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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

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of being--had been declared to be reality. Kant's success is merely a
theologian's success. Like Luther, and like Leibniz, Kant was one brake
the more upon the already squeaky wheel of German uprightness.


One word more against Kant as a _moralist._ A virtue _must_ be _our_
invention, our most personal defence and need: in every other sense it
is merely a danger. That which does not constitute a condition of our
life, is merely harmful to it: to possess a virtue merely because one
happens to respect the concept "virtue," as Kant would have us do, is
pernicious. "Virtue," "Duty," "Goodness in itself," goodness stamped
with the character of impersonality and universal validity--these
things are mere mental hallucinations, in which decline the final
devitalisation of life and Königsbergian Chinadom find expression. The
most fundamental laws of preservation and growth, demand precisely the
reverse, namely:--that each should discover _his_ own virtue, his own
Categorical Imperative. A nation goes to the dogs when it confounds
its concept of duty with the general concept of duty. Nothing is more
profoundly, more thoroughly pernicious, than every impersonal feeling
of duty, than every sacrifice to the Moloch of abstraction.--Fancy no
one's having thought Kant's Categorical Imperative _dangerous to life!_
... The instinct of the theologist alone took it under its wing!--An
action stimulated by the instinct of life, is proved to be a proper
action by the happiness that accompanies it: and that nihilist with the
bowels of a Christian dogmatist regarded happiness as an _objection
..._. What is there that destroys a man more speedily than to work,
think, feel, as an automaton of "duty," without internal promptings,
without a profound personal predilection, without joy? This is the
recipe _par excellence_ of decadence and even of idiocy.... Kant became
an idiot--And he was the contemporary of Goethe! This fatal spider was
regarded as _the_ German philosopher,--is still regarded as such!... I
refrain from saying what I think of the Germans.... Did Kant not see in
the French Revolution the transition of the State from the inorganic to
the _organic_ form? Did he not ask himself whether there was a single
event on record which could be explained otherwise than as a moral
faculty of mankind; so that by means of it, "mankind's tendency towards
good," might be _proved_ once and for all? Kant's reply: "that is the
Revolution." Instinct at fault in anything and everything, hostility to
nature as an instinct, German decadence made into philosophy_--that is


Except for a few sceptics, the respectable type in the history of
philosophy, the rest do not know the very first pre-requisite of
intellectual uprightness. They

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Text Comparison with On the Future of our Educational Institutions; Homer and Classical Philology Complete Works, Volume Three

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variant readings) instead of dealing with the subject in a broad-minded philosophical spirit.
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At present you are behaving as if you had not even heard the cardinal principle of all culture, which I went to such pains to inculcate upon you during our former intimacy.
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"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.
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"Now, silence for a minute, my poor friend," he cried; "I can more easily understand you now, and should not have lost my patience with you.
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people deal with it as if it were a dead language and as if the present and future were under no obligations to it whatsoever.
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--Put briefly: the public school has hitherto neglected its most important and most urgent duty towards the very beginning of all real culture, which is the mother-tongue; but in so doing it has lacked the natural, fertile soil for all further efforts at culture.
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It can be proved that the only value that these men have in a real educational establishment has not been mentioned, much less generally recognised for half a century: their value as preparatory leaders and mystogogues of classical culture, guided by whose hands alone can the correct road leading to antiquity be found.
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The old estimate of scholarship and scholarly culture, as an absolute, which Wolf overcame, seems after a slow and spiritless struggle rather to have taken the place of the culture-principle of more recent introduction, and now claims its former exclusive rights, though not with the same frankness, but disguised and with features veiled.
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These two worthy men saw clearly, by the system of instruction in vogue, that the time was not.
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" And if the solitary talkers caught a glimpse of a single ray of hope, it was that things would have to become still worse, that what was as yet divined only by the few would soon be clearly perceived by the many, and that then the time for honest and resolute men for the earnest consideration of the scope of the education of the masses would not be far distant.
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The public schools are certainly the seats of this obesity, if, indeed, they have not degenerated into the abodes of that elegant barbarism which is boasted of as being 'German culture of the present!'" "But," asked the other, "what is to become of that large body of teachers who have not been endowed with a true gift for culture, and who set up as teachers merely to gain a livelihood from the profession, because there is a demand for them, because a superfluity of schools brings with it a superfluity of teachers? Where shall they 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.
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This is a new and quite original occurrence: the State assumes the attitude of a mystogogue of culture, and, whilst it promotes its own ends, it obliges every one of its servants not to appear in its presence without the torch of universal State education in their hands, by the flickering light of which they may again recognise the State as the highest goal, as the reward of all their strivings after education.
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struggle for existence.
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he now apparently wanted to put an end to what appeared to him to be a useless discussion.
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"This natural state of great need must of course be looked upon as the worst enemy of that beloved independence for which the cultured youth of the present day should be trained.
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He feels that he can neither lead nor help himself; and then he plunges hopelessly into the workaday world and endeavours to ward off such feelings by study.
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And as leaders must have followers so also must the followers have a leader--here a certain reciprocal predisposition prevails in the hierarchy of spirits: yea, a kind of pre-established harmony.
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They conceived the _Iliad_ and the _Odyssey_ as the creations of _one single_ Homer; they declared it to be psychologically possible for two such different works to have sprung from the brain of _one_ genius, in contradiction to the Chorizontes, who represented the extreme limit of the scepticism of a few detached individuals of antiquity rather than antiquity itself considered as a whole.
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