absolute spiritual debauchery, we hate pathetic and hieratic
manners, we delight in that which is most strictly prohibited, we
should scarcely recognise any interest in knowledge if we were bored in
Our attitude to _morality_ is also more natural. Principles have become
a laughing-stock; no one dares to speak of his "duty," unless in irony.
But a helpful, benevolent disposition is highly valued. (Morality is
located in _instinct_ and the rest is despised. Besides this there are
few points of honour.)
Our attitude to _politics_ is more natural: we see problems of power,
of the quantum of power, against another quantum. We do not believe in
a right that does not proceed from a power which is able to uphold it.
We regard all rights as conquests.
Our valuation of _great men and things_ is more natural: we regard
passion as a privilege; we can conceive of nothing great which does not
involve a great crime; all greatness is associated in our minds with a
certain standing-beyond-the-pale in morality.
Our attitude to _Nature_ is more natural: we no longer love her for her
"innocence," her "reason," her "beauty," we have made her beautifully
devilish and "foolish." But instead of despising her on that account,
since then we have felt more closely related to her and more familiar
in her presence. She does _not_ aspire to virtue: we therefore respect
Our attitude towards _Art_ is more natural: we do not exact beautiful,
empty lies, etc., from her; brutal positivism reigns supreme, and it
ascertains things with perfect calm.
In short: there are signs showing that the European of the nineteenth
century is less ashamed of his instincts; he has gone a long way
towards acknowledging his unconditional naturalness and immorality,
_without bitterness_: on the contrary, he is strong enough to endure
this point of view alone.
To some ears this will sound as though _corruption_ had made strides:
and certain it is that man has not drawn nearer to the "Nature"
which Rousseau speaks about, but has gone one step farther in the
civilisation before which Rousseau _stood in horror._ We have grown
_stronger,_ we have drawn nearer to the seventeenth century, more
particularly to the taste which reigned towards its close (Dancourt, Le
_Culture_ versus _Civilisation._--The culminating stages of culture
and civilisation lie apart: one must not be led astray as regards the
fundamental antagonism existing between culture and civilisation.
From the moral standpoint, great periods in the history of culture
have always been periods of corruption; while on the other hand,
those periods in which man was deliberately and compulsorily _tamed_
("civilisation") have always been periods of intolerance
The common factor to all these appearances is that something will be _attained,_ through the process itself: and now we perceive that Becoming has been aiming at _nothing,_ and has achieved nothing.Page 12
Every purely _moral_ valuation (as, for instance, the Buddhistic) _terminates in Nihilism_: Europe must expect the same thing! It is supposed that one can get along with a morality bereft of a religious background; but in this direction the road to Nihilism is opened.Page 19
The more energetically and daringly it advances, the richer will it be in failures and in deformities, and the nearer it will be to its fall.Page 24
Either one thing _or_ the other is true--that is to say, tending to elevate the type man.Page 33
Pure "artists" (indifference as to the "subject").Page 40
Then the _disreputable_ century of Germany dawned.Page 43
An hypothesis is proved by the sublime _ardour_ it lends to its discoverer.Page 82
I regard Christianity as the most fatal and seductive lie that has ever yet existed--as the greatest and most _impious lie_: I can discern the last sprouts and branches of its ideal beneath every form of disguise, I decline to enter into any compromise or false position in reference to it--I urge people to declare open war with it.Page 89
Fourth step: they _alone_ want all power, and they _have_ it.Page 94
He feels bad: _consequently_ he cannot overcome a care, a scruple, or an attitude of self-criticism.Page 99
Our age, in a certain sense, is _mature_ (that is to say, decadent), just as Buddha's was.Page 103
Utilitarianism (socialism and democracy) criticises the origin of moral valuations, though it believes in them just as much as the Christian does.Page 111
_--The consequence of this predominance: the corruption of psychology, etc.Page 142
And even here, Life is still in the right--Life that knows not how to separate Yea from Nay: what is the good of declaring with all one's might that war is an evil, that one must harm no one, that one must not act negatively? One is still waging a war even in this, it is impossible to do otherwise! The good man who has renounced all evil, and who is afflicted according to his desire with the hemiplegia of virtue, does not therefore cease from waging war, or from making enemies, or from saying "nay" and doing "nay.Page 155