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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 20

in relation to this
fundamental question in _biology_? Philosophy, religion, morality, art,

(The remedy: militarism, for instance, from Napoleon onwards, who
regarded civilisation as his natural enemy.)


All those things which heretofore have been regarded as the _causes of
degeneration,_ are really its effects.

But those things also which have been regarded as the _remedies_ of
degeneration are only _palliatives_ of certain effects thereof: the
"cured" are _types of the degenerate._

_The results of decadence_: vice--viciousness; illness--sickliness;
crime--criminality; celibacy--sterility; hysteria--the weakness of the
will; alcoholism; pessimism, anarchy; debauchery (also of the spirit).
The calumniators, underminers, sceptics, and destroyers.


Concerning the notion "decadence." (1) Scepticism is a result of
decadence: just as spiritual debauchery is.

(2) Moral corruption is a result of decadence (the weakness of the will
and the need of strong stimulants).

(3) Remedies, whether psychological or moral, do not alter the march
of decadence, they do not arrest anything; physiologically they do not

A peep into the _enormous futility_ of these pretentious "reactions";
they are forms of anæsthetising oneself against certain fatal
symptoms resulting from the prevailing condition of things; they do
not eradicate the morbid element; they are often heroic attempts to
cancel the decadent man, to allow only a minimum of his _deleterious
influence_ to survive.

(4) Nihilism is not a cause, but only the _rationale_ of decadence.

(5) The "good" and the "bad" are no more than two types of decadence:
they come together in all its fundamental phenomena.

(6) The _social problem_ is a result of _decadence._

(7) Illnesses, more particularly those attacking the nerves and the
head, are signs that the _defensive_ strength of strong nature is
lacking; a proof of this is that irritability which causes pleasure and
pain to be regarded as problems of the first order.


_The most common types of decadence_: (1) In the belief that they are
remedies, cures are chosen which only precipitate exhaustion;--this is
the case with Christianity (to point to the most egregious example of
mistaken instinct);--this is also the case with "progress."

(2) The _power of resisting_ stimuli is on the wane--chance rules
supreme: events are inflated and drawn out until they appear monstrous
... a suppression of the "personality," a disintegration of the
will; in this regard we may mention a whole class of morality, the
altruistic, that which is incessantly preaching pity, and whose most
essential feature is the weakness of the personality, so that it _rings
in unison,_ and, like an over-sensitive string, does not cease from
vibrating ... extreme irritability....

(3) Cause and effect are confounded: decadence is not understood as
physiological, and its results are taken to be the causes of the
general indisposition:--this applies to

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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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