Thoughts Out of Season, Part II

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 49

to combat the excess of historical culture than Hartmann's
parody of the world's history?

If we wished to express in the fewest words what Hartmann really has
to tell us from his mephitic tripod of unconscious irony, it would be
something like this: our time could only remain as it is, if men
should become thoroughly sick of this existence. And I fervently
believe he is right. The frightful petrifaction of the time, the
restless rattle of the ghostly bones, held naïvely up to us by David
Strauss as the most beautiful fact of all--is justified by Hartmann
not only from the past, _ex causis efficientibus_, but also from the
future, _ex causa finali_. The rogue let light stream over our time
from the last day, and saw that it was very good,--for him, that is,
who wishes to feel the indigestibility of life at its full strength,
and for whom the last day cannot come quickly enough. True, Hartmann
calls the old age of life that mankind is approaching the "old age of
man": but that is the blessed state, according to him, where there is
only a successful mediocrity; where art is the "evening's amusement
of the Berlin financier," and "the time has no more need for
geniuses, either because it would be casting pearls before swine, or
because the time has advanced beyond the stage where the geniuses are
found, to one more important," to that stage of social evolution, in
fact, in which every worker "leads a comfortable existence, with
hours of work that leave him sufficient leisure to cultivate his
intellect." Rogue of rogues, you say well what is the aspiration of
present-day mankind: but you know too what a spectre of disgust will
arise at the end of this old age of mankind, as the result of the
intellectual culture of stolid mediocrity. It is very pitiful to see,
but it will be still more pitiful yet. "Antichrist is visibly
extending his arms:" yet it _must be so_, for after all we are on the
right road--of disgust at all existence. "Forward then, boldly, with
the world-process, as workers in the vineyard of the Lord, for it is
the process alone that can lead to redemption!"

The vineyard of the Lord! The process! To redemption! Who does not
see and hear in this how historical culture, that only knows the word
"becoming," parodies itself on purpose and says the most
irresponsible things about itself through its grotesque mask? For
what does the rogue mean by this cry to the workers in the vineyard?
By what "work" are they to strive boldly

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--TR.