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 CIRCULATION OF HUMANITY.  It is possible that all humanity is only a phase of development of a certain species of animal of limited duration.  Man may have grown out of the ape and will return to the ape again, without anybody taking an interest in the ending of this curious comedy.  Just as with the decline of Roman civilisation and its most important cause, the spread of Christianity, there was a general uglification of man within the Roman Empire, so, through the eventual decline of general culture, there might result a far greater uglification and finally an animalising of man till he reached the ape.  But just because we are able to face this prospect, we shall perhaps be able to avert such an end.  

Friedrich Nietzsche, "Ecce Homo" Ebook

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