The Genealogy of Morals The Complete Works, Volume Thirteen, edited by Dr. Oscar Levy.

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 17

This is the epilogue of a freethinker to my
discourse, of an honourable animal (as he has given abundant proof),
and a democrat to boot; he had up to that time listened to me, and
could not endure my silence, but for me, indeed, with regard to this
topic there is much on which to be silent.


The revolt of the slaves in morals begins in the very principle of
_resentment_ becoming creative and giving birth to values--a resentment
experienced by creatures who, deprived as they are of the proper outlet
of action, are forced to find their compensation in an imaginary
revenge. While every aristocratic morality springs from a triumphant
affirmation of its own demands, the slave morality says "no" from the
very outset to what is "outside itself," "different from itself," and
"not itself": and this "no" is its creative deed. This volte-face of
the valuing standpoint--this _inevitable_ gravitation to the objective
instead of back to the subjective--is typical of "resentment": the
slave-morality requires as the condition of its existence an external
and objective world, to employ physiological terminology, it requires
objective stimuli to be capable of action at all--its action is
fundamentally a reaction. The contrary is the case when we come to
the aristocrat's system of values: it acts and grows spontaneously,
it merely seeks its antithesis in order to pronounce a more grateful
and exultant "yes" to its own self;--its negative conception, "low,"
"vulgar," "bad," is merely a pale late-born foil in comparison with its
positive and fundamental conception (saturated as it is with life and
passion), of "we aristocrats, we good ones, we beautiful ones, we happy

When the aristocratic morality goes astray and commits sacrilege on
reality, this is limited to that particular sphere with which it
is _not_ sufficiently acquainted--a sphere, in fact, from the real
knowledge of which it disdainfully defends itself. It misjudges, in
some cases, the sphere which it despises, the sphere of the common
vulgar man and the low people: on the other hand, due weight should be
given to the consideration that in any case the mood of contempt, of
disdain, of superciliousness, even on the supposition that it _falsely_
portrays the object of its contempt, will always be far removed from
that degree of falsity which will always characterise the attacks--in
effigy, of course--of the vindictive hatred and revengefulness of
the weak in onslaughts on their enemies. In point of fact, there is
in contempt too strong an admixture of nonchalance, of casualness,
of boredom, of impatience, even of personal exultation, for it to be
capable of distorting its victim into a real caricature or

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