258

Corruption as the expression of the fact that within the instincts anarchy is threatening and that the foundation of the affects, what we call "life," has been shaken: according to the living structure in which it appears, corruption is something fundamentally different. When, for example, an aristocracy, like France's at the start of the Revolution, throws away its privileges with a sublime disgust and sacrifices itself to a dissipation of its moral feelings, this is corruption: - essentially it was only the final act in that centuries-long corruption, thanks to which step-by-step it gave up its ruling authority and reduced itself to a function of the monarchy (finally even to the monarch's finery and display pieces). The essential thing in a good and healthy aristocracy, however, is that it feels itself not as a function (whether of a monarchy or of a community) but as its significance and highest justification - that it therefore with good conscience accepts the sacrifice of an enormous number of people, who for its sake must be oppressed and reduced to incomplete men, slaves, and instruments of work. Its fundamental belief must, in fact, be that the society should exist, not for the sake of the society, but only as a base and framework on which an exceptional kind of nature can raise itself to its higher function and, in general, to a higher form of being, comparable to those heliotropic climbing plants on Java - people call them Sipo Matador - whose branches clutch an oak tree so much and for so long until finally, high over the tree but supported by it, they can unfold their crowns in the open light and make a display of their happiness.-

Friedrich Nietzsche - Beyond Good and Evil
Part IX - Aphorism # 258

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