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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

FROM   BAHR   TO   DEHMEL                            99

morality of masters and the morality of slaves,1 the former charac-
terized by the definition of values 'good - bad' (gut - schlecht\ the
latter by that of cgood - eviP (gut - hose}. Nietzsche explains the
origin and definition of values of these two moral principles in
Jenseitsvon Gut undBose (1886), Zur Genealogie der Moral (1887), and
Der Antichrist (1888). The highly-placed, high-minded man looked
upon himself and his actions as 'good', that is, first-rate, in contra-
diction to the lowly-placed, low-minded man and his actions: by
means of this 'pathos of distance' he created values and the names
for them. This is the origin of the terms 'good - bad'. [Nietzsche
was guided by somewhat slippery etymologies, e.g. the fact that
schlicht ( = plain) and schlecht (= bad) are originally the same word.]
Slave morality had a different origin. A chiasmus of equivalents
therefore arises:

i. Morality of master:         Good   bad

2. Slave morality:               Good   evil

That is, what in the morality of masters was good was evil in
slave morality. To the slave the mighty lord is ceviP, i.e. 'evil' to
the slave is 'good' to the lord. The masters are optimists, the slaves
are pessimists. Slave morality was spiritualized and refined by
priests, for the caste of priests were weaklings, and it was in their
interest to turn the original statement of values upside down. The
rebellion began with the Jews, that hate-filled race of priests, and
the function of Jews in history was continued by Christianity:
Judaea conquered Rome. The ideal of antiquity came to life again
at the Renaissance, for the ideal of the Renaissance was 'virttF -
that is, plenitude of power exercised with no qualms of con-
science; but the two great plebeian revolutions, the German and
the English Reformation first, and then the French Revolution,
tumbled the ruined temples of antiquity to the ground, and on them

1 The idea may derive from Gobineau's EssaisurFinegalitedes races humaines
(1853-55), in which this French Wagner enthusiast proclaims the superiority
of the blond Germans over other races; he divides races into 'metres' and
*esclaves\ The first flush of Gobineau's vogue in Germany was due to Wagner,
and Ludwig Schemann, the most insistent exponent of Gobineau's racial
theory, belonged to the Wagner Circle at Bayreuth. From here, and from
Houston Stewart Chamberlain's Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, derives
that racial doctrine which has meant so much in Germany.