On the Future of our Educational Institutions

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 5

surpassing them. Let it suffice that they are our institutions,
that they have not become a part of ourselves by mere accident, and
were not laid upon us like a garment; but that they are living
monuments of important steps in the progress of civilisation, in some
respects even the furniture of a bygone age, and as such link us with
the past of our people, and are such a sacred and venerable legacy
that I can only undertake to speak of the future of our educational
institutions in the sense of their being a most probable approximation
to the ideal spirit which gave them birth. I am, moreover, convinced
that the numerous alterations which have been introduced into these
institutions within recent years, with the view of bringing them
up-to-date, are for the most part but distortions and aberrations of
the originally sublime tendencies given to them at their foundation.
And what we dare to hope from the future, in this behalf, partakes so
much of the nature of a rejuvenation, a reviviscence, and a refining
of the spirit of Germany that, as a result of this very process, our
educational institutions may also be indirectly remoulded and born
again, so as to appear at once old and new, whereas now they only
profess to be "modern" or "up-to-date."

Now it is only in the spirit of the hope above mentioned that I wish
to speak of the future of our educational institutions: and this is
the second point in regard to which I must tender an apology from the
outset. The "prophet" pose is such a presumptuous one that it seems
almost ridiculous to deny that I have the intention of adopting it.
No one should attempt to describe the future of our education, and
the means and methods of instruction relating thereto, in a prophetic
spirit, unless he can prove that the picture he draws already exists
in germ to-day, and that all that is required is the extension and
development of this embryo if the necessary modifications are to be
produced in schools and other educational institutions. All I ask,
is, like a Roman haruspex, to be allowed to steal glimpses of the
future out of the very entrails of existing conditions, which, in
this case, means no more than to hand the laurels of victory to any
one of the many forces tending to make itself felt in our present
educational system, despite the fact that the force in question may
be neither a favourite, an esteemed, nor a very extensive one. I
confidently assert that it will be victorious, however,

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