Friedrich Nietzsche, Miscellaneous Maxims and opinions (Vermischte Meinungen und Sprüche).

Miscellaneous Maxims and Opinions, the first supplement to Human, All Too Human, first published in 1879.  A second supplement, The Wanderer and his Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten) followed in 1880.


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Carrying Coals to Newcastle.  The governments of the great States have two instruments for keeping the people dependent in fear and obedience: a coarser, the array, and a more refined, the school.  With the aid of the former they win over to their side the ambition of the higher strata and the strength of the lower, so far as both are characteristic of active and energetic men of moderate or inferior gifts.  With the aid of the latter they win over gifted poverty, especially the intellectually pretentious semi-poverty of the middle classes.  Above all, they make teachers of all grades into an intellectual court looking unconsciously "towards the heights”.  By putting obstacle after obstacle in the way of private schools and the wholly distasteful individual tuition they secure the disposal of a considerable number of educational posts, towards which numerous hungry and submissive eyes are turned to an extent five times as great as can ever be satisfied.  These posts, however, must support the holder but meagrely, so that he maintains a feverish thirst for promotion and becomes still more closely attached to the views of the government.  For it is always more advantageous to foster moderate discontent than contentment, the mother of courage, the grandmother of free thought and exuberance.  By means of this physically and mentally bridled body of teachers, the youth of the country is as far as possible raised to a certain level of culture that is useful to the State and arranged on a suitable sliding scale.  Above all, the immature and ambitious minds of all classes are almost imperceptibly imbued with the idea that only a career which is recognised and hall-marked by the State can lead immediately to social distinction.  The effect of this belief in government examinations and titles goes so far that even men who have remained independent and have risen by trade or handicraft still feel a pang of discontent in their hearts until their position too is marked and acknowledged by a gracious bestowal of rank and orders from above — until one becomes a "somebody”.  Finally the State connects all these hundreds of offices and posts in its hands with the obligation of being trained and hallmarked in these State schools if one ever wishes to enter this charmed circle.  Honour in society, daily bread, the possibility of a family, protection from above, the feeling of community in a common culture — all this forms a network of hopes into which every young man walks: how should he feel the slightest breath of mistrust?  In the end, perhaps, the obligation of being a soldier for one year has become with every one, after the lapse of a few generations, an unreflecting habit, an understood thing, with an eye to which we construct the plan of our lives quite early.  Then the State can venture on the master-stroke of weaving together school and army, talent, ambition and strength by means of common advantages — that is, by attracting the more highly gifted on favourable terms to the army and inspiring them with the military spirit of joyful obedience; so that finally, perhaps, they become attached permanently to the flag and endow it by their talents with an ever new and more brilliant lustre.  Then nothing more is wanted but an opportunity for great wars.  These are provided from professional reasons (and so in all innocence) by diplomats, aided by newspapers and Stock Exchanges.  For "the nation” as a nation of soldiers, need never be supplied with a good conscience in war — it has one already.  

Friedrich Nietzsche, "Ecce Homo" Ebook

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