Thoughts Out of Season, Part II

By Friedrich Nietzsche

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misunderstood, as though it were merely a question of the opposition
between barbarism and "fine style." The people that can be called
cultured, must be in a real sense a living unity, and not be
miserably cleft asunder into form and substance. If one wish to
promote a people's culture, let him try to promote this higher unity
first, and work for the destruction of the modern educative system
for the sake of a true education. Let him dare to consider how the
health of a people that has been destroyed by history may be
restored, and how it may recover its instincts with its honour.

I am only speaking, directly, about the Germans of the present day,
who have had to suffer more than other people from the feebleness of
personality and the opposition of substance and form. "Form"
generally implies for us some convention, disguise or hypocrisy, and
if not hated, is at any rate not loved. We have an extraordinary fear
of both the word convention and the thing. This fear drove the German
from the French school; for he wished to become more natural, and
therefore more German. But he seems to have come to a false
conclusion with his "therefore." First he ran away from his school of
convention, and went by any road he liked: he has come ultimately to
imitate voluntarily in a slovenly fashion, what he imitated painfully
and often successfully before. So now the lazy fellow lives under
French conventions that are actually incorrect: his manner of walking
shows it, his conversation and dress, his general way of life. In the
belief that he was returning to Nature, he merely followed caprice
and comfort, with the smallest possible amount of self-control. Go
through any German town; you will see conventions that are nothing
but the negative aspect of the national characteristics of foreign
states. Everything is colourless, worn out, shoddy and ill-copied.
Every one acts at his own sweet will--which is not a strong or
serious will--on laws dictated by the universal rush and the general
desire for comfort. A dress that made no head ache in its inventing
and wasted no time in the making, borrowed from foreign models and
imperfectly copied, is regarded as an important contribution to
German fashion. The sense of form is ironically disclaimed by the
people--for they have the "sense of substance": they are famous for
their cult of "inwardness."

But there is also a famous danger in their "inwardness": the internal
substance cannot be seen from the outside, and so may one day take
the opportunity of vanishing, and no one notice

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

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But even so, he did not give up that ideal absolute--he circumvented it.
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Nihilism, a _normal_ condition.
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The attempt to work blindly, like a scientific instrument; to keep an eye on the many small joys, like an investigator, for instance (modesty towards oneself); the mysticism of the voluptuous _joy_ of eternal emptiness; art "for art's sake" ("le fait"), "immaculate investigation," in the form of narcotics against the disgust of oneself; any kind of incessant work, _any_ kind of small foolish fanaticism; the medley of all means, illness as the result of general profligacy (dissipation kills pleasure).
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But whence comes this "There ought not to be?"--whence this "sense" and _this standard_? At bottom the Nihilist supposes that the sight of such a desolate, useless Being is _unsatisfying_ to the philosopher, and fills him with desolation and despair.
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extreme irritability.
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for impotence in relation to mankind and _not_ in relation to Nature is what generates the most desperate bitterness towards existence.
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and body), which was already well under way before the French Revolution, and would have made the same progress forward without the latter,--in short, then, the preponderance of the herd over all herdsmen and bell-wethers,--brings in its train:-- (1) Gloominess of spirit (the juxtaposition of a stoical and a frivolous _appearance_ of happiness, peculiar to noble cultures, is on the decline; much suffering is allowed to be _seen_ and _heard_ which formerly was borne in concealment); (2) Moral hypocrisy (a way of _distinguishing_ oneself through morality, but by means of the values of the herd: pity, solicitude, moderation; and not by means of those virtues which are recognised and honoured outside the herd's sphere of power); (3) A _really_ large amount of sympathy with both pain and joy (a feeling of pleasure resulting from being herded together, which is peculiar to all gregarious animals--"public spirit," "patriotism," everything, in fact, which is apart from the individual).
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But people carefully avoid acknowledging this: they are too kind, too square-headed--too German for that.
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Whether they have been cut from one and the same piece.
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The song in praise of love which Paul wrote is not Christian; it is the Jewish flare of that eternal flame which is Semitic.
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And the _priesthood_ does the same.
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_--Our world is _either_ the work and expression (the _modus_) of God, in which case it must be _in the highest degree perfect_ (Leibnitz's conclusion .
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The superstition concerning _philosophers_: They are confounded with men _of science.
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The apparition of Greek philosophers since the time of Socrates is a symptom of decadence; the anti-Hellenic instincts become paramount.
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It is the same struggle which is taken up later on by the _Church_ in the name of piety: the Church inherited the whole arsenal of antiquity for her war with science.