For example, the whole world economy depends on the system of charging interest. A society becomes richer if the money moves faster and does not remain stuck in one hand, but the money can move faster only if there is some incentive. Why should I give my money to somebody else unless I can earn something out of it? Interest is nothing but a strategy to make the money move from one hand to another hand. And the faster the money moves, the richer the society becomes.
Mohammedans are poor because interest is condemned by their religion as a sin. To take interest or to give interest is a great sin. Now Mohammedans can never be rich; or if they become rich, they have to be condemned by the society. They cannot take loans from the banks because interest will have to be paid. Mohammedanism is the world’s second largest religion after Christianity, and they have remained poor for a single reason: that interest is thought to be a sin.
No other society thinks interest is a sin. What is the sin in it? You take somebody’s money, you have to pay something; otherwise why should he give his money to you? Interest is just a kind of rent. But the Mohammedan considers interest to be so unvirtuous that anybody who commits the sin loses all respect in the society. The same person will gain respect in any other society because he will become richer – and richness is respected.
The vegetarians are not willing to see a simple fact, that not a single vegetarian has received, up to now, a Nobel prize. Forty percent of Nobel prizes go to the Jews, which is simply out of proportion to their numbers; sixty percent go to the rest of the world and forty percent to the Jews alone. And why have vegetarians not been able to find a single Nobel prize? The reason is in their food, because it lacks a few vitamins which are absolutely necessary for intelligence to grow. It is virtuous, in a vegetarian society, not to eat meat – but you are losing your intelligence.
Substitutes could have been found and I have been for thirty years continually telling vegetarians, “You should start eating unfertilized eggs. They are absolutely vegetable because there is no life in them. And they contain all the vitamins that intelligence absolutely needs; otherwise you will remain retarded.”
Vegetarians stopped asking me to speak at their conferences; they became my enemies, and I was simply suggesting to them something that is purely scientific and in their favor. But they would rather listen to their tradition; they will not see the facts.
The virtues that society’s concepts create are just manufactured by man’s mind. If you agree with them you will be rewarded greatly. But what Nietzsche is saying is not about those virtues which are acceptable to any society, but about those virtues which an individual finds in the clarity of his own intelligence, in the silences of his own heart, in the understanding of his own being – and follows them. He will be crucified, he will be stoned to death, because he will not be acceptable to the crowd.
You are saying, “Nietzsche’s maxim: ‘One is punished most for one’s virtues’ I see the truth of most clearly in You. But even a man who is virtuous by society’s standards is subtly punished too, isn’t he? – punished by jealousy and criticism.”