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catallaxy in technical exile

Nietzsche on moralists

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No doubt, readers of different political persuasions will read different things into this passage from para. 359, book 5, of The Gay Science:

There is a human being who has turned out badly who does not have enough spirit to be able to enjoy it but just enough education to realize this; he is bored, disgusted, and despises himself; having inherited some money, he is deprived even of the last comfort, “the blessings of work,” self-forgetfulness in “daily labor”; such a person who is fundamentally ashamed of his existence—perhaps he also harbors a few little vices—and on the other hand cannot keep himself from becoming more and more spoiled and irritable by reading books to which he is not entitled or by associating with more spiritual company than he can digest: such a human being who has become poisoned through and through—for spirit becomes poison, education becomes poison, possessions become poison, solitude becomes poison for those who have turned out badly in this way—eventually ends up in a state of habitual revenge, will to revenge … what do you suppose he finds necessary, absolutely necessary, to give himself in his own eyes the appearance of superiority over more spiritual people and to attain the pleasure of an accomplished revenge at least in his imagination?

Always morality, you can bet on that, always big moral words, always the rub-a-dub of justice, wisdom, holiness, virtue, always the stoicism of gesture (—how well stoicism conceals what one lacks!..), always the cloak of prudent silence, of affability, of mildness, and whatever may be the names of all the other idealistic cloaks in which incurable self-despisers, as well as the incurably vain, strut about


Written by Admin

June 4, 2006 at 11:46 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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