The Will to Power, Book I and II An Attempted Transvaluation of all Values

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 104

insidious and
slanderous eloquence, appeals to all the cowardices and vanities of
wearied souls,--and the strongest have their moments of fatigue,--as
though all that which seems most useful and desirable at such
moments--that is to say, confidence, artlessness, modesty, patience,
love of one's like, resignation, submission to God, and a sort of
self-surrender--were useful and desirable _per se_; as though the puny,
modest abortion which in these creatures takes the place of a soul,
this virtuous, mediocre animal and sheep of the flock--which deigns to
call itself man, were not only to take precedence of the stronger, more
evil, more passionate, more defiant, and more prodigal type of man, who
by virtue of these very qualities is exposed to a hundred times more
dangers than the former, but were actually to stand as an ideal for man
in general, as a goal, a measure--the highest desideratum. The creation
of _this_ ideal was the most appalling temptation that had ever
been put in the way of mankind; for, with it, the stronger and more
successful exceptions, the lucky cases among men, in which the will
to power and to growth leads the whole species "man" one step farther
forward, this type was threatened with disaster. By means of the values
of this ideal, the growth of such higher men would be checked at the
root. For these men, owing to their superior demands and duties,
readily accept a more dangerous life (speaking economically, it is a
case of an increase in the costs of the undertaking coinciding with
a greater chance of failure). What is it we combat in Christianity?
That it aims at destroying the strong, at breaking their spirit, at
exploiting their moments of weariness and debility, at converting
their proud assurance into anxiety and conscience-trouble; that it
knows how to poison the noblest instincts and to infect them with
disease, until their strength, their will to power, turns inwards,
against themselves--until the strong perish through their excessive
self-contempt and self-immolation: that gruesome way of perishing, of
which _Pascal_ is the most famous example.




II.


A CRITICISM OF MORALITY.


1. THE ORIGIN OF MORAL VALUATIONS.


253.

This is an attempt at investigating morality without being affected by
its charm, and not without some mistrust in regard to the beguiling
beauty of its attitudes and looks. A world which we can admire, which
is in keeping with our capacity for worship--which is continually
_demonstrating_ itself--in small things or in large: this is the
Christian standpoint which is common to us all.

But owing to an increase in our astuteness, in our mistrust, and in our
scientific spirit (also through a more developed instinct

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

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In the works just referred to (pp.
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Nevertheless, for fear lest some doubt should still linger in certain minds concerning this point, and with the view of adding interest to these essays, the Editor considered it advisable, in the Second Edition, to add a number of extracts from Nietzsche's diary of the year 1878 (ten years before "The Case of Wagner," and "Nietzsche _contra_ Wagner" were written) in order to show to what extent those learned critics who complain of Nietzsche's "morbid and uncontrollable recantations and revulsions of feeling," have overlooked even the plain facts of the case when forming their all-too-hasty conclusions.
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A little more suspicion, for instance, ought to be applied to Wagner's _My Life_, especially in England, where critics are not half suspicious enough about a continental artist's self-revelations, and are too prone, if they have suspicions at all, to apply them in the wrong place.
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of the modern world for actors, sorcerers, bewilderers and idealists who are able to conceal the ill-health and the weakness that prevail, and who please by intoxicating and exalting.
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He is the master of hypnotic trickery, and he fells the strongest like bullocks.
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Words become predominant and leap right out of the sentence to which they belong, the sentences themselves trespass beyond their bounds, and obscure the sense of the whole page, and the page in its turn gains in vigour at the cost of the whole,--the whole is no longer a whole.
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Nothing is known concerning Wagner, so long.
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--I have mentioned the sphere to which Wagner belongs--certainly not to the history of music.
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_ _That the actor should not become the corrupter of the genuine.
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Many also, however (it was singular enough), made this slight alteration in it: "Salvation _from_ the Saviour"--People began to breathe again-- One pays dearly for having been a follower of Wagner.
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He has the melancholy of impotence.
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{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} Brahms is _not_ an actor.
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{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} Not to speak of the earnestness of the "marble statue".
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You see how I misinterpreted, you see also, what I _bestowed_ upon Wagner and Schopenhauer--myself.
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" {~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} "Disinterestedness"--principle of decadence, the will to nonentity in art as well as in morality.
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{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} Is Wagner's "Parsifal" his secret laugh of superiority at himself, the triumph of his last and most exalted state of artistic freedom, of artistic transcendence--is it Wagner able to _laugh_ at himself? Once again we only wish it were so; for what could Parsifal be if he were _meant seriously_? Is it necessary in his case to say (as I have heard people say) that "Parsifal" is "the product of the mad hatred of knowledge, intellect, and sensuality?" a curse upon the senses and the mind in one breath and in one fit of hatred? an act of apostasy and a return to Christianly sick and obscurantist ideals? And finally even a denial of self, a deletion of self, on the part of an artist who theretofore had worked with all the power of his will in favour of the opposite cause, the spiritualisation and sensualisation of his art? And not only of his art, but also of his life? Let us remember how enthusiastically Wagner at one time walked in the footsteps of the philosopher Feuerbach.
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There are free insolent spirits which would fain conceal and deny that they are at bottom broken, incurable hearts--this is.
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This, to my sorrow, is what I realised; a good deal even struck me with sudden fear.
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I do not possess the talent of being loyal, and what is still worse, I have not even the vanity to try to appear as if I did.
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When a dramatist speaks about himself he plays a part: this is inevitable.