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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 31

and body), which was already well under way
before the French Revolution, and would have made the same progress
forward without the latter,--in short, then, the preponderance of the
herd over all herdsmen and bell-wethers,--brings in its train:--

(1) Gloominess of spirit (the juxtaposition of a stoical and a
frivolous _appearance_ of happiness, peculiar to noble cultures, is on
the decline; much suffering is allowed to be _seen_ and _heard_ which
formerly was borne in concealment);

(2) Moral hypocrisy (a way of _distinguishing_ oneself through
morality, but by means of the values of the herd: pity, solicitude,
moderation; and not by means of those virtues which are recognised and
honoured outside the herd's sphere of power);

(3) A _really_ large amount of sympathy with both pain and joy (a
feeling of pleasure resulting from being herded together, which is
peculiar to all gregarious animals--"public spirit," "patriotism,"
everything, in fact, which is apart from the individual).


61.

Our age, with its indiscriminate endeavours to mitigate distress, to
honour it, and to wage war in advance with unpleasant possibilities, is
an age of the _poor._ Our "_rich people_"--_they_ are the poorest! The
real _purpose_ of all wealth has been forgotten.


62.

_Criticism of modern man_:--"the good man," but corrupted and misled by
bad institutions (tyrants and priests);--reason elevated to a position
of authority;--history is regarded as the surmounting of errors;--the
future is regarded as progress;--the Christian state ("God of the
armies");--Christian sexual intercourse (as marriage);--the realm of
"justice" (the cult of "mankind");--"freedom."

The _romantic_ attitudes of the modern man;--the noble man
(Byron, Victor Hugo, George Sand);--taking the part of the
oppressed and the bungled and the botched: motto for historians and
romancers;--the Stoics of duty;--disinterestedness regarded as art
and as knowledge;--altruism as the most mendacious form of egoism
(utilitarianism), the most sentimental form of egoism.

All this savours of the eighteenth century. But it had other
qualities which were not inherited, namely, a certain _insouciance,_
cheerfulness, elegance, spiritual clearness. The spiritual tempo has
altered; the pleasure which was begotten by spiritual refinement and
clearness has given room to the pleasure of colour, harmony, mass,
reality, etc. etc. Sensuality in spiritual things. In short, it is the
eighteenth century of Rousseau.


63.

Taken all in all, a considerable amount of _humanity_ has been attained
by our men of to-day. That we feel this is in itself a proof of the
fact that we have become so sensitive in regard to small cases of
distress, that we somewhat unjustly overlook what has been achieved.

Here we must make allowances for the fact that a great deal of
decadence is rife, and that, through such eyes, our world _must appear_
bad and wretched.

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