Beyond Good and Evil

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 75

and in truth he needs some consolation. For skepticism is
the most spiritual expression of a certain many-sided physiological
temperament, which in ordinary language is called nervous debility and
sickliness; it arises whenever races or classes which have been long
separated, decisively and suddenly blend with one another. In the new
generation, which has inherited as it were different standards and
valuations in its blood, everything is disquiet, derangement, doubt, and
tentativeness; the best powers operate restrictively, the very virtues
prevent each other growing and becoming strong, equilibrium, ballast,
and perpendicular stability are lacking in body and soul. That, however,
which is most diseased and degenerated in such nondescripts is the
WILL; they are no longer familiar with independence of decision, or
the courageous feeling of pleasure in willing--they are doubtful of the
"freedom of the will" even in their dreams Our present-day Europe,
the scene of a senseless, precipitate attempt at a radical blending of
classes, and CONSEQUENTLY of races, is therefore skeptical in all its
heights and depths, sometimes exhibiting the mobile skepticism which
springs impatiently and wantonly from branch to branch, sometimes with
gloomy aspect, like a cloud over-charged with interrogative signs--and
often sick unto death of its will! Paralysis of will, where do we not
find this cripple sitting nowadays! And yet how bedecked oftentimes' How
seductively ornamented! There are the finest gala dresses and disguises
for this disease, and that, for instance, most of what places itself
nowadays in the show-cases as "objectiveness," "the scientific spirit,"
"L'ART POUR L'ART," and "pure voluntary knowledge," is only decked-out
skepticism and paralysis of will--I am ready to answer for this
diagnosis of the European disease--The disease of the will is diffused
unequally over Europe, it is worst and most varied where civilization
has longest prevailed, it decreases according as "the barbarian"
still--or again--asserts his claims under the loose drapery of Western
culture It is therefore in the France of today, as can be readily
disclosed and comprehended, that the will is most infirm, and France,
which has always had a masterly aptitude for converting even the
portentous crises of its spirit into something charming and seductive,
now manifests emphatically its intellectual ascendancy over Europe,
by being the school and exhibition of all the charms of skepticism The
power to will and to persist, moreover, in a resolution, is already
somewhat stronger in Germany, and again in the North of Germany it
is stronger than in Central Germany, it is considerably stronger in
England, Spain, and Corsica, associated with phlegm in the former and
with hard skulls in the latter--not to mention Italy, which is too young
yet to know

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