Ecce Homo Complete Works, Volume Seventeen

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 17

Such natures need
resistance, consequently they go in search of obstacles: the pathos of
aggression belongs of necessity to strength as much as the feelings
of revenge and of rancour belong to weakness. Woman, for instance, is
revengeful; her weakness involves this passion, just as it involves
her susceptibility in the presence of other people's suffering. The
strength of the aggressor can be measured by the opposition which
he needs; every increase of growth betrays itself by a seeking out
of more formidable opponents--or problems: for a philosopher who
is combative challenges even problems to a duel. The task is not
to overcome opponents in general, but only those opponents against
whom one has to summon all one's strength, one's skill, and one's
swordsmanship--in fact, opponents who are one's equals.... To be one's
enemy's equal--this is the first condition of an honourable duel. Where
one despises, one cannot wage war. Where one commands, where one sees
something _beneath_ one, one _ought_ not to wage war. My war tactics
can be reduced to four principles A First, I attack only things that
are triumphant--if necessary I wait until they become triumphant.
Secondly, I attack only those things against which I find no allies,
against which I stand alone--against which I compromise nobody but
myself.... I have not yet taken one single step before the public eye,
which did not compromise me: that is _my_ criterion of a proper mode
of action. Thirdly, I never make personal attacks--I use a personality
merely as a magnifying-glass, by means of which I render a general,
but elusive and scarcely noticeable evil, more apparent. In this way I
attacked David Strauss, or rather the success given to a senile book by
the cultured classes of Germany--by this means I caught German culture
red-handed. In this way I attacked Wagner, or rather the falsity or
mongrel instincts of our "culture" which confounds the super-refined
with the strong, and the effete with the great. Fourthly, I attack
only those things from which all personal differences are excluded, in
which any such thing as a background of disagreeable experiences is
lacking. On the contrary, attacking is to me a proof of goodwill and,
in certain circumstances, of gratitude. By means of it, I do honour to
a thing, I distinguish a thing; whether I associate my name with that
of an institution or a person, by being _against_ or _for_ either,
is all the same to me. If I wage war against Christianity, I feel
justified in doing so, because in that quarter I have met with no fatal
experiences and difficulties--the most earnest Christians have

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