Friedrich Nietzsche, The AntiChrist

Der Antichrist (also could be translated as The Anti-Christian).  Written in 1888 and first published in 1895.

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It is a painful and tragic spectacle that rises before me: I have drawn back the curtain from the rottenness of man.  This word, in my mouth, is at least free from one suspicion: that it involves a moral accusation against humanity.  It is used and I wish to emphasize the fact again without any moral significance: and this is so far true that the rottenness I speak of is most apparent to me precisely in those quarters where there has been most aspiration, hitherto, toward "virtue" and "godliness."  As you probably surmise, I understand rottenness in the sense of decadence : my argument is that all the values on which mankind now fixes its highest aspirations are decadence values.  I call an animal, a species, an individual corrupt, when it loses its instincts, when it chooses, when it prefers , what is injurious to it.  A history of the "higher feelings," the "ideals of humanity" and it is possible that I'll have to write it would almost explain why man is so degenerate.  Life itself appears to me as an instinct for growth, for survival, for the accumulation of forces, for power : whenever the will to power fails there is disaster.  My contention is that all the highest values of humanity have been emptied of this will that the values of decadence , of nihilism , now prevail under the holiest names.  
 

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