On the Future of our Educational Institutions

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 49

go when antiquity peremptorily orders them to withdraw? Must they not
be sacrificed to those powers of the present who, day after day, call
out to them from the never-ending columns of the press 'We are
culture! We are education! We are at the zenith! We are the apexes of
the pyramids! We are the aims of universal history!'--when they hear
the seductive promises, when the shameful signs of non-culture, the
plebeian publicity of the so-called 'interests of culture' are
extolled for their benefit in magazines and newspapers as an entirely
new and the best possible, full-grown form of culture! Whither shall
the poor fellows fly when they feel the presentiment that these
promises are not true--where but to the most obtuse, sterile
scientificality, that here the shriek of culture may no longer be
audible to them? Pursued in this way, must they not end, like the
ostrich, by burying their heads in the sand? Is it not a real
happiness for them, buried as they are among dialects, etymologies,
and conjectures, to lead a life like that of the ants, even though
they are miles removed from true culture, if only they can close their
ears tightly and be deaf to the voice of the 'elegant' culture of the

"You are right, my friend," said the philosopher, "but whence comes the
urgent necessity for a surplus of schools for culture, which further
gives rise to the necessity for a surplus of teachers?--when we so
clearly see that the demand for a surplus springs from a sphere which is
hostile to culture, and that the consequences of this surplus only lead
to non-culture. Indeed, we can discuss this dire necessity only in so
far as the modern State is willing to discuss these things with us, and
is prepared to follow up its demands by force: which phenomenon
certainly makes the same impression upon most people as if they were
addressed by the eternal law of things. For the rest, a 'Culture-State,'
to use the current expression, which makes such demands, is rather a
novelty, and has only come to a 'self-understanding' within the last
half century, _i.e._ in a period when (to use the favourite popular
word) so many 'self-understood' things came into being, but which are in
themselves not 'self-understood' at all. This right to higher education
has been taken so seriously by the most powerful of modern
States--Prussia--that the objectionable principle it has adopted, taken
in connection with the well-known daring and hardihood of this State, is
seen to have a menacing and dangerous consequence for the true German
spirit; for we see endeavours

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Text Comparison with The Case Of Wagner, Nietzsche Contra Wagner, and Selected Aphorisms.

Page 4
, and which I did not think it necessary to repeat in my first preface to these pamphlets, will be found to receive the fullest confirmation.
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An example of this want of _finesse_ in judging foreign writers is to be found in Lord Morley's work on Rousseau,--a book which ingenuously takes for granted everything that a writer like Rousseau cares to say about himself, without considering for an instant the possibility that Rousseau might have practised some hypocrisy.
Page 9
His egomaniacal behaviour and his almost Rousseauesque fear and suspicion of others were only the external manifestations of his inner discrepancies.
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--This history was what Wagner set to music.
Page 18
She must first versify the fourth book of "The World as Will and Idea.
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How is _decadence_ in _literature_ characterised? By the fact that in it life no longer animates the whole.
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_ 10.
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Wagner endowed all these artists with a new conscience: what they now exact and _obtain_ from themselves, they had never exacted before Wagner's time--before then they had been too modest.
Page 31
Neither taste, voices, nor gifts, Wagner's stage requires but one thing: _Germans!_{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} The definition of a German: an obedient man with long legs.
Page 37
The instinct of the majority protests against the alternative; "false to us"--they do not wish to be cheated;--and I myself would certainly always prefer this type to the other ("False to itself").
Page 39
No wonder that it is precisely in our age that falseness itself became flesh and blood, and even genius! No wonder _Wagner_ dwelt amongst us! It was not without reason that I called Wagner the Cagliostro of modernity.
Page 40
Nobody can approach him in the colours of late autumn, in the indescribably touching joy of a last, a very last, and all too short gladness; he knows of a chord which expresses those secret and weird midnight hours of the soul, when cause and effect seem to have fallen asunder, and at every moment something may spring out of nonentity.
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There were reasons for adding; "For heaven's sake, be a little more true unto yourself! We are not in Bayreuth now.
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{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} This perhaps decides the whole matter.
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In it I thought I heard the earthquake by means of which a primeval life-force, which had been constrained for ages, was seeking at last to burst its bonds, quite indifferent to how much of that which nowadays calls itself culture, would thereby be shaken to ruins.
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--One of the most refined forms of disguise is Epicurism, along with a certain ostentatious boldness of taste which takes suffering lightly, and puts itself on the defensive against all that is sorrowful and profound.
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The preponderance of ugliness, grotesqueness and strong pepper thoroughly repelled me.
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In this way he simplifies German and culture; wrongly but strongly.
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But how _exacting_! It is quite impossible to do this save for a few short moments,--such tenfold attention on the part of one's eyes, ears, understanding, and feeling, such acute activity in apprehending without any productive reaction, is far too exhausting!--Only the very fewest behave in this way: how is it then that so many are affected? Because most people are only intermittingly attentive, and are inattentive for sometimes whole passages at a stretch; because they bestow their undivided attention now upon the music, later upon the drama, and anon upon the scenery--that is to say they _take the work to pieces_.