194

The difference between men does not manifest itself only in the difference between the tables of the goods they possess but also in the fact that they consider different goods worth striving for and that they are at odds among themselves about what is more or less valuable, about the rank ordering of the commonly acknowledged goods - the difference becomes even clearer in what counts for them as really having and possessing something. So far as a woman is concerned, for example, a more modest man considers having at his disposal her body and sexual gratification as a satisfactory and sufficient sign of having, of possession. Another man, with his more suspicious and more discriminating thirst for possessions sees the "question mark," the fact that such a possession is only apparent, and wants a more refined test, above all, to know whether the woman not only gives herself to him but also for his sake gives up what she has or would like to have. Only then does he consider her "possessed." A third man, however, is at this point not yet finished with his suspicion and desire to possess. He asks himself if the woman, when she gives up everything for him, is not doing this for something like a phantom of himself: he wants to be well known first, fundamentally, even profoundly, in order to be able, in general, to be loved. He dares to allow himself to be revealed. - Only then does he feel that the loved one is fully in his possession, when she is no longer deceived about him, when she loves him just as much for his devilry and hidden insatiability as for his kindness, patience, and spirituality. One man wants to possess a people: and all the higher arts of Cagliostro and Cataline he thinks appropriate for this purpose.4 Another, with a more refined thirst for possession, tells himself "One is not entitled to deceive where one wants to possess."- He is irritable and impatient at the idea that a mask of him rules the hearts of his people: "Hence I must let myself be known and, first of all, learn about myself!" Among helpful and charitable men one finds almost regularly that crude hypocrisy which first prepares the person who is to be helped, as if, for example, he "earns" help, wants precisely their help, and would show himself deeply thankful, devoted, and obsequious to them for all their help - with these fantasies they dispose of the needy as if they were property, as if they were, in general, charitable and helpful people out of a demand for property. One finds them jealous if one crosses them or anticipates them in their helping. With their child, parents involuntarily act something like these helpers - they call it "an upbringing" - no mother doubts at the bottom of her heart that with a child she has given birth to a possession; no father denies himself the right to be allowed to subjugate the child to his ideas and value judgments. In fact, in earlier times it seemed proper for fathers to dispose of the life and death of newborns at their own discretion (as among the ancient Germans). And like the father, even today the teacher, the state, the priest, and the prince still see in each new man a harmless opportunity for a new possession. And from that follows . . . .

4. . . . Cagliostro and Cataline: Cagliostro (1743-1795), a notorious Italian fraud; Cataline: Lucius Sergius Catilina (108-62 BC), a contemporary of Julius Caesar, famous as a devious political conspirator.

Friedrich Nietzsche - Beyond Good and Evil
Part V - Aphorism # 194

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