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   447. UTILISING THE MOST TRIVIAL DISHONESTY   Next Section

UTILISING THE MOST TRIVIAL DISHONESTY.  The power of the press consists in the fact that every individual who ministers to it only feels himself bound and constrained to a very small extent.  He usually expresses his opinion, but sometimes also does not express it in order to serve his party or the politics of his country, or even himself.  Such little faults of dishonesty, or perhaps only of a dishonest silence, are not hard to bear by the individual, but the consequences are extraordinary, because these little faults are committed by many at the same time.  Each one says to himself: "For such small concessions I live better and can make my income; by the want of such little compliances I make myself impossible”.  Because it seems almost morally indifferent to write a line more (perhaps even without signature), or not to write it, a person who has money and influence can make any opinion a public one.  He who knows that most people are weak in trifles, and wishes to attain his own ends thereby, is always dangerous.  
 

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