Thoughts Out of Season, Part II

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 24

possesses the rarest of virtues, justice, to a higher
degree than any other time. Thirdly, the instincts of a nation are
thwarted, the maturity of the individual arrested no less than that
of the whole. Fourthly, we get the belief in the old age of mankind,
the belief, at all times harmful, that we are late survivals, mere
Epigoni. Lastly, an age reaches a dangerous condition of irony with
regard to itself, and the still more dangerous state of cynicism,
when a cunning egoistic theory of action is matured that maims and at
last destroys the vital strength.

To return to the first point: the modern man suffers from a weakened
personality. The Roman of the Empire ceased to be a Roman through the
contemplation of the world that lay at his feet; he lost himself in
the crowd of foreigners that streamed into Rome, and degenerated amid
the cosmopolitan carnival of arts, worships and moralities. It is the
same with the modern man, who is continually having a world-panorama
unrolled before his eyes by his historical artists. He is turned into
a restless, dilettante spectator, and arrives at a condition when
even great wars and revolutions cannot affect him beyond the moment.
The war is hardly at an end, and it is already converted into
thousands of copies of printed matter, and will be soon served up as
the latest means of tickling the jaded palates of the historical
gourmets. It seems impossible for a strong full chord to be
prolonged, however powerfully the strings are swept: it dies away
again the next moment in the soft and strengthless echo of history.
In ethical language, one never succeeds in staying on a height; your
deeds are sudden crashes, and not a long roll of thunder. One may
bring the greatest and most marvellous thing to perfection; it must
yet go down to Orcus unhonoured and unsung. For art flies away when
you are roofing your deeds with the historical awning. The man who
wishes to understand everything in a moment, when he ought to grasp
the unintelligible as the sublime by a long struggle, can be called
intelligent only in the sense of Schiller's epigram on the "reason of
reasonable men." There is something the child sees that he does not
see; something the child hears that he does not hear; and this
something is the most important thing of all. Because he does not
understand it, his understanding is more childish than the child's
and more simple than simplicity itself; in spite of the many clever
wrinkles on his parchment face, and the masterly play

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

Page 3
Be this as it may, it contains deeply interesting things, inasmuch as it attempts to trace the elements of Nihilism--as the outcome of Christian values--in all the institutions of the present day.
Page 7
Goethe's so-called Olympian State.
Page 25
_ The sensitiveness of the majority of men is both morbid and unnatural.
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The latter, morally, as a sense of greatest truthfulness, but pessimistic.
Page 39
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_ "Showing-oneself-off"--what a contrast to the Scholars of Port-Royal! Alfieri had a sense for the _grand style.
Page 43
The very same periods seem to the one to demonstrate the progress of _humanity_ and, to the other, the increase of injustice and inequality.
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All "souls" became _equal_ before God: but this is the most pernicious of all valuations! If one regards individuals as equals, the demands of the species are.
Page 122
); on the other hand, we find all the instincts with which these classes are best able to prosper, sanctified and alone held in honour by them.
Page 124
But Machiavellianism which is _pur, sans mélange, cru, vert, dans toute sa force, dans toute son âpreté,_ is superhuman, divine, transcendental, and can never be achieved by man--the most he can do is to approximate it.
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Out of respect for one's "honesty," which makes itself heard ever more and more imperiously, one ought to unlearn the shame which makes one deny and "explain away" all natural instincts.
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.
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_ The means wherewith the weak succeed in ruling have become: instincts, "humanity," "institutions.
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Finally, _Kant_ guilelessly sought to make this thinker's corruption scientific by means of his concept, "_practical reason_".
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The latter hitherto has been the "real world," "truth," "God.