Saturday, August 17, 2013

No one lies as much as the indignant do

--- Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Part Two, The free spirit, section 27, in Basic Writings of Nietzsche (Modern Library Classics), 2000, transl. William Kaufman, p. 229

In context:
Cynicism is the only form in which base souls approach honesty; and the higher man must listen closely to every coarse or subtle cynicism, and congratulate himself when a clown without shame or a scientific satyr speaks out precisely in front of him.
There are even cases where enchantment mixes with the dis gust—namely, where by a freak of nature genius is tied to some such indiscreet billygoat and ape, as in the case of the AbbĂ© Galiani, the profoundest, most clear-sighted, and perhaps also filthiest man of his century—he was far profounder than Voltaire and consequently also a good deal more taciturn. It happens more frequently, as has been hinted, that a scientific head is placed on an ape’s body, a subtle exceptional understanding in a base soul, an occurrence by no means rare, especially among doctors and physiologists of morality. And whenever anyone speaks without bitterness, quite innocently, of man as a belly with two requirements, and a head with one; whenever anyone sees, seeks, and wants to see only hunger, sexual lust, and vanity as the real and only motives of human actions; in short, when anyone speaks “badly”— and not even “wickedly”—of man, the lover of knowledge should listen subtly and diligently; he should altogether have an open ear wherever people talk without indignation. For the indignant and whoever perpetually tears and lacerates with his own teeth himself (or as a Substitute, the world, or God, or society) may indeed, morally speaking, stand higher than the laughing and self-satisfied satyr, but in every other sense they are a more ordinary, more in different, and less instructive case. And no one lies as much as the indignant do.