We Philologists Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche, Volume 8

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 33

the
consequence if so and so had not happened?" is almost unanimously thrust
aside, and yet it is the cardinal question. Thus everything becomes
ironical. Let us only consider our own lives. If we examine history in
accordance with a preconceived plan, let this plan be sought in the
purposes of a great man, or perhaps in those of a sex, or of a party.
Everything else is a chaos.--Even in natural science we find this
deification of the necessary.

Germany has become the breeding-place of this historical optimism; Hegel
is perhaps to blame for this. Nothing, however, is more responsible for
the fatal influence of German culture. Everything that has been kept
down by success gradually rears itself up: history as the scorn of the
conqueror; a servile sentiment and a kneeling down before the actual
fact--"a sense for the State," they now call it, as if _that_ had still
to be propagated! He who does not understand how brutal and
unintelligent history is will never understand the stimulus to make it
intelligent. Just think how rare it is to find a man with as great an
intelligent knowledge of his own life as Goethe had . what amount of
rationality can we expect to find arising out of these other veiled and
blind existences as they work chaotically with and in opposition to each
other?

And it is especially naive when Hellwald, the author of a history of
culture, warns us away from all "ideals," simply because history has
killed them off one after the other.


156

To bring to light without reserve the stupidity and the want of reason
in human things . that is the aim of _our_ brethren and colleagues.
People will then have to distinguish what is essential in them, what is
incorrigible, and what is still susceptible of further improvement. But
"Providence" must be kept out of the question, for it is a conception
that enables people to take things too easily. I wish to breathe the
breath of _this_ purpose into science. Let us advance our knowledge of
mankind! The good and rational in man is accidental or apparent, or the
contrary of something very irrational. There will come a time when
_training_ will be the only thought.


157

Surrender to necessity is exactly what I do not teach--for one must
first know this necessity to be necessary. There may perhaps be many
necessities; but in general this inclination is simply a bed of
idleness.


158

To know history now means . to recognise how all those who believed in a
Providence took things too easily. There is no such thing. If human
affairs are

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".
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Tho' first I scowled, my face set hard, The sound at length my sense entrapping Forced me to speak like any bard, And keep true time unto the tapping.
Page 198
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