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   473. SOCIALISM, WITH REGARD TO ITS MEANS   Next Section

SOCIALISM, WITH REGARD TO ITS MEANS.  Socialism is the fantastic younger brother of almost decrepit despotism, which it wants to succeed; its efforts are, therefore, in the deepest sense reactionary.  For it desires such an amount of State power as only despotism has possessed, indeed, it outdoes all the past, in that it aims at the complete annihilation of the individual, whom it deems an unauthorised luxury of nature, which is to be improved by it into an appropriate organ of the general community.  Owing to its relationship, it always appears in proximity to excessive developments of power, like the old typical socialist, Plato, at the court of the Sicilian tyrant; it desires (and under certain circumstances furthers) the Caesarian despotism of this century, because, as has been said, it would like to become its heir.  But even this inheritance would not suffice for its objects, it requires the most submissive prostration of all citizens before the absolute State, such as has never yet been realised; and as it can no longer even count upon the old religious piety towards the State, but must rather strive involuntarily and continuously for the abolition thereof, because it strives for the abolition of all existing States, it can only hope for existence occasionally, here and there for short periods, by means of the extremest terrorism.  It is therefore silently preparing itself for reigns of terror, and drives the word "justice" like a nail into the heads of the half cultured masses in order to deprive them completely of their understanding (after they had already suffered seriously from the half culture), and to provide them with a good conscience for the bad game they are to play.  Socialism may serve to teach, very brutally and impressively, the danger of all accumulations of State power, and may serve so far to inspire distrust of the State itself.  When it’s rough voice strikes up the way cry "as much State as possible" the shout at first becomes louder than ever, but soon the opposition cry also breaks forth, with so much greater force: "as little State as possible”.  

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