Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Nietzsche and The Jewish Question

Frederic Nietzsche and the Revolutionary Origins of Judaism. Is "their popular genius" as well as their genius in the inversion of values not recurrent in various forms throughout History ?


But you do not comprehend this? You are incapable of seeing something that required two thousand years to achieve victory? There is nothing to wonder at in that; all protracted things are hard to see, to see whole. That, however, is what has happened: from the trunk of that tree of vengefulness and hatred, Jewish hatred the profoundest and sublimest kind of hatred, capable of creating ideals and reversing values, the like of which has never existed on earth before-there grew something equally incomparable, a new love, the profoundest and sublimest kind of love--and from what other trunk could it have grown?

*** One should not imagine it grew up as the denial of that thirst for revenge, as the opposite of Jewish hatred!*** No, the reverse is true!

That love grew out of it as its crown, as its triumphant crown spreading itself farther and farther into the purest brightness and sunlight, driven as it were into the domain of light and the heights in pursuit of the goals of that hatred-victory, spoil, and seduction by the same impulse that drove the roots of that hatred deeper and deeper and more and more covetously into all that was profound and evil.

This Jesus of Nazareth, the incarnate gospel of love, this "Redeemer" who brought blessedness and ,'victory to the poor, the sick, and the sinners-was he not this seduction in its most uncanny and irresistible form, a seduction and bypath to precisely those Jewish values and new ideals? Did Israel not attain the ultimate goal of its sublime vengefulness precisely through the bypath of this "Redeemer," this ostensible opponent and disintegrator of Israel? Was it not part of the secret black art of truly grand politics of revenge, of a farseeing, subterranean, slowly advancing, and premeditated revenge, that Israel must itself deny the real instrument of its revenge before all the world as a mortal enemy and nail it to the cross, so that "all the world," namely all the opponents of Israel, could unhesitatingly swallow just this bait? And could spiritual subtlety imagine any more dangerous bait than this? Anything to equal the enticing, intoxicating, overwhelming, and undermining power of that symbol of the "holy cross," that ghastly paradox of a "God on the cross," that mystery of an unimaginable ultimate cruelty and self-crucifixion of God for the salvation of man?

What is certain, at Least, is that sub hoc signo Israel, with its vengefulness and revaluation of all values, has hitherto triumphed again and again over all other ideals, over all nobler ideals.

"But why are you talking about nobler ideals! Let us stick to the facts: the people have Won over 'the slaves' or 'the mob' or 'the herd or whatever you like to call them though has happened through the Jews, very well! in that case no people ever had a more world-historic mission.

'The masters' have been disposed of; the morality of the common man has won. One may conceive of this victory as at the same time a blood-poisoning (it is mixed the races together)-I shan't contradict; but this intoxication has undoubtedly been successful. The 'redemption' of the human race (Cram 'the masters,' that is) is going forward; everything is visibly becoming Judaizcd, Christianized, mobized (what do the words matter!).

The progress of this poison through the entire body of mankind seems irresistible, its pace and tempo may from now on even grow slower, subtler, less audible, more cautious-there is plenty of time.- To this end, does the church today still have any necessary role to play? Does it still have? The right to exist? Or could one do without it? It seems to hinder rather than hasten this progress. But perhaps that is its usefulness- Certainly it has, over the years, become something crude and boorish, something repellent to a more delicate intellect, to a truly modern taste. Ought it not to become at least a little more refined?- Today it alienates rather than seduces.- Which of us would be a free spirit if the church did not exist? It is the church, and not its poison, that repels US.- Apart from the church, we, too, love the poison.-"

This is the epilogue of a "free spirit" to my speech; an honest animal, as he has abundantly revealed, and a democrat, moreover; he had been listening to me till then and could not endure to listen to my silence. For at this point I have much to be silent about.


The Jews-a people "born for slavery," as Tacitus and the whole ancient world say; *** "the chosen people among the peoples," as they themselves say and believe--the Jews have brought off that miraculous feat of an inversion of values,*** thanks to which life on earth has acquired a novel and dangerous attraction for a couple of millennia: their prophets have fused "rich," "godless," "evil," "violent," and "sensual" into one and were the first to use the word "world" as an opprobrium. This inversion of values (which includes using the word "poor" as synonymous with "holy" and "friend") constitutes the significance of the' Jewish people; they mark the beginning of the slave rebellion in morals.

*** Revaluation of their enemies' values, that is to say, an act of the most spiritual revenge. For this alone was appropriate to a priestly people, the people embodying the most deeply repressed priestly vengefulness.***

It was the Jews who, with awe-inspiring consistency, dared to invert the aristocratic value-equation (good = noble = powerful = beautiful = happy = beloved of God) and to hang on to this inversion with their teeth, the teeth of the most abysmal hatred (the hatred of impotence), saying ''the wretched alone are the good; the poor, impotent, lowly alone are the good; the suffering, deprived, sick, ugly alone arc pious, alone are blessed by God, blessedness is for them alone-and you, the powerful and noble, are on the contrary the evil, the cruel, the lustful, the insatiable, the godless to all eternity; and YOU shall be in all eternity the unblessed, accursed, and damned!" ... One knows who inherited this Jewish revaluation ... In connection with the tremendous and immeasurably fateful initiative provided by the Jews through this most fundamental of all declarations of war, I recall the proposition I arrived at on a previous occasion (Beyond Good and Evil, section 195) 'That with the Jews there begins the slave revolt in morality: that revolt which has a history of two thousand years behind it and which we no longer see because it-has been victorious.

Let us conclude. The two opposing values "good and bad," "good and evil" have been engaged in fearful struggle on for thousands of years; and though the latter value has certainly been on top for a long time, there are still places where this struggle is yet undecided.

One might even say that It has risen ever higher and thus become more and more profound and Spiritual: so that today there is perhaps no more mark of a ā€¯Higher nature," a more spiritual nature, than that of being divided sense and a genuine battleground of these opposed values.

The symbol of this struggle, inscribed in letters across all human history, is "Rome against Judea, Judea against Rome .: -there has hitherto been no greater event than this struggle,this question, this deadly contradiction.

*** Rome felt the Jew to be something like anti-nature itself. its antipodal monstrosity as It were: Rome the Jew stood "convicted of hatred for the whole human' race" ***
; and rightly, provided one has a right to link the salvation and future of the human race with the unconditional dominance of aristocratic values, Roman values.

How, on the other hand, did the Jews feel about Rome? A thousand signs tell us; but it suffices to recall the Apocalypse of John, the most wanton of all literary outbursts that vengefulness has on its conscience. (One should not underestimate the profound consistency of [he Christian instinct when it signed this book of hate with the name of the disciple or Jove, the same disciple 10 whom it attributed that amorous-enthusiastic Gospel: there is a piece of truth in this, however much literary counterfeiting might have been required to produce it.) For the Romans were the strong and noble. and nobody stronger and nobler has yet existed on earth or even been dreamed of: every remnant of them, every inscription gives delight, if only one divines what it was that was there at work.

The Jews, on the contrary, were the priestly nation of resentiment par excellence, in whom there dwelt an unequaled popular-moral genius: one only has to compare similarly gifted nations -the Chinese or the Germans, for instance-with the Jews, to sense which is of the first and which of the fifth rank

Which of them has won for the present, Rome or Judea? But there can be no doubt: consider to whom one bows down in Rome itself today, as if they were the epitome of all the highest values and not only in Rome but over almost half the earth, everywhere that man has become tame or desires to become tame: three Jews, as is known, and olle Jewess (Jesus of Nazareth, the fisherman Peter, the rug weaver Paul, and the mother of the aforementioned Jesus, named Mary). This is very remarkable: Rome has been defeated beyond doubt.

There was, to be sure, in the Renaissance an uncanny and glittering reawakening of the classical ideal, of the noble mode of evaluating all things; Rome itself, oppressed by the new superimposed Judaized Rome that presented the aspect of an ecumenical Synagogue and was called the "church," stirred like one awakened from seeming death: but Judea immediately triumphed again, thanks to that thoroughly plebeian (German and English) resentment movement called the Reformation, and to that which was bound to arise from it, the restoration of the church-the restoration too of the ancient sepulchral repose of classical Rome.

With the French Revolution, Judea once again triumphed over the classical ideal, and this time in an even more profound and decisive sense: the last political noblesse in Europe, that of the French seventeenth and eighteenth century, collapsed beneath the popular instincts of resentment-greater rejoicing, more uproarious enthusiasm had never been heard on earth! To be sure, in the midst of it there occurred the most tremendous, the most unexpected thing: the ideal of antiquity itself stepped incarnate and in unheard-of splendor before the eyes and conscience of mankind and once again, in opposition to the mendacious slogan of resentment, "supreme rights of the majority," in opposition to the will to the lowering, the abasement, the leveling and the decline and twilight of mankind, there sounded stronger, simpler, and more insistently than ever the terrible and rapturous counter slogan "supreme rights of the few"! Like a last signpost to the other path, Napoleon appeared, the most isolated and late-born man there has even been, and in him the problem of the noble ideal as such made flesh one might well ponder what kind of problem it is: Napoleon, this synthesis of the inhuman and superhuman.


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