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III "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-r?te"). 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 formul?, 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[Pg 87] 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[Pg 88] 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[Pg 89] 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[Pg 90] 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[Pg 91] 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[Pg 92] 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[Pg 93] 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[Pg 94] 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[Pg 95] 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[Pg 96] 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 construction.


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.[Pg 97] 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[Pg 98] 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[Pg 99] 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,[Pg 100] 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[Pg 101] 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.... 113

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[Pg 102] 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[Pg 103] undervalued owing to that alleged profound and essential difference. 158-159

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[Pg 104] 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[Pg 105] 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[Pg 106] 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

[Pg 107]

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. 258

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

[Pg 108]

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[Pg 109] 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. 317

"The rule always appears to me to be more interesting than the exception"—whoever thinks thus has made[Pg 110] 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[Pg 111] 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! 876

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

[Pg 112]

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. 394

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