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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 5

an honest and
sincere reformer ought no longer to find us prejudiced--to the extent
of deafness--against him, more particularly when he comes forward with
a gospel--"The Will to Power"--which is, above all, a test of our power
to will.

ANTHONY M. LUDOVICI.


[Footnote 1: _Naturwissenschaft im Allgemeinen_ (Weimar Edition, i.
II, p. 132).]




PREFACE.


1.

Concerning great things one should either be silent or one should speak
loftily:--loftily--that is to say, cynically and innocently.


2.

What I am now going to relate is the history of the next two centuries.
I shall describe what will happen, what must necessarily happen:
_the triumph of Nihilism._ This history can be written already; for
necessity itself is at work in bringing it about. This future is
already proclaimed by a hundred different omens; as a destiny it
announces its advent everywhere, for this music of to-morrow all ears
are already pricked. The whole of our culture in Europe has long
been writhing in an agony of suspense which increases from decade
to decade as if in expectation of a catastrophe: restless, violent,
helter-skelter, like a torrent that will _reach its bourne,_ and
refuses to reflect--yea, that even dreads reflection.


3.

On the other hand, the present writer has done little else, hitherto,
than _reflect and meditate,_ like an instinctive philosopher and
anchorite, who found his advantage in isolation--in remaining outside,
in patience, procrastination, and lagging behind; like a weighing and
testing spirit who has already lost his way in every labyrinth of
the future; like a prophetic bird-spirit that _looks backwards_ when
it would announce what is to come; like the first perfect European
Nihilist, who, however, has already outlived Nihilism in his own
soul--who has out-grown, overcome, and dismissed it.


4.

For the reader must not misunderstand the meaning of the title which
has been given to this Evangel of the Future. "_The Will to Power:
An Attempted Transvaluation of all Values_"--with this formula a
_counter-movement_ finds expression, in regard to both a principle and
a mission; a movement which in some remote future will supersede this
perfect Nihilism; but which nevertheless regards it as a _necessary
step,_ both logically and psychologically, towards its own advent,
and which positively cannot come, except _on top of_ and _out of_ it.
For, why is the triumph of Nihilism _inevitable_ now? Because the
very values current amongst us

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