the honey of revenge to allay his anguish.

Why a Beyond, if it be not a means of splashing mud over a "Here," over
this world? 87

An "altruistic" morality, a morality under which selfishness withers,
is in all circumstances a bad sign. This is true of individuals and
above all of nations. The best are lacking when selfishness begins to
be lacking. Instinctively to select that which is harmful to one, to be
_lured_ by "disinterested" motives,--these things almost provide the
formula for decadence. "Not to have one's own interests at heart"--this
is simply a moral fig-leaf concealing a very different fact, a
physiological one, to wit:--"I no longer know how to find what is to
my interest."... Disintegration of the instincts!--All is up with man
when he becomes altruistic. 87

One should die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly.
Death should be chosen freely,--death at the right time, faced clearly
and joyfully and embraced while one is surrounded by one's children
and other witnesses. It should be affected in such a way that a proper
farewell is still possible, that he who is about to take leave of us
is still _himself,_ and really capable not only of valuing what he has
achieved and willed in life, but also of _summing-up_ the value of life
itself. Everything precisely the opposite of the ghastly comedy which
Christianity has made of the hour of death. We should never forgive
Christianity for having so abused the weakness of the dying man as to
do violence to his conscience, or for having used his manner of dying
as a means of valuing both man and his past!--In spite of all cowardly
prejudices, it is our duty, in this respect, above all to reinstate
the proper--that is to say, the physiological, aspect of so-called
_natural_ death, which after all is perfectly "unnatural" and nothing
else than suicide. One never perishes through anybody's fault but
one's own. The only thing is that the death which takes place in the
most contemptible circumstances, the death that is not free, the death
which occurs at the wrong time, is the death of a coward. Out of the
very love one bears to life, one should wish death to be different
from this--that is to say, free, deliberate, and neither a matter of
chance nor of surprise. Finally let me whisper a word of advice to our
friends the pessimists and all other decadents. We have not the power
to prevent ourselves from being born: but this error--for sometimes it
is an error--can be rectified if we choose. The man who does away with
himself performs the most estimable of deeds: he almost deserves to
live for having done so. 88-89

The decline of the instincts of hostility and of those instincts
that arouse suspicion,--for this if anything is what constitutes our
progress--is only one of the results manifested by the general decline
in _vitality:_ it requires a hundred times more trouble and caution
to live such a dependent and senile existence. In such circumstances
everybody gives everybody else a helping hand, and, to a certain
extent, everybody is either an invalid or an invalid's attendant.
This is then called "virtue": among those men who knew a different
life--that is to say, a fuller, more prodigal, more superabundant
sort of life, it might have been called by another name,--possibly
"cowardice," or "vileness," or "old woman's morality." 91-92

Ages should be measured according to their _positive forces;_--valued
by this standard that prodigal and fateful age of the Renaissance,
appears as the last _great_ age, while we moderns with our anxious
care of ourselves and love of our neighbours, with all our unassuming
virtues of industry, equity, and scientific method--with our lust of
collection, of economy and of mechanism--represent a _weak_ age. 93

Liberalism, or, in plain English, the _transformation of mankind into
cattle._ 94

Freedom is the will to be responsible for ourselves. It is to
preserve the distance which separates us from other men. To grow more
indifferent to hardship, to severity, to privation, and even to life
itself. To be ready to sacrifice men for one's cause, one's self
included. Freedom denotes that the virile instincts which rejoice in
war and in victory, prevail over other instincts; for instance, over
the instincts of "happiness." The man who has won his freedom, and how
much more so, therefore, the spirit that has won his freedom, tramples
ruthlessly upon that contemptible kind of comfort which tea-grocers,
Christians, cows, women, Englishmen and other democrats worship in
their dreams. The free man is a _warrior._ 94-95

By showing ever more and more favour to _love-marriages,_ the very
foundation of matrimony, that which alone makes it an institution, has
been undermined. No institution ever has been nor ever will be built
upon an idiosyncrasy; as I say, marriage cannot be based upon "love."

The mere fact that there is such a thing as the question of the
working-man is due to stupidity, or at bottom to degenerate instincts
which are the cause of all the stupidity of modern times. Concerning
certain things _no questions ought to be put:_ the first imperative
principle of instinct. For the life of me I cannot see what people
want to do with the working-man of Europe; now that they have made a
question of him. He is far too comfortable to cease from questioning,
ever more and more, and with ever less modesty. After all, he has
the majority on his side. There is now not the slightest hope that
an unassuming and contented sort of man, after the style of the
Chinaman, will come into being in this quarter: and this would have
been the reasonable course, it was even a dire necessity. What has
been done? Everything has been done with the view of nipping the
very pre-requisite of this accomplishment in the bud,--with the most
frivolous thoughtlessness those self-same instincts by means of which
a working-class becomes possible, and _tolerable_ even to its members
themselves, have been destroyed root and branch. The working-man has
been declared fit for military service; he has been granted the right
of combination, and of franchise: can it be wondered at that he already
regards his condition as one of distress (expressed morally, as an
injustice)? But, again I ask, what do people want? If they desire a
certain end, then they should desire the means thereto. If they will
have slaves, then it is madness to educate them to be masters. 98-99

Great men, like great ages, are explosive material, in which a
stupendous amount of power is accumulated; the first conditions of
their existence are always historical and physiological; they are the
outcome of the fact that for long ages energy has been collected,
hoarded up, saved up and preserved for their use, and that no explosion
has taken place. When the tension in the bulk has become sufficiently
excessive, the most fortuitous stimulus suffices in order to call
"genius," "great deeds," and momentous fate into the world. 101-102

The criminal type is the type of the strong man and unfavourable
conditions, a strong man made sick. He lacks the wild and savage
state, a form of nature and existence which is freer and more
dangerous, in which everything that constitutes the shield and the
sword in the instinct of the strong man, takes a place by right.
Society puts a ban upon his virtues; the most spirited instincts
inherent in him immediately become involved with the depressing
passions, with suspicion, fear and dishonour. But this is almost the
recipe for physiological degeneration. When a man has to do that
which he is best suited to do, which he is most fond of doing, not
only clandestinely, but also with long suspense, caution and ruse, he
becomes anæmic; and inasmuch as he is always having to pay for his
instincts in the form of danger, persecution and fatalities, even his
feelings begin to turn against these instincts--he begins to regard
them as fatal. It is society, our tame, mediocre, castrated society,
in which an untutored son of nature who comes to us from his mountains
or from his adventures at sea, must necessarily degenerate into a
criminal. Or almost necessarily: for there are cases in which such a
man shows himself to be stronger than society: the Corsican Napoleon is
the most celebrated case of this. 103-104

As long as the _priest_ represented the highest type of man, every
valuable kind of man was depreciated.... The time is coming--this I
guarantee--when he will pass as the _lowest_ type, as our Chandala, as
the falsest and most disreputable kind of man. 105

Everything good is an inheritance: that which is not inherited is
imperfect, it is simply a beginning. 107

Christianity with its contempt of the body is the greatest mishap that
has ever befallen mankind. 108

I also speak of a "return to nature," although it is not a process of
going back but of going up--up into lofty, free and even terrible
nature and naturalness; such a nature as can play with great tasks and
_may_ play with them. 108

The doctrine of equality!... But there is no more deadly poison than
this for it _seems_ to proceed from the very lips of justice, whereas
in reality it draws the curtain down on all justice.... "To equals
equality, to unequals inequality"--that would be the real speech of
justice and that which follows from it. "Never make unequal things
equal." The fact that so much horror and blood are associated with this
doctrine of equality, has lent this "modern idea" _par excellence_ such
a halo of fire and glory, that the Revolution as a drama has misled
even the most noble minds. 108-109


"The Antichrist" ("_Der Antichrist_") was written in September, 1888,
work evidently having been begun on it as soon as "The Twilight of the
Idols" had been sent to the publisher. Its composition could not have
occupied more than a few weeks at most, for the former book was not
despatched until September 7, and the present work was completed before
October. At this time Nietzsche was working at high pressure. He must
have had some presentiment of his impending breakdown for he filled in
every available minute with ardent and rapid writing. The fall of 1888
was the most prolific period of his life. No less than four books "The
Twilight of the Idols," "The Antichrist," "Nietzsche _contra_ Wagner"
and _"Ecce Homo"_--were completed by him between the late summer and
the first of the year; and in addition to this he made many notes for
his future volumes and read and corrected a considerable amount of
proofs. "The Antichrist," however, though completed in 1888, was not
published until the end of 1894, six years after he had laid aside his
work forever, and at a time when his mind was too darkened to know or
care about the circumstances of its issuance. It appeared in Vol. XIII
of _Nietzsches Werke_ which, although published at the close of 1894,
bore the date of the following year.

"The Antichrist" which, like "Beyond Good and Evil," "The Genealogy of
Morals" and "The Twilight of the Idols," forms a part of Nietzsche's
final philosophic scheme, was intended--to judge from the evidence
contained in his notebooks--as the first division of a work to be
entitled "The Trans valuation of All Values" ("_Die Umwertung Aller
Werte_"). In fact this title and also "The Will to Power" were
considered alternately for his _magnum opus_ which he intended writing
after the completion of "The Transvaluation of All Values." He finally
decided on the latter title for his great work, although he used the
former caption as a subtitle. The complete outline for the volumes
which were to be called "The Transvaluation of All Values" and which
were to be incorporated in his final general plan, is as follows:

1. "The Antichrist. An Attempted Criticism of Christianity." ("_Der
Antichrist: Versuch einer Kritik des Christenthums._")

2. "The Free Spirit. A Criticism of Philosophy as a Nihilistic
Movement." ("_Der freie Geist: Kritik der Philosophie als einer
nihilistischen Bewegung_")

3. "The Immoralist. A Criticism of the Most Fatal Species of Ignorance,
Morality." ("_Der Immoralist: Kritik der verhängnissvollsten Art von
Unwissenheit, der Moral_")

4. "Dionysus, the Philosophy of Eternal Recurrence." ("_Dionysus,
Philosophie der ewigen Wiederkunft_")

But Nietzsche did not finish this task, although "The Antichrist" is
in the form in which he intended it to be published. Nevertheless, it
must be considered merely as a fragment of a much more extensive plan.
Though Nietzsche was far from being the first, he yet was the most
effective critic who ever waged war against Christianity. This was due
to the fact that he went about his destructive work from an entirely
new angle. Before him there had been many competent anti-Christian
writers and scientists. Even during his own time there was a large and
loud school of atheists at work undermining the foundations of Nazarene
morality. With the methods of his predecessors and contemporaries,
however, he had nothing in common. He saw that, despite the scientific
denial of the miracles of Christianity and the biological opposition
to the origin of Christian history, the theologian was always able to
reply to the denial of Christian truth with the counter-argument of
Christian practicability. Thus, while the reasoning of such men as
Darwin, Huxley and Spencer held good so far as the scientific aspects
of Christianity went, the results of Christianity were not involved.
The church, meeting the onslaughts of the "higher criticism," denied
the necessity of a literal belief in the Gospels, and asserted that,
while all the anti-Christian critics might be accurate in their purely
scientific and logical conclusions, Christianity itself as a workable
code was still efficient and deserving of consideration as the most
perfect system of conduct the world had ever known. Nietzsche therefore
did not go into the field already ploughed by Voltaire, Hume, Huxley,
Spencer, Paine and a host of lesser "free thinkers." The preliminary
battles in the great warfare against Christianity had already been won,
and he saw the futility of proceeding along historical and scientific
lines. Consequently he turned his attention to a consideration of
the _effects_ of Christian morality upon the race, to an inquiry
into the _causes_ of pity-morality, and to a comparison of moral
codes in their relation to the needs of humanity. Whether or not the
origins of Christianity conformed to biological laws did not concern
him, although he assumed as his hypothesis the conclusions of the
scientific investigators. The only way of determining the merits and
demerits of the Christian code, he argued, was to ascertain the actual
results of its application, and to compare these with the results which
had accrued from the application of hardier and healthier codes. To
this investigation Nietzsche devotes practically the whole of "The
Antichrist," although there are a few analytical passages relating to
the early dissemination of Jewish ethics. But with these passages the
student need not seriously concern himself. They are speculative and

Nietzsche's criticism of the effects of Christian virtues, however,
did not begin in "The Antichrist," although this book is the final
flowering of those anti-Christian ideas which cropped up continually
throughout his entire work. This religious antipathy was present even
in his early academic essays, and in "Human, All-Too-Human" we find him
well launched upon his campaign. No book of his, with the exception of
his unfinished pamphlet, "The Eternal Recurrence," is free from this
criticism. But one will find all his earlier conclusions and arguments
drawn together in a compact and complete whole in the present volume.

Nietzsche's accusation against Christianity, reduced to a few words,
is that it works against the higher development of the individual;
that, being a religion of weakness, it fails to meet the requirements
of the modern man; in short, that it is _dangerous._ This conclusion
is founded on the principle of biological monism. Nietzsche assumes
Darwin's law of the struggle for existence, and argues that the
Christian virtues oppose not only this law but the law of natural
selection as well. By this opposition the race has been weakened,
for self-sacrifice, the basis of Christian morality, detracts from
the power of the individual and consequently lessens his chances for
existence. Furthermore, the Christian ideal in itself is opposed to
progress and all that progress entails, such as science and research.
Knowledge of any kind tends to make man more independent, and thereby
reduces his need for theological supervision. As a result of the
passing over of power from the strong to the weak, in accordance with
the morality of Christianity, the strength of the race as a whole is
depleted. Furthermore, such a procedure is in direct opposition to
the laws of nature, and so long as man lives in a natural environment
the only way to insure progress is to conform to the conditions of
that environment. Nietzsche therefore makes a plea for the adoption
of other than Christian standards--standards compatible with the laws
of existence. He points out that already the race has been almost
irremediably weakened by its adherence to anti-natural doctrines,
that each day of Christian activity is another step in the complete
degeneration of man. And he asserts that the only reason the race
has maintained its power as long as it has is because the stronger
members of society, despite their voiced belief, do not live up to the
Christian code, but are continually compromising with it.

The problem of the origin of Christianity interests Nietzsche, because
he sees in it an explanation of the results which it wished to
accomplish. Christianity, says he, can be understood only in relation
to the soil out of which it grew. When the Jewish people, subjugated
and in a position of slavery, were confronted with the danger of
extermination at the hands of a stronger people, they invented a system
of conduct which would insure their continued existence. They realised
that the adherence to such virtues as retaliation, aggressiveness,
initiative, cruelty, arrogance and the like would mean death; the
stronger nations would not have countenanced such qualities in a weak
and depleted nation. As a result the Jews replaced retaliation with
"long suffering," aggressiveness with peacefulness, cruelty with
kindness, and arrogance with humility. These _negative_ virtues took
the place of positive virtues, and were turned into "beatitudes."
By thus "turning the other cheek" and "forgiving one's enemies,"
instead of resenting persecution and attempting to avenge the wrongs
perpetrated against them, they were able to prolong life. This system
of conduct, says Nietzsche, was a direct falsification of all natural
conditions and a perversion of all healthy instincts. It was the
morality of an impoverished and subservient people, and was adopted by
the Jews only when they had been stripped of their power.

Nietzsche presents a psychological history of Israel as an example of
the process by which natural values were denaturalised. The God of
Israel was Jehovah. He was the expression of the nation's consciousness
of power, of joy and of hope. Victory and salvation were expected
from him: he was the God of justice. The Assyrians and internal
anarchy changed the conditions of Israel. Jehovah was no longer able
to bring victory to his people, and consequently the nature of this
God was changed. In the hands of the priest he became a weapon, and
unhappiness was interpreted as punishment for "sins." Jehovah became a
moral dictator, and consequently morality among the Israelites ceased
to be an expression of the conditions of life and became an abstract
theory opposed to life. Nor did the Jewish priesthood stop at this. It
interpreted the whole of history with a view to showing that all sin
against Jehovah led to punishment and that all pious worship of Jehovah
resulted in reward. A moral order of the universe was thus substituted
for a natural one. To bolster up this theory a "revelation" became
necessary. Accordingly a "stupendous literary fraud" was perpetrated,
and the "holy scriptures" were "discovered" and foisted upon the
people. The priests, avid for power, made themselves indispensable
by attributing to the will of God all those acts they desired of the
people. Repentance, namely: submission to the priests, was inaugurated.
Thus Christianity, hostile to all reality and power, gained its footing.

The psychology of Christ, as set forth in "The Antichrist," and the
use made of his doctrines by those who directly followed him, form an
important part of Nietzsche's argument against Christian morality.
Christ's doctrine, according to Nietzsche, was one of immediacy. It
was a mode of conduct and not, according to the present Christian
conception, a preparation for a future world. Christ was a simple
heretic in his rebellion against the existing political order. He
represented a reactionary mode of existence---a system of conduct which
said Nay to life, a code of inaction and non-interference. His death on
the cross was meant as a supreme example and proof of this doctrine.
It remained for his disciples to attach other meanings to it. Loving
Christ as they did, and consequently blinded by that love, they were
unable to forgive his execution at the hands of the State. At the same
time they were unprepared to follow his example and to give their
own lives to the cause of his teachings. A feeling of revenge sprang
up in them, and they endeavoured to find an excuse for his death. To
what was it attributable? And the answer they found, says Nietzsche,
was "dominant Judaism, its ruling class." For the moment they failed
to realise that the "Kingdom of God," as preached by Christ, was an
earthly thing, something contained within the individual; and after the
crucifixion it was necessary for them either to follow Christ's example
or to interpret his death, a voluntary one, as a promise of future
happiness, that is, to translate his _practical_ doctrine into symbolic
terms. They unhesitatingly chose the latter.

In their search for an explanation as to how God could have allowed
his "son" to be executed, they fell upon the theory that Christ's
death was a sacrifice for their sins, an expiation for their guilt.
From that time on, says Nietzsche, "there was gradually imported into
the type of the Saviour the doctrine of the Last Judgment, and of the
'second coming,' the doctrine of sacrificial death, and the doctrine of
_Resurrection,_ by means of which the whole concept 'blessedness,' the
entire and only reality of the gospel, is conjured away--in favour of
a state _after_ death." St. Paul then rationalised the conception by
introducing into it the doctrine of personal immortality by means of
having Christ rise from the dead; and he preached this immortality as
a reward for virtue. Thus, asserts Nietzsche, Christ's effort toward a
Buddhistic movement of peace, "toward real and _not_ merely promised
_happiness on earth"_ was controverted by his posterity. Nothing of
Christ's original doctrine remained, once Paul, the forger, set to work
to twist it to his own ends. Paul went further and by changing and
falsifying it turned all Jewish history into a _prophecy_ for his own
teachings. Thus the whole doctrine of Christ, the true meaning of his
death and the realities which he taught, were altered and distorted. In
short, Christ's life was used as a means for furthering the religion of
Paul, who gave to it the name of Christianity.

A most important part of "The Antichrist" is that passage wherein
Nietzsche defines his order of castes. Every healthy society, says he,
falls naturally into three separate and distinct types. These classes
condition one another and "gravitate differently in the psychological
sense." Each type has its own work, its own duties, its own emotions,
its own compensations and mastership. The first class, comprising the
rulers, is distinguished by its intellectual superiority. It devolves
upon this class "to represent happiness, beauty and goodness on earth."
The members of this superior class are in the minority, but they are
nevertheless the creators of values. "Their delight is self-mastery:
with them asceticism becomes a second nature, a need, an instinct. They
regard a difficult task as their privilege; to play with burdens which
crush their fellows is to them a _recreation."_ They are at once the
most honourable, cheerful and gracious of all men. The second class
is composed of those who relieve the first class of their duties and
execute the will of the rulers. They are the guardians of the law, the
merchants and professional men, the warriors and the judges. In brief,
they are the executors of the race. The third class is made up of
the workers, the lowest order of man--those destined for menial and
disagreeable tasks. "The fact," says Nietzsche, "that one is publicly
useful, a wheel, a function, presupposes a certain natural destiny: it
is not _society,_ but the only kind of _happiness_ of which the great
majority are capable, that makes them intelligent machines. For the
mediocre it is a joy to be mediocre; in them mastery in one thing, a
specialty, is a natural instinct." The conception of these classes
contains the nucleus of Nietzsche's doctrine. It embodies his whole
idea of a natural aristocracy as opposed to the spurious European
aristocracy of the present day, wherein the rulers are in reality
merely members of the second class.

The charge is constantly brought against Nietzsche by the ecclesiastic
dialecticians that his criticism of Christianity is fraught with the
very nihilism against which he so eloquently argues. There is perhaps
a slight basis for such a contention if we confine ourselves strictly
to those of his utterances against the Jewish morality which appear in
his previous books. But in "The Antichrist" this does not hold true
even in the slightest manner. Nietzsche is constantly supplanting modes
of action for every Christian virtue he denies. He is as constructive
as he is destructive. "The Antichrist" contains, not only a complete
denial of all Christian morality, but a statement of a new and
consistent system of ethics based on the research of all his works.


What is good? All that enhances the feeling of power, the Will to
Power, and power itself in man. What is bad?--All that proceeds from
weakness. What is happiness?--The feeling that power is _increasing,-_
that resistance has been overcome.

Not contentment, but more power; not peace at any price, but war; not
virtue, but efficiency (virtue in the Renaissance sense, _virtu,_
free from all moralic acid). The weak and botched shall perish: first
principle of our humanity. And they ought even to be helped to perish.

What is more harmful than any vice?--Practical sympathy with all the
botched and the weak--Christianity. 128

We must not deck out and adorn Christianity: it has waged a deadly
war upon this _higher_ type of man, it has set a ban upon all the
fundamental instincts of this type, and has distilled evil and the
devil himself out of these instincts:--the strong man as the typical
pariah, the villain. Christianity has sided with everything weak, low,
and botched; it has made an ideal out of _antagonism_ against all the
self-preservative instincts of strong life: it has corrupted even the
reason of the strongest intellects, by teaching that the highest values
of intellectuality are sinful, misleading and full of temptations. 130

I call an animal, a species, an individual corrupt, when it loses its
instincts, when it selects and _prefers_ that which is detrimental to
it. 131

Life itself, to my mind, is nothing more nor less than the instinct of
growth, of permanence, of accumulating forces, of power: where the will
to power is lacking, degeneration sets in. 131

Pity is opposed to the tonic passions which enhance the energy of the
feeling of life: its action is depressing. A man loses power when he
pities. By means of pity the drain on strength which suffering itself
already introduces into the world is multiplied a thousandfold. 131

On the whole, pity thwarts the law of development which is the law of
selection. It preserves that which is ripe for death, it fights in
favour of the disinherited and the condemned of life. 131-132

This depressing and infectious instinct thwarts those instincts
which aim at the preservation and enhancement of the value of life:
by _multiplying_ misery quite as much as by preserving all that is
miserable, it is the principal agent in promoting decadence. 132

That which a theologian considers true, _must_ of necessity be false:
this furnishes almost the criterion of truth. It is his most profound
self-preservative instinct which forbids reality ever to attain to
honour in any way, or even to raise its voice. Whithersoever the
influence of the theologian extends, _valuations_ are topsy-turvy, and
the concepts "true" and "false" have necessarily changed places: that
which is most deleterious to life, is here called "true," that which
enhances it, elevates it, says Yea to it, justifies it and renders it
triumphant, is called "false." 135

What is there that destroys a man more speedily than to work, think,
feel, as an automaton of "duty," without internal promptings, without
a profound personal predilection, without joy? This is the recipe _par
excellence_ of decadence and even of idiocy. 137

In Christianity, neither morality nor religion comes in touch at
all with reality. Nothing but imaginary _causes_ (God, the soul,
the ego, spirit, free will--or even non-free will); nothing but
imaginary _effects_ (sin, salvation, grace, punishment, forgiveness
of sins). Imaginary beings are supposed to have intercourse (God,
spirits, souls); imaginary Natural History (anthropocentric: total
lack of the notion, "natural causes"); an imaginary _psychology_
(nothing but misunderstandings of self, interpretations of pleasant or
unpleasant general feelings; for instance of the states of the _nervus
sympathicus,_ with the help of the sign language of a religio-moral
idiosyncrasy,--repentance, pangs of conscience, the temptation of the
devil, the presence of God); an imaginary teleology (the Kingdom of
God, the Last Judgment, Everlasting Life). 141-142

A proud people requires a God, unto whom it can _sacrifice_ things....
Religion, when restricted to these principles, is a form of gratitude.
A man is grateful for his own existence; for this he must have a
God.--Such a God must be able to profit and to injure him, he must be
able to act the friend and the foe. He must be esteemed for his good as
well as for his evil qualities. 143

When a people is on the road to ruin; when it feels its belief in
a future, its hope of freedom vanishing for ever; when it becomes
conscious of submission as the most useful quality, and of the virtues
of the submissive as self-preservative measures, then its God must also
modify himself. He then becomes a tremulous and unassuming sneak; he
counsels "peace of the soul," the cessation of all hatred, leniency
and "love" even towards friend and foe. He is for ever moralising,
he crawls into the heart of every private virtue, becomes a God for
everybody. 143

The Christian concept of God--God as the deity of the sick, God as a
spider, God as a spirit--is one of the most corrupt concepts of God
that has ever been attained on earth. Maybe it represents the low-water
mark in the evolutionary ebb of the godlike type. God degenerated into
the _contradiction of life,_ instead of being its transfiguration and
eternal Yea! With God war is declared on life, nature, and the will to
life! God is the formula for every calumny of this world and for every
lie concerning a beyond! 146

Christianity aims at mastering _beasts of prey;_ its expedient is to
make them _ill,_--to render feeble is the Christian recipe for taming,
for "civilisation." 151

If _faith_ is above all necessary, then reason, knowledge, and
scientific research must be brought into evil repute: the road to
truth becomes the _forbidden_ road.--Strong _hope_ is a much greater
stimulant of life than any single realised joy could be. Sufferers
must be sustained by a hope which no actuality can contradict,--and
which cannot ever be realised: the hope of another world. (Precisely on
account of this power that hope has of making the unhappy linger on,
the Greeks regarded it as the evil of evils, as the most _mischievous_
evil: it remained behind in Pandora's box.) In order that _love_ may
be possible, God must be a person. In order that the lowest instincts
may also make their voices heard God must be young. For the ardour of
the women a beautiful saint, and for the ardour of the men a Virgin
Mary has to be pressed into the foreground. All this on condition that
Christianity wishes to rule over a certain soil, on which Aphrodisiac
or Adonis cults had already determined the _notion_ of a cult. To
insist upon _chastity_ only intensifies the vehemence and profundity of
the religious instinct--it makes the cult warmer, more enthusiastic,
more soulful.--Love is the state in which man sees things most widely
different from what they are. The force of illusion reaches its zenith
here, as likewise the sweetening and transfiguring power. When a man is
in love he endures more than at other times; he submits to everything.
The thing was to discover a religion in which it was possible to love:
by this means the worst in life is overcome--it is no longer even
seen.--So much for three Christian virtues Faith, Hope, and Charity: I
call them the three Christian _precautionary measures._ 152-153

What is Jewish morality, what is Christian morality? Chance robbed of
its innocence; unhappiness polluted with the idea of "sin"; well being
interpreted as a danger, as a "temptation"; physiological indisposition
poisoned by means of the cankerworm of conscience. 157-158

What does a "moral order of the universe" mean? That once and for all
there is such a thing as will of God which determines what man has to
do and what he has to leave undone; that the value of a people or of
an individual is measured according to how much or how little the one
or the other obeys the will of God; that in the destinies of a people
or of an individual, the will of God shows itself dominant, that is to
say it punishes or rewards according to the degree of obedience. In the
place of this miserable falsehood _reality_ says: a parasitical type of
man, who can flourish only at the cost of all the healthy elements of
life, the priest abuses the name of God: he calls that state of affairs
in which the priest determines the value of things "the Kingdom of
God"; he calls the means whereby such a state of affairs is attained or
maintained, "the Will of God"; with cold-blooded cynicism he measures
peoples, ages and individuals according to whether they favour or
oppose the ascendency of the priesthood. 158-159

I fail to see against whom was directed the insurrection of which
rightly or _wrongly_ Jesus is understood to have been the promoter, if
it were not directed against the Jewish church. 162

This saintly anarchist who called the lowest of the low, the outcasts
and "sinners," the Chandala of Judaism, to revolt against the
established order of things (and in language which, if the gospels are
to be trusted, would get one sent to Siberia even to-day)--this man was
a political criminal in so far as political criminals were possible in
a community so absurdly non-political. This brought him to the cross:
the proof of this is the inscription found thereon. He died for _his_
sins--and no matter how often the contrary has been asserted there is
absolutely nothing to show that he died for the sins of others. 162-163

_The instinctive hatred of reality_ is the outcome of an extreme
susceptibility to pain and to irritation, which can no longer endure to
be "touched" at all, because every sensation strikes too deep.

_The instinctive exclusion of all aversion, of all hostility, of all
boundaries and distances in feeling,_ is the outcome of an extreme
susceptibility to pain and to irritation, which regards all resistance,
all compulsory resistance as insufferable _anguish_(--that is to say,
as harmful, as _deprecated_ by the self-preservative instinct), and
which knows blessedness (happiness) only when it is no longer obliged
to offer resistance to anybody, either evil or detrimental,--love as
the only ultimate possibility of life....

These are the two _physiological realities_ upon which and out of which
the doctrine of salvation has grown. 166

With a little terminological laxity Jesus might be called a "free
spirit"--he cares not a jot for anything that is established: the
word _killeth,_ everything fixed _killeth._ The idea, _experience,
"life"_ as he alone knows it, is, according to him, opposed to every
kind of word, formula, law, faith and dogma. He speaks only of the
innermost things: "life" or "truth" or "light," is his expression for
the innermost things,--everything else the whole of reality, the whole
of nature, language even, has only the value of a sign, of a simile for
him. 169-170

The whole psychology of the "gospels" lacks the concept of guilt and
punishment, as also that of reward. "Sin," any sort of aloofness
between God and man, is done away with,--_this is precisely what
constitutes the "glad tidings."_ Eternal bliss is not promised, it is
not bound up with certain conditions; it is the only reality--the rest
consists only of signs wherewith to speak about it....

The results of such a state project themselves into a new practice
of life, the actual evangelical practice. It is not a "faith" which
distinguishes himself by means of a _different_ mode of action.... 171

The life of the Saviour was naught else than this practice,--neither
was his death. He no longer required any formulæ, any rites for his
relations with God--not even prayer. He has done with all the Jewish
teaching of repentance and of atonement; he alone knows the _mode_ of
life which makes one feel "divine," "saved," "evangelical," and at all
times a "child of God." Not "repentance," not "prayer and forgiveness"
are the roads to God: the _evangelical mode of life alone_ leads to
God, it _is_ "God."--That which the gospels abolished was the Judaism
of the concepts "sin," "forgiveness of sin," "faith," "salvation
through faith,"--the whole doctrine of the Jewish church was denied by
the "glad tidings."

The profound instinct of how one must live in order to feel "in
Heaven," in order to feel "eternal," while in every other respect
one feels by _no_ means "in Heaven": this alone is the psychological
reality of "Salvation."--A new life and _not_ a new faith.... 171-172

This "messenger of glad tidings" died as he lived and as he
taught--_not_ in order "to save mankind," but in order to show how one
ought to live. It was a mode of life that he bequeathed to mankind: his
behaviour before his judges, his attitude towards his executioners, his
accusers, and all kinds of calumny and scorn,--his demeanour on the
_cross._ 174

The history of Christianity--from the death on the cross onwards--is
the history of a gradual and ever coarser misunderstanding of an
original symbolism. 175

"The world" to Christianity means that a man is a soldier, a judge,
a patriot, that he defends himself, that he values his honour, that
he desires his own advantage, that he is _proud._ ... The conduct of
every moment, every instinct, every valuation that leads to a deed, is
at present anti-Christian: what an _abortion of falsehood_ modern man
must be, in order to be able _without a blush_ still to call himself a
Christian! 178

The very word "Christianity" is a misunderstanding,--truth to tell,
there never was more than one Christian, and he _died_ on the Cross.
The "gospel" _died_ on the cross. That which thenceforward was called
"gospel" was the reverse of that "gospel" that Christ had lived: it
was "evil tidings," a _dysangel._ It is false to the point of nonsense
to see in "faith," in the faith in salvation through Christ, the
distinguishing trait of the Christian; the only thing that is Christian
is the Christian mode of existence, a life such as he led who died on
the Cross.... To this day a life of this kind is still possible; for
certain men, it is even necessary: genuine, primitive Christianity
will be possible in all ages.... _Not_ a faith, but a course of action.

To regard a man like St.-Paul as honest (a man whose home was the
very headquarters of Stoical enlightenment) when he devises a proof
of the continued existence of the Saviour out of a hallucination; or
even to believe him when he declares that he had this hallucination,
would amount to foolishness on the part of a psychologist: St.-Paul
desired the end, consequently he also desired the means.... Even what
he himself did not believe, was believed in by the idiots among whom
he spread _his_ doctrine.--What he wanted was power; with St.-Paul the
priest again aspired to power. 185

When the centre of gravity of life is laid, _not_ in life, but in a
beyond--in _nonentity,_ life is utterly robbed of its balance. The
great lie of personal immortality destroys all reason, all nature in
the instincts,--everything in the instincts that is beneficent, that
promotes life and that is a guarantee of the future, henceforward
aroused suspicion. The very meaning of life is now construed as the
effort to live in such a way that life no longer has any point.... Why
show any public spirit? Why be grateful for one's origin and one's
forebears? Why collaborate with one's fellows, and be confident? Why
be concerned about the general weal or strive after it?... All these
things are merely so many "temptations," so many deviations from the
"straight path." "One thing only is necessary" ... that everybody, as
an "immortal soul," should have equal rank, that in the totality of
beings, the "salvation" of each individual may lay claim to eternal
importance, that insignificant bigots and three-quarter-lunatics may
have the right to suppose that the laws of nature may be persistently
_broken_ on their account,--any such magnification of every kind
of selfishness to infinity, to _insolence,_ cannot be branded with
sufficient contempt. And yet it is to this miserable flattery of
personal vanity that Christianity owed its _triumph,--_by this means
it lured all the bungled and the botched, all revolting and revolted
people, all abortions, the whole of the refuse and offal of humanity,
over to its side. 185-186

With Christianity, the art of feeling holy lies, which constitutes
the whole of Judaism, reaches its final mastership, thanks to many
centuries of Jewish and most thoroughly serious training and practice.

Only read the gospels as books calculated to seduce by means of
morality--morality is appropriated by these petty people,--they know
what morality can do! The best way of leading mankind by the nose
is with morality! The fact is that the most conscious _conceit_ of
people who believe themselves to be _chosen,_ here simulates modesty:
in this way they, the Christian community, the "good and the just"
place themselves once and for all on a certain side, the side "of
Truth"--and the rest of mankind, "the world" on the other.... This
was the most fatal kind of megalomania that had ever yet existed on
earth; insignificant little abortions of bigots and liars began to lay
sole claim to the concepts "God," "Truth," "Light," "Spirit," "Love,"
"Wisdom," "Life," as if these things were, so to speak, synonyms of
themselves, in order to fence themselves off from "the world"; little
ultra-Jews, ripe for every kind of madhouse, twisted values round in
order to suit themselves, just as if the Christian, alone, were the
meaning, the salt, the standard and even the _"ultimate tribunal"_ of
all the rest of mankind. 189-190

One does well to put on one's gloves when reading the New Testament.
The proximity of so much pitch almost defiles one. We should feel just
as little inclined to hobnob with "the first Christians" as with Polish
Jews: not that we need explain our objections.... They simply smell
bad.--In vain have I sought for a single sympathetic feature in the New
Testament; there is not a trace of freedom, kindliness, openheartedness
and honesty to be found in it. Humaneness has not even made a start
in this book, while _cleanly_ instincts are entirely absent from
it.... Only evil instincts are to be found in the New Testament, it
shows no sign of courage, these people lack even the courage of these
evil instincts. All is cowardice, all is a closing of one's eyes and
self-deception. Every book becomes clean, after one has just read the
New Testament. 193-194

In the whole of the New Testament only _one_ figure appears which we
cannot help respecting. Pilate, the Roman Governor. To take a Jewish
quarrel _seriously_ was a thing he could not get himself to do. One
Jew more or less--what did it matter?... The noble scorn of a Roman,
in whose presence the word "truth" had been shamelessly abused,
has enriched the New Testament with the only saying which _is of
value,_--and this saying is not only the criticism, but actually the
shattering of that Testament: "What is truth!" 195-196

No one is either a philologist or a doctor, who is not also an
_Antichrist._ As a philologist, for instance, a man sees _behind_ the
"holy books" as a doctor he sees _behind_ the physiological rottenness
of the typical Christian. The Doctor says "incurable," the philologist
says "forgery." 197

The priest knows only one great danger, and that is science,--the
healthy concept of cause and effect. But, on the whole, science
flourishes only in happy conditions,--a man must have time, he must
also have superfluous mental energy in order to "pursue knowledge."
... _"Consequently_ man must be made unhappy,"--this has been the
argument of the priest of all ages.--You have already divined what, in
accordance with such a manner of arguing, must first have come into the
world:--"sin."... The notion of guilt and punishment, the whole "moral
order of the universe," was invented against science. 199

The notion of guilt and punishment, including the doctrine of "grace,"
of "salvation" and of "forgiveness"--all lies through and through
without a shred of psychological reality--were invented in order to
destroy man's _sense of causality:_ they are an attack with the fist,
with the knife, with honesty in hate and love! But one actuated by the
most cowardly, most crafty, and most ignoble instincts! A _priest's_
attack! A _parasite's_ attack! A vampyrism of pale subterranean
leeches! 200

"Faith saveth; _therefore_ it is true."--It might be objected here that
it is precisely salvation which is not probed but only _promised;_
salvation is bound up with the condition "faith,"--one _shall_ be
saved, _because_ one has faith.... But how prove _that_ that which the
priest promises to the faithful really will take place, to wit: the
"Beyond" which defies all demonstration?--The assumed "proof of power"
is at bottom once again only a belief in the fact that the effect which
faith promises will not fail to take place. In a formula: "I believe
that faith saveth;--_consequently_ it is true."--But with this we are
at the end of our tether. 201

Holiness in itself is simply a symptom of an impoverished, enervated
and incurably deteriorated body! 203-204

Christianity is built upon the rancour of the sick; its instinct
is directed _against_ the sound, against health. Everything
well-constituted, proud, high-spirited, and beautiful is offensive to
its ears and eyes. 204

"Faith" simply means the refusal to know what is true. 205

The conclusion which all idiots, women and common people come to, that
there must be something in a cause for which some one lays down his
life (or which, as in the case of primitive Christianity, provokes an
epidemic of sacrifices),--this conclusion put a tremendous check upon
all investigation, upon the spirit of investigation and of caution.
Martyrs have _harmed_ the cause of truth. 208

Convictions are prisons. They never see far enough, they do not
look down from a sufficient height: but in order to have any say
in questions of value and non-value, a man must see five hundred
convictions _beneath_ him--_behind_ him.... A spirit who desires great
things, and who also desires the means thereto, is necessarily a
sceptic. Freedom from every kind of conviction _belongs_ to strength,
to the _ability_ to open one's eyes freely. 209-210

Whom do I hate most among the rabble, the Chandala apostles, who
undermine the working man's instinct, his happiness and his feeling of
contentedness with his insignificant existence,--who make him envious,
and who teach him revenge.... The wrong never lies in unequal rights;
it lies in the claim to equal rights. 220

The Christian and the anarchist are both decadents; they are both
incapable of acting in any other way than disintegratingly, poisonously
and witheringly, like _bloodsuckers;_ they are both actuated by an
instinct of _mortal hatred_ of everything that stands erect, that is
great, that is lasting, and that is a guarantee of the future. 221-222

Christianity destroyed the harvest we might have reaped from the
culture of antiquity, later it also destroyed our harvest of the
culture of Islam. The wonderful Moorish world of Spanish culture, which
in its essence is more closely related to _us,_ and which appeals
more to our sense and taste than Rome and Greece, was _trampled to
death_(--I do not say by what kind of feet), why?--because it owed its
origin to noble, to manly instincts, because it said yea to life, even
that life so full of the race, and refined luxuries of the Moors! 226

I condemn Christianity and confront it with the most terrible
accusation that an accuser has ever had in his mouth. To my mind
it is the greatest of all conceivable corruptions, it has had the
will to the last imaginable corruption. The Christian Church allowed
nothing to escape from its corruption; it converted every value
into its opposite, every truth into a lie, and every honest impulse
into an ignominy of the soul. Let any one dare to speak to me of
its humanitarian blessings! To _abolish_ any sort of distress was
opposed to its profoundest interests; its very existence depended
on states of distress; it created states of distress in order to
make itself immortal.... The cancer germ of sin, for instance:
the Church was the first to enrich mankind with this misery!--The
"equality of souls before God," this falsehood, this _pretext_ for
the _rancunes_ of all the base-minded, this anarchist bomb of a
concept, which has ultimately become the revolution, the modern
idea, the principle of decay of the whole of social order,--this is
_Christian_ dynamite.... The "humanitarian" blessings of Christianity!
To breed a self-contradiction, an art of self-profanation, a will
to lie at any price, an aversion, a contempt of all good and honest
instincts out of _humanitas!_ Is this what you call the blessings of
Christianity?--Parasitism as the only method of the Church; sucking
all the blood, all the love, all the hope of life out of mankind with
anæmic and sacred ideals. A "Beyond" as the will to deny all reality;
the cross as the trade-mark of the most subterranean form of conspiracy
that has ever existed,--against health, beauty, well-constitutedness,
bravery, intellect, kindliness of soul, _against Life itself...._

This eternal accusation against Christianity I would fain write on all
walls, wherever there are walls,--I have letters with which I can make
even the blind see.... I call Christianity the one great curse, the one
enormous and innermost perversion, the one great instinct of revenge,
for which no means are too venomous, too underhand, too underground and
too _petty,_--I call it the one immortal blemish of mankind.... 230-231


"The Will to Power"

Volume I

All the evidences of what was to be Nietzsche's final and complete
philosophical work in four volumes, are contained in two volumes
of desultory and often highly condensed notes which were recently
issued under the single caption of "The Will to Power" _("Die Wille
zur Macht")._ On this culminating work Nietzsche had laboured from
1883 until his final breakdown. He made two plans for "The Will to
Power"--one in 1886 and the other in 1887. As the 1887 plan was the
one ultimately adhered to, there seems no reason to hesitate about
accepting it as the right one. The titles of the four books which
comprised this final work as it stands to-day are "European Nihilism,"
"A Criticism of the Highest Values that Have Prevailed Hitherto,"
"The Principles of a New Valuation" and "Discipline and Breeding."
These headings are according to the last plan made at Nice in 1887,
and although, as I stated in the preceding chapter, there was some
hesitation between the general title of "The Will to Power" and "The
Transvaluation of All Values," "The Antichrist," which fell under the
latter heading, must not be considered as forming a part of "The Will
to Power." However, "The Antichrist" and also "Beyond Good and Evil,"
"The Genealogy of Morals" and "The Twilight of the Idols," are closely
related in thought to "The Will to Power." This fact is borne out not
only by internal evidence, by the manner in which the books overlap,
and by the constant redistribution of titles which sometimes prove
the unity of the last phase of his thought, but also by the testimony
of those who had Nietzsche's confidence and could watch him at close

Nietzsche intended to embody in the four books of "The Will to Power"
the entire sweep of his philosophical teachings. This work was to be
a summary, not only in statement but also in analysis, of his ethical
system. His preceding books had been replete in repetitions, and lacked
both organisation and sequence. His health was such that he could
work only sporadically and in short shifts, with the result that he
was constantly trying to crowd an enormous amount of material into a
short space. He was able to deal with but one point at a time, and, as
his working period was frequently too short to develop that point as
fully as he desired, we find him constantly going back over old ground,
altering his syllogisms, making addenda, interpolating analogies, and
in numerous other ways changing and clarifying what he had previously
written. "The Will to Power" was to be, then, a colossal organisation
of all his writings, with every step intact, and every conclusion in
its place. And throughout the four volumes emphasis was to be put on
his motivating doctrine, the will to power, an oppositional theory to
Darwin's theory of struggle for mere existence. But although we have
two large volumes of notes, these jottings lack in a large degree the
co-ordination which would have characterised them had Nietzsche been
able to carry out his plan.

The notes of these two books are the work of many years, and the
putting together of them for publication has been done without any
attempt to alter their original text. They are just as Nietzsche
left them--in some cases completed and closely argued paragraphs, in
others mere notations and memoranda, elliptic and unelaborated. It is
possible, however, to gain a very adequate idea of what was to be the
contents of this final work, due to the copiousness of the material
at hand. From the time of finishing "Thus Spake Zarathustra" to 1889,
Nietzsche was constantly making notes for his great work, and there
is no phase of his thought which is not touched upon in these two
remaining volumes. By following their pages closely, in the light
of his foregoing works, one gets a very definite impression of the
synthesis of his thoughts. Especially true is this of the second volume
of "The Will to Power," for it is here that his cardinal doctrine is
most strongly and consistently emphasised and its relationship to all
human relationships most concisely drawn. Because of this fact I have
chosen to consider the two volumes separately. The first volume is full
of material more or less familiar to those who have followed Nietzsche
in his earlier works. The notes are, in the majority of cases,
elaborations and explanations of doctrines contained in those books
which followed "Thus Spake Zarathustra." As such they are important.

The first volume is divided into two sections--"European Nihilism" and
"A Criticism of the Highest Values that Have Prevailed Hitherto." Two
subdivisions are found under section one--"Nihilism" and "Concerning
the History of European Nihilism." In this first subdivision Nietzsche
defines Nihilism and attempts to trace its origin. He states that it
is an outcome of the valuations and interpretations of existence
which have formerly prevailed, namely: the result of the doctrines of
Christianity. For our adherence to Christian morality, Nietzsche says,
we must pay dearly: by this adherence we are losing our equilibrium
and are on the verge of adopting opposite valuations--those consisting
of Nihilistic elements. He defines the Nihilistic movement as an
expression of decadence, and declares that this decadence is spreading
throughout all our modern institutions. Under his second subdivision,
he explains that modern gloominess is a result of the "slow advance
and rise of the middle and lower classes," and asserts that this
gloominess is accompanied by moral hypocrisy and the decadent virtues
of sympathy and pity. In this connection he denies that the nineteenth
century shows an improvement over the sixteenth. No better analysis
of the effects of Christian morality on modern man is to be found in
any of Nietzsche's writings than in this treatise of Nihilism; and a
close study of this analysis will greatly help one in grasping the full
significance of the doctrine of the will to power. Although the notes
in this book are the least satisfactory of all the portions of "The
Will to Power," being both tentative and incomplete, I have been able
to select enough definite statements from them to give an adequate idea
of both Nietzsche's theories and conclusions in regard to Nihilism.

In the second section of Volume I, "A Criticism of the Highest Values
That Have Prevailed Hitherto," the notes are fuller and more closely
organised. This is due to the fact that the ground covered by them
is in the main the same ground covered by "The Antichrist," "The
Genealogy of Morals" and "Beyond Good and Evil." In fact, there is
in these notes much repetition of passages to be found in the three
previous volumes. The first subdivision of this second section is
called "Criticism of Religion," and there is little material in it
which does not appear in "The Antichrist." Even in the manner of
expression there exists so strong a similarity that I am inclined to
think Nietzsche used these notes in composing his famous philippic
against Christianity. Consequently I have made but few quotations from
this division, choosing in each instance only such passages as do not
possess a direct parallel in his earlier work. We find here the same
inquiry into the origin of religions, the same analysis of Christian
ideals, the same history of Christian doctrines, and the same argument
against the dissemination of Christian faiths as are contained in "The
Antichrist." However, these present notes are sufficiently different
from this previous book to interest the thorough student, and there
are occasional speculations advanced which are not to be encountered
elsewhere in Nietzsche's writings. For the casual reader, however,
there is little of new interest in this subdivision.

The same criticism holds true to a large extent when we come to the
second subdivision of the second section "A Criticism of Morality." In
"The Genealogy of Morals" we have a discussion of practically all the
subjects considered in the present notes, such as the origin of moral
valuations, the basis of conscience, the influence of the herd, the
dominance of virtue, the slander of the so-called evil man, and the
significance of such words as "improving" and "elevating." However,
there is sufficient new material in these notes to warrant a reading,
for although, despite a few exceptions, there are no new issues posed,
certain points which were put forth only in a speculative and abridged
manner in earlier books, are here enlarged upon. This is especially
true in regard to the doctrine of rank. Nietzsche has been accused of
advocating only an individualistic morality. But the truth is that he
advanced two codes. He preached a morality for the herd, a definite
system which suited the needs of the serving classes. For the superior
individuals, on the other hand, he taught another code, one which
fitted and met the needs of the rulers. The herd morality has always
sought to create and maintain a single type of mediocre man. Nietzsche
preached the necessity of the superior, as well as the inferior, type
of man; and in his present notes he goes into this doctrine more fully
than heretofore. Furthermore, he makes clear his stand in regard to
the weak. On page 291 he states, "I have declared war against the
anæmic Christian ideal (together with what is closely related to it),
not because I want to annihilate it, but only to put an end to its
_tyranny_ and clear the way for other _ideals,_ for _more robust_
ideals." It has been stated, even in quarters where we have a right
to look for more intelligent criticism, that Nietzsche favoured the
complete elimination of the weak and incompetent. No such advocacy is
to be found in his teachings. To the contrary, as will be seen from the
above quotation, he preached only against the _dominance_ of the weak.
He resented their supremacy over the intelligent man. Their existence,
he maintained, was a most necessary thing. This belief is insisted upon
in many places, and one should bear the point in mind when reading the
criticisms of socialism to be found throughout the present volume.

Another new point to be found in these notes relates to the immoral
methods used by the disseminators of morals. From the passages in
which these new points are raised I have taken the quotations which
follow at the end of this chapter.

In the third and last subdivision of this second section, "Criticism
of Philosophy," we have an extension of Chapter I in "Beyond Good
and Evil," "Prejudices of Philosophers," and of the two chapters in
"The Twilight of the Idols"--"The Problem of Socrates" and "Reason
in Philosophy." The notes (excepting a few pages of general remarks)
occupy themselves with a criticism of Greek philosophy and with
an analysis of philosophical truths and errors. These notes touch
only indirectly on Nietzsche's doctrines, and may be looked upon as
explanations of his intellectual methods.

Despite their fragmentariness, the notes in this volume, as I have
said, permit one to gain an adequate idea of Nietzsche's purpose. In
making my excerpts from this book, I have chosen those passages which
will throw new light upon his philosophy rather than those statements
of conclusions which have been previously encountered.


What does Nihilism mean?--_That the highest values are losing their
value._ 8

Thorough Nihilism is the conviction that life is absurd, in the
light of the highest values already discovered; it also includes the
view that we have not the smallest right to assume the existence of
transcendental objects or things in themselves, which would be either
divine or morality incarnate.

This view is the result of fully developed "truthfulness": therefore a
consequence of the belief in morality. 8

_Moral valuations are condemnations, negations; morality is the
abdication of the will to live._ 12

All values with which we have tried, hitherto, to lend the world
some worth, from our point of view, and with which we have therefore
_deprived it of all worth_ (once these values have been shown to be
inapplicable)--all these values, are, psychologically, the results of
certain views of utility, established for the purpose of maintaining
and increasing the dominion of certain communities: but falsely
projected into the nature of things. It is always man's _exaggerated
ingenuousness_ to regard himself as the sense and measure of all
things. 15

Every purely _moral_ valuation (as, for instance, the Buddhistic)
_terminates in Nihilism:_ Europe must expect the same thing! It is
supposed that one can get along with a morality bereft of a religious
background; but in this direction the road to Nihilism is opened. 19

Nihilism is not only a meditating over the "in vain"--not only the
belief that everything deserves to perish; but one actually puts one's
shoulder to the plough; _one destroys._ 22

The time is coming when we shall have to pay for having been
_Christians_ for two thousand years: we are losing the equilibrium
which enables us to live--for a long while we shall not know in what
direction we are travelling. We are hurling ourselves headlong into the
_opposite_ valuations, with that degree of energy which could only have
been engendered in man by an _overvaluation_ of himself.

Now, everything is false from the root, words and nothing but words,
confused, feeble, or overstrained. 25

Modern Pessimism is an expression of the uselessness only of the
_modern_ world, not of the world and existence as such. 29

The "preponderance of _pain over pleasure_" or the reverse (Hedonism);
both of these doctrines are already signposts to Nihilism....

For here, in both cases, no other final purpose is sought than the
phenomenon pleasure or pain. 29

"Life is not worth living"; "Resignation"; "what is the good of
tears?"--this is a feeble and sentimental attitude of mind. 29-30

People have not yet seen what is so terribly obvious--namely, that
Pessimism is not a problem but a _symptom,_--that the term ought to be
replaced by "Nihilism,"--that the question, "to be or not to be," is
itself an illness, a sign of degeneracy, an idiosyncrasy.

The Nihilistic movement is only an expression of physiological
decadence. 32

_Decay, decline,_ and _waste,_ are, _per se,_ in no way open to
objection; they are the natural consequences of life and vital growth.
The phenomenon of decadence is just as necessary to life as advance or
progress is: we are not in a position which enables us to _suppress_
it. On the contrary, reason _would have it retain its rights._

It is disgraceful on the part of socialist-theorists to argue that
circumstances and social combinations could be devised which would put
an end to all vice, illness, crime, prostitution, and poverty.... But
that is tantamount to condemning _Life._ 33

Decadence itself is not a thing _that can be withstood:_ it is
absolutely necessary and is proper to all ages and all peoples.
That which must be withstood, and by all means in our power, is the
spreading of the contagion among the sound parts of the organism. 33-34

All those things which heretofore have been regarded as the _causes of
degeneration,_ are really its effects. 34

If Nature have no pity on the degenerate, it is not therefore immoral:
the growth of physiological and moral evils in the human race, is
rather the _result of morbid and unnatural morality._ 44

The whole of our sociology knows no other instinct than that of the
herd, _i.e.,_ of a _multitude of mere ciphers_--of which every cipher
has "equal rights," and where it is a virtue to be--naught. 45

Nihilism is a sign that the botched and bungled have no longer any
consolation, that they destroy in order to be destroyed, that, having
been deprived of morality, they no longer have any reason to "resign
themselves," that they take up their stand on the territory of the
opposite principle, and _will also exercise power_ themselves, by
compelling the powerful to become their hangmen. 52

Our age, with its indiscriminate endeavours to mitigate distress, to
honour it, and to wage war in advance with unpleasant possibilities, is
an age of the _poor._ 57

Overwork, curiosity and sympathy--our _modern vices._ 64

Christianity, revolution, the abolition of slavery, equal rights,
philanthropy, love of peace, justice, truth: all these big words are
only valuable in a struggle, as banners: not as realities, but as
_showwords,_ for something quite different (yea, even quite opposed to
what they mean!). 68

The nineteenth century shows no advance whatever on the sixteenth:
and the German spirit of 1888 is an example of a backward movement
when compared with that of 1788.... Mankind does not advance, it does
not even exist. The aspect of the whole is much more like that of a
huge experimenting workshop where some things in all ages succeed,
while an incalculable number of things fail; where all order, logic,
co-ordination, and responsibility is lacking. How dare we blink the
fact that the rise of Christianity is a decadent movement?--that the
German Reformation was a recrudescence of Christian barbarism?--that
the Revolution destroyed the instinct for an organisation of society on
a large scale?... Man is not an example of progress as compared with
animals: the tender son of culture is an abortion compared with the
Arab or the Corsican; the Chinaman is a more successful type--that is
to say, richer in sustaining power than the European. 72-73

I know best why man is the only animal that laughs: he alone suffers
so excruciatingly that he was _compelled_ to invent laughter. The
unhappiest and most melancholy animal is, as might have been expected,
the most cheerful. 74

Socialism--or the _tyranny_ of the meanest and the most
brainless,--that is to say, the superficial, the envious, and the
mummers, brought to its zenith,--is, as a matter of fact, the logical
conclusion of "modern ideas" and their latent anarchy: but in the
genial atmosphere of democratic well-being the capacity for forming
resolutions or even for coming _to an end_ at all, is paralysed. Men
will follow--but no longer their reason. That is why socialism is on
the whole a hopelessly bitter affair: and there is nothing more amusing
than to observe the discord between the poisonous and desperate faces
of present-day socialists--and what wretched and nonsensical feelings
does not their style reveal to us!--and the childish lamblike happiness
of their hopes and desires. 102

This is the teaching which life itself preaches to all living things:
the morality of Development. To have and to wish to have more, in a
word, Growth--that is life itself. In the teaching of socialism "a will
to the denial of life" is but poorly concealed: botched men and races
they must be who have devised a teaching of this sort. 102

_Spiritual enlightenment_ is an unfailing means of making men
uncertain, weak of will, and needful of succour and support; in short,
of developing the herding instincts in them. 105

When the _feeling of power_ suddenly seizes and overwhelms a man,--and
this takes place in the case of all the great passions,--a doubt arises
in him concerning his own person: he dare not think himself the cause
of this astonishing sensation--and thus he posits a stronger person, a
Godhead as its cause, 114-115

Religion has lowered the concept "man"; its ultimate conclusion is
that all goodness, greatness, and truth are superhuman, and are only
obtainable by the grace of God. 116

_In short:_ what is the price paid for the _improvement_ supposed to
be due to morality?--The unhinging of _reason,_ the reduction of all
motives to fear and hope (punishment and reward); _dependence_ upon the
tutelage of priests, and upon a formulary exactitude which is supposed
to express a divine will; the implantation of a "conscience" which
establishes a false science in the place of experience and experiment:
as though all one had to do or had not to do were predetermined--a kind
of contraction of the seeking and striving spirit;--_in short:_ the
worst _mutilation_ of man that can be imagined, and it is pretended
that "the good man" is the result. 122-123

Paganism is that which says yea to all that is natural, it is
innocence in being natural, "naturalness." _Christianity_ is that which
says no to all that is natural, it is a certain lack of dignity in
being natural; hostility to Nature. 127

_Christianity_ is a degenerative movement, consisting of all kinds of
decaying and excremental elements: it is _not_ the expression of the
downfall of a race, it is, from the root, an agglomeration of all the
morbid elements which are mutually attractive and which gravitate to
one another.

It is therefore _not_ a national religion, _not_ determined by race: it
appeals to the disinherited everywhere; it consists of a foundation of
resentment against all that is successful and dominant: it is in need
of a symbol which represents the damnation of everything successful and
dominant. It is opposed to every form of _intellectual_ movement, to
all philosophy: it takes up the cudgels for idiots, and utters a curse
upon all intellect. Resentment against those who are gifted, learned,
intellectually independent: in all these it suspects the element of
success and domination. 130

All Christian "truth," is idle falsehood and deception, and is
precisely the reverse of that which was at the bottom of the first
Christian movement. 133

To be really Christian would mean to be absolutely indifferent to
dogmas, cults, priests, church, and theology. 133

A God who died for our sins, salvation through faith, resurrection
after death--all these things are the counterfeit coins of
real-Christianity, for which that pernicious blockhead Paul must be
held responsible. 138

Christianity has, from the first, always transformed the symbolical
into crude realities:

(1) The antitheses "true life" and "false life" were misunderstood and
changed into "life here" and "life beyond."

(2) The notion "eternal life," as opposed to the personal life which is
ephemeral, is translated into "personal immortality";

(3) The process of fraternising by means of sharing the same food and
drink, after the Hebrew-Arabian manner, is interpreted as the "miracle
of transubstantiation."

(4) "Resurrection" which was intended to mean the entrance to the "true
life," in the sense of being intellectually "born again," becomes an
historical contingency, supposed to take place at some moment after

(5) The teaching of the Son of man as the "Son of God,"--that is to
say, the life-relationship between man and God,--becomes the "second
person of the Trinity," and thus the filial relationship of every
man--even the lowest--to God, is _done away with;_

(6) Salvation through faith (that is to say, that there is no other way
to this filial relationship to God save through the _practice of life_
taught by Christ) becomes transformed into the belief that there is a
miraculous way of _atoning_ for all _sin;_ though not through our own
endeavours, but by means of Christ:

For all these purposes, "Christ on the Cross" had to be interpreted
afresh. The _death_ itself would certainly not be the principal feature
of the event ... it was only another sign pointing to the way in which
one should behave towards the authorities and the laws of the world
_--that one was not to defend oneself--this was the exemplary life._

The Gospel is the announcement that the road to happiness lies open for
the lowly and the poor--that all one has to do is to emancipate one's
self from all institutions, traditions, and the tutelage of the higher
classes. Thus Christianity is no more than the _typical teaching of

Property, acquisitions, mother-country, status and rank, tribunals,
the police, the State, the Church, Education, Art, militarism: all
these are so many obstacles in the way of happiness, so many mistakes,
snares, and devil's artifices, on which the Gospel passes sentence--all
this is typical of socialistic doctrines.

Behind all this there is the outburst, the explosion of a concentrated
loathing of the "masters"--the instinct which discerns the happiness of
freedom after such long oppression. 173-174

Christianity is a denaturalisation of gregarious morality: under the
power of the most complete misapprehensions and self-deceptions.
Democracy is a more natural form of it, and less sown with falsehood.
It is a fact that the oppressed, the low, and whole mob of slaves and
half-castes, _will prevail._

First step: they make themselves free--they detach themselves, at
first in fancy only; they recognise each other; they make themselves

Second step: they enter the lists, they demand acknowledgment, equal
rights, "Justice."

Third step: they demand privileges (they draw the representatives of
power over to their side).

Fourth step: they _alone_ want all power, and they _have_ it. 177

When and where has any man, _of any note at all,_ resembled the
Christian ideal?--at least in the eyes of those who are psychologists
and triers of the heart and reins. Look at all Plutarch's heroes! 180

The _higher_ man distinguishes himself from the _lower_ by his
fearlessness and his readiness to challenge misfortune: it is a
sign of _degeneration_ when eudemonistic values begin to prevail
(physiological fatigue and enfeeblement of will-power). Christianity,
with its prospect of "blessedness," is the typical attitude of mind of
a suffering and impoverished species of man. Abundant strength will be
active, will suffer, and will go under. 182

All ideals are dangerous; because they lower and brand realities; they
are all poisons. 183

These "conditions of salvation" of which the Christian is conscious are
merely variations of the same diseased state--the interpretation of an
attack of epilepsy by means of a particular formula which is provided,
_not_ by science, but by religious mania. 190

_A pang of conscience_ in a man is a sign that his character is not
yet equal to his _deed._ There is such a thing as a pang of conscience
after _good deeds:_ in this case it is their unfamiliarity, their
incompatibility with an old environment. 192

We immoralists prefer to disbelieve in "faults." We believe that all
deeds, of what kind soever, are identically the same at root; just as
deeds which turn _against_ us may be useful from an economical point
of view, and even _generally desirable._ In certain individual cases,
we admit that we might well have been _spared_ a given action; the
circumstances alone predisposed us in its favour. Which of us, if
_favoured_ by circumstances, would not already have committed every
possible crime? ... That is why, one should never say: "Thou shouldst
never have done such and such a thing," but only: "How strange it
is that I have not done such and such a thing hundreds of times
already!"--As a matter of fact, only a very small number of acts are
_typical_ acts and real epitomes of a personality, and seeing what a
small number of people really are personalities, a single act very
rarely characterises a man. Acts are mostly dictated by circumstances;
they are superficial or merely reflex movements performed in response
to a stimulus, long before the depths of our beings are affected or
consulted in the matter. 192-193.

Experience teaches us that, in every case in which a man has elevated
himself to any great extent above the average of his fellows, every
high degree of _power_ always involves a corresponding degree of
_freedom_ from Good and Evil as also from "true" and "false," and
cannot take into account what goodness dictates. 200

What is Christian "virtue" and "love of men," if not precisely this
mutual assistance with a view to survival, this solidarity of the weak,
this thwarting of selection? What is Christian altruism, if it is not
the mob-egotism of the weak which divines that, if everybody looks
after everybody else, every individual will be preserved for a longer
period of time?... He who does not consider this attitude of mind
as _immoral,_ as a crime against life, himself belongs to the sickly
crowd, and also shares their instincts.... Genuine love of mankind
exacts sacrifice for the good of the species--it is hard, full of
self-control, because it needs human sacrifices. 203

What deserves the most rigorous condemnation, is the ambiguous and
cowardly infirmity of purpose of a religion like _Christianity,_--or
rather like the _Church,--_which, instead of recommending death and
self-destruction, actually protects all the botched and bungled, and
encourages them to propagate their kind. 204

Let us see what the "genuine Christian" does of all the things which
his instincts forbid him to do:--he covers beauty, pride, riches,
self-reliance, brilliancy, knowledge, and power with suspicion and
_mud_--in short, _all culture:_ his object is to deprive the latter of
its _clean conscience._ 200

What is it we combat in Christianity? That it aims at destroying
the strong, at breaking their spirit, at exploiting their moments
of weariness and debility, at converting their proud assurance
into anxiety and conscience-trouble; that it knows how to poison
the noblest instincts and to infect them with disease, until their
strength, their will to power, turns inwards, against themselves--until
the strong perish through their excessive self-contempt and
self-immolation. 209

All virtues should be looked upon as physiological _conditions._ 213

Formerly it was said of every form of morality, "Ye shall know them by
their fruits." I say of every form of morality: "It is a fruit, and
from it I learn the _Soil_ out of which it grew." 214

My leading doctrine is this: _there are no moral phenomena, but only a
moral interpretation of phenomena. The origin of this interpretation
itself lies beyond the pale of morality._ 214

The whole of morality of Europe is based upon the values _which are
useful to the herd._ 228

The herd regards the _exception,_ whether it be above or beneath its
general level, as something which is antagonistic and dangerous to
itself. Their trick in dealing with the exceptions above them, the
strong, the mighty, the wise, and the fruitful, is to persuade them to
become guardians, herdsmen, and watchmen--in fact, to become their
_head-servants:_ thus they convert a danger into a thing which is
useful. 231

My teaching is this, that the herd seeks to maintain and preserve one
type of man, and that it defends itself on two sides--that is to say,
against those which are decadents from its ranks (criminals, etc.), and
against those who rise superior to its dead level. 236

My philosophy aims at a new _order of rank: not_ at an individualistic
morality. The spirit of the herd should rule within the herd--but not
beyond it: the leaders of the herd require a fundamentally different
valuation for their actions. 237

Conscience condemns an action because that action has been condemned
for a long period of time: all conscience does is to imitate: it
does not create values. That which first led to the condemnation of
certain actions, was _not_ conscience: but the knowledge of (or the
prejudice against) its consequences.... The approbation of conscience,
the feeling of well-being, of "inner peace," is of the same order of
emotions as the artist's joy over his work--it proves nothing. 242

_By what means does a virtue attain to power?_--With precisely the same
means as a political party: slander, suspicion, the undermining of
opposing virtues that happen to be already in power, the changing of
their names, systematic persecution and scorn; in short, _by means of
acts of general "immorality."_ 252

Cruelty has become transformed and elevated into tragic pity, so that
we no longer recognise it as such. The same has happened to the love
of the sexes which has become amour-passion; the slavish attitude of
mind appears as Christian obedience; wretchedness becomes humility; the
disease of the _nervus sympathicus,_ for instance, is eulogised as
Pessimism, Pascalism, or Carlylism, etc. 253

The qualities which constitute the strength of an _opposing race_ or
class are declared to be the most evil and pernicious things it has:
for by means of them it may be harmful to us. 255

I recognise virtue in that: (1) it does not insist upon being
recognised; (2) it does not presuppose the existence of virtue
everywhere, but precisely something else; (3) it does _not suffer_
from the absence of virtue, but regards it rather as a relation of
perspective which throws virtue into relief: it does not proclaim
itself; (4) it makes no propaganda; (5) it allows no one to pose as
judge because it is always a personal virtue; (6) it does precisely
what is generally _forbidden:_ virtue as I understand it is the actual
_vetitum_ within all gregarious legislation; (7) in short, I recognise
virtue in that it is in the Renaissance style--_virtu_--free from all
moralic acid. 258

Lust of property, lust of power, laziness, simplicity, fear; all these
things are interested in virtue; that is why it stands so securely. 261

Vice is a somewhat arbitrary epitome of certain effects resulting
from physiological degeneracy. A general proposition such as that
which Christianity teaches, namely, "Man is evil," would be justified
provided one were justified in regarding a given type of degenerate
man as normal. But this may be an exaggeration. Of course, wherever
Christianity prospers and prevails, the proposition holds good: for
then the existence of an unhealthy soil--of a degenerate territory--is
demonstrated. 269

It is difficult to have sufficient respect for man, when one sees how
he understands the art of fighting his way, of enduring, of turning
circumstances to his own advantage, and of overthrowing opponents; but
when he is seen in the light of his _desires,_ he is the most absurd of
all animals. 269

As to the whole socialistic ideal: it is nothing but a blockheaded
misunderstanding of the Christian moral ideal. 275

An ideal which is striving to prevail or to assert itself endeavours to
further its purpose (a) by laying claim to a _spurious_ origin; (b) by
assuming a relationship between itself and the powerful ideals already
existing; (c) by means of the thrill produced by mystery, as though an
unquestionable power were manifesting itself; (d) by the slander of
its opponents' ideals; (e) by a lying teaching of the advantages which
follow in its wake, for instance: happiness, spiritual peace, general
peace, or even the assistance of a mighty God. 278

My view: all the forces and instincts which are the source of life
are lying beneath the _ban of morality:_ morality is the life-denying
instinct. Morality must be annihilated if life is to be emancipated. 278

Every one's desire is that there should be no other teaching and
valuation of things than those by means of which he himself succeeds.
Thus the _fundamental tendency_ of the _weak_ and _mediocre_ of all
times, has been to _enfeeble the strong and to reduce them to the
level of the weak: their chief weapon in this process_ was the _moral
principle._ The attitude of the strong towards the weak is branded as
evil; the highest states of the strong become bad bywords. 279

Every small community (or individual), finding itself involved in
a struggle, strives to convince itself of this: "Good taste, good
judgment, and virtue are ours." War urges people to this exaggerated
self-esteem. 281

Whatever kind of eccentric ideal one may have (whether as a
"Christian," a "free-spirit," an "immoralist," or a German
Imperialist), one should try to avoid insisting upon its being _the_
ideal; for, by so doing, it is deprived of all its privileged nature.
One should have an ideal as a distinction; one should not propagate it,
and thus level one's self down to the rest of mankind. 281

Real heroism consists, _not_ in fighting under the banner of
self-sacrifice, submission and disinterestedness, but in _not fighting
at all_.... "I am thus: I will be thus--and you can go to the devil!"

Modest, industrious, benevolent, and temperate: thus you would that
men were?--that _good men_ were? But such men I can only conceive as
slaves, the slaves of the future. 289

Industry, modesty, benevolence, temperance, are just so many
_obstacles_ in the way of _sovereign sentiments,_ of great _ingenuity,_
of an heroic purpose, of noble existence for one's self. 290

I have declared war against the anæmic Christian ideal (together with
what is closely related to it), not because I want to annihilate it,
but only to put an end to its _tyranny_ and clear the way for other
_ideals,_ for _more robust_ ideals. 291

If one does good merely out of pity, it is one's self and not one's
neighbour that one is succouring. 294

"One is continually promoting the interests of one's _'ego'_ at the
cost of other people"; "Living consists in living at the cost of
others"--he who has not grasped this fact, has not taken the first step
towards truth to himself. 294

A morality and a religion of "love," the _curbing_ of the
self-affirming spirit, and a doctrine encouraging patience,
resignation, helpfulness, and co-operation in word and deed may be of
the highest value within the confines of such classes, even in the
eyes of their rulers: for it restrains the feelings of rivalry, of
resentment, and of envy,--feelings which are only too natural in the
bungled and the botched,--and it even deifies them under the ideal of
humility, of obedience, of slave-life, of being-ruled, of poverty,
of illness, and of lowliness. This explains why the ruling classes
(or races) and individuals of all ages have always upheld the cult of
unselfishness, the gospel of the lowly and of "God on the Cross." 296

The _hatred of egoism,_ whether it be one's own (as in the case of the
Socialists) appears as a valuation reached under the predominance of
revenge; and also as an act of prudence on the part of the preservative
instinct of the suffering, in the form of an increase in their feelings
of co-operation and unity.... At bottom, the discharge of resentment
which takes place in the act of judging, rejecting, and punishing
egoism (one's own or that of others) is still a self-preservative
measure on the part of the bungled and the botched. In short: the cult
of altruism is merely a particular form of egoism, which regularly
appears under certain definite physiological circumstances.

When the Socialist, with righteous indignation, cries for "justice,"
"rights," "equal rights," it only shows that he is oppressed by his
inadequate culture, and is unable to understand why he suffers: he
also finds pleasure in crying;--if he were more at ease he would take
jolly good care not to cry in that way: in that case he would seek his
pleasure elsewhere. The same holds good of the Christian: he curses,
condemns, and slanders the "world"--and does not even except himself.
But that is no reason for taking him seriously. In both cases we are
in the presence of invalids who feel better for crying, and who find
relief in slander. 298

I value a man according to the _quantum of power and fulness of his
will;_ not according to the enfeeblement and moribund state thereof. I
consider that a philosophy which _teaches_ the denial of will is both
defamatory and slanderous.... I test the _power_ of a _will_ according
to the amount of resistance it can offer and the amount of pain and
torture it can endure and know how to turn to its own advantage; I
do not point to the evil and pain of existence with the finger of
reproach, but rather entertain the hope that life may one day be more
evil and more full of suffering than it has ever been. 304

My ultimate conclusion is, that the real man represents a much higher
value than the "desirable" man of any ideal that has ever existed
hitherto; that all "desiderata" in regard to mankind have been
absurd and dangerous dissipations by means of which a particular
kind of man has sought to establish his measures of preservation
and of growth as a law for all; that every "desideratum" of this
kind which has been made to dominate has _reduced_ man's worth, his
strength, and his trust in the future; that the indigence and mediocre
intellectuality of man becomes most apparent, even to-day, when he
reveals a _desire;_ that man's ability to fix values has hitherto been
developed too inadequately to do justice to the actual, not merely to
the "desirable," _worth of man;_ that, up to the present, ideals have
really been the power which has most slandered man and power, the
poisonous fumes which have hung over reality, and which have _seduced
men to yearn for nonentity_.... 311

One must be very immoral in order to _make people moral by deeds._ The
moralist's means are the most terrible that have ever been used; he
who has not the courage to be an immoralist in deeds may be fit for
anything else, but not for the duties of a moralist. 314

The priests of all ages have always pretended that they wished to
"improve."... But we, of another persuasion, would laugh if a
lion-tamer ever wished to speak to us of his "improved" animals. As a
rule, the taming of a beast is only achieved by deteriorating it: even
the moral man is not a better man; he is rather a weaker member of his
species. 319

Up to the present, morality has developed at the _cost_ of: the
ruling classes and their specific instincts, the well-constituted and
_beautiful_ natures, the independent and privileged classes in all

Morality, then, is a sort of counter-movement opposing Nature's
endeavours to arrive at a _higher type._ Its effects are: mistrust
of life in general (in so far as its tendencies are felt to be
immoral),--hostility towards the senses (inasmuch as the highest values
are felt to be opposed to the higher instincts).--Degeneration and
self-destruction of "higher natures," because it is precisely in them
that the conflict becomes _conscious._321

Suppose the _strong_ were masters in all respects, even in valuing:
let us try and think what their attitude would be towards illness,
suffering, and sacrifice. Self-contempt on the part of the weak would
be the result: they would do their utmost to disappear and to extirpate
their kind. And would this be desirable?--should we really like a world
in which the subtlety, the consideration, the intellectuality, the
_plasticity_--in fact, the whole influence of the weak--was lacking?
... 323

Under "Spiritual freedom" I understand something very definite: it is
a state in which one is a hundred times superior to philosophers and
other disciples of "truth" in one's severity towards one's self, in
one's uprightness, in one's courage, and in one's absolute will to say
nay even when it is dangerous to say nay. I regard the philosophers
that have appeared heretofore as _contemptible libertines_ hiding
behind the petticoats of the female "Truth." 384


"The Will to Power"

Volume II

The second volume of "The Will to Power," even in its present
fragmentary form, is the most important of Nietzsche's works. It
draws together under one cover many of the leading doctrines voiced
in his principal constructive books, and in addition states them in
terms of his fundamental postulate--the will to power. In Volume I
of this work we had the application of this doctrine to morality,
religion and philosophy. In the present book it is applied to science,
nature, society, breeding and art. The notes are more analytical than
in the former volume; and the subject-matter is in itself of greater
importance, being more directly concerned with the exposition of
Nietzsche's main theory. Volume II is also fuller and more homogeneous,
and contains much new material. So compact is its organisation that
one is able to gain a very adequate idea of the purpose which animated
Nietzsche at the time of making these notes.

The will to power, the principle which Nietzsche held to be the
elementary expression of life, must be understood in order for one to
comprehend the Nietzschean system of ethics. Throughout all the books
which followed "The Joyful Wisdom" we have indirect references to it
and conclusions based on its assumption as a hypothesis. And, although
it was never definitely and finally defined until the publication of
the notes comprising "The Will to Power," it nevertheless was the
actuating motive in all Nietzsche's constructive writings. Simply
stated, the will to power is the biological instinct to maintenance,
persistence and development. Nietzsche holds that Darwin's universal
law of the instinct to mere survival is a misinterpretation of the
forces at work in life. He points out that existence is a condition--a
medium of action--and by no means an end. It is true that only the
fittest survive in nature as a result of the tendency to exist; but
this theory does not account for the activities which take place after
existence has been assured. In order to explain these activities
Nietzsche advances the theory of the will to power and tests all
actions by it. It will be seen that by this theory the universal law
of Darwin is by no means abrogated, but rather is it explained and

In the operation of Darwin's biological law there are many forces
at work. That is to say, once the fact of existence is established,
numerous forces can be found at work within the limits of existence.
We know that the forces of nature--acting within the medium of
existence which is an _a priori_ condition--are rarely unified and
directed toward the same result. In short, they are not reciprocal.
To the contrary, they work more often against each other--they are
antagonistic. Immediately a war of forces takes place; and it is this
war that constitutes all action in nature. A force in nature directed
at another force calls forth a resistance and counter-force; and this
instinct to act and to resist is in itself a will to act. Otherwise,
inertia would be the condition of life, once mere existence was assured
by the fittest. But life is not inert. Even when certain organisms
have accomplished the victory for existence, and are no longer moved by
a necessity to struggle for mere being, the will to action persists;
and this will to action, according to Nietzsche, is the will for power,
for in every clash of forces, there is an attempt on the part of each
force to overcome and resist the antagonistic one. The greater the
action, the greater the antagonism. Hence, this tendency in all forces
to _persist_ is at bottom a tendency of self-assertion, of overcoming
counter-forces, of augmenting individual power. Wherever this will to
persist is found, Nietzsche argues that the will to act is present; and
there can be no will to act without a will to power, because the very
desire for existence and development is a desire for power.

This, in brief, is Nietzsche's doctrine applied to the organic and
inorganic world. In its application to the ideological world, the
reasoning is not changed. In ideas Nietzsche finds this same will to
power. But in them it is the reflection of the principle inherent
in the material world. There is no will inherent in ideas. This
assumption of a reflected will to power in the ideological world is
one of Nietzsche's most important concepts, for it makes all ideas the
outgrowth of ourselves, and therefore dependent on natural laws. It
does away with the conception of supernatural power and with the old
philosophical belief that ideas are superior forces to those of the
organic and inorganic world. Nietzsche once and for all disposes of the
theory that there is anything more powerful than force, and by thus
doing away with this belief, he rationalises all ideas and puts thought
on a tangible and stable basis. In the opening section of the present
book where he applies the will to power to scientific research, the
whole of this new theory is made clear, and I advise the student to
read well this section, for I have been unable to present as clear and
complete an expositional statement of it in Nietzsche's own words as I
would have liked to do, owing to the close and interrelated manner in
which these notes were written.

Volume II of "The Will to Power" is in two books. The first is called
"The Principles of a New Valuation"; the second, "Discipline and
Breeding." The first book is divided into four sections--"The Will
to Power in Science," "The Will to Power in Nature," "The Will to
Power as Exemplified in Society and in the Individual" and "The Will
to Power in Art." The second book has three divisions--"The Order of
Rank," "Dionysus" and "Eternal Recurrence." Of the first section of
Book One, "The Will to Power in Science," I have already spoken. In
this section Nietzsche shows how arbitrary a thing science is, and how
closely related are its conclusions to the instinct of the scientists,
namely: the instinct of the will to power. Scientists, he holds, are
confronted by the necessity of translating all phenomena into terms
compatible with the struggle for persistence and maintenance. A fact
in nature unaccounted for is a danger, an obstacle to the complete
mastery of natural conditions. Consequently the scientist, directed
and influenced by his will to power, invents explanations which will
bring all facts under his jurisdiction and control, and will thereby
increase his feeling of power. As a result, the great facts of life
are looked upon as of secondary importance to their explanations, and
science becomes, not an intelligent search for knowledge, but a system
of interpretations tending to increase the feeling of mastery in the
men directly connected with it. Thus the law of the will to power, as
manifest in the organic and inorganic world, becomes the dominating
instinct in the ideological world as well.

It is well to speak here of truth as Nietzsche conceived it. We have
seen how he denied its absolutism and declared it to be relative. But
in his present work he goes further and contends that the feeling of
the increase of power is the determining factor in truth. If, as we
have seen, the "truths" of science are merely those interpretations
which grow out of the scientists' will to power, then truth itself must
be the outgrowth of this instinct. That which makes for the growth and
development of the individual--or in other words, that which increases
the feeling of strength--is necessarily the truth. From this it is easy
to deduce the conclusion that in many instances truth is a reversal of
facts, for preservation very often consists in an adherence to actual
falsity. Thus, the false causality of certain phenomena--the outcome of
logic engendered by a will to power--has not infrequently masqueraded
as truth. Nietzsche holds that this doctrine contains the only possible
definition of truth; and in this doctrine we find an explanation for
many of the apparent paradoxes in his teachings when the matter of
truth and falsity are under discussion.

The second part of the first book relates to the will to power in
nature, and contains the most complete and lucid explanation of
Nietzsche's basic theory to be found anywhere in his writings.
This section opens with an argument against a purely mechanical
interpretation of the world, and a refutation of the physicists'
concept of "energy." The chemical and physical laws, the atomic
theory and the mechanical concept of movement, he characterises as
"inventions" on the part of scientists and researchers for the purpose
of understanding natural phenomena and therefore of increasing their
feeling of power. The apparent sequence of phenomena which constitutes
"law" is, according to Nietzsche, only a "relation of power between
two or more forces"--a matter of interdependence, a process wherein
the "procession of moments do _not_ determine each other after the
manner of cause and effect." In these observations we see the process
of reasoning with which Nietzsche refutes the current methods of
ascertaining facts and the manner in which he introduces the principle
of will to power into the phenomena of nature.

It is in this section that Nietzsche discusses at length the points
of divergence between his life principle and that of Darwin. And it
is here also that he treats of the psychology of pleasure and pain in
their relation to the will to power. This latter statement is of great
importance in an understanding of the instincts of life as he taught
them, for it denies both pleasure and pain a place in the determining
of acts. They are both, according to him, but accompanying factors,
never causes, and are but second-rate valuations derived from a
dominating value. He denies that man struggles for happiness. To the
contrary, he holds that all expansion and growth and resistance--in
short, all movement--is related to states of pain, and that, although
the modern man is master of the forces of nature and of himself, he
is no happier than the primeval man. Why, then, does man struggle for
knowledge and growth, knowing that it does not bring happiness? Not for
existence, because existence is already assured him. But for power,
for the feeling of increased mastery. Thus Nietzsche answers the two
common explanations of man's will to action--the need for being and
the desire for happiness--by his doctrine of the will to power.

The entire teaching of Nietzsche in regard to classes and to the
necessity of divergent moral codes to meet the needs of higher and
lower castes, is contained in the third part of the first book. Here
again he emphasises the need of two codes and makes clear his stand
in relation to the superior individual. As I have pointed out in
preceding chapters, Nietzsche did not attempt to do away with the
morality of the inferior classes. He saw that some such religious
belief as Christianity was imperative for them. His fight was against
its application to all classes, against its dominance. I mention this
point again because it is the basis of the greatest misunderstanding
of Nietzsche's philosophy. Part III is written for the higher man, and
if this viewpoint is assumed on the part of the reader, there will
be no confusion as to doctrines encountered. The statements in this
section are in effect similar to those to be found in Nietzsche's
previous works, but in every instance in the present case they are
directly related to the will to power. Because of this they possess a
significance which does not attach to them in antecedent volumes.

The whole of Nietzsche's art theories are to be found in Part IV,
"The Will to Power in Art." It is not merely a system of æsthetics
that occupies the pages under this section, for Nietzsche never
divorces art from life itself; and the artist, according to him, is
the superior type, the creator of values. The concepts of beauty and
ugliness are the outgrowths of an overflow of Dionysian power; and
it is to the great artists of the past, the instinctive higher men,
that we owe our current concepts. The principle here is the dominant
one in Nietzsche's philosophy in relation to valuing:--_to the few
individuals of the race are we indebted for the world of values._ To
the student who wishes to go deeply into Nietzsche's ideas of art and
his conception of the artist, and to know in just what manner the
Dionysian and Apollonian figure in his theories, I unhesitatingly
recommend Anthony M. Ludovici's book, "Nietzsche and Art."

The first section of the second book in this volume contains some of
Nietzsche's finest writing. Its title, "The Order of Rank," explains in
a large measure what material comprises it. It is a description of the
various degrees of man, and a statement of the attributes which belong
to each. No better definition of the different classes of men is to
be found anywhere in this philosopher's writings. One part is devoted
to a consideration of the strong and the weak, and the way in which
they react on one another; another part deals with "the noble man"
and contains (in Aphorism 943) a list of the characteristics of the
noble man, unfortunately too long a list to be quoted in the present
chapter; another part defines "the lords of the earth"; another part
delineates "the great man," and enumerates his specific qualities;
and still another part treats of "the highest man as law-giver of the
future." This section, however, is not a mere series of detached and
isolated definitions, but an important summary of the ethical code
which Nietzsche advanced as a result of his application of the doctrine
of the will to power to the order of individual rank.

The two remaining sections--"Dionysus" and "Eternal Recurrence"--are
short, and fail to touch on new ground. There are a few robust and
heroic passages in the former section which summarise Nietzsche's
definitions of Apollonian and Dionysian; but in the latter section
there is nothing not found in the pamphlet called "The Eternal
Recurrence" and in "Thus Spake Zarathustra." I do not doubt that
Nietzsche had every intention of elaborating this last section, for
he considered the principle of recurrence a most important one in his
philosophy. But, as it stands, it is but a few pages in length and in
no way touches upon his other philosophical doctrines. If importance it
had in the philosophy of the superman, that importance was never shown
either by Nietzsche or by his critics.

However, let us not overlook the importance of the doctrine of the
will to power either in its relation to Nietzsche's writings or in its
application to ourselves. By this doctrine the philosopher wished to
make mankind realise its great dormant power. The insistence on the
human basis of all things was no more than a call to arms--an attempt
to instil courage in men who had attributed all great phenomena to
supernatural forces and had therefore acquiesced before them instead
of having endeavoured to conquer them. Nietzsche's object was to make
man surer of himself, to infuse him with pride, to imbue him with more
daring, to awaken him to a full realisation of his possibilities.
This, in brief, is the teaching of the will to power reduced to its
immediate influences. In this doctrine is preached a new virility.
Not the sedentary virility of compromise, but the virility which is
born of struggle and suffering, which is a sign of one's great love
of living. Nietzsche offered a new set of vital ideals to supplant
the decadent ones which now govern us. Resolute faith, the power of
affirmation, initiative, pride, courage and fearlessness--these are the
rewards in the exercise of the will to power. The strength of great
love and the vitality of great deeds, as well as the possibility of
rare and vigorous growth, lie within this doctrine of will. Its object
is to give back to us the life we have lost--the life of beauty and
plenitude, of strength and exuberance.


For hundreds of years, pleasure and pain have been represented as the
_motives_ for every action. Upon reflection, however, we are bound to
concede that everything would have proceeded in exactly the same way,
according to precisely the same sequence of cause and effect, if the
states "pleasure" and "pain" had been entirely absent. 8-9

The _measure_ of the desire for knowledge depends upon the extent to
which _the Will to Power_ grows in a certain species: a species gets a
grasp of a given amount of reality, _in order to master it, in order to
enlist that amount in its service._ 12

It is our needs that _interpret the world;_ our instincts and their
impulses for and against. Every instinct is a sort of thirst for
power.... 13

That a belief, however useful it may be for the preservation of a
species, has nothing to do with the truth, may be seen from the fact
that we _must_ believe in time, space, and motion, without feeling
ourselves compelled to regard them as absolute realities. 16

_Truth is that hind of error_ without which a certain species of living
being cannot exist. 20

In the formation of reason, logic, and the categories, it was a _need_
in us that was the determining power: not the need "to know," but
to classify, to schematise, for the purpose of intelligibility and
calculation. 29

Logic is the attempt on our part to understand the actual world
according to a scheme of Being devised by ourselves; or, more exactly,
it is our attempt at making the actual world more calculable and more
susceptible to formulation, for our own purposes.... 33

"Truth" is the will to be master over the manifold sensations that
reach consciousness; it is the will to _classify_ phenomena according
to definite categories. In this way we start out with a belief in the
"true nature" of things (we regard phenomena as real).

The character of the world in the process of Becoming _is not
susceptible of formulation;_ it is "false" and "contradicts itself."
_Knowledge_ and the process of evolution exclude each other.
_Consequently,_ knowledge must be something else; it must be preceded
by a will to make things knowable, a kind of Becoming in itself must
create the _impression_ of _Being._ 33-34.

_The chief error of psychologists:_ they regard the indistinct idea
as of a lower _kind_ than the _distinct;_ but that which keeps at a
distance from our consciousness and which is therefore _obscure, may_
on that very account be quite clear in itself. _The fact that a thing
becomes obscure is a question of the perspective of consciousness._ 42

The criterion of truth lies in the enhancement of the feeling of power.

Logic was intended to be a method of facilitating thought: _a means of
expression,_--not truth.... Later on it got to _act_ like truth.... 50

In a world which was essentially false, truthfulness would be an
_anti-natural tendency:_ its only purpose would be to provide a means
of attaining to a _higher degree of falsity._ 51

We have absolutely no experience concerning _cause;_ viewed
psychologically we derive the whole concept from the subjective
conviction, that _we_ ourselves are causes. 55

"Truth" is not something which is present and which has to be found and
discovered; it is something _which has to be created_ and which _gives_
its name _to a process,_ or, better still, to the Will to overpower,
which in itself has no purpose.... 60

The absolute is even an absurd concept: an "absolute mode of existence"
is nonsense, the concept "being," "thing," is always _relative_ to us.

The trouble is that, owing to the old antithesis "apparent" and "real,"
the correlative valuations "little value" and "absolute value" have
been spread abroad. 83

Man seeks "the truth": a world that does not contradict itself, that
does not deceive, that does not change, a _real_ world--a world in
which there is no suffering: contradiction, deception, variability--the
causes of suffering. He does not doubt that there is such a thing as a
world as it ought to be; he would fain find a road to it.... Obviously,
the will to truth is _merely_ the longing for a _stable world._

The senses deceive; reason corrects the errors: _therefore,_ it was
concluded, reason is the road to a static state; the most _spiritual_
ideas must be nearest to the "real world." 88

The degree of a man's will-power may be measured from the extent to
which he can dispense with the meaning in things, from the extent to
which he is able to endure a world without meaning: _because he himself
arranges a small portion of it._ 90

There is no such thing as an established fact, everything fluctuates,
everything is intangible, yielding; after all, the most lasting of all
things are our opinions. 103

That the _worth of the world_ lies in our interpretations (that perhaps
yet other interpretations are possible somewhere, besides mankind's);
that the interpretations made hitherto were perspective valuations,
by means of which we were able to survive in life, _i. e._ in the Will
to Power and in the growth of power; that every _elevation of man_
involves the overcoming of narrower interpretations; that every higher
degree of strength or power attained, brings new views in its train,
and teaches a belief in new horizons--these doctrines lie scattered
through all my works. 107

The triumphant concept _"energy"_ with which our physicists created God
and the world, needs yet to be completer: it must be given an inner
will which I characterise as the "Will to Power"--that is to say, as an
insatiable desire to manifest power; or the application and exercise of
power as a creative instinct, etc.... 110

The unalterable sequence of certain phenomena does not prove any "law,"
but a relation of power between two or more forces. 115

A quantum of power is characterised by the effect it produces and
the influence it resists. The adiaphoric state which would be
thinkable in itself, is entirely lacking. It is essentially a will to
violence and a will to defend one's self against violence. It is not
self-preservation: every atom exercises its influence over the whole of
existence--it is thought out of existence if one thinks this radiation
of will-power away. That is why I call it a quantum of "Will to Power."
... 117-118

My idea is that every specific body strives to become master of all
space, and to extend its power (its will to power), and to thrust
back everything that resists it. But inasmuch as it is continually
meeting the same endeavours on the part of other bodies, it concludes
by coming to terms with those (by "combining" with those) which are
sufficiently related to it--_and thus they conspire together for
power._ And the process continues. 121

The influence of "environment" is nonsensically _over-rated_ in Darwin:
the essential factor in the process of life is precisely the tremendous
inner power to shape and to create forms, which merely _uses, exploits_
"environment." 127

The _feeling of being surcharged,_ the feeling accompanying an
_increase in strength,_ quite apart from the utility of the struggle,
is the actual _progress:_ from these feelings the will to war is first
derived. 128

A living thing seeks above all to _discharge_ its strength:
_"self-preservation"_ is only one of the results thereof.... 128

The most fundamental and most primeval activity of a protoplasm cannot
be ascribed to a will to self-preservation, for it absorbs an amount
of material which is absurdly out of proportion with the needs of its
preservation: and what is more, it does _not_ "preserve itself" in the
process, but actually falls to _pieces ..._. The instinct which rules
here, must account for this total absence in the organism of a desire
to preserve itself.

The will to power can manifest itself only against _obstacles:_ it
therefore goes in search of what resists it--this is the primitive
tendency of the protoplasm when it extends its _pseudopodia_ and feels
about it. The act of appropriation and assimilation is, above all,
the result of an additional building and rebuilding, until at last
the subjected creature has become completely a part of the superior
creature's sphere of power, and has increased the latter.... 130

Why is all _activity,_ even that of a _sense,_ associated with
pleasure? Because, before the activity was possible, an obstacle or a
burden was done away with. Or, rather, because all action is a process
of overcoming, of becoming master of, and of _increasing_ the _feeling
of power?_ 135

Man is _not_ only an individual, but the continuation of collective
organic life in one definite line. The fact that _man_ survives,
proves that a certain species of interpretations (even though it still
be added to) has also survived; that, as a system, this method of
interpreting has not changed. 152

The fundamental phenomena: _innumerable individuals are sacrificed for
the sake of a few,_ in order to make the few possible.--One must not
allow one's self to be deceived; the case is the same with _peoples_
and _races:_ they produce the "body" for the generation of isolated and
valuable _individuals,_ who continue the great process. 153

Life is _not_ the continuous adjustment of internal relations to
external relations, but will to power, which, proceeding from inside,
subjugates and incorporates an ever-increasing quantity of "external"
phenomena. 153-154

Man as a species is not progressing. Higher specimens are indeed
attained; but they do not survive. The general level of the species is
not raised.... Man as a species does not represent any sort of progress
compared with any other animal. 157

The domestication (culture) of man does not sink very deep. When it
does sink far below the skin it immediately becomes degeneration (type:
the Christian). The "wild" man (or, in moral terminology, the _evil_
man) is a reversion to Nature--and, in a certain sense, he represents a
recovery, a _cure_ from the effects of "culture."... 158

The strong always have to be upheld against the weak; and the
well-constituted against the ill-constituted, the healthy against
the sick and physiologically botched. If we drew our morals from
reality, they would read thus: the mediocre are more valuable than the
exceptional creatures, and the decadent than the mediocre; the will to
nonentity prevails over the will to life.... 159

That species show an ascending tendency, is the most nonsensical
assertion that has ever been made: until now they have only manifested
a dead level. There is nothing whatever to prove that the higher
organisms have developed from the lower. 160

Man as he has appeared up to the present is the embryo of the man
of the future; _all_ the formative powers which are to produce the
latter, already lie in the former: and owing to the fact that they are
enormous, the more _promising for the future_ the modern individual
happens to be, the more _suffering_ falls to his lot. 161

The will to power is the primitive motive force out of which all other
motives have been derived. 162

From a psychological point of view the idea of "cause" is our feeling
of power in the act which is called willing--our concept "effect" is
the superstition that this feeling of power is itself the force which
moves things.... 163

Life as an individual case (a hypothesis which may be applied to
existence in general) strives after the maximum feeling of power; life
is essentially a striving after more power; striving itself is only a
straining after more power; the most fundamental and innermost thing
of all is this will. 165

Man does not seek happiness and does not avoid unhappiness. Everybody
knows the famous prejudices I here contradict. Pleasure and pain are
mere results, mere accompanying phenomena--that which every man, which
every tiny particle of a living organism will have, is an increase of
power. In striving after this, pleasure and pain are encountered; it is
owing to that will that the organism seeks opposition and requires that
which stands in its way.... Pain as the hindrance of its will to power
is therefore a normal feature, a natural ingredient of every organic
phenomenon; man does not avoid it; on the contrary, he is constantly
in need of it; every triumph, every feeling of pleasure, every event
presupposes an obstacle overcome. 172

Man is now master of the forces of nature, and master too of his own
wild and unbridled feelings (the passions have followed suit, and have
learned to become useful)--in comparison with primeval man, the man of
to-day represents an enormous quantum of power, but not an increase
in happiness. How can one maintain, then, that he has striven after
happiness? 174

"God" is the culminating moment: life is an eternal process of deifying
and undeifying. _But withal there is no zenith of values,_ but only a
zenith of _power._ 181

Man has one terrible and fundamental wish; he desires power, and this
impulse, which is called freedom, must be the longest restrained. Hence
ethics has instinctively aimed at such an education as shall restrain
the desire for power; thus our morality slanders the would-be tyrant,
and glorifies charity, patriotism, and the ambition of the herd. 186

When the instincts of a society ultimately make it give up war and
renounce conquest, it is decadent: it is ripe for democracy and the
rule of shopkeepers. 189

The maintenance of the military State is the last means of adhering to
the great tradition of the past; or, where it has been lost, to revive
it. By means of it the superior or strong type of man is preserved, and
all institutions and ideas which perpetuate enmity and order of rank in
States such as national feeling, protective tariffs, etc., may on that
account seem justified. 190

_Concerning the future of marriage._--A supertax on inherited property,
a longer term of military service for bachelors of a certain minimum
age within the community.

Privileges of all sorts for fathers who lavish boys upon the world, and
perhaps plural votes as well.

A medical certificate as a condition of any marriage, endorsed by the
parochial authorities, in which a series of questions addressed to the
parties and the medical officers must be answered ("family histories").

As a counter-agent to prostitution, or as its ennoblement, I would
recommend leasehold marriages (to last for a term of years or months),
with adequate provision for the children.

Every marriage to be warranted and sanctioned by a certain number of
good men and true, of the parish, as a parochial obligation. 193

Society ... should in many cases actually prevent the act of
procreation, and may, without any regard for rank, descent, or
intellect, hold in readiness the most rigorous forms of compulsion
and restriction, and, under certain circumstances, have recourse to
castration. 194

The idea of punishment ought to be reduced to the concept of the
suppression of revolt, a weapon against the vanquished (by means of
long or short terms of imprisonment). But punishment should not be
associated in any way with contempt. A criminal is at all events a man
who has set his life, his honour, his freedom at stake; he is therefore
a man of courage. Neither should punishment be regarded as penance or
retribution, as though there were some recognised rate of exchange
between crime and punishment. Punishment does not purify, simply
because crime does not sully. 198

Should not the punishment fit the crime? 200

"The will to power" is so loathed in democratic ages that the whole of
the psychology of these ages seems directed towards its belittlement
and slander. 205

I am opposed to Socialism because it dreams ingenuously of "goodness,
truth, beauty, and equal rights" (anarchy pursues the same ideal, but
in a more brutal fashion).

I am opposed to parliamentary government and the power of the press,
because they are the means whereby cattle become masters. 206

The idea of a higher order of man is hated much more profoundly than
monarchs themselves. Hatred of aristocracy always uses hatred of
monarchy as a mask. 207

Utility and pleasure are slave theories of life. "The blessing of work"
is an ennobling phrase for slaves. Incapacity for leisure. 208

There is no such thing as a right to live, a right to work, or a right
to be happy: in this respect man is no different from the meanest worm.

_Fundamental errors:_ to regard the herd as an aim instead of the
individual! The herd is only a means and nothing _more! _ But
nowadays people are trying to understand _the herd_ as they would an
individual, and to confer higher rights upon it than upon isolated
personalities. In addition to this, all that makes for gregariousness,
_e.g.,_ sympathy, is regarded as the _more valuable_ side of our
natures. 214-215

_The will to power_ appears:--

    (a) Among the oppressed and slaves of all kinds, in the form
    of will to _"freedom":_ the mere fact of breaking loose from
    something seems to be an end in itself (in a religio-moral
    sense: "One is only answerable to one's own conscience";
    "evangelical freedom," etc., etc.).

    (b) In the case of a stronger species, ascending to power,
    in the form of the will to overpower. If this fails, then
    it shrinks to the "will to justice"--that is to say, to
    the will to the same measure of rights as the ruling caste

    (c) In the case of the strongest, richest, most independent,
    and most courageous, in the form of "love of humanity," of
    "love of the people," of the "gospel," of "truth," of "God,"
    of "pity," of "self-sacrifice," etc., etc.; in the form of
    overpowering, of deeds of capture, of imposing service on
    some one, of an instinctive reckoning of one's self as part
    of a great mass of power to which one attempts to give a
    direction: the hero, the prophet, the Cæsar, the Saviour,
    the bell-wether. 220-221

_Individualism_ is a modest and still unconscious form of will to
power; with it a single human unit seems to think it sufficient to free
himself from the preponderating power of society (or of the State or
Church). He does not set himself up in opposition as a _personality,_
but merely as a unit; he represents the rights of all other individuals
as against the whole. That is to say, he instinctively places himself
on a level with every other unit: what he combats he does not combat as
a person, but as a representative of units against a mass. 227

There are no such things as moral actions: they are purely imaginary.
Not only is it impossible to demonstrate their existence (a fact
which Kant and Christianity, for instance, both acknowledge)--but
they are not even possible. Owing to psychological misunderstanding,
man invented an _opposite_ to the instinctive impulses of life, and
believed that a new species of instinct was thereby discovered: a
_primum mobile_ was postulated which does not exist at all. According
to the valuation which gave rise to the antithesis "moral" and
"immoral," one should say: _There is nothing else on earth but immoral
intentions and actions._

The whole differentiation, "moral" and "immoral," arises from the
assumption that both moral and immoral actions are the result of a
spontaneous will--in short, that such a will exists; or in other words,
that moral judgments can only hold good with regard to intuitions and
actions _that are free._ But this whole order of actions and intentions
is purely imaginary: the only world to which the moral standard could
be applied does not exist at all: _there is no such thing as a moral or
an immoral action._ 230-231

There are two conditions in which art manifests itself in man even as
a force of nature, and disposes of him whether he consent or not: it
may be as a constraint to visionary states, or it may be an orgiastic
impulse. 240

_Sexuality, intoxication, cruelty;_ all these belong to the oldest
_festal joys_ of mankind, they also preponderate in budding artists. 243

The desire for art and beauty is an indirect longing for the ecstasy
of sexual desire, which gets communicated to the brain. 248

All art works as a _tonic;_ it increases strength, it kindles desire
(_i.e.,_ the feeling of strength), it excites all the more subtle
recollections of intoxication.... 252

The inartistic states are: objectivity, reflection, suspension of the
will.... The inartistic states are: those which impoverish, which
subtract, which bleach, under which life suffers--the Christian. 257

Would any link be missing in the whole chain of science and art, if
woman, if woman's work, were excluded from it? Let us acknowledge the
exception--it proves the rule--that woman is capable of perfection in
everything which does not constitute a work: in letters, in memoirs, in
the most intricate handiwork--in short, in everything which is not a
craft.... 260-261

A man is an artist to the extent to which he regards everything
that inartistic people call "form" as the actual substance, as the
"principal" thing. 261

The essential feature in art is its power of perfecting existence,
its production of perfection and plenitude; art is essentially the
affirmation, the blessing, and the deification of existence.... 263

The greatness of an artist is not to be measured by the beautiful
feelings which he evokes: let this belief be left to the girls. It
should be measured according to the extent to which he approaches the
grand style, according to the extent to which he is capable of the
grand style. This style and great passion have this in common--that
they scorn to please; that they forget to persuade: that they command;
that they will.... To become master of the chaos which is in one; to
compel one's inner chaos to assume form; to become consistent, simple,
unequivocal, mathematical, law--this is the great ambition here. 277

A preference for questionable and terrible things is a symptom of
strength; whereas the taste for pretty and charming trifles is
characteristic of the weak and the delicate. 287

Art is the great means of making life possible, the great seducer to
life, the great stimulus of life.

Art is the only superior counter-agent to all will to the denial of
life; it is _par excellence_ the anti-Christian, the anti-Buddhistic,
the anti-Nihilistic force. 290

Quanta of power alone determine rank and distinguish rank: nothing else
does. 295

It is necessary for _higher_ men to declare war upon the masses! In
all directions mediocre people are joining hands in order to make
themselves masters. Everything that pampers, that softens, and that
brings the "people" or "woman" to the front, operates in favour of
universal suffrage--that is to say, the dominion of _inferior_ men. 297

Woman has always conspired with decadent types,--the priests, for
instance,--against the "mighty," against the "strong," against _men._
Women avail themselves of children for the cult of piety, pity, and
love:--the _mother_ stands as the symbol of _convincing_ altruism. 300

It is _necessary_ to show _that a counter-movement is inevitably
associated_ with any increasingly economical consumption of men
and mankind, and with an ever more closely involved "machinery" of
interests and services. I call this counter-movement the _separation
of the luxurious surplus of mankind:_ by means of it a stronger kind,
a higher type, must come to light, which has other conditions for its
origin and for its maintenance than the average man. My concept, my
metaphor for this type is, as you know, the word "Superman." 305

Readers are beginning to see what I am combating--namely, _economic_
optimism: as if the general welfare of everybody must necessarily
increase with the growing self-sacrifice of everybody. The very reverse
seems to me to be the case, _the self-sacrifice of everybody amounts to
a collective loss;_ man becomes _inferior_--so that nobody knows what
end this monstrous purpose has served. 306-307

_The root of all evil:_ that the slave morality of modesty, chastity,
selfishness, and absolute obedience should have triumphed. Dominating
natures were thus condemned (1) to hypocrisy, (2) to qualms of
conscience,--creative natures regarded themselves as rebels against
God, uncertain and hemmed in by eternal values. 309

That which _men of power and will are able to demand of themselves_
gives them the standard for what they may also allow themselves. Such
natures are the very opposite of the _vicious_ and the _unbridled:_
although under certain circumstances they may perpetrate deeds for
which an inferior man would be convicted of vice and intemperance.

In this respect the concept, _"all men are equal before God"_ does
an extraordinary amount of harm; actions and attitudes of mind were
forbidden which belonged to the prerogative of the strong alone, just
as if they were in themselves unworthy of man. All the tendencies of
strong men were brought into disrepute by the fact that the defensive
weapons of the most weak (even of those who were weakest towards
themselves) were established as a standard of valuation. 311

_The degeneration of the ruler and of the ruling classes_ has been the
cause of all the great disorders in history! 312

The solitary type should not be valued from the standpoint of the
gregarious type, or _vice versa._ 320

Who would dare to disgust the mediocre of their mediocrity! As
you observe, I do precisely the reverse: every step away from
mediocrity--thus do I teach--leads to _immorality._ 324

What I combat: that an exceptional form should make war upon the
rule--instead of understanding that the continued existence of the rule
is the first condition of the value of the exception. 325

One should not suppose the mission of a higher species to be the
_leading_ of inferior men (as Comte does, for instance); but the
inferior should be regarded as the _foundation_ upon which a higher
species may live their higher life--upon which alone they _can stand._

My consolation is, that the nature of man is _evil,_ and this
guarantees his _strength!_ 332

There is no true scholar who has not the instincts of a true soldier
in his veins. To be able to command and to be able to obey in a proud
fashion; to keep one's place in rank and file, and yet to be ready at
any moment to lead; to prefer danger to comfort; not to weigh what is
permitted and what is forbidden in a tradesman's balance; to be more
hostile to pettiness, slyness, and parasitism than to wickedness. What
is it that one _learns_ in a hard school?--to _obey_ and to _command._

_The means by which a strong species maintains itself:--_

It grants itself the right of exceptional actions, as a test of the
power of self-control and of freedom.

It abandons itself to states in which a man is not allowed to be
anything else than a barbarian.

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, à 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_ 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 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

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

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 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.


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.


written and extensive exposition of Nietzsche's thought, including an
account of the philosopher's life, a discussion of his origins, a reply
to his critics, and a chapter on how to study him. Mr. Mencken's book,
though untechnical, is comprehensive, concise and admirably conceived.
It constitutes one of the most valuable Nietzschean commentaries in

scholarly treatise of special value to the philosophical student. This
work, a pioneer one, is somewhat ponderous and uninteresting, but none
the less exhaustive; and contains a bibliography consisting of 850

THE PHILOSOPHY OF NIETZSCHE, by Georges H. Chatterton-Hill. A
suggestive, academic study of the main points in the Nietzschean
ethic. This book is too technical in places to appeal strongly to the
beginner, but is invaluable as supplementary reading.

THE QUINTESSENCE OF NIETZSCHE, by J. M. Kennedy. An interesting and
unassuming survey of Nietzsche's work, abounding with quotations.

NIETZSCHE: HIS LIFE AND WORKS, by Anthony M. Ludovici. Mr. Ludovici
is the translator of many of Nietzsche's works into English, and has
contributed to Dr. Levy's edition several prefaces and many explanatory
notes. His book is complete and authoritative.

Other adequate commentaries are: THE GOSPEL OF SUPERMAN, by Henri
Lichtenberger, translated from the French by J. M. Kennedy; FRIEDRICH
by Grace Neal Dolson; and FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE, by Georg Brandes,
translated by A. G. Chater.


THE LIFE OF NIETZSCHE, by Frau Förster-Nietzsche. This work, in two
volumes, is the standard biography of Nietzsche, written by his sister.
Though elaborate in detail and replete in personal correspondence and
papers, it is not all that might be hoped for. One's devoted sister
does not always make the most penetrating biographer.

THE LIFE OF FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE, by Daniel Halévy, translated from the
French by J. M. Hone. M. Halévy has founded his work on that of Frau
Förster-Nietzsche; and while his version improves on its model at many
points, it is in places supposititious and over-drawn, and is conceived
in too ironical a vein.

Unfortunately there is no adequate biography of Nietzsche in
existence. Nor is there likely to be one, inasmuch as all the papers
and data necessary for such an undertaking are in the possession of
Nietzsche's sister.





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