Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Gems from the Forums: Nietzsche and Thelema

Over the years at, I’ve made a number of posts discussing the finer points of Nietzsche’s philosophical writings and its relationship to Crowley’s Thelema (I hesitate to speak of Nietzsche’s “system,” as that is probably not the right word to use).

I thought it would be useful and instructive to compile them into a single blog entry.

In the spirit of Nietzschean philosophizing, I’ve decided not to try to turn these disparate thoughts, collected over several years, into a single, cohesive essay. They remain fragments, written in response to various interlocutors who appear below as block quotes.



There are a number of interesting comparisons that can be drawn between Crowley's thoughts and Nietzsche's.

In particular, it is useful to compare Nietzsche and Crowley on the idea of morality -- both conceive of morality as nothing more than an expression of values, and both detest "slave morality," though Nietzsche gives a much more throrough genealogy of what he sees as the history of morals. [See Crowley's description of the Five of Swords in the Book of Thoth, where he gives a very brief and very rough summary of Nietzsche's ideas on this, without specifically crediting him]

Overall, Nietzsche sees the universe as "the will to power, and nothing besides." To him, this idea means not merely the dominion of one person or group over another (though it certainly includes this), but an individual's ability to "overcome himself," to master his impulses -- rather than disown them, as the Christian does -- and sublimate them toward other ends than the mere fulfillment of immediate impulse. After all, as Nietzsche reminds us, man is the animal that esteems and values, and man is the animal that overcomes himself, that gives himself morality.

There are a number of interesting passages in Nietzsche where he proposes that the self is not a unity but a collection of conflicting drives vying for dominance. From this insight, he extrapolates a number of other ideas, including the notion that it is "grammar" that produces the illusion of a unified "I" -- that is, that the mind divides reality into subject and verb for the ease of communication and that people mistake this convention for "reality." He also suggests that people project this false sense of subjectivity out into the world and conclude that there are really "things," rather than the flux that he calls "The Innocence of Becoming." Further, he follows Hume in calling into question the notion of "causality," which exists in minds as an inference from the relationship of the "things" it constructs for the ease of communication.

Obviously, these ideas can be compared to Thelemic metaphysics, whereby the Khu (the body and the mind, roughly) drape the Khabs in the "illusion" of separateness so as to enable experience. There is much in Nietzsche, particularly the idea of Amor Fati ("Love of fate," that an individual should not merely endure his life, but love it), that resonates with the Thelemic idea of experience as a sacrament. Further, much of Nietzsche's ideas about pity -- and the tendency of pity to arise from resentment of life and to distract one from one's own path -- maps very well onto the way Thelema looks down on pity/compassion.

Of course, nowhere does Nietzsche articulate the idea that there is a "true" will that the body/mind complex can thwart. Rather, he sees the will to power operating inexorably and deterministically in everyone, such that those exhibiting slave morality illustrate "declining life" that is ineffectually reaching out for more power over life. For Nietzsche, slave morality is a symptom of an almost physical sickness, a weariness with life that reaches its apex in the Buddhist desire to end desire, a desire to obtain what these slaves see as the ultimate power over life -- its denial.

For those who don't know who may be reading this, Nietzsche's idea of the eternal recurrence is a kind of thought experiment whereby you consider the possibility that you have lived the life you are living right now before and that you will live this exact life again, down to the minutest detail, over and over and over.

[Digression: It's not really clear whether Nietzsche actually thought this idea was literally true. I believe in some of his notebooks he played around with the concept: if there is a finite amount of matter in the universe and an infinite amount of time, then, he reasoned, it's certain that -- eventually -- matter would rework itself into exactly the same pattern again...of course, this is totally wrong. We now know that there won't be "infinite time" for matter to recombine because the universe is headed for a heat death billions of years hence; further, quantum mechanics -- which, incidentally, does not suggest that the universe is "conscious," as a bunch of new age quacks like to misinterpret it -- casts doubt on the possibility of identical patterns repeating themselves]

Anyway, the point of the thought experiment is this: if you learned that you would one day live this exact life that you are living now once again -- and that, in fact, you would continuously live it over and over and over, sort of like a version of the movie Groundhog's Day, without consciously knowing that that was what was happening -- how would you react? Would you consider that a fate worse than death? Or would you fall to your knees in thanksgiving and celebrate the possibility of living this exact life again?

Nietzsche, obviously, thinks that the "higher" type of person would do the latter, would celebrate the living of life again, and would find joy in the idea that all he does "wants eternity -- deep, deep eternity."

The moral of the story, for Nietzsche, is "live your life as if everything you do you will experience again.
This notion is supplemented by the idea of Amor Fati, that one should not merely *endure* the events of one's life...but love them.

 These ideas -- and Nietzsche's embrace of them -- become all the more fantastic in the context of Nietzsche's life, which was filled with physical suffering (due to what was probably a brain tumor) and a desire to continue to work, to continue to think and write, despite the extreme pain that reading and writing caused him. Nietzsche was a man who lived with a great deal of regular pain, and he advocated a philosophy of loving life, loving what you do, and wanting eternity in all things.


As you note, these ideas resonate very strongly with the Thelemic idea of "taking every experience as a sacrament."

There is some vague resonance with the idea of "taking every phenomenon as a particular dealing of God with one's soul," but probably not in the way that people would think. People tend to misunderstand this point of Thelemic practice, so a little explanation is in order: "taking every phenomenon as a particular dealing of God with one's soul" does not mean to sit around and to try to find "messages" in everything. You don't say, "Gee, here's a cup of coffee; this is a message from God that I should wake up," or "Gee, here's a creamer; this is a message from God that we're all connected to the milk of the stars," etc. No, "taking every phenomenon as a particular dealing of God with one's soul" means literally just taking every phenomenon as having no more or less significance than just that, just what it is. To put it in more explicitly Thelemic terms, it means that everything that happens -- no matter what -- is equally a "play of Nuit," equally a manifestation of possibility that is no more "good" or "bad" than anything else, objectively speaking. In other words, it's a practice that makes possible the injunction of AL I:22: "Let there be no difference made between any one thing & any other thing." Once you actually realize -- on a day-to-day basis -- that no one thing is "better" than any other thing -- that there is no course of action that is objectively "better" than any other course -- the only sensible ground for action becomes the individual's nature.


Nietzsche would certainly agree that there is no objective standard to measure "good" or "bad" -- in fact, as Beyond Good and Evil affirms (it's in the title, for crying out loud!), the entire concept of "opposites" is an invention of the mind, an idea that cries out for comparison to both the first chapter of the Tao Teh Ching and the traditional idea of the "coincidence of contraries," strongly reflected in Crowley's idea of every idea containing its opposite above the abyss.

In fact, Nietzsche saw quite clearly that in the wake of the "death of God," there could be no objective standards or meanings and that man either had to "give himself values" or accept Nihilism.

However, Nietzsche nowhere articulates the notion of a "true will" as a standard of action, even though we could argue that the idea is *consistent* with much of what he says. The idea of "giving oneself values" could actually be interpreted as the opposite of Thelemic practice: the Thelemite does not consciously attempt to embrace any particular set of values, but rather observes his own being in conjunction with the environment and acts from that basis.

However, Nietzsche does talk even favourably about Buddhism, in comparison to Christianity, in Anti-Christ and Ecce Homo, I think.

For Nietzsche, Buddhism is a manifestation of nihilism, the desire to resign from desire (and from life). In The Anti-Christ, he suggests that Christ had taught a kind of Westernized Buddhism but that the teachings of Christ had been perverted and corrupted into its current form by Paul.



About Nietzsche being one of the prophets of Gnostic Mass, I'm not sure he would have appreciated the attribution.

He would have hated being a "saint" in some guy's "religion" almost as much as he would have hated being portrayed as the poster boy for fascism and nationalism (he absolutely detested nationalism and most certainly did not think that the German people were any kind of "master race").


Nietzsche had the idea of the overman being a person who destroys the old morality (a tablet of values) and then gives a birth to a new tablet of values. Is it so that an ultimate Thelemite would prefer to just stay "Beyond Good and Evil"? :)


Well, a Thelemite would ideally recognize that there is no good or evil, even though there are certain actions that are "lawful" or "unlawful" for a specific individual.


From Liber Aleph:

"Praise then or blame aught, as seemeth good unto thee; but with this reflection, that thy judgment is relative to thine own condition, and not absolute. This also is a point of tolerance, whereby thy shalt avoid indeed those things that are hateful or noxious to thee, unless thou canst (in our mode) win them by love, by withdrawing thine attention from them; but thou shalt not destroy them, for that they are without doubt the desire of another.

But I think Nietzsche is suprisingly favourable about Buddhism in his later texts.

Well, as he points out, Christianity promises the world and delivers nothing; Buddhism promises very little and delivers it.

I agree that Nietzsche treats Buddhism better than he does Christianity, but he certainly does not endorse its position of withdrawal from life.


[Regarding Nietzsche as a "prophet"], there's this from Liber Aleph:



For this Reason is the Poet called an Incarnation of the Zeitgeist, that is, of the Spirit or Will of his Period. So every Poet is also a Prophet, because when that which he sayeth is recognized as the Expression of their own Thought by Men, they translate this into Act, so that, in the Parlance of he Folk vulgar and ignorant, "that which he foretold is come to pass". Now then the Poet is Interpreter of the Hieroglyphs of the Hidden Will of Man in many a matter, some light, some deep, as it may be given unto him to do. Moreover, it is not altogether in the Word of any Poem, but in the quintessential Flavour of the Poet, that thou mayst seek this Prophecy. And this is an Art most necessary to every Statesman. Who but Shelley foretold the Fall of Christianity, and the Organisation of Labour, and the Freedom of Woman; who but Nietzsche declared the Principle at the Root of the World-War? See thou clearly then that in these Men were the Keys of the Dark Gates of the Future; Should not the Kings and their Ministers have taken heed thereto, fulfilling their Word without Conflict."

So Crowley argues above that all poets are "prophets" -- in that they interpret the Will of the Spirit of the Age, so to speak. It's not really "prophecy," as commonly understood, but really a knack for being tuned in to what's going on.

 He lists Nietzsche as one of these poet/prophets.

 Incidentally, since Crowley mentions Shelley, he almost certainly has in mind the famous final lines of Shelley's A Defence of Poetry:

"Poets are the hierophants of an unapprehended inspiration; the mirrors of the gigantic shadows which futurity casts upon the present; the words which express what they understand not; the trumpets which sing to battle, and feel not what they inspire; the influence which is moved not, but moves. Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world."

As someone who spent many years studying Nietzsche -- often right alongside Crowley -- I share your enthusiasm for discussion of these two men (as I think the other Crowley/Nietzsche thread attests).

However, a big obstacle I see to such discussion is the fact that a good conversation of that sort really requires a number of participants who have deeply read and understood both of them, and it seems like fewer and fewer people have done that for one or the other of those writers, not to mention both. Nietzsche and Crowley share the characteristic that they both "wrote in blood," in the figurative sense (of course!). They poured themselves into their works, and they demand to be studied deeply: both put up their "masks" (there's a great section in Beyond Good and Evil on the concept of the mask), concealing their insights beneath the shallow interpretations that their more feeble-minded readers made and continue to make.

They share with Blake the conviction "That which can be made Explicit to the Idiot is not worth my care." Both refused to dumb things down to the least common denominator: both railed against the appearance of "the last man," who is content to blink dumbly and suck air in perfect comfort as the highlight of his life.

Both championed Will -- though in somewhat different senses -- and both anticipated the modern condition, whereby humanity's precarious existential position forces the most honest among us -- those who look into the abyss and acknowledge the objective lack of meaning -- to give ourselves the law, to impose our Wills upon the raw material of body and mind with which nature has equipped us.

Both of them, in short, were prophets.

Though importantly, Nietzsche would have been disgusted and horrified by Hitler. Nietzsche did *not* think the Germans were a "master race" by any stretch of the imagination: he went out of his way to insult the German people and how little they read and thought.  He despised Wagner's antisemitism, and it was Wagner's friendliness with circles of antisemites that was partially responsible for the rift between him and Nietzsche.

As Nietzsche was losing his mind, there was -- in one of his letters -- apparently some kind of delusion in which he celebrated the fact that he had "had all the antisemites shot!" or something of that nature.

There's a chapter in Zarathustra in which he calls The State an idol and decries it in favor of the individual, etc., etc.

One of the most pernicious "masks" surrounding Nietzsche is his association with Nazis, antisemites, racism, and all sorts of ideas that he loathed (and, in the case of the Nazis, would have loathed) with a passion.


Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals, essentially, can be quickly summarized as follows: once upon a time, there were Masters who were powerful, healthy and who – as all healthy souls do –considered themselves and their actions to be good – strength, dominance, joy, lust for life, selfishness, etc. – and considered the opposite qualities (weakness, submission, sorrow, despair, resignation from life) to be bad.

Then along came the slaves – the weak people who were “bad” under Master morality – and they revaluated morality and, out of spite, applied the label “evil” to what the Masters called “good.” And these slaves also labeled “good” their own weaknesses, which the Masters had called “bad.”

Get it? So these slaves call weakness, sorrow, despair, resignation from life, meekness, pity, compassion and all the rest “good,” while condemning egotism, lust for life, strength, etc. They flipped morality on its head, essentially.

One tribe of slaves (i.e. the Jews) actually managed to make the whole (Western) world bow to their slave morality through the figure of Jesus. So now the whole (Western) world follows slave morality, and Nietzsche saw part of his “mission” as involving “righting” morality, turning it back the way it belongs.

[Incidentally, Nietzsche is always insistent on Jesus’ Jewishness and on Christianity as an extension (the “finest flower,” in fact) of the slave religion of Judaism…it’s easy to see Nietzsche as being anti-Semitic here, but a much more nuanced (and true) reading is that Nietzsche liked to piss off Christian anti-Semites. He loved reminding anti-Semites that they worship a Jew and that their religion is even *more* Jewish than Judaism! More on Nietzsche’s hatred of anti-Semitism in a bit]

So, Nietzsche’s account is interesting, but as I indicated above, it’s overly simplistic and treats “slave morality” as a corruption of some “Master morality” when in fact what he calls “slave morality” has been demonstrated (since Nietzsche was alive) to be a natural development of evolution.

It’s far more interesting to see Nietzsche’s account of morality as metaphorical of the stages an individual goes through in relation to moral law, and here one should consider the “metamorphoses” at the beginning of Zarathustra. There, Nietzsche represents an individual’s journey as moving through the stages of Camel (having “thou shalts” piled onto one’s back, slave morality), transforming into a Lion (breaking the “thou shalts,” roughly corresponding to master morality), and finally transforming – interestingly enough for Thelemites – into a Child. A “Creator” who creates from the depth of his being.

Now obviously, I’m not trying to write off Nietzsche as being just some metaphorical writer. He clearly was not, and he was intensely critical of democracy, “goodness,” compassion, and all the rest. Or, to put it another way, he was intensely critical of the impulse to laud these things as unquestionably desirable. He wanted to ask where the desire for these things came from. Why does everyone hold up “compassion” as if it’s some great good, he asked. Why does everyone want to put an end to suffering, when all great accomplishments can only be achieved through suffering? Why, he asked, do all philosophers want to find “truth”? After all, so much of what we do is predicated on lies – even our perception of reality is, in a sense, a “lie” constructed by our brains that falsify what we see.

And one of the answers he came up with was “The Will to Power.” That’s why people want to end suffering and resign from life: to gain power over it. That’s why philosophers want to find “truth”: “truth” is their word for the concept by which they gain (at least imaginary) control over life itself.

Man, Nietzsche concluded, is the animal who esteems, the animal who sets value for himself, and it is that setting of value – that giving himself morality – that mastering himself by directing his impulses toward a goal…that is the motion of the Will to Power, the drive to constantly “overcome” himself by mastering himself and directing himself toward a goal.

And so, even though *everything* is a manifestation of this will to power – even slave morality – Nietzsche wanted to construct his own values in the face of nihilism (whose fruit was resignation from life). He wanted to construct life-affirming values.

It’s in this context that he thought “pity” and “sympathy” should be condemned. Here’s a great extract from Beyond Good and Evil on this subject:

"OUR sympathy is a loftier and further-sighted sympathy:—we see how MAN dwarfs himself, how YOU dwarf him! and there are moments when we view YOUR sympathy with an indescribable anguish, when we resist it,—when we regard your seriousness as more dangerous than any kind of levity. You want, if possible—and there is not a more foolish "if possible"—TO DO AWAY WITH SUFFERING; and we?—it really seems that WE would rather have it increased and made worse than it has ever been! Well-being, as you understand it—is certainly not a goal; it seems to us an END; a condition which at once renders man ludicrous and contemptible—and makes his destruction DESIRABLE! The discipline of suffering, of GREAT suffering—know ye not that it is only THIS discipline that has produced all the elevations of humanity hitherto? The tension of soul in misfortune which communicates to it its energy, its shuddering in view of rack and ruin, its inventiveness and bravery in undergoing, enduring, interpreting, and exploiting misfortune, and whatever depth, mystery, disguise, spirit, artifice, or greatness has been bestowed upon the soul—has it not been bestowed through suffering, through the discipline of great suffering?"

In other words, suffering is a part of life, and a key part of it. People who want to “end suffering,” who want to be relieved from all the pain and misery of existence – these people really want to deny life, to escape from it, to embody nihilism. These people with their “pity” feel so bad about the suffering that is not only inevitable but that feeds the higher achievements. Nietzsche recommends “pity” not for the creature in man, but for the Creator in man: he says that he has a *higher* kind of pity for the Overman, who can only be achieved *through* suffering.
Similar sentiments from the Gay Science:

"The 'religion of compassion' (or 'the heart') bids him help, and he thinks he has helped best when he has helped most speedily! If you adherents of this religion actually have the same sentiments towards yourselves which you have towards your fellows, if you are unwilling to endure your own suffering even for an hour, and continually forestall all possible misfortune, if you regard suffering and pain generally as evil, as detestable, as deserving of annihilation, and as blots on existence, well, you have then, besides your religion of compassion, yet another religion in your heart (and this is perhaps the mother of the former) the religion of smug ease. Ah, how little you know of human happiness - you comfortable and benevolent people! For happiness and unhappiness are brother and sister - or even twins who grow up together - or in your case - remain small together!"


Fantastic stuff. Shortly thereafter in that section he critiques pity on the grounds that it diverts the individual from his or her path in life:

"How is it at all possible for a person to keep to his path! Some cry or other is continually calling one aside: our eye then rarely lights on anything without it becoming necessary for us to leave for a moment our own affairs and rush to give assistance. […]

"Indeed, there is even a secret seduction in all this awakening of compassion, and calling for help: our 'own way' is a thing too hard and insistent, and too far removed from the love and gratitude of others, we escape from it and from our most personal conscience, not at all unwillingly, and, seeking security in the conscience of others, we take refuge in the lovely temple of the "religion of pity."

There’s much in this insightful passage that comments on the idea of compassion being “the vice of kings,” by the way: compassion is something pleasurable, seductive, but that ultimately diverts the individual from his own path.

But it would be a mistake to conclude from Nietzsche’s disdain for pity and compassion that therefore Nietzsche must have endorsed “being a dick,” as the kids say.

He himself – though forceful, prideful, and all the rest in his published writings that he directed toward people he considered his intellectual community – was quite kind to others in his daily life. There’s a famous line in his writings – so famous that I’ve forgotten where I read it initially…maybe Ecce Homo? – that runs something along the lines of, “my humanity consists not in feeling with other people but enduring that I feel with them,” suggesting someone who feels deeply for other people and who must “overcome” the weight of his natural sympathy in order to philosophize as he does, with a hammer.

And then this from The Antichrist:

"When the exceptional man handles the mediocre man with more delicate fingers than he applies to himself or to his equals, this is not merely kindness of heart--it is simply his duty"

Plus, Nietzsche was always very kind and gentle to his casual acquaintances. Hell, when he finally had his mental collapse, he broke down on his way to confront a guy who was beating a horse: he greatly disapproved of cruelty toward animals.

Now, obviously, I’m not trying to paint Nietzsche as some kind of PC, Tree-hugging Lefty because he obviously was not. But like a lot of great thinkers and writers, he was very, very good at articulating exactly what he *opposed*, but wasn’t so hot at giving the specifics of what he *advocated.* Sure, he talks up “nobility” and the aristocracy, Masters as opposed to slaves, and he drew a lot of inspiration from classical culture and their ideal of virility (that is, virtu in its original sense of manly vigor and not the ridiculous Christian, middle-class “virtue,” which is an excuse to deny life)…but there’s nothing in Nietzsche resembling any sort of coherent plan for society or practical scheme for action in the real world. Nietzsche was a man who loved to think and think about thinking, and he loved kicking the asses of lame philosophers like Kant, who just dolled up their stupid Christianity and moral sensibilities in complicated language and tried to justify it thereby. But he wasn’t exactly filled with practical political schemes.

Since I brought up Shelley earlier in the thread, he’s a good example of this same phenomenon of not being able to articulate what he advocates: Shelley had no problem giving voice to *exactly* what he opposed. Read “The Mask of Anarchy” sometime: it’s a scintillating critique of capitalism, government corruption, and privilege, and it sounds like it could have been penned by a modern enthusiast of “Occupy Wallstreet” (if the OWS crowd actually had any talent for doing anything). Listen to the “chorus” of the poem, spoken by the earth itself:

'Rise like Lions after slumber

In unvanquishable number,

Shake your chains to earth like dew

Which in sleep had fallen on you -

Ye are many - they are few.


We are the 99% indeed. Shelley is writing before Karl Marx, remember, but he anticipates many of Marxism’s critiques…hell, he even anticipates the whole “cast off your chains” business. It’s very clear what Shelley is against.

But what Shelley wasn’t good at was coming up with some kind of coherent plan of action for the future. His generally-considered-poor epic poem The Revolt of Islam reimagines the French Revolution as a bloodless coup inspired by poets (of course), but Shelley can’t articulate anything to put in place of monarchy and religion once they fall: he just has his heroes become martyrs at the end, inspiration for the cause of some future revolution.

Compared to these writers, Crowley has the advantage of at least clearly articulating some fairly specific plans and clear ideas of what he advocated. So he gets a thumbs up for that. The only problem with Crowley is that his political writings are juvenile, unworkable, and on the whole pretty stupid and ridiculous. It’s for this reason, by the way, that people roll their eyes when trolls like Keith418 come into town and start lecturing everyone on how we ought to be taking Crowley’s political ideas “seriously” and how “challenging” they are. Or even better, how we really ought to “take seriously” Crowley’s typical, nineteenth-century casual racism.

Speaking of which! There’s one final point to make regarding Nietzsche and the Jews.

It’s certainly true that Nietzsche was critical of the Jews (who wasn’t he critical of?), but he seemed to have a lot of respect for them (for being strong enough to impose their morality on the world, for starters), and he definitely hated anti-Semites and anti-Semitism in general.

Here’s a fascinating web page with quotes from Nietzsche on anti-Semites and how “disgusted” he was by them:

I’ll close with a section from Human All Too Human in which Nietzsche discusses the Jews and advocates “the production and training of a European mixed race of the greatest possible strength” in which “the Jew is just as useful and desirable an ingredient as any other national remnant.”

I trust comment is not necessary on this extract and how it demonstrates that Nietzsche was very far from an anti-Semite:

"EUROPEAN MAN AND THE DESTRUCTION OF NATIONALITIES. Commerce and industry, interchange of books and letters, the universality of all higher culture, the rapid changing of locality and landscape, and the present nomadic life of all who are not landowners, these circumstances necessarily bring with them a weakening, and finally a destruction of nationalities, at least of European nationalities; so that, in consequence of perpetual crossings, there must arise out of them all a mixed race, that of the European man. At present the isolation of nations, through the rise of national enmities, consciously or unconsciously counteracts this tendency; but nevertheless the process of fusing advances slowly, in spite of those occasional counter currents. This artificial nationalism is, however, as dangerous as was artificial Catholicism, for it is essentially an unnatural condition of extremity and martial law, which has been proclaimed by the few over the many, and requires artifice, lying, and force to maintain its reputation. It is not the interests of the many (of the peoples), as they probably say, but it is first of all the interests of certain princely dynasties, and then of certain commercial and social classes, which impel to this nationalism; once we have recognised this fact, we should just fearlessly style ourselves good Europeans and labour actively for the amalgamation of nations; in which efforts Germans may assist by virtue of their hereditary position as interpreters and intermediaries between nations. By the way, the great problem of the Jews only exists within the national States, inasmuch as their energy and higher intelligence, their intellectual and volitional capital, accumulated from generation to generation in tedious schools of suffering, must necessarily attain to universal supremacy here to an extent provocative of envy and hatred; so that the literary misconduct is becoming prevalent in almost all modern nations and all the more so as they again set up to be national of sacrificing the Jews as the scapegoats of all possible public and private abuses. So soon as it is no longer a question of the preservation or establishment of nations, but of the production and training of a European mixed race of the greatest possible strength, the Jew is just as useful and desirable an ingredient as any other national remnant Every nation, every individual, has unpleasant and even dangerous qualities, it is cruel to require that the Jew should be an exception. Those qualities may even be dangerous and frightful in a special degree in his case; and perhaps the young Stock Exchange Jew is in general the most repulsive invention of the human species. Nevertheless, in a general summing up, I should like to know how much must be excused in a nation which, not without blame on the part of all of us, has had the most mournful history of all nations, and to which we owe the most loving of men (Christ), the most upright of sages (Spinoza), the mightiest book, and the most effective moral law in the world? Moreover, in the darkest times of the Middle Ages, when Asiatic clouds had gathered darkly over Europe, it was Jewish free thinkers, scholars, and physicians who upheld the banner of enlightenment and of intellectual independence under the severest personal sufferings, and defended Europe against Asia; we owe it not least to their efforts that a more natural, more reasonable, at all events un mythical, explanation of the world was finally able to get the upper hand once more, and that the link of culture which now unites us with the enlightenment of Greco Roman antiquity has remained unbroken. If Christianity has done everything to orientalise the Occident, Judaism has assisted essentially in occidentalising it anew; which, in a certain sense, is equivalent to making Europe's mission and history a continuation of that of Greece."

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