The Virtual Library - Free online ebooks in pdf, epub, kindle and other formats. In categories: Modern western philosophy, Friedrich Nietzsche collection. Texts in the. History of. Philosophy. Nietzsche. The Anti-Christ, Ecce. Homo, Twilight of the. Idols. And Other Writings. Edited by. Aaron Ridley and Judith Norman. This article examines Nietzsche's The Antichrist. Nietzsche constructed his own history of Christianity with its roots in Judaism. It is framed not so much by the.
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Antichrist, by F. W. Nietzsche This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions. The Antichrist. Friedrich Nietzsche Translated from the German with an introduction by H. L. Mencken. First published in This web edition published by. Twilight of the Idols, or How to Philosophize with a Hammer. The Case of Wagner: A Musician's Problem. 23 1. Nietzsche contra Wagner: From the Files of a.
Whoever has theological blood in his veins is shifty and dishonourable in all things. It was the 52 low and vulgar to which it had to administer. One hears without surprise of a Bismarck philosophizing pla- cidly at least in his old age upon the delusion of Socialism and of a Frederick the Great playing the hose of his cynicism upon the absolutism that was almost identical with his own person. For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs , and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us. Oscar Levy. The result was a great deal of mis- representation and misunderstanding of him. Nevertheless--how terrible!
Nietzsche constructed his own history of Christianity with its roots in Judaism. It is framed not so much by the historical Jesus as by the distortions of him imposed by the early Christians, Paul in particular. Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription. Please subscribe or login to access full text content.
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Publications Pages Publications Pages. Search within my subject: Select your specializations: Politics Urban Studies U. History Law Linguistics Literature. Music Neuroscience Philosophy Physical Sciences. Kant became an idiot. I forbid myself to say what I think of the Germans Kant's answer: I put aside a few sceptics, the types of decency in the history of philosophy: In the end, with "German" innocence, Kant tried to give a scientific flavour to this form of corruption, this dearth of intellectual conscience, by calling it "practical reason.
When a man feels that he has a divine mission, say to lift up, to save or to liberate mankind--when a man feels the divine spark in his heart and believes that he is the mouthpiece of supernatural imperatives--when such a mission inflames him, it is only natural that he should stand beyond all merely reasonable standards of judgment.
What has a priest to do with philosophy! He stands far above it! Let us not underestimate this fact: All the methods, all the principles of the scientific spirit of today, were the targets for thousands of years of the most profound contempt; if a man inclined to them he was excluded from the society of "decent" people--he passed as "an enemy of God," as a scoffer at the truth, as one "possessed.
Our objectives, our methods, our quiet, cautious, distrustful manner--all appeared to them as absolutely discreditable and contemptible. How well they guessed that, these turkey-cocks of God! We have unlearned something. We have become more modest in every way. We no longer derive man from the "spirit," from the "godhead"; we have dropped him back among the beasts.
We regard him as the strongest of the beasts because he is the craftiest; one of the results thereof is his intellectuality. On the other hand, we guard ourselves against a conceit which would assert itself even here: He is, in truth, anything but the crown of creation: Moreover, it is illogical to set man apart, as Descartes did: Formerly we accorded to man, as his inheritance from some higher order of beings, what was called "free will"; now we have taken even this will from him, for the term no longer describes anything that we can understand.
The old word "will" now connotes only a sort of result, an individual reaction, that follows inevitably upon a series of partly discordant and partly harmonious stimuli--the will no longer "acts," or "moves. Formerly it was thought that man's consciousness, his "spirit," offered evidence of his high origin, his divinity.
Here again we have thought out the thing better: The "pure spirit" is a piece of pure stupidity: Under Christianity neither morality nor religion has any point of contact with actuality. Once the concept of "nature" had been opposed to the concept of "God," the word "natural" necessarily took on the meaning of "abominable"--the whole of that fictitious world has its sources in hatred of the natural --the real!
The man who suffers under it. The preponderance of pains over pleasures is the cause of this fictitious morality and religion: In him it does honour to the conditions which enable it to survive, to its virtues--it projects its joy in itself, its feeling of power, into a being to whom one may offer thanks.
Religion, within these limits, is a form of gratitude. A man is grateful for his own existence: But the castration, against all nature, of such a god, making him a god of goodness alone, would be contrary to human inclination.
Mankind has just as much need for an evil god as for a good god; it doesn't have to thank mere tolerance and humanitarianism for its own existence What would be the value of a god who knew nothing of anger, revenge, envy, scorn, cunning, violence?
No one would understand such a god: He then becomes a hypocrite, timorous and demure; he counsels "peace of soul," hate-no-more, leniency, "love" of friend and foe. He moralizes endlessly; he creeps into every private virtue; he becomes the god of every man; he becomes a private citizen, a cosmopolitan The truth is that there is no other alternative for gods: No hint is needed to indicate the moments in history at which the dualistic fiction of a good and an evil god first became possible.
As if Renan had a right to be naive! The contrary actually stares one in the face. Formerly he had only his own people, his "chosen" people. But since then he has gone wandering, like his people themselves, into foreign parts; he has given up settling down quietly anywhere; finally he has come to feel at home everywhere, and is the great cosmopolitan--until now he has the "great majority" on his side, and half the earth.
But this god of the "great majority," this democrat among gods, has not become a proud heathen god: Even the palest of the pale are able to master him--messieurs the metaphysicians, those albinos of the intellect. They spun their webs around him for so long that finally he was hypnotized, and began to spin himself, and became another metaphysician. The Christian concept of a god--the god as the patron of the sick, the god as a spinner of cobwebs, the god as a spirit--is one of the most corrupt concepts that has ever been set up in the world: Instead of being its transfiguration and eternal Yea!
In him war is declared on life, on nature, on the will to live! God becomes the formula for every slander upon the "here and now," and for every lie about the "beyond"! In him nothingness is deified, and the will to nothingness is made holy! The fact that the strong races of northern Europe did not repudiate this Christian god does little credit to their gift for religion--and not much more to their taste.
Two thousand years have come and gone--and not a single new god! In my condemnation of Christianity I surely hope I do no injustice to a related religion with an even larger number of believers: The concept, "god," was already disposed of before it appeared. It does not speak of a "struggle with sin," but, yielding to reality, of the "struggle with suffering. He encourages ideas that make for either quiet contentment or good cheer--he finds means to combat ideas of other sorts.
He understands good, the state of goodness, as something which promotes health. There is no categorical imperative nor any disciplines, even within the walls of a monastery --it is always possible to leave These things would have been simply means of increasing the excessive sensitiveness above mentioned.
In Buddha's teaching egoism is a duty. The "one thing needful," the question "how can you be delivered from suffering," regulates and determines the whole spiritual diet.
Buddhism is not a religion in which perfection is merely an object of aspiration: Here body is despised and hygiene is denounced as sensual; the church even ranges itself against cleanliness --the first Christian order after the banishment of the Moors closed the public baths, of which there were in Cordova alone. Christian, too, is a certain cruelty toward one's self and toward others; hatred of unbelievers; the will to persecute.
Sombre and disquieting ideas are in the foreground; the most esteemed states of mind, bearing the most respectable names, are epileptoid; the diet is so regulated as to engender morbid symptoms and over-stimulate the nerves. Buddhism is a religion for peoples in a further state of development, for races that have become kind, gentle and over-spiritualized --Europe is not yet ripe for it Christianity appears before civilization has so much as begun--under certain circumstances it lays the very foundations thereof.
Buddhism, I repeat, is a hundred times more austere, more honest, more objective. His mere instinct prompts him to deny his suffering altogether, or to endure it in silence. Here the word "devil" was a blessing: The Brahmins knew it, Plato knew it, every student of the esoteric knows it. To satisfy the ardor of the woman a beautiful saint must appear on the scene, and to satisfy that of the men there must be a virgin. These things are necessary if Christianity is to assume lordship over a soil on which some aphrodisiacal or Adonis cult has already established a notion as to what a cult ought to be.
When a man is in love he endures more than at any other time; he submits to anything. The problem was to devise a religion which would allow one to love: In the words of the Saviour, "salvation is of the Jews.
We meet with the same phenomenon later on, in an incalculably exaggerated form, but only as a copy: The Judaeo-Christian moral system belongs to the second division, and in every detail. Men of this sort have a vital interest in making mankind sick, and in confusing the values of "good" and "bad," "true" and "false" in a manner that is not only dangerous to life, but also slanders it. I point to five facts which bear this out. Its Jahveh was an expression of its consciousness of power, its joy in itself, its hopes for itself: In the religious ceremonial of the Jews both aspects of this self-approval stand revealed.
The nation is grateful for the high destiny that has enabled it to obtain dominion; it is grateful for the benign procession of the seasons, and for the good fortune attending its herds and its crops. He ought to have been abandoned. But what actually happened?
Simply this: The public notion of this god now becomes merely a weapon in the hands of clerical agitators, who interpret all happiness as a reward and all unhappiness as a punishment for obedience or disobedience to him, for "sin": Chance robbed of its innocence; unhappiness polluted with the idea of "sin"; well-being represented as a danger, as a "temptation"; a physiological disorder produced by the canker worm of conscience The concept of god falsified; the concept of morality falsified;--but even here Jewish priest-craft did not stop.
The whole history of Israel ceased to be of any value: And the philosophers support the church: What is the meaning of a "moral order of the world"? One observes him at work: The "will of God," it appears, had long stood like a rock; the trouble was that mankind had neglected the "holy scriptures" But the "will of God" had already been revealed to Moses What happened? For this should be noted: The priest depreciates and desecrates nature: Prime axiom: The "holy people," who had adopted priestly values and priestly names for all things, and who, with a terrible logical consistency, had rejected everything of the earth as "unholy," "worldly," "sinful"--this people put its instinct into a final formula that was logical to the point of self-annihilation: The phenomenon is of the first order of importance: This is what brought him to the cross: As to whether he himself was conscious of this contradiction--whether, in fact, this was the only contradiction he was cognizant of--that is quite another question.
My difficulties are quite different from those which enabled the learned curiosity of the German mind to achieve one of its most unforgettable triumphs. It is a long while since I, like all other young scholars, enjoyed with all the sapient laboriousness of a fastidious philologist the work of the incomparable Strauss.
What do I care for the contradictions of "tradition"? How can any one call pious legends "traditions"? Nietzsche here refers to it. But if there is anything essentially unevangelical, it is surely the concept of the hero.
What the Gospels make instinctive is precisely the reverse of all heroic struggle, of all taste for conflict: What is the meaning of "glad tidings"? Every one is the child of God--Jesus claims nothing for himself alone--as the child of God each man is the equal of every other man Our whole conception of the "spiritual," the whole conception of our civilization, could have had no meaning in the world that Jesus lived in.
In the strict sense of the physiologist, a quite different word ought to be used here We all know that there is a morbid sensibility of the tactile nerves which causes those suffering from it to recoil from every touch, and from every effort to grasp a solid object.
I call them a sublime super-development of hedonism upon a thoroughly unsalubrious soil. What stands most closely related to them, though with a large admixture of Greek vitality and nerve-force, is epicureanism, the theory of salvation of paganism. I was the first to recognize him. I have already given my answer to the problem. The prerequisite to it is the assumption that the type of the Saviour has reached us only in a greatly distorted form.
This distortion is very probable: The prophet, the messiah, the future judge, the teacher of morals, the worker of wonders, John the Baptist--all these merely presented chances to misunderstand it Nevertheless, the probabilities seem to be against it, for in that case tradition would have been particularly accurate and objective, whereas we have reasons for assuming the contrary.
I can only repeat that I set myself against all efforts to intrude the fanatic into the figure of the Saviour: The physiologists, at all events, are familiar with such a delayed and incomplete puberty in the living organism, the result of degeneration.
A faith of this sort is not furious, it does not denounce, it does not defend itself: It does not manifest itself either by miracles, or by rewards and promises, or by "scriptures": To be sure, the accident of environment, of educational background gives prominence to concepts of a certain sort: But let us be careful not to see in all this anything more than symbolical language, semantics an opportunity to speak in parables.
It is only on the theory that no work is to be taken literally that this anti-realist is able to speak at all. Set down among Hindus he would have made use of the concepts of Sankhya, and among Chinese he would have employed those of Lao-tse--and in neither case would it have made any difference to him. He speaks only of inner things: If anything of the sort is ever encountered, it laments the "blindness" with sincere sympathy--for it alone has "light"--but it does not offer objections In the whole psychology of the "Gospels" the concepts of guilt and punishment are lacking, and so is that of reward.
He offers no resistance, either by word or in his heart, to those who stand against him. He draws no distinction between strangers and countrymen, Jews and Gentiles "neighbour," of course, means fellow-believer, Jew.
He is angry with no one, and he despises no one. He neither appeals to the courts of justice nor heeds their mandates "Swear not at all". The life of the Saviour was simply a carrying out of this way of life--and so was his death He no longer needed any formula or ritual in his relations with God--not even prayer.
If I understand anything at all about this great symbolist, it is this: The concept of "the Son of God" does not connote a concrete person in history, an isolated and definite individual, but an "eternal" fact, a psychological symbol set free from the concept of time. All this--if I may be forgiven the phrase--is like thrusting one's fist into the eye and what an eye! But it is nevertheless obvious enough what is meant by the symbols "Father" and "Son"--not, of course, to every one And a dogma of "immaculate conception" for good measure?
His wife was Alcmene. During his absence she was visited by Zeus, and bore Heracles. The "kingdom of heaven" is a state of the heart--not something to come "beyond the world" or "after death. The "kingdom of God" is not something that men wait for: Mankind was unspeakably far from our benevolent and cautious neutrality, from that discipline of the spirit which alone makes possible the solution of such strange and subtle things: It was the fate of Christianity that its faith had to become as sickly, as low and as vulgar as the needs were sickly, low and vulgar to which it had to administer.
The man of today--I am suffocated by his foul breath! What was formerly merely sickly now becomes indecent--it is indecent to be a Christian today.
What has become of the last trace of decent feeling, of self-respect, when our statesmen, otherwise an unconventional class of men and thoroughly anti-Christian in their acts, now call themselves Christians and go to the communion-table? Whom, then, does Christianity deny?
States of consciousness, faith of a sort, the acceptance, for example, of anything as true--as every psychologist knows, the value of these things is perfectly indifferent and fifth-rate compared to that of the instincts: To reduce being a Christian, the state of Christianity, to an acceptance of truth, to a mere phenomenon of consciousness, is to formulate the negation of Christianity.
In the world of ideas of the Christian there is nothing that so much as touches reality: What follows therefrom? Take away one idea and put a genuine reality in its place--and the whole of Christianity crumbles to nothingness! Therefore, let us not underestimate the Christians: It was only death, that unexpected and shameful death; it was only the cross, which was usually reserved for the canaille only--it was only this appalling paradox which brought the disciples face to face with the real riddle: Only then did the chasm of doubt yawn: Until then this militant, this nay-saying, nay-doing element in his character had been lacking; what is more, he had appeared to present its opposite.
It seemed impossible that the cause should perish with his death: Once more the popular belief in the coming of a messiah appeared in the foreground; attention was rivetted upon an historical moment: But in all this there was a wholesale misunderstanding: On the other hand, the savage veneration of these completely unbalanced souls could no longer endure the Gospel doctrine, taught by Jesus, of the equal right of all men to be children of God: At once there was an end of the gospels!
Sacrifice for sin, and in its most obnoxious and barbarous form: What appalling paganism! In Paul is incarnated the very opposite of the "bearer of glad tidings"; he represents the genius for hatred, the vision of hatred, the relentless logic of hatred. Above all, the Saviour: The life, the example, the teaching, the death of Christ, the meaning and the law of the whole gospels--nothing was left of all this after that counterfeiter in hatred had reduced it to his uses.
Later on the church even falsified the history of man in order to make it a prologue to Christianity The figure of the Saviour, his teaching, his way of life, his death, the meaning of his death, even the consequences of his death--nothing remained untouched, nothing remained in even remote contact with reality. Paul's invention, his device for establishing priestly tyranny and organizing the mob: The vast lie of personal immortality destroys all reason, all natural instinct--henceforth, everything in the instincts that is beneficial, that fosters life and that safeguards the future is a cause of suspicion.
So to live that life no longer has any meaning: Why be public-spirited? Why take any pride in descent and forefathers? Why labour together, trust one another, or concern one's self about the common welfare, and try to serve it? Merely so many "temptations," so many strayings from the "straight path. The "salvation of the soul"--in plain English: Our politics is sick with this lack of courage! That which Paul, with the cynical logic of a rabbi, later developed to a conclusion was at bottom merely a process of decay that had begun with the death of the Saviour.
The gospels, in fact, stand alone. The Bible as a whole is not to be compared to them. Here we are among Jews: The whole of Judaism appears in Christianity as the art of concocting holy lies, and there, after many centuries of earnest Jewish training and hard practice of Jewish technic, the business comes to the stage of mastery. The whole of mankind, even the best minds of the best ages with one exception, perhaps hardly human-- , have permitted themselves to be deceived.
I simply cannot endure the way they have of rolling up their eyes. Ah, that humble, chaste, charitable brand of fraud! The Christian is simply a Jew of the "reformed" confession.
Mark viii, With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. A bit before this God appears as a tailor, at least in certain cases It compares itself to the prophets For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe That no flesh should glory in his presence.
Paul was the greatest of all apostles of revenge The presence of so much filth makes it very advisable. One would as little choose "early Christians" for companions as Polish Jews: Neither has a pleasant smell. It is all cowardice; it is all a shutting of the eyes, a self-deception. Every other book becomes clean, once one has read the New Testament: These petty bigots make a capital miscalculation.
On the contrary, it is an honour to have an "early Christian" as an opponent. One cannot read the New Testament without acquired admiration for whatever it abuses--not to speak of the "wisdom of this world," which an impudent wind-bag tries to dispose of "by the foolishness of preaching. Even the scribes and pharisees are benefitted by such opposition: Strictly speaking, he has no alternative. Pilate, the Roman viceroy. One Jew more or less--what did it matter? We deny that God is God The physician says "incurable"; the philologian says "fraud.
No one, in fact, has understood it. Against boredom even gods struggle in vain. He creates man--man is entertaining But then he notices that man is also bored. God's pity for the only form of distress that invades all paradises knows no bounds: God's first mistake: In the act he brought boredom to an end--and also many other things!
It was through woman that man learned to taste of the tree of knowledge. The old God was seized by mortal terror. For a long while this was the capital problem. Out of paradise with man! Happiness, leisure, foster thought--and all thoughts are bad thoughts! Nevertheless--how terrible! War--among other things, a great disturber of science!
And he must suffer so much that he is always in need of the priest. On the contrary, one inspired by the most cowardly, the most crafty, the most ignoble of instincts! The vampirism of pale, subterranean leeches!
My voice reaches even the deaf. In a formula: But this is as far as we may go. So little is this true that it is almost a proof against truth when sensations of pleasure influence the answer to the question "What is true? Man has had to fight for every atom of the truth, and has had to pay for it almost everything that the heart, that human love, that human trust cling to.
Greatness of soul is needed for this business: It means that a man must be severe with his own heart, that he must scorn "beautiful feelings," and that he makes every Yea and Nay a matter of conscience! And the church itself--doesn't it set up a Catholic lunatic asylum as the ultimate ideal?
Not every one may be a Christian: The Christian movement, as a European movement, was from the start no more than a general uprising of all sorts of outcast and refuse elements --who now, under cover of Christianity, aspire to power. Christianity was not "national," it was not based on race--it appealed to all the varieties of men disinherited by life, it had its allies everywhere.
Everything that is well-constituted, proud, gallant and, above all, beautiful gives offence to its ears and eyes. Again I remind you of Paul's priceless saying: We alone are divine Christianity was thus a victory: Doubt is thus a sin from the start But what shall he do when pietists and other such cows from Suabia use the "finger of God" to convert their miserably commonplace and huggermugger existence into a miracle of "grace," a "providence" and an "experience of salvation"?
The most modest exercise of the intellect, not to say of decency, should certainly be enough to convince these interpreters of the perfect childishness and unworthiness of such a misuse of the divine digital dexterity. However small our piety, if we ever encountered a god who always cured us of a cold in the head at just the right time, or got us into our carriage at the very instant heavy rain began to fall, he would seem so absurd a god that he'd have to be abolished even if he existed.
God as a domestic servant, as a letter carrier, as an almanac-man--at bottom, he is a mere name for the stupidest sort of chance And in any case it is an argument against Germans! Among the Greeks scepticism was also occasionally called ephecticism. The leader of this school was F. Baur, and one of the men greatly influenced by it was Nietzsche's pet abomination, David F.
Strauss, himself a Suabian. Truth is not something that one man has and another man has not: The conclusion that all idiots, women and plebeians come to, that there must be something in a cause for which any one goes to his death or which, as under primitive Christianity, sets off epidemics of death-seeking --this conclusion has been an unspeakable drag upon the testing of facts, upon the whole spirit of inquiry and investigation.
Even to this day the crude fact of persecution is enough to give an honourable name to the most empty sort of sectarianism. Is the worth of a cause altered by the fact that some one had laid down his life for it? Theologians, that we shall give you the chance to be martyred for your lies?
This was precisely the world-historical stupidity of all the persecutors: Women are still on their knees before an error because they have been told that some one died on the cross for it.
They made signs in blood along the way that they went, and their folly taught them that the truth is proved by blood. But blood is the worst of all testimonies to the truth; blood poisoneth even the purest teaching and turneth it into madness and hatred in the heart. And when one goeth through fire for his teaching--what doth that prove? Verily, it is more when one's teaching cometh out of one's own burning!
Do not let yourself be deceived: Zarathustra is a sceptic. Men of fixed convictions do not count when it comes to determining what is fundamental in values and lack of values. Men of convictions are prisoners. A mind that aspires to great things, and that wills the means thereto, is necessarily sceptical. Conviction as a means: A grand passion makes use of and uses up convictions; it does not yield to them--it knows itself to be sovereign.
His instinct gives the highest honours to an ethic of self-effacement; he is prompted to embrace it by everything: Every sort of faith is in itself an evidence of self-effacement, of self-estrangement The believer is not free to answer the question, "true" or "not true," according to the dictates of his own conscience: What if falsehood be also one of these embryonic forms of conviction? The most common sort of lie is that by which a man deceives himself: For example, the German historians are convinced that Rome was synonymous with despotism and that the Germanic peoples brought the spirit of liberty into the world: On the contrary, gentlemen!
An anti-Semite surely does not become more respectable because he lies on principle Kant, too, with his categorical imperative, was on the same road: Why did God make a revelation to man? Would God have done anything superfluous? The "holy lie"--common alike to Confucius, to the Code of Manu, to Mohammed and to the Christian church--is not even wanting in Plato.
It is easy to see why: How can any one really put into the hands of children and ladies a book which contains such vile things as this: I know of no book in which so many delicate and kindly things are said of women as in the Code of Manu; these old grey-beards and saints have a way of being gallant to women that it would be impossible, perhaps, to surpass.
Only in the maiden is the whole body pure. A law-book never recites the utility, the grounds, the casuistical antecedents of a law: The problem lies exactly here. Against this a double wall is set up: The authority of the law is thus grounded on the thesis: To draw up such a law-book as Manu's means to lay before a people the possibility of future mastery, of attainable perfection--it permits them to aspire to the highest reaches of the art of life.
In every healthy society there are three physiological types, gravitating toward differentiation but mutually conditioning one another, and each of these has its own hygiene, its own sphere of work, its own special mastery and feeling of perfection. Only the most intellectual of men have any right to beauty, to the beautiful; only in them can goodness escape being weakness.
Indignation is the privilege of the Chandala; so is pessimism. Knowledge--a form of asceticism. Every one enjoys the privileges that accord with his state of existence. A high civilization is a pyramid: To the mediocre mediocrity is a form of happiness; they have a natural instinct for mastering one thing, for specialization.
It would be altogether unworthy of a profound intellect to see anything objectionable in mediocrity in itself. Whom do I hate most heartily among the rabbles of today?
The rabble of Socialists, the apostles to the Chandala, who undermine the workingman's instincts, his pleasure, his feeling of contentment with his petty existence--who make him envious and teach him revenge Wrong never lies in unequal rights; it lies in the assertion of "equal" rights But I have already answered: In point of fact, the end for which one lies makes a great difference: There is a perfect likeness between Christian and anarchist: One need only turn to history for a proof of this: The Christian and the anarchist: Can it be that this fact is not yet understood?
What he saw was how, with the aid of the small sectarian Christian movement that stood apart from Judaism, a "world conflagration" might be kindled; how, with the symbol of "God on the cross," all secret seditions, all the fruits of anarchistic intrigues in the empire, might be amalgamated into one immense power. This was his revelation at Damascus: Nihilist and Christian: I have no word to describe the feelings that such an enormity arouses in me. To what end the Greeks?
Is all this properly understood? But as body, as bearing, as instinct--in short, as reality The Romans! Not trampled to death by Teutons and others of heavy hoof! But brought to shame by crafty, sneaking, invisible, anaemic vampires!
Not conquered,--only sucked dry! Augustine, in order to realize, in order to smell, what filthy fellows came to the top. It would be an error, however, to assume that there was any lack of understanding in the leaders of the Christian movement: What they lacked was something quite different. Between ourselves, they are not even men If Islam despises Christianity, it has a thousandfold right to do so: Because it had to thank noble and manly instincts for its origin--because it said yes to life, even to the rare and refined luxuriousness of Moorish life!
The crusaders later made war on something before which it would have been more fitting for them to have grovelled in the dust--a civilization beside which even that of our nineteenth century seems very poor and very "senile. Let us put aside our prejudices! The crusades were a higher form of piracy, nothing more! The German nobility, which is fundamentally a Viking nobility, was in its element there: Consider the fact that it is precisely the aid of German swords and German blood and valour that has enabled the church to carry through its war to the death upon everything noble on earth!
At this point a host of painful questions suggest themselves. Intrinsically there should be no more choice between Islam and Christianity than there is between an Arab and a Jew. The decision is already reached; nobody remains at liberty to choose here. Either a man is a Chandala or he is not Peace and friendship with Islam! Here it becomes necessary to call up a memory that must be a hundred times more painful to Germans.
Am I understood? A German monk, Luther, came to Rome. Instead of grasping, with profound thanksgiving, the miracle that had taken place: A religious man thinks only of himself. Instead there was life! Instead there was the triumph of life! Instead there was a great yea to all lofty, beautiful and daring things! The Renaissance--an event without meaning, a great futility!
These Germans, I confess, are my enemies: I despise all their uncleanliness in concept and valuation, their cowardice before every honest yea and nay. For nearly a thousand years they have tangled and confused everything their fingers have touched; they have on their conscience all the half-way measures, all the three-eighths-way measures, that Europe is sick of,--they also have on their conscience the uncleanest variety of Christianity that exists, and the most incurable and indestructible--Protestantism It is, to me, the greatest of all imaginable corruptions; it seeks to work the ultimate corruption, the worst possible corruption.
The Christian church has left nothing untouched by its depravity; it has turned every value into worthlessness, and every truth into a lie, and every integrity into baseness of soul. Let any one dare to speak to me of its "humanitarian" blessings! For example, the worm of sin: The "humanitarian" blessings of Christianity forsooth!
All this, to me, is the "humanitarianism" of Christianity! This eternal accusation against Christianity I shall write upon all walls, wherever walls are to be found--I have letters that even the blind will be able to see Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation and you!
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