As Thus Spoke Zarathustra later observed, reality looked very different: ‘Far too many are born: the state was invented for the superfluous!’ or rather, the social state (Za, I, On the New Idol ). The reforms brought in by Bismarck not only promoted levelling and massification but could not even achieve the goals pursued by them, the integration of the labour movement into the existing order. So, in the face of absurd pretensions, one was to reaffirm a fundamental principle: ‘There is no right either to existence or to work, or even to “happiness”; for the individual person is no different from the meanest worm’.
‘Great men like Caesar and Napoleon are living species! All other governing is imitation [nachgemacht]’.
‘When I look for the highest formula for Shakespeare, the only thing I can find is the fact that he conceived the type of Caesar’.
What a relief it is for these European herd animals, what a deliverance from an increasingly intolerable pressure, when, in spite of everything, someone appears who can issue unconditional commands; the impact of Napoleon’s appearance is the last major piece of evidence for this: the history of Napoleon’s impact is practically the history of the higher happiness attained by this whole century in its most worthwhile people and moments.
One becomes a respectable [anständig] human being because one is a respectable human being, i.e., because one is born a capitalist of good instincts and prosperous conditions [Capitalist gutter Instinkte und gedeihlicher Verhältnisse] … If one comes poor into the world, of parents that have squandered everything and saved nothing, then one is ‘incorrigible’, ripe for the penitentiary or the madhouse.
‘I was always taught to trace the origin of my blood and name to Polish nobles called Niëtzky’. ‘And this is where I come to the question of race. I am a pure-blooded Polish nobleman. […] But I am a huge atavism, even as a Pole’.
‘It usually stinks in places where the people eat and drink, even where they worship. You should not go to church if you want to breathe clean air`
‘The nobleman must in all cases keep his distance from the rabble [a plebis commercio]’.
‘One must be very superficial, so that one never returns home full of remorse after having been with the common people’.
[W]e are delighted by all who love, as we do, danger, war, and adventure; who refuse to compromise, to be captured, to reconcile, to be castrated; we consider ourselves conquerors; we contemplate the necessity for new orders as well as for a new slavery – for every strengthening and enhancement of the human type also involves a new kind of enslavement – doesn’t it?
Basically, I had put into practice one of Stendahl’s maxims: he suggests entering society with a duel. And how I chose my opponent! The leading free spirit in Germany! … In fact, the essay introduced an entirely new type of free-spiritedness: to this day, nothing is more foreign and unrelated to me than this whole European and American species of ‘libres penseurs’. Just with dyed-in-the-wool idiots and clowns of ‘modern ideas’, I find myself even more in conflict with representatives of this Anglo-American species than with any of their opponents. […] I am the first immoralist.
What are the profound transformations that must derive from the theories according to which it is affirmed that there is no God that cares for us and there is no eternal moral law (atheistically-immoral humanity)? That we are animals? That our life is transitory? That we have no responsibility? The wise man and the animal will approach one another and produce a new type!
The strongest and most evil spirits have so far done the most to advance humanity.
How long have I been trying to demonstrate the perfect innocence of becoming! And what strange ways I have taken in so doing! […] And to what end is all this? Was it not to procure for myself the feeling of absolute irresponsibility [völlige Unverantwortlichkeit]?
What would have become of the human being without fear envy greed! It would no longer exist’.
You are young and wish for a child and marriage for yourself. But I ask you: are you a person who has a right to wish for a child? […] [T]hat which the far-too-many call marriage, these superfluous ones – oh, what do I call that? Oh, this poverty of the soul by two! Oh, this filth of the soul by two! […] Which child would not have reason to weep about its parents?
‘Oh my brothers, am I perhaps cruel? But I say: if something is falling, one should also give it a push! […] And whomever you cannot teach to fly, him you should teach – to fall faster!’
‘One ought to do away with [abschaffen] beggars: for you feel annoyed giving to them and annoyed when you don’t’.
The biblical prohibition ‘Thou shalt not kill’ is naïve in comparison to my prohibition on the décadents, ‘Thou shalt not reproduce!’ – it is something even worse … In regard to the dross and refuse of life there is only one duty, to destroy; to be compassionate here, to want to preserve at all cost, would be the highest form of immorality, actual counter-nature, deadly enmity to life itself.
There has never been a human being with greater right to destroy than I’.
This is my endeavour, to have claimed for the first time a counter-reckoning! – to have asked: what unspeakable misery, what deterioration human beings have undergone, because altruism has been raised to an ideal, because selfishness was called evil and experienced as evil.
And whatever harm [Schaden] the evil may do, the harm of the good is the most harmful harm [der Schaden der Guten ist schändlichste Schaden]’.
[T]hese days, people everywhere are lost in rapturous enthusiasms, even in scientific disguise, about a future state of society where ‘the exploitative character’ will fall away: – to my ears, that sounds as if someone is promising to invent a life that dispenses with all organic functions. ‘Exploitation’ does not belong to a corrupted or imperfect, primitive society: it belongs to the essence of being alive as a fundamental organic function; it is a result of genuine will to power, which is just the will of life.
‘In general the tendency of socialism, like that of nationalism, is a reaction against becoming individual. One has difficulties with the ego, the immature, crazy ego: they want to put it back under the bell’.
‘[T]alking about spirit and the Good like Plato did meant standing truth on its head and disowning even perspectivism, which is the fundamental condition of all life’.
‘Good’ is no longer good when it comes from your neighbor’s mouth. And how could there ever be a ‘common good’! The term is self-contradictory: whatever can be common will never have much value. In the end, it has to be as it is and has always been: great things are left for the great, abysses for the profound, delicacy and trembling for the subtle, and, all in all, everything rare for those that are rare themselves.
Rebellion – that is the nobility of slaves. Let your nobility be obedience! Your commanding itself shall be obeying! To a good warrior “thou shalt” sounds nicer than “I will.” And everything you hold dear you should first have commanded to you.
‘Selection in the species, its purification of dross’, was ‘the virtue par excellence’; ‘one must [man soll] amputate sick limbs: society’s prime morality’, ‘society is a body of which no part may be sick [an dem kein Glied krank sein darf ]’.
Nietzsche, the Aristocratic Rebel