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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Previous Section   235. GENIUS AND THE IDEAL STATE IN CONFLICT   Next Section

GENIUS AND THE IDEAL STATE IN CONFLICT.  The Socialists demand a comfortable life for the greatest possible number.  If the lasting house of this life of comfort, the perfect State, had really been attained, then this life of comfort would have destroyed the ground out of which grow the great intellect and the mighty individual generally, I mean powerful energy.  Were this State reached, mankind would have grown too weary to be still capable of producing genius.  Must we not hence wish that life should retain its forcible character, and that wild forces and energies should continue to be called forth afresh?  But warm and sympathetic heart’s desire precisely the removal of that wild and forcible character, and the warmest hearts we can imagine desire it the most passionately of all, whilst all the time its passion derived its fire, its warmth, its very existence precisely from that wild and forcible character; the warmest heart, therefore, desires the removal of its own foundation, the destruction of itself, that is, it desires something illogical, it is not intelligent.  The highest intelligence and the warmest heart cannot exist together in one person, and the wise man who passes judgment upon life looks beyond goodness and only regards it as something which is not without value in the general summing up of life.  The wise man must oppose those digressive wishes of unintelligent goodness, because he has an interest in the continuance of his type and in the eventual appearance of the highest intellect; at least, he will not advance the founding of the "perfect State” inasmuch as there is only room in it for wearied individuals.  Christ, on the contrary, he whom we may consider to have had the warmest heart, advanced the process of making man stupid, placed himself on the side of the intellectually poor, and retarded the production of the greatest intellect, and this was consistent.  His opposite, the man of perfect wisdom, this may be safely prophesied will just as necessarily hinder the production of a Christ.  The State is a wise arrangement for the protection of one individual against another; if its ennobling is exaggerated the individual will at last be weakened by it, even effaced, thus the original purpose of the State will be most completely frustrated.  

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