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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 84

of such a community. The evil God is just as urgently needed
as the good God: for a people in such a form of society certainly does
not owe its existence to toleration and humaneness.... What would be
the good of a God who knew nothing of anger, revenge, envy, scorn,
craft, and violence?--who had perhaps never experienced the rapturous
_ardeurs_ of victory and of annihilation? No one would understand such
a God: why should one possess him?--Of course, when a people is on
the road to ruin; when it feels its belief in a future, its hope of
freedom vanishing for ever; when it becomes conscious of submission
as the most useful quality, and of the virtues of the submissive as
self-preservative measures, then its God must also modify himself.
He then becomes a tremulous and unassuming sneak; he counsels "peace
of the soul," the cessation of all hatred, leniency and "love" even
towards friend and foe. He is for ever moralising, he crawls into
the heart of every private virtue, becomes a God for everybody, he
retires from active service and becomes a Cosmopolitan.... Formerly
he represented a people, the strength of a people, everything
aggressive and desirous of power lying concealed in the heart of a
nation: now he is merely the good God.... In very truth Gods have no
other alternative, they are _either_ the Will to Power--in which case
they are always the Gods of whole nations,--or, on the other hand, the
incapacity for power--in which case they necessarily become good.


Wherever the Will to Power, no matter in what form, begins to decline,
a physiological retrogression, decadence, always supervenes. The
godhead of _decadence,_ shorn of its masculine virtues and passions
is perforce converted into the God of the physiologically degraded,
of the weak. Of course they do not call themselves the weak, they
call themselves "the good." ... No hint will be necessary to help you
to understand at what moment in history the dualistic fiction of a
good and an evil God first became possible. With the same instinct by
which the subjugated reduce their God to "Goodness in itself," they
also cancel the good qualities from their conqueror's God; they avenge
themselves on their masters by diabolising the latter's God.--The _good
God_ and the devil as well:--both the abortions of decadence.--How
is it possible that we are still so indulgent towards the simplicity
of Christian theologians to-day, as to declare with them that the
evolution of the concept God, from the "God of Israel," the God of
a people, to the Christian God, the quintessence of all goodness,
marks a

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Text Comparison with Thoughts out of Season, Part I

Page 4
You would never have crucified Christ, as did the Jews, or driven Nietzsche into madness, as did the Germans--you would have made Nietzsche, on account of his literary faculties, Minister of State in a Whig Ministry, you would have invited Jesus Christ to your country houses, where he would have been worshipped by all the ladies on account of his long hair and interesting looks, and tolerated by all men as an amusing, if somewhat romantic, foreigner.
Page 9
There, and nowhere else, will you find the true heroes of coming times, men of moral courage, men whose failures and successes are alike admirable, men whose noble passions have altogether superseded the ordinary vulgarities and moralities of lower beings, men endowed with an extraordinary imagination, which, however, is balanced by an equal power of reason, men already anointed with a drop of that sacred and noble oil, without which the High Priest-Philosopher of Modern Germany would not have crowned his Royal Race of the Future.
Page 11
He did not see that in fighting Liberalism and Nonconformity all his life, he was really fighting Christianity, the Protestant Form of which is at the root of British Liberalism and Individualism to this very day.
Page 31
And this was said in the name of the assembled "We"; that is to say, the "superiors," the "superiors through weakness.
Page 38
"If I should, perhaps, become more garrulous than may seem warranted in this place, let the reader be indulgent to me; for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
Page 50
Says Strauss: "I should say that all moral action arises from the individual's acting in consonance with the idea of kind" (p.
Page 54
for the same reason, too, that he assumes for once the utterly unsuitable rôle of a metaphysical architect.
Page 56
We all know the peculiar methods adopted in our own time of cultivating the sciences: we all know them, because they form a part of our lives.
Page 58
What kind of lantern would be needed here, in order to find men capable of a complete surrender to genius, and of an intimate knowledge of its depths--men possessed of sufficient courage and strength to exorcise the demons that have forsaken our age? Viewed from the outside, such quarters certainly do appear to possess the whole pomp of culture; with their imposing apparatus they resemble great arsenals fitted with huge guns and other machinery of war; we see preparations in progress and the most strenuous activity, as though the heavens themselves were to be stormed, and truth were to be drawn out of the deepest of all wells; and yet, in war, the largest machines are the most unwieldy.
Page 59
Secondly, however, it leaves the highest judgment concerning all questions of taste and culture to the scholar, and even regards itself as the ever-increasing compendium of scholarly opinions regarding art, literature, and philosophy.
Page 61
bitterness which Strauss's profession of faith may have provoked here and there, even the most fanatical of his opponents, to whom his voice seems to rise out of an abyss, like the voice of a beast, are agreed as to his merits as a writer; and that is why the treatment which Strauss has received at the hands of the literary lackeys of the theological groups proves nothing against our contention that Culture-Philistinism celebrated its triumph in this book.
Page 73
He would meet with laws which are probably nothing more than reminiscences of bygone schooldays, vestiges of impositions for Latin prose, and results perhaps of choice readings from French novelists, over whose incredible crudeness every.
Page 74
But no conscientious native of Germany seems to have given a thought to these extraordinary notions under the yoke of which almost every German lives and writes.
Page 77
Strauss at least wishes to extricate himself from the mire, and he is already partly out of it; still, he is very far from being on dry land, and he still shows signs of having stammered Hegel's prose in youth.
Page 82
All the talk and noise about art which has been made by civilisation hitherto must seem like shameless obtrusiveness; everything makes silence a duty with us--the quinquennial silence of the Pythagoreans.
Page 86
in love-beams does Nature here display herself, that clouds and tempests--yea, and even the sublime itself--seem to lie beneath her.
Page 132
He strove just as persistently to impose the severest laws upon himself as to lighten the burden of others in this respect.
Page 136
The pupils Wagner educated for his own purpose, the individual musicians and actors whom he advised and whose ear he corrected and improved, the small and large orchestras he led, the towns which witnessed him earnestly fulfilling the duties of ws calling, the princes and ladies who half boastfully and half lovingly participated in the framing of his plans, the various European countries to which he temporarily belonged as the judge and evil conscience of their arts,--everything gradually became the echo of his thought and of his indefatigable efforts to attain to fruitfulness in the future.
Page 139
For if there is anything that distinguishes his art from every other art of modern times, it is that it no longer speaks the language of any particular caste, and refuses to admit the distinctions "literate" and "illiterate.
Page 144
sovereign spear was broken in the contest with the freest man, and who lost his power through him, rejoicing greatly over his own defeat: full of sympathy for the triumph and pain of his victor, his eye burning with aching joy looks back upon the last events; he has become free through love, free from himself.