Tuesday, November 10, 2009

On The New Idol

From "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" by Friedrich Nietzsche
Translated by Walter Kaufmann

Somewhere there are still peoples and herds, but not where we live, my brothers: here there are states. State? What is that? Well then, open your ears to me, for now I shall speak to you about the death of peoples.
State is the name of the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it tells lies too; and this lie crawls out of its mouth: "I, the state, am the people." That is a lie! It was creators who created peoples and hung faith and a love over them: thus they served life.
It is annihilators who set traps for the many and call them "state": they hang a sword and a hundred appetites over them.
Where there is still a people, it does not understand the state and hates it as the evil eye and the sin against customs and rights.
This sign I give you: every people speaks its tongue of good and evil, which the neighbor does not understand. It has invented its own language of customs and rights. But the state tells lies in all the tongues of good and evil; and whatever it says it lies--and whatever it has it has stolen. Everything about it is false; it bites with stolen teeth, and bites easily. Even its entrails are false. Confusion of tongues of good and evil: this sign I give you as the sign of the state. Verily, this sign signifies the will to death. Verily, it beckons to the preachers of death.
All-too-many are born: for the superfluous the state was invented.
Behold, how it lures them, the all-too-many--and how it devours them, chews them, and ruminates!
"On earth there is nothing greater than I: the ordering finger of God am I"--thus roars the monster. And it is not only the long-eared and shortsighted who sink to their knees. Alas, to you too, you great souls, it whispers its dark lies. Alas, it detects the rich hearts which like to squander themselves. Indeed, it detects you too, you vanquishers of the old god. You have grown weary with fighting, and now your weariness still serves the new idol. With heroes and honorable men it would surround itself, the new idol! It likes to bask in the sunshine of good consciences--the cold monster!
It will give you everything if you will adore it, this new idol: thus it buys the splendor of your virtues and the look of your proud eyes. It would use you as bait for the all-too-many.
Indeed, a hellish artifice was invented there, a horse of death, clattering in the finery of divine honors. Indeed, a dying for many was invented there, which praises itself as life: verily, a great service to all preachers of death!
State I call it where all drink poison, the good and the wicked; state, where all lose themselves, the good and the wicked; state, where the slow suicide of all is called "life".
Behold the superfluous! They steal the works of the inventors and the treasures of the sages for themselves; "education" they call their theft--and everything turns to sickness and misfortune for them.
Behold the superfluous! They are always sick; they vomit their gall and call it a newspaper. They devour each other and cannot even digest themselves.
Behold the superfluous! They gather riches and become poorer with them. They want power and first the lever of power, much money--the impotent paupers!
Watch them clamber, these swift monkeys! They clamber over one another and thus drag one another into the mud and the depth. They all want to get to the throne. Often mud sits on the throne--and often also the throne on mud. Mad they all appear to me, clambering monkeys and overardent. Foul smells their idol, the cold monster: foul they smell to me altogether, these idolators.
My brothers, do you want to suffocate in the fumes of their snouts and appetites? Rather break the windows and leap to freedom.
Escape from the bad smell! Escape from the idolatry of the superfluous!
Escape from the bad smell! Escape from the steam of these human sacrifices!
The earth is free even now for great souls. There are still many empty seats for the lonesome and the twosome, fanned by the fragrance of silent seas.
A free life is still free for great souls. Verily, whoever possesses little is possessed that much less: praised be a little poverty!
Only where the state ends, there begins the human being who is not superfluous: there begins the song of necessity, the unique and inimitable tune.
Where the state ends--look there, my brothers! Do you not see it, the rainbow and the bridges of the √úbermensch?
Thus spoke Zarathustra.

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