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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 127

and pernicious things it has:
for by means of them it may be harmful to us (its virtues are slandered
and rechristened).

When a man or a people harm us, their action constitutes an objection
against them: but from their point of view we are desirable, because we
are such as can be useful to them.

The insistence upon spreading "humaneness" (which guilelessly starts
out with the assumption that it is in possession of the formula "What
is human") is all humbug, beneath the cover of which a certain definite
type of man strives to attain to power: or, more precisely, a very
particular kind of instinct--the _gregarious instinct._ "The equality
of men": this is what lies _concealed_ behind the tendency of _making_
ever more and more men _alike_ as men.

_The "interested nature" of the morality of ordinary people._ (The
trick was to elevate the great passions for power and property to the
positions of protectors of virtue.)

To what extent do all kinds of _business men_ and money-grabbers--all
those who give and take credit--find it _necessary_ to promote the
levelling of all characters and notions of value? the _commerce and the
exchange of the world_ leads to, and almost purchases, virtue.

The _State_ exercises the same influence, as does also any sort of
ruling power at the head of officials and soldiers; _science_ acts in
the same way, in order that it may work in security and economise its
forces. And the _priesthood_ does the same.

Communal morality is thus promoted here, because it is advantageous;
and, in order to make it triumph, war and violence are waged against
immorality--with what "right"? Without any right whatsoever; but in
accordance with the instinct of self-preservation. The same classes
avail themselves of immorality when it serves their purpose to do so.


316.

Observe the hypocritical colour which all _civil institutions_ are
painted, just as if they were _the offshoots of morality_--for
instance: marriage, work, calling, patriotism, the family, order,
and rights. But as they were all established in favour of the _most
mediocre_ type of man, to protect him from exceptions and the need of
exceptions, one must not be surprised to find them sown with lies.


317.

_Virtue_ must be defended against its preachers: they are its worst
enemies. For they teach virtue as an ideal _for all_; they divest
virtue of the charm which consists in its rareness, its inimitableness,
its exceptional and non-average character--that is to say, of its
_aristocratic charm._ A stand must also be made against those
embittered idealists who eagerly tap all pots and are satisfied to
hear them ring hollow: what ingenuousness--to _demand_ great and rare
things,

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Text Comparison with The Birth of Tragedy; or, Hellenism and Pessimism

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A.
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17, 18, and 20.
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Add to this the most important phenomenon of all ancient lyric poetry, _the union,_ regarded everywhere as natural, _of the lyrist with the musician,_ their very identity, indeed,--compared with which our modern lyric poetry is like the statue of a god without a head,--and we may now, on the basis of our metaphysics of æsthetics set forth above, interpret the lyrist to ourselves as follows.
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In their theatres the terraced structure of the spectators' space rising in concentric arcs enabled every one, in the strictest sense, to _overlook_ the entire world of culture around him, and in surfeited contemplation to imagine himself a chorist.
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Whereas, being accustomed to the position of a chorus on the modern stage, especially an operatic chorus, we could never comprehend why the tragic chorus of the Greeks should be older, more primitive, indeed, more important than the "action" proper,--as has been so plainly declared by the voice of tradition; whereas, furthermore, we could not reconcile with this traditional paramount importance and primitiveness the fact of the chorus' being composed only of humble, ministering beings; indeed, at first only of goatlike satyrs; whereas, finally, the orchestra before the scene was always a riddle to us; we have learned to comprehend at length that the scene, together with the action, was fundamentally and originally conceived only as a _vision,_ that the only reality is just the chorus, which of itself generates the vision and speaks thereof with the entire symbolism of dancing, tone, and word.
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e.
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In his existence as a dismembered god, Dionysus has the dual nature of a cruel barbarised demon, and a mild pacific ruler.
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Even Euripides was, in a certain sense, only a mask: the deity that spoke through him was neither Dionysus nor Apollo, but an altogether new-born demon, called _Socrates.
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14.
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Nearly every age and stage of culture has at some time or other sought with deep displeasure to free itself from the Greeks, because in their presence everything self-achieved, sincerely admired and apparently quite original, seemed all of a sudden to lose life and colour and shrink to an abortive copy, even to caricature.
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It was an immense triumph of the non-Dionysian spirit, when, in the development of the New Dithyramb, it had estranged music from itself and reduced it to be the slave of phenomena.
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What even under the most favourable circumstances can the knowledge-craving Socratism of our days do with this demon rising from unfathomable depths? Neither by means of the zig-zag and arabesque work of operatic melody, nor with the aid of the arithmetical counting board of fugue and contrapuntal dialectics is the formula to be found, in the trebly powerful light[23] of which one could subdue this demon and compel it to speak.
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It may at last, after returning to the primitive source of its being, venture to stalk along boldly and freely before all nations without hugging the leading-strings of a Romanic civilisation: if only it can.