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II "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 Trag?die") was composed between 1869 and 1871, and issued in January, 1872. It was a treatise on pessimism[Pg 46] 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 Bale. 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 transactions.

"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 Bale 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 thought.

More evidences of what was to come later are found in a series of essays written during the early seventies, which[Pg 47] 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.[Pg 48] 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 self-preservation.

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[Pg 49] "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 "Unzeitgem?sse 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[Pg 50] 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[Pg 51] 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 work.

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[Pg 52] 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[Pg 53] 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[Pg 54] 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 it.

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[Pg 55] 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.

[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, ?sthetic 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[Pg 56] 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

[Pg 57]

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. 1, 76

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[Pg 58] 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, 85-86

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[Pg 59] 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

[Pg 60]

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[Pg 61] 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[Pg 62] 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

[Pg 63]

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[Pg 64] 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[Pg 65] 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

[Pg 66]

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[Pg 67] 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

[Pg 68]

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[Pg 69] (notwithstanding the ridiculous, effeminate question, "How far ought we to grant its demands?") but only a problem of power ("How far can we make use of its demands?") 1, 322

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

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

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

[Pg 70]

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

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

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

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

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

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

Public opinion—private laziness. 1, 354

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

[Pg 72]

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

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

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

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

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,[Pg 73] 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

[Pg 74]

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[Pg 75] 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[Pg 76] 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

[Pg 77]

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[Pg 78] 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

[Pg 79]

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[Pg 80] 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[Pg 81] 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[Pg 82] 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

[Pg 83]

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[Pg 84] 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[Pg 85] 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

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