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   452. POSSESSION AND JUSTICE   Next Section

POSSESSION AND JUSTICE.  When the Socialists point out that the division of property at the present day is the consequence of countless deeds of injustice and violence, and, in summa, repudiate obligation to anything with so unrighteous a basis, they only perceive something isolated.  The entire past of ancient civilisation is built up on violence, slavery, deception, and error; we, however, cannot annul ourselves, the heirs of all these conditions, nay, the concrescences of all this past, and are not entitled to demand the withdrawal of a single fragment thereof.  The unjust disposition lurks also in the souls of non possessors; they are not better than the possessors and have no moral prerogative; for at one time or another their ancestors have been possessors.  Not forcible new distributions, but gradual transformations of opinion are necessary; justice in all matters must become greater, the instinct of violence weaker.  
 

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