Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science.  Die fröhliche Wissenschaft.

First published in 1882.

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The Failure of Reformations.

It testifies to the higher culture of the Greeks, even in rather early ages, that attempts to establish new Grecian religions frequently failed; it testifies that quite early there must have been a multitude of dissimilar individuals in Greece, whose dissimilar troubles were not cured by a single recipe of faith and hope.  Pythagoras and Plato, perhaps also Empedocles, and already much earlier the Orphic enthusiasts, aimed at founding new religions; and the two first named were so endowed with the qualifications for founding religions, that one cannot be sufficiently astonished at their failure: they just reached the point of founding sects.  Every time that the Reformation of an entire people fails and only sects raise their heads, one may conclude that the people already contains many types, and has begun to free itself from the gross herding instincts and the morality of custom, a momentous state of suspense, which one is accustomed to disparage as decay of morals and corruption, while it announces the maturing of the egg and the early rupture of the shell.  That Luther's Reformation succeeded in the north, is a sign that the north had remained backward in comparison with the south of Europe, and still had requirements tolerably uniform in colour and kind; and there would have been no Christianising of Europe at all, if the culture of the old world of the south had not been gradually barbarized by an excessive admixture of the blood of German barbarians, and thus lost its ascendency.  The more universally and unconditionally an individual, or the thought of an individual, can operate, so much more homogeneous and so much lower must be the mass that is there operated upon; while counter-strivings betray internal counter-requirements, which also want to gratify and realise themselves.  Reversely, one may always conclude with regard to an actual elevation of culture, when powerful and ambitious natures only produce a limited and sectarian effect: this is true also for the separate arts, and for the provinces of knowledge.  Where there is ruling there are masses: where there are masses there is need of slavery.  Where there is slavery the individuals are but few, and have the instincts and conscience of the herd opposed to them.  
 

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