Of the New Idol
There are still peoples and herds somewhere, but not with us, my brothers: here there are states….
The state is the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it lies, too; and this lie creeps from its mouth: “I, the state, am the people.”
It is a lie! It was creators who created peoples and hung a faith and a love over them: thus they served life.
It is destroyers who set snares for many and call it the state: they hang a sword and a hundred desires over them.
Where a people still exists, there the people do not understand the state and hate it as the evil eye and sin against custom and law….
A free life still remains for great souls. Truly, he who possesses little is so much the less possessed: praised be a moderate poverty!
Only there, where the state ceases, does the man who is not superfluous begin: does the song of the necessary man, the unique and irreplaceable melody, begin.
Of the flies of the Marketplace
Flee, my friend, into your solitude: I see you stung by poisonous flies. Flee to where the raw, rough breeze blows!
Flee into your solitude! You have lived too near the small and pitiable men. Flee from their hidden vengeance! Towards you they are nothing but vengeance.
No longer lift your arm against them! They are innumerable and it is not your fate to be a fly-swat….
I see you wearied by poisonous flies, I see you bloodily torn in a hundred places; and your pride refuses even to be angry.
They want blood from you in all innocence, their bloodless souls thirst for blood – and therefore they sting in all innocence.
But you, profound man, you suffer too profoundly even from small wounds; and before you have recovered, the same poison-worm is again crawling over your hand.
You are too proud to kill these sweet-toothed creatures. But take care that it does not become your fate to bear all their poisonous injustice!
They buzz around you even with their praise: and their praise is importunity. They want to be near your skin and your blood….
And they are often kind to you. But that has always been the prudence of the cowardly. Yes, the cowardly are prudent!…
Because you are gentle and just-minded, you say: “They are not to be blamed for their little existence.” But their little souls think: “All great existence is blameworthy.”
Even when you are gentle towards them, they still feel you despise them; and they return your kindness with secret unkindness.
Your silent pride always offends their taste; they rejoice if you are ever modest enough to be vain….
Have you not noticed how often they became silent when you approached them, and how their strength left them like smoke from a dying fire?
Yes, my friend, you are a bad conscience to your neighbors: for they are unworthy of you.
…Thus spake Zarathustra.
The crowd of people, although their numbers are many, is far weaker than a single authentic individual. The crowd have believed themselves to be just sheep, not human beings.
The individual declares his dignity and his pride, and he does not want to be just a mechanical part of humanity. He wants to contribute to the world some beauty, some joy, some ecstasy. He is not a beggar; and the only way not to be a beggar is to share your love, your overflowing compassion, your intelligence, your wisdom, your enlightenment.
But the crowd, as is always the case, tries to be strong against these individuals in cunning ways. The weak man is always cunning – the cunningness is his defense. And the greatest cunningness that the crowd has propagated is the creation of the state. Then the state protects the mob, the retarded, the dead, the weak, the futile.