The human soul and its frontiers, the compass of human inner experience in general attained hitherto, the heights, depths and distances of this experience, the entire history of the soul hitherto and its still unexhausted possibilities: this is the predestined hunting‑ground for a born psychologist and lover of the `big‑game hunt'. But how often must he say despairingly to himself: `one man! alas, but one man! and this great forest and jungle!' And thus he wishes he had a few hundred beaters and subtle well‑instructed tracker dogs whom he could send into the history of the human soul and there round up his game. In vain: he discovers again and again, thoroughly and bitterly, how hard it is to find beaters and dogs for all the things which arouse his curiosity. The drawback in sending scholars out into new and dangerous hunting‑grounds where courage, prudence, subtlety in every sense are needed is that they cease to be of any use precisely where the `big hunt', but also the big danger, begins ‑ precisely there do they lose their keenness of eye and keenness of nose. To divine and establish, for example, what sort of history the problem of knowledge and conscience has had in the soul of homines religiosi one would oneself perhaps have to be as profound, as wounded, as monstrous as Pascal's intellectual conscience was ‑ and then there would still be needed that broad heaven of bright, malicious spirituality capable of looking down on this turmoil of dangerous and painful experiences, surveying and ordering them and forcing them into formulas. ‑ But who could do me this service! And who could have the time to wait for such servants! ‑ they appear too rarely, they are at all times so very improbable! In the end one has to do everything oneself if one is to know a few things oneself that is to say, one has much to do! ‑ But a curiosity like mine is after all the most pleasurable of vices ‑ I beg your pardon! I meant to say: the love of truth has its reward in Heaven, and already upon earth.-
The faith such as primitive Christianity demanded and not infrequently obtained in the midst of a skeptical and southerly free‑spirited world with a centuries‑long struggle between philosophical schools behind it and in it, plus the education in tolerance provided by the Imperium Romanum ‑ this faith is not that gruff, true‑hearted liegeman's faith with which a Luther, say, or a Cromwell, or some other northern barbarian of the spirit cleaved to his God and his Christianity; it is rather that faith of Pascal which resembles in a terrible fashion a protracted suicide of reason ‑ of a tough, long‑lived, wormlike reason which is not to be killed instantaneously with a single blow. The Christian faith is from the beginning sacrifice: sacrifice of all freedom, all pride, all self‑confidence of the spirit, at the same time enslavement and self‑mockery, self-mutilation. There is cruelty and religious Phoenicianism in this faith exacted of an over‑ripe, manifold and much‑indulged conscience: its presupposition is that the subjection of the spirit is indescribably painful, that the entire past and habitude of such a spirit resists the absurdissimum which `faith' appears to it to be. Modern men, with their obtuseness to all Christian nomenclature, no longer sense the gruesome superlative which lay for an antique taste in the paradoxical formula `god on the cross'. Never and nowhere has there hitherto been a comparable boldness in inversion, anything so fearsome, questioning and questionable, as this formula: it promised a revaluation of all antique values. ‑ It is the orient, the innermost orient, it is the oriental slave who in this fashion took vengeance on Rome and its noble and frivolous tolerance, on Roman `catholicism' of faith ‑ and it has never been faith but always freedom from faith, that half‑stoical and smiling unconcern with the seriousness of faith, that has enraged slaves in their masters and against their masters. `Enlightenment' enrages: for the slave wants the unconditional, he understands in the domain of morality too only the tyrannical, he loves as he hates, without nuance, into the depths of him, to the point of pain, to the point of sickness ‑ the great hidden suffering he feels is enraged at the noble taste which seems to deny suffering. Skepticism towards suffering, at bottom no more than a pose of aristocratic morality, was likewise not the least contributory cause of the last great slave revolt which began with the French Revolution.
Wherever the religious neurosis has hitherto appeared on earth we find it tied to three dangerous dietary prescriptions: solitude, fasting and sexual abstinence ‑ but without our being able to decide with certainty which is cause here and which effect, or whether any relation of cause and effect is involved here at all. The justification of the latter doubt is that one of the most frequent symptoms of the condition, in the case of savage and tame peoples, is the most sudden and most extravagant voluptuousness which is then, just as suddenly, reversed into a convulsion of penitence and a denial of world and will: both perhaps interpretable as masked epilepsy? But nowhere is it more necessary to renounce interpretations: around no other type has there grown up such an abundance of nonsense and superstition, none seems to have hitherto interested men, even philosophers, more ‑ the time has come to cool down a little on this matter, to learn caution: better, to look away, to go away. ‑ Still in the background of the most recent philosophy, the Schopenhaueran, there stands, almost as the problem in itself, this gruesome question‑mark of the religious crisis and awakening. How is denial of the will possible? How is the saint possible? ‑ this really seems to have been the question over which Schopenhauer became a philosopher and set to work. And thus it showed a genuinely Schopenhaueran outcome that his most convinced adherent (perhaps also his last adherent, so far as Germany is concerned ‑), namely Richard Wagner, brought his own life's work to an end at precisely this point and at last introduced that dreadful and eternal type onto the stage as Kundry, type vécu, just as it is; and at the very time when the psychiatrists of almost all the nations of Europe had an opportunity of studying it at close quarters wherever the religious neurosis or, as I call it, `the religious nature' ‑ staged its latest epidemic parade and outbreak as the `Salvation Army'. – But if one asks what it has really been in this whole phenomenon of the saint that has interested men of all types and ages, even philosophers, so immoderately, then the answer is, beyond doubt, the appearance of the miraculous adhering to it, namely the direct succession of opposites, of morally antithetical states of soul: here it seemed a palpable fact that a `bad man' all at once became a `saint', a good man. Psychology has hitherto come to grief at this point: has it not been principally because it has acknowledged the dominion of morality, because it itself believed in antithetical moral values and saw, read, interpreted these antitheses into the text and the facts? What? The `miracle' only an error of interpretation? A lack of philology?
It seems that their Catholicism is much more an intrinsic part of the Latin races than the whole of Christianity in general is of us northerners; and that unbelief consequently signifies something altogether different in Catholic countries from what it does in Protestant ‑ namely a kind of revolt against the spirit of the race, while with us it is rather a return to the spirit (or lack of spirit ‑) of the race. We northerners are undoubtedly descended from barbarian races also in respect of our talent for religion: we have little talent for it. We may except the Celts, who therefore supplied the best soil for the reception of the Christian infection in the north ‑ the Christian ideal came to blossom, so far as the pale northern sun permitted it, in France. How uncongenially pious are to our taste even these latest French sceptics when they have in them any Celtic blood! How Catholic, how un-German does Auguste Comte's sociology smell to us with its Roman logic of the instincts! How Jesuitical that clever and charming cicerone of Port‑Royal, Sainte‑Beuve, despite all his hostility towards the Jesuits! And even more so Ernest Renan: how inaccessible to us northerners is the language of a Renan, in whom every other minute some nothingness of religious tension topples a soul which is in a refined sense voluptuous and relaxed! Repeat these beautiful words of his ‑ and what malice and high spirits are at once aroused in reply in our probably less beautiful and sterner, that is to say German, souls: ‑ `Disons donc hardiment que la religion est un produit de l'homme normal, que l'homme est le plus dans le vrai quand il est le plus religieux et le plus assuré d'une destinée infinie . . . C'est quand il est bon qu'il veut que la vertu corresponde a une ordre éternelle, c'est quand il contemple les choses d’une manière désinteressée qu'il trouve la mort révoltante et absurde. Comment ne pas supposer que c'est dans ces moments-ci, que l'homme voit le mieux?. . .' These words are so totally antipodal to my ears and habits that when I discovered them my immediate anger wrote beside them `la niaiserie religieuse par excellence!' ‑ until my subsequent anger actually began to like them, these words with their upside‑down‑truth! It is so pleasant, so distinguishing, to possess one's own antipodes!
What astonishes one about the religiosity of the ancient Greeks is the tremendous amount of gratitude that emanates from it ‑ the kind of man who stands thus before nature and before life is a very noble one! ‑ Later, when the rabble came to predominate in Greece, fear also overran religion; and Christianity was preparing itself.
The passion for God: there is the peasant, true‑hearted and importunate kind, like Luther's ‑ the whole of Protestantism lacks southern delicatezza. There is an oriental ecstatic kind, like that of a slave who has been undeservedly pardoned and elevated, as for example in the case of Augustine, who lacks in an offensive manner all nobility of bearing and desire. There is the womanly tender and longing kind which presses bashfully and ignorantly for a unio mystica et physica: as in the case of Madame de Guyon. In many cases it appears strangely enough as a disguise for the puberty of a girl or a youth; now and then even as the hysteria of an old maid, also as her final ambition ‑ the church has more than once canonized the woman in question.
Hitherto the mightiest men have still bowed down reverently before the saint as the enigma of self‑constraint and voluntary final renunciation: why did they bow? They sensed in him as it were behind the question‑mark presented by his fragile and miserable appearance ‑ the superior force that sought to prove itself through such a constraint, the strength of will in which they recognized and knew how to honour their own strength and joy in ruling: they honoured something in themselves when they honoured the saint. In addition to this, the sight of the saint aroused a suspicion in them: such an enormity of denial, of anti‑nature, will not have been desired for nothing, they said to themselves. Is there perhaps a reason for it, a very great danger about which the ascetic, thanks to his secret visitors and informants, might possess closer knowledge? Enough, the mighty of the world learned in face of him a new fear, they sensed a new power, a strange enemy as yet unsubdued ‑ it was the `will to power' which constrained them to halt before the saint. They had to question him ‑.
In the Jewish `Old Testament', the book of divine justice, there are men, things and speeches of so grand a style that Greek and Indian literature have nothing to set beside it. One stands in reverence and trembling before these remnants of what man once was and has sorrowful thoughts about old Asia and its little jutting‑out promontory Europe, which would like to signify as against Asia the `progress of man'. To be sure: he who is only a measly tame domestic animal and knows only the needs of a domestic animal (like our cultured people of today, the Christians of `cultured' Christianity included ‑) has no reason to wonder, let alone to sorrow, among those ruins ‑ the taste for the Old Testament is a touchstone in regard to `great' and `small' ‑ : perhaps he will find the New Testament, the book of mercy, more after his own heart (there is in it a great deal of the genuine delicate, musty odour of devotee and petty soul). To have glued this New Testament, a species of rococo taste in every respect, on to the Old Testament to form a single book, as `bible', as `the book of books': that is perhaps the greatest piece of temerity and `sin against the spirit' that literary Europe has on its conscience.
Why atheism today? ‑ `The father' in God is thoroughly refuted; likewise `the judge', `the rewarder'. Likewise his `free will': he does not hear ‑ and if he heard he would still not know how to help. The worst thing is: he seems incapable of making himself clearly understood: is he himself vague about what he means? ‑ These are what, in the course of many conversations, asking and listening, I found to be the causes of the decline of European theism; it seems to me that the religious instinct is indeed in vigorous growth ‑ but that it rejects the theistic answer with profound mistrust.
What, at bottom, is the whole of modern philosophy doing? Since Descartes ‑ and indeed rather in spite of him than on the basis of his precedent ‑ all philosophers have been making an attentat on the ancient soul concept under the cloak of a critique of the subject‑and‑predicate concept ‑ that is to say, an attentat on the fundamental presupposition of Christian doctrine. Modern philosophy, as an epistemological scepticism, is, covertly or openly, anti‑Christian: although, to speak to more refined ears, by no means anti‑religious. For in the past one believed in `the soul' as one believed in grammar and the grammatical subject: one said `I' is the condition, `think' is the predicate and conditioned ‑ thinking is an activity to which a subject must be thought of as cause. Then one tried with admirable artfulness and tenacity to fathom whether one could not get out of this net ‑ whether the reverse was not perhaps true: `think' the condition, `I' conditioned; 'I' thus being only a synthesis produced by thinking. Kant wanted fundamentally to prove that, starting from the subject, the subject could not be proved ‑ nor could the object: the possibility of an apparent existence of the subject, that is to say of `the soul', may not always have been remote from him, that idea which, as the philosophy of the Vedanta, has exerted immense influence on earth before.
There is a great ladder of religious cruelty with many rungs; but three of them are the most important. At one time one sacrificed human beings to one's god, perhaps precisely those human beings one loved best the sacrifice of the first-born present in all prehistoric religions belongs here, as does the sacrifice of the Emperor Tiberius in the Mithras grotto on the isle of Capri, that most horrible of all Roman anachronisms. Then, in the moral epoch of mankind, one sacrificed to one's god the strongest instincts one possessed, one's `nature'; the joy of thin festival glitters in the cruel glance of the ascetic, the inspired `anti?naturist'. Finally: what was left to be sacrificed? Did one not finally have to sacrifice everything comforting, holy, healing, all hope, all faith in a concealed harmony, in a future bliss and justice? Did one not have to sacrifice God himself and out of cruelty against oneself worship stone, stupidity, gravity, fate, nothingness? To sacrifice God for nothingnessthis paradoxical mystery of the ultimate act of cruelty was reserved for the generation which is even now arising: we all know something of it already.
He who, prompted by some enigmatic desire, has, like me, long endeavoured to think pessimism through to the bottom and to redeem it from the half‑Christian, half‑German simplicity and narrowness with which it finally presented itself to this century, namely in the form of the Schopenhaueran philosophy; he who has really gazed with an Asiatic and more than Asiatic eye down into the most world‑denying of all possible modes of thought ‑ beyond good and evil and no longer, like Buddha and Schopenhauer, under the spell and illusion of morality ‑ perhaps by that very act, and without really intending to, may have had his eyes opened to the opposite ideal: to the ideal of the most exuberant, most living and most world‑affirming man, who has not only learned to get on and treat with all that was and is but who wants to have it again as it was and is to all eternity, insatiably calling out da capo not only to himself but to the whole piece and play, and not only to a play but fundamentally to him who needs precisely this play ‑ and who makes it necessary: because he needs himself again and again ‑ and makes himself necessary ‑ What? And would this not be ‑ circulus vitiosus deus?
With the strength of his spiritual sight and insight the distance, and as it were the space, around man continually expands: his world grows deeper, ever new stars, ever new images and enigmas come into view. Perhaps everything on which the spirit's eye has exercised its profundity and acuteness has been really but an opportunity for its exercise, a game, something for children and the childish. Perhaps the most solemn concepts which have occasioned the most strife and suffering, the concepts `God' and `sin', will one day seem to us of no more importance than a child's toy and a child's troubles seem to an old man ‑ and perhaps `old man' will then have need of another toy and other troubles ‑ still enough of a child, an eternal child!
Has it been observed to what extent a genuine religious life (both for its favourite labour of microscopic self‑examination and that gentle composure which calls itself `prayer' and which is a constant readiness for the `coming of God'‑) requires external leisure or semi‑leisure, I mean leisure with a good conscience, inherited, by blood, which is not altogether unfamiliar with the aristocratic idea that work degrades ‑ that is to say, makes soul and body common? And that consequently modern, noisy, time‑consuming, proud and stupidly proud industriousness educates and prepares precisely for `unbelief' more than anything else does? Among those in Germany for example who nowadays live without religion, I find people whose `free‑thinking' is of differing kinds and origins but above all a majority of those in whom industriousness from generation to generation has extinguished the religious instincts: so that they no longer have any idea what religions are supposed to be for and as it were merely register their existence in the world with a kind of dumb amazement. They feel they are already fully occupied, these worthy people, whether with their businesses or with their pleasures, not to speak of the `fatherland' and the newspapers and `family duties': it seems that they have no time at all left for religion, especially as it is not clear to them whether it involves another business or another pleasure ‑ for they tell themselves it is not possible that one goes to church simply to make oneself miserable. They are not opposed to religious usages; if participation in such usages is demanded in certain cases, by the state for instance, they do what is demanded of them as one does so many things ‑ with patient and modest seriousness and without much curiosity and discomfort ‑ it is only that they live too much aside and outside even to feel the need for any for or against in such things. The great majority of German middle‑class Protestants can today be numbered among these indifferent people, especially in the great industrious centres of trade and commerce; likewise the great majority of industrious scholars and the entire university equipage (excepting the theologians, whose possibility and presence there provides the psychologist with ever more and ever subtler enigmas to solve). Pious or even merely church‑going people seldom realize how much good will, one might even say willfulness, it requires nowadays for a German scholar to take the problem of religion seriously; his whole trade (and, as said above, the tradesmanlike industriousness to which his modern conscience obliges him) disposes him to a superior, almost good‑natured merriment in regard to religion, sometimes mixed with a mild contempt directed at the `uncleanliness' of spirit which he presupposes wherever one still belongs to the church. It is only with the aid of history (thus not from his personal experience) that the scholar succeeds in summoning up a reverent seriousness and a certain shy respect towards religion; but if he intensifies his feelings towards it even to the point of feeling grateful to it, he has still in his own person not got so much as a single step closer to that which still exists as church or piety: perhaps the reverse. The practical indifference to religious things in which he was born and raised is as a rule sublimated in him into a caution and cleanliness which avoids contact with religious people and things; and it can be precisely the depth of his tolerance and humanity that bids him evade the subtle distress which tolerance itself brings with it. ‑ Every age has its own divine kind of naivety for the invention of which other ages may envy it ‑ and how much naivety, venerable, childlike and boundlessly stupid naivety there is in the scholar's belief in his superiority, in the good conscience of his tolerance, in the simple unsuspecting certainty with which his instinct treats the religious man as an inferior and lower type which he himself has grown beyond and above ‑ he, the little presumptuous dwarf and man of the mob, the brisk and busy head‑ and handyman of `ideas', of `modern ideas'!
He who has seen deeply into the world knows what wisdom there is in the fact that men are superficial It is their instinct for preservation which teaches them to be fickle, light and false. Here and there, among philosophers as well as artists, one finds a passionate and exaggerated worship of `pure forms': let no one doubt that he who needs the cult of surfaces to that extent has at some time or other made a calamitous attempt to get beneath them. Perhaps there might even exist an order of rank in regard to these burnt children, these born artists who can find pleasure in life only in the intention of falsifying its image (as it were in a long‑drawn‑out revenge on life ‑): one could determine the degree to which life has been spoiled for them by the extent to which they want to see its image falsified, attenuated and made otherworldly and divine ‑ one could include the homines religiosi among the artists as their highest rank. It is the profound suspicious fear of an incurable pessimism which compels whole millennia to cling with their teeth to ‑a religious interpretation of existence: the fear born of that instinct which senses that one might get hold of the truth too soon, before mankind was sufficiently strong, sufficiently hard, sufficient of an artist . . . Piety, the `life in God', would, viewed in this light, appear as the subtlest and ultimate product of the fear of truth, as the artist's worship of an intoxication before the most consistent of all falsifications, as the will to inversion of truth, to untruth at any price. Perhaps there has up till now been no finer way of making man himself more beautiful than piety: through piety man can become to so great a degree of art, surface, play of colours, goodness, that one no longer suffers at the sight of him.
To love men for the sake of God ‑that has been the noblest and most remote feeling attained to among men up till now. That love of man without some sanctifying ulterior objective is one piece of stupidity and animality more, that the inclination to this love of man has first to receive its measure, its refinement, its grain of salt and drop of amber from a higher inclination whatever man it was who first felt and `experienced' this, however much his tongue may have faltered as it sought to express such a delicate thought, let him be holy and venerated to us for all time as the man who has soared the highest and gone the most beautifully astray!
The philosopher as we understand him, we free spirits ‑ as the man of the most comprehensive responsibility who has the conscience for the collective evolution of mankind: this philosopher will make use of the religions for his work of education and breeding, just as he will make use of existing political and economic conditions. The influence on selection and breeding, that is to say the destructive as well as the creative and formative influence which can be exercised with the aid of the religions, is manifold and various depending on the kind of men placed under their spell and protection. For the strong and independent prepared and predestined for command, in whom the art and reason of a ruling race is incarnated, religion is one more means of overcoming resistance so as to be able to rule: as a bond that unites together ruler and ruled and betrays and hands over to the former the consciences of the latter, all that is hidden and most intimate in them which would like to exclude itself from obedience; and if some natures of such noble descent incline through lofty spirituality to a more withdrawn and meditative life and reserve to themselves only the most refined kind of rule (over select disciples or brothers), then religion can even be used as a means of obtaining peace from the noise and effort of cruder modes of government, and cleanliness from the necessary dirt of all politics. Thus did the Brahmins, for example, arrange things: with the aid of a religious organization they gave themselves the power of nominating their kings for the people, while keeping and feeling themselves aside and outside as men of higher and more than kingly tasks. In the meantime, religion also gives a section of the ruled guidance and opportunity for preparing itself for future rule and command; that is to say, those slowly rising orders and classes in which through fortunate marriage customs the strength and joy of the will, the will to self‑mastery is always increasing ‑ religion presents them with sufficient instigations and temptations to take the road to higher spirituality, to test the feelings of great self‑overcoming, of silence and solitude ‑ asceticism and puritanism are virtually indispensable means of education and ennobling if a race wants to become master over its origins in the rabble, and work its way up towards future rule. To ordinary men, finally, the great majority, who exist for service and general utility and who may exist only for that purpose, religion gives an invaluable contentment with their nature and station, manifold peace of heart, an ennobling of obedience, one piece of joy and sorrow more to share with their fellows, and some transfiguration of the whole everydayness, the whole lowliness, the whole half‑bestial poverty of their souls. Religion and the religious significance of life sheds sunshine over these perpetual drudges and makes their own sight tolerable to them, it has the effect which an Epicurean philosophy usually has on sufferers of a higher rank, refreshing, refining, as it were making the most use of suffering, ultimately even sanctifying and justifying. Perhaps nothing in Christianity and Buddhism is so venerable as their art of teaching even the lowliest to set themselves through piety in an apparently higher order of things and thus to preserve their contentment with the real order, within which they live hard enough lives ‑ and necessarily have to!
In the end, to be sure, to present the debit side of the account to these religions and to bring into the light of day their uncanny perilousness ‑ it costs dear and terribly when religions hold sway, not as means of education and breeding in the hands of the philosopher, but in their own right and as sovereign, when they themselves want to be final ends and not means beside other means. Among men, as among every other species, there is a surplus of failures, of the sick, the degenerate, the fragile, of those who are bound to suffer; the successful cases are, among men too, always the exception, and. considering that man is the animal whose nature has not yet been fixed, the rare exception. But worse still: the higher the type of man a man represents, the greater the improbability he will turn out well: chance, the law of absurdity in the total economy of mankind, shows itself in its most dreadful shape in its destructive effect on higher men, whose conditions of life are subtle, manifold and difficult to compute. Now what is the attitude of the above‑named two chief religions towards this surplus of unsuccessful cases? They seek to preserve, to retain in life, whatever can in any way be preserved, indeed they side with it as a matter of principle as religions for sufferers, they maintain that all those who suffer from life as from an illness are in the right, and would like every other feeling of life to be counted false and become impossible. However highly one may rate this kindly preservative solicitude, inasmuch as, together with all the other types of man, it has been and is applied to the highest type, which has hitherto almost always been the type that has suffered most: in the total accounting the hitherto sovereign religions are among the main reasons the type `man' has been kept on a lower level they have preserved too much of that which ought to perish. We have inestimable benefits to thank them for; and who is sufficiently rich in gratitude not to be impoverished in face of all that the `spiritual men' of Christianity, for example, have hitherto done for Europe! And yet, when they gave comfort to the suffering, courage to the oppressed and despairing, a staff and stay to the irresolute, and lured those who were inwardly shattered and had become savage away from society into monasteries and houses of correction for the soul: what did they have to do in addition so as thus, with a good conscience, as a matter of principle, to work at the preservation of everything sick and suffering, which means in fact and truth at the corruption of the European race? Stand all evaluations on their head ‑ that is what they had to do! And smash the strong, contaminate great hopes, cast suspicion on joy in beauty, break down everything autocratic, manly, conquering, tyrannical, all the instincts proper to the highest and most successful of the type `man', into uncertainty, remorse of conscience, self‑destruction, indeed reverse the whole love of the earthly and of dominion over the earth into hatred of the earth and the earthly ‑ that is the task the church set itself and had to set itself, until in its evaluation 'unworldliness', `unsensuality', and `higher man' were finally fused together into one feeling. Supposing one were able to view the strangely painful and at the same time coarse and subtle comedy of European Christianity with the mocking and unconcerned eye of an Epicurean god, I believe there would be no end to one's laughter and amazement: for does it not seem that one will has dominated Europe for eighteen centuries, the will to make of man a sublime abortion? But he who, with an opposite desire, no longer Epicurean but with some divine hammer in his hand, approached this almost deliberate degeneration and stunting of man such as constitutes the European Christian (Pascal for instance), would he not have to cry out in rage, in pity, in horror: `O you fools, you presumptuous, pitying fools, what have you done! Was this a work for your hands! How you have bungled and botched my beautiful stone! What a thing for you to take upon yourselves!' ‑ What I am saying is: Christianity has been the most fatal kind of self‑presumption ever. Men not high or hard enough for the artistic refashioning of mankind; men not strong or farsighted enough for the sublime self‑constraint needed to allow the foreground law of thousandfold failure and perishing to prevail; men not noble enough to see the abysmal disparity in order of rank and abysm of rank between men and man ‑ it is such men who, with their `equal before God', have hitherto ruled over the destiny of Europe, until at last a shrunken, almost ludicrous species, a herd animal, something full of good will, sickly and mediocre has been bred, the European of today . . .