at all times, and is consequently a feature

at all times, and is consequently a feature that oUtalns a new and regular emphasis with every
fresh day ; it follows that, so far from vanishing from The consciousness, so far mdeed from^ being
forgotten, it must necessarily become impresse3~ on the consciousness with ever-increasing distmetness. How much more logical is that contrary theory (it is not the truer for that) which is repre- sented, for instance, by Herbert Spencer, who places the concept ” good ” as essentially similar to the concept ” useful,” ” purposive,” so that in the judgments ” good ” and ” bad ” mankind is simply summarising and investing with a sanction its unforgotten and unforgettable experiences concern- ing the ” useful-purposive ” and the ” mischievous- non-purposive.” According to this theory, ” good”
is the attribute of that which has previously shown
itself useful ; and so is able to claim to be con- sidered ” valuable in the highest degree,” ” valu- able in itself.” This method of explanation is also, as I have said, wrong, but at any rate the explanation itself is coherent, and psychologically tenable.
Th£j[uide^pjt jvhichjfirst put me on the right track was this question—what is the true etymo;^
logical jignificance of the various symbols for the idea ” good ” which haye^been-coinedin the various languages ? I then found that they all led back toT
the same evolution of the same idea—that every- where ” aristocrat,” ” noble ” (in the social sense), is the root idea, out of which have necessarily devel-“GOOD AND EVIL,” “GOOD AND BAD.” 23
Oped ” good ” in the sense of ” with aristocratic
soul,” ” noble,” in the sense of ” with a soul of high
calibre,” ” with a privileged soul “—a development
which invariably runs parallel with that other
evolution by which “vulgar,” “plebeian,” “low,”
are made to change finally into ” bad.” t The
most eloquent proof of this last contention is the German word ^^ schlecht” itself: this word is identical with ” schlicht”—(compare ” schlechtweg” and ” schlechterdings “) — which, originally and
as yet without any sinister innuendo, simply
denoted the plebeian man in contrast to the aristocratic man. It is at the sufficiently late period of
the Thirty Years’ War that this sense becomes
changed to the sense now current. From the standpoint of the Genealogy of Morals this dis- covery seems to be substantial : the lateness of it
is to be attributed to the retarding influence exercised in the modern world by democratic prejudice
in the sphere of all questions of origin. This extends, as will shortly be shown, even to the province
of natural science and physiology, vthlchprimafacie
is the most objective. The extent of the mischief which is caused by this prejudice (once it is free of
all trammels except those of its own malice), parti- cularly to Ethics and History, is shown by the
notorious case of Buckle : it was in Buckle that that plebeianism of the modern spirit, which is of English origin, broke out once again from its malignant soil with all the violence of a slimy
volcano, and with that salted, rampant, and vulgar eloquence with which up to the present time all volcanoes have spoken.24 THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS.
s. With regard to our problem, which can justly be called an intimate problem, and which elects to appeal to only a limited number of ears: it
is of no small interest to ascertain that in those words and roots which denote ” good ” we catch glimpses of that arch-trait, on the strength of which the aristocrats feel themselves to be beings of a higher order than their fellows. Indeed, they
call themselves in perhaps the most frequent instances simply after their superiority in power
{e.g. ” the powerful,” ” the lords,” ” the com- manders “), or after the most obvious sign of their superiority, as for example ” the rich,” ” the pos- sessors ” (that is the meaning of arva_i and the Iranian and Slav languages correspond). But they also call themselves after some characteristic idiosyncrasy ; and this is the case which now
concerns us. They name themselves, for instance,
” the truthful ” : this is first done by the Greek
nobility whose mouthpiece is found in Theognis, the Megarian poet. The word iaQXo<i, which is coined for the purpose, signifies etymologically
” one who is” who has reality, who is real, who is true ; and then with a subjective twist, the ” true,” as the ” truthful ” : at this stage in the evolution of the idea, it becomes the motto and party cry of the nobility, and quite completes the transition to the meaning ” noble,” so as to place outside the pale the lying, vulgar man, as Theognis conceives and portrays him—till finally the word after the decay of the nobility is left to delineate psycho-“GOOD AND EVIL,” “GOOD AND BAD.” 25
logical noblesse, and becomes as it were ripe and
mellow. In the word /ca«o? as in SetXos (the plebeian in contrast to the cuya66<s) the cowardice
is emphasised. This affords perhaps an inkling on what lines the etymological origin of the very ambiguous ayaOo^ is to be investigated. In the Latin malus (which I place side by side with
fjLe\a<s) the vulgar man can be distinguished as the dark-coloured, and above all as the blackhaired {” kic niger est”), as the pre-Aryan in- habitants of the Italian soil, whose complexion
formed the clearest feature of distinction from the dominant blondes, namely, the Aryan conquering
race :—at any rate Gaelic has afforded me the exact analogue

Fin (for instance, in the name Fin-Gal),
the distinctive word of the nobility, finally—good,
noble, clean, but originally the blonde-haired man
in contrast to the dark black-haired aboriginals. The Celts, if I may make a parenthetic statement, were throughout a blonde race; and it is wrong
to connect, as Virchow still connects, those traces of an essentially dark-haired population which
are to be seen on the more elaborate ethnographical maps of Germany with any Celtic ancestry or with any admixture of Celtic blood
in this context it is rather the pre-Aryan population
of Germany which surges up to these districts. (The same is true substantially of the whole of Europe : in point of fact, the subject race has
finally again obtained the upper hand, in complexion and the shortness of the skull, and perhaps
in the intellectual and social qualities. Who
can guarantee that modern democracy, still more


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