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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Previous Section   89. MORALITY AND ITS SACRIFICE   Next Section

Morality and its Sacrifice.  The origin of morality may be traced to two ideas: "The community is of more value than the individual” and "The permanent interest is to be preferred to the temporary”.  The conclusion drawn is that the permanent interest of the community is unconditionally to be set above the temporary interest of the individual, especially his momentary well being, but also his permanent interest and even the prolongation of his existence.  Even if the individual suffers by an arrangement that suits the mass, even if he is depressed and ruined by it, morality must be maintained and the victim brought to the sacrifice.  Such a trend of thought arises, however, only in those who are not the victims — for in the victim's case it enforces the claim that the individual might be worth more than the many and that the present enjoyment, the "moment in paradise” should perhaps be rated higher than a tame succession of untroubled or comfortable circumstances.  But the philosophy of the sacrificial victim always finds voice too late, and so victory remains with morals and morality: which are really nothing more than the sentiment for the whole concept of morals under which one lives and has been reared — and reared not as an individual but as a member of the whole, as a cipher in a majority.  Hence it constantly happens that the individual makes himself into a majority by means of his morality.  

Friedrich Nietzsche, "Ecce Homo" Ebook

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