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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 4

at _a new
order of rank._

It will seem to some that morality is dealt with somewhat cavalierly
throughout the two books; but, in this respect, it should not be
forgotten that Nietzsche not only made a firm stand in favour of
exceptional men, but that he also believed that any morality is nothing
more than a mere system of valuations which are determined by the
conditions in which a given species lives. Hence his words on page 107:
"Beyond Good and Evil,--certainly; but we insist upon the unconditional
and strict preservation of herd-morality"; and on page 323: "Suppose
the _strong_ were masters in all respects, even in valuing: let us try
and think what their attitude would be towards illness, suffering,
and sacrifice! _Self-contempt on the part of the weak_ would be the
result: they would do their utmost to disappear and to extirpate their
kind. And would this be _desirable_?--should we really like a world
in which the subtlety, the consideration, the intellectuality, the
_plasticity_--in fact, the whole influence of the weak--was lacking?"

It is obvious from this passage that Nietzsche only objected to the
influence of herd-morality outside the herd--that is to say, among
exceptional and higher men who may be wrecked by it. Whereas most other
philosophers before him had been the "Altruist" of the lower strata of
humanity, Nietzsche may aptly be called the Altruist of the exceptions,
of the particular lucky cases among men. For such "varieties," he
thought, the morality of Christianity had done all it could do, and
though he in no way wished to underrate the value it had sometimes
been to them in the past, he saw that at present, in any case, it
might prove a great danger. With Goethe, therefore, he believed that
"Hypotheses are only the pieces of scaffolding which are erected round
a building during the course of its construction, and which are taken
away as soon as the edifice is completed. To the workman, they are
indispensable; but he must be careful not to confound the scaffolding
with the building."[1]

It is deeply to be deplored that Nietzsche was never able to complete
his life-work. The fragments of it collected in volumes i. and ii. of
_The Will to Power_ are sufficiently remarkable to convey some idea of
what the whole work would have been if only its author had been able to
arrange and complete it according to his original design.

It is to be hoped that we are too sensible nowadays to allow our
sensibilities to be shocked by serious and well-meditated criticism,
even of the most cherished among our institutions, and

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