Friedrich nietzsche genealogy of morals second essay

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What produces to-day our repulsion towards "man"? It is not fear; it is rather that we have nothing more to fear from men; it is that the worm "man" is in the foreground and pullulates; it is that the "tame man," the wretched mediocre and unedifying creature, has learnt to consider himself a goal and a pinnacle, an inner meaning, an historic principle, a "higher man"; yes, it is that he has a certain right so to consider himself, in so far as he feels that in contrast to that excess of deformity, disease, exhaustion, and effeteness whose odour is beginning to pollute present-day Europe, he at any rate has achieved a relative success, he at any rate still says "yes" to life.

I cannot refrain at this juncture from uttering a sigh and one last hope. What is it precisely which I find intolerable? That which I alone cannot get rid of, which makes me choke and faint? Bad air! That something misbegotten comes near me; that I must inhale the odour of the entrails of a misbegotten soul! In point of fact, one manages to get over everything, born as one is to a burrowing and battling existence; one always returns once again to the light, one always lives again one's golden hour of victory—and then one stands as one was born, unbreakable, tense, ready for something more difficult, for something more distant, like a bow stretched but the tauter by every strain.

A glimpse of a man that justifies the existence of man, a glimpse of an incarnate human happiness that realises and redeems, for the sake of which one may hold fast to the belief in man! For the position is this: in the dwarfing and levelling of the European man lurks our greatest peril, for it is this outlook which fatigues—we see to-day nothing which wishes to be greater, we surmise that the process is always still backwards, still backwards towards something more attenuated, more inoffensive, more cunning, more comfortable, more mediocre, more indifferent, more Chinese, more Christian—man, there is no doubt about it, grows always "better" —the destiny of Europe lies even in this—that in losing the fear of man, we have also lost the hope in man, yea, the will to be man.

The sight of man now fatigues. But let us come back to it; the problem of another origin of the good —of the good, as the resentful man has thought it out—demands its solution. It is not surprising that the lambs should bear a grudge against the great birds of prey, but that is no reason for blaming the great birds of prey [Pg 45] for taking the little lambs.

And when the lambs say among themselves, "These birds of prey are evil, and he who is as far removed from being a bird of prey, who is rather its opposite, a lamb,—is he not good? A quantum of force is just such a quantum of movement, will, action—rather it is nothing else than just those very phenomena of moving, willing, acting, and can only appear otherwise in the misleading errors of language and the fundamental fallacies of reason which have become petrified therein , which understands, and understands wrongly, all working as conditioned by a worker, by a "subject.

But there is no such substratum , there is no "being" behind doing, working, becoming; "the doer" is a mere appanage to the action. The action is everything. In point of fact, the people duplicate the doing, when they make the lightning lighten, that is a "doing-doing": they make the same phenomenon first a cause, and then, secondly, the effect of that cause. The scientists fail to improve matters when they say, "Force moves, force causes," and so on. Our whole science is still, in spite of all its coldness, of all its freedom from passion, a dupe of the tricks of language, and has never succeeded in getting rid of that superstitious changeling "the subject" the atom, to give another instance, is such a changeling, just as the Kantian "Thing-in-itself".

What wonder, if the suppressed and stealthily simmering passions of revenge and hatred exploit for their own advantage this belief, and indeed hold no belief with a more steadfast enthusiasm than this—"that the strong has the option of being weak, and the bird of prey of being a lamb. This kind of man finds the belief in a neutral, free-choosing "subject" necessary from an instinct of self-preservation, of self-assertion, in which every lie is fain to sanctify itself. The subject or, to use popular language, the soul has perhaps proved itself the best dogma in the world simply because it rendered possible to the horde of mortal, weak, and oppressed individuals of every kind, that most sublime specimen of self-deception, the interpretation of weakness as freedom, of being this, or being that, as merit.

Will any one look a little into—right into—the mystery of how ideals are manufactured in this world? Who has the courage to do it? Here we have a vista opened into these grimy [Pg 48] workshops. Wait just a moment, dear Mr.


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  • Inquisitive and Foolhardy; your eye must first grow accustomed to this false changing light—Yes! Now speak! What is happening below down yonder?

    The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Genealogy of Morals, by Friedrich Nietzsche.

    Speak out that what you see, man of the most dangerous curiosity—for now I am the listener. It is a cautious, spiteful, gentle whispering and muttering together in all the corners and crannies. It seems to me that they are lying; a sugary softness adheres to every sound. Weakness is turned to merit , there is no doubt about it—it is just as you say. The inoffensive character of the weak, the very cowardice in which he is rich, his standing at the door, his forced necessity of waiting, gain here fine names, such as 'patience,' which is also called 'virtue'; not being able to avenge one's self, is called not wishing to avenge one's self, perhaps even forgiveness for they know not what they do—we alone know what they do.

    THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS

    They also talk of the 'love of their enemies' and sweat thereby. This they call 'Blessedness. But because God ordains that one should honour all authority —not only are they better men, but that they also have a 'better time,' at any rate, will one day have a 'better time. I can endure it no longer. These workshops where ideals are manufactured —verily they reek with the crassest lies.

    Just one minute! Take care! These cellar-beasts, full of revenge and hate—what do they make, forsooth, out of their revenge and hate? Do you hear these words?

    businesspodden.se/map172.php Would you suspect, if you trusted only their [Pg 50] words, that you are among men of resentment and nothing else? Now do I hear for the first time that which they have said so often: 'We good, we are the righteous '—what they demand they call not revenge but 'the triumph of righteousness '; what they hate is not their enemy, no, they hate 'unrighteousness,' 'godlessness'; what they believe in and hope is not the hope of revenge, the intoxication of sweet revenge —"sweeter than honey," did Homer call it?

    In essay two of Nietzsche’s ‘On the Genealogy of Morality’, ‘Guilt’, ‘bad conscience’ and related

    And how do they name that which serves them as a solace against all the troubles of life—their phantasmagoria of their anticipated future blessedness? Do I hear right? They call it 'the last judgment,' the advent of their kingdom, 'the kingdom of God'—but in the meanwhile they live 'in faith,' 'in love,' 'in hope. In the faith in what? In the love for what? In the hope of what? These weaklings! Yet in order to experience that kingdom it is necessary to live long, to live beyond death,—yes, eternal life is necessary so that one can make up for ever for that earthly life "in faith," "in love," "in hope.

    Make up by what? Dante, as it seems to me, made a crass mistake when with awe-inspiring ingenuity he placed that inscription over the gate of his hell, "Me too made eternal love": at any rate the following inscription would have a much better right to stand over the gate of the Christian Paradise and its "eternal blessedness"—"Me too made eternal hate"—granted of course that a truth may rightly stand over the gate to a lie!

    For what is the blessedness of that Paradise? Possibly we could quickly surmise it; but it is better that it should be explicitly attested by an authority who in such matters is not to be disparaged, Thomas of Aquinas, the great teacher and saint. Faith offers us much more,—says he, de Spectac. Quid admirer! Etiam poetas non ad Rhadamanti nec ad Minois, sed ad inopinati Christi tribunal palpitantes! Hic [Pg 53] est quem a Juda redemistis, hic est ille arundine et colaphis diverberatus, sputamentis de decoratus, felle et acete potatus.

    Let us come to a conclusion. The two opposing values , "good and bad," "good and evil," have fought a dreadful, thousand-year fight in the world, and though indubitably the second value has been for a long time in the preponderance, there are not wanting places where the fortune of the fight is still undecisive. It can almost be said that in the meanwhile the fight reaches a higher and higher level, and that in the meanwhile it has become more and more intense, and always more and more psychological; so that nowadays there is perhaps no more decisive mark of the higher nature , of the more psychological nature, than to be in that sense self-contradictory, and to be actually still a battleground [Pg 54] for those two opposites.

    Rome found in the Jew the incarnation of the unnatural, as though it were its diametrically opposed monstrosity, and in Rome the Jew was held to be convicted of hatred of the whole human race: and rightly so, in so far as it is right to link the well-being and the future of the human race to the unconditional mastery of the aristocratic values, of the Roman values.

    What, conversely, did the Jews feel against Rome? One can surmise it from a thousand symptoms, but it is sufficient to carry one's mind back to the Johannian Apocalypse, that most obscene of all the written outbursts, which has revenge on its conscience. One should also appraise at its full value the profound logic of the Christian instinct, when over this very book of hate it wrote the name of the Disciple of Love, that self-same disciple to whom it attributed that impassioned and ecstatic Gospel—therein lurks a portion of truth, however much literary forging may have been necessary for this purpose.

    The Romans were the strong and aristocratic; a nation stronger and more aristocratic has never existed in the world, has never even been dreamed of; every relic of them, every inscription enraptures, granted that one can divine what it is that writes the inscription.

    Edited by John Richardson and Ken Gemes

    This is very remarkable: Rome is undoubtedly defeated. Like a final signpost to other ways, there appeared Napoleon, the most unique and violent anachronism that ever existed, and in him the incarnate problem of the aristocratic ideal in itself —consider well what a problem it is:—Napoleon, that synthesis of Monster and Superman. Was it therewith over? Was that greatest of all antitheses of ideals thereby relegated ad acta for all time? Or only postponed, postponed for a long [Pg 57] time?