We, the ones with a different belief - we, who consider the democratic movement not merely a degenerate form of political organization but a degenerate form of humanity, that is, something that diminishes humanity, makes it mediocre and of lesser worth, where do we have to reach out to with our hopes? There's no choice: we must reach for new philosophers, for spirits strong and original enough to provide the stimuli for an opposing way of estimating value and to re-evaluate and invert "eternal values," for those sent out as forerunners, for men of the future who at the present time take up the compulsion and the knot which forces the will of millennia into new paths. To teach man the future of humanity as his will, as dependent on a man's will, and to prepare for great exploits and comprehensive attempts at discipline and cultivation, so as to put an end to that horrifying domination of nonsense and contingency which up to now has been called "history" - the nonsense of the "greatest number" is only its latest form: - for that a new type of philosophers and commanders will at some point be necessary, at the sight of which all hidden, fearsome, and benevolent spirits on earth may well look pale and dwarfish. The image of such a leader is what hovers before our eyes: - may I say that out loud, you free spirits? The conditions which we must partly create and partly exploit for the origin of these leaders, the presumed ways and trials thanks to which a soul might grow to such height and power to feel the compulsion for these tasks, a revaluation of value under whose new pressure and hammer a conscience would be hardened, a heart transformed to bronze, so that it might endure the weight of such responsibility and, on the other hand, the necessity for such leaders, the terrifying danger that they might not appear or could fail and turn degenerate - those are our real worries, the things that make us gloomy. Do you know that, you free spirits? Those are the heavy, distant thoughts and thunderstorms which pass over the heaven of our life. There are few pains as severe as having once seen, guessed, and felt how an extraordinary man goes astray and degenerates, but someone who has the rare eye for the overall danger that "man" himself is degenerating, someone who, like us, has recognized the monstrous accident which has played its game up to this point with respect to the future of humanity - a game in which there was no hand, not even a "finger of god," playing along! - someone who guesses the fate which lies hidden in the idiotic innocence and the blissful trust in "modern ideas," and even more in the entire Christian-European morality, such a man suffers from an anxiety which cannot be compared with any other - with one look, in fact, he grasps everything that still might be cultivated in man, given a favourable combination and increase of powers and tasks; he knows with all the knowledge of his conscience how the greatest possibilities for man are still inexhaustible and how often the type man has already stood up to mysterious decisions and new paths: - he knows even better, from his own most painful memory, what wretched things have so far usually broken apart a developing being of the highest rank, shattered him, sunk him, and made him pathetic. The overall degeneration of man, down to what nowadays shows up in the socialist fools and flat heads, as their "man of the future" - as their ideal! - this degeneration and diminution of man to a perfect herd animal (or, as they say, to a man of "free society"), this beastialization of man into a dwarf animal of equal rights and claims is possible - no doubt of that! Anyone who has once thought this possibility through to the end understands one more horror than the remaining men - and perhaps a new task, as well! . . . .

Friedrich Nietzsche - Beyond Good and Evil
Part V - Aphorism # 203

« Prev - Random - Next »