Out of its practice there
finally _arises_ a certain self-annihilation, an antagonistic attitude
towards itself--a sort of anti-scientificality. Since Copernicus man
has been rolling away from the centre towards _x_.
6. The Nihilistic consequences of the political and politico-economical
way of thinking, where all principles at length become tainted with the
atmosphere of the platform: the breath of mediocrity, insignificance,
dishonesty, etc. Nationalism. Anarchy, etc. Punishment. Everywhere
the _deliverer_ is missing, either as a class or as a single man--the
7. Nihilistic consequences of history and of the "practical historian,"
_i.e.,_ the romanticist. The attitude of art is quite unoriginal in
modern life. Its gloominess. Goethe's so-called Olympian State.
8. Art and the preparation of Nihilism. Romanticism (the conclusion of
Wagner's _Ring of the Nibelung_).
1. NIHILISM AS AN OUTCOME OF THE VALUATIONS AND INTERPRETATIONS OF
EXISTENCE WHICH HAVE PREVAILED HERETOFORE.
What does Nihilism mean?--_That the highest values are losing their
value._ There is no bourne. There is no answer to the question: "to
Thorough Nihilism is the conviction that life is absurd, in the
light of the highest values already discovered; it also includes the
_view_ that we have not the smallest right to assume the existence of
transcendental objects or things in themselves, which would be either
divine or morality incarnate.
This view is a result of fully developed "truthfulness": therefore a
consequence of the belief in morality.
What _advantages_ did the Christian hypothesis of morality offer?
(1) It bestowed an intrinsic value upon men, which contrasted with
their apparent insignificance and subordination to chance in the
eternal flux of becoming and perishing.
(2) It served the purpose of God's advocates, inasmuch as it granted
the world a certain _perfection_ despite its sorrow and evil--it also
granted the world that proverbial "freedom": evil seemed full of
(3) It assumed that man could have a _knowledge_ of absolute values,
and thus granted him _adequate perception_ for the most important
(4) It prevented man from despising himself as man, from turning
against life, and from being driven to despair by knowledge: it was a
In short: Morality was the great _antidote_ against practical and
But among the forces reared by morality, there was _truthfulness_:
this in the end turns against morality, exposes the _teleology_ of the
latter, its interestedness, and now the _recognition_ of this lie so
long incorporated, from which we despaired of ever freeing ourselves,
acts just like a stimulus. We perceive certain needs in ourselves,
implanted during the long dynasty of the moral interpretation of life,
which now seem to us to be needs of untruth: on the other hand, those
very needs represent the highest values owing
Fortunately I soon learned to separate theological from moral prejudices, and I gave up looking for a _supernatural_ origin of evil.Page 12
Bonus accordingly as the man of discord, of variance, "entzweiung" (_duo_), as the warrior: one sees what in ancient Rome "the good" meant for a man.Page 28
And this man who has grown to freedom, who is really _competent_ to promise, this lord of the _free_ will, this sovereign--how is it possible for him not to know how great is his superiority over everything incapable of binding itself by promises, or of being its own security, how great is the trust, the awe, the reverence that he awakes--he "deserves" all three--not to know that with this mastery over himself he is necessarily also given the mastery over circumstances, over nature, over all creatures with shorter wills, less reliable characters? The "free" man, the owner of a long unbreakable will, finds in this possession his _standard of value_: looking out from himself upon the others, he honours or he despises, and just as necessarily as he honours his peers, the strong and the reliable (those who can bind themselves by promises),--that is, every one who promises like a sovereign, with difficulty, rarely and slowly, who is sparing with his trusts but confers _honour_ by the very fact of trusting, who gives his word as something that can be relied on, because he knows himself strong enough to keep it even in the teeth of disasters, even in the "teeth of fate,"--so with equal necessity will he have the heel of his foot ready for the lean and empty jackasses, who promise when they have no business to do so, and his rod of chastisement ready for the liar, who already breaks his word at the very minute when it is on his lips.Page 46
Speaking generally, there is no doubt but that even the justest individual only requires a little dose of hostility, malice, or innuendo to drive the blood into his brain and the fairness _from_ it.Page 48
Perhaps there is no more pregnant principle for any kind of history than the following, which, difficult though it is to master, _should_ none the less be _mastered_ in every detail.Page 52
And the man himself, on whom the punishment subsequently fell like a piece of fate, was occasioned no more of an "inner pain" than would be occasioned by the sudden approach of some uncalculated event, some terrible natural catastrophe, a rushing, crushing avalanche against which there is no resistance.Page 69
For that is obviously the reason why Richard Wagner _all at once_ went over to Schopenhauer (persuaded thereto, as one knows, by a poet, Herwegh), went over so completely that there ensued the cleavage of a complete theoretic contradiction between his earlier and his later Ã¦sthetic faiths--the earlier, for example, being expressed in _Opera and Drama_, the later in the writings which he published from 1870 onwards.Page 76
His "maternal" instinct, his secret love for that which grows in him, guides him into states where he is relieved from the necessity of taking care of _himself_, in the same way in which the "_mother_" instinct in woman has thoroughly maintained up to the present woman's dependent position.Page 90
Getting rid of this blasting-stuff in such a way that it does not blow up the herd and the herdsman, that is his real feat, his supreme utility; if you wish to comprise in the shortest formula the value of the priestly life, it would be correct to say the priest is the _diverter of the course of resentment_.Page 91
You can see now what the remedial instinct of life has at least _tried_ to effect, according to my conception, through the ascetic priest, and the purpose for which he had to employ a temporary tyranny of such paradoxical and anomalous ideas as "guilt," "sin," "sinfulness," "corruption," "damnation.Page 92
The fact, therefore, that any one feels "guilty," "sinful," is certainly not yet any proof that he is right in feeling so, any more than any one is healthy simply because he feels healthy.Page 94
servility, for German pusillanimity).Page 98
Every oligarchy is continually quivering with the tension of the effort required by each individual to keep mastering this desire.Page 104
The ascetic priest has, wherever he has obtained the mastery, corrupted the health of the soul, he has consequently also corrupted _taste in artibus et litteris_--he corrupts it still.Page 111
(Science handled as a problem! what is the meaning of science?--upon this point the Preface to the _Birth of Tragedy_.Page 115
But this will, this _remnant_.Page 119
on the other hand, saw and felt the problem of the law-giver of new values: the problem of the conqueror made perfect, who first had to subdue the "hero within himself," the man exalted to his highest pedestal, master even of his pity, who mercilessly shatters and annihilates everything that does not bear his own stamp, shining in Olympian divinity.Page 121
Chopin possesses distinction, like Van Dyck.Page 122
Peace and laisser aller are not types of politics for which I have any respect.