Friedrich Nietzsche, Human All Too Human (Menschliches, Allzumenschliches), subtitled A Book for Free Spirits (Ein Buch für freie Geister).

First published in 1878.   A second part, Assorted Opinions and Maxims (Vermischte Meinungen und Sprüche), was published in 1879, and a third part, The Wanderer and his Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten), followed in 1880.

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THE STRONG, GOOD CHARACTER.  The restriction of views, which habit has made instinct, leads to what is called strength of character.  When any one acts from few but always from the same motives, his actions acquire great energy; if these actions accord with the principles of the fettered spirits they are recognised, and they produce, moreover, in those who perform them the sensation of a good conscience.  Few motives, energetic action, and a good conscience compose what is called strength of character.  The man of strong character lacks a knowledge of the many possibilities and directions of action; his intellect is fettered and restricted, because in a given case it shows him, perhaps, only two possibilities; between these two he must now of necessity choose, in accordance with his whole nature, and he does this easily and quickly because he has not to choose between fifty possibilities.  The educating surroundings aim at fettering every individual, by always placing before him the smallest number of possibilities.  The individual is always treated by his educators as if he were, indeed, something new, but should become a duplicate.  If he makes his first appearance as something unknown, unprecedented, he must be turned into something known and precedented.  In a child, the familiar manifestation of restriction is called a good character; in placing itself on the side of the fettered spirits the child first discloses it’s awakening common feeling; with this foundation of common sentiment, he will eventually become useful to his State or rank.  

Friedrich Nietzsche, "Ecce Homo" Ebook

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