Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science.  Die fröhliche Wissenschaft.

First published in 1882.

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Commerce and Nobility.

Buying and selling is now regarded as something ordinary, like the art of reading and writing; everyone is now trained to it even when he is not a tradesman exercising himself daily in the art; precisely as formerly in the period of uncivilised humanity, everyone was a hunter and exercised himself day by day in the are of hunting.  Hunting was then something common: but just as this finally became a privilege of the powerful and noble, and thereby lost the character of the commonplace and the ordinary by ceasing to be necessary and by becoming an affair of fancy and luxury, so it might become the same someday with buying and selling.  Conditions of society are imaginable in which there will be no selling and buying, and in which the necessity for this are will become quite lost; perhaps it may then happen that individuals who are less subject to the prevailing conditions of things will indulge in buying and selling as a luxury of sentiment.  It is then only that commerce would acquire nobility, and the noble would then perhaps occupy themselves just as readily with commerce as they have done hitherto with war and politics: while on the other hand the valuation of politics might then have entirely altered.  Already even politics ceases to be the business of a gentleman; and it is possible that one day it may be found to be so vulgar as to be described, like all party literature and daily literature as "Prostitution of the intellect."  

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