Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science.  Die fröhliche Wissenschaft.

First published in 1882.

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Doing Harm to Stupidity.  It is certain that the belief in the reprehensibility of egoism, preached with such stubbornness and conviction, has on the whole done harm to egoism (in favour of the herd instinct, as I shall repeat a hundred times!)  , especially by depriving it of a good conscience, and by bidding us seek in it the source of all misfortune.  "Your selfishness is the bane of your life "so rang the preaching for millenniums: it did harm, as we have said, to selfishness, and deprived it of much spirit, much cheerfulness, much ingenuity, and much beauty; it stultified and deformed and poisoned selfishness!  Philosophical antiquity, on the other hand, taught that there was another principal source of evil: from Socrates downwards, the thinkers were never weary of preaching that "your thoughtlessness and stupidity, your un thinking way of living according to rule, and your subjection to the opinion of your neighbour, are the reasons why you so seldom attain to happiness, we thinkers are, as thinkers, the happiest of mortals."  Let us not decide here whether this preaching against stupidity was more sound than the preaching against selfishness; it is certain, however, that stupidity was thereby deprived of its good conscience: those philosophers did harm to stupidity.  
 

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