by Friedrich Nietzsche
Translation by H.L. Mencken
PREFACE This book belongs to the most rare of men. Perhaps not one of them is yet alive. It is possible that they may be among those who understand my “Zarathustra”: how could I confound myself with those who are now sprouting ears?— First the day after tomorrow must come for me. Some men areborn posthumously. The conditions under which any one understands me, and necessarily understands me— I know them only too well. Even to endure my seriousness, my passion, he must carry intellectual integrity to the verge of hardness. He must be accustomed to living on mountain tops— and to looking upon the wretched gabble of politics and nationalism as beneath him. He must have becomeindifferent; he must never ask of the truth whether it brings profit to him or a fatality to him... He must have an inclination, born of strength, for questions that no one has the courage for; the courage for the forbidden; predestination for the labyrinth. The experience of seven solitudes. New ears for new music. New eyes for what is most distant. A new conscience for truths that have hitherto remainedunheard. And the will to economize in the grand manner— to hold together his strength, his enthusiasm... Reverence for self; love of self; absolute freedom of self..... Very well, then! of that sort only are my readers, my true readers, my readers foreordained: of what account are the rest?— The rest are merely humanity.— One must make one’s self superior to humanity, in power, in loftiness ofsoul,— in contempt. FRIEDRICH W. NIETZSCHE. 1. — Let us look each other in the face. We are Hyperboreans— we know well enough how remote our place is. “Neither by land nor by water will you find the road to the Hyperboreans”: even Pindar1,in his day, knew that much about us. Beyond the North, beyond the ice, beyond death— our life, our happiness... We have discovered that happiness; we know the way;we got our knowledge of it from thousands of years in the labyrinth. Who else has found it?— The man of today?— ”I don’t know either the way out or the way in; I am whatever doesn’t know either the way out or the way in”— so sighs the man of today...This is the sort of modernity that made us ill,— we sickened on lazy peace, cowardly compromise, the whole virtuous dirtiness of the modern Yea andNay. This tolerance and largeur of the heart that “forgives” everything because it “understands” everything is a sirocco to us. Rather live amid the ice than among modern virtues and other such south-winds!... We were brave enough; we spared neither ourselves nor others; but we were a long time finding out where to direct our courage. We grew dismal; they called us fatalists. Our fate— it was thefulness, the tension, the storing up of powers. We thirsted for the lightnings and great deeds; we kept as far as possible from the happiness of the weakling, from “resignation”... There was thunder in our air; nature, as we embodied it, became overcast— for we had not yet found the way. The formula of our happiness: a Yea, a Nay, a straight line, a goal... 2. What is good?— Whatever augments thefeeling of power, the will to power, power itself, in man. What is evil?— Whatever springs from weakness.
What is happiness?— The feeling that power increases— that resistance is overcome. Not contentment, but more power; not peace at any price, but war; not virtue, but efficiency (virtue in the Renaissance sense, virtu, virtue free of moral acid). The weak and the botched shall perish: firstprinciple of our charity. And one should help them to it. What is more harmful than any vice?— Practical sympathy for the botched and the weak— Christianity... 3. The problem that I set here is not what shall replace mankind in the order of living creatures (— man is an end— ): but what type of man must be bred, must be willed, as being the most valuable, the most worthy of life, the most secure...