Will any one look a little into—right into—the

Will any one look a little into—right into—the mystery of how ideals are manufactured in this world ? Who has the courage to do it ? Come
Here we have a vista opened into these grimy48 THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS.
workshops. Wait just a moment, dear Mr. In- quisitive and Foolhardy ; your eye must first grow accustomed to this false changing light—Yes! Enough ! Now speak ! What is happening below down yonder? Speak out that what yoi
see, man of the most dangerous curiosity—for now I am the listener. ” I see nothing, I hear the more. It is a cautious, spiteful, gentle whispering and muttering together in all the corners and crannies. It seems
to me that they are lying; a sugary softness adheres to every sound. Weakness is turned to merit, there is no doubt about it—it is just as you say.” Further
” And the impotence which requites not, is turned to ” goodness,’ craven baseness to meekness, submission to those whom one hates, to obedience (namely, obedience to one of whom
they say that he ordered this submission—they
call him God). The inoffensive character of the weak, the very cowardice in which he is rich, his standing at the door, his forced necessity of wait- ing, gain here fine names, such as ‘ patience,’ which is also called ‘ virtue ‘ ; not being able to avenge one’s self, is called not wishing to avenge
one’s self, perhaps even forgiveness (for they know
not what they do—we alone know what they do). They also talk of the ‘ love of their enemies ‘ and sweat thereby.” Further
/ ” They are miserable, there is no doubt about
it, all these whisperers and counterfeiters in the”GOOD AND EVIL,” “GOOD AND BAD.” 49
corners, although they try to get warm by
crouching close to each other, but they tell me
that their misery is a favour and distinction given
to them by God, just as one beats the dogs one
likes best; that perhaps this misery is also a
preparation, a probation, a training ; that perhaps
it is still more something which will one day be
compensated and paid back with a tremendous
interest in gold, nay in happiness. This they call
‘ Blessedness.'”! Further
” They are now giving me to understand, that
not only are they better men than the mighty,
the lords of the earth, whose spittle they have
got to lick {not out of fear, not at all out of fear
But because God ordains that one should honour
all authority)—not only are they better men, but
that they also have a ‘better time,’ at any rate, will one day have a ‘ better time.’ But enough ! Enough ! I can endure it no longer. Bad air
Bad air ! These workshops where ideals are manufactured—^verily they reek with the crassest lies.” Nay. Just one minute ! You are saying
nothing about the masterpieces of these”~virtuosos of^lack magic, whu can piuducti whitenessjlTuTk, “and innocence out of any black you like : have
you not noticed what a pitch of refinement is attained by their chefd’aeuvre, their most audacious,
subtle, ingenious, and lying artist-trick ? Take
care ! These cellar-beasts, full of revenge and
hate—what 3o ‘ they “^aESr forsooth, out of their revenge and hate?__Do, you hejx_these._words? ~~Wou0 yoiT suspect, if you trusted only their Dso THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS,
words, that you are among men of resentment and nothing else ? ” I understand, I prick my ears up again (ah
ah ! ah ! and I hold my nose). Now do I hear
for the first time that which they have said so often :
‘ We good, we are the righteous

tfcey demand they call not revenge but ‘the triumph of righteousness ‘ ; what they hate is not
their enemy, no, they hate ‘ unrighteousness,’
f godlessness ‘ ; what they believe in and hope is mot the hope of revenge, the intoxication of sweet
I revenge (—” sweeter than honey,” did Homer
call it ?), but the victory of God, of the righteous God over the ‘ godless ‘ ; what is left for them to love in this world is not their brothers in hate, but their ‘ brothers in love,’ as they say, all the good and righteous on the earth.” And how do they name that which serves them as a solace against all the troubles of life—their phan- tasmagoria of their anticipated future blessedness ? ” How ? Do I hear right ? They call it ‘ the
last judgment,’ the advent of their kingdom, ‘ the kingdom of God ‘—but in the meanwhile they live
‘ in faith,’ ‘ in love,’ ‘ in hope.’

Enough ! Enough
15. In the faith in what? In the love for what?
In the hope of what ? These weaklings ! —they
also, forsooth, wish to be the strong some time; there is no doubt about it, some time their kingdom also must come—” the kingdom of God”
is their name for it, as has been mentioned:
they are so meek in everything ! Yet in order
to experience that kingdom it is necessary to liv( long, to live beyond death,—yes, eternal life i; necessary so that one can make up for ever foi that earthly life ” in faith,” ” in love,” ” in hope.’ Make up for what ? Make up by what ? Dante,
as it seems to me, made a crass mistake when with
awe-inspiring ingenuity he placed that inscription over the gate of his hell, ” Me too made eternal
love ” : at any rate the following inscription would
have a much better right to stand over the gate
of the Christian Paradise and its ” eternal blessedness “—” Me too made eternal hate “—granted of
course that a truth may rightly stand over the
gate to a” lie! For what is the blessedness of
that Paradise ? Possibly we could quickly surmise
it; but it is better that it should be explicitly
attested by an authority who in such matters is not to be disparaged, Thomas of Aquinas, the
great teacher and saint. ” Beati in regno celesti” says he, as gently as a lamb, ” videbunt pcenas damnatorum, ut beatitude illis magis complaceat.” Or if we wish to hear a stronger tone, a word
from the mouth of a triumphant father of the Church, who warned his disciples against the
cruel ecstasies of the public spectacles—But why ? Faith offers us much more,—says he, de Spectac,
c. 29 ss.,—something much stronger ; thanks to
the redemption, joys of quite another kind stand
at our disposal ; instead of athletes we have our
martyrs; we wish for blood, well, we have the blood of Christ—but what then awaits us on the day of his return, of his triumph. And then does he52 THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS.
proceed, does this enraptured visionary : ” at enim
supersunt alia spectacula, ille ultimus et perpetuus
judicii dies, ille nationibus insperatus, ille derisus, cum tanta scecuH vetustas et tot ejus nativitates uno
igne haurientur. Quce tunc spectaculi latitude
Quid admirer! quid rideam ! Ubi gaudeam!
Ubi exultem., spectans tot et tantos reges, qui in ccelum recepti nuntiabantur, cum ipso Jove et ipsis suis testibus in imis tenebris congemescentes ! Item
prcBsides ” (the provincial governors) ” persecutores dominici nominis scevioribus quam ipsi flammis
scBvierunt insultantibus contra Christianas liques- centes ! Quos prceterea sapientes illos pkilosophos coram discipulis suis una conflagrantibus erubes-, centes, quibus nihil ad deum, pertinere suadebant, quibus animas aut nullas aut non in pristina corpora redituras affirmabant ! Etiampoetas non ad Rhad- amanti nee ad Minois, sed ad inopinati Christi tribunalpalpitantes I Tunc m^agis tragcedi audiendi, magis scilicet vocales ” (with louder tones and more
violent shrieks) ” in sua propria calamitate; tunchis- triones cognoscendi, solutiores tnulto per ignem ; tunc spectandus auriga in flammea rota totus rubens, tunc xystici contemplandi non in gym.nasiis, sed in igne jaculati, nisi quod ne tunc quidem illos velim
vivos, ut qui malim ad eos potius conspectum in- satiabilem conferre, qui in dominum scBvierunt, Hie est ille, dicam fabri aut qucBstuarice filius

(as is shown by the whole of the following, and
in particular by this well-known description of the mother of Jesus from the Talmud, Tertullian
is henceforth referring to the Jews), ” sabbati destructor, Samarites et dcemonium habens. Hie”GOOD AND EVIL,” “GOOD AND BAD.” S3
est quem a Juda redemistis, htc est ille arundine
et colaphis diverberatus, sputamentis de decoratus,
felle et aceto potatus. Hie est, quem clam discentes subripuerunt, ut resurrexisse dicatur vel hortulanus
detraxit, ne lactucce suce frequentia commeantium.
Icederentur. Ut talia spectes, ut talibus exultes,
quis tibi praetor aut consul aut sacerdos de sua
liberalitate prcestabit f Et tamen hcec jam, habemus quodammodo per fidem spiritu imaginante re- prcesentata. Ceterum. qualia ilia sunt, quce nee
oculus vidit nee auris audivit nee in cor hominis
ascenderunt ? ” (i Cor. ii. 9.) “Credo circo et utraque cavea ” (first and fourth row, or, according
to others, the comic and the tragic stage) ” et omni
studio gratiora” Perfidem: so stands it written.
16. Let us come to a conclusion. The two opposing
values, ” good and bad,” ” good and evil,” have
fought a dreadful, thousand-year fight in the
world, and though indubitably the second value has been for a long time in the preponderance,
there are not wanting places where the fortune
of the fight is still undecisive. It can almost be said that in the meariiw^e_the_fight_reaches
“Triltgher and higherTevel, and that in the meaii^
while it has become more and more intense, anE~
always more and more psychological ; so that TTow^’ays there is perhaps no more decisive mark
of the higher nature, of the more psychological
nature, than to Be in that ^ense self-contra-5 dictory, and toSe actually still a battleground’54 THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS.
for those two opposites. The symbol of this
fight, written in a writing which has remained worthy of perusal throughout the course of history up to the present time, is called ” Rome against Judaea, Judaea against Rome.” Hitherto there ^as been no greater event than that hgtit, the~
I’puttmg ol T^^K5^^^^RiJE91J^^^^^^ an.ta^ni.si^ Rome found in the Jew the incarnation of the unnatural, as though it were its diametrically opposed monstrosity, and in Rome the Jew was held to be convicted of hatred of the whole human
race: and rightly so, in so far as it is right to link the well-being and the future of the human race to the unconditional mastery of the aristocratic values, of the Roman values. What,
conversely, did the Jews feel against Rome ? One
can surmise it from a thousand symptoms, but
it is sufficient to carry one’s mind back to the Johannian Apocalypse, that most obscene of all the written outbursts, which has revenge on its conscience. (One should also appraise at its full value the profound logic of the Christian instinct, when over this very book of hate it wrote the name
of the Disciple of Love, that self-same disciple to whom it attributed that impassioned and
ecstatic Gospel—therein lurks a portion of truth, however much literary forging may have been necessary for this purpose.) The Romans were the strong and aristocratic ; a nation stronger and more aristocratic has never existed in the world, has never even been dreamed of; every relic of them, every inscription enraptures, granted that one can divine what it is that writes the inscrip-“GOOD AND EVIL,” “GOOD AND BAD.” 55
tion. The Jews, conversely, were that priestly- nation of resentment /«>• excellence, possessed by
a unique genius for popular morals : just compare
with the Jews the nations with analogous gifts, such as the Chinese or the Germans, so as to
realise afterwards what is first rate, and what is
fifth rate. Which of them has been provisionally victorious, Rome or Judaea? but there is not a shadow of doubt ; just consider to whom in Rome itself nowadays you bow down, as though before the
quintessence of all the highest values—and not
only in Rome, but almost over half the world, everywhere where man has been tamed or is about to be tamed—to three Jews, as we know,
and one Jewess (to Jesus of Nazareth, to Peter
the fisher, to Paul the tent-maker, and to the mother of the aforesaid Jesus, named Mary).
This is very remarkable : Rome is undoubtedly
defeated. At any rate there took place in the Renaissance a brilliantly sinister revival of the
classical ideal, of the aristocratic valuation of all things: Rome herself, like a man waking up from
a trance, stirred beneath the burden of the new
Judaised Rome that had been built over her, which presented the appearance of an oecumenical synagogue and was called the ” Church ” : but immediately Judsea triumphed again, thanks to that fundamentally popular (German and English) movement of revenge, which is called the Reformation, and taking also into account its inevitable
corollary, the restoration of the Church—the
restoration also of the ancient graveyard peace$6 THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS.
of classical Rome. Judaea proved yet once more
victorious over the classical ideal in the French
Revolution, and in a sense which was even more
crucial and even more profound : the last political aristocracy that existed in Europe, that of the French seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, broke into pieces beneath the instincts of a
resentful populace—never had the world heard
a greater jubilation, a more uproarious enthusiasm : indeed, there took place in the midst of it the most monstrous and unexpected phenomenon
the ancient ideal itself swept before the eyes and
conscience of humanity with all its life and with unheard-of splendour, and in opposition to resent- ment’s lying war-cry of the prerogative of the most,
in opposition to the will to lowliness, abasement, and equalisation, the will to a retrogression and
twilight of humanity, there rang out once again, stronger, simpler, more penetrating than ever, the terrible and enchanting counter-warcry of the prerogative of the few ! Like a final sign- post to other ways, there appeared Napoleon, the most unique and violent anachronism that ever existed, and in him the incarnate problem of the aristocratic ideal in itself—consider well what a problem it is :—Napoleon, that synthesis of Monster and Superman.
17- Was it therewith over ? Was that greatest of all antitheses of ideals thereby relegated ad acta for
all time ? Or only postponed, postponed for a long”GOOD AND EVIL,” “GOOD AND BAD.” S7
time? May there not take place at some time
or other a much more awful, much more carefully prepared flaring up of the old conflagration? Further ! Should not one wish tkat consummation with all one’s strength?—will it one’s self? demand it one’s self? He who at this juncture
begins, like my readers, to reflect, to think further,
will have difficulty in cOming quickly to a conclusion,—ground enough for me to come myself
to a conclusion, taking it for granted that for some
time past what I mean has been sufficiently clear, what I exactly mean by that dangerous motto
which is inscribed on the body of my last book
( Beyond Good and Evil—at any rate that is not the same as ” Beyond Good and Bad.” I
Note.—I avail myself of the opportunity offered by this
treatise to express, openly and formally, a wish which up
to the present has only been expressed in occasional conversations with scholars, namely, that some Faculty of philosophy should, by means of a series of prize essays, gain the glory of having promoted the further study of the
history of morals—pMhs.ps this book may serve to give a for- cible impetus in such a direction. With regard to a possibility of this character, the following question deserves consideration. It merits quite as much the attention of philologists and historians as of actual professional philosophers.
” What indication of the history of the evolution of the moral ideas is afforded by philology, and especially by etymological investigation f
” On the other hand, it is of course equally necessary to induce physiologists and doctors to be interested in these problems {ofthe value of the valuations which have prevailed up to the present) : in this connection the professional philo- sophers may be trusted to act as the spokesmen and inter- mediaries in these particular instances, after, of course, they have quite succeeded in transforming the relationship between58 THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS.
philosophy and physiology and medicine, which is originally one of coldness and suspicion, into the most friendly and fruit- ful reciprocity. In point of fact, all tables of values, all the ” thou shalts ” known to history and ethnology, need primarily a physiological, at any rate in preference to a psychological, elucidation and interpretation ; all equally require a critique from medical science. The question, “What is the value
of this or that table of ‘ values ‘ and morality ? ” will be asked from the most varied standpoints. For instance, the question of ” valuable/()r what ” can never be analysed with
sufficient nicety. That, for instance, which would evidently have value with regard to promoting in a race the greatest possible powers of endurance (or with regard to increasing
its adaptability to a specific climate, or with regard to the preservation of the grefatest number) would have nothing
like the same value/ if it were a question of evolving a stronger species. In gauging values, the good of the majority and the good of the minority are opposed stand- points : we leave it to the naivety of English biologists to regard the former standpoint as intrinsically superior. All
the sciences have now to pave the way for the future task of the philosopher ; this task being understood to mean, that he must solve the problem of value, that he has to fix the hierarchy ofvalues.SECOND ESSAY.
“GUILT,” “BAD CONSCIENCE,” AND THE LIKE.The breeding of an animal that ca« promis&rr^r
is not this just that very paradox of a task which
nature has set itself liT^regard foTnan ? Is^oT
tKisThe very problem of man^r^’The fact that this problem has been to a great extent solved, must
appear all the more phenomenal to one who can
estimate at its full value that force oi forgetfulness which works in oppositioiTTorE Forgetfulness
IS no mere vis inerticB, as the superficial believe, rather is it a power of nhstniction. artivp anH in the strictest sense of the word, positive-;^—?, p^^^f
resnonsible for the fact that what we have lived. experienced, taken into ourselves, no more enters into xoasKigusaess. during the process of digestion
(it might be called psychic absorption) than all the whole manifold process by which our physical
nutrition, the so-called ” incorporation,” is carried
on. The temporary shutting of the doors and
windows ~ of cpnad-QUSneas. the relief from the clamant alarums and excursions, with which our
subconscious world of servant organs works in mutual co-operation and antagonism ; a little quietude,_a little tabula rasa of the consciousness^
so as to make room again for the new, an?^Bovg
ajOar the moreTTotrlerfg^fions and lunctionariesj tor
is the utility, as I have said, of the active forgetful- rieSST-which is a very sentinel and nurse of psychic oFaBTTT^ose, etiquette; and this shows at once why it is that tfriere ^ can _exist_ no_ha2£iiness, no
gladnessj no hope^no pridfiA_no real present, withouF
forgetfulness. The man in whom this preventative apparatus is damaged and discarded, is to be compared~to~ar-d7Spgptte7a’nd” it” Is””s’omething more
than a comparison—he can ” get rid of” nothing. But this very animal who finds it necessary to be
forgetful, in whom, in fact, forgetfulness represents a force and a form of robust health, has reared for~ himself an opposition-power, a memory, witH whose help forgetfulness is, in certain mstances, kept in check—in the cases, namely, where promiseg- have to be made;—so that it is by no means a mere passive inability to get rid of a once indented impression, not merely the indigestion occasioned by a once pledged word, which one cannot dispose
of, but an active refusal to get rid of it, a contin miTg~ana”‘a wish to continue what has once been
willed, an actual rnemory ofihewM}, so that between the original .”-I- will,” ” I shalL-dQ,’LaQi_
the actual discharge of the will, its ^ao;. we joap easily interpose a world_of ne_w strange^phenomena,
circumstances, veritable volitions, without the snapping of this long chain of the will. But what
is the underlying hypothesis of all this? How
thoroughly, in order to be able to regulate the future in this way, must man have first learnt to distinguish between necessitated and accidental ^phenomena, to think causally, to see the distant as~prg5eiit and to anticipate it, to fix with certainty”GUILT,” ” BAD CONSCIENCE,” AND THE LIKE. 63
what is the end, and what is the means to that end ; abovS all, lu ifccfeonTlEo^have power to calculate —^^Eow thoroughly must matTIGave first become
calculable, disciplined, necessitated even for himself and his own conception of himself, that, like a man
entering into a promise, he could guarantee himself
as a future.
This is simply the long history of the origin of
respormbttttyT Thai Lask uf breeding^ an animal
whiclf^an n?ake promises, includes, as we have
already grasped, as its condition and preliminary,
the more immediate task of first making man to a
certain extent, necessitated, uniform, like among
his like, regular, and consequently calculable. The
immense work of what I have called, ” morality of custom ” * (cp. Dawn of Day, Aphs. 9, 14, and 1 6), the actual work of man on himself during the
longest period of the human race, his whole prehistoric work, finds its meaning, its great justifica- tion (in spite of all its innate hardness, despotism,
stupidity, and idiocy) in this fact : man, with the
help of the morality of customs and of social strait- waistcoats, was made genuinely calculable. If, however, we place ourselves at the end of this colossal
process, at the point where the tree finally matures
its fruits, when society and its morality of custom
finally bring to light that to which it was only
the means, then do we find as the ripest fruit on its tree the sovereign individual, that reseliiBles”only
himself, that has’ got’ roose~ffonr’the morality of
* The German is : ” Sittlichkeit der Sitte.” H. B. S.64 THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS.
custom, the autonomous ” super-moral ” indnddual
(for “autohombus” and “moral” are mutually
exclusive terms),—in short, the man of the personal, long, and independent will, competent to promuep^
and we find in him a proud consciousness (vibrat- ing in every fibre), of what has been at last achieved and become vivified in him, a genuine consciousness of power and freedom, a feeling of human perfection in general. And this man who
has grown to freedpm;_^br> jp rpally mmp^fK^f^f »» promise, this lord of the/i^-ge will, this sovereign

^low is rtpossibre for^^trfjnbt to Unow how great
is his su^eriority^,Qygr_,,eve]ything^tirapahlq_nfJ binding itself by promises, or of being its own
security, how great is the trust, the awe, the reverence that he awakes—he ” deserves ” all three —not to know that with this mastery over himself he is necessarily also given the mastery over circumstances, over nature, over all creatures with shorter wills, less reliable characters ? rTbeJifree ” man, the o^<rner of a long unbreakable wiU,^dsin_
this possession his^.ri[«»i&r(/ of value: looking out from himself upon the others, he honours or he
despises, and just as necessarily as he honours his peers, the strong and the reliable (those who can bind themselves by promises),—that is, every one who promises like a sovereign, with difficulty, rarely and slowly, who is sparing with his trusts but confers honour by the very fact of trusting, who
gives his word as something that can berelied on, because he knows himself strong enough to keep it even in the teeth of disasters, eveiT in’gie ‘^”SetlT of fate,”—so with equal necessity will he have the”GUILT,” “BAD CONSCIENCE,” AND THE LIKf. 65
heel of his foot ready for the lean and empty jack- as^, who promise when they have no business to do so^and his rod of chastisement ready for the liar, who already breaks his word at the very minute when
it is on his lips. The proud knowledge oflhejaxtradi ordinary privilege of responsibility, the consciQUSr’
ness of thisjare freedom, of this power ovpr bim-gplf
aiiH^ OTcr fate, Jbas.sunk_right dgwnjta his innermost^
depths, and has become an instinct, a_dominating
instinctrr^what name will he give to it, to this dominating instinct, iTTie” needfTcTMve “a worH^”for”
it ? But there is no doubt about it—the sovereign
man calls it his conscience. J
His conscience?—One apprehends at once that
the idea ” conscience,” which is here seen in its supreme manifestation, supreme in fact to almost
the point of strangeness, should already have
behind it a long history and evolution. The ability
to guarantee one’s self with all due pride, and also at the same time to say ves to one’s self—-that is, as hasjbeen said^aripefruit, bi|t also a laie_hm.t

How long must needs this fruit hang sour and
bitter on the tree ! And for an even longer
period there was not a glimpse of such a fruit to
to be had—no one had taken it on himself to promise it, although everything on the tree was
quite ready for it, and everything was maturing
for that very consummation. ” How is a memory
to be made for the man-animal ? How is an impression to be so deeply fixed upon this ephemeral E66 THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS.
understanding, half dense, and half silly, upon this incarnate forgetfulness, that it will be permanently present ?” As one may imagine, this primeval problem was not solved by exactly gentle answers and gentle means ; perhaps there is nothing more
awful and more sinister in the early history of man
than his system of mnemonics. ” Something is burnt
in so as to remain in his memory : only that which never stops hurting remains in his memory.” This is an axiom of the oldest (unfortunately
also the longest) psychology in the world. It might even be said that wherever solemnity7~~
seriousness, mystery, and gloomy colour’s” are ttow->^ found in the life of the men and of nations of the world, there is some survival of that horror which was once the universal concomitant of all promises, pledges, and obligations. The past, th&^JfliLr^^ with all its length, depth, and hardness, wafts to us its breath, and bubbles up in us again, when we become ” serious.” ‘ When man thinks it neces- sary to make for himself a memory, he never accomplishes it without blood, tortures, and
sacrifice ; the most dreadful sacrifices and for- feitures (among them the sacrifice of the first-bom), the most loathsome mutilation (for instance, castration), the most cruel rituals of all the religious cults (for all religions are really at bottom systems of cruelty)-—all these things originate from that instinct which found in pain its most polenT”” mnemonics In a certain sense the whole of asceti- cism is to be ascribed to this : certain ideas have got to be made inextinguishable, omnipresent, ” fixed,” with the object of hypnotising the whole nervous”GUILT,” “BAD CONSCIENCE,” AND THE LIKE. ^J
and intellectual system through these ” fixed
ideas “—and the ascetic methods and modes of
life are the means of freeing those ideas from the
competition of all other ideas so as to make them
“unforgettable.” The worse memory man had,
the ghastlier the signs presented by his customs
the severity of the penal laws affords in particular a gauge of the extent of man’s difficulty in conquering forgetfulness, and in keeping a few
primal postulates of social intercourse ever present
to the minds of those who were the slaves of
every momentary emotion and every momentary
desire. We Germans do certainly not regard
ourselves as an especially cruel and hard-hearted
nation, still less as an especially casual and happygo-lucky one ; but one has only to look at our
old penal ordinances in order to realise what a
lot of trouble it takes in the world to evolve a
” nation of thinkers ” (I mean : the European nation which exhibits at this very day the maximum of
reliability, seriousness, bad taste, and positiveness, which has on the strength of these qualities a
right to train every kind of European mandarin). These Germans employed terrible means to make
for themselves a memory, to enable them to master their rooted plebeian instincts and the
brutal crudity of those instincts : think of the old German punishments, for instance, stoning (as far back as the legend, the millstone falls on the head
of the guilty man), breaking on the wheel (the most original invention and speciality of the German genius in the sphere of punishment), dart- throwing, tearing, or trampling by horses (” quarter-68 THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS.
ing”), boiling the criminal in oil or wine (still prevalent in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries), the highly popular flaying (” slicing into strips “), cutting the flesh out of the breast ; think also of the evil-doer being besmeared with honey, and
then exposed to the flies in a blazing sun. It was by the help of such images and precedents that man eventually kept in his memory five or six ” I will nots ” with regard to which he had
already given his promise, so as to be able to enjoy the advantages of society—and verily with the help of this kind of memory man eventually attained ” reason ” ! Alas ! reason, seriousness, mastery over the emotions, all these gloomy, dismal things which are called reflection, all these privileges and pageantries of humanity : how dear
is the price that they have exacted ! How much
blood and cruelty is the foundation of all ” good
things “
4- But how is it that that other melancholy object, the consciousness of sin, the whole “bad conscience,” came into the world ? And it is here that we turn back to our genealogists of morals. For the second time I say—or have I not said it yet ?—that they are worth nothing. Just their own five-spans-long limited modern experience ; no knowledge of the past, and no wish to know it ; still less a historic instinct, a power of ” second sight ” (which is what
is really required in this case)—and despite this to go in for the history of morals. It stands to reason that this must needs produce results which”GUILT,” ” BAD CONSCIENCE,” AND THE LIKE. 69
are removed from the truth by something more
than a respectful distance. Have these current genealogists of morals
ever allowed themselves to have even the vaguest notion, for instance, that the cardinal moral idea of ” ought ” * originates from the very
material idea of ” owe ” ? Or that punishment
developed as a retaliation absolutely independently of any preliminary hypothesis of the free- dom or determination of the will ?—And this to such an extent, that a high degree of civilisation was always first necessary for the animal man to begin to make those much more primitive dis- tinctions of” intentional,” ” negligent,” ” accidental,”
” responsible,” and their contraries, and apply them
in the assessing of punishment. That idea—” the wrong-doer deserves punishment because he might
have acted otherwise,” in spite of the fact that it
is nowadays so cheap, obvious, natural, and inevitable, and that it has had to serve as an
illustration of the way in which the sentiment of
justice appeared on earth, is in point of fact an
exceedingly late, and even refined form of human
judgment and inference ; the placing of this idea back at the beginning of the world is simply a clumsy violation of the principles of primitive t psychology. Throughout the longest period of human history punishment was never based on
the responsibility of the evil-doer for his action, and was consequently not based on the hypothesis
* The German world ” schuld ” means both debt and
guilt. Cp. the English “owe” and “ought,” by which I occasionally render the double meaning.—H. B. S.70 THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS.
that only the guilty should be punished ;—on the contrary, punishment was inflicted in those days
for the same reason that parents punish their children even nowadays, out of anger at an injury that they have suffered, an anger which vents
itself mechanically on the author of the injury

but this anger is kept in bounds and modified through the idea that every injury has somewhere
or other its equivalent price, and can really be paid off, even though it be by means of pain to the author. Whence is it that this ancient deep- rooted and now perhaps ineradicable idea has drawn its strength, this idea of an equivalency between injury and pain ? I have already re- vealed its origin, in the contractual relationship between creditor and ower, that is as old as the existence of legal rights at all, and in its turn points back to the primary forms of purchase, sale, barter, and trade.
5- The realisation of these contractual relations excites, of course (as would be already expected from our previous observations), a great deal of suspicion and opposition towards the primitive society which made or sanctioned them. In this society promises will be made ; in this society the object is to provide the promiser with a memory;
in this society, so may we suspect, there will be full scope for hardness, cruelty, and pain: the
” ower,” in order to induce credit in his promise of repayment, in order to give a guarantee of the earnestness and sanctity of his promise, in order” GUILT,” ” BAD CONSCIENCE,” AND THE LIKE. J
to drill into his own conscience the duty, the solemn duty, of repayment, will, by virtue of a
contract with his creditor to meet the contingency
of his not paying, pledge something that he still possesses, something that he still has in his power,
for instance, his life or his wife, or his freedom
or his body (or under certain religious conditions even his salvation, his soul’s welfare, even
his peace in the grave ; so in Egypt, where the
corpse of the ower found even in the grave no rest from the creditor—of course, from the Egyptian
standpoint, this peace was a matter of particular importance). But especially has the creditor the power of inflicting on the body of the ower all kinds of pain and torture—the power, for instance, of cutting off from it an amount that appeared
proportionate to the greatness of the debt ;—this point of view resulted in the universal prevalence
at an early date of precise schemes of valuation, frequently horrible in the minuteness and meticulosity of their application, legally sanctioned schemes of valuation for individual limbs and parts
of the body. I consider it as already a progress,
as a proof of a freer, less petty, and more Roman
conception of law, when the Roman Code of the Twelve Tables decreed that it was immaterial how
much or how little the creditors in such a contingency cut off, ” si plus minusve secuerunt, ne fraude esto.” Let us make the logic of the whole
of this equalisation process clear; it is strange enough. The equivalence consists in this : in- stead of an advantage directly compensatory of his injury (that is, instead of an equalisation in money,72 / THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS.
lands, or some kind of chattel), the creditor is granted by way of repayment and compensation
a certain sensation of satisfaction—the satisfaction of being able to vent, without any trouble, his power on one who is powerless, the delight ” de /aire le mal pour le plaisir de le faire” the joy
in sheer violence : and this joy will be relished in proportion to the lowness and humbleness of the creditor in the social scale, and is quite apt to have the effect of the most delicious dainty, and even seem the foretaste of a higher social position. Thanks to the punishment of the “ower,” the creditor participates in the rights of the masters. At last he too, for once in a way, attains the edifying consciousness of being able to despise and ill-treat a creature—as an ” inferior “—or at any rate of seeing him being despised and ill-treated, in case the actual power of punishment, the administration of punishment, has already become transferred to the ” authorities.” The compensation consequently
consists in a claim on cruelty and a right to draw
of the ideas of ” guilt,” ” conscience,” ” duty.” the^ “”sacredness ^ duty,”—their commencement,-like__ tEe~ commencement of all great things in the wgrld^is ^thoroughly -and continuouoly saturate^ZT
^svithrrbleed. And should we not add that this world has never really lost a certain savour of blood and torture (not even in old Kant’ the” GUILT,” ” BAD CONSCIENCE,” AND THE LIKE. 73
categorical imperative reeks of cruelty). It was
in this sphere likewise that there first became
formed that sinister and perhaps now indissoluble
association of the ideas of ” guilt ” and ” suffering.” pTo put the question yet again, why can suffering be
a compensation for ” owing ” ?—Because the inflic- tion of suffering produces the highest degree of
happiness, because the injured party will get in exchange for his loss (including his vexation at
his loss) an extraordinary counter-pleasure: the
infliction of suffering—a real feast, something
that, as I have said, was all the more appreciated
the greater the paradox created by the rank and
social status of the creditQjJ These observations
are purely conjectural ; for, apart from the painful nature of the task, it is hard to plumb such pro- found depths : the clumsy introduction of the idea
of ” revenge ” as a connecting-link simply hides and obscures the view instead of rendering it clearer (revenge itself simply leads back again to
the identical problem—” How can the infliction of
suffering be a satisfaction ? “). In my opinion it
is repugnant to the delicacy, and still more to
the hypocrisy of tame domestic animals (that is, modern men ; that is, ourselves), to realise with all their energy the extent to which cruelty constituted the great joy and delight of ancient man,
was an ingredient which seasoned nearly all his
pleasures, and conversely the extent of the nalvet^ and innocence with which he manifested his need for
cruelty, when he actually made as a matter of principle ” disinterested malice ” (or, to use Spinoza’s
expression, the sympathia malevolens) into a normalp
characteristic of man—as consequently something
to which the conscience says a hearty yes. The more profound observer has perhaps already had
sufficient opportunity for noticing this most
ancient and radical joy and delight of mankind; m Beyond Good and Evil, Aph. i88 (and even
earlier, in The Dawn of Day, Aphs. i8, TJ, 113),
I have cautiously indicated the continually grow- ing spiritualisation and ” deification ” of cruelty, which pervades the whole history of the higher
civilisation (and in the larger sense even constitutes i.^ At any rate the time is not so long past when it was impossible to conceive of royal weddings and national festivals on a grand
scale, without executions, tortures, or perhaps an
auto-da-f^, or similarly to conceive of an aristocratic household, without a creature to serve as a butt
for the cruel and malicious baiting of the inmates. (The reader will perhaps remember Don Quixote
at the court of the Duchess : we read nowadays
the whole of Don Quixote with a bitter taste in the mouth, almost with a sensation of torture, a
fact which would appear very strange and very incomprehensible to the author and his con- temporaries—they read it with the best con- science in the world as the gayest of books ; they almost died with laughing at it.) The sight oil suffering does one good, the infliction of sufleririg does one i
‘ nore–good^^^iMsTS”a “hard maxim, but Tione-the less aTTundamehtal maxim, old, powerful,
ati’d ” human, all-Luu-htnn^n’^’7 one, moreover, to which perhaps evenThe^pes’as well would sub- scribe : for it is said that in inventing bizarre”GUILT,” “BAD CONSCIENCE,” AND THE LIKE; 75y
Cj-iioltiffg tlipy arp gnnng ghnnHant pfoniLjif’ 4heir
future humanity, to which, as_it were, they are playing the p
relude. VV^ithout cruelty, no feast.
so teaches the oldest and longest history of man —and i n punishment too is there so much of the
Entertaining, as I do, these thoughts, I am, let me say in parenthesis, fundamentally opposed to helping our pessimists to new water for the dis- cordant and groaning mills of their disgust with
life; on the contrary, it should be shown specifi- cally that, at the time when mankind was not yet ashamed of its cruelty, life in the world was
brighter than it is nowadays when there are
pessimists. The darkening of the heavens over man has always increased in propoxtloji, ,tp.– the growth of man’s shame before j^n. Thg^ tired
“pessimistic dutloolc, the mistrust of the riddle of life, tKg~i(!:y fiegatiiM~of”^^sgusteg~enn’ui, all thos^ ^re jiot the signs of the most evil age of
the human race : much rather do they come
first to the light of day, as the swamp-flowers, which they are, when the swamp to which they
belong, comes into existence—I mean the diseased refinement and moralisation, thanks to which the
” animal man ” has at last learnt to be ashamed
of all his instincts. On the road to angel-hood^
(not to use in this context a harder -wDni)-inan
has developed that dyspeptic stomach and coated
tongue. wEicE~have made not j
jnjvjthe^jov and
“ioQC^.C£_eLj.he _animd repulsive to him, butJ6 THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS.
I also lifeitselfii—so that sometimes he stands with stopped nostrils before his own self, and, like Pope Innocent the Third, makes a black list of
his own horrors (” unclean generation, loathsome
nutrition when in the maternal body, badness of the matter out of which man develops, awful stench, secretion of saliva, urine, and excrement “). Nowadays, when suffering is always trotted out as the first argument against existence, as its most sinister query, it is well to remember the times when men judged on converse principles because they could not dispense with the infliction of suffering, and saw therein a magic of the first order, a veritable bait of seduction to life. Perhaps in those days (this is to solace the weaklings) pain did not hurt so much as it does nowadays : any physician who has treated negroes (granted that these are taken as representative of the prehistoric man) suffering from severe internal inflammations which would bring a European, even though he had the soundest constitution, almost to despair, would be in a position to come
to this conclusion. Pain has not the same effect with negroes. (The curve of human sensibilities to pain seems indeed to sink in an extraordinary and almost sudden fashion, as soon as one has passed the upper ten thousand or ten millions of
over-civilised humanity, and I personally have no doubt that, by comparison with one painful night passed by one single hysterical chit of a cultured woman, the suffering of all the animals taken together who have been put to the question of the
knife, so as to give scientific answers, are simply”GUILT,” “BAD CONSCIENCE,” AND THE LIKE, •jj”
negligible.) ( We may perhaps be allowed to MftlTir^ the possibility of the craving for cruelty not necessarily having become really extinct: it only requires,
in view of the fact that pain hurts more nowadays,
a certain sublimation and subtilisation, it must
especially be translated to the imaginative and
psychic plane, and be adorned with such smug
euphemisms, that even the most fastidious and
hypocritical conscience could never grow suspicious of their real nature (” Tragic pity ” is one
of these euphemisnis :J another is ” les nostalgies de
la croix “). What really raises one’s indignation
against sufferingisTiof~stTfiferhig-4tttriiisicaHy743^ thensensetessncss of BuffertKgT’sucira senselessness, However, existed neitHer” in Christianity, which
interpreted suffering into a whole mysterious
salvation-apparatus^ fiof^’Tn^the T)eIiefs~'”of l:he
na?ve”ancient man, wBo only knew how to find a meaning in suffering from the standpoint of the
spectator, or the inflictor of the suffering. In
QT3er~to get the secret, undiscovered, and unwitnessed suffering out of the world it was almost
compulsory to invent gods and a hierarcKy~of”
intermediate beingspin short, something which
wanders even among secret places, sees even in the dark, and makes a point of never missing an
interesting and painful spectacle. It w^is^with.
the help of such inventions that life got to learn
\’a& tour de force, which hasbecome j)art of its
stock-injrade, thefog^r de force of self-justification, of the justification of evil ; nbwadays™th’is”‘would
pertiaps require other Auxiliary devices (for instance, life as a riddle, life as a problem ofyS , THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS.
knowledge). ” Every evil is justified in the sight
ot which a’god finds edification,” so rang the logic of primitive sentiment—and, indeed, was it only of primitive ? The gods conceived as friends of spectacles of cruelty—oh how far does this primeval conception extend even nowadays into our European civilisation ! One would perhaps
like in this context to consult Luther and Calvin.
It is at any rate certain that even the Greeks knew no more piquant seasoning for the happiness
of their gods than the joys of cruelty. What, do you think, was the mood with which Homer
makes his gods look down upon the fates of men ? What final meaning have at bottom
the Trojan War and similar tragic horrors ? It
is impossible to entertain any doubt on the point : they were intended as festival games
for the gods, and, in so far as the poet is of a more godlike breed than other men, as festival games also for the poets. It was in just this spirit and no other, that at a later date the moral philosophers of Greece conceived the eyes of God as still looking down on the moral struggle, the heroism, and the self-torture of the virtuous; the Heracles of duty was on a stage, and was
conscious of the fact ; virtue without witnesses was something quite unthinkable for this nation of actors. Must not that philosophic iavention,- so audacious and^ so fatal, which was then aBsoIutely new to Europe, the . inventioa. of J]^e
will^” of the absolute spontaneity of man in_good_ and evilj_simply havebeen made for the specific^ purpose of justifiying the idea, that” the interest of” guilt; ” BAD CONSCIENCE,” AND THE LIKE. 79
the gods in hiimanify and t^ifman virl^iiP—ums-Ji
inexhaustible ? There would never on the stage of this freewill world be a dearth of really new, really novel and exciting situations, plots, catastrophes. A
world thought out on completely deterministic
lines would be easily guessed by the gods, and
would consequently soon bore them—sufficient reason for these friends of the gods, the philosophers, not to ascribe to their gods such a deterministic world. The whole of ancient humanity
is full of delicate consideration for the spectator, being as it is a world of thorough publicity and
theatricality, which could not conceive of happiness without spectacles and festivals.—And, as
has already been said, even in great punishment
there is so much which is festive.
8. The feeling of ” ought,” of personal obligation
(to take up again the train of our inquiry), has
had, as we saw, its origin in the oldest and most
original personal relationship that there is, the
relationship between buyer and seller, creditor and ower : here it was that individual confronted
individual, and that individual matched himself
against individual. There has not yet been found
a grade of civilisation so low, as not to manifest some trace of this relationship. Making prices, assessing values, thinking out equivalents, ex- changing—all this preoccupied the primal thoughts
of man to such an extent that in a certain sense80 THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS.
it constituted thinking itself : it was here that was
trained the oldest form of sagacity, it was here in this sphere that we can perhaps trace the first commencement of man’s pride, of his feeling of
superiority over other animals. Perhaps our word ” Mensch ” (manas) still expresses just something of this self-pride : man denoted himself as the being who measures values, who values and
measures, as the “assessing” animal /«r excellence. Sale and purchase, together with their psychological concomitants, are older than the origins of any form of social organisation and union : it is rather from the most rudimentary form of indi- vidual right that the budding consciousness of exchange, commerce, debt, right, obligation, compensation was first transferred to the rudest and most elementary of the social complexes (in their relation to similar complexes), the habit of comparing force with force, together with” that~of
measuring, of calculating. His eye was now
focussed to this perspective ; and with that ponder- ous consistency characteristic of ancient thought, which, though set in motion with difficulty, yet proceeds inflexibly along the line on which it has
started, man soon arrived at the great generalisation, “everything has its price, all can be paid for,” the oldest and most naive moral canon ol justice, the beginning of all ” kindness,” of all “equity,” of
all ” goodwill,” of all ” objectivity ” in the world. /Justice in this initial phase is the goodwill among
people of about equal power to come to terms with each other, to come to an understanding again by means of a settlement, and with regard to the less” GUILT,” ” BAD CONSCIENCE,” AND THE LIKE. 8
powerful, to compel them to agree among themselves to a settlement. I
9. Measured always by the standard of antiquity
(this antiquity, moreover, is present or again
possible at all periods), the community stands to
its members in that important and radical relation- ship of creditor to his ” owers.” Man lives in a community, man enjoys the advantages of a community (and what advantages ! we occasionally underestimate them nowadays), man lives protected, spared, in peace and trust, secure from
certain injuries and enmities, to which the man
outside the community, the ” peaceless ” man, is exposed,—a German understands the original meaning of ” Elend ” (Slend),—secure because he
has entered into pledges and obligations to the community in respect of these very injuries and
enmities. What happens when this is not the case} The community, the defrauded creditor,
will get itself paid, as well as it can, one can
reckon on that. In this case the question of the
direct damage done by the offender is quite subsidiary: quite apart from this the criminal* is above
all a breaker, a breaker of word and covenant to the whole, as regards all the advantages and
amenities of the communal life in which up to that time he had participated. The criminal is an “ower” who not only fails to repay the advances and advantages that have been given to him, but even sets out to attack his creditor:
* German: ” Verbrecher.”—H.B.S. F82 THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS.
consequently he is in the future not only, as is
fair, deprived of all these advantages and amenities —he is in addition reminded of the importance of those advantages. The wrath of the injured
creditor, of the community, puts him back in the wild and outlawed status from which he was
previously protected : the community repudiates him—and now every kind of enmity can vent
itself on him. Punishment is in this stage of civilisation simply the copy, the mimic, of the normal treatment of the hated, disdained, and conquered enemy, who is not only deprived of every right and protection but of every mercy;
so we have the martial law and triumphant festival of the v<z victis ! in all its mercilessness and
cruelty. This shows why war itself (counting the
sacrificial cult of war) has produced all the forms under which punishment has manifested itself in history.
ID. As it grows more powerful, the community
/tends to take the offences of the individual less seriously, because they are now regarded as being much less revolutionary and dangerous to the corporate existence : the evil-doer is no more
outlawed and put outside the pale, the common
wrath can no longer vent itself upon him with
its old licence,—on the contrary, from this very time it is against this wrath, and particularly against the wrath of those directly injured, that the evil-doer is carefully shielded and protected by the community. As, in fact, the penal law” GUILT,” ” BAD CONSCIENCE,” AND THE LIKE. 83
develops, the following characteristics become
more and more clearly marked : compromise
with the wrath of those directly affected by the misdeed ; a consequent endeavour to localise the matter and to prevent a further, or indeed a
general spread of the disturbance; attempts to
find equivalents and to settle the whole matter
{compositid) ; above all, the will, which manifests
itself with increasing definiteness, to treat every
offence as in a certain degree capable of being paid off, and consequently, at any rate up to a
certain point, to isolate the offender from his act. As the power and the self-consciousness of al’ community increases, so proportionately does the! penal law become mitigated ; conversely every}
‘ weakening and jeopardising of the community!
revives the harshest forms of that law. The
creditor has always grown more humane j>feportionately as he has grown more rich : finally thg_jjso!mtJiLinjur3^he_can_ento
suffering_becomes the criterion of his wealth. It i
is possible to conceive of a society blessed with
so great a consciousness of its own power as to indulg£liLthgriiiusL_aijbl-Uci a l£L l ujarySf’Kt!ing~
its wrongjdoers go scot-free.—” What do my
parasites matter to me ? ” might society say.
” Let them live and flourish ! I am strong enough for it.”—The justice which began with
the maxim, ” Everything can be paid off, everything must be paid off,” ends with connivance at the escape of those who cannot pay to escape—it ends, like every good thing on earth, by destroying
itself.—pThe self-destruction of Justice ! we know84 } THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS.
the pretty name it calls itself

Grace I it remains,
as is obvious, the privilege of the strongest, better
still, their super-law. I
II. A deprecatory word here, against, the sttUBptSi
that have lately been made, to_Jjijd. -the- origin of —
justice on quite another^ basis—-namely,jaij_Jtliat_- of resentment. Let me whisper a word in the ear of the psychologists, if they would fain study revenge itself at close quarters : this plant blooms
its prettiest at present among Anarchists and
anti-Semites, a hidden flower, as it has ever been, like the violet, though, forsooth, with another perfume. And as like must necessarily emanate from like, it will not be a matter for surprise that it is just in such circles that we see the birth of endeavours (it is their old birthplace

compare above. First Essay, paragraph 14), to sanctify revenge under the name oi fusticelas though Justice were at bottom merely^ adevglog^ ment of the consciousness of injury), .and-thus-, with the rehabilitation of revenge to reinstate generally and collectively alLthe reactive ^motiona..
I object to this last point least of all. It even seems meritorious when regarded from the stand- point of the whole problem of biology (from which standpoint the value of these emotions has up to the present been oinderestimated). And
that to which I alone call attention, is the circum- stance that it is the spirit of revenge itself, from which develops this new nuance of scientific equity (for the benefit of hate, envy, mistrust,”GUILT,” “BAD CONSCIENCE,” AND THE LIKE. 85
jealousy, suspicion, rancour, revenge). This
scientific ” equity ” stops immediately and makes way for the accents of deadly enmity and prejudice, so soon as another group of emotions comes on the scene, which in my opinion are of
a much higher biological value than these re- actions, and consequently have a paramount
claim to the valuation and appreciation of science
I mean the really active emotions, such as personal and material ambition, and so forth. (E. Diihring. Value of Life ; Course of Philosophy, and
passim^ So much against this tendency in general : but as for the particular maxim of
Diihring’s, that the home of Justice is to be found
in the sphere of the reactive feelings, our love of
truth compels us drastically to invert his own
proposition and to oppose to him this other maxim : the last sphere conquered by the spirit of justice is the sphere of the feeling of reaction ! When it really comes about that the just man
remains just even as regards his injurer (and not merely cold, moderate, reserved, indifferent : being
just is always a positive state) ; when, in spite of
the strong provocation of personal insult, contempt, and calumny, the lofty and clear objectivity of the just and judging eye (whose glance
is as profound as it is gentle) is untroubled, why
then we have a piece of perfection, a past master
of the world—something, in fact, which it would
not be wise to expect, and which should not at any rate be too easily believed. Speaking
generally, there is no doubt but that even the
justest individual only requires a little dose of86 THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS.
hostility, malice, or innuendo to drive the blood
into his brain and the fairness from it. Thd
active man, the attacking, aggressive man is aJwayg a hiin13re3’^grees nearer to justice than the man ^who^j^rdji-H^JTie certainly has no need to “adopt the tactics, necessary in the case of the reacting man, of making false and biassed valua- tions of his object. It is, in point of fact, for this reason that the aggressive man has at alTTftlies enjoyed the “stronger, bolder^ more aristocratic, and also freer outlook, “tTie beiier cbhscience.] pjn the other hand, we already surmise who it really is that has on his conscience the invention of the ” bad conscience,”—the resentful manjj Finally, let man look at himself in history. _3n_ what sphere up to the present has the whole
a3milristrat4on-of4aw, the actual need of law, found
its earthly home ? Perchance in the sphere of the reacting man ? Not for a minute : rather fn that of the active, strong, spontaneous, aggressive
rnajij^^ I deliberately defy the above-mentioned
agitator (who himself makes this self-confession, ” the creed of revenge has run through all my
works and endeavours like the red thread of Justice “), and say, Jthat judged historically law
in the world represents the very war ammst
the reactiveJeelings,”tHe very war waged on those feelings by the powers of activity and aggression, which devote some of their strength to damming”
” and keeping within bounds this effervescence of hysterical reactivity, and tolofcfnglt to some compromise. – Ev«rywhere where justice is practised and
justice is maintained, it is to be observed that the87
stronger power, when confronted with the weaker ^wers whiV.h are inferior to it (whether they be
groups, or individuals), search^^Jiai-JSifiaESJis^to
jvut_an^ end to .the- .sfinsdeaa-iLUiy- jaLjceaeotment,
while it carries on its object, partly by taking the
victim of resentment out of the clutches_of revenge, p^Qy’ by”suTi)’stituting for revenge a campaign of
its own against the enemies of peace and order, partly by finding, suggesting, and occasionally
enforcing settlements, partly by standardising
certain equivalents for injuries, to which equivalents
the element of resentment is henceforth finally
referred. The most drastic measure, however,
taken and effectuated by the supreme power, to combat the preponderance of the feelings of spite and vindictiveness—it takes this measure as soon
as it is at all strong enough to do so—is the
foundation of law, the imperative declaration of what in its eyes is to be regarded as just and
lawful, and what unjust and unlawful : and
while, after the foundation of law, the supreme
power treats the aggressive and arbitrary acts of
individuals, or of whole groups, as a violation of
law, and a revolt against itself, it distracts the
feelings of its subjects from the immediate injury
inflicted by such a violation, and thus eventually
attains the very opposite result to that always
desired by revenge, which sees and recognises nothing but the standpoint of the injured party. From henceforth the eye becomes trained to a more and more impersonal valuation of the deed, even the eye of the injured party himself (though
this is in the final stage of all, as has been88 ‘ THE GENEALOGY Of MORALS. _J
previously remarked)—on this principle “right” and ” wrong ” first manifest themselves after the foundation of law (and not, as Duhring maintains, only after the act of violation). To talk of intrinsic! right and intrinsic wrong is absolutely nonsensical;
intrinsically, an injury, an oppression, an exploitation, an annihilation can be nothing wrong, inas- [jnuch as life is essentially (that is, in its cardinal
[/functions) something which functions by injuring, {oppressing, exploiting, and annihilating, and is labsolutely inconceivable without such a character]
It is necessary to make an even more serious confession : —viewed from the most advanced
biological standpoint, conditions of legality can be only exceptional conditions, in that they are partial restrictions of the real life-will, which makes for power, and in that they are subordin- ated to the life-will’s general end as particular means, that is, as means to create larger units of strength. A legal organisation, conceived of as sovereign and universal, not as a weapon in a
fight of complexes of power, but as a weapon
against fighting, generally something after the style of Diihring’s communistic model of treating every will as equal with every other will, would be a principle hostile to life, a destroyer and
dissolver of man, an outrage on the future of man, a symptom of fatigue, a secret cut to Nothingness.

12. A word more on the origin and end of punish- ment—two problems which are or ought to be” GUILT,” ” BAD CONSCIENCE,” AND THE LIKE. 89
kept distinct, but which unfortunately are usijally lumped into one. And what tactics have our” moral genealogists employed up to the present in these cases ? Their inveterate naivete. They find out some ” end ” in the punishment, for instance, revenge and deterrence, and then in all their innocence set this end at the beginning, as the
causa fiendi of the punishment, and—they have
done the trick. But the patching up of a history of the origin of law is the last use to which the
” End in Law ” * ought to be put. Perhaps there
is no more pregnant principle for any kind of
ffitoryTKan”tfigTolIowIng, which, difficult though
it is to master^skoz^d none’11161633 \i€ mastered
in every detaif.^:r7T.he origin of the existence of
a thing and its final utility, its practical application and incorporation in a system of ends, are
toio f(^/(? opposed to each other—everything, anytliihg, which exists and which prevails anywhere,
~”‘mlt”^a:tways be put to new purposes by a force
. superior to._ itself, will be commandeered afresh,
will be turned and transformed to new uses
all “happening” in the _gigailic.-WDrld- consists of
overpowering and dOnthrating, and again all overE9iK££mg..and. dP.inination is a new interpretation and_a.djustm6nt, which must necessarily obscure or
absolutely extinguish the subsisting ” meaning

and ” end.^” “The most perfect comprehension
of the “utility of any physiological organ (or
also of a legal institution, social custom, political
* An allusion to DerZweck im Recht, by the great German
jurist, Professor Ihering.9°1 THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS.
Habit, form in art or in religious worship) does not for a minute imply any simultaneous comprehension of its origin : this may seem un- comfortable and unpalatable to the older men,

for it has been the immemorial belief that under- standing the final cause or the utility of a thing, a form, an institution, means also understanding
the reason for its origin : to give an example of
this logic, the eye was made to see, the hand was made to grasp. So even punishment was con- ceived as invented with a view to punishing. But all ends and all utilities are oxAv si£ns^ _ ^fet a Will to Power has mastered a less powerful force, has impressed thereon out of its own self the meaning of a function ; and the vyhglff, Jllffloq?. of a ” ThTrig,”” an organ, a custom, can on the same principle be regarded as a continuous “sjgn- chain ” of perpetually iiew interpre.tationa,._and, [adjustments, whose causes, so far from needing
to have even a mutual connection, sometimes
follow and alternate with each other”‘aEsolulely haphazard. Similarly, the evolution’ of a^^TErngT*” of a custom, is anything but its progressus to an end, still less a logical and direct progressus attained with the minimum expenditure of energy
«^nd cost : it is rather the succession of processes of subjugation,~mbre or less profound, morejBT
Iess*°mufiiairy independent, which-Tiperate’^orrthe
tEin”g’Itieir;jjtTs,^further,2the”reg}gtatrce”-w each case , invariably displayed^ this subjugation, the Protean wriggles by way of defence and
reaction, and, further, the results of successful counter-efforts. The form is fluid, but the mean-“GUILT,” “BAD CONSCIENCE,” AND THE LIKE. (91
ing is even more so—
ven insi|de , every individual” organism the case is the same
with every genuine
growtH of the whole, the ^^Junction^’ _of^he
individual organs” beconies shifted,—in certain
cases a partial~perisKiiTg’of these organs, a diminution of their numbers (for instance, through
annihilation of the connecting members), can be
a symptom of growing strength and perfection. What .1 mean is this : even partial loss of
utiH^j^ decay,^nd_^ degeneratio^lToss of^ function
and, purposej_iin_ajword^_ death, appertain__to_^e
conditions of the genuine progressus ; which always
appears fn the shape of a will and way to greater
power, and is always realised at_ the expense _^,
innumerable smaller powers. The magnitude of
a ” progress ” is gauged by the greatness of the
sacrifice that it requires : humanity as a mass
sacrificed to the prosperity of the one stronger
species of Man—that would be a progress. 3 I emphasise all the more this cardinal characteristic
of the historic method, for the reason that in its essence it runs counter to predominant instincts and_prevaiHng taste, which_ much prefer to put up
with absolute casualness. even with the mechanical
senselessness of all phenomena,than with the theory
of a power-will, in exhaustive play throughout all phenomena. The democratic idiosyncrasy against everything which rules and wishes to rule, the modern misarchism (to coin a bad word for a bad
thing), has gradually but so thoroughly trans- formed itself into the guise of intellectualism, the most abstract intellectualism, that even nowadays
it penetrates and has the right to penetrate step92 THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS.
by step into the most exact and apparently the most objective sciences : this tendency has, in fact, in my view already dominated the whole of physiology and biology, and to their detriment, as is obvious, in so far as it has spirited away a
radical idea, the idea of true activity. The tyranny
of this idiosyncrasy, however, results injtne theory of””adapt-atio»
‘ ‘
– bctng—pusEed forward mto the vairtrf^he” argument, exploited ; adaptation—that means to say, a second-class activity, a mere
capacity for ” reacting “t; in fact, life itselt has”” been defined (by Herbert Spencer) as an in- creasingly effective internal adaptation to external circumstances. rThis definition, however, fails to realise the reaf essence of life, its will to powerj
It fails to appreciate _the paramount superiority enjoyed by those plastic forces~bf spontaneity, aggression, and encroachment” with “TEeir new~~
interpre^Ea^tcfRs” and” tendencies, To”the operation* of which adaptation is~ only a natural corollary: consequently the sovereign_office ofUEilMghest
functionaries’ iritTie organism itself (among which
the life-will appears as an active and forinative principle) is repudiated. One remembers Huxley’s” reproach to Spencer of his ” administrative Nihilism ” : but it is a case of something much
more than ” administration.”
13- To return to our subject, namely punishment, we must make consequently a double distinction
first, the relatively permanent element, the custom,” GUILT,” ” BAD CONSCIENCE,” AND THE LIKE. 93
the act, the ” drama,” a certain rigid sequence of methods of procedure ; on the qther hand, the fluid element, the meaning, the end, the expectation which is attached to the operation of such procedure. At this point we immediately assume,
per analogiam (in accordance with the theory of
the historic method, which we have elaborated
above), that the procedure itself is something older and earlier than its utilisation in punishment, that
this utilisation was introduced a.nd interpreted into
the procedure (which had existed for a long time, but whose employment had another meaning), in
short, that the case is different from that hitherto supposed by our naif genealogists of morals and
of law, who thought that the procedure was
invented for the purpose of punishment, in the same way that the hand had been previously thought to have been invented for the purpose
of grasping. With regard to the other element
in punishment, its fluid element, its meaning, the
idea of punishment in a very late stage of civilisa- tion (for instance, contemporary Europe) is not
content with manifesting merely one meaning,
but manifests a whole synthesis ” of meanings.” The past general history of punishment, the history
of its employment for the most diverse ends,
crystallises eventually into a kind of unity, which
is difficult to analyse into its parts, and which, it
is necessary to emphasise, absolutely defies definition. (It is nowadays impossible to say definitely
the precise reason for punishment: all ideas, in which a whole process is promiscuously comprehended, elude definition ; it is only that which94 THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS.
has no history, which can be defined.) At an
earlier stage, on the contrary, that synthesis of meanings appears much less rigid and much more
elastic ; we can realise how in each individual case the elements of the synthesis change their value and their position, so that now one element and now another stands out and predominates over the others, nay, in certain cases one element (perhaps the end of deterrence) seems to eliminate
all the rest. At any rate, so as to give some idea of the uncertain, supplementary, and accidental nature of the meaning of punishment and of the manner in which one identical procedure can be employed and adapted for the most diametrically opposed objects, I will at this point give a scheme
that has suggested itself to me, a scheme itself based on comparatively small and accidental material.—Punishment, as rendering the criminal harmless and incapable of further injury.—Punish- ment, as compensation for the injury sustained by
the injured party, in any form whatsoever (including the form of sentimental compensation).—Punish- ment, as an isolation of that which disturbs the equilibrium, so as to prevent the further spreading of the disturbance.—Punishment as a means of inspiring fear of those who determine and execute the punishment.—Punishment as a kind of compensation for advantages which the wrong-doer has up to that time enjoyed (for example, when he is utilised as a slave in the mines).—Punishment, as the elimination of an element of decay (sometimes
of a whole branch, as according to the Chinese
laws, consequently as a means to the purification” GUILT,” ” BAD CONSCIENCE,” AND THE LIKE. 95
of the race, or the preservation of a social type).

Punishment as a festival, as the violent oppression and humiliation of an enemy that has at last been
subdued.—Punishment as a mnemonic, whether for him who suffers the punishment—the so-called
” correction,” or for the witnesses of its administration.—Punishment, as the payment of a fee stipulated for by the power which protects the evil-doer from the excesses of revenge.—Punishment, as a compromise with the natural phenomenon of
revenge, in so far as revenge is still maintained and claimed as a privilege by the stronger races.

Punishment as a declaration and measure of war
against an enemy of peace, of law, of order, of
authority, who is fought by society with the weapons which war provides, as a spirit dangerous
to the community, as a breaker of the contract on
which the community is based, as a rebel, a traitor, and a breaker of the peace.
This list is certainly not complete ; it is obvious
that punishment is overloaded with utilities of all kinds. This makes it all the more permissible to
eliminate one supposed utility, which passes, at any
rate in the popular mind, for its most essential
utility, and which is just what even now provides
the strongest support for that faith in punishment
which is nowadays for many reasons tottering. Punishment is supposed to have the value of
exciting in the guilty the consciousness of guilt
in punishment is sought the proper instrumentumg6 THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS.
of that psychic reaction which becomes known as a “bad conscience,” “remorse.” But this theory
is even, from the point of view of the present, a violation of reality and psychology: and how much more so is the case when we have to deal with the longest period of man’s history, his primitive history ! Genuine remorse is certainly extremely rare among wrong-doers and the victims of punishment ; prisons and houses of coiTection are not tke soil on which this worm of remorse
pullulates for choice—this is the unanimous
opinion of all conscientious observers, who in many cases arrive at such a judgment with enough reluctance and against their own personal wishes. (Speaking generally, punishment hardens and numbs, it produces concentration, it sharpens the consciousness of alienation, it strengthens the power of resistance, j When it happens that it breaks the man’s energy and brings about a piteous prostration and abjectness, such a result
is certainly even less salutary than the average
effect of punishment, which is characterised by
a harsh and sinister doggedness. The thought of those prehistoric millennia brings us to the un- hesitating conclusion, that it was simply through punishment that the evolution of the conscious- ness of guilt was most forcibly retarded—at any
rate in the victims of the punishing power. In
particular, let us not underestimate the extent to which, by the very sight of the judicial and
executive procedure, the wrong-doer is himself pre- vented from feeling that his deed, the character of
his act, is intrinsically reprehensible : for he sees”GUILT,” ” BAD CONSCIENCE,” AND THE LIKE. 97
clearly the same kind of acts practised in the
service of justice, and then called good, and
practised with a good conscience ; acts such as espionage, trickery, bribery, trapping, the whole
intriguing and insidious art of the policeman and
the informer—the whole system, in fact, manifested
in the different kinds of punishment (a system
not excused by passion, but based on principle), of
robbing, oppressing, insulting, imprisoning, racking, murdering.—All this he sees treated by his judges, not as acts njeriting censure and con- demnation in themselves, but only in a particular context and application. It was not on this soil that grew the ” bad conscience,” that most sinister and interesting plant of our earthly vegetation

in point of fact, throughout a most lengthy period, no suggestion of having to do with a ” guilty man ” manifested itself in the consciousness of the man who judged and punished. One had merely
to deal with an author of an injury, an irresponsible piece of fate. And the man himself, on whom the punishment subsequently fell like a
piece of fate, was occasioned no more of an
“inner pain” than would be occasioned by the sudden approach of some uncalculated event, some terrible natural catastrophe, a rushing, crushing avalanche against which there is no
IS. This truth came insidiously enough to the
consciousness of Spinoza (to the disgust of his commentators, who (like Kuno Fischer, for instance) G98 THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS.
give themselves no end of trouble to misunder- stand him on this point), when one afternoon (as he sat raking up who knows what memory) he in- dulged in the question of what was really left for him personally of the celebrated morsus conscientice —Spinoza, who had relegated ” good and evil ” to the sphere of human imagination, and indignantly defended the honour of his ” free ” God against those blasphemers who affirmed that God did everything sub ratione boni (” but this was tanta- mount to subordinating God to fate, and would
really be the greatest of all absurdities”). For Spinoza the world had returned again to that innocence in which it lay before the discovery of the bad conscience : what, then, had happened to the morsus conscienticB ? ” The antithesis of gaudiutn” said he at last to himself,—” A sadness accompanied by the recollection of a past event which has turned out contrary to all expectation ” {Eth. III., Propos. XVIIL Schol. i. ii.). Evil- doers have throughout thousands of years felt when
overtaken by punishment exactly like Spinoza, on the subject of their ” offence ” : ” here is something which went wrong contrary to my anticipation,” not ” I ought not to have done this.”—They
submitted themselves to punishment, just as one submits one’s self to a disease, to a misfortune, or to death, with that stubborn and resigned fatalism which gives the Russians, for instance, even nowadays, the advantage over us Westerners, in the handling of life. If at that period there was a
critique of action, the criterion was prudence:
the real effect of punishment is unquestionably” GUILT,” ” BAD CONSCIENCE,” AND THE LIKE. 99
chiefly to be found in a sharpening of the sense of
prudence, in a lengthening of the memory, in a
will to adopt more of a policy of caution, suspicion, and secrecy ; in the recognition that there
are many things which are unquestionably beyond
one’s capacity ; in a kind of improvement in selfcriticism. The broad effects which can be
obtained by punishment in man and beast, are
the increase of fear, the sharpening of the sense
of cunning, the mastery of the desires : so it is that punishment tames man, but does not make
him ” better “—it would be more correct even to go so far as to assert the contrary (” Injury makes
a man cunning,” says a popular proverb : so far as it makes him cunning, it makes him also bad.
Fortunately, it often enough makes him stupid).
16. At this juncture I cannot avoid trying to give
a tentative and provisional expression to my own
hypothesis concerning the origin of the bad conscience : it is difficult to make it fully appreciated, and it requires continuous meditation, attention, and digestion. T regard the )iad coiTi”tpnrp ag
tiie^jerious_Jllog§s„,.,ffih^ contract under^ the stress of the most, radical change which he has ever expejieaced.-^r-that
change, when he found^himself finally imprisoned within the pale of society and_of peaceJ
Just like the plight of the water-animals, when
they were compelled either to become land- animals or to perish, so was the plight of theselOO ) THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS.
half-animals, perfectly adapted as they were to the savage life of war, prowling, and adventure

suddenly all their instincts were rendered worthless and “switched off.” Henceforward they had to walk on their feet—”carry themselves,” whereas
heretofore they had been carried by the water: a terrible heaviness oppressed them. They
found themselves clumsy in obeying the simplest
directions, confronted with this new and unknown
world they had no longer their old guides

the regulative instincts that had led them un- consciously to safety—they were reduced, were
those unhappy creatures, to thinking, inferring, carculating,” putting together causes andresujts^
reduced to that poorest and most eixati£_£ttga»
.of theirs,” their “c’oiisciousnesfi.”,. I do not believe there was ever in the world such a feeling of misery, such a leaden discomfort—further, those old instincts had not immediately ceased their demands ! Only it was difficult and rarely possible to gratify them : speaking broadly, they were compelled to satisfy themselves by new and, as it were, hole-and-corner methods.
[All instincts which do not find a vent jwithout,,^ .turn inwards—this is what I mean by the^ growing. ” internalisation ” of man : consequently we have the first growth in man, of what
subsequently was called his souLl The whole
inner world, originally as^ . thin as W it ha’a~ been stretched between two layers of skin,_burst apart and expanded proportionately, and obtained _ depth, breadth, and height, when man’s external outlet became obstructed. These terrible bul-” GUILT,” ” BAD CONSCIENCE,” AND THE LIKE. lOI
warksjwith^ whyh„the, socig,} organisation .protected
itself against the old instincts of freedom (punish- ments belong pre-eminently to these bulwarks), brought it about that all those instincts of wild,
free, prowling man became turned backwards
against man himself. Enmity, cruelty, the delidCT^
in_pe.rse.cution, in surprises, change, des^.uctiOQT^ thejamiQg-j^lJhgsg„ffl§^i^ ag^’P^t tjasii:.jaaii possessors : this is the origin of the “bad conscience.’j
It was man, who, lacking external enemies and
obstacles, and imprisoned as he was Jn , the
oppressive narrowhesF^anH^monotony of custom,
in his own impatience lacerated, persecuted, gnawed, frightened, arid Ill-treated himself; it was
this animal in the hands” of the tamer, which beat
itself against the bars of its cage ; it was this being who, pining and yearning for that desert home of which it had been deprived, was compelled to create out of its own selfi_an.ady.eiiture, a torture-chamber, a hazardous and perilous desert —it was this foplj this” homesick “and desperate
prisoner—who invented the ” bad conscience.” But thereby he introduced that most grave and
sinister illness, from which mankind has not yet
recovered, the suffering of man from the disease
called man, as the result of a violent breaking from
his animal past, the result, as it were, of a spasmodic plunge into a new environment and new conditions of existence^the result of a declaration^f war^gainst the old m?flwefs”,;7wHic¥’up’to that time had been’ the staple of his power, his joy,
his formidableness. Let us immediately add that
this fact of an animal ego turning against itself,102 THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS.
taking part against itself, produced in the world so novel, profound, unheard-of, problematic, inconsist- ent, and pregnant a phenomenon, that the aspect of the world was radically altered thereby. In sooth, only divine spectators could have appreciated the drama that then began, and whose end baffles con- jecture as yet—a drama too subtle, too wonderful, too paradoxical to warrant its undergoing a nonsensical and unheeded performance on some random grotesque planet ! Henceforth man is to be counted as one of the most unexpected and
sensational lucky shots in the game of the “big baby” of Heracleitus, whether he be called Zeus
or Chance—he awakens on his behalf the interest, excitement, hope, almost the confidence, of his being the harbinger and forerunner of something, of man being no end, but only a stage, an
interlude, a bridge, a great promise.
It is primarily involved in this kypathesisuQf^ the origin of the bad conscience, that that alteraj^ tion was no gxaduai and no voluntary altststion, and that it did .not manifest . itself„as,an^organic adaptation to new conditions, but^as^,Ji,_bre^,’ a jump, a necessity, an inevitable fate, against which there was no resistance and neyer a spark of resentment. And secondarily, that the fitting of a hithertolTrichecked and amorphous population
into a fixed form, starting as it had done iii^n act of violence, could only be accomplished by acts of violence and nothing else—that the oldest”State” appeared consequently as a ghastly
tyranny, a grinding ruthless piece of machinery,
which went on working, till this raw material
of a semi – animal populace was not only
thoroughly kneaded and elastic, but also moulded.
I used the word ” State ” : my meaning is self-/ evident, namely, a herd of blonde beasts of prey, c race of conquerors and masters, which with all its warlike organisation and all its organising power
pounces with its terrible claws on a population,
in numbers possibly tremendously superior, but\
as yet formless, as yet nomad. Such is the
origin of the ” State/^ That fantastic theory that “makes it begin'”wiith a contract is, I think, dis- posed of. He who can command, he who is a
master^by “^natur.e,”., he who comes”oal tEe~scene
forceful in deed and gesture—what has he to ^o with contracts ? Such beings defy calculation, they come like fate^ without cause, reason, notice, excuse, they are there like the lightning is there, too terrible, too sudden, too convincing, too
“different,” to be personally even hated. Their work is an instinctive creating and impressing , of forms, they are the most involuntary, unconscious artists that there are :—their appearance
produces instantaneously a scheme of sovereignty which is live, in which the functions are partitioned and apportioned, in which above all no part is received or finds a place, until pregnant with a
” meaning ” in regard to the whole. They afe\ ignorant of the meaning of guilt, responsibiltiy,

consideration, are these born organisers ; in them
predominates that terrible artist – egoism, thatI04 ‘ THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS.
gleams like brass, and that .knows itself justified to all eternity, in its work||even as a mother in her child. It is not in them that there grew
the bad conscience, that is elementary—but it would not have grown without them, repulsive growth as it was, it would be missing, had not a tremendous quantity of freedom been expelled from the world by the stress of their hammerstrokes, their artist violence, or been at any
rate made invisible and, as it were, latent. This
instinct offreedom forced into being latent-^t~is~ already_. clear—this instinct of freedom forced back, trodden back, imprisoned ,within itself, and
finally only able tP find vent and relief in itself;
this, only this, is the beginning of the ” bad
Beware of thinking lightly of this phenomenon, by reason of its initial painful ugliness. At
batt.om it is the same active force_^gbich is ai-^pfjjT on a more grandiose scale in _ those potent artists and organisers, and, builds^„ states, which here, internally, on a smaller and pettierjcale_aQd-5Kith. a retrogressive tendency,_ makes itself -a-Jaad-^on- science in the ” labyrinth of the breast,” to use Goethe’s phrase, and which builds negativ-eJdeals.
it is, I repeat, that identiral in.<^tmct of freedom (to use my own language, the will to power) : only the material, on which this force with all its constructive and tyrannous nature is let loose, is here man himself, his whole old animal self—and not as in the case of that more grandiose and sensa-“GUILT,” “BAD CONSCIENCE,” AND THE LIKE.(^ lOS
tional phenomenon, the other man, other men.
This secret self-tyranny, this crueltjj^of_the„aJltist,
thiis^ delight in giving a form to one’s self as a piece
of difficult, refractorvj and suffering material, in
– -. ,,- n-i |-irx~~—
<iiin<lliiiiJ in”” ii ””‘” nil *” i”‘
” “” ” ” “T ‘”
‘ “‘ ” ” ‘ ‘ “ii^i burning in ^ wiU, a critique, a contradiction, a contempt, a_
egation ^..Ihis silUda;~jauad_shastiZ-„ labour of love on the part of a soul^whose will is^ cloven “Tntwo within itself, which makes itself suffer fromaeTigKt”in tfie inffiction of sufifering
this wholly ‘«c??!?FT5a’d””consctehce Tias finally (as
oTie’ “already anticipates)—true fountainhead as
it is of idealism and imagination—produced an abundance of” novel ancT amazing T5eaufy^an3
affirm^tion^^jiiiS perhaps “Kas” really teen thg,,££sJL to give birth to beauty at all. What would
beauty be, forsooth, if its contradiction had not
first been presented to consciousness, if the ugly had not first said to itself, ” I am ugly ” ? At
any rate, after this hint the problem oi how far idealism and beauty can be traced in _such
opposite ideas as ‘^ seTflessness” self-denial, selfsacrifice, becomes less problematical ; and in- dubitably in future we shall certainly know the
real and original character of Ithe delight experi-
enced by the self-less, the self-denying, the self- sacrificing: this delight is a phase of crueltyj [—So much provisionally for the origin of
‘ “altruism” as a moral value, and the marking
out the ground from which this value has grown : it^is only the bad conscience, only the will for,’ seIfciESiiZIES!!SSSH^rnecessary conditronsj
for the -existence: of altruism as a value. \
19. Undoubtedly the bad conscience is an illness, but an illness like pregnancy is an illness. If we search out the conditions under which this illness reaches its most terrible and sublime
zenith, we shall see what really first brought about its entry into the world. But to do this we must take a long breath, and we must first of all go back once again to an earlier point of view. The relation at civil law of the ower to his creditor (which has already been discussed in detail), has been interpreted once again (and indeed in a manner which historically is exceed- ingly remarkable and suspicious) into a relation- ship, which is perhaps more incomprehensible to us moderns than to any other era ; that is, into the relationship of the existing generation to its ancestors. Within the original tribal association

we are talking of primitive times—each living generation recognises a legal obligation towards the earlier generation, and particularly towards
the earliest, which founded the family (and this
is something much more than a mere sentimental
obligation, the existence of which, during the longest period of man’s history, is by no means
indisputable). There prevails in them the conviction that it is only thanks to sacrifices and
efforts of their ancestors, that the race persists at all—and that this has to be paid back to them by sacrifices and services. Thus is recog- nised the owing of a debt, which accumulates
continually by reason of these ancestors never” GUILT,” ” BAD CONSCIENCE,” AND THE LIKE. I07
ceasing in their subsequent life as potent spirits to secure by their power new privileges and
advantages to the race. Gratis, perchance ? But
there is no gratis for that raw and ” mean-souled “
age. What return can be made?—Sacrifice (at
first, nourishment, in its crudest sense), festivals, temples, tributes of veneration, above all, obedience —since all customs are, qu& works of the ancestors,
equally their precepts and commands—are the
ancestors ever given enough ? This suspicion remains and grows : from time to time it extorts a great wholesale ransom, something monstrous
in the way of repayment of the creditor (the notorious sacrifice of the first-born, for example,
blood, human blood in any case). The fear of
ancestors and their power, the consciousness of owing debts to them, necessarily increases, according to this kind of logic, in the exact proportion
that the race itself increases, that the race itself becomes more victorious, more independent, more
honoured, more feared. This, and not the contrary, is the fact. Each step towards race decay, all disastrous events, all symptoms of degeneration,
of approaching disintegration, always diminish the
fear of the founders’ spirit, and whittle away the
idea of his sagacity, providence, and potent presence. Conceive this crude kind of logic carried to its climax : it follows that the ancestors of the most
powerful races must, through the growing fear
that they exercise on the imaginations, grow
themselves into monstrous dimensions, and become
relegated to the gloom of a divine mystery that transcends invagination—the ancestor becomes atI08 THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS.
last necessarily transfigured into a god. Perhaps
this is the very origin of the gods, that is, an
origin from fear ! And those who feel bound to add, ” but from piety also,” will have difficulty in maintaining this theory, with regard to the primeval and longest period of the human race. And of course this is even more the case as regards the middle period, the formative period of the aristocratic races—the aristocratic races which have given back with interest to their founders, the ancestors (heroes, gods), all those
qualities which in the meanwhile have appeared
in themselves, that is, the aristocratic qualities. We will later on glance again at the ennobling and promotion of the gods (which of course is totally distinct from their ” sanctification “) : let us now
provisionally follow to its end the course of the whole of this development of the consciousness of
” owing.”
According to the teaching of history, the con- sciousness of owing debts to the deity by no means came to an end with the decay of the clan organisation of society ; just as mankind has inherited the ideas of ” good ” and ” bad ” from the race-nobility (together with its fundamental tendency towards establishing social distinctions), so with the heritage of the racial and tribal gods
it has also inherited the incubus of debts as yet unpaid and the desire to discharge them. The
transition is effected by those large populations of slaves and bondsmen, who, whether through com-“GUILT,” “BAD CONSCIENCE, AND THE LIKE. 109
pulsion or through submission and ” mimicry “\ have accommodated themselves to the religion of ] their masters ; through this channel these inherited
tendencies inundate the world. iThe feeling of owing a debt to the deity has grown continuously for several centuries, always in the same
proportion in which the idea of God and the consciousness of God have grown and become exalted among mankind! (The whole history of ethnic
fights, victories, reconciliations, amalgamations,
everything, in fact, which precedes the eventual
classing of all the social elements in each great
race-synthesis, are mirrored in the hotch-potch
genealogy of their gods, in the legends of their
fights, victories, and reconciliations. Progress to- wards universal empires invariably means progress
towards universal deities ; despotism, with its subjugation of the independent nobility, always paves
the way for some system or other of monotheism.) The appearance of the Christian god, as the record god up to this time, has for that very reason
brought equally into the world the record amount!
of guilt consciousness. Granted that we have’
gradually started on the reverse movement, there
is no little probability in the deduction, based on
the continuous decay in the belief in the Christian
god, to the effect that there also already exists a
considerable decay in the human consciousness of owing (ought) ; in fact, we cannot shut our eyes
to the prospect of the complete and eventual triumph of atheism freeing mankind from all this feeling of obligation to their origin, their causa prima. Atheism and a kind of secondno THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS.
innocence complement and supplement each
21. So much for my rough and preliminary sketch of the interrelation of the ideas ” ought ” (owe) and
” duty ” with the postulates of religion. I have
intentionally shelved up to the present the actual moralisation of these ideas (their being pushed back into the conscience, or more precisely the interweaving of the bad conscience with the idea of God), and at the end of the last paragraph used language to the effect that this moralisation did not exist, and that consequently these ideas had necessarily come to an end, by reason of what had happened to their hypothesis, the credence in our ” creditor,” in God. The actual facts differ terribly from this theory. It is with the moralisation of the ideas ” ought ” and ” duty,” and with their being pushed back into the bad
conscience, that comes the first actual attempt to reverse the direction of the development we have
just described, or at any rate to arrest its evolu- tion ; it is just at this juncture that the very hope of an eventual redemption has to put itself once
for all into the prison of pessimism, it is at this juncture that the eye has to recoil and rebound in despair from off an adamantine impossibility, it is at this juncture that the ideas ” guilt ” and ” duty
” have to turn backwards—turn backwards against whom? There is no doubt about it; primarily against the ” ower,” in whom the bad conscience now establishes itself, eats, extends, and grows” GUILT,” ” BAD CONSCIENCE,” AND THE LIKE. 1 1
like a polypus throughout its length and breadth,
all with such virulence, that at last, with the
impossibility of paying the debt, there becomes
conceived the idea of the impossibility of paying
the penalty, the thought of its inexpiability (the
idea of ” eternal punishment “)—finally, too, it turns against the ” creditor,” whether found in the
causa prima of man, the origin of the human race,
its sire, who henceforth becomes burdened with a
curse (” Adam,” ” original sin,” ” determination of
the will “), or in Nature from whose womb man
springs, and on whom the responsibility for the
principle of evil is now cast (” Diabolisation of
Nature”), or in existence generally, on this logic an absolute white elephant, with which mankind is landed (the Nihilistic flight from life, the demand
for Nothingness, or for the opposite of existence,
for some other existence. Buddhism and the like) —’till suddenly we stand before that paradoxical and awful expedient, through which a tortured humanity has found a temporary alleviation, that
stroke of genius calledlChristianity :—God personally immolating himself for the debt of man, God
paying himself personally out of a pound of his own flesh, God as the one being who can deliver man from what man had become unable to deliver himself—the creditor playing scapegoat for his debtor, from love (can you believe it ?), from love
of his debtor ! . . . J
The reader will already have conjectured what
took place on the stage and behind the scenes of112 THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS.
this drama. \That will for seltJtor verted cruelty of the anijnal man, ,3KhQ,_JtH£asd. subjective, and scared -iato introapfijction (encaged
as he was in ” the State,” as part pf his taming
process), invented the„ had_-CQnscience-so-as~t©
hurt himself, after the natur:al..xmtiet for t[i|p j;;!” to hurt, became blocked—in other words, this man
of the mS”coHscience_ explajte^^he religious hypothesis so as to ^garry his« martyr^orn to the ghastliest pitch of agoriised_ intensity. \ Owing
something to^ God: this thought becomes his instrument of tortmg. He apprehends in God the most extreme antitheses that he can find to his own characteristic and ineradicable animal instincts, he himself gives a new interpretation to these animal instincts as being against what he ” owes

to God (as enmity, rebellion, and revolt against the ” Lord,” the ” Father,” the ” Sire,” the ” Begin- ning of the world “), he places himself between the horns of the dilemma,^God “arid ” DeviH” Every negation which he is inclined to utter to himself; to the nature, naturalness, an3 reality of”Kis”bellig;~ he whips into an ejaculation of “yes”,” uttering it as something existing, living, efficlg1!Tt,”‘”as beiiig- God.jas the holiness of God, the judgment of God,
as the hangmanship of God, as transcendence, as eternity, as unending torment, as hell, as infinity of punishment and guilt. This is a kind of madness of the will in the sphere oTpsychoTogical
cruelty which is absolutely unparalleled ^—-man’s wiU to fin^ himgplf gniH-y and-blameworthv to the point of inexpiability, his wi// to think of himself as punished, without the punishment evCT^Being”3
able to balance the guilt, his will to infect and to poison the fundamental basis of the universe with
the problem of punishment and guilt, in order to
cut off once and for all any escape out of this labyrinth of ” fixed ideas,” his will for rearing an
ideal—that of the ” holy God “—face to face with
which he can have tangible proof of his own unworthiness. Alas for this mad melancholy beast man ! What phantasies invade it, what paroxysms
of perversity, hysterical senselessness, and mental
bestiality break out immediately, at the very
slightest check on its being the beast of action. All this is excessively interesting, but at the same
time tainted with a black, gloomy, enervating
melancholy, so that a forcible veto must be in- voked against looking too long into these abysses. Here is disease, undubitably, the most ghastly
disease that has as yet played havoc among men : and he who can still hear (but man turns now
deaf ears to such sounds), how in this night of torment and nonsense there has rung out the cry
of love, the cry of the most passionate ecstasy, of redemption in love, he turns away gripped by an
invincible horror—in man there is so much that
is ghastly—too long has the world been a madhouse..
23. Let this suffice once for all concerning the origin of the ” holy God.” The fact that in itself the
conception of gods is not bound to lead necessarily
to this degradation of the imagination (a temporary
representation of whose vagaries we felt bound to H114 THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS.
give), the fact that there exist nobler methods of
utilising the invention of gods than in this self- crucifixion and self-degradation of man, in which
the last two thousand years of Europe have been
past masters—these facts can fortunately be still perceived from every glance that we cast at the /Grecian gods, these mirrors of noble and grandiose men, in which the animal in man felt itself deified, and did not devour itself in subjective frenzj^ These Greeks long utilised their gods as simple
buffers against the ” bad conscience “—so that they could continue to enjoy their freedom of soul
this, of course, is diametrically opposed to Christianity’s theory of its god. They went very far
on this principle, did these splendid and lion- hearted children ; and there is no lesser authority than that of the Homeric Zeus for making them
realise occasionally that they are taking life too
casually. ” Wonderful,” says he on one occasion —it has to do with the case of .(Egistheus, a very bad case indeed

” Wonderful how they grumble, the mortals against the immortals, Only from us, they presume, comes evil, but in their folly. Fashion they, spite of fate, the doom of their own disaster.”
Yet the reader will note and observe that this Olympian spectator and judge is far from being angry with them and thinking evil of them on
this score. ” How foolish they are,” so thinks he” GUILT,” ” BAD CONSCIENCE,” AND THE LIKE. 1 1
of the misdeeds of mortals—and ” folly,” ” imprudence,” ” a little brain disturbance,” and nothing
more, are what the Greeks, even of the strongest, bravest period, have admitted to be the ground of much that is evil and fatal.—Folly, not sin, do you
understand? . . . But even this brain disturbance was a problem—” Come, how is it even possible ? How could it have really got in brains like ours, the brains of men of aristocratic ancestry, of men
of fortune, of men of good natural endowments, of men of the best society, of men of nobility and
virtue ? ” This was the question that for century on
century the aristocratic Greek put to himself when
confronted with every (to him incomprehensible)
outrage and sacrilege with which one of his peers had polluted himself. ” It must be that a god
had infatuated him,” he would say at last, nodding
his head.—This solution is typical of the GreeksTl
. . . accordingly the gods in those times subserved
the functions of justifying man to a certain extent
even in evil—in those days they took upon themselves not the punishment, but, what is more
noble, the guilt.
I conclude with three queries, as you will see.
” Is an ideal actually set up here, orjs^one^pulled^
down?” I am perhaps asked. . . . But have ye
“sSSTciently asked yourselves how dear a payment hasthe setting up of every ideal in the world”
exacted ? To achieve that consummation how
much truth must’ ^a^a^_^be_lra^^ced3[^^rnns-_
understood, how many lies must be sanctified


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