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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 83

had done everything that
could be done to prepare the way for moral-fanaticism, even among
Greeks and Romans, and to render it palatable.... Plato, the great
importer of corruption, who was the first who refused to see Nature
in morality, and who had already deprived the Greek gods of all their
worth by his notion "_good_" was already tainted with _Jewish bigotry_
(in Egypt?).


203.

These small virtues of gregarious animals do not by any means lead
to "eternal life": to put them on the stage in such a way, and to
use them for one's own purpose is perhaps very smart; but to him who
keeps his eyes open, even here, it remains, in spite of all, the most
ludicrous performance. A man by no means deserves privileges, either on
earth or in heaven, because he happens to have attained to perfection
in the art of behaving like a good-natured little sheep; at best, he
only remains a dear, absurd little ram with horns--provided, of course,
he does not burst with vanity or excite indignation by assuming the
airs of a supreme judge.

What a terrible glow of false colouring here floods the meanest
virtues--as though they were the reflection of divine qualities!

The _natural_ purpose and utility of every virtue is systematically
_hushed up_; it can only be valuable in the light of a _divine_ command
or model, or in the light of the good which belongs to a beyond or a
spiritual world. (This is magnificent!--As if it were a question of the
_salvation of the soul_: but it was a means of making things bearable
here with as many beautiful sentiments as possible.)


204.

The _law,_ which is the fundamentally realistic formula of certain
self-preservative measures of a community, forbids certain actions
that have a definite tendency to jeopardise the welfare of that
community: it does _not_ forbid the attitude of mind which gives rise
to these actions--for in the pursuit of other ends the community
requires these forbidden actions, namely, when it is a matter of
opposing its _enemies._ The moral idealist now steps forward and says:
"God sees into men's hearts: the action itself counts for nothing;
the reprehensible attitude of mind from which it proceeds must be
extirpated ..." In normal conditions men laugh at such things; it is
only in exceptional cases, when a community lives _quite_ beyond the
need of waging war in order to maintain itself, that an ear is lent to
such things. Any attitude of mind is abandoned, the utility of which
cannot be conceived.

This was the case, for example, when Buddha appeared among a people
that was both

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Text Comparison with On the Future of our Educational Institutions; Homer and Classical Philology Complete Works, Volume Three

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These lectures, however, are not only highly interesting in themselves; but indispensable for those who wish to trace the gradual development of Nietzsche's thought.
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He who feels in complete harmony with the present state of affairs and who acquiesces in it _as something_ "_selbstverständliches_,"[1] excites our envy neither in regard to his faith nor in regard to that egregious word "_selbstverständlich_," so frequently heard in fashionable circles.
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" [2] _The Poems of Goethe.
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I independently conceived the very same plan at the same hour and on the same spot, and we were so struck by this unwonted coincidence that we determined to carry the plan out forthwith.
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Whilst we stood thus in silence for some time, divided into two hostile groups, the clouds above waxed ever redder and the evening seemed to grow more peaceful and mild; we could almost fancy we heard the regular breathing of nature as she put the final touches to her work of art--the glorious day we had just enjoyed; when, suddenly, the calm evening air was rent by a confused and boisterous cry of joy which seemed to come from the Rhine.
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It is in this department that the greatest number of deepest deceptions occur, and whence misunderstandings are inadvertently spread.
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_ [5] German: _Materielle Bildung.
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On the other hand, it would seem in the meantime as if the spirit of antiquity, in its fundamental principles, had already been driven away from the portals of the public schools, and as if here also the gates were thrown open as widely as possible to the be-flattered and pampered type of our present self-styled "German culture.
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the highest posts in the scholastic profession, as I myself have done, then I know how we often laughed at the exact contrary, and grew serious over something quite different----" "Now, my friend," interrupted the philosopher, laughingly, "you speak as one who would fain dive into the water without being able to swim, and who fears something even more than the mere drowning; _not_ being drowned, but laughed at.
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The public schools may still be seats of learning: not, however of _the_ learning which, as it were, is only the natural and involuntary auxiliary of a culture that is directed towards the noblest ends; but rather of that culture which might be compared to the hypertrophical swelling of an unhealthy body.
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e.
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This hour was so well-timed for us, and our minds were so well prepared, that we sat there like empty vessels, and now it seems as if we were filled to overflowing with this new wisdom: for I no longer know how to help myself, and if some one asked me what I.
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"Now, take these two parties, so different from each other in every respect, and tell me what meaning an educational establishment would have for them.
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They would employ it to prevent themselves from being separated from one another and overwhelmed by the first huge crowd, to prevent their few select spirits from losing sight of their splendid and noble task through premature weariness, or from being turned aside from the true path, corrupted, or subverted.
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Of this discipline and submission, however, the present institutions called by courtesy 'educational establishments' know nothing whatever, although I have no doubt that the public school was originally intended to be an institution for sowing the seeds of true culture, or at least as a preparation for it.
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These philological aims were pursued sometimes with greater ardour and sometimes with less, in accordance with the degree of culture and the development of the taste of a particular period; but, on the other hand, the followers of this science are in the habit of regarding the aims which correspond to their several abilities as _the_ aims of philology; whence it comes about that the estimation of philology in public opinion depends upon the weight of the personalities of the philologists! At the present time--that is to say, in a period which has seen men distinguished in almost every department of philology--a general uncertainty of judgment has increased more and more, and likewise a general relaxation of interest and participation in philological problems.
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of which the standpoint of those grammarians seemed to be the last link, the last, indeed, which was attainable by antiquity.
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Could it be possible that that same Nature who so sparingly distributed her rarest and most precious production--genius--should suddenly take the notion of lavishing her gifts in one sole direction? And here the thorny question again made its appearance: Could we not get along with one genius only, and explain the present existence of that unattainable excellence? And now eyes were keenly on the lookout for whatever that excellence and singularity might consist of.
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For the best way for these mechanicians to grasp individual characteristics is by perceiving deviations from the genius of the people; the aberrations and hidden allusions: and the fewer discrepancies to be found in a poem the fainter will be the traces of the individual poet who composed it.
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was infinitely inferior to the songs that sprang up naturally in the poet's mind and were written down with instinctive power: we can even take a step further.