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Beyond Good and Evil
Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future.


On the Natural History of Morality.


Moral sensibility is as subtle, late, manifold, sensitive and refined in Europe today as the "science of morality" pertaining to it is still young, inept, clumsy and coarse-fingered—an interesting contrast which sometimes even becomes visible and incarnate in the person of a moralist. Even the expression "science of morality" is, considering what is designated by it, far too proud, and contrary to good taste: which is always accustomed to choose the more modest expressions. One should, in all strictness, admit what will be needful here for a long time to come, what alone is provisionally justified here: assembly of material, conceptual comprehension and arrangement of a vast domain of delicate value-feelings and value-distinctions which live, grow, beget and perish—and perhaps attempts to display the more frequent and recurring forms of these living crystallizations—as preparation of a typology of morality. To be sure: one has not been so modest hitherto. Philosophers one and all have, with a strait-laced seriousness that provokes laughter, demanded something much higher, more pretentious, more solemn of themselves as soon as they have concerned themselves with morality as a science: they wanted to furnish the rational ground of morality—and every philosopher hitherto has believed he has furnished this rational ground; morality itself, however, was taken as "given." How far from their clumsy pride was that apparently insignificant task left in dust and mildew, the task of description, although the most delicate hands and senses could hardly be delicate enough for it! It was precisely because moral philosophers knew moral facta [facts] only somewhat vaguely in an arbitrary extract or as a chance abridgment, as morality of their environment, their class, their church, the spirit of their times, their climate and zone of the earth, for instance—it was precisely because they were ill informed and not even very inquisitive about other peoples, ages and former times, that they did not so much as catch sight of the real problems of morality—for these come into view only if we compare many moralities. Strange though it may sound, in all "science of morality" hitherto the problem of morality itself has been lacking: the suspicion was lacking that there was anything problematic here. What philosophers called "the rational ground of morality" and sought to furnish was, viewed in the proper light, only a scholarly form of faith in the prevailing morality, a new way of expressing it, and thus itself a fact within a certain morality, indeed even in the last resort a kind of denial that this morality might be conceived of as a problem—and in any event the opposite of a testing, analysis, doubting and vivisection of this faith. Hear, for example, with what almost venerable innocence Schopenhauer still presented his task, and draw your own conclusions as to how scientific a "science" is whose greatest masters still talk like children and old women:—"The principle," he says (The Fundamental Problems of Morality, p. 136 [Die beiden Grundprobleme der Ethic, which contains the essays "On the Freedom of the Will," and "On the Basis of Morality."]), "the fundamental proposition concerning whose purport all teachers of ethics are really in agreement: neminem laede, imo omnes, quantum potes, juva [Injure no one; on the contrary, help everyone as much as you can.*]—that is really the proposition whose establishment is the constant endeavor of all teachers of morality .... the real foundation of ethics, one which, like the philosophers' stone, has been sought for thousands of years."— The difficulty of establishing the quoted proposition may indeed by great—it is well-known even Schopenhauer did not succeed in doing so—; and he who has ever been certain how insipidly false and sentimental this proposition is in a world whose essence is will to power may like to recall that Schopenhauer, although a pessimist, really—played the flute .... Every day, after dinner: read his biographers on this subject. And by the way: a pessimist, a world-denier and God-denier, who comes to a halt before morality—who affirms morality and plays the flute, affirms laede-neminem morality: what? is that actually—a pessimist?

[*Schopenhauer writes in On the Basis of Morality §6, "Of the Foundation of Kantian Ethics" (trans. by E. F. J. Payne in On the Basis of Morality §6, "Criticism of Kant's Basis of Ethics." Berghahn Books, 1995:68-9):

"But now as regards the law, this ultimate foundation stone of the Kantian ethics: What is its purport? And where is it written down? That is the principal question. In the first place, I observe that there are two questions, one dealing with the principle, the other with the foundation of ethics—two entirely different questions, although they are often confused, indeed sometimes intentionally.

The principle or the main fundamental proposition of an ethical system is the shortest and concisest expression for the line of conduct prescribed by it, or, if it should have no imperative form, the line of conduct to which it attributes real moral worth. Consequently, this is its guide to virtue in general, an instruction expressed in one proposition and thus the ő, τι
["The what" of a thing, its principle or essence.] of virtue. The foundation of an ethical system, on the other hand, is the διοτι ["The why or wherefore" of a thing.] of virtue, the ground or reason for that obligation, recommendation, or praise, whether such ground be now sought in the nature of man, in the external circumstances of the world, or in anything else. As in all sciences, so in ethics, the ő, τι should be clearly distinguished from the διοτι. Most teachers of ethics, however, deliberately efface this difference, probably because the ő, τι is so easy to state, whereas the διοτι is so very difficult. Therefore compensation for the poverty on the one hand is gladly sought by the wealth on the other, and the attempt is made to effect a happy marriage between Πενια and Πορος ["Poverty" and "abundance." Cf. Plato's Symposium, 203b-204c.] by putting both together in one proposition. This is generally done not by expressing in its simplicity the well-known ő, τι, but by forcing it into an artificial formula from which it must be inferred only as the conclusion of given premises. The reader then feels as if he had come to know not merely the matter, but also the reason or ground of it. We can easily convince ourselves of this in most of the well-known principles of morals. But as I have no intention of using such tricks in the part that follows, I propose to proceed honestly, and not to admit the principle of ethics as, at the same time, its foundation; on the contrary, I intend to keep the two quite separate. Consequently, that ő, τι, and thus the principle, the fundamental proposition, concerning whose purport all teachers of ethics are really in agreement, however much they may clothe it in different forms, will here be reduced at once to that expression which I regard as the simplest and purest of all, thus: Neminem laede, imo omnes, quantum potes, juva. This is really the proposition whose establishment is the constant endeavor of all teachers of morals; this is the common result of their many different deductions. It is the ő, τι for which the διοτι is still always sought, the consequent for which the ground is required; thus it is itself only the datum to which the quaesitum is the problem of every ethical system, just as it is of the present prize essay. The solution to this problem will furnish the real foundation of ethics, one which, like the philosophers' stone, has been sought for thousands of years."

See also Nietzsche's notebooks: Summer-Fall 1884 26[85]; April—June 1885 34[239].]


Even apart from the value of such claims as "there is a categorical imperative in us," one can still always ask: what does such a claim tell us about the man who makes it? There are moralities which are meant to justify their creator before others. Other moralities are meant to calm him and lead him to be satisfied with himself. With yet others he wants to crucify himself and humiliate himself. With others he wants to wreak revenge, with others conceal himself, with others transfigure himself and place himself way up, at a distance. This morality is used by its creator to forget, that one to have others forget him or something about him. Some moralists want to vent their power and creative whims on humanity; some others, perhaps including Kant, suggest with their morality: "What deserves respect in me is that I can obey—and you ought not to be different from me."— In short, moralities are also merely a sign language of the affects.


Every morality is, as opposed to laisser aller [letting things go], a bit of tyranny against "nature"; also against "reason"; but this in itself is no objection, as long as we do not have some other morality which permits us to decree that every kind of tyranny and unreason is impermissible. What is essential and inestimable in every morality is that it constitutes a long compulsion: to understand Stoicism or Port-Royal or Puritanism, one should recall the compulsion under which every language so far has achieved strength and freedom—the coercion of meter, the tyranny of rhyme and rhythm. How much trouble the poets and orators of all peoples have taken—not excepting a few prose writers today in whose ear there dwells an inexorable conscience—"for the sake of some foolishness," as utilitarian dolts say, feeling smart—"submitting abjectly to capricious laws," as anarchists say, feeling "free," even "free-spirited." But the curious fact is that all there is or has been on earth of freedom, subtlety, boldness, dance, and masterly sureness, whether in thought itself or in government, or in rhetoric and persuasion, in the arts just as in ethics, has developed only owing to the "tyranny of such capricious laws"; and in all seriousness, the probability is by no means small that precisely this is "nature" and "natural"—and not that laisser aller! Every artist knows how far from any feeling of letting himself go his "most natural" state is—the free ordering, placing, disposing, giving form in the moment of "inspiration"—and how strictly and subtly he obeys thousandfold laws precisely then, laws that precisely on account of their hardness and determination defy all formulation through concepts (even the firmest concept is, compared with them, not free of fluctuation, multiplicity, and ambiguity—). What is essential "in heaven and on earth" seems to be, to say it once more, that there should be obedience over a long period of time and in a single direction: given that, something always develops, and has developed, for whose sake it is worthwhile to live on earth; for example, virtue, art, music, dance, reason, spirituality—something transfiguring, subtle, mad, and divine. The long unfreedom of the spirit, the mistrustful constraint in the communicability of thoughts, the discipline thinkers imposed on themselves to think within the directions laid down by a church or court, or under Aristotelian presuppositions, the long spiritual will to interpret all events under a Christian schema and to rediscover and justify the Christian god in every accident—all this, however forced, capricious, hard, gruesome, and anti-rational, has shown itself to be the means through which the European spirit has been trained to strength, ruthless curiosity, and subtle motility, though admittedly in the process an irreplaceable amount of strength and spirit had to be crushed, stifled, and ruined (for here, as everywhere, "nature" manifests herself as she is, in all her prodigal and indifferent magnificence which is outrageous but noble). That for thousands of years European thinkers thought merely in order to prove something—today, conversely, we suspect every thinker who "wants to prove something"—that the conclusions that ought to be the result of their most rigorous reflection were always settled from the start, just as it used to be with Asiatic astrology, and still is today with the innocuous Christian-moral interpretation of our most intimate personal experiences "for the glory of God" and "for the salvation of the soul"—this tyranny, this caprice, this rigorous and grandiose stupidity has educated the spirit. Slavery is, as it seems, both in the cruder and in the more subtle sense, the indispensable means of spiritual discipline and cultivation [Zucht und Züchtung], too. Consider any morality with this in mind: what there is in it of "nature" teaches hatred of the laisser aller, of any all-too-great freedom, and implants the need for limited horizons and the nearest tasks—teaching the narrowing of our perspective, and thus in a certain sense stupidity, as a condition of life and growth. "You shall obey—someone and for a long time: else you will perish and lose the last respect for yourself"—this appears to me to be the moral imperative of nature which, to be sure, is neither "categorical" as the old Kant would have it (hence the "else") nor addressed to the individual (what do individuals matter to her?), but to people, races, ages, classes—but above all to the whole human animal, to man in general.


The industrious races find leisure very hard to endure: it was a masterpiece of English instinct to make Sunday so extremely holy and boring that the English unconsciously long again for their week- and working-days—as a kind of cleverly devised and cleverly intercalated fast, such as is also to be seen very frequently in the ancient world (although, as one might expect in the case of southern peoples, not precisely in regard to work—). There have to be fasts of many kinds; and wherever powerful drives and habits prevail legislators have to see to it that there are intercalary days on which such a drive is put in chains and learns to hunger again. Seen from a higher viewpoint, entire generations and ages, if they are infected with some moral fanaticism or other, appear to be such intercalated periods of constraint and fasting, during which a drive learns to stoop and submit, but also to purify and intensify itself; certain philosophical sects (for example the Stoa in the midst of the Hellenistic culture, with its air grown rank and overcharged with aphrodisiac vapors) likewise permit of a similar interpretation.— This also provides a hint towards the elucidation of that paradox why it was precisely during Europe's Christian period and only under the impress of Christian value judgments that the sexual drive sublimated itself into love (amour-passion [passionate love]).


There is something in Plato's morality which does not really belong to Plato but is only to be met with in his philosophy, one might say in spite of Plato: namely Socratism, for which he was really too noble. "No one wants to do injury to himself, therefore all badness is involuntary. For the bad man does injury to himself: this he would not do if he knew that badness is bad. Thus the bad man is bad only in consequence of an error; if one cures him of his error, one necessarily makes him—good [Plato: Meno 77b-78b; see also: Protagoras 345d-e and Gorgias 509e]."— This way of reasoning smells of the mob, which sees in bad behavior only its disagreeable consequences and actually judges "it is stupid to act badly"; while it takes "good" without further ado to be identical with "useful and pleasant." In the case of every utilitarian morality one may conjecture in advance a similar origin and follow one's nose: one will seldom go astray.— Plato did all he could to interpret something refined and noble into his teacher's proposition, above all himself—he, the most intrepid of interpreters, who picked up the whole of Socrates only in the manner of a popular tune from the streets, so as to subject it to infinite and impossible variations: that is, to make it into all his own masks and multiplicities. To speak in jest, and Homerically at that: what is the Platonic Socrates if not

[prosthe Platon opithen to Platon messe te chimaira (Plato in front and Plato behind, in the middle the Chimaera). An allusion to the Chimaera in Homer's Iliad, vi. 181: "lion in front, serpent behind, goat in the middle."]


The old theological problem of "faith" and "knowledge"—or, more clearly, of instinct and reason—that is to say, the question whether in regard to the evaluation of things instinct deserves to have more authority than rationality, which wants to evaluate and act according to reasons, according to a "Why?," that is to say according to utility and fitness for a purpose—this is still that old moral problem which first appeared in the person of Socrates and was already dividing the minds of men long before Christianity. Socrates himself, to be sure, had, with the taste appropriate to his talent—that of a superior dialectician—initially taken the side of reason; and what indeed did he do all his life long but laugh at the clumsy incapacity of his noble Athenians, who were men of instinct, like all noble men, and were never able to supply adequate information about the reasons for their actions? Ultimately, however, in silence and secrecy, he laughed at himself too: he found in himself, before his more refined conscience and self-interrogation, the same difficulty and incapacity. But why, he exhorted himself, should one therefore abandon the instincts! One must help both them and reason to receive their due—one must follow the instincts, but persuade reason to aid them with good arguments. This was the actual falsity of that great ironist, who had so many secrets; he induced his conscience to acquiesce in a sort of self-outwitting: fundamentally he had seen through the irrational aspect of moral judgment.— Plato, more innocent in such things and without the craftiness of the plebeian, wanted at the expenditure of all his strength—the greatest strength any philosopher has hitherto had to expend!—to prove to himself that reason and instinct move of themselves towards one goal, towards the good, towards "God"; and since Plato all theologians and philosophers have followed the same path—that is to say, in moral matters instinct, or as the Christians call it "faith," or as I call it "the herd" has hitherto triumphed. One might have to exclude Descartes, the father of rationalism (and consequently the grandfather of the Revolution), who recognized only the authority of reason: but reason is only an instrument, and Descartes was superficial.


He who has followed the history of an individual science will find in its evolution a clue to the comprehension of the oldest and most common processes of all "knowledge and understanding": in both cases it is the premature hypotheses, the fictions, the good stupid will to "believe," the lack of mistrust and patience which are evolved first—it is only late, and then imperfectly, that our senses learn to be subtle, faithful, cautious organs of understanding. It is more comfortable for our eye to react to a particular object by producing again an image it has often produced before than by retaining what is new and different in an impression: the latter requires more strength, more "morality." To hear something new is hard and painful for the ear; we hear the music of foreigners badly. When we hear a foreign language we involuntarily attempt to form the sounds we hear into words which have a more familiar and homely ring: thus the Germans, for example, once heard arcubalista and adapted it into Armbrust. [Armbrust: literally, "arm-breast"; both words mean "crossbow."] The novel finds our senses, too, hostile and reluctant; and even in the case of the "simplest" processes of the senses, the emotions, such as fear, love, hatred, and the passive emotions of laziness, dominate.— As little as a reader today reads all the individual words (not to speak of the syllables) of a page—he rather takes about five words in twenty haphazardly and "conjectures" their probable meaning—just as little do we see a tree exactly and entire with regard to its leaves, branches, color, shape; it is so much easier for us to put together an approximation of a tree. Even when we are involved in the most uncommon experiences we still do the same thing: we fabricate the greater pan of the experience and can hardly be compelled not to contemplate some event as its "inventor." All this means: we are from the very heart and from the very first—accustomed to lying. Or, to express it more virtuously and hypocritically, in short more pleasantly: one is much more of an artist than one realizes. In a lively conversation I often see before me the face of the person with whom I am speaking so clearly and subtly determined by the thought he is expressing or which I believe has been called up in him that this degree of clarity far surpasses the power of my eyesight—so that the play of the muscles and the expression of the eyes must have been invented by me. Probably the person was making a quite different face or none whatever.


Quidquid luce fuit, tenebris agit [what occurred in the light, goes on in the dark]: but also the other way round. That which we experience in dreams, if we experience it often, is in the end just as much a part of the total economy of our soul as is anything we "really" experience: we are by virtue of it richer or poorer, feel one need more or one need fewer, and finally are led along a little in broad daylight and even in the most cheerful moments of our waking spirit by the habits of our dreams. Suppose someone has often flown in his dreams and finally as soon as he starts dreaming becomes conscious of a power and art of flying as if it were a privilege he possessed, likewise as his personal and enviable form of happiness: such a man as believes he can realize any arc and angle with the slightest impulse, as knows the feeling of a certain divine frivolity, a "going up" without tension or constraint, a "going down" without condescension or abasement—without gravity!—how should the man who knew such dream-experiences and dream-habits not find at last that the word "happiness" had a different color and definition in his waking hours too! How should he not have a different kind of—desire for happiness? "Soaring rapture" as the poets describe it must seem to him, in comparison with this "flying," too earthy, muscular, violent, too "grave."


The diversity of men is revealed not only in the diversity of their tables of what they find good, that is to say in the fact that they regard diverse goods worth striving for and also differ as to what is more or less valuable, as to the order of rank of the goods they all recognize—it is revealed even more in what they regard as actually having and possessing what they find good. In regard to a woman, for example, the more modest man counts the simple disposal of her body and sexual gratification as a sufficient and satisfactory sign of having, of possession; another, with a more jealous and demanding thirst for possession, sees the "question mark," the merely apparent quality of such a having and requires subtler tests, above all in order to know whether the woman not only gives herself to him but also gives up for his sake what she has or would like to have—: only thus does she count to him as "possessed." A third, however, is not done with jealousy and desire for having even then; he asks himself whether, when the woman gives up everything for him, she does not perhaps do so for a phantom of him: he demands that she know him to the very heart before she is able to love him at all, he dares to let himself be unravelled—. He feels that his beloved is fully in his possession only when she no longer deceives herself about him but loves him as much for his devilry and hidden insatiability as she does for his goodness, patience and spirituality. One would like to possess a people: and all the higher arts of a Cagliostro [Count Alessandro di Cagliostro (born Giuseppe Balsamo 1743-95): Italian alchemist and adventurer] and Catiline [Lucius Sergius Catilina (108?-62 BC): Roman conspirator, defeated by Cicero in an attempt to be Roman consul] seem to him right for that end. Another, with a more refined thirst for possession, says to himself—"one may not deceive where one wants to possess"—he is irritated and dissatisfied at the idea that it is a mask of him which rules the hearts of the people: "so I must let myself be known and, first of all, know myself!" Among helpful and charitable people one almost always finds that clumsy deceitfulness which first adjusts and adapts him who is to be helped: as if, for example, he "deserved" help, desired precisely their help, and would prove profoundly grateful, faithful and submissive to them in return for all the help he had received with these imaginings they dispose of those in need as if they were possessions, and are charitable and helpful at all only from a desire for possessions. They are jealous if one frustrates or anticipates them when they want to help. Parents involuntarily make of their child something similar to themselves they call it "education"—and at the bottom of her heart no mother doubts that in her child she has borne a piece of property, no father disputes his right to subject it to his concepts and values. Indeed, in former times (among the ancient Germans, for instance) it seemed proper for fathers to possess power of life or death over the newborn and to use it as they thought fit. And as formerly the father, so still today the teacher, the class, the priest, the prince unhesitatingly see in every new human being an opportunity for a new possession. From which it follows .....


The Jews—a people "born into slavery" as Tacitus [Historiae. V, 8] and the whole ancient world says, "the chosen people" as they themselves say and believe—the Jews achieved that miracle of inversion of values thanks to which life on earth has for a couple of millennia acquired a new and dangerous fascination—their prophets fused "rich," "godless," "evil," "violent," "sensual" into one and were the first to coin the word "world" as a term of infamy. It is in this inversion of values (with which is involved the employment of the word for "poor" as a synonym of "holy" and "friend") that the significance of the Jewish people resides: with them there begins the slave revolt in morality.


It is to be inferred that there exist countless dark bodies close to the sun—such as we shall never see. This is, between ourselves, a parable; and a moral psychologist reads the whole starry script only as a parable and sign-language by means of which many things can be kept secret.


One altogether misunderstands the beast of prey and man of prey (Cesare Borgia [Cesare Borgia (1475?-1507): Italian cardinal, soldier, statesman, and Duke of the Romagna] for example), one misunderstands "nature," so long as one looks for something "sick" at the bottom of these healthiest of all tropical monsters and growths, or even for an inborn "hell" in them—: as virtually all moralists have done hitherto. It seems, does it not, that there exists in moralists a hatred for the jungle and the tropics? And that the "tropical man" has to be discredited at any cost, whether as the sickness and degeneration of man or as his own hell and self-torment? But why? For the benefit of "temperate zones"? The benefit of temperate men? Of the "moral"? Of the mediocre? This for the chapter "Morality as Timidity."—


All these moralities which address themselves to the individual person, for the promotion of his "happiness" as they say what are they but prescriptions for behavior in relation to the degree of perilousness in which the individual person lives with himself; recipes to counter his passions, his good and bad inclinations in so far as they have will to power in them and would like to play the tyrant; great and little artifices and acts of prudence to which there clings the nook-and-cranny odor of ancient household remedies and old-woman wisdom; one and all baroque and unreasonable in form—because they address themselves to "all," because they generalize where generalization is impermissible—speaking unconditionally one and all, taking themselves for unconditional, flavored with more than one grain of salt, indeed tolerable only, and occasionally even tempting, when they learn to smell overspiced and dangerous, to smell above all of "the other world": all this is, from an intellectual point of view, of little value and far from constituting "science," not to speak of "wisdom," but rather, to say it again and to say it thrice, prudence, prudence, prudence, mingled with stupidity, stupidity, stupidity—whether it be that indifference and statuesque coldness towards the passionate folly of the emotions which the Stoics advised and applied; or that no-more-laughing and no-more-weeping of Spinoza, that destruction of the emotions through analysis and vivisection which he advocated so naively; or that depression of the emotions to a harmless mean at which they may be satisfied, the Aristotelianism of morality; even morality as enjoyment of the emotions in a deliberate thinning down and spiritualization through the symbolism of art, as music for instance, or as love of God or love of man for the sake of God—for in religion the passions again acquire civic rights, assuming that .....; finally, even that easygoing and roguish surrender to the emotions such as Hafis [Mohammad Shams od-Din Hafez (1325?-1390?): Persian poet who inspired Goethe's West-Östlicher Divan (West-East Divan)] and Goethe taught, that bold letting fall of the reins, that spiritual-physical licentia morum [moral licentiousness] in the exceptional case of wise old owls and drunkards for whom there is "no longer much risk in it." This too for the chapter "Morality as Timidity."


Inasmuch as at all times, as long as there have been human beings, there have also been herds of men (clans, communities, tribes, peoples, states, churches) and always a great many people who obeyed, compared with the small number of those commanding—considering, then, that nothing has been exercised and cultivated better and longer among men so far than obedience—it may fairly be assumed that the need for it is now innate in the average man, as a kind of formal conscience that commands: "thou shalt unconditionally do something, unconditionally not do something else," in short, "thou shalt." This need seeks to satisfy itself and to fill its form with some content. According to its strength, impatience, and tension, it seizes upon things as a rude appetite, rather indiscriminately, and accepts whatever is shouted into its ears by someone who issues commands—parents, teachers, laws, class prejudices, public opinions. The strange limits of human development, the way it hesitates, takes so long, often turns back, and moves in circles, is due to the fact that the herd instinct of obedience is inherited best, and at the expense of the art of commanding. If we imagine this instinct progressing for once to its ultimate excesses, then those who command and are independent would eventually be lacking altogether; or they would suffer secretly from a bad conscience and would find it necessary to deceive themselves before they could command—as if they, too, merely obeyed. This state is actually encountered in Europe today: I call it the moral hypocrisy of those commanding. They know no other way to protect themselves against their bad conscience than to pose as the executors of more ancient or higher commands (of ancestors, the constitution, of right, the laws, or even of God). Or they even borrow herd maxims from the herd's way of thinking, such as "first servants of the people" or "instruments of the common weal." On the other side, the herd man in Europe today gives himself the appearance of being the only permissible kind of man, and glorifies his attributes, which make him tame, easy to get along with, and useful to the herd, as if they were the truly human virtues: namely, public spirit, benevolence, consideration, industriousness, moderation, modesty, indulgence, and pity. In those cases, however, where one considers leaders and bellwethers indispensable, people today make one attempt after another to add together clever herd men by way of replacing commanders: all parliamentary constitutions, for example, have this origin. Nevertheless, the appearance of one who commands unconditionally strikes these herd-animal Europeans as an immense comfort and salvation from a gradually intolerable pressure, as was last attested in a major way by the effect of Napoleon's appearance. The history of Napoleon's reception is almost the history of the higher happiness attained by this whole century in its most valuable human beings and moments.


The man of an era of dissolution which mixes the races together and who therefore contains within him the inheritance of a diversified descent, that is to say contrary and often not merely contrary drives and values which struggle with one another and rarely leave one another in peace—such a man of late cultures and broken lights will, on average, be a rather weak man: his fundamental desire is that the war which he is should come to an end; happiness appears to him, in accord with a sedative (for example Epicurean or Christian) medicine and mode of thought, pre-eminently as the happiness of repose, of tranquillity, of satiety, of unity at last attained, as a "Sabbath of Sabbaths," to quote the holy rhetorician Augustine [City of God, book XXII, section 30], who was himself such a man.— If, however, the contrariety and war in such a nature should act as one more stimulus and enticement to life—and if, on the other hand, in addition to powerful and irreconcilable drives, there has also been inherited and cultivated a proper mastery and subtlety in conducting a war against oneself, that is to say self-control, self-outwitting: then there arise those marvelously incomprehensible and unfathomable men, those enigmatic men predestined for victory and the seduction of others, the fairest examples of which are Alcibiades [Alcibiades (450-404 BC): Athenian general, statesman, and pupil of Socrates] and Caesar (—to whom I should like to add that first European agreeable to my taste, the Hohenstaufen Friedrich II [Frederick II (1194-1250): Medieval German emperor (1215-50).]), and among artists perhaps Leonardo da Vinci. They appear in precisely the same ages as those in which that rather weak type with his desire for rest comes to the fore: the two types belong together and originate in the same causes.


So long as the utility which dominates moral value-judgments is solely that which is useful to the herd, so long as the object is solely the preservation of the community and the immoral is sought precisely and exclusively in that which seems to imperil the existence of the community: so long as that is the case there can be no "morality of love of one's neighbor." Supposing that even there a constant little exercise of consideration, pity, fairness, mildness, mutual aid was practiced, supposing that even at that stage of society all those drives are active which are later honorably designated "virtues" and are finally practically equated with the concept "morality": in that era they do not yet by any means belong to the domain of moral valuations—they are still extra-moral. An act of pity, for example, was during the finest age of Rome considered neither good nor bad, neither moral nor immoral; and even if it was commended, this commendation was entirely compatible with a kind of involuntary disdain, as soon, that is, as it was set beside any action which served the welfare of the whole, of the res publica [commonwealth]. Ultimately "love of one's neighbor" is always something secondary, in part conventional and arbitrarily illusory, when compared with fear of one's neighbor. Once the structure of society seems to have been in general fixed and made safe from external dangers, it is this fear of one's neighbor which again creates new perspectives of moral valuation. There are certain strong and dangerous drives, such as enterprisingness, foolhardiness, revengefulness, craft, rapacity, ambition, which hitherto had not only to be honored from the point of view of their social utility—under different names, naturally, from those chosen here—but also mightily developed and cultivated (because they were constantly needed to protect the community as a whole against the enemies of the community as a whole); these drives are now felt to be doubly dangerous—now that the diversionary outlets for them are lacking—and are gradually branded as immoral and given over to calumny. The antithetical drives and inclinations now come into moral honor; step by step the herd instinct draws its conclusions. How much or how little that is dangerous to the community, dangerous to equality, resides in an opinion, in a condition or emotion, in a will, in a talent, that is now the moral perspective: here again fear is the mother of morality. When the highest and strongest drives, breaking passionately out, carry the individual far above and beyond the average and lowlands of the herd conscience, the self-confidence of the community goes to pieces, its faith in itself, its spine as it were, is broken: consequently it is precisely these drives which are most branded and calumniated. Lofty spiritual independence, the will to stand alone, great intelligence even, are felt to be dangerous; everything that raises the individual above the herd and makes his neighbor quail is henceforth called evil; the fair, modest, obedient, self-effacing disposition, the average in desires, acquires moral names and honors. Eventually, under very peaceful conditions, there is less and less occasion or need to educate one's feelings in severity and sternness; and now every kind of severity, even severity in justice, begins to trouble the conscience; a stern and lofty nobility and self-responsibility is received almost as an offense and awakens mistrust, "the lamb," even more "the sheep," is held in higher and higher respect. There comes a point of morbid mellowing and over-tenderness in the history of society at which it takes the side even of him who harms it, the criminal, and does so honestly and wholeheartedly. Punishment: that seems to it somehow unfair—certainly the idea of "being punished" and "having to punish" is unpleasant to it, makes it afraid. "Is it not enough to render him harmless? why punish him as well? To administer punishment is itself dreadful!" with this question herd morality, the morality of timidity, draws its ultimate conclusion. Supposing all danger, the cause of fear, could be abolished, this morality would therewith also be abolished: it would no longer be necessary, it would no longer regard itself as necessary!— He who examines the conscience of the present-day European will have to extract from a thousand moral recesses and hiding-places always the, same imperative, the imperative of herd timidity: "we wish hat there will one day no longer be anything to fear!" One day everywhere in Europe the will and way to that day is now called "progress."


Let us immediately say once more what we have already said a hundred times, for today's ears resist such truths—our truths. We know well enough how insulting it sounds when anybody counts man, unadorned and without metaphor, among the animals; but it will be charged against us as almost a guilt that precisely for the men of "modern ideas" we constantly employ such expressions as "herd," "herd instincts," and so forth. What can be done about it? We cannot do anything else; for here exactly lies our novel insight. We have found that in all major moral judgments Europe is now of one mind, including even the countries dominated by the influence of Europe: plainly, one now knows in Europe what Socrates thought he did not know and what that famous old serpent once promised to teach—today one "knows" what is good and evil. Now it must sound harsh and cannot be heard easily when we keep insisting: that which here believes it knows, that which here glorifies itself with its praises and reproaches, calling itself good, that is the instinct of the herd animal, man, which has scored a breakthrough and attained prevalence and predominance over other instincts—and this development is continuing in accordance with the growing physiological approximation and assimilation of which it is the symptom. Morality in Europe today is herd animal morality—in other words, as we understand it, merely one type of human morality beside which, before which, and after which many other types, above all higher moralities, are, or ought to be, possible. But this morality resists such a "possibility," such an "ought" with all its power: it says stubbornly and inexorably, "I am morality itself, and nothing besides is morality." Indeed, with the help of a religion which indulged and flattered the most sublime herd-animal desires, we have reached the point where we find even in political and social institutions an even more visible expression of this morality: the democratic movement is the heir of the Christian movement. But there are indications that its tempo is still much too slow and sleepy for the impatient, for the sick, the sufferers of the instinct mentioned: witness the ever madder howling of the anarchist dogs who are baring their fangs more and more obviously and roam through the alleys of European culture. They seem opposites of the peacefully industrious democrats and ideologists of revolution, and even more so of the doltish philosophasters and brotherhood enthusiasts who call themselves socialists and want a "free society"; but in fact they are at one with the lot in their thorough and instinctive hostility to every other form of society except that of the autonomous herd (even to the point of repudiating the very concepts of "master" and "servant"—ni dieu ni maître runs a socialist formula). ["Neither God nor Master." Title of a journal edited by French communist and revolutionary Louis Auguste Blanqui (1805-81), et. al.: Ni Dieu ni Maître. Paris 1880-81.] They are at one in their tough resistance to every special claim, every special right and privilege (which means in the last analysis, every right: for once all are equal nobody needs "rights" any more). They are at one in their mistrust of punitive justice (as if it were a violation of those who are weaker, a wrong against the necessary consequence of all previous society). But they are also at one in the religion of pity, in feeling with all who feel, live, and suffer (down to the animal, up to "God"—the excess of a "pity without God" belongs in a democratic age). They are at one, the lot of them, in the cry and the impatience of pity [des Mitleidens], in their deadly hatred of suffering [das Leiden] generally, in their almost feminine inability to remain spectators, to let someone suffer. They are at one in their involuntary plunge into gloom and unmanly tenderness under whose spell Europe seems threatened by a new Buddhism. They are at one in their faith in the morality of shared pity, as if that were morality in itself, being the height, the attained height of man, the sole hope of the future, the consolation of present man, the great absolution from all former guilt. They are at one, the lot of them, in their faith in the community as the redeemer, in short, in the herd, in "themselves" .....


We have a different faith; to us the democratic movement is not only a form of the decay of political organization but a form of the decay, namely the diminution of man, making him mediocre [Vermittelmässigung] and lowering his value. Where, then, must we reach with our hopes?— Toward new philosophers; there is no choice; toward spirits strong and original enough to provide the stimuli for opposite valuations and to revalue and invert "eternal values"; toward forerunners, toward men of the future who in the present tie the knot and constraint that forces the will of millennia upon new tracks. To teach man the future of man as his will, as dependent on a human will, and to prepare great ventures and overall attempts of discipline and cultivation by way of putting an end to that gruesome domination of nonsense and accident that has so far been called "history"—the nonsense of the "greater number" is merely its ultimate form: at some time new types of philosophers and commanders will be necessary for that, and whatever has existed on earth of concealed, terrible, and benevolent spirits, will look pale and dwarfed by comparison. It is the image of such leaders that we envisage: may I say this out loud, you free spirits? The conditions that one would have partly to create and partly to exploit for their genesis; the probable ways and tests that would enable a soul to grow to such a height and force that it would feel the compulsion for such tasks; a revaluation of values under whose new pressure and hammer a conscience would be steeled, a heart turned to bronze, in order to endure the weight of such responsibility; on the other hand, the necessity of such leaders, the frightening danger that they might fail to appear or that they might turn out badly or degenerate—these are our real worries and gloom—do you know that, you free spirits?—these are the heavy distant thoughts and storms that pass over the sky of our life. There are few pains so irritable as to have once seen, divined, sympathized when an extraordinary human being strayed from his path and degenerated. But whoever has the rare eye for the overall danger that "man" himself is degenerating, who, like us, has recognized the monstrous fortuity that thus far has been at play regarding the future of man—a game in which no hand, and not even "God's finger" took part as a player!—who divines the calamity that lies concealed in the absurd guilelessness and blind confidence of "modern ideas" and even more in the entire Christian-European morality: this person suffers from an anxiety that cannot be compared to any other; with a single glance he sees everything that could be bred from mankind, given a favorable accumulation and increase of forces and tasks; he knows with all the knowledge of his conscience how man is still unexhausted for the greatest possibilities and how often the human type has already confronted enigmatic decisions and new paths:—he knows better yet, from his most painful memory, what wretched things have hitherto usually caused an evolving being of the highest rank to shatter, break apart, sink down, became wretched. The overall degeneration of man down to what today appears to the socialist dolts and flatheads as their "man of the future"—as their ideal—this degeneration and diminution of man into the perfect herd animal (or, as they say, to the man of the "free society"), this animalization of man into the dwarf animal of equal rights and claims, is possible, there is no doubt of it. Anyone who has once thought through this possibility to the end knows one kind of nausea that other men don't know—but perhaps also a new task! ....

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