A selection from Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche, 1886.
[Work in Progress]
Supposing truth is a woman - what then? Are there not grounds for the suspicion that all philosophers, insofar as they were dogmatists, have failed to understand women? That the terrible seriousness, the clumsy obtrusiveness with which they have usually approached truth so far have been awkward and very improper methods for winning a woman's heart?
THE NATURAL HISTORY OF MORALS
THE NATURAL HISTORY OF MORALS
There is something in the morality of Plato which does not really belong to Plato, but which only appears in his philosophy, one might say, in spite of him: namely, Socratism, for which he himself was too noble.
Quidquid luce fuit, tenebris agit [That which happens in the light persists in the dark]: but also contrawise. What we experience in dreams, provided we experience if often, pertains at last just as much to the general belongings of our soul as anything "actually" experienced; by virtue thereof we are richer or poorer, we have a need more or less, and finally, in broad daylight, and even in the brightest moments of our waking life, we are ruled to some extent by the nature of our dreams.
The Jews – a people “born for slavery” as Tacitus [Historiae, V, 8.] and the entire ancient world say of them, “the people chosen of all peoples” as they themselves say and think – the Jews have performed the miracle of the inversion of values, by means of which life on earth took on a new and dangerous charm for several millennia: – their prophets fused together “rich,” “godless,” “evil,” “violent,” “sensual” and for the first time coined an insult out of the word “world.” The significance of the Jewish people lies in this inversion of values (which includes using the word “poor” as a synonym for “saint” and “friend”): the slave revolt in morality begins with the Jews.
The beast of prey and the man of prey (for instance, Caesar Borgia) are fundamentally misunderstood, 'nature' is misunderstood, so long as one seeks a "morbidness" in the constitution of these healthiest of all tropical monsters and growths, or even an innate "hell" in them-- as almost all moralists have done hitherto. Does it not seem that there is a hatred of the virgin forest and of the tropics among moralists? And that the "tropical man" must be discredited at all costs, whether as disease and degeneration of mankind, or as his own hell and self-torture? And why? In favour of the "temperate zones"? In favour of the temperate men? Of "moralists"? The mediocre?-- This for the chapter: "Morals as Timidity."
Whoever examines the conscience of the present-day European, will always elicit the same imperative from its thousand moral folds and hidden recesses, the imperative of the timidity of the herd: "we wish that some time or other there may be nothing more to fear!" ...the will and the way thereto is nowadays called "progress" all over Europe.