Human, All-Too-Human: A Book for Free Spirits, Part 1 Complete Works, Volume Six

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 51

a greater power, as a besieged town for instance, the
counter-condition is that one can destroy one's self, burn the town,
and so cause the mighty one a great loss. Therefore there is a kind of
_equalisation_ here, on the basis of which rights may be determined.
The enemy has his advantage in maintaining it. In so far there are
also rights between slaves and masters, that is, precisely so far as
the possession of the slave is useful and important to his master. The
_right_ originally extends _so far as_ one _appears_ to be valuable to
the other, essentially unlosable, unconquerable, and so forth. In so
far the weaker one also has rights, but lesser ones. Hence the famous
_unusquisque tantum juris habet, quantum potentia valet_ (or more
exactly, _quantum potentia valere creditur_).


sign that the animal has become man when its actions no longer have
regard only to momentary welfare, but to what is enduring, when it
grows _useful_ and _practical_; there the free rule of reason first
breaks out. A still higher step is reached when he acts according to
the principle of _honour_ by this means he brings himself into order,
submits to common feelings, and that exalts him still higher over
the phase in which he was led only by the idea of usefulness from a
personal point of view; he respects and wishes to be respected, _i.e._
he understands usefulness as dependent upon what he thinks of others
and what others think of him. Eventually he acts, on the highest step
of the _hitherto_ existing--morality, according to _his_ standard of
things and men; he himself decides for himself and others what is
honourable, what is useful; he has become the law-giver of opinions,
in accordance with the ever more highly developed idea of what is
useful and honourable. Knowledge enables him to place that which is
most useful, that is to say the general, enduring usefulness, above the
personal, the honourable recognition of general, enduring validity
above the momentary; he lives and acts as a collective individual.


THE MORALITY OF THE MATURE INDIVIDUAL.--The impersonal has hitherto
been looked upon as the actual distinguishing mark of moral action; and
it has been pointed out that in the beginning it was in consideration
of the common good that all impersonal actions were praised and
distinguished. Is not an important change in these views impending,
now when it is more and more recognised that it is precisely in the
_most personal_ possible considerations that the common good is the
greatest, so that a _strictly personal_

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