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Beyond Good and Evil

high above it, but supported by it, they can unfold their tops in the open light, and exhibit
their happiness.
259. To refrain mutually from injury, from violence, from exploitation, and put one's will
on a par with that of others: this may result in a certain rough sense in good conduct
among individuals when the necessary conditions are given (namely, the actual similarity
of the individuals in amount of force and degree of worth, and their co-relation within
one organization). As soon, however, as one wished to take this principle more generally,
and if possible even as the FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE OF SOCIETY, it would
immediately disclose what it really is--namely, a Will to the DENIAL of life, a principle
of dissolution and decay. Here one must think profoundly to the very basis and resist all
sentimental weakness: life itself is ESSENTIALLY appropriation, injury, conquest of the
strange and weak, suppression, severity, obtrusion of peculiar forms, incorporation, and
at the least, putting it mildest, exploitation;--but why should one for ever use precisely
these words on which for ages a disparaging purpose has been stamped? Even the
organization within which, as was previously supposed, the individuals treat each other as
equal--it takes place in every healthy aristocracy--must itself, if it be a living and not a
dying organization, do all that towards other bodies, which the individuals within it
refrain from doing to each other it will have to be the incarnated Will to Power, it will
endeavour to grow, to gain ground, attract to itself and acquire ascendancy-- not owing to
any morality or immorality, but because it LIVES, and because life IS precisely Will to
Power. On no point, however, is the ordinary consciousness of Europeans more unwilling
to be corrected than on this matter, people now rave everywhere, even under the guise of
science, about coming conditions of society in which "the exploiting character" is to be
absent--that sounds to my ears as if they promised to invent a mode of life which should
refrain from all organic functions. "Exploitation" does not belong to a depraved, or
imperfect and primitive society it belongs to the nature of the living being as a primary
organic function, it is a consequence of the intrinsic Will to Power, which is precisely the
Will to Life--Granting that as a theory this is a novelty--as a reality it is the
FUNDAMENTAL FACT of all history let us be so far honest towards ourselves!
260. In a tour through the many finer and coarser moralities which have hitherto
prevailed or still prevail on the earth, I found certain traits recurring regularly together,
and connected with one another, until finally two primary types revealed themselves to
me, and a radical distinction was brought to light. There is MASTER-MORALITY and
SLAVE-MORALITY,--I would at once add, however, that in all higher and mixed
civilizations, there are also attempts at the reconciliation of the two moralities, but one
finds still oftener the confusion and mutual misunderstanding of them, indeed sometimes
their close juxtaposition--even in the same man, within one soul. The distinctions of
moral values have either originated in a ruling caste, pleasantly conscious of being
different from the ruled--or among the ruled class, the slaves and dependents of all sorts.
In the first case, when it is the rulers who determine the conception "good," it is the
exalted, proud disposition which is regarded as the distinguishing feature, and that which
determines the order of rank. The noble type of man separates from himself the beings in
whom the opposite of this exalted, proud disposition displays itself he despises them. Let
it at once be noted that in this first kind of morality the antithesis "good" and "bad" means
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