Thoughts Out of Season, Part II

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 83

believe in all
seriousness that the world was put right two years ago,[1] and that
all stern and gloomy views of life are now contradicted by "facts."
The foundation of the New German Empire is, to them, the decisive
blow that annihilates all the "pessimistic" philosophisers,--no doubt
of it. To judge the philosopher's significance in our time, as an
educator, we must oppose a widespread view like this, especially
common in our universities. We must say, it is a shameful thing that
such abominable flattery of the Time-Fetish should be uttered by a
herd of so-called reflective and honourable men; it is a proof that
we no longer see how far the seriousness of philosophy is removed
from that of a newspaper. Such men have lost the last remnant of
feeling, not only for philosophy, but also for religion, and have put
in its place a spirit not so much of optimism as of journalism, the
evil spirit that broods over the day--and the daily paper. Every
philosophy that believes the problem of existence to be shelved, or
even solved, by a political event, is a sham philosophy. There have
been innumerable states founded since the beginning of the world;
that is an old story. How should a political innovation manage once
and for all to make a contented race of the dwellers on this earth?
If any one believe in his heart that this is possible, he should
report himself to our authorities: he really deserves to be Professor
of Philosophy in a German university, like Harms in Berlin, Jurgen
Meyer in Bonn, and Carrière in Munich.

[1] This was written in 1873.--TR.

We are feeling the consequences of the doctrine, preached lately from
all the housetops, that the state is the highest end of man and there
is no higher duty than to serve it: I regard this not a relapse into
paganism, but into stupidity. A man who thinks state-service to be
his highest duty, very possibly knows no higher one; yet there are
both men and duties in a region beyond,--and one of these duties,
that seems to me at least of higher value than state-service, is to
destroy stupidity in all its forms--and this particular stupidity
among them. And I have to do with a class of men whose teleological
conceptions extend further than the well-being of a state, I mean
with philosophers--and only with them in their relation to the world
of culture, which is again almost independent of the "good of the
state." Of the many links that make up the twisted chain of humanity,
some are

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