On the Future of our Educational Institutions

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 22

of everything which tends to extend
culture, provided that it be of service to its officials or soldiers,
but in the main to itself, in its competition with other nations. In
this case, the foundations of a State must be sufficiently broad and
firm to constitute a fitting counterpart to the complicated arches of
culture which it supports, just as in the first case the traces of
some former religious tyranny must still be felt for a people to be
driven to such desperate remedies. Thus, wherever I hear the masses
raise the cry for an expansion of education, I am wont to ask myself
whether it is stimulated by a greedy lust of gain and property, by
the memory of a former religious persecution, or by the prudent
egotism of the State itself.

"On the other hand, it seemed to me that there was yet another
tendency, not so clamorous, perhaps, but quite as forcible, which,
hailing from various quarters, was animated by a different
desire,--the desire to minimise and weaken education.

"In all cultivated circles people are in the habit of whispering to
one another words something after this style: that it is a general
fact that, owing to the present frantic exploitation of the scholar in
the service of his science, his _education_ becomes every day more
accidental and more uncertain. For the study of science has been
extended to such interminable lengths that he who, though not
exceptionally gifted, yet possesses fair abilities, will need to
devote himself exclusively to one branch and ignore all others if he
ever wish to achieve anything in his work. Should he then elevate
himself above the herd by means of his speciality, he still remains
one of them in regard to all else,--that is to say, in regard to all
the most important things in life. Thus, a specialist in science gets
to resemble nothing so much as a factory workman who spends his whole
life in turning one particular screw or handle on a certain instrument
or machine, at which occupation he acquires the most consummate skill.
In Germany, where we know how to drape such painful facts with the
glorious garments of fancy, this narrow specialisation on the part of
our learned men is even admired, and their ever greater deviation
from the path of true culture is regarded as a moral phenomenon.
'Fidelity in small things,' 'dogged faithfulness,' become expressions
of highest eulogy, and the lack of culture outside the speciality is
flaunted abroad as a sign of noble sufficiency.

"For centuries it has been an understood thing that one alluded to
scholars alone when

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