On the New Idol

Peace be with you

I periodically read Friedrich Nietzsche’s, “Thus Spoke Zarathustra.” This is one of my favorite books and “On a New Idol” is one of my favorite chapters out of the it. Zarathustra is the character through which Nietzsche wrote the famous line, “Could it be possible! This old saint in his woods has not yet heard the news that God is dead!” It is the story of a guy named Zarathustra, who through fasting and meditation discovered the “superman” inside of himself, and left his cave to teach this to mankind. Needless to say he fails, but he realizes he has a final sin – “pity for the higher man.” This leads to his realization that it is not happiness he is striving for, it is his work. Enjoy.

love eternal

On the New Idol

Somewhere still there are peoples and herds, but not where we live, my brothers: here there are states.

State? What is that? Well then, lend me your ears now, for I shall say my words about the death of peoples.

State is the name of the coldest of all cold monsters. It even lies coldly, and this lie crawls out of its mouth: “I, the state, am the people.”

This is a lie! The ones who created the peoples were the creators, they hung a faith and a love over them, and thus they served life.

The ones who set traps for the many and call them “state” are annihilators, they hang a sword and a hundred cravings over them.

Where there are still peoples the state is not understood, and it is hated as the evil eye and the sin against customs and rights.

This sign I give you: every people speaks its own tongue of good and evil – which the neighbor does not understand. It invented its own language through customs and rights.

But the state lies in all the tongues of good and evil, and whatever it may tell you, it lies – and whatever it has, it has stolen.

Everything about it is false; it bites with stolen teeth, this biting dog. Even its entrails are false.

Language confusion of good and evil: this sign I give you as the sign of the state. Indeed, this sign signifies the will to death! Indeed, it beckons the preachers of death!

Far too many are born: the state was invented for the superfluous! Just look at how it lures them, the far-too-many! How it gulps and chews and ruminates them!

“On earth there is nothing greater than I: the ordaining finger of God am I” – thus roars the monster. And not only the long-eared and the shortsighted sink to their knees!

Oh, even to you, you great souls, it whispers its dark lies! Unfortunately it detects the rich hearts who gladly squander themselves!

Yes, it also detects you, you vanquishers of the old God! You grew weary in battle and now your weariness still serves the new idol!

It wants to gather heroes and honorable men around itself, this new idol! Gladly it suns itself in the sunshine of your good consciences – the cold monster!

It wants to give you everything, if you worship it, the new idol. Thus it buys the shining of your virtue and the look in your proud eyes.

It wants to use you as bait for the far-too-many! Indeed, a hellish piece of work was thus invented, a death-horse clattering in the regalia of divine honors!

Indeed, a dying for the many was invented here, one that touts itself as living; truly, a hearty service to all preachers of death!

State I call it, where all are drinkers of poison, the good and the bad; state, where all lose themselves, the good and the bad; state, where the slow suicide of everyone is called – “life.”

Just look at these superfluous! They steal for themselves the works of the inventors and the treasures of the wise: education they call their thievery – and everything turns to sickness and hardship for them!

Just look at these superfluous! They are always sick, they vomit their gall and call it the newspaper. They devour one another and are not even able to digest themselves.

Just look at these superfluous! They acquire riches and yet they become poorer. They want power and first of all the crowbar of power, much money – these impotent, impoverished ones!

Watch them scramble, these swift monkeys! They scramble all over each other and thus drag one another down into the mud and depths.

They all want to get to the throne, it is their madness – as if happiness sat on the throne! Often mud sits on the throne – and often too the throne on mud.

Mad all of them seem to me, and scrambling monkeys and overly aroused. Their idol smells foul to me, the cold monster: together they all smell foul to me, these idol worshipers.

My brothers, do you want to choke in the reek of their snouts and cravings? Smash the windows instead and leap into the open!

Get out of the way of the bad smell! Go away from the idol worship of the superfluous!

Get out of the way of the bad smell! Get away from the steam of these human sacrifices!

Even now the earth stands open for great souls. Many seats are still empty for the lonesome and twosome, fanned by the fragrance of silent seas.

An open life still stands open for great souls. Indeed, whoever possesses little is possessed all the less: praised be a small poverty!

There, where the state ends, only there begins the human being who is not superfluous; there begins the song of necessity, the unique and irreplaceable melody.

There, where the state ends – look there, my brothers! Do you not see it, the rainbow and the bridges of the overman? –

Thus spoke Zarathustra.


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