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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

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a sign of
weakness: spiritual strength may be fatigued, _exhausted,_ so that the
goals and values which have prevailed _hitherto_ are no longer suited
to it and are no longer believed in--so that the synthesis of values
and goals (upon which every strong culture stands) decomposes, and
the different values contend with one another: _Disintegration,_ then
everything which is relieving, which heals, becalms, or stupefies,
steps into the foreground under the cover of various _disguises,_
either religious, moral, political or æsthetic, etc.


Nihilism is not only a meditating over the "in vain!"--not only the
belief that everything deserves to perish; but one actually puts
one's shoulder to the plough; _one destroys._ This, if you will, is
illogical; but the Nihilist does not believe in the necessity of being
logical.... It is the condition of strong minds and wills; and to these
it is impossible to be satisfied with the negation of judgment: the
_negation by deeds_ proceeds from their nature. Annihilation by the
reasoning faculty seconds annihilation by the hand.


_Concerning the genesis of the Nihilist._ The courage of all one really
_knows_ comes but late in life. It is only quite recently that I have
acknowledged to myself that heretofore I have been a Nihilist from top
to toe. The energy and thoroughness with which I marched forward as a
Nihilist deceived me concerning this fundamental principle. When one is
progressing towards a goal it seems impossible that "aimlessness _per
se_" should be one's fundamental article of faith.


_The Pessimism of strong natures._ The "wherefore" after a terrible
struggle, even after victory. That something may exist which is a
hundred times _more important_ than the question, whether we feel well
or unwell, is the fundamental instinct of all strong natures--and
consequently too, whether the _others_ feel well or unwell. In short,
that we have a purpose, for which we would not even hesitate to
_sacrifice men,_ run all risks, and bend our backs to the worst: _this
is the great passion_.



_The causes of Nihilism_: (1) _The higher species is lacking, i.e.,_
the species whose inexhaustible fruitfulness and power would uphold our
belief in Man (think only of what is owed to Napoleon--almost all the
higher hopes of this century).

(2) _The inferior species_ ("herd," "ass," "society") is forgetting
modesty, and inflates its needs into _cosmic_ and _metaphysical_
values. In this way all life is _vulgarised_: for inasmuch as the
_mass_ of mankind rules, it tyrannises over the _exceptions,_ so that
these lose their belief in themselves and become _Nihilists._

All attempts to _conceive of a new species_ come to nothing
("romanticism," the artist, the philosopher; against

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Text Comparison with The Case of Wagner Complete Works, Volume 8

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To both of these views there is but one reply:--they are absolutely false.
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Nietzsche declares ("Ecce Homo," p.
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--And, strange to say, at bottom I do not give it a thought, or am not aware how much thought I really do give it.
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--What happened? A misfortune.
Page 29
Are they not one and all, like Wagner himself, on _quite intimate terms_ with bad weather, with German weather! Wotan is their God: but Wotan is the God of bad weather.
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nothing dangerous to life, nothing that slanders the world in the realm of spirit, which has not secretly found shelter in his art; he conceals the blackest obscurantism in the luminous orbs of the ideal.
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--The fact I bring forward, my _"petit fait vrai"_ is that I can no longer breathe with ease when this music begins to have its effect upon me; that my foot immediately begins to feel indignant at it and rebels: for what it needs is time, dance, march: even the young German Kaiser could not march to Wagner's Imperial March,--what my foot demands in the first place from music is that ecstasy which lies in good walking, stepping and dancing.
Page 44
It was left to Mozart, to pour out the epoch of Louis XIV.
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--Is the fact that this music when heard alone, is, as a whole intolerable (apart from a few intentionally isolated parts) in its _favour?_ Suffice it to say that this music without its accompanying drama, is a perpetual contradiction of all the highest laws of style belonging to older music: he who thoroughly accustoms himself to it, loses all feeling for these laws.
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Do the sons of philologists easily become philologists? _Dubito.
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THE PREFERENCE FOR ANTIQUITY 27 If a man approves of the investigation of the past he will also approve and even praise the fact--and will above all easily understand it--that there are scholars who are exclusively occupied with the investigation of Greek and Roman antiquity: but that these scholars are at the same time the teachers of the children of the nobility and gentry is not equally easy of comprehension--here lies a problem.
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We must distinguish within the domain of antiquity itself: when we come to appreciate its purely productive period, we condemn at the same time the entire Romano Alexandrian culture.
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53 Friedrich August Wolf reminds us how apprehensive and feeble were the first steps taken by our ancestors in moulding scholarship--how even the Latin classics, for example, had to be smuggled into the university market under all sorts of pretexts, as if they had been contraband goods.
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Markland, towards the end of his life--as was the case with so many others like him--became imbued with a repugnance for all scholarly reputation, to such an extent, indeed, that he partly tore up and partly burnt several works which he had long had in hand.
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Germany has become the breeding-place of this historical optimism; Hegel is perhaps to blame for this.
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In addition to this, a more gentle spirit has become widespread, thanks to the period of illumination which has weakened mankind--but this weakness, when turned into morality, leads to good results and honours us.