The Twilight of the Idols - The Antichrist Complete Works, Volume Sixteen

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 125

decisive question: is there any difference at all between a lie
and a conviction?--All the world believes that there is, but what in
Heaven's name does not all the world believe! Every conviction has its
history, its preliminary stages, its period of groping and of mistakes:
it becomes a conviction only after it has _not_ been one for a long
time, only after it has _scarcely_ been one for a long time. What?
might not falsehood be the embryonic form of conviction?--At times
all that is required is a change of personality: very often what was
a lie in the father becomes a conviction in the son.--I call a lie,
to refuse to see something that one sees, to refuse to see it exactly
_as_ one sees it: whether a lie is perpetrated before witnesses or not
is beside the point.--The most common sort of lie is the one uttered
to one's self; to lie to others is relatively exceptional. Now this
refusal to see what one sees, this refusal to see a thing exactly as
one sees it, is almost the first condition for all those who belong
to a _party_ in any sense whatsoever: the man who belongs to a party
perforce becomes a liar. German historians, for instance, are convinced
that Rome stood for despotism, whereas the Teutons introduced the
spirit of freedom into the world: what difference is there between
this conviction and a lie? After this is it to be wondered at, that
all parties, including German historians, instinctively adopt the
grandiloquent phraseology of morality,--that morality almost owes
its _survival_ to the fact that the man who belongs to a party, no
matter what it may be, is in need of morality every moment?--"This
is our conviction: we confess it to the whole world, we live and die
for it,--let us respect every thing that has a conviction!"--I have
actually heard antisemites speak in this way. On the contrary, my dear
sirs! An antisemite does not become the least bit more respectable
because he lies on principle.... Priests, who in such matters are
more subtle, and who perfectly understand the objection to which the
idea of a conviction lies open--that is to say of a falsehood which
is perpetrated on principle _because_ it serves a purpose, borrowed
from the Jews the prudent measure of setting the concept "God," "Will
of God," "Revelation of God," at this place. Kant, too, with his
categorical imperative, was on the same road: this was his _practical_
reason.--There are some questions in which it is _not_ given to man
to decide between true and false; all

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

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Inner discord is a terrible affliction, and nothing is so certain to produce that nervous irritability which is so trying to the patient as well as to the outer world, as this so-called spiritual disease.
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A long history!--Shall I give it a name?--If I were a moralist, who knows what I might not call it! Perhaps a piece of _self-mastery_.
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For quite other ideas are running through my head the while.
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Instinct is weakened, what ought to be eschewed now attracts.
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The problems he sets on the stage are all concerned with hysteria; the convulsiveness of his emotions, his over-excited sensitiveness, his taste which demands ever sharper condimentation, his erraticness which he togged out to look like principles, and, last but not least, his choice of heroes and heroines, considered as physiological types (--a hospital ward!--): the whole represents a morbid picture; of this there can be no doubt.
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as his dominating instinct has not been divined.
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Bovary!--just as one can conceive conversely, of Flaubert's being _well able_ to transform all his heroines into Scandinavian or Carthaginian.
Page 33
He flatters every nihilistic (Buddhistic) instinct and togs it out in music; he flatters every form of Christianity, every religious expression of decadence.
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On the other hand, he assumes the airs of a philosopher, he writes for the _Bayreuth Journal_; he solves all problems in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Master.
Page 38
To cast side-long glances at master-morality, at _noble_ morality (--Icelandic saga is perhaps the greatest documentary evidence of these values), and at the same time to have the opposite teaching, the "gospel of the lowly," the doctrine of the _need_ of salvation, on one's lips!{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~}.
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French are "barbarians,"--as for me, if I had to find the _blackest_ spot on earth, where slaves still required to be liberated, I should turn in the direction of Northern Germany.
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{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} That hidden and dominating thing, for which for long ages we have had no name, until ultimately it comes forth as our mission,--this tyrant in us wreaks a terrible revenge upon us for every attempt we make either to evade him or to escape him, for every one of our experiments in the way of befriending people to whom we do not belong, for every active occupation, however estimable, which may make us diverge from our principal object:--aye, and even for every virtue which would fain protect us from the rigour of our most intimate sense of responsibility.
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But as to the naturalism of the attitudes, of the singing, compared with the orchestra!! What affected, artificial and depraved tones, what a distortion of nature, were we made to hear! 3.
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Wagner struggles against the "frivolity" in his nature, which to him the ignoble (as opposed to Goethe) constituted the joy of life.
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, 1911.