Thoughts Out of Season, Part II

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 115

man who will reproach him,
as Niebuhr did Plato, with being a bad citizen, may do so, and be
himself a good one; so he and Plato will be right together! Another
may call this great freedom presumption; he is also right, as he
could not himself use the freedom properly if he desired it, and
would certainly presume too far with it. This freedom is really a
grave burden of guilt; and can only be expiated by great actions.
Every ordinary son of earth has the right of looking askance on such
endowments; and may Providence keep him from being so endowed--
burdened, that is, with such terrible duties! His freedom and his
loneliness would be his ruin, and ennui would turn him into a fool,
and a mischievous fool at that.

A father may possibly learn something from this that he may use for
his son's private education, though one must not expect fathers to
have only philosophers for their sons. It is possible that they will
always oppose their sons becoming philosophers, and call it mere
perversity; Socrates was sacrificed to the fathers' anger, for
"corrupting the youth," and Plato even thought a new ideal state
necessary to prevent the philosophers' growth from being dependent on
the fathers' folly. It looks at present as though Plato had really
accomplished something; for the modern state counts the encouragement
of philosophy as one of its duties and tries to secure for a number
of men at a time the sort of freedom that conditions the philosopher.
But, historically, Plato has been very unlucky; as soon as a
structure has risen corresponding actually to his proposals, it has
always turned, on a closer view, into a goblin-child, a monstrous
changeling; compare the ecclesiastical state of the Middle Ages with
the government of the "God-born king" of which Plato dreamed! The
modern state is furthest removed from the idea of the Philosopher-king
(Thank Heaven for that! the Christian will say); but we must
think whether it takes that very "encouragement of philosophy" in a
Platonic sense, I mean as seriously and honestly as if its highest
object were to produce more Platos. If the philosopher seem, as
usual, an accident of his time, does the state make it its conscious
business to turn the accidental into the necessary and help Nature
here also?

Experience teaches us a better way--or a worse: it says that nothing
so stands in the way of the birth and growth of Nature's philosopher
as the bad philosophers made "by order." A poor obstacle, isn't it?
and the same that Schopenhauer pointed out in his famous

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Text Comparison with The Case of Wagner Complete Works, Volume 8

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_ 36.
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45 I deplore a system of education which does not enable people to understand Wagner, and as the result of which Schopenhauer sounds harsh and discordant in our ears: such a system of education has missed its aim.
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It is my educators to whom you should apply.
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93 The consistency which is prized in a savant is pedantry if applied to the Greeks.
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