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THE EGO AND HIS

OWN
Brought to you by
BY

The Egoist Archive MAX STIRNER

D. T. Davis TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN By


STEVEN T. BYINGTON

Version 1.0 WITH AN INTRODUCTION By


J. L. WALKER

NEW YORK
BENJ. R. TUCKER, PUBLISHER
1907
Copyright 1907, by TO MY SWEETHEART
BENJAMIN R TUCKER

MARIE DAHNHARDT
CONTENTS

PUBLISHER'S PREFACE vii


INTRODUCTION xii
TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE xix
A LL T HINGS ARE N OTHING TO M E 3
PART FIRST: MAN. 7
I.A H UMAN L IFE 9
II.M EN OF THE O LD T IME AND THE N EW 17
I.THE ANCIENTS 17
II.THE M ODERNS 30
1.T HE S PIRIT 34
2.THE POSSESSED 42
3.T HE H IERARCHY 85
III.T HE F REE 127
1.POLITICAL LIBERALISM 128
2.SOCIAL LIBERALISM 152
3.HUMANE LIBERALISM 163
P ART S ECOND : I 201
I.OWNNESS 203
II.THE OWNER 225
I.M Y POWER 242
II.M Y I NTERCOURSE 275
III.M Y SELF - ENJOYMENT 425
III.THE UNIQUE ONE 484
INDEX 501
PUBLISHER'S PREFACE

For more than twenty years I have entertained the design of


publishing an English translation of " Der Einzige und sein
Eigentum." When I formed this design, the number of
English-speaking persons who had ever heard of the book was
very limited. The memory of Max Stirner had been virtually
extinct for an entire generation. But in the last two decades
there has been a remarkable revival of interest both in the book
and in its author. It began in this country with a discussion in
the pages of the Anarchist periodical, " Liberty," in which
Stirner's thought was clearly expounded and vigorously cham-
pioned by Dr. James L. Walker, who adopted for this discussion
the pseudonym " Tak Kak." At that time Dr. Walker was the
chief editorial writer for the Galveston " News." Some years
later he became a practising physician in Mexico, where he died
in 1904. A series of essays which he began in an Anarchist
periodical, " Egoism," and which he lived to complete, was
published after his death in a small volume, " The Philosophy
of Egoism." It is a very able and convincing exposition of
Stirner's teachings, and almost the only one that exists in the
English language. But the chief instrument in the revival of
Stirnerism was and is the German poet, John Henry Mackay.
Very early in his career he met Stirner's name in Lange's " His-
tory of Materialism," and was moved thereby to read his book.
The work made such an impression on him that he resolved to
devote a portion of his life to the rediscovery and rehabilitation
of the lost and forgotten genius. Through years of toil and cor-
respondence and travel, and triumphing over tremendous ob-
viii PUBLISHER'S PREFACE PUBLISHER'S PREFACE ix
stacles, he carried his task to completion, and his biography of Therefore conditions are now more favorable for the reception
Stirner appeared in Berlin in 1898. It is a tribute to the thor- of this volume than they were when I formed the design of
oughness of Mackay's work that since its publication not one im- publishing it, more than twenty years ago.
portant fact about Stirner has been discovered by anybody. The problem of securing a reasonably good translation (for in
During his years of investigation Mackay's advertising for infor- the case of a work presenting difficulties so enormous it was idle
mation had created a new interest in Stirner, which was enhanced to hope for an adequate translation) was finally solved by en-
by the sudden fame of the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche, an trusting the task to Steven T. Byington, a scholar of remark-
author whose intellectual kinship with Stirner has been a subject able attainments, whose specialty is philology, and who is
of much controversy, " Der Einzige," previously obtainable only also one of the ablest workers in the propaganda of Anarch-
in an expensive form, was included in Philipp Reclam's Uni- ism. But, for further security from error, it was agreed with
versal-Bibliothek, and this cheap edition has enjoyed a wide and Mr. Byington that his translation should have the benefit of
ever-increasing circulation. During the last dozen years the revision by Dr. Walker, the most thorough American student of
book has been translated twice into French, once into Italian, Stirner, and by Emma Heller Schumm and George Schumm,
once into Russian, and possibly into other languages. The who are not only sympathetic with Stirner, but familiar with the
Scandinavian critic, Brandes, has written on Stirner. A large history of his time, and who enjoy a knowledge of English and
and appreciative volume, entitled " L'Individualisme Anar- German that makes it difficult to decide which is their native
chiste: Max Stirner," from the pen of Prof. Victor Basch, of the tongue. It was also agreed that, upon any point of difference
University of Rennes, has appeared in Paris. Another large between the translator and his revisers which consultation
and sympathetic volume, " Max Stirner," written by Dr. might fail to solve, the publisher should decide. This method
Anselm Ruest, has been published very recently in Berlin. Dr. has been followed, and in a considerable number of instances it
Paul Eltzbacher, in his work, " Der Anarchismus," gives a has fallen to me to make a decision. It is only fair to say,
chapter to Stirner, making him one of the seven typical therefore, that the responsibility for special errors and imperfec-
Anarchists, beginning with William Godwin and ending with tions properly rests on my shoulders, whereas, on the other hand,
Tolstoi, of whom his book treats. There is hardly a notable the credit for whatever general excellence the translation may
magazine or a review on the Continent that has not given at possess belongs with the same propriety to Mr. Byington and his
least one leading article to the subject of Stirner. Upon the coadjutors. One thing is certain: its defects are due to no lack
initiative of Mackay and with the aid of other admirers a suit- of loving care and pains. And I think I may add with confi-
able stone has been placed above the philosopher's previously- dence, while realizing fully how far short of perfection it neces-
neglected grave, and a memorial tablet upon the house in sarily falls, that it may safely challenge comparison with the
Berlin where he died in 1856; and this spring another is to translations that have been made into other languages.
be placed upon the house in Bayreuth where he was born In particular, I am responsible for the admittedly erroneous
in 1806. As a result of these various efforts, and though but rendering of the title. " The Ego and His Own " is not an exact
little has been written about Stirner in the English language, English equivalent of " Der Einzige und sein Eigentum." But
his name is now known at least to thousands in America and then, there is no exact English equivalent. Perhaps the nearest
England where formerly it was known only to hundreds. is " The Unique One and His Property." But the unique one is
x PUBLISHER'S PREFACE PUBLISHER'S PREFACE xi
not strictly the Einzige, for uniqueness connotes not only single- therefore put him on his guard. The other difficulties lie, as a
ness but an admirable singleness, while Stirner's Einzigkeit is ad- rule, in the structure of the work. As to these I can hardly do
mirable in his eyes only as such, it being no part of the purpose better than translate the following passage from Prof. Basch's
of his book to distinguish a particular Einzigkeit as more excel- book, alluded to above: " There is nothing more disconcerting
lent than another. Moreover, " The Unique One and His Prop- than the first approach to this strange work. Stirner does not
erty " has no graces to compel our forgiveness of its slight inac- condescend to inform us as to the architecture of his edifice, or
curacy. It is clumsy and unattractive. And the same objections furnish us the slightest guiding thread. The apparent divisions
may be urged with still greater force against all the other render- of the book are few and misleading. From the first page to the
ings that have been suggested," The Single One and His last a unique thought circulates, but it divides itself among an
Property," " The Only One and His Property," " The Lone One infinity of vessels and arteries in each of which runs a blood so
and His Property," " The Unit and His Property," and, last rich in ferments that one is tempted to describe them all. There
and least and worst, " The Individual and His Prerogative." is no progress in the development, and the repetitions are in-
" The Ego and His Own," on the other hand, if not a precise numerable. ............... The reader who is not de-
rendering, is at least an excellent title in itself; excellent by its terred by this oddity, or rather absence, of composition gives
euphony, its monosyllabic incisiveness, and its tellingEinzigkeit. proof of genuine intellectual courage. At first one seems to be
Another strong argument in its favor is the emphatic correspond- confronted with a collection of essays strung together, with a
ence of the phrase " his own " with Mr. Byington's renderings throng of aphorisms. .............. But, if you read this
of the kindred words, Eigenheit and Eigner. Moreover, no book several times; if, after having penetrated the intimacy of
reader will be led astray who bears in mind Stirner's distinction: each of its parts, you then traverse it as a whole,gradually
" I am not an ego along with other egos, but the sole ego; the fragments weld themselves together, and Stirner's thought
I am unique." And, to help the reader to bear this in mind, the is revealed in all its unity, in all its force, and in all its depth."
various renderings of the word Einzige that occur through the A word about the dedication. Mackay's investigations have
volume are often accompanied by foot-notes showing that, in the brought to light that Marie Daehnhardt had nothing whatever
German, one and the same word does duty for all. in common with Stirner, and so was unworthy of the honor con-
If the reader finds the first quarter of this book somewhat ferred upon her. She was no Eigene. I therefore reproduce the
forbidding and obscure, he is advised nevertheless not to dedication merely in the interest of historical accuracy.
falter. Close attention will master almost every difficulty, Happy as I am in the appearance of this book, my joy is not
and, if he will but give it, he will find abundant reward in what unmixed with sorrow. The cherished project was as dear to the
follows. For his guidance I may specify one defect in the heart of Dr. Walker as to mine, and I deeply grieve that he is
author's style. When controverting a view opposite to his own, no longer with us to share our delight in the fruition. Nothing,
he seldom distinguishes with sufficient clearness his statement of however, can rob us of the masterly introduction that he wrote
his own view from his re-statement of the antagonistic view. for this volume (in 1903, or perhaps earlier), from which I will
As a result, the reader is plunged into deeper and deeper mystifi- not longer keep the reader. This introduction, no more than
cation, until something suddenly reveals the cause of his mis- the book itself, shall that Einzige, Death, make his Eigentum.
understanding, after which he must go back and read again, I February, 1907. B. R. T.
INTRODUCTION xiii
standing. The system-makers and system-believers thus far can-
not get it out of their heads that any discourse about the nature
of an ego must turn upon the common characteristics of egos, to
make a systematic scheme of what they share as a generality.
The critics inquire what kind of man the author is talking about.
They repeat the question: What does he believe in ? They fail
to grasp the purport of the recorded answer: " I believe in my-
INTRODUCTION self "; which is attributed to a common soldier long before the
Fifty years sooner or later can make little difference in the time of Stirner. They ask, What is the principle of the self-
case of a book so revolutionary as this. conscious egoist,the Einzige ? To this perplexity Stirner says:
Change the question; put " who ?" instead of " what ? " and an
It saw the light when a so-called revolutionary movement was
answer can then be given by naming him !
preparing in men's minds, which agitation was, however, only a
This, of course, is too simple for persons governed by ideas,
disturbance due to desires to participate in government, and to
and for persons in quest of new governing ideas. They wish to
govern and to be governed, in a manner different to that which
classify the man. Now, that in me which you can classify is not
prevails. The " revolutionists " of 1848 were bewitched with an
my distinguishing self. " Man " is the horizon or zero of my
idea. They were not at all the masters of ideas. Most of those
existence as an individual. Over that I rise as I can. At least
who since that time have prided themselves upon being revolu-
I am something more than "man in general." Pre-existing wor-
tionists have been and are likewise but the bondmen of an idea,
ship of ideals and disrespect for self had made of the ego at the
that of the different lodgment of authority.
very most a Somebody, oftener an empty vessel to be filled with
The temptation is, of course, present to attempt an explana- the grace or the leavings of a tyrannous doctrine; thus a No-
tion of the central thought of this work; but such an effort ap- body. Stirner dispels the morbid subjection, and recognizes
pears to be unnecessary to one who has the volume in his hand. each one who knows and feels himself as his own property to be
The author's care in illustrating his meaning shows that he real- neither humble Nobody nor befogged Somebody, but henceforth
ized how prone the possessed man is to misunderstand whatever flat-footed and level-headed Mr. Thisbody, who has a character
is not moulded according to the fashions in thinking. The and good pleasure of his own, just as he has a name of his own.
author's learning was considerable, his command of words and
The critics who attacked this work and were answered in the
ideas may never be excelled by another, and he judged it needful
author's minor writings, rescued from oblivion by John Henry
to develop his argument in manifold ways. So those who enter
Mackay, nearly all display the most astonishing triviality and
into the spirit of it will scarcely hope to impress others with the
impotent malice.
same conclusion in a more summary manner. Or, if one might
deem that possible after reading Stirner, still one cannot think We owe to Dr. Eduard von Hartmann the unquestionable
that it could be done so surely. The author has made certain service which he rendered by directing attention to this book in
work of it, even though he has to wait for his public; but still, his "Philosophie des Unbewussten," the first edition of which
the reception of the book by its critics amply proves the truth of was published in 1869, and in other writings. I do not begrudge
the saying that one can give another arguments, but not under- Dr. von Hartmann the liberty of criticism which he used; and I
xiv INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION xv
think the admirers of Stirner's teaching must quite appreciate and pronounced, and harmonizes perfectly with the economic
one thing which Von Hartmann did at a much later date. In philosophy of Josiah Warren. Allowing for difference of tem-
'' Der Eigene '' of August 10, 1896, there appeared a letter writ- perament and language, there is a substantial agreement be-
ten by him and giving, among other things, certain data from tween Stirner and Proudhon. Bach would be free, and sees in
which to judge that, when Friedrich Nietzsche wrote his later every increase of the number of free people and their intelli-
essays, Nietzsche was not ignorant of Stirner's book. gence an auxiliary force against the oppressor. But, on the
Von Hartmann wishes that Stirner had gone on and developed other hand, will any one for a moment seriously contend that
his principle. Von Hartmann suggests that you and I are really Nietzsche and Proudhon march together in general aim and ten-
the same spirit, looking out through two pairs of eyes. Then, dency,that they have anything in common except the daring
one may reply, I need not concern myself about you, for in my- to profane the shrine and sepulchre of superstition ?
self I haveus; and at that rate Von Hartmann is merely accus- Nietzsche has been much spoken of as a disciple of Stirner,
ing himself of inconsistency: for, when Stirner wrote this book, and, owing to favorable cullings from Nietzsche's writings, it
Von Hartmann's spirit was writing it; and it is just the pity that has occurred that one of his books has been supposed to contain
Von Hartmann in his present form does not indorse what he said more sense than it really doesso long as one had read only the
in the form of Stirner,that Stirner was different from any other extracts.
man; that his ego was not Fichte's transcendental generality, Nietzsche cites scores or hundreds of authors. Had he read
but " this transitory ego of flesh and blood." It is not as a gen- everything, and not read Stirner ?
erality that you and I differ, but as a couple of facts which are But Nietzsche is as unlike Stirner as a tight-rope performance is
not to be reasoned into one. " I " is somewise Hartmann, and unlike an algebraic equation.
thus Hartmann is " I "; but I am not Hartmann, and Hartmann Stirner loved liberty for himself, and loved to see any and all men
is notI. Neither am I the " I " of Stirner; only Stirner him- and women taking liberty, and he had no lust of power. Democracy
self was Stirner's " I." Note how comparatively indifferent a to him was sham liberty, egoism the genuine liberty.
matter it is with Stirner that one is an ego, but how all-impor-
tant it is that one be a self-conscious ego,a self-conscious, self- Nietzsche, on the contrary, pours out his contempt upon
willed person. democracy because it is not aristocratic. He is predatory to
the point of demanding that those who must succumb to feline
Those not self-conscious and self-willed are constantly acting rapacity shall be taught to submit with resignation. When he
from self-interested motives, but clothing these in various garbs. speaks of " Anarchistic dogs " scouring the streets of great civi-
Watch those people closely in the light of Stirner's teaching, lized cities, it is true, the context shows that he means the Com-
and they seem to be hypocrites, they have so many good moral munists; but his worship of Napoleon, his bathos of anxiety for
and religious plans of which self-interest is at the end and bot- the rise of an aristocracy that shall rule Europe for thousands of
tom ; but they, we may believe, do not know that this is more years, his idea of treating women in the oriental fashion, show
than a coincidence. that Nietzsche has struck out in a very old pathdoing the
In Stirner we have the philosophical foundation for political apotheosis of tyranny. We individual egoistic Anarchists, how-
liberty. His interest in the practical development of egoism to ever, may say to the Nietzsche school, so as not to be misunder-
the dissolution of the State and the union of free men is clear stood ; We do not ask of the Napoleons to have pity, nor of the
xvi INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION xvii
predatory barons to do justice. They will find it convenient for dividual if she can be, not handicapped by anything he says,
their own welfare to make terms with men who have learned of feels, thinks, or plans. This was more fully exemplified in his
Stirner what a man can be who worships nothing, bears alle- life than even in this book; but there is not a line in the book to
giance to nothing. To Nietzsche's rhodomontade of eagles in put or keep woman in an inferior position to man, neither is
baronial form, born to prey on industrial lambs, we rather taunt- there anything of caste or aristocracy in the book.
ingly oppose the ironical question : Where are your claws ? Likewise there is nothing of obscurantism or affected mystic-
What if the " eagles " are found to be plain barnyard fowls on ism about it. Everything in it is made as plain as the author
which more silly fowls have fastened steel spurs to hack the vic- could make it. He who does not so is not Stirner's disciple nor
tims, who, however, have the power to disarm the sham successor nor co-worker.
" eagles " between two suns ? Some one may ask : How does plumb-line Anarchism train
Stirner shows that men make their tyrants as they make their with the unbridled egoism proclaimed by Stirner ? The plumb-
gods, and his purpose is to unmake tyrants. line is not a fetish, but an intellectual conviction, and egoism is
Nietzsche dearly loves a tyrant. a universal fact of animal life. Nothing could seem clearer to
In style Stirner's work offers the greatest possible contrast to my mind than that the reality of egoism must first come into the
the puerile, padded phraseology of Nietzsche's " Zarathustra " consciousness of men, before we can have the unbiased Einzige
and its false imagery. Who ever imagined such an unnatural in place of the prejudiced biped who lends himself to the sup-
conjuncture as an eagle " toting " a serpent in friendship ? which port of tyrannies a million times stronger over me than the nat-
performance is told of in bare words, but nothing comes of it. ural self-interest of any individual. When plumb-line doctrine
In Stirner we are treated to an enlivening and earnest discussion is misconceived as duty between unequal-minded men,as a reli-
addressed to serious minds, and every reader feels that the word gion of humanity, it is indeed the confusion of trying to read
is to him, for his instruction and benefit, so far as he has mental without knowing the alphabet and of putting philanthropy in
independence and courage to take it and use it. The startling place of contract. But, if the plumb-line be scientific, it is or
intrepidity of this book is infused with a whole-hearted love for can be my possession, my property, and I choose it for its use
all mankind, as evidenced by the fact that the author shows not when circumstances admit of its use. I do not feel bound to use
one iota of prejudice or any idea of division of men into ranks. it because it is scientific, in building my house; but, as my will,
He would lay aside government, but would establish any regula- to be intelligent, is not to be merely wilful, the adoption of the
tion deemed convenient, and for this only our convenience is plumb-line follows the discarding of incantations. There is no
consulted. Thus there will be general liberty only when the dis- plumb-line without the unvarying lead at the end of the line;
position toward tyranny is met by intelligent opposition that will not a fluttering bird or a clawing cat.
no longer submit to such a rule. Beyond this the manly sym- On the practical side of the question of egoism versus self-sur-
pathy and philosophical bent of Stirner are such that rulership render and for a trial of egoism in politics, this may be said: the
appears by contrast a vanity, an infatuation of perverted pride. belief that men not moved by a sense of duty will be unkind or
We know not whether we more admire our author or more love unjust to others is but an indirect confession that those who hold
him. that belief are greatly interested in having others live for them
Stirner's attitude toward woman is not special. She is an in- rather than for themselves. But I do not ask or expect so much.
xviii INTRODUCTION
I am content if others individually live for themselves, and thug
cease in so many ways to act in opposition to my living for my-
self,to our living for ourselves.
If Christianity has failed to turn the world from evil, it is not
to be dreamed that rationalism of a pious moral stamp will suc- TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE
ceed in the same task. Christianity, or all philanthropic love, is
tested in non-resistance. It is a dream that example will change If the style of this book is found unattractive, it will show
the hearts of rulers, tyrants, mobs. If the extremest self-surren- that I have done my work ill and not represented the author
der fails, how can a mixture of Christian love and worldly cau- truly; but, if it is found odd, I beg that I may not bear all the
tion succeed ? This at least must be given up. The policy of blame. I have simply tried to reproduce the author's own mix-
Christ and Tolstoi can soon be tested, but Tolstoi's belief is not ture of colloquialisms and technicalities, and his preference for
satisfied with a present test and failure. He has the infatuation the precise expression of his thought rather than the word con-
of one who persists because this ought to be. The egoist who ventionally expected.
thinks " I should like this to be " still has the sense to perceive One especial feature of the style, however, gives the reason
that it is not accomplished by the fact of some believing and why this preface should exist. It is characteristic of Stirner's
submitting, inasmuch as others are alert to prey upon the un- writing that the thread of thought is carried on largely by the
resisting. The Pharaohs we have ever with us. repetition of the same word in a modified form or sense. That
Several passages in this most remarkable book show the au- connection of ideas which has guided popular instinct in the
thor as a man full of sympathy. When we reflect upon his de- formation of words is made to suggest the line of thought which
liberately expressed opinions and sentiments,his spurning of the writer wishes to follow. If this echoing of words is missed,
the sense of moral obligation as the last form of superstition, the bearing of the statements on each other is in a measure lost;
may we not be warranted in thinking that the total disappear- and, where the ideas are very new, one cannot afford to throw
ance of the sentimental supposition of duty liberates a quantity away any help in following their connection. Therefore, where
of nervous energy for the purest generosity and clarifies the in- a useful echo (and there are few useless ones in the book) could
tellect for the more discriminating choice of objects of merit ? not be reproduced in English, I have generally called attention
J. L. WALKER. to it in a note. My notes are distinguished from the author's by
being enclosed in brackets.
One or two of such coincidences of language, occurring in
words which are prominent throughout the book, should be
borne constantly in mind as a sort of Keri perpetuum for in-
stance, the identity in the original of the words " spirit" and
" mind," and of the phrases " supreme being " and " highest
essence." In such cases I have repeated the note where it
xx TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE
seemed that such repetition might be absolutely necessary, but
have trusted the reader to carry it in his head where a failure of
his memory would not be ruinous or likely.
For the same reason,that is, in order not to miss any indi-
cation of the drift of the thought,I have followed the original
in the very liberal use of italics, and in the occasional eccentric
use of a punctuation mark, as I might not have done in transla-
ting a work of a different nature.
I have set my face as a flint against the temptation to add
notes that were not part of the translation. There is no telling
how much I might have enlarged the book if I had put a note at
every sentence which deserved to have its truth brought out by
fuller elucidation,or even at every one which I thought needed
correction. It might have been within my province, if I had
been able, to explain all the allusions to contemporary events, THE EGO AND HIS OWN
but I doubt whether any one could do that properly without
having access to the files of three or four well-chosen German
newspapers of Stirner's time. The allusions are clear enough,
without names and dates, to give a vivid picture of certain
aspects of German life then. The tone of some of them is ex-
plained by the fact that the book was published under
censorship.
I have usually preferred, for the sake of the connection, to
translate Biblical quotations somewhat as they stand in the Ger-
man, rather than conform them altogether to the English Bible.
I am sometimes quite as near the original Greek as if I had fol-
lowed the current translation.
Where German books are referred to, the pages cited are
those of the German editions even when (usually because of
some allusions in the text) the titles of the books are translated.
STEVEN T. BYINGTON.
All Things are Nothing to Me*

What is not supposed to be my concern ! First


and foremost, the Good Cause, then God's cause, the
cause of mankind, of truth, of freedom, of humanity,
of justice; further, the cause of my people, my prince,
my fatherland; finally, even the cause of Mind, and a
thousand other causes. Only my cause is never to be
my concern. " Shame on the egoist who thinks only
of himself!"
Let us look and see, then, how they manage their
concernsthey for whose cause we are to labor, devote
ourselves, and grow enthusiastic.
You have much profound information to give
about God, and have for thousands of years " searched
the depths of the Godhead," and looked into its heart,
so that you can doubtless tell us how God himself at-
tends to " God's cause," which we are called to serve.
And you do not conceal the Lord's doings, either.
Now, what is his cause ? Has he, as is demanded of
us, made an alien cause, the cause of truth or love, his
own ? You are shocked by this misunderstanding,
*["Ich hab' Mein' Sach' auf Nichts gestellt," first line of Goethe's
poem, ' Vanitas! Vanitatum Vanitas!" Literal translation: " I have set
my affair on nothing."]
[Sache] [Sache]
4 THE EGO AND HIS OWN ALL THINGS ARE NOTHING TO ME 5
and you instruct us that God's cause is indeed the that you grow enthusiastic and serve them ?
cause of truth and love, but that this cause cannot be They all have an admirable time of it when they
called alien to him, because God is himself truth and receive zealous homage. Just observe the nation that
love; you are shocked by the assumption that God is defended by devoted patriots. The patriots fall in
could be like us poor worms in furthering an alien bloody battle or in the fight with hunger and want;
cause as his own. " Should God take up the cause of what does the nation care for that ? By the manure of
truth if he were not himself truth?" He cares only their corpses the nation comes to " its bloom! " The
for his cause, but, because he is all in all, therefore all individuals have died " for the great cause of the na-
is his cause! But we, we are not all in all, and our tion," and the nation sends some words of thanks after
cause is altogether little and contemptible; therefore them andhas the profit of it. I call that a paying
we must " serve a higher cause."Now it is clear, kind of egoism.
God cares only for what is his, busies himself only But only look at that Sultan who cares so lovingly
with himself, thinks only of himself, and has only for his people. Is he not pure unselfishness itself, and
himself before his eyes; woe to all that is not well- does he not hourly sacrifice himself for his people ?
pleasing to him! He serves no higher person, and Oh, yes, for " his people." Just try it; show yourself
satisfies only himself. His cause isa purely egoistic not as his, but as your own; for breaking away from
cause. his egoism you will take a trip to jail. The Sultan
How is it with mankind, whose cause we are to has set his cause on nothing but himself; he is to
make our own ? Is its cause that of another, and does himself all in all, he is to himself the only one, and
mankind serve a higher cause ? No, mankind looks tolerates nobody who would dare not to be one of " his
only at itself, mankind will promote the interests of people."
mankind only, mankind is its own cause. That it And will you not learn by these brilliant examples
may develop, it causes nations and individuals to wear that the egoist gets on best ? I for my part take
themselves out in its service, and, when they have ac- a lesson from them, and propose, instead of further
complished what mankind needs, it throws them on the unselfishly serving those great egoists, rather to be the
dung-heap of history in gratitude. Is not mankind's egoist myself.
causea purely egoistic cause ? God and mankind have concerned themselves for
I have no need to take up each thing that wants to nothing, for nothing but themselves. Let me then
throw its cause on us and show that it is occupied only likewise concern myself for myself, who am equally
with itself, not with us, only with its good, not with with God the nothing of all others, who am my all,
ours. Look at the rest for yourselves. Do truth, who am the only one.*
freedom, humanity, justice, desire anything else than
* [der Einzige]
6 THE EGO AND HIS OWN
If God, if mankind, as you affirm, have substance
enough in themselves to be all in all to themselves,
then I feel that I shall still less lack that, and that I
shall have no complaint to make of my " emptiness."
I am nothing in the sense of emptiness, but I am the
creative nothing, the nothing out of which I myself as
creator create everything.
Away, then, with every concern that is not alto-
gether my concern! You think at least the " good
cause" must be my concern ? What's good, what's
bad ? Why, I myself am my concern, and I am nei-
ther good nor bad. Neither has meaning for me.
The divine is God's concern ; the human, man's. Part First
My concern is neither the divine nor the human, not
the true, good, just, free, etc., but solely what is mine, Man
and it is not a general one, but isunique,* as I am
unique.
Nothing is more to me than myself!
*[einzig]
Man is to man the supreme being, says Feuerbach.
I
Man has just been discovered, says Bruno Bauer
A HUMAN LIFE
Then let us take a more careful look at this supreme being and
this new discovery. From the moment when he catches sight of the light
of the world a man seeks to find out himself and get
hold of himself out of its confusion, in which he, with
everything else, is tossed about in motley mixture.
But everything that comes in contact with the child
defends itself in turn against his attacks, and asserts
its own persistence.
Accordingly, because each thing cares for itself
and at the same time comes into constant collision
with other things, the combat of self-assertion is un-
avoidable.
Victory or defeatbetween the two alternatives the
fate of the combat wavers. The victor becomes the
lord, the vanquished one the subject: the former exer-
cises supremacy and " rights of supremacy," the latter
fulfils in awe and deference the " duties of a subject."
But both remain enemies, and always lie in wait:
they watch for each other's weaknesseschildren for
those of their parents and parents for those of their
children (e. g. their fear); either the stick conquers
the man, or the man conquers the stick.
In childhood liberation takes the direction of trying
to get to the bottom of things, to get at what is " back
10 THE EGO AND HIS OWN A HUMAN LIFE 11
of " things; therefore we spy out the weak points of cessity of coming to blows with reason. We care
everybody, for which, it is well known, children have a nothing at all about it, do not meddle with it, admit
sure instinct; therefore we like to smash things, like to no reason. We are not to be persuaded to anything
rummage through hidden corners, pry after what is by conviction, and are deaf to good arguments, princi-
covered up or out of the way, and try what we can do ples, etc.; on the other hand, coaxing, punishment,
with everything. When we once get at what is back and the like are hard for us to resist.
of the things, we know we are safe; when, e. g., we This stern life-and-death combat with reason enter
have got at the fact that the rod is too weak against later, and begins a new phase; in childhood we
our obduracy, then we no longer fear it, " have out- scamper about without racking our brains much.
grown it." Mind is the name of the first self-discovery, the first
Back of the rod, mightier than it, stands ourob- undeification of the divine, i. e. of the uncanny, the
duracy, our obdurate courage. By degrees we get at spooks, the "powers above." Our fresh feeling of
what is back of everything that was mysterious and youth, this feeling of self, now defers to nothing; the
uncanny to us, the mysteriously-dreaded might of the world is discredited, for we are above it, we are mind.
rod, the father's stern look, etc., and back of all we Now for the first time we see that hitherto we have
find ourataraxy, i. e. imperturbability, intrepidity, not looked at the world intelligently at all, but only
our counter force, our odds of strength, our invinci- stared at it.
bility. Before that which formerly inspired in us fear We exercise the beginnings of our strength on
and deference we no longer retreat shyly, but take natural powers. We defer to parents as a natural
courage. Back of everything we find our courage, power; later we say : Father and mother are to be
our superiority; back of the sharp command of forsaken, all natural power to be counted as riven.
parents and authorities stands, after all, our courage- They are vanquished. For the rational, i. e. " intel-
ous choice or our outwitting shrewdness. And the lectual " man there is no family as a natural power;
more we feel ourselves, the smaller appears that which a renunciation of parents, brothers, etc., makes its ap-
before seemed invincible. And what is our trickery, pearance. If these are "born again" as intellectual,
shrewdness, courage, obduracy ? What else but rational powers, they are no longer at all what they
mind!* were before.
Through a considerable time we are spared a fight And not only parents, but men in general, are
that is so exhausting laterthe fight against reason. conquered by the young man; they are no hindrance
The fairest part of childhood passes without the ne- to him, and are no longer regarded; for now he says:
* [Geist This word will be translated sometimes " mind " and sometimes One must obey God rather than men.
spirit" in the following pages ]
From this high standpoint everything " earthly "
12 THE EGO AND HIS OWN A HUMAN LIFE 13
recedes into contemptible remoteness; for the stand- On the contrary, they had been only thoughts that
point isthe heavenly. we had about a thing; we thought of the thing so or
The attitude is now altogether reversed; the youth so. Thus we may have thought " God made the
takes up an intellectual position, while the boy, who world that we see there," but we did not think of
did not yet feel himself as mind, grew up in mindless (" search ") the " depths of the Godhead itself " ; we
learning. The former does not try to get hold of may have thought " that is the truth about the mat-
things (e. g. to get into his head the data of history), ter," but we did not think of Truth itself, nor unite
but of the thoughts that lie hidden in things, and so, into one sentence " God is truth." The " depths of
e. g., of the spirit of history. On the other hand, the the Godhead, who is truth," we did not touch. Over
boy understands connections no doubt, but not ideas, such purely logical, i. e. theological questions, " What
the spirit; therefore he strings together whatever can is truth?" Pilate does not stop, though he does not
be learned, without proceeding a priori and theoretic- therefore hesitate to ascertain in an individual case
ally, i. e. without looking for ideas. " what truth there is in the thing," i. e. whether the
As in childhood one had to overcome the resistance thing is true.
of the laws of the world, so now in everything that he Any thought bound to a thing is not yet nothing
proposes he is met by an objection of the mind, of but a thought, absolute thought.
reason, of his own conscience. " That is unreasonable, To bring to light the pure thought, or to be of its
unchristian, unpatriotic," and the like, cries conscience party, is the delight of youth; and all the shapes of
to us, andfrightens us away from it. Not the might light in the world of thought, like truth, freedom,
of the avenging Eumenides, not Poseidon's wrath, not humanity, Man, etc., illumine and inspire the youth-
God, far as he sees the hidden, not the father's rod of ful soul.
punishment, do we fear, butconscience. But, when the spirit is recognized as the essential
We " run after our thoughts " now, and follow thing, it still makes a difference whether the spirit is
their commands just as before we followed parental, poor or rich, and therefore one seeks to become rich
human ones. Our course of action is determined by in spirit; the spirit wants to spread out so as to found
our thoughts (ideas, conceptions, faith) as it is in its empirean empire that is not of this world, the
childhood by the commands of our parents. world just conquered. Thus, then, it longs to become
For all that, we were already thinking when we all in all to itself; i. e., although I am spirit, I am not
were children, only our thoughts were not fleshless, yet perfected spirit, and must first seek the complete
abstract, absolute, i. e. NOTHING BUT THOUGHTS, a spirit.
heaven in themselves, a pure world of thought, logical But with that I, who had just now found myself as
thoughts. spirit, lose myself again at once, bowing before the
14 THE EGO AND HIS OWN A HUMAN LIFE 15
complete spirit as one not my own but supernal, and compare a man with a youth, and see if he will not
feeling my emptiness. appear to you harder, less magnanimous, more selfish.
Spirit is the essential point for everything, to be Is he therefore worse ? No, you say; he has only be-
sure; but then is every spirit the " right" spirit ? come more definite, or, as you also call it, more " prac-
The right and true spirit is the ideal of spirit, the tical." But the main point is this, that he makes
" Holy Spirit." It is not my or your spirit, but just himself more the centre than does the youth, who is
an ideal, supernal one, it is " God." " God is infatuated about other things, e. g. God, fatherland,
spirit." And this supernal " Father in heaven gives and so on.
it to those that pray to him." * Therefore the man shows a second self-discovery.
The man is distinguished from the youth by the The youth found himself as spirit and lost himself
fact that he takes the world as it is, instead of every- again in the general spirit,the complete, holy spirit,
where fancying it amiss and wanting to improve it, Man, mankind,in short, all ideals; the man finds
i. e. model it after his ideal; in him the view that himself as embodied spirit.
one must deal with the world according to his interest, Boys had only unintellectual interests (i. e. interests
not according to his ideals, becomes confirmed. devoid of thoughts and ideas), youths only intellectual
So long as one knows himself only as spirit, and ones; the man has bodily, personal, egoistic interests.
feels that all the value of his existence consists in be- If the child has not an object that it can occupy
ing spirit (it becomes easy for the youth to give his itself with, it feels ennui; for it does not yet know how
life, the " bodily life," for a nothing, for the silliest to occupy itself with itself. The youth, on the con-
point of honor), so long it is only thoughts that one trary, throws the object aside, because for him thoughts
has, ideas that he hopes to be able to realize some day arose out of the object; he occupies himself with his
when he has found a sphere of action; thus one has thoughts, his dreams, occupies himself intellectually, or
meanwhile only ideals, unexecuted ideas or thoughts. " his mind is occupied."
Not till one has fallen in love with his corporeal The young man includes everything not intellectual
self, and takes a pleasure in himself as a living flesh- under the contemptuous name of " externalities." If
and-blood person,but it is in mature years, in the he nevertheless sticks to the most trivial externalities
man, that we find it so,not till then has one a (e. g. the customs of students' clubs and other formali-
personal or egoistic interest, i. e. an interest not only ties), it is because, and when, he discovers mind in
of our spirit, for instance, but of total satisfaction, them, i. e. when they are symbols to him.
satisfaction of the whole chap, a selfish interest. Just As I find myself back of things, and that as mind,
* Luke 11 13. so I must later find myself also back of thoughts,to
wit, as their creator and owner. In the time of spirits
16 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 17
thoughts grew till they overtopped my head, whose
offspring they yet were; they hovered about me and
convulsed me like fever-phantasiesan awful power.
II.
The thoughts had become corporeal on their own ac- MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE
count, were ghosts, such as God, Emperor, Pope,
Fatherland, etc. If I destroy their corporeity, then NEW
I take them back into mine, and say: " I alone am
corporeal." And now I take the world as what it is
How each of us developed himself, what he strove
to me, as mine, as my property; I refer all to myself.
for, attained, or missed, what objects he formerly pur-
If as spirit I had thrust away the world in the sued and what plans and wishes his heart is now set
deepest contempt, so as owner I thrust spirits or ideas on, what transformations his views have experienced,
away into their " vanity." They have no longer any what perturbations his principles,in short, how he
power over me, as no " earthly might" has power has to-day become what yesterday or years ago he was
over the spirit. not,this he brings out again from his memory with
The child was realistic, taken up with the things of more or less ease, and he feels with especial vividness
this world, till little by little he succeeded in getting at what changes have taken place in himself when he has
what was back of these very things; the youth was before his eyes the unrolling of another's life.
idealistic, inspired by thoughts, till he worked his way Let us therefore look into the activities our fore-
up to where he became the man, the egoistic man, who fathers busied themselves with.
deals with things and thoughts according to his heart's
pleasure, and sets his personal interest above every-
thing. Finally, the old man ? When I become one,
I.THE ANCIENTS
there will still be time enough to speak of that. Custom having once given the name* of " the
ancients " to our pre-Christian ancestors, we will not
throw it up against them that, in comparison with us
experienced people, they ought properly to be called
children, but will rather continue to honor them as our
good old fathers. But how have they come to be
antiquated, and who could displace them through his
pretended newness ?
We know, of course, the revolutionary innovator and
18 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 19
disrespectful heir, who even took away the sanctity of tity of funeral rites, from which sprang a work of art
the fathers' sabbath to hallow his Sunday, and inter- like the Antigone of Sophocles, is designated as a
rupted the course of time to begin at himself with a paltry thing (" Let the dead bury their dead "); the
new chronology; we know him, and know that it is infrangible truth of family ties is represented as an
the Christian. But does he remain forever young, and untruth which one cannot promptly enough get clear
is he to-day still the new man, or will he too be super- of; * and so in everything.
seded, as he has superseded the " ancients " ? If we now see that to the two sides opposite things
The fathers must doubtless have themselves begotten appear as truth, to one the natural, to the other the
the young one who entombed them. Let us then peep intellectual, to one earthly things and relations, to the
at this act of generation. other heavenly (the heavenly fatherland, " Jerusalem
" To the ancients the world was a truth," says that is above," etc.), it still remains to be considered
Feuerbach, but he forgets to make the important ad- how the new time and that undeniable reversal could
dition, " a truth whose untruth they tried to get back come out of antiquity. But the ancients themselves
of, and at last really did." What is meant by those worked toward making their truth a lie.
words of Feuerbach will be easily recognized if they Let us plunge at once into the midst of the most
are put alongside the Christian thesis of the " vanity brilliant years of the ancients, into the Periclean cen-
and transitoriness of the world." For, as the Chris- tury. Then the Sophistic culture was spreading, and
tian can never convince himself of the vanity of the Greece made a pastime of what had hitherto been to
divine word, but believes in its eternal and unshake- her a monstrously serious matter.
able truth, which, the more its depths are searched, The fathers had been enslaved by the undisturbed
must all the more brilliantly come to light and power of existing things too long for the posterity not
triumph, so the ancients on their side lived in the feel- to have to learn by bitter experience to feel themselves.
ing that the world and mundane relations (e. g. the Therefore the Sophists, with courageous sauciness,
natural ties of blood) were the truth before which pronounce the reassuring words, " Don't be bluffed!"
their powerless " I " must bow. The very thing on and diffuse the rationalistic doctrine, " Use your
which the ancients set the highest value is spurned by understanding, your wit, your mind, against every-
Christians as the valueless, and what they recognized thing; it is by having a good and well-drilled under-
as truth these brand as idle lies; the high significance standing that one gets through the world best, pro-
of the fatherland disappears, and the Christian must vides for himself the best lot, the pleasantest life"
regard himself as " a stranger on earth "; * the sanc- Thus they recognize in mind man's true weapon
* Heb. 11. 13. * Mark 10. 29.
20 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 21
against the world. This is why they lay such stress on might not be found, or which might not be defended
dialectic skill, command of language, the art of dispu- through thick and thin ?
tation, etc. They announce that mind is to be used Therefore Socrates says: " You must be ' pure-
against everything; but they are still far removed hearted ' if your shrewdness is to be valued." At this
from the holiness of the Spirit, for to them it is a point begins the second period of Greek liberation of
means, a weapon, as trickery and defiance serve chil- the mind, the period of purity of heart. For the first
dren for the same purpose; their mind is the unbriba- was brought to a close by the Sophists in their pro-
ble understanding: claiming the omnipotence of the understanding. But
To-day we should call that a one-sided culture of the heart remained worldly-minded, remained a servant
the understanding, and add the warning, " Cultivate of the world, always affected by worldly wishes. This
not only your understanding, but also, and especially, coarse heart was to be cultivated from now onthe
your heart." Socrates did the same. For, if the era of culture of the heart. But how is the heart to
heart did not become free from its natural impulses, be cultivated ? What the understanding, this One side
but remained filled with the most fortuitous contents of the mind, has reached,to wit, the capability of
and, as an uncriticised avidity, altogether in the playing freely with and over every concern,awaits
power of things, i. e. nothing but a vessel of the most the heart also; everything worldly must come to grief
Various appetites,then it was unavoidable that the before it, so that at last family, commonwealth, father-
free understanding must serve the " bad heart" and land, and the like, are given up for the sake of the
was ready to justify everything that the wicked heart heart, i. e. of blessedness, the heart's blessedness.
desired. Daily experience confirms the truth that the under-
Therefore Socrates says that it is not enough for one standing may have renounced a thing many years
to use his understanding in all things, but it is a before the heart has ceased to beat for it. So the
question of what cause one exerts it for. We should Sophistic understanding too had so far become mas-
now say, one must serve the " good cause." But ter over the dominant, ancient powers that they now
serving the good cause isbeing moral. Hence needed only to be driven out of the heart, in which
Socrates is the founder of ethics. they dwelt unmolested, to have at last no part at all
Certainly the principle of the Sophistic doctrine left in man.
must lead to the possibility that the blindest and most This war is opened by Socrates, and not till the
dependent slave of his desires might yet be an excel- dying day of the old world does it end in peace.
lent sophist, and, with keen understanding, trim and The examination of the heart takes its start with
expound everything in favor of his coarse heart. Socrates, and all the contents of the heart are sifted.
What could there be for which a " good reason " In their last and extremest struggles the ancients
22 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 23
threw all contents out of the heart and let it no the ancient liberation of mind are so completed that
longer beat for anything; this was the deed of the they appear young and new again, and neither the
Skeptics. The same purgation of the heart was now one nor the other lets itself be bluffed any longer by
achieved in the Skeptical age, as the understanding the worldly and natural.
had succeeded in establishing in the Sophistic age. Thus the ancients mounted to spirit, and strove to
The Sophistic culture has brought it to pass that become spiritual. But a man who wishes to be active
one's understanding no longer stands still before any- as spirit is drawn to quite other tasks than he was able
thing, and the Skeptical, that his heart is no longer to set himself formerly: to tasks which really give
moved by anything. something to do to the spirit and not to mere sense
So long as man is entangled in the movements of or acuteness,* which exerts itself only to become
the world and embarrassed by relations to the world, master of things. The spirit busies itself solely about
and he is so till the end of antiquity, because his the spiritual, and seeks out the " traces of mind " in
heart still has to struggle for independence from the everything; to the believing spirit " everything comes
worldly,so long he is not yet spirit; for spirit is from God," and interests him only to the extent that
without body, and has no relations to the world and it reveals this origin; to the philosophic spirit every-
corporality; for it the world does not exist, nor thing appears with the stamp of reason, and interests
natural bonds, but only the spiritual, and spiritual him only so far as he is able to discover in it reason,
bonds. Therefore man must first become so com- i. e. spiritual content.
pletely unconcerned and reckless, so altogether without Not the spirit, then, which has to do with absolutely
relations, as the Skeptical culture presents him,so nothing unspiritual, with no thing, but only with the
altogether indifferent to the world that even its falling essence which exists behind and above things, with
in ruins would not move him,before he could feel thoughts,not that did the ancients exert, for they
himself as worldless, i. e. as spirit. And this is the did not yet have it; no, they had only reached the
result of the gigantic work of the ancients: that man point of struggling and longing for it, and therefore
knows himself as a being without relations and without sharpened it against their too-powerful foe, the world
a world, as spirit. of sense (but what would not have been sensuous for
Only now, after all worldly care has left him, is he them, since Jehovah or the gods of the heathen were
all in all to himself, is he only for himself, i e. he is yet far removed from the conception " God is spirit,''
spirit for the spirit, or, in plainer language, he cares since the " heavenly fatherland " had not yet stepped
only for the spiritual. into the place of the sensuous, etc.?)they sharpened
In the Christian wisdom of serpents and innocence * Italicized in the original for the sake of its etymology, Scharfsinn
of doves the two sidesunderstanding and heartof " sharp sense " Compare next paragraph.
24 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 25
against the world of sense their sense, their acuteness. free or enjoyable life. He is not disturbed by the in-
To this day the Jews, those precocious children of an- conveniences of the life that depends on things, because
tiquity, have got no farther; and with all the subtlety he lives only spiritually and on spiritual food, while
and strength of their prudence and understanding, aside from this he only gulps things down like a
which easily becomes master of things and forces them beast, hardly knowing it, and dies bodily, to be sure,
to obey it, they cannot discover spirit, which takes no when his fodder gives out, but knows himself immor-
account whatever of things. tal as spirit, and closes his eyes with an adoration or a
The Christian has spiritual interests, because he al- thought. His life is occupation with the spiritual, is
lows himself to be a spiritual man; the Jew does not thinking; the rest does not bother him; let him
even understand these interests in their purity, because busy himself with the spiritual in any way that he can
he does not allow himself to assign no value to things. and chooses,in devotion, in contemplation, or in
He does not arrive at pure spirituality, a spirituality philosophic cognition,his doing is always thinking;
such as is religiously expressed, e. g., in the faith of and therefore Descartes, to whom this had at last be-
Christians, which alone (i. e. without works) justifies. come quite clear, could lay down the proposition: " I
Their unspirituality sets Jews forever apart from think, that isI am." This means, my thinking is
Christians; for the spiritual man is incomprehensible my being or my life; only when I live spiritually do I
to the unspiritual, as the unspiritual is contemptible to live; only as spirit am I really, orI am spirit
the spiritual. But the Jews have only " the spirit of through and through and nothing but spirit. Un-
this world." lucky Peter Schlemihl, who has lost his shadow, is the
The ancient acuteness and profundity lies as far portrait of this man become a spirit; for the spirit's
from the spirit and the spirituality of the Christian body is shadowless.Over against this, how different
world as earth from heaven. among the ancients! Stoutly and manfully as they
He who feels himself as free spirit is not oppressed might bear themselves against the might of things,
and made anxious by the things of this world, because they must yet acknowledge the might itself, and got no
he does not care for them; if one is still to feel their farther than to protect their life against it as well as
burden, he must be narrow enough to attach weight to possible. Only at a late hour did they recognize that
them,as is evidently the case, for instance, when one their " true life " was not that which they led in the
is still concerned for his " dear life." He to whom fight against the things of the world, but the " spiritual
everything centres in knowing and conducting himself life," "turned away" from these things; and, when
as a free spirit gives little heed to how scantily he is they saw this, they becameChristians, i. e. the
supplied meanwhile, and does not reflect at all on how moderns, and innovators upon the ancients. But the
he must make his arrangements to have a thoroughly life turned away from things, the spiritual life, no
26 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 27
longer draws any nourishment from nature, but " lives The Stoics want to realize the wise man, the man
only on thoughts," and therefore is no longer " life," with practical philosophy, the man who knows how to
but thinking. live, a wise life, therefore; they find him in contempt
Yet it must not be supposed now that the ancients for the world, in a life without development, without
were without thoughts, just as the most spiritual man spreading out, without friendly relations with the
is not to be conceived of as if he could be without life. world, i. e. in the isolated life, in life as life, not in life
Rather, they had their thoughts about everything, with others; only the Stoic lives, all else is dead for
about the world, man, the gods, etc., and showed them- him. The Epicureans, on the contrary, demand a
selves keenly active in bringing all this to their con- moving life.
sciousness. But they did not know thought, even The ancients, as they want to be of good cheer, de-
though they thought of all sorts of things and " wor- sire good living (the Jews especially a long life,
ried themselves with their thoughts." Compare with blessed with children and goods), eudaemonia, well-
their position the Christian saying, " My thoughts are being in the most various forms. Democritus, e g.,
not your thoughts; as the heaven is higher than the praises as such the " calm of the soul " in which one
earth, so are my thoughts higher than your thoughts," " lives smoothly, without fear and without
and remember what was said above about our child- excitement."
thoughts. So what he thinks is that with this he gets on best,
What is antiquity seeking, then ? The true enjoy- provides for himself the best lot, and gets through the
ment of life! You will find that at bottom it is all world best. But as he cannot get rid of the world,
the same as " the true life." and in fact cannot for the very reason that his whole
The Greek poet Simonides sings: " Health is the activity is taken up in the effort to get rid of it, that
noblest good for mortal man, the next to this is beauty, is, in repelling the world (for which it is yet necessary
the third riches acquired without guile, the fourth the that what can be and is repelled should remain exist-
enjoyment of social pleasures in the company of young ing, otherwise there would no longer be anything to
friends." These are all good things of life, pleasures repel),he reaches at most an extreme degree of liber-
of life. What else was Diogenes of Sinope seeking for ation, and is distinguishable only in degree from the
than the true enjoyment of life, which he discovered in less liberated. If he even got as far as the deadening
having the least possible wants ? What else Aristip- of the earthly sense, which at last admits only the
pus, who found it in a cheery temper under all circum- monotonous whisper of the word " Brahm," he never-
stances ? They are seeking for cheery, unclouded life- theless would not be essentially distinguishable from
courage, for cheeriness; they are seeking to " be of the sensual man.
good cheer." Even the Stoic attitude and manly virtue amounts
28 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 29
only to this,that one must maintain and assert him- things are without distinction (good and bad are all
self against the world; and the ethics of the Stoics the same, so that what one calls good another finds
(their only science, since they could tell nothing about bad); here the recognition of " truth " is at an end,
the spirit but how it should behave toward the world, and only the man without power of recognition, the
and of nature [physics] only this, that the wise man man who finds in the world nothing to recognize, is
must assert himself against it) is not a doctrine of the left, and this man just leaves the truth-vacant world
spirit, but only a doctrine of the repelling of the world where it is and takes no account of it.
and of self-assertion against the world. And this con- So antiquity gets through with the world of things,
sists in " imperturbability and equanimity of life," and the order of the world, the world as a whole; but to
so in the most explicit Roman virtue. the order of the world, or the things of this world, be-
The Romans too (Horace, Cicero, etc.) went no long not only nature, but all relations in which man
further than this practical philosophy. sees himself placed by nature, e. g. the family, the
The comfort (hedone) of the Epicureans is the same community,in short, the so-called "natural bonds."
practical philosophy the Stoics teach, only trickier, With the world of the spirit Christianity then begins.
more deceitful. They teach only another behavior to- The man who still faces the world armed is the an-
ward the world, exhort us only to take a shrewd atti- cient, theheathen (to which class the Jew, too, as
tude toward the world; the world must be deceived, non-Christian, belongs); the man who has come to be
for it is my enemy. led by nothing but his " heart's pleasure," the interest
The break with the world is completely carried he takes, his fellow-feeling, hisspirit, is the modern,
through by the Skeptics. My entire relation to the theChristian.
world is " worthless and truthless." Timon says, " The As the ancients worked toward the conquest of the
feelings and thoughts which we draw from the world world and strove to release man from the heavy tram-
contain no truth." " What is truth ? " cries Pilate. mels of connection with other things, at last they came
According to Pyrrho's doctrine the world is neither also to the dissolution of the State and giving prefer-
good nor bad, neither beautiful nor ugly, etc., but ence to everything private. Of course community,
these are predicates which I give it. Timon says that family, etc., as natural relations, are burdensome hin-
"in itself nothing is either good or bad, but man only drances which diminish my spiritual freedom.
thinks of it thus or thus " ; to face the world only ata-
raxia (unmovedness) and aphasia (speechlessnessor,
in other words, isolated inwardness) are left. There
is " no longer any truth to be recognized " in the
world; things contradict themselves; thoughts about
30 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 31
contents.
II.THE MODERNS But finally the Reformation, like Socrates, took
hold seriously of the heart itself, and since then hearts
" If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; the have kept growing visiblymore unchristian. As
old is passed away, behold, all is become new.''* with Luther people began to take the matter to heart,
As it was said above, "To the ancients the world the outcome of this step of the Reformation must be
was a truth," we must say here, " To the moderns the that the heart also gets lightened of the heavy burden
spirit was a truth "; but here, as there, we must not of Christian faith. The heart, from day to day more
omit the supplement, " a truth whose untruth they unchristian, loses the contents with which it had
tried to get back of, and at last they really do." busied itself, till at last nothing but empty warm-
A course similar to that which antiquity took may heartedness is left it, the quite general love of men, the
be demonstrated in Christianity also, in that the un- love of Man, the consciousness of freedom, ''self-
derstanding was held a prisoner under the dominion consciousness."
of the Christian dogmas up to the time preparatory to Only so is Christianity complete, because it has be-
the Reformation, but in the pre-Reformation century come bald, withered, and void of contents. There
asserted itself sophistically and played heretical pranks are now no contents whatever against which the heart
with all tenets of the faith. And the talk then was, does not mutiny, unless indeed the heart unconsciously
especially in Italy and at the Roman court, " If only or without "self-consciousness" lets them slip in. The
the heart remains Christian-minded, the understanding heart criticises to death with hard-hearted mercilessness
may go right on taking its pleasure." everything that wants to make its way in, and is ca-
Long before the Reformation people were so tho- pable (except, as before, unconsciously or taken by
roughly accustomed to fine-spun " wranglings " that surprise) of no friendship, no love. What could there
the pope, and most others, looked on Luther's appear- be in men to love, since they are all alike " egoists,"
ance too as a mere " wrangling of monks " at first. none of them man as such, i. e. none spirit only ?
Humanism corresponds to Sophisticism, and, as in the The Christian loves only the spirit; but where could
time of the Sophists Greek life stood in its fullest one be found who should be really nothing but spirit ?
bloom (the Periclean age), so the most brilliant things To have a liking for the corporeal man with hide
happened in the time of Humanism, or, as one might and hair,why, that would no longer be a " spirit-
perhaps also say, of Machiavellianism (printing, the ual " warm-heartedness, it would be treason against
New World, etc.). At this time the heart was still " pure " warm-heartedness, the " theoretical regard."
far from wanting to relieve itself of its Christian For pure warm-heartedness is by no means to be con-
* 2 Cor. 5.17. [The words " new " and " modern " are the same m Ger- ceived as like that kindliness that gives everybody a
man.]
32 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 33
friendly hand-shake; on the contrary, pure warm- loss of the world and the worldly butthe spirit and
heartedness is Warm-hearted toward nobody, it is only the spiritual.
a theoretical interest, concern for man as man, not as a Yet, as it has only moved away from the world and
person. The person is repulsive to it because of being made of itself a being free from the world, without
" egoistic," because of not being that abstraction, Man. being able really to annihilate the world, this remains
But it is only for the abstraction that one can have a to it a stumbling-block that cannot be cleared away, a
theoretical regard. To pure warm-heartedness or pure discredited existence; and, as, on the other hand, it
theory men exist only to be criticised, scoffed at, and knows and recognizes nothing but the spirit and the
thoroughly despised; to it, no less than to the fanatical spiritual, it must perpetually carry about with it the
parson, they are only " filth " and other such nice longing to spiritualize the world, i. e. to redeem it
things. from the " black list." Therefore, like a youth, it
Pushed to this extremity of disinterested warm-heart- goes about with plans for the redemption or improve-
edness, we must finally become conscious that the spirit, ment of the world.
which alone the Christian loves, is nothing ; in other The ancients, we saw, served the natural, the
words, that the spirit isa lie. worldly, the natural order of the world, but they in-
What has here been set down roughly, summarily, cessantly asked themselves whether they could not,
and doubtless as yet incomprehensibly, will, it is to be then, relieve themselves of this service; and, when they
hoped, become clear as we go on. had tired themselves to death in ever-renewed attempts
Let us take up the inheritance left by the ancients, at revolt, then, among their last sighs, was born to
and, as active workmen, do with it as much ascan them the God, the " conqueror of the world." All
be done with it! The world lies despised at our feet, their doing had been nothing but wisdom of the world,
far beneath us and our heaven, into which its mighty an effort to get back of the world and above it. And
arms are no longer thrust and its stupefying breath what is the wisdom of the many following centuries ?
does not come. Seductively as it may pose, it can de- What did the moderns try to get back of ? No
lude nothing but our sense; it cannot lead astray the longer to get back of the world, for the ancients had
spiritand spirit alone, after all, we really are. Hav- accomplished that; but back-of the God whom the
ing once got back of things, the spirit has also got ancients bequeathed to them, back of the God who " is
above them, and become free from their bonds, eman- spirit," back of everything that is the spirit's, the
cipated, supernal, free. So speaks " spiritual spiritual. But the activity of the spirit, which
freedom." " searches even the depths of the Godhead," is
To the spirit which, after long toil, has got rid of theology. If the ancients have nothing to show but
the world, the worldless spirit, nothing is left after the wisdom of the world, the moderns never did nor do
34 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 35
make their way further than to theology. We shall "the maiden from a foreign land"* from departing.
see later that even the newest revolts against God are But where is it to get this spiritual world ? Where
nothing but the extremest efforts of " theology," i. e. but out of itself ? It must reveal itself; and the words
theological insurrections. that it speaks, the revelations in which it unveils itself,
these are its world. As a visionary lives and has his
1.THE SPIRIT world only in the visionary pictures that he himself
creates, as a crazy man generates for himself his own
The realm of spirits is monstrously great, there is dream-world, without which he could not be crazy, so
an infinite deal of the spiritual; yet let us look and see the spirit must create for itself its spirit world, and is
what the spirit, this bequest of the ancients, properly not spirit till it creates it.
is. Thus its creations make it spirit, and by its crea-
Out of their birth-pangs it came forth, but they tures we know it, the creator; in them it lives, they
themselves could not utter themselves as spirit; they are its world.
could give birth to it, it itself must speak. The Now, what is the spirit ? It is the creator of a spi-
" born God, the Son of Man," is the first to utter the ritual world ! Even in you and me people do not re-
word that the spirit, i. e. he, God, has to do with no- cognize spirit till they see that we have appropriated
thing earthly and no earthly relationship, but solely to ourselves something spiritual,i. e., though
with the spirit and spiritual relationships. thoughts may have been set before us, we have at least
Is my courage, indestructible under all the world's brought them to life in ourselves; for, as long as we
blows, my inflexibility and my obduracy, perchance were children, the most edifying thoughts might have
already spirit in the full sense, because the world can- been laid before us without our wishing, or being able
not touch it ? Why, then it would not yet be at en- to reproduce them in ourselves. So the spirit also
mity with the world, and all its action would consist exists only when it creates something spiritual; it is
merely in not succumbing to the world ! No, so long real only together with the spiritual, its creature.
as it does not busy itself with itself alone, so long as it As, then, we know it by its works, the question is
does not have to do with Us world, the spiritual, alone, what these works are. But the works or children of
it is not free spirit, but only the " spirit of this world," the spirit are nothing else butspirits.
the spirit fettered to it. The spirit is free spirit, i. e. If I had before me Jews, Jews of the true metal, I
really spirit, only in a world of its own; in "this," the should have to stop here and leave them standing be-
earthly world, it is a stranger. Only through a spirit- fore this mystery as for almost two thousand years
ual world is the spirit really spirit, for " this " world
* [Title of a poem by Schiller ]
does not understand it and does not know how to keep
36 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 37
they have remained standing before it, unbelieving your spirit, you have nevertheless left one tenet un-
and without knowledge. But, as you, my dear reader, disturbed, and still ingenuously adhere to the one
are at least not a full-blooded Jew,for such a one truth, that the spirit is your better part, and that the
will not go astray as far as this,we will still go spiritual has greater claims on you than anything else.
along a bit of road together, till perhaps you too turn Despite all your atheism, in zeal against egoism you
your back on me because I laugh in your face. concur with the believers in immortality.
If somebody told you you were altogether spirit, But whom do you think of under the name of ego-
you would take hold of your body and not believe ist ? A man who, instead of living to an idea,i. e.
him, but answer: " I have a spirit, no doubt, but do a spiritual thingand sacrificing to it his personal
not exist only as spirit, but am a man with a body." advantage, serves the latter. A good patriot, e. g.,
You would still distinguish yourself from "your spi- brings his sacrifice to the altar of the fatherland; but
rit." '' But," replies he, " it is your destiny, even it cannot be disputed that the fatherland is an idea,
though now you are yet going about in the fetters of since for beasts incapable of mind,* or children as yet
the body, to be one day a ' blessed spirit,' and, how- without mind, there is no fatherland and no patriot-
ever you may conceive of the future aspect of your ism. Now, if any one does not approve himself as a
spirit, so much is yet certain, that in death you will good patriot, he betrays his egoism with reference to
put off this body and yet keep yourself, i. e. your the fatherland. And so the matter stands in innumer-
spirit, for all eternity; accordingly your spirit is the able other cases: he who in human society takes the
eternal and true in you, the body only a dwelling here benefit of a prerogative sins egoistically against the
below, which you may leave and perhaps exchange for idea of equality; he who exercises dominion is blamed
another." as an egoist against the idea of liberty,etc.
Now you believe him ! For the present, indeed, You despise the egoist because he puts the spiritual
you are not spirit only; but, when you emigrate from in the background as compared with the personal, and
the mortal body, as one day you must, then you will has his eyes on himself where you would like to see
have to help yourself without the body, and therefore him act to favor an idea. The distinction between
it is needful that you be prudent and care in time for you is that he makes himself the central point, but
your proper self. " What should it profit a man if he you the spirit; or that you cut your identity in two
gained the whole world and yet suffered damage in * [The reader will remember (it is to be hoped he has never forgotten)
his soul ? " that " mind" and "spirit" are one and the same word in German. For se-
But, even granted that doubts, raised in the course veral pages back the connection of the discourse has seemed to require the
almost exclusive use of the translation "spirit," but to complete the sense
of time against the tenets of the Christian faith, have
it has often been necessary that the reader recall the thought of its iden-
long since robbed you of faith in the immortality of tity with " mind," as stated in a previous note.]
38 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 39
and exalt your " proper self," the spirit, to be thinker, singer, and talker, so you no less distinguish
ruler of the paltrier remainder, while he will hear yourself from the spirit, and feel very clearly that you
nothing of this cutting in two, and pursues spiritual are something beside spirit. But, as in the thinking
and material interests just as he pleases. You think, ego hearing and sight easily vanish in the enthusiasm
to be sure, that you are falling foul of those only who of thought, so you also have been seized by the spirit-
enter into no spiritual interest at all, but in fact you enthusiasm, and you now long with all your might to
curse at everybody who does not look on the spiritual become wholly spirit and to be dissolved in spirit.
interest as his '' true and highest" interest. You The spirit is your ideal, the unattained, the other-
carry your knightly service for this beauty so far that worldly; spirit is the name of yourgod, " God is
you affirm her to be the only beauty of the world. spirit."
You live not to yourself, but to your spirit and to Against all that is not spirit you are a zealot, and
what is the spirit'si. e. ideas. therefore you play the zealot against yourself who
As the spirit exists only in its creating of the spirit- cannot get rid of a remainder of the non-spiritual.
ual, let us take a look about us for its first creation. Instead of saying, " I am more than spirit," you say
If only it has accomplished this, there follows thence- with contrition, " I am less than spirit; and spirit,
forth a natural propagation of creations, as according pure spirit, or the spirit that is nothing but spirit, I
to the myth only the first human beings needed to be can only think of, but am not; and, since I am not it,
created, the rest of the race propagating of itself. it is another, exists as another, whom I call 'God'."
The first creation, on the other hand, must come forth It lies in the nature of the case that the spirit that
" out of nothing,"i. e., the spirit has toward its re- is to exist as pure spirit must be an otherworldly one,
alization nothing but itself, or rather it has not yet for, since I am not it, it follows that it can only be
even itself, but must create itself; hence its first cre- outside me; since in any case a human being is not
ation is itself, the spirit. Mystical as this sounds, we fully comprehended in the concept " spirit," it follows
yet go through it as an every-day experience. Are that the pure spirit, the spirit as such, can only be
you a thinking being before you think ? In creating outside of men, beyond the human world,not
the first thought you create yourself, the thinking earthly, but heavenly.
one; for you do not think before you think a thought, Only from this disunion in which I and the spirit
i. e. have a thought. Is it not your singing that first lie; only because " I " and "spirit" are not names for
makes you a singer, your talking that makes you a one and the same thing, but different names for com-
talker ? Now, so too it is the production of the spirit- pletely different things; only because I am not spirit
ual that first makes you a spirit. and spirit not I,only from this do we get a quite
Meantime, as you distinguish yourself from the tautological explanation of the necessity that the spirit
40 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 41
dwells in the other world, i, e. is God. death, and is it not at the same time the Christian
But from this it also appears how thoroughly theo- yearning and hungering for the other world ? The
logical is the liberation that Feuerbach* is laboring to hero wants not to go into the other world, but to draw
give us. What he says is that we had only mistaken the other world to him, and compel it to become this
our own essence, and therefore looked for it in the world ! And since then has not all the world, with
other world, but that now, when we see that God was more or less consciousness, been crying that " this
only our human essence, we must recognize it again as world " is the vital point, and heaven must come down
ours and move it back out of the other world into this. on earth and be experienced even here ?
To God, who is spirit, Feuerbach gives the name Let us, in brief, set Feuerbach's theological view
" Our Essence." Can we put up with this, that " Our and our contradiction over against each other !
Essence " is brought into opposition to us,that we "The essence of man is man's supreme being; * now
are split into an essential and an unessential self ? by religion, to be sure, the supreme being is called
Do we not therewith go back into the dreary misery God and regarded as an objective essence, but in truth
of seeing ourselves banished out of ourselves ? it is only man's own essence; and therefore the turn-
What have we gained, then, when for a variation ing point of the world's history is that henceforth
we have transferred into ourselves the divine outside no longer God, but man, is to appear to man as
us ? Are we that which is in us ? As little as we are God."
that which is outside us. I am as little my heart as I To this we reply: The supreme being is indeed the
am my sweetheart, this " other self " of mine. Just essence of man, but, just because it is his essence and
because we are not the spirit that dwells in us, just for not he himself, it remains quite immaterial whether we
that reason we had to take it and set it outside us; it see it outside him and view it as " God," or find it in
was not we, did not coincide with us, and therefore we him and call it " Essence of Man " or " Man." I am
could not think of it as existing otherwise than outside neither God nor Man, neither the supreme essence
us, on the other side from us, in the other world. nor my essence, and therefore it is all one in the main
With the strength of despair Feuerbach clutches at whether I think of the essence as in me or outside me.
the total substance of Christianity, not to throw it Nay, we really do always think of the supreme being
away, no, to drag it to himself, to draw it, the long- as in both kinds of otherworldliness, the inward and
yearned-for, ever-distant, out of its heaven with a last * [Or, " highest essence " The Word Wesen, which means both " es-
effort, and keep it by him forever. Is not that a sence " and " being," will be translated now one way and now the other in
clutch of the uttermost despair, a clutch for life or the following pages. The reader must bear in mind that these two words
are identical in German, and so are " supreme " and " highest "]
* " Essence of Christianity."
Cf. e. g. " Essence of Christianity," p 402.
[That is, the abstract conception of man, as in the preceding sentence.]
42 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 43
outward, at once; for the " Spirit of God " is, accord- saucy men of the understanding may disturb the
ing to the Christian view, also " our spirit," and former ? The Romanticists were quite conscious what
" dwells in us."* It dwells in heaven and dwells in a blow the very belief in God suffered by the laying
us; we poor things are just its "dwelling," and, if aside of the belief in spirits or ghosts, and they tried
Feuerbach goes on to destroy its heavenly dwelling to help us out of the baleful consequences not only by
and force it to move to us bag and baggage, then we, their reawakened fairy world, but at last, and
its earthly apartments, will be badly overcrowded. especially, by the " intrusion of a higher world," by
But after this digression (which, if we were at all their somnambulists, prophetesses of Prevorst, etc.
proposing to work by line and level, we should have The good believers and fathers of the church did not
had to save for later pages in order to avoid repeti- suspect that with the belief in ghosts the foundation
tion) we return to the spirit's first creation, the spirit of religion was withdrawn, and that since then it had
itself. been floating in the air. He who no longer believes
The spirit is something other than myself. But in any ghost needs only to travel on consistently in
this other, what is it ? his unbelief to see that there is no separate being at
all concealed behind things, no ghost orwhat is
2.THE POSSESSED. naively reckoned as synonymous even in our use of
wordsno "spirit."
Have you ever seen a spirit ? " No, not I, but my " Spirits exist ! " Look about in the world, and
grandmother." Now, you see, it's just so with me say for yourself whether a spirit does not gaze upon
too; I myself haven't seen any, but my grandmother you out of everything. Out of the lovely little flower
had them running between her feet all sorts of ways, there speaks to you the spirit of the Creator, who has
and out of confidence in our grandmothers' honesty shaped it so wonderfully; the stars proclaim the spirit
we believe in the existence of spirits. that established their order; from the mountain-tops a
But had we no grandfathers then, and did they not spirit of sublimity breathes down ; out of the waters a
shrug their shoulders every time our grandmothers spirit of yearning murmurs up; andout of men mil-
told about their ghosts ? Yes, those were unbelieving lions of spirits speak. The mountains may sink, the
men who have harmed our good religion much, those flowers fade, the world of stars fall in ruins, the men
rationalists ! We shall feel that ! What else lies diewhat matters the wreck of these visible bodies ?
at the bottom of this warm faith in ghosts, if not the The spirit, the " invisible spirit," abides eternally !
faith in " the existence of spiritual beings in general," Yes, the whole world is haunted ! Only is
and is not this latter itself disastrously unsettled if haunted ? Nay, it itself " walks," it is uncanny
* E g , Rom 8 9,1 Cor, 3, 16, John 20, 22, and innumerable other passages. through and through, it is the wandering seeming-
44 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 45
body of a spirit, it is a spook. What else should a " On the contrary, it is that in the world which is
ghost be, then, than an apparent body, but real most real, that which is properly to be called true; it
spirit ? Well, the world is " empty," is " naught," is is the truth itself; if I only think truly, I think the
only glamorous " semblance " ; its truth is the spirit truth. I may, to be sure, err with regard to the truth,
alone; it is the seeming-body of a spirit. and fail to recognize it; but, if I recognize truly,
Look out near or far, a ghostly world surrounds the object of my cognition is the truth." So, I sup-
you everywhere; you are always having "appari- pose, you strive at all times to recognize the truth ?
tions " or visions. Everything that appears to you is " To me the truth is sacred. It may well happen that
only the phantasm of an indwelling spirit, is a ghostly I find a truth incomplete and replace it with a better,
" apparition " ; the world is to you only a " world of but the truth I cannot abrogate. I believe in the
appearances," behind which the spirit walks. You truth, therefore I search in it; nothing transcends it, it
" see spirits." is eternal."
Are you perchance thinking of comparing yourself Sacred, eternal is the truth; it is the Sacred, the
with the ancients, who saw gods everywhere ? Gods, Eternal. But you, who let yourself be filled and led
my dear modern, are not spirits; gods do not degrade by this sacred thing, are yourself hallowed. Further,
the world to a semblance, and do not spiritualize it. the sacred is not for your senses,and you never as a
But to you the whole world is spiritualized, and has sensual man discover its trace,but for your faith, or,
become an enigmatical ghost; therefore do not wonder more definitely still, for your spirit ; for it itself, you
if you likewise find in yourself nothing but a spook. know, is a spiritual thing, a spirit,is spirit for the
Is not your body haunted by your spirit, and is not spirit.
the latter alone the true and real, the former only the The sacred is by no means so easily to be set aside
" transitory, naught " or a " semblance "? Are we as many at present affirm, who no longer take this
not all ghosts, uncanny beings that wait for " deliver- " unsuitable " word into their mouths. If even in a
ance,"to wit, "spirits"? single respect I am still upbraided as an " egoist,"
Since the spirit appeared in the world, since " the there is left the thought of something else which I
Word became flesh," since then the world has been should serve more than myself, and which must be to
spiritualized, enchanted, a spook. me more important than everything; in short, some-
You have spirit, for you have thoughts. What are what in which I should have to seek my true welfare,*
your thoughts ? " Spiritual entities." Not things, something" sacred." However human this sacred
then ? " No, but the spirit of things, the main point thing may look, though it be the Human itself, that
in all things, the inmost in them, theiridea." Con- *[Heil] [heiling]
sequently what you think is not only your thought ?
46 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 47
does not take away its sacredness, but at most changes fettered in slavery and benumbed. Therefore over
it from an unearthly to an earthly sacred thing, from each minute of your existence a fresh minute of the
a divine one to a human. future beckons to you, and, developing yourself, you
Sacred things exist only for the egoist who does not get away " from yourself,"i. e. from the self that
acknowledge himself, the involuntary egoist, for him was at that moment. As you are at each instant, you
who is always looking after his own and yet does not are your own creature, and in this very " creature "
count himself as the highest being, who serves only you do not wish to lose yourself, the creator. You
himself and at the same time always thinks he is serv- are yourself a higher being than you are, and surpass
ing a higher being, who knows nothing higher than yourself. But that you are the one who is higher
himself and yet is infatuated about something higher ; than you,i. e. that you are not only creature, bub
in short, for the egoist who would like not to be an likewise your creator,just this, as an involuntary
egoist, and abases himself (i. e. combats his egoism), egoist, you fail to recognize; and therefore the
but at the same time abases himself only for the sake " higher essence " is to youan alien* essence. Every
of " being exalted," and therefore of gratifying his higher essence, such as truth, mankind, etc., is an
egoism. Because he would like to cease to be an essence over us.
egoist, he looks about in heaven and earth for higher Alienness is a criterion of the " sacred." In every-
beings to serve and sacrifice himself to; but, however thing sacred there lies something " uncanny," i. e.
much he shakes and disciplines himself, in the end he strange, such as we are not quite familiar and at
does all for his own sake, and the disreputable egoism home in. What is sacred to me is not my own ; and
will not come off him. On this account I call him the if, e. g. the property of others was not sacred to me, I
involuntary egoist. should look on it as mine, which I should take to my-
His toil and care to get away from himself is noth- self when occasion offered. Or, on the other side, if I
ing but the misunderstood impulse to self-dissolution. regard the face of the Chinese emperor as sacred, it
If you are bound to your past hour, if you must bab- remains strange to my eye, which I close at its
ble to-day because you babbled yesterday,* if you can- appearance.
not transform yourself each instant, you feel yourself Why is an incontrovertible mathematical truth,
* How the priests tinkle ! how important they which might even be called eternal according to the
Would make it out, that men should come their way common understanding of words, notsacred ? Be-
And babble, just as yesterday, to day ' cause it is not revealed, or not the revelation of a
Oh! blame them not! They know man's need, I say; higher being. If by revealed we understand only the
For he takes all his happiness this way,
* [fremd] [fremd]
To babble just tomorrow as to day
Translated from Goethe's " Venetian Epigrams
48 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 49
so-called religious truths, we go far astray, and en- because the latter was still represented in a sort of
tirely fail to recognize the breadth of the concept embodiedness or form, while the undimmed spiritual-
" higher being." Atheists keep up their scoffing at ity of the new is retained, and no special material
the higher being, which was also honored under the body is fancied for it. And withal it does not lack
name of the " highest " or tre suprme, and trample corporeity, which even takes on a yet more seductive
in the dust one " proof of his existence " after another, appearance because it looks more natural and mun-
without noticing that they themselves, out of need for dane and consists in nothing less than in every bodily
a higher being, only annihilate the old to make room man,yes, or outright in " humanity " or " all men."
for a new. Is " Man " perchance not a higher essence Thereby the spectralness of the spirit in a seeming-
than an individual man, and must not the truths, body has once again become really solid and popular.
rights, and ideas which result from the concept of him Sacred, then, is the highest essence and everything
be honored andcounted sacred, as revelations of this in which this highest essence reveals or will reveal it-
very concept ? For, even though we should abrogate self; but hallowed are they who recognize this highest
again many a truth that seemed to be made manifest essence together with its own, i. e. together with its
by this concept, yet this would only evince a mis- revelations. The sacred hallows in turn its reverer,
understanding on our part, without in the least de- who by his worship becomes himself a saint, as like-
gree harming the sacred concept itself or taking their wise what he does is saintly, a saintly walk, saintly
sacredness from those truths that must " rightly " be thoughts and actions, imaginations and aspirations,
looked upon as its revelations. Man reaches beyond etc.
every individual man, and yetthough he be " his It is easily understood that the conflict over what is
essence "is not in fact his essence (which rather revered as the highest essence can be significant only
would be as single* as he the individual himself), but so long as even the most embittered opponents concede
a general and "higher," yes, for atheists "the highest to each other the main point,that there is a highest
essence." And, as the divine revelations were not essence to which worship or service is due. If one
written down by God with his own hand, but made should smile compassionately at the whole struggle
public through " the Lord's instruments," so also the over a highest essence, as a Christian might at the war
new highest essence does not write out its revelations of words between a Shiite and a Sunnite or between a
itself, but lets them come to our knowledge through Brahman and a Buddhist, then the hypothesis of a
" true men." Only the new essence betrays, in fact, a highest essence would be null in his eyes, and the con-
more spiritual style of conception than the old God, flict on this basis an idle play. Whether then the one
* [einzig] [" the supreme being "] God or the three in one, whether the Lutheran God or
the tre suprme or not God at all, but "Man," may
50 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 51
represent the highest essence, that makes no difference nence one degrades the hitherto misapprehended ap-
at all for him who denies the highest essence itself, for pearance to a bare semblance, a deception. The
in his eyes those servants of a highest essence are one essence of the world, so attractive and splendid, is for
and allpious people, the most raging atheist not less him who looks to the bottom of itemptiness; empti-
than the most faith-filled Christian. ness is = world's essence (world's doings). Now, he
In the foremost place of the sacred,* then, stands who is religious does not occupy himself with the de-
the highest essence and the faith in this essence, our ceitful semblance, with the empty appearances, but
"holy faith." looks upon the essence, and in the essence hasthe
truth.
The Spook The essences which are deduced from some appear-
ances are the evil essences, and conversely from others
With ghosts we arrive in the spirit-realm, in the the good. The essence of human feeling, e. g , is
realm of essences love; the essence of human will is the good; that of
What haunts the universe, and has its occult, " in- one's thinking, the true; etc.
comprehensible " being there, is precisely the myste- What at first passed for existence, such as the world
rious spook that we call highest essence. And to get and its like, appears now as bare semblance, and the
to the bottom of this spook, to comprehend it, to dis- truly existent is much rather the essence, whose realm
cover reality in it (to prove " the existence of God ") is filled with gods, spirits, demons, i. e. with good or
this task men set to themselves for thousands of bad essences. Only this inverted world, the world of
years, with the horrible impossibility, the endless essences, truly exists now. The human heart may be
Danaid-labor, of transforming the spook into a non- loveless, but its essence exists, God, " who is love " ;
spook, the unreal into something real, the spirit into human thought may wander in error, but its essence,
an entire and corporeal person,with this they tor- truth, exists; "God is truth,"etc.
mented themselves to death. Behind the existing To know and acknowledge essences alone and
world they sought the " thing in itself," the essence; nothing but essences, that is religion; its realm is a
behind the thing they sought the un-thing. realm of essences, spooks, and ghosts.
When one looks to the bottom of anything, i. e. The longing to make the spook comprehensible, or
searches out its essence, one often discovers something to realize non-sense, has brought about a corporeal
quite other than what it seems to be; honeyed speech ghost, a ghost or spirit with a real body, an embodied
and a lying heart, pompous words and beggarly ghost. How the strongest and most talented Chris-
thoughts, etc. By bringing the essence into promi- tians have tortured themselves to get a conception of
* [heilig] [heilig] this ghostly apparition ! But there always remained
52 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 53
the contradiction of two natures, the divine and me. If I did not see Man in you, what occasion
human, i. e. the ghostly and sensual; there remained should I have to respect you ? To be sure, you are
the most wondrous spook, a thing that was not a not Man and his true and adequate form, but only a
thing. Never yet was a ghost more soul-torturing, mortal veil of his, from which he can withdraw with-
and no shaman, who pricks himself to raving fury and out himself ceasing ; but yet for the present this gen-
nerve-lacerating cramps to conjure a ghost, can endure eral and higher essence is housed in you, and you pre-
such soul-torment as Christians suffered from that most sent before me (because an imperishable spirit has in
incomprehensible ghost. you assumed a perishable body, so that really your
But through Christ the truth of the matter had at form is only an " assumed " one) a spirit that appears,
the same time come to light, that the veritable spirit appears in you, without being bound to your body
or ghost isman. The corporeal or embodied spirit and to this particular mode of appearance,therefore,
is just man; he himself is the ghastly being and at the a spook. Hence I do not regard you as a higher
same time the being's appearance and existence. essence, but only respect that higher essence which
Henceforth man no longer, in typical cases, shudders " walks " in you; I " respect Man in you." The
at ghosts outside him, but at himself; he is terrified at ancients did not observe anything of this sort in their
himself. In the depth of his breast dwells the spirit slaves, and the higher essence " Man " found as yet
of sin; even the faintest thought (and this is itself a little response. ' To make up for this, they saw in each
spirit, you know) may be a devil, etc.The ghost has other ghosts of another sort. The People is a higher
put on a body, God has become man, but now man is essence than an individual, and, like Man or the Spirit
himself the gruesome spook which he seeks to get back of Man, a spirit haunting the individual,the Spirit
of, to exorcise, to fathom, to bring to reality and to of the People. For this reason they revered this
speech; man isspirit. What matter if the body spirit, and only so far as he served this or else a spirit
wither, if only the spirit is saved ? everything rests on related to it (e. g. the Spirit of the Family, etc.)
the spirit, and the spirit's or " soul's " welfare becomes could the individual appear significant; only for the
the exclusive goal. Man has become to himself a sake of the higher essence, the People, was considera-
ghost, an uncanny spook, to which there is even as- tion allowed to the " member of the people." As you
signed a distinct seat in the body (dispute over the are hallowed to us by " Man " who haunts you, so at
seat of the soul, whether in the head, etc.). every time men have been hallowed by some higher
You are not to me, and I am not to you, a higher essence or other, like People, Family, and such.
essence. Nevertheless a higher essence may be hidden Only for the sake of a higher essence has any one been
in each of us, and call forth a mutual reverence. To honored from of old, only as a ghost has he been re-
take at once the most general, Man lives in you and garded in the light of a hallowed, i. e., protected and
54 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 55
recognized person. If I cherish you because I hold to be called, an ideal that beckons to you. You have
you dear, because in you my heart finds nourishment, a fixed idea !
my need satisfaction, then it is not done for the sake Do not think that I am jesting or speaking figura-
of a higher essence whose hallowed body you are, not tively when I regard those persons who cling to the
on account of my beholding in you a ghost, i. e. an Higher, and (because the vast majority belongs under
appearing spirit, but from egoistic pleasure; you this head) almost the whole world of men, as veritable
yourself with your essence are valuable to me, for your fools, fools in a madhouse. What is it, then, that is
essence is not a higher one, is not higher and more called a " fixed idea " ? An idea that has subjected
general than you, is unique* like you yourself, be- the man to itself. When you recognize, with regard
cause it is you. to such a fixed idea, that it is a folly, you shut its
But it is not only man that " haunts"; so does slave up in an asylum. And is the truth of the faith,
everything. The higher essence, the spirit, that walks say, which we are not to doubt; the majesty of (e. g.)
in everything, is at the same time bound to nothing, the people, which we are not to strike at (he who does
and only" appears" in it. Ghosts in every corner ! is guilty oflese-majesty) ; virtue, against which the
Here would be the place to pass the haunting spirits censor is not to let a word pass, that morality may be
in review, if they were not to come before us again kept pure; etc.,are these not " fixed ideas"? Is
further on in order to vanish before egoism. Hence riot all the stupid chatter of (e. g.) most of our news-
let only a few of them be particularized by way of ex- papers the babble of fools who suffer from the fixed
ample, in order to bring us at once to our attitude idea of morality, legality, Christianity, etc., and only
toward them. seem to go about free because the madhouse in which
Sacred above all, e. g., is the " holy Spirit," sacred they walk takes in so broad a space ? Touch the
the truth, sacred are right, law, a good cause, majesty, fixed idea of such a fool, and you will at once have to
marriage, the common good, order, the fatherland, guard your back against the lunatic's stealthy malice.
etc. For these great lunatics are like the little so-called
lunatics in this point too,that they assail by stealth
Wheels in the Head. him who touches their fixed idea. They first steal his
weapon, steal free speech from him, and then they fall
Man, your head is haunted; you have wheels in upon him with their nails. Every day now lays bare
your head ! You imagine great things, and depict to the cowardice and vindictiveness of these maniacs, and
yourself a whole world of gods that has an existence the stupid populace hurrahs for their crazy measures.
for you, a spirit-realm to which you suppose yourself One must read the journals of this period, and must
hear the Philistines talk, to get the horrible conviction
* [einzig]
56 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 57
that one is shut up in a house with fools. " Thou that meet us, or do we as often come upon people
shalt not call thy brother a fool; if thou dostetc." 'possessed in the contrary way,possessed by "the
But I do not fear the curse, and I say, my brothers good," by virtue, morality, the law, or some " princi-
are arch-fools. Whether a poor fool of the insane ple " or other ? Possessions of the devil are not the
asylum is possessed by the fancy that he is God the only ones. God works on us, and the devil does; the
Father, Emperor of Japan, the Holy Spirit, etc., or former " workings of grace," the latter " workings of
whether a citizen in comfortable circumstances con- the devil." Possessed* people are set in their
ceives that it is his mission to be a good Christian, a opinions.
faithful Protestant, a loyal citizen, a virtuous man, If the word " possession " displeases you, then call it
etc.,both these are one and the same " fixed idea." prepossession; yes, since the spirit possesses you, and
He who has never tried and dared not to be a good all " inspirations " come from it, call itinspiration
Christian, a faithful Protestant, a virtuous man, etc., and enthusiasm. I add that complete enthusiasm
is possessed and prepossessed* by faith, virtuousness, for we cannot stop with the sluggish, half-way kind
etc. Just as the schoolmen philosophized only inside is called fanaticism.
the belief of the church; as Pope Benedict XIV wrote It is precisely among cultured people that fanaticism
fat books inside the papist superstition, without ever is at home; for man is cultured so far as he takes an
throwing a doubt upon this belief; as authors fill interest in spiritual things, and interest in spiritual
whole folios on the State without calling in question things, when it is alive, is and must be fanaticism ; it
the fixed idea of the State itself; as our newspapers is a fanatical interest in the sacred (fanum). Ob-
are crammed with politics because they are conjured serve our liberals, look into the Saechsischen Vater-
into the fancy that man was created to be a zoon landsblaetter, hear what Schlosser says: " Holbach's
politicon,so also subjects vegetate in subjection, vir- company constituted a regular plot against the tradi-
tuous people in virtue, liberals in humanity, etc., with- tional doctrine and the existing system, and its mem-
out ever putting to these fixed ideas of theirs the bers were as fanatical on behalf of their unbelief as
searching knife of criticism. Undislodgeable, like a monks and priests, Jesuits and Pietists, Methodists,
madman's delusion, those thoughts stand on a firm missionary and Bible societies, commonly are for me-
footing, and he who doubts themlays hands on the chanical worship and orthodoxy."
sacred ! Yes, the " fixed idea," that is the truly Take notice how a " moral man " behaves, who to-
sacred ! day often thinks he is through with God and throws
Is it perchance only people possessed by the devil off Christianity as a bygone thing. If you ask him
* [gefangen und befangen, literally " imprisoned and prepossessed "] * [besessene] [versessen] "Achtzehntes Jahrhundert," II, 519.
58 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 59
whether he has ever doubted that the copulation of ple." Yes, indeed: others might have taken the no-
brother and sister is incest, that monogamy is the tion that the State had no business to meddle with
truth of marriage, that filial piety is a sacred duty, their relation, and thereupon " purity of morals "
would go to ruin. So then the religious heroes of
etc., then a moral shudder will come over him at the faith are zealous for the " sacred God," the moral ones
conception of one's being allowed to touch his sister as for the " sacred good."
wife also, etc. And whence this shudder ? Because Those who are zealous for something sacred often
he believes in those moral commandments. This look very little like each other. How the strictly or-
moral faith is deeply rooted in his breast. Much as thodox or old-style believers differ from the fighters
he rages against the pious Christians, he himself has for " truth, light, and justice," from the Philalethes,
nevertheless as thoroughly remained a Christian,to the Friends of Light, the Rationalists, etc. And yet,
wit, a moral Christian. In the form of morality how utterly unessential is this difference ! If one
Christianity holds him a prisoner, and a prisoner buffets single traditional truths (e. g. miracles, un-
under faith. Monogamy is to be something sacred, limited power of princes, etc.), then the rationalists
and he who may live in bigamy is punished as a crim- buffet them too, and only the old-style believers wail.
inal; he who commits incest suffers as a criminal. But, if one buffets truth itself, he immediately has
Those who are always crying that religion is not to be both, as believers, for opponents. So with moralities;
regarded in the State, and the Jew is to be a citizen the strict believers are relentless, the clearer heads are
equally with the Christian, show themselves in accord more tolerant. But he who attacks morality itself
with this. Is not this of incest and monogamy a gets both to deal with. " Truth, morality, justice,
dogma of faith ? Touch it, and you will learn by ex- light, etc.," are to be and remain " sacred." What
perience how this moral man is a hero of faith too, not any one finds to censure in Christianity is simply sup-
less than Krummacher, not less than Philip II. These posed to be " unchristian " according to the view of
fight for the faith of the Church, he for the faith of these rationalists; but Christianity must remain a
the State, or the moral laws of the State ; for articles " fixture," to buffet it is outrageous, " an outrage." ,
of faith, both condemn him who acts otherwise than To be sure, the heretic against pure faith no longer
their faith will allow. The brand of " crime " is exposes himself to the earlier fury of persecution, but
stamped upon him, and he may languish in reformato- so much the more does it now fall upon the heretic
ries, in jails. Moral faith is as fanatical as religious against pure morals.
faith ! They call that " liberty of faith " then, when Piety has for a century received so many blows, and
brother and sister, on account of a relation that they had to hear its superhuman essence reviled as an " in-
should have settled with their " conscience," are
thrown into prison, " But they set a pernicious exam-
60 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 61
human " one so often, that one cannot feel tempted to religious standpoint, lose the God, who from this
draw the sword against it again. And yet it has al- standpoint is subject; but we take in "exchange for it
most always been only moral opponents that have ap- the other side of the religious standpoint, the moral
peared in the arena, to assail the supreme essence in standpoint. E. g., we no longer say " God is love,"
favor ofanother supreme essence. So Proudhon, un- but " Love is divine." If we further put in place of
abashed, says: * " Man is destined to live without the predicate " divine " the equivalent " sacred," then,
religion, but the moral law is eternal and absolute. as far as concerns the sense, all the old comes back
Who would dare to-day to attack morality ?" Moral again. According to this, love is to be the good in
people skimmed off the best fat from religion, ate it man, his divineness, that which does him honor, his
themselves, and are now having a tough job to get rid true humanity (it " makes him Man for the first
of the resulting scrofula. If, therefore, we point out time," makes for the first time a man out of him).
that religion has not by any means been hurt in its So then it would be more accurately worded thus:
inmost part so long as people reproach it only with its Love is what is human in man, and what is inhuman
superhuman essence, and that it takes its final appeal is the loveless egoist. But precisely all that which
to the " spirit" alone (for God is spirit), then we Christianity and with it speculative philosophy (i. e.
have sufficiently indicated its final accord with moral- theology) offers as the good, the absolute, is to self-
ity, and can leave its stubborn conflict with the latter ownership simply not the good (or, what means the
lying behind us. It is a question of a supreme essence same, it is only the good). Consequently, by the
with both, and whether this is a superhuman or a transformation of the predicate into the subject, the
human one can make (since it is in any case an es- Christian essence (and it is the predicate that contains
sence over me, a super-mine one, so to speak) but little the essence, you know) would only be fixed yet more
difference to me. In the end the relation to the oppressively. God and the divine would entwine
human essence, or to " Man," as soon as ever it has themselves all the more inextricably with me. To
shed the snake-skin of the old religion, will yet wear a expel God from his heaven and to rob him of his
religious snake-skin again. " transcendence " cannot yet support a claim of com-
So Feuerbach instructs us that, " if one only inverts plete victory, if therein he is only chased into the hu-
speculative philosophy, i. e. always makes the predi- man breast and gifted with indelible immanence.
cate the subject, and so makes the subject the object Now they say, " The divine is the truly human ! "
and principle, one has the undraped truth, pure and The same people who oppose Christianity as the ba-
clean." Herewith, to be sure, we lose the narrow sis of the State, i. e. oppose the so-called Christian
*" De la Cration de l'Ordre" etc., p. 36. " Anekdota," II, 64. State, do not tire of repeating that morality is " the
fundamental pillar of social life and of the State."
62 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 63
As if the dominion of morality were not a complete mind is free, he is religious in just the same way as he
dominion of the sacred, a " hierarchy." in whom the senses have free course is called a sensual
So we may here mention by the way that rationalist man. The mind binds the former, the desires the lat-
movement which, after theologians had long insisted ter. Religion, therefore, is boundness or religio with
that only faith was capable of grasping religious reference to me,I am bound; it is freedom with re-
truths, that only to believers did God reveal himself, ference to the mind,the mind is free, or has freedom
etc., and that therefore only the heart, the feelings, the of mind. Many know from experience how hard it
believing fancy was religious, broke out with the asser- is on us when the desires run away with us, free and
tion that the " natural understanding," human reason, unbridled; but that the free mind, splendid intellect-
was also capable of discerning God. What does that uality, enthusiasm for intellectual interests, or however
mean but that the reason laid claim to be the same this jewel may in the most various phrase be named,
visionary as the fancy ? * In this sense Reimarus brings us into yet more grievous straits than even the
wrote his " Most Notable Truths of Natural Religion." wildest impropriety, people will not perceive; nor can
It had to come to this,that the whole man with all they perceive it without being consciously egoists.
his faculties was found to be religious ; heart and Reimarus, and all who have shown that our reason,
affections, understanding and reason, feeling, know- our heart, etc., also lead to God, have therewithal
ledge, and will,in short, everything in man, shown that we are possessed through and through.
appeared religious. Hegel has shown that even phi- To be sure, they vexed the theologians, from whom
losophy is religious. And what is not called religion they took away the prerogative of religious exaltation ;
to-day ? The " religion of love," the " religion of but for religion, for freedom of mind, they thereby
freedom," " political religion,"in short, every enthu- only conquered yet more ground. For, when the
siasm. So it is, too, in fact. mind is no longer limited to feeling or faith, but also,
To this day we use the Romance word " religion," as understanding, reason, and thought in general, be-
which expresses the concept of a condition of being longs to itself the mind,when, therefore, it may take
bound. To be sure, we remain bound, so far as reli- part in the spiritual* and heavenly truths in the form
gion takes possession of our inward parts; but is the of understanding, etc., as well as in its other forms,
mind also bound ? On the contrary, that is free, is then the whole mind is occupied only with spiritual
sole lord, is not our mind, but absolute. Therefore things, i. e. with itself, and is therefore free. Now we
the correct affirmative translation of the word religion are so through-and-through religious that "jurors,"
would be "freedom of mind "! In whomsoever the i. e. " sworn men," condemn us to death, and every
* [dieselbe Phantastin wie die Phantasie] * [The same word as " intellectual," us "mind" and "spirit" are the
same.]
64 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 65
policeman, as a good Christian, takes us to the lock-up eries in favor of the poor. " He should not have
by virtue of an " oath of office." murdered, for it stands written, Thou shalt not mur-
Morality could not come into opposition with piety der ! " Then to serve the good, the welfare of the
till after the time when in general the boisterous hate people, as Sand at least intended, or the welfare of
of everything that looked like an " order " (decrees, the poor, like Crispin,is moral; but murder and
commandments, etc.) spoke out in revolt, and the per- theft are immoral; the purpose moral, the means im-
sonal " absolute lord " was scoffed at and persecuted ; moral. Why ? " Because murder, assassination, is
consequently it could arrive at independence only something absolutely bad." When the Guerrillas en-
through liberalism, whose first form acquired signifi- ticed the enemies of the country into ravines and shot
cance in the world's history as " citizenship," and them down unseen from the bushes, do you suppose
weakened the specifically religious powers (see " Lib- that was not assassination ? According to the prin-
eralism " below). For, when morality not merely ciple of morality, which commands us to serve the
goes alongside of piety, but stands on feet of its own, good, you could really ask only whether murder could
then its principle lies no longer in the divine com- never in any case be a realization of the good, and
mandments, but in the law of reason, from which the would have to endorse that murder which realized the
commandments, so far as they are still to remain good. You cannot condemn Sand's deed at all; it
valid, must first await justification for their validity. was moral, because in the service of the good, because
In the law of reason man determines himself out of unselfish ; it was an act of punishment, which the indi-
himself, for " Man " is rational, and out of the vidual inflicted, anexecution inflicted at the risk of
" essence of Man " those laws follow of necessity. the executioner's life. What else had his scheme
Piety and morality part company in this,that the been, after all, but that he wanted to suppress writings
former makes God the lawgiver, the latter Man. by brute force ? Are you not acquainted with the
From a certain standpoint of morality people reason same procedure as a " legal " and sanctioned one ?
about as follows: Either man is led by his sensuality, And what can be objected against it from your prin-
and is, following it, immoral, or he is led by the good, ciple of morality ? "But it was an illegal execu-
which, taken up into the will, is called moral senti- tion." So the immoral thing in it was the illegality,
ment (sentiment and prepossession in favor of the the disobedience to law ? Then you admit that the
good) ; then he shows himself moral. From this good is nothing else thanlaw, morality nothing else
point of view how, e. g., can Sand's act against than loyalty. And to this externality of " loyalty "
Kotzebue be called immoral ? What is commonly your morality must sink, to this righteousness of
understood by unselfish it certainly was, in the same works in the fulfilment of the law, only that the latter
measure as (among other things) St. Crispin's thiev- is at once more tyrannical and more revolting than
66 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 67
the old-time righteousness of works. For in the latter as a favor." Love, devotion, etc., demand with unde-
only the act is needed, but you require the disposition viating definiteness that there be only one will to
too; one must carry in himself the law, the statute; which the others devote themselves, which they serve,
and he who is most legally disposed is the most moral. follow, love. Whether this will is regarded as reason-
Even the last vestige of cheerfulness in Catholic life able or as unreasonable, in both cases one acts morally
must perish in this Protestant legality. Here at last when one follows it, and immorally when one breaks
the domination of the law is for the first time com- away from it. The will that commands the censorship
plete. " Not I live, but the law lives in me." Thus seems to many unreasonable; but he who in a land of
I have really come so far as to be only the " vessel of censorship evades the censoring of his book acts im-
its glory." " Every Prussian carries his gendarme in morally, and he who submits it to the censorship acts
his breast," says a high Prussian officer. morally. If some one let his moral judgment go, and
Why do certain opposition parties fail to flourish ? set up e. g. a secret press, one would have to call him
Solely for the reason that they refuse to forsake the immoral, and imprudent into the bargain if he let
path of morality or legality. Hence the measureless himself be caught; but will such a man lay claim to a
hypocrisy of devotion, love, etc., from whose repulsive- value in the eyes of the " moral " ? Perhaps ! That
ness one may daily get the most thorough nausea at is, if he fancied he was serving a " higher morality."
this rotten and hypocritical relation of a " lawful op- The web of the hypocrisy of to-day hangs on the
position."In the moral relation of love and fidelity a frontiers of two domains, between which our time
divided or opposed will cannot have place; the beauti- swings back and forth, attaching its fine threads of
ful relation is disturbed if the one wills this and the deception and self-deception. No longer vigorous
other the reverse. But now, according to the practice enough to serve morality without doubt or weakening,
hitherto and the old prejudice of the opposition, the not yet reckless enough to live wholly to egoism, it
moral relation is to be preserved above all. What is trembles now toward the one and now toward the
then left to the opposition ? Perhaps the will to have other in the spider-web of hypocrisy, and, crippled by
a liberty, if the beloved one sees fit to deny it ? Not the curse of halfness, catches only miserable, stupid
a bit ! It may not will to have the freedom, it can flies. If one has once dared to make a " free " mo-
only wish for it, " petition " for it, lisp a " Please, tion, immediately one waters it again with assurances
please ! " What would come of it, if the opposition of love, andshams resignation ; if, on the other side,
really willed, willed with the full energy of the will ? they have had the face to reject the free motion with
No, it must renounce will in order to live to love, re- moral appeals to confidence, etc., immediately the
nounce libertyfor love of morality. It may never moral courage also sinks, and they assure one how
" claim as a right " what it is permitted only to " beg they hear the free words with special pleasure, etc. ;
68 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 69
theysham approval. In short, people would like to good could not have this courage, for a revolution,
have the one, but not go without the other; they and an insurrection into the bargain, is always some-
would like to have a free will, but not for their lives thing " immoral," which one can resolve upon only
lack the moral will. Just come in contact with a ser- when one ceases to be " good " and becomes either
vile loyalist, you Liberals. You will sweeten every " bad " orneither of the two. Nero was no viler
word of freedom with a look of the most loyal confi- than his time, in which one could only be one of the
dence, and he will clothe his servilism in the most flat- two, good or bad. The judgment of his time on him
tering phrases of freedom. Then you go apart, and had to be that he was bad, and this in the highest
he, like you, thinks " I know you, fox ! " He scents degree: not a milksop, but an arch-scoundrel. All
the devil in you as much as you do the dark old Lord moral people can pronounce only this judgment on
God in him. him. Rascals such as he was are still living here and
A Nero is a " bad " man only in the eyes of the there to-day (see e. g. the Memoirs of Ritter von
"good"; in mine he is nothing but a possessed man, Lang) in the midst of the moral. It is not convenient
as are the good too. The good see in him an arch- to live among them certainly, as one is not sure of his
villain, and relegate him to hell. Why did nothing life for a moment; but can you say that it is more
hinder him in his arbitrary course ? Why did people convenient to live among the moral ? One is just as
put up with so much ? Do you suppose the tame little sure of his life there, only that one is hanged " in
Romans, who let all their will be bound by such a the way of justice," but least of all is one sure of his
tyrant, were a hair the better ? In old Rome they honor, and the national cockade is gone before you
would have put him to death instantly, would never can say Jack Robinson. The hard fist of morality
have been his slaves. But the contemporary " good " treats the noble nature of egoism altogether without
among the Romans opposed to him only moral de- compassion.
mands, not their will; they sighed that their emperor " But surely one cannot put a rascal and an honest
did not do homage to morality, like them ; they them- man on the same level ! " Now, no human being does
selves remained " moral subjects," till at last one that oftener than you judges of morals; yes, still more
found courage to give up " moral, obedient subjec- than that, you imprison as a criminal an honest man
tion." And then the same " good Romans " who, as who speaks openly against the existing constitution,
" obedient subjects," had borne all the ignominy of against the hallowed institutions, etc., and you en-
having no will, hurrahed over the nefarious, immoral trust portfolios and still more important things to a
act of the rebel. Where then in the " good " was the crafty rascal. So in praxi you have nothing to re-
courage for the revolution, that courage which they proach me with. " But in theory ! " Now there I do
now praised, after another had mustered it up ? The put both on the same level, as two opposite poles,to
70 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 71
wit, both on the level of the moral law. Both have truth. And it is true, it is an immorality. A vir-
meaning only in the " moral " world, just as in the tuous girl may become an old maid; a virtuous man
pre-Christian time a Jew who kept the law and one may pass the time in fighting his natural impulses till
who broke it had meaning and significance only in re- he has perhaps dulled them, he may castrate himself
spect to the Jewish law ; before Jesus Christ, on the for the sake of virtue as St. Origen did for the sake
contrary, the Pharisee was no more than the " sinner of heaven : he thereby honors sacred wedlock, sacred
and publican." So before self-ownership the moral chastity, as inviolable; he ismoral. Unchastity can
Pharisee amounts to as much as the immoral sinner. never become a moral act. However indulgently the
Nero became very inconvenient by his possessedness. moral man may judge and excuse him who committed"
But a self-owning man would not sillily oppose to him it, it remains a transgression, a sin against a moral
the " sacred," and whine if the tyrant does not regard commandment; there clings to it an indelible stain.
the sacred; he would oppose to him his will. How As chastity once belonged to the monastic vow, so it
often the sacredness of the inalienable rights of man does to moral conduct. Chastity is agood.For
has been held up to their foes, and some liberty or the egoist, on the contrary, even chastity is not a good
other shown and demonstrated to be a " sacred right without which he could not get along; he cares noth-
of man " ! Those who do that deserve to be laughed ing at all about it. What now follows from this for
out of courtas they actually are,were it not that the judgment of the moral man ? This : that he
in truth they do, even though unconsciously, take the throws the egoist into the only class of men that he
road that leads to the goal. They have a presenti- knows besides moral men, into that of theimmoral.
ment that, if only the majority is once won for that He cannot do otherwise; he must find the egoist im-
liberty, it will also will the liberty, and will then take moral in everything in which the' egoist disregards
what it will have. The sacredness of the liberty, and morality. If he did not find him so, then he would
all possible proofs of this sacredness, will never pro- already have become an apostate from morality with-
cure it; lamenting and petitioning only shows beggars. out confessing it to himself, he would already no
The moral man is necessarily narrow in that he longer be a truly moral man. One should not let
knows no other enemy than the " immoral " man. himself be led astray by such phenomena, which at the
" He who is not moral is immoral ! " and accordingly present day are certainly no longer to be classed as
reprobate, despicable, etc. Therefore the moral man rare, but should reflect that he who yields any point of
can never comprehend the egoist. Is not unwedded morality can as little be counted among the truly
cohabitation an immorality ? The moral man may moral as Lessing was a pious Christian when, in the
turn as he pleases, he will have to stand by this ver- well-known parable, he compared the Christian re-
dict; Emilia Galotti gave up her life for this moral ligion, as well as the Mohammedan and Jewish, to a
72 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 73
" counterfeit ring." Often people are already further so-called " civic or political morality," and must ap-
than they venture to confess to themselves. For pear to the citizen like an " insensate and unbridled
Socrates, because in culture he stood on the level of liberty." But at bottom it has only the advantage of
morality, it would have been an immorality if he had the " purity of the principle," which, freed from its de-
been willing to follow Crito's seductive incitement and filement with the religious, has now reached universal
escape from the dungeon ; to remain was the only power in its clarified definiteness as " humanity."
moral thing. But it was solely because Socrates was Therefore one should not wonder that the name
a moral man. The "unprincipled, sacrilegious" " morality " is retained along with others, like free-
men of the Revolution, on the contrary, had sworn dom, benevolence, self-consciousness, etc., and is only
fidelity to Louis XVI, and decreed his deposition, yes, garnished now and then with the addition, a " free "
his death; but the act was an immoral one, at which morality,just as, though the civic State is abused,
moral persons will be horrified to all eternity. yet the State is to arise again as a " free State," or, if
Yet all this applies, more or less, only to " civic not even so, yet as a " free society."
morality," on which the freer look down with con- Because this morality completed into humanity has
tempt. For it (like civism, its native ground, in en- fully settled its accounts with the religion out of which
eral) is still too little removed and free from the reli- it historically came forth, nothing hinders it from be-
gious heaven not to transplant the latter's laws with- coming a religion on its own account. For a distinc-
out criticism or further consideration to its domain in- tion prevails between religion and morality only so
stead of producing independent doctrines of its own. long as our dealings with the world of men are regu-
Morality cuts a quite different figure when it arrives lated and hallowed by our relation to a superhuman
at the consciousness of its dignity, and raises its prin- being, or so long as our doing is a doing " for God's
ciple, the essence of man, or " Man," to be the only sake." If, on the other hand, it comes to the point
regulative power. Those who have worked their way that " man is to man the supreme being," then that
through to such a decided consciousness break entirely distinction vanishes, and morality, being removed from
with religion, whose God no longer finds any place its subordinate position, is completed intoreligion.
alongside their " Man," and, as they (see below) For then the higher being who had hitherto been sub-
themselves scuttle the ship of State, so too they crum- ordinated to the highest, Man, has ascended to abso-
ble away that " morality " which flourishes only in lute height, and we are related to him as one is related
the State, and logically have no right to use even its to the highest being, i. e. religiously. Morality and
name any further. For what this " critical" party piety are now as synonymous as in the beginning of
calls morality is very positively distinguished from the Christianity, and it is only because the supreme being
has come to be a different one that a holy walk is no
74 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 75
longer called a " holy " one, but a " human " one. If Altogether Feuerbach accomplishes only a trans-
morality has conquered, then a completechange of position of subject and predicate, a giving of prefer-
masters has taken place. ence to the latter. But, since he himself says, " Love
After the annihilation of faith Feuerbach thinks to is not (and has never been considered by men) sacred
put in to the supposedly safe harbor of love. " The through being a predicate of God, but it is a predicate
first and highest law must be the love of man to man. of God because it is divine in and of itself," he might
Homo homini Deus estthis is the supreme practical judge that the fight against the predicates themselves,
maxim, this the turning point of the world's history."* against love and all sanctities, must be commenced.
But, properly speaking, only the god is changed, How could he hope to turn men away from God when
the deus ; love has remained : there love to the super- he left them the divine ? And if, as Feuerbach says,
human God, here love to the human God, to homo as God himself has never been the main thing to them,
Deus. Therefore man is to mesacred. And every- but only his predicates, then he might have gone on
thing " truly human " is to mesacred! " Marriage leaving them the tinsel longer yet, since the doll, the
is sacred of itself. And so it is with all moral rela- real kernel, was left at any rate. He recognizes, too,
tions. Friendship is and must be sacred for you, and that with him it is " only a matter of annihilating an
property, and marriage, and the good of every man, illusion " ; * he thinks, however, that the effect of the
but sacred in and of itself." Haven't we the priest illusion on men is " downright ruinous, since even
again there ? Who is his God ? Man with a great love, in itself the truest, most inward sentiment, be-
M ! What is the divine ? The human ! Then the comes an obscure, illusory one through religiousness,
predicate has indeed only been changed into the sub- since religious love loves man only for God's sake,
ject, and, instead of the sentence " God is love," they therefore loves man only apparently, but in truth God
say " love is divine "; instead of " God has become only." Is this different with moral love ? Does it
man," " Man has become God," etc. It is nothing love the man, this man for this man's sake, or for mo-
more or less than a newreligion. " All moral rela- rality's sake, for Man's sake, and sofor homo homini
tions are ethical, are cultivated with a moral mind, Deusfor God's sake ?
only where of themselves (without religious consecra- The wheels in the head have a number of other
tion by the priest's blessing) they are counted reli- formal aspects, some of which it may be useful to in-
gious." Feuerbach's proposition, "Theology is an- dicate here.
thropology," means only " religion must be ethics, Thus self-renunciation is common to the holy with
ethics alone is religion." * P. 408 [Literally " the man "]
*"Essence of Christianity," second edition, p 402 P. 403.
76 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 77
the unholy, to the pure and the impure. The impure the so-called " supreme good " ; and at last both com-
man renounces all " better feelings," all shame, even plete each other again too, as the " materially-
natural timidity, and follows only the appetite that minded " man sacrifices everything to an ideal phan-
rules him. The pure man renounces his natural rela- tasm, his vanity, and the " spiritually-minded " man
tion to the world (" renounces the world ") and follows to a material gratification, the life of enjoyment.
only the " desire " which rules him. Driven by the Those who exhort men to " unselfishness "* think
thirst for money, the avaricious man renounces all ad- they are saying an uncommon deal. What do they
monitions of conscience, all feeling of honor, all understand by it ? Probably something like what
gentleness and all compassion; he puts all considera- they understand by " self-renunciation." But who is
tions out of sight ; the appetite drags him along. The this self that is to be renounced and to have no bene-
holy man behaves similarly. He makes himself the fit ? It seems that you yourself are supposed to be it.
" laughing-stock of the world," is hard-hearted and And for whose benefit is unselfish self-renunciation
" strictly just " ; for the desire drags him along. As recommended to you ? Again for your benefit and
the unholy man renounces himself before Mammon, so behoof, only that through unselfishness you are pro-
the holy man renounces himself before God and the curing your "true benefit."
divine laws. We are now living in a time when the You are to benefit yourself, and yet you are not to
shamelessness of the holy is every day more and more seek your benefit.
felt and uncovered, whereby it is at the same time People regard as unselfish the benefactor of men, a
compelled to unveil itself, and lay itself bare, more Franke who founded the orphan asylum, an O'Con-
and more every day. Have not the shamelessness and nell who works tirelessly for his Irish people; but also
stupidity of the reasons with which men antagonize the fanatic who, like St. Boniface, hazards his life for
the " progress of the age " long surpassed all measure the conversion of the heathen, or, like Robespierre,
and all expectation ? But it must be so. The self- sacrifices everything to virtue,like Koerner, dies for
renouncers must, as holy men, take the same course God, king, and fatherland. Hence, among others,
that they do as unholy men ; as the latter little by O'Connell's opponents try to trump up against him
little sink to the fullest measure of self-renouncing vul- some selfishness or mercenariness, for which the O'Con-
garity and lowness, so the former must ascend to the nell fund seemed to give them a foundation; for, if
most dishonorable exaltation. The mammon of the they were successful in casting suspicion on his " un-
earth and the God of heaven both demand exactly the selfishness," they would easily separate him from his
same degree ofself-renunciation. The low man, like adherents.
the exalted one, reaches out for a " good,"the
* [Uneigennuetzigkeit, literally " un-self-benefitingness."]
former for the material good, the latter for the ideal,
78 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 79
Yet what could they show further than that O'Con- most irreconcilable enemy; I remain its judge, because
nell was working for another end than the ostensible I am its owner.
one ? But, whether he may aim at making money or Unselfishness grows rank as far as possessedness
at liberating the people, it still remains certain, in one reaches, as much on possessions of the devil as on those
case as in the other, that he is striving for an end, and of a good spirit: there vice, folly, etc.; here humility,
that his end; selfishness here as there, only that his devotion, etc.
national self-interest would be beneficial to others too, Where could one look without meeting victims of
and so would be for the common interest. self-renunciation ? There sits a girl opposite me, who
Now, do you suppose unselfishness is unreal and perhaps has been making bloody sacrifices to her soul
nowhere extant ? On the contrary, nothing is more for ten years already. Over the buxom form droops a
ordinary ! One may even call it an article of fashion deathly-tired head, and pale cheeks betray the slow
in the civilized world, which is considered so indispen- bleeding away of her youth. Poor child, how often
sable that, if it costs too much in solid material, peo- the passions may have beaten at your heart, and the
ple at least adorn themselves with its tinsel counterfeit rich powers of youth have demanded their right !
and feign it. Where does unselfishness begin ? When your head rolled in the soft pillow, how
Right where an end ceases to be our end and our awakening nature quivered through your limbs, the
property, which we, as owners, can dispose of at pleas- blood swelled your veins, and fiery fancies poured the
ure; where it becomes a fixed end or afixed idea; gleam of voluptuousness into your eyes ! Then ap-
where it begins to inspire, enthuse, fanaticize us; in peared the ghost of the soul and its eternal bliss.
short, where it passes into our stubbornness and be- You were terrified, your hands folded themselves, your
comes ourmaster. One is not unselfish so long as tormented eye turned its look upward, youprayed.
he retains the end in his power; one becomes so only The storms of nature were hushed, a calm glided over
at that " Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise," the the ocean of your appetites. Slowly the weary eyelids
fundamental maxim of all the possessed; one becomes sank over the life extinguished under them, the ten-
so in the case of a sacred end, through the correspond- sion crept out unperceived from the rounded limbs,
ing sacred zeal. the boisterous waves dried up in the heart, the folded
I am not unselfish so long as the end remains my hands themselves rested a powerless weight on the un-
own, and I, instead of giving myself up to be the resisting bosom, one last faint " Oh dear ! " moaned it-
blind means of its fulfilment, leave it always an open self away, andthe soul was at rest. You fell asleep,
question. My zeal need not on that account be to awake in the morning to a new combat and a new
slacker than the most fanatical, but at the same time I prayer. Now the habit of renunciation cools the
remain toward it frostily cold, unbelieving, and its heat of your desire, and the roses of your youth are
80 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 81
growing pale in thechlorosis of your heavenliness. tions. As we there had to say " We are indeed to
The soul is saved, the body may perish ! O Lais, O have appetites, but the appetites are not to have us,"
Ninon, how well you did to scorn this pale virtue ! so we should now say " We are indeed to have mind,
One free grisette against a thousand virgins grown but mind is not to have us." If the latter seems lack-
gray in virtue ! ing in sense, think e. g. of the fact that with so many
The fixed idea may also be perceived as " maxim," a man a thought becomes a " maxim," whereby he
" principle," " standpoint," and the like. Archi- himself is made prisoner to it, so that it is not he that
medes, to move the earth, asked for a standpoint out- has the maxim, but rather it that has him. And with
side it. Men sought continually for this standpoint, the maxim he has a " permanent standpoint " again.
and every one seized upon it as well as he was able. The doctrines of the catechism become our principles
This foreign standpoint is the world of mind, of ideas, before we find it out, and no longer brook rejection.
thoughts, concepts, essences, etc.; it is heaven. Their thought, ormind, has the sole power, and no
Heaven is the " standpoint" from which the earth is protest of the " flesh " is further listened to. Never-
moved, earthly doings surveyed anddespised. To theless it is only through the " flesh " that I can break
assure to themselves heaven, to occupy the heavenly the tyranny of mind; for it is only when a man hears
standpoint firmly and for ever,how painfully and his flesh along with the rest of him that he hears him-
tirelessly humanity struggled for this ! self wholly, and it is only when he wholly hears him-
Christianity has aimed to deliver us from a life de- self that he is a hearing or rational* being. The
termined by nature, from the appetites as actuating Christian does not hear the agony of his enthralled
us, and so has meant that man should not let himself nature, but lives in "humility"; therefore does not
be determined by his appetites. This does not in- grumble at the wrong which befalls his person ; he
volve the idea that he was not to have appetites, but thinks himself satisfied with the," freedom of the
that the appetites were not to have him, that they spirit." But, if the flesh once takes the floor, and its
were not to become fixed, uncontrollable, indissoluble. tone is " passionate," " indecorous," " not well-dis-
Now, could not what Christianity (religion) contrived posed," " spiteful," etc. (as it cannot be otherwise),
against the appetites be applied by us to its own pre- then he thinks he hears voices of devils, voices against
cept that mind (thought, conceptions, ideas, faith, the spirit (for decorum, passionlessness, kindly disposi-
etc.) must determine us; could we not ask that neither tion, and the like, isspirit), and is justly zealous
should mind, or the conception, the idea, be allowed against them. He could not be a Christian if he were
to determine us, to become fixed and inviolable or willing to endure them. He listens only to morality,
" sacred " ? Then it would end in the dissolution of * [vernuenftig, derived from vernehmen, to hear.]
mind, the dissolution of all thoughts, of all concep-
82 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 83
and slaps immorality in the mouth; he listens only to we have it as something " imparted "; for there is a
legality, and gags the lawless word. The spirit of great difference between the feelings and thoughts
morality and legality holds him a prisoner; a rigid, which are aroused in me by other things and those
unbending master. They call that the " mastery of which are given to me. God, immortality, freedom,
the spirit,"it is at the same time the standpoint of humanity, etc., are drilled into us from childhood as
the spirit. thoughts and feelings which move our inner being
And now whom do the ordinary liberal gentlemen more or less strongly, either ruling us without our
mean to make free ? Whose freedom is it that they knowing it, or sometimes in richer natures manifesting
cry out and thirst for ? The spirit's ! That of the themselves in systems and works of art; but are al-
spirit of morality, legality, piety, the fear of God, etc. ways not aroused, but' imparted, feelings, because we
That is what the anti-liberal gentlemen also want, and must believe in them and cling to them. That an
the whole contention between the two turns on a mat- Absolute existed, and that it must be taken in, felt,
ter of advantage,whether the latter are to be the and thought by us, was settled as a faith in the minds
only speakers, or the former are to receive a " share in of those who spent all the strength of their mind on
the enjoyment of the same advantage." The spirit re- recognizing it and setting it forth. The feeling for
mains the absolute lord for both, and their only quar- the Absolute exists there as an imparted one, and
rel is over who shall occupy the hierarchical throne thenceforth results only in the most manifold revela-
that pertains to the " Viceregent of the Lord." The tions of its own self. So in Klopstock the religious
best of it is that one can calmly look upon the stir feeling was an imparted one, which in the " Messiad"
with the certainty that the wild beasts of history will simply found artistic expression. If, on the other
tear each other to pieces just like those of nature; hand, the religion with which he was confronted had
their putrefying corpses fertilize the ground forour been for him only an incitation to feeling and
crops. thought, and if he had known how to take an attitude
We shall come back later to many another wheel in completely his own toward it, then there would have
the head,for instance, those of vocation, truthful- resulted, instead of religious inspiration, a dissolution
ness, love, etc. and consumption of the religion itself. Instead of
When one's own is contrasted with what is imparted that, he only continued in mature years his childish
to him, there is no use in objecting that we cannot feelings received in childhood, and squandered the
have anything isolated, but receive everything as a powers of his manhood in decking out his childish
part of the universal order, and therefore through the trifles.
impression of what is around us, and that consequently The difference is, then, whether feelings are im-
parted to me or only aroused. Those which are
84 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 85
aroused are my own, egoistic, because they are not as That is the meaning of the care of souls,that my
feelings drilled into me, dictated to me, and pressed soul or my mind be tuned as others think right, not as
upon me; but those which are imparted to me I re- I myself would like it. How much trouble does it not
ceive, with open arms,I cherish them in me as a cost one, finally to secure to oneself a feeling of one's
heritage, cultivate them, and am possessed by them. own at the mention of at least this or that name, and
Who is there that has never, more or less consciously, to laugh in the face of many who expect from us a
noticed that our whole education is calculated to pro- holy face and a composed expression at their speeches.
duce feelings in us, i. e. impart them to us, instead of What is imparted is alien to us, is not our own, and
leaving their production to ourselves however they therefore is " sacred," and it is hard work to lay aside
may turn out ? If we hear the name of God, we are the " sacred dread of it."
to feel veneration ; if we hear that of the prince's ma- To-day one again hears " seriousness " praised,
jesty, it is to be received with reverence, deference, " seriousness in the presence of highly important sub-
submission ; if we hear that of morality, we are to jects and discussions," " German seriousness," etc.
think that we hear something inviolable ; if we hear of This sort of seriousness proclaims clearly how old and
the Evil One or evil ones, we are to shudder; etc. grave lunacy and possession have already become.
The intention is directed to these feelings, and he who For there is nothing more serious than a lunatic when
e. g. should hear with pleasure the deeds of the he comes to the central point of his lunacy; then his
" bad " would have to be " taught what's what" with great earnestness incapacitates him for taking a joke.
the rod of discipline. Thus stuffed with imparted feel- (See madhouses.)
ings, we appear before the bar of majority and are
" pronounced of age." Our equipment consists of 3.THE HIERARCHY
" elevating feelings, lofty thoughts, inspiring maxims,
eternal principles," etc. The young are of age when The historical reflections on our Mongolism which I
they twitter like the old; they are driven through propose to insert episodically at this place are not
school to learn the old song, and, when they have this given with the claim of thoroughness, or even of ap-
by heart, they are declared of age. proved soundness, but solely because it seems to me
We must not feel at every thing and every name that they may contribute toward making the rest
that comes before us what we could and would like to ' clear.
feel thereat; e. g., at the name of God we must think The history of the world, whose shaping properly
of nothing laughable, feel nothing disrespectful, it be- belongs altogether to the Caucasian race, seems till
ing prescribed and imparted to us what and how we now to have run through two Caucasian ages, in the
are to feel and think at mention of that name. first of which we had to work out and work off our
86 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 87
innate negroidity ; this was followed in the second by object, remains. All our assiduity was only the
Mongoloidity (Chineseness), which must likewise be activity of ants and the hopping of fleas, jugglers'
terribly made an end of. Negroidity represents tricks on the immovable tight-rope of the objective,
antiquity, the time of dependence on things (on cocks' corve-service under the lordship of the unchangeable
eating, birds' flight, on sneezing, on thunder and or " eternal." The Chinese are doubtless the most
lightning, on the rustling of sacred trees, etc.) ; Mon- positive nation, because totally buried in precepts; but
goloidity the time of dependence on thoughts, the neither has the Christian age come out from the posi-
Christian time. Reserved for the future are the words tive, i. e. from " limited freedom," freedom " within
" I am owner of the world of things, and I am owner certain limits." In the most advanced stage of civili-
of the world of mind." zation this activity earns the name of scientific activ-
In the negroid age fall the campaigns of Sesostris ity, of working on a motionless presupposition, a
and the importance of Egypt and of northern Africa hypothesis that is not to be upset.
in general. To the Mongoloid age belong the in- In its first and most unintelligible form morality
vasions of the Huns and Mongols, up to the Russians. shows itself as habit. To act according to the habit
The value of me cannot possibly be rated high so and usage (morem) of one's countryis to be moral
long as the hard diamond of the not-me bears so there. Therefore pure moral action, clear, unadulter-
enormous a price as was the case both with God and ated morality, is most straightforwardly practised in
with the world. The not-me is still too stony and China; they keep to the old habit and usage, and hate
indomitable to be consumed and absorbed by me; each innovation as a crime worthy of death. For
rather, men only creep about with extraordinary bustle innovation is the deadly enemy of habit, of the old, of
on this immovable entity, i. e. on this substance, like permanence. In fact, too, it admits of no doubt that
parasitic animals on a body from whose juices they through habit man secures himself against the ob-
draw nourishment, yet without consuming it. It is trusiveness of things, of the world, and founds a world
the bustle of vermin, the assiduity of Mongolians. of his own in which alone he is and feels at home, i. e.
Among the Chinese, we know, everything remains as builds himself a heaven. Why, heaven has no other
it used to be, and nothing " essential " or " substan- meaning than that it is man's proper home, in which
tial" suffers a change; all the more actively do they nothing alien regulates and rules him any longer, no
work away at that which remains, which bears the influence of the earthly any longer makes him himself
name of the " old," " ancestors," etc. alien ; in short, in which the dross of the earthly is
Accordingly, in our Mongolian age all change has thrown off, and the combat against the world has
been only reformatory or ameliorative, not destructive found an end,in which, therefore, nothing is any
or consuming and annihilating. The substance, the longer denied him. Heaven is the end of abnegation,
88 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 89
it is free enjoyment. There man no longer denies When will the " immortality of the soul," which in
himself anything, because nothing is any longer alien these latter days thought it was giving itself still more
and hostile to him. But now habit is a " second security if it presented itself as " immortality of
nature," which detaches and frees man from his first mind," at last change to the mortality of mind?
and original natural condition, in securing him It was when, in the industrious struggle of the
against every casualty of it. The fully elaborated Mongolian race, men had built a heaven, that those of
habit of the Chinese has provided for all emergencies, the Caucasian race, since in their Mongolian com-
and everything is " looked out for " ; whatever may plexion they have to do with heaven, took upon them-
come, the Chinaman always knows how he has to be- selves the opposite task, the task of storming that
have, and does not need to decide first according to heaven of custom, heaven-storming* activity. To dig
the circumstances; no unforeseen case throws him under all human ordinance, in order to set up a new
down from the heaven of his rest. The morally habit- andbetter one on the cleared site, to wreck all
uated and inured Chinaman is not surprised and taken customs in order to put new andbetter customs in
off his guard; he behaves with equanimity (i. e. with their place, etc.,-their act is limited to this. But is
equal spirit or temper) toward everything, because his it thus already purely and really what it aspires to be,
temper, protected by the precaution of his traditional and does it reach its final aim ? No, in this creation
usage, does not lose its balance. Hence, on the ladder of a " better " it is tainted with Mongolism. It storms
of culture or civilization humanity mounts the first heaven only to make a heaven again, it overthrows an
round through habit; and, as it conceives that, in old power only to legitimate a new power, it only
climbing to culture, it is at the same time climbing to improves. Nevertheless the point aimed at, often as it
heaven, the realm of culture or second nature, it really may vanish from the eyes at every new attempt, is the
mounts the first round of theladder to heaven. real, complete downfall of heaven, customs, etc.,in
If Mongoldom has settled the existence of spiritual short, of man secured only against the world, of the
beings,if it has created a world of spirits, a heaven, isolation or inwardness of man. Through the heaven
the Caucasians have wrestled for thousands of years of culture man seeks to isolate himself from the world,
with these spiritual beings, to get to the bottom of to break its hostile power. But this isolation of
them. What were they doing, then, but building on heaven must likewise be broken, and the true end of
Mongolian ground ? They have not built on sand, heaven-storming is thedownfall of heaven, the anni-
but in the air; they have wrestled with Mongolism, hilation of heaven. Improving and reforming is the
stormed the Mongolian heaven, Tien. When will Mongolism of the Caucasian, because thereby he is al-
they at last annihilate this heaven ? When will they *[A German idiom for destructive radicalism.]
at last become really Caucasians, and find themselves?
90 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 91
ways setting up again what already existed,to wit, a any longer, if he had not had therein his indomitable,
precept, a generality, a heaven. He harbors the most continual enemy, the relation to morals would cease,
irreconcilable enmity to heaven, and yet builds new and consequently morality would cease. That his
heavens daily; piling heaven on heaven, he only spontaneity is still a moral spontaneity, therefore, is
crushes one by another; the Jews' heaven destroys the just the Mongoloidity of it,is a sign that in it he has
Greeks', the Christians' the Jews', the Protestants' the not arrived at himself. " Moral spontaneity " cor-
Catholics', etc.If the heaven-storming men of Cau- responds entirely with " religious and orthodox phil-
casian blood throw off their Mongolian skin, they will osophy," " constitutional monarchy," " the Christian
bury the emotional man under the ruins of the mon- State," " freedom within certain limits," " the limited
strous world of emotion, the isolated man under his freedom of the press," or, in a figure, to the hero fet-
isolated world, the paradisiacal man under his heaven. tered to a sick-bed.
And heaven is the realm of spirits, the realm of free- Man has not really vanquished Shamanism and its
dom of the spirit. spooks till he possesses the strength to lay aside not
The realm of heaven, the realm of spirits and only the belief in ghosts or in spirits, but also the be-
ghosts, has found its right standing in the speculative lief in the spirit.
philosophy. Here it was stated as the realm of He who believes in a spook no more assumes the
thoughts, concepts, and ideas; heaven is peopled with " introduction of a higher world " than he who
thoughts and ideas, and this " realm of spirits " is believes in the spirit, and both seek behind the sensual
then the true reality. world a supersensual one ; in short, they produce and
To want to win freedom for the spirit is Mon- believe another world, and this other world, the pro-
golism; freedom of the spirit is Mongolian freedom, duct of their mind, is a spiritual world; for their
freedom of feeling, moral freedom, etc. senses grasp and know nothing of another, a non-
We may find the word " morality " taken as syn- sensual world, only their spirit lives in it. Going on
onymous with spontaneity, self-determination. But from this Mongolian belief in the existence of spiritual
that is not involved in it; rather has the Caucasian being's to the point that the proper being of man too
shown himself spontaneous only in spite of his Mon- is his spirit, and that all care must be directed to this
golian morality. The Mongolian heaven, or morals,* alone, to the " welfare of his soul," is not hard. In-
remained the strong castle, and only by storming in- fluence on the spirit, so-called "moral influence," is
cessantly at this castle did the Caucasian show him- hereby assured.
self moral; if he had not had to do with morals at all Hence it is manifest that Mongolism represents
* [The same word that has been translated " custom " several times in utter absence of any rights of the sensuous, represents
this section.] non-sensuousness and unnature, and that sin and the
92 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 93
consciousness of sin was our Mongolian torment that edges the might of something aliennot merely feels
lasted thousands of years. it, then, but expressly acknowledges it, i. e. admits it,
But who, then, will dissolve the spirit into its noth- yields, surrenders, lets himself be tied (devotion,
ing? He who by means of the spirit set forth nature humility, servility, submission, etc.) Here walks the
as the null, finite, transitory, he alone can bring down whole ghostly troop of the " Christian virtues."
the spirit too to like nullity. I can ; each one among Everything toward which you cherish any respect
you can, who does his will as an absolute I ; in a or reverence deserves the name of sacred; you your-
word, the egoist can. selves, too, say that you would feel a " sacred dread "
Before the sacred, people lose all sense of power and of laying hands on it. And you give this tinge even
all confidence ; they occupy a powerless and humble to the unholy (gallows, crime, etc.) You have a hor-
attitude toward it. And yet no thing is sacred of it- ror of touching it. There lies in it something un-
self, but by my declaring it sacred, by my declaration, canny, i. e. unfamiliar or not your own.
my judgment, my bending the knee; in short, by my " If something or other did not rank as sacred in a
conscience. man's mind, why, then all bars would be let down to
Sacred is everything which for the egoist is to be self-will, to unlimited subjectivity ! " Fear makes the
unapproachable, not to be touched, outside his power, beginning, and one can make himself fearful to the
i. e. above Mm ; sacred, in a word, is every matter coarsest man; already, therefore, a barrier against his
of conscience, for " this is a matter of conscience to insolence. But in fear there always remains the at-
me " means simply " I hold this sacred." tempt to liberate oneself from what is feared, by guile,
For little children, just as for animals, nothing deception, tricks, etc. In reverence,* on the contrary,
sacred exists, because, in order to make room for this it is quite otherwise. Here something is not only
conception, one must already have progressed so far in feared, but also honored : what is feared has become
understanding that he can make distinctions like an inward power which I can no longer get clear of; I
" good and bad," " warranted and unwarranted," honor it, am captivated by it and devoted to it, be-
etc. ; only at such a level of reflection or intelligence long to it; by the honor which I pay it I am com-
the proper standpoint of religioncan unnatural pletely in its power, and do not even attempt libera-
(i. e. brought into existence by thinking) reverence, tion any longer. Now I am attached to it with all
" sacred dread," step into the place of natural fear. the strength of faith; I believe. I and what I fear
To this sacred dread belongs holding something out- are one; " not I live, but the respected lives in me ! "
side oneself for mightier, greater, better warranted, Because the spirit, the infinite, does not allow of com-
better, etc.; i. e. the attitude in which one acknowl- *[Ehrfurcht] [gefuerchtet] [geehrt]
94 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 95
ing to any end, therefore it is stationary; it fears church, God, morality, order, etc., are such thoughts
dying, it cannot let go its dear Jesus, the greatness of or spirits, that exist only for the mind. A merely liv-
finiteness is no longer recognized by its blinded eye; ing being, an animal, cares as little for them as a
the object of fear, now raised to veneration, may no child. But the uncultured are really nothing but
longer be handled; reverence is made eternal, the re- children, and he who attends only to the necessities of
spected is deified. The man is now no longer em- his life is indifferent to those spirits; but, because he
ployed in creating, but in learning (knowing, investi- is also weak before them, he succumbs to their power,
gating, etc.), i. e. occupied with a fixed object, losing and is ruled bythoughts. This is the meaning of
himself in its depths, without return to himself. The hierarchy.
relation to this object is that of knowing, fathoming, Hierarchy is dominion of thoughts, dominion of
basing, etc., not that of dissolution (abrogation, etc.). mind !
" Man is to be religious," that is settled; therefore We are hierarchic to this day, kept down by those
people busy themselves only with the question how who are supported by thoughts. Thoughts are the
this is to be attained, what is the right meaning of sacred.
religiousness, etc. Quite otherwise when one makes But the two are always clashing, now one and now
the axiom itself doubtful and calls it in question, even the other giving the offence; and this clash occurs, not
though it should go to smash. Morality too is such a only in the collision of two men, but in one and the
sacred conception; one must be moral, and must look same man. For no cultured man is so cultured as not
only for the right " how." the right way to be so. to find enjoyment in things too, and so be uncultured;
One dares not go at morality itself with the question and no uncultured man is totally without thoughts.
whether it is not itself an illusion ; it remains exalted In Hegel it comes to light at last what a longing for
above all doubt, unchangeable. And so we go on things even the most cultured man has, and what a
with the sacred, grade after grade, from the " holy " horror of every " hollow theory " he harbors. With
to the " holy of holies." him reality, the world of things, is altogether to cor-
Men are sometimes divided into two classes, cultured respond to the thought, and no concept to be without
and uncultured. The former, so far as they were reality. This caused Hegel's system to be known as
worthy of their name, occupied themselves with the most objective, as if in it thought and thing cele-
thoughts, with mind, and (because in the time since brated their union. But this was simply the extremest
Christ, of which the very principle is thought, they case of violence on the part of thought, its highest
were the ruling ones) demanded a servile respect for pitch of despotism and sole dominion, the triumph of
the thoughts recognized by them. State, emperor, mind, and with it the triumph of philosophy. Philo-
sophy cannot hereafter achieve anything higher, for its
96 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 97
highest is the omnipotence of mind, the almightiness of fit, has turned spirit into money.That is, to be sure,
mind.* after it had taken away from those ideas their point,
Spiritual men have taken into their head something their consistency, their destructive seriousness, fanatical
that is to be realized. They have concepts of love, against all egoism." These people, then, are not self-
goodness, and the like, which they would like to see sacrificing, not enthusiastic, not idealistic, not consis-
realized ; therefore they want to set up a kingdom of tent, not zealots; they are egoists in the usual sense,
love on earth, in which no one any longer acts from selfish people, looking out for their advantage, sober,
selfishness, but each one " from love." Love is to calculating, etc.
rule. What they have taken into their head, what Who, then, is " self-sacrificing " ?* In the full
shall we call it butfixed idea ? Why, " their head sense, surely, he who ventures everything else for one
is haunted." The most oppressive spook is Man. thing, one object, one will, one passion, etc. Is not
Think of the proverb, " The road to ruin is paved the lover self-sacrificing who forsakes father and
with good intentions." The intention to realize mother, endures all dangers and privations, to reach
humanity altogether in oneself, to become altogether his goal ? Or the ambitious man, who offers up all
man, is of such ruinous kind ; here belong the inten- his desires, wishes, and satisfactions to the single
tions to become good, noble, loving, etc. passion, or the avaricious man who denies himself
In the sixth part of the " Denkwuerdigkeiten," p. 7, everything to gather treasures, or the pleasure-seeker,
Bruno Bauer says: "That middle class, which was to etc.? He is ruled by a passion to which he brings
receive such a terrible importance for modern history, the rest as sacrifices.
is capable of no self-sacrificing action, no enthusiasm And are these self-sacrificing people perchance not
for an idea, no exaltation ; it devotes itself to nothing selfish, not egoists ? As they have only one ruling
but the interests of its mediocrity; i. e. it remains al- passion, so they provide for only one satisfaction, but
ways limited to itself, and conquers at last only for this the more strenuously; they are wholly ab-
through its bulk, with which it has succeeded in tiring sorbed in it. Their entire activity is egoistic, but
out the efforts of passion, enthusiasm, consistency, it is a one-sided, unopened, narrow egoism ; it is
through its surface, into which it absorbs a part of the possessedness.
new ideas." And (p. 6) " It has turned the revolu- " Why, those are petty passions, by which, on the
tionary ideas, for which not it, but unselfish or impas- contrary, man must not let himself be enthralled.
sioned men sacrificed themselves, solely to its own pro- Man must make sacrifices for a great idea, a great
* Rousseau, the Philanthropists, and others were hostile to culture and cause !" A " great idea," a " good cause," is, it may
intelligence, but they overlooked the fact that this is present inall men of * [Literally, " sacrificing "; the German word has not the prefix " self."]
the Christian type, and assailed only learned and refined culture.
98 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 99
be, the honor of God, for which innumerable people is clericalism. E. g., Robespierre, St. Just, etc., were
have met death; Christianity, which has found its priests through and through, inspired by the idea, en-
willing martyrs; the Holy Catholic Church, which thusiasts, consistent instruments of this idea, idealistic
has greedily demanded sacrifices of heretics; liberty men. So St. Just exclaims in a speech, " There is
and equality, which were waited on by bloody something terrible in the sacred love of country ;
guillotines. it is so exclusive that it sacrifices everything to the
He who lives for a great idea, a good cause, a doc- public interest without mercy, without fear, without
trine, a system, a lofty calling, may not let any human consideration. It hurls Manlius down the
worldly lusts, any self-seeking interest, spring up in precipice; it sacrifices its private inclinations; it leads
him. Here we have the concept of clericalism, or, as Regulus to Carthage, throws a Roman into the chasm,
it may also be called in its pedagogic activity, school- and sets Marat, as a victim of his devotion, in the
masterliness; for the idealists play the schoolmaster Pantheon."
over us. The clergyman is especially called to live to Now, over against these representatives of ideal or
the idea and to work for the idea, the truly good sacred interests stands a world of innumerable " per-
cause. Therefore the people feel how little it befits sonal " profane interests. No idea, no system, no
him to show worldly haughtiness, to desire good liv- sacred cause is so great as never to be outrivaled and
ing, to join in such pleasures as dancing and gaming, modified by these personal interests. Even if they are
in short, to have any other than a " sacred inter- silent momentarily, and in times of rage and fanati-
est:" Hence too, doubtless, is derived the scanty cism, yet they soon come uppermost again through
salary of teachers, who are to feel themselves repaid by " the sound sense of the people." Those ideas do not
the sacredness of their calling alone, and to " re- completely conquer till they are no longer hostile to
nounce " other enjoyments. personal interests, i. e. till they satisfy egoism.
Even a directory of the sacred ideas, one or more of The man who is just now crying herrings in front
which man is to look upon as his calling, is not lack- of my window has a personal interest in good sales,
ing. Family, fatherland, science, etc., may find in me and, if his wife or anybody else wishes him the like,
a servant faithful to his calling. this remains a personal interest all the same. If, on
Here we come upon the old, old craze of the world, the other hand, a thief deprived him of his basket,
which has not yet learned to do without clericalism, then there would at once arise an interest of many, of
that to live and work for an idea is man's calling, the whole city, of the whole country, or, in a word, of
and according to the faithfulness of its fulfilment his all who abhor theft; an interest in which the herring-
human worth is measured. seller's person would become indifferent, and in its
This is the dominion of the idea ; in other words, it place the category of the " robbed man " would come
100 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 101
into the foreground. But even here all might yet re- nothing but a love of Man, the unreal concept, the
solve itself into a personal interest, each of the par- spooks. It is not ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? , men, but ? ? ?
takers reflecting that he must concur in the punish- ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? , Man, that the philanthropist carries in his
ment of the thief because unpunished stealing might heart. To be sure, he cares for each individual, but
otherwise become general and cause him too to lose only because he wants to see his beloved ideal realized
his own. Such a calculation, however, can hardly be everywhere.
assumed on the part of many, and we shall rather So there is nothing said here of care for me, you,
hear the cry that the thief is a " criminal." Here we us; that would be personal interest, and belongs under
have before us a judgment, the thief's action receiving the head of " worldly love." Philanthropism is a
its expression in the concept " crime." Now the heavenly, spiritual, apriestly love. Man must be
matter stands thus : even if a crime did not cause the restored in us, even if thereby we poor devils should
slightest damage either to me or to any of those in come to grief. It is the same priestly principle as
whom I take an interest, I should nevertheless de- that famous fiat justitia, pereat mundus ; man and
nounce it. Why ? Because I am enthusiastic for justice are ideas, ghosts, for love of which everything
morality, filled with the idea of morality; what is is sacrificed; therefore the priestly spirits are the
hostile to it I everywhere assail. Because in his mind " self-sacrificing " ones.
theft ranks as abominable without any question, He who is infatuated with Man leaves persons out
Proudhon, e. g., thinks that with the sentence of account so far as that infatuation extends, and
" Property is theft " he has at once put a brand on floats in an ideal, sacred interest. Man, you see, is
property. In the sense of the priestly, theft is always not a person, but an ideal, a spook.
a crime, or at least a misdeed.
Now, things as different as possible can belong to
Here the personal interest is at an end. This par- Man and be so regarded. If one finds Man's chief
ticular person who has stolen the basket is perfectly requirement in piety, there arises religious clericalism ;
indifferent to my person ; it is only the thief, this con- if one sees it in morality, then moral clericalism raises
cept of which that person presents a specimen, that I its head. On this account the priestly spirits of our
take an interest in. The thief and man are in my
day want to make a " religion " of everything, a " re-
mind irreconcilable opposites; for one is not truly
ligion of liberty," " religion of equality," etc., and for
man when one is a thief; one degrades Man or
them every idea becomes a " sacred cause," e. g. even
" humanity " in himself when one steals. Dropping
citizenship, politics, publicity, freedom of the press,
out of personal concern, one gets into philanthropism,
trial by jury, etc.
friendliness to man, which is usually misunderstood as
if it was a love to men, to each individual, while it is Now, what does " unselfishness " mean in this
sense ? Having only an ideal interest, before which
102 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 103
no respect of persons avails ! I do not blame the middle class for not wanting to
The stiff head of the worldly man opposes this, but let its aims be frustrated by Robespierre, i. e. for in-
for centuries has always been worsted at least so far as quiring of its egoism how far it might give the revo-
to have to bend the unruly neck and " honor the lutionary idea a chance. But one might blame (if
higher power"; clericalism pressed it down. When blame were in place here anyhow) those who let their
the worldly egoist had shaken off a higher power own interests be frustrated by the interests of the mid-
(e. g. the Old Testament law, the Roman pope, etc.), dle class. However, will not they likewise sooner or
then at once a seven times higher one was over him later learn to understand what is to their advantage ?
again, e. g. faith in the place of the law, the trans- August Becker says : * " To win the producers (pro-
formation of all laymen into divines in place of the letarians) a negation of the traditional conception of
limited body of clergy, etc. His experience was like right is by no means enough. Folks unfortunately
that of the possessed man into whom seven devils care little for the theoretical victory of the idea. One
passed when he thought he had freed himself from must demonstrate to them ad oculos how this victory
one. can be practically utilized in life." And (p. 32):
In the passage quoted above all ideality, etc., is " You must get hold of folks by their real interests if
denied to the middle class. It certainly schemed you want to work upon them." Immediately after
against the ideal consistency with which Robespierre this he shows how a fine looseness of morals is already
wanted to carry out the principle. The instinct of its spreading among our peasants, because they prefer to
interest told it that this consistency harmonized too follow their real interests rather than the commands
little with what its mind was set on, and that it would of morality.
be acting against itself if it were willing to further the Because the revolutionary priests or schoolmasters
enthusiasm for principle. Was it to behave so unself- served Man, they cut off the heads of men. The revo-
ishly as to abandon all its aims in order to bring a lutionary laymen, those outside the sacred circle, did
harsh theory to its triumph ? It suits the priests ad- not feel any greater horror of cutting off heads, but
mirably, to be sure, when people listen to their sum- were less anxious about the rights of Man than about
mons, " Cast away everything and follow me," or their own.
" Sell all that thou hast and give to the poor, and How comes it, though, that the egoism of those who
thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, follow affirm personal interest, and always inquire of it, is
me." Some decided idealists obey this call; but most nevertheless forever succumbing to a priestly or
act like Ananias and Sapphira, maintaining a schoolmasterly (i. e. an ideal) interest ? Their per-
behavior half clerical or religious and half worldly, * Volksphilosophie unserer Tage," p 22.
serving God and Mammon.
104 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 105
son seems to them too small, too insignificant,and is To the activity of priestly minds belongs especially
so in fact,to lay claim to everything and be able to what one often hears called " moral influence."
put itself completely in force. There is a sure sign of Moral influence takes its start where humiliation be-
this in their dividing themselves into two persons, an gins; yes, it is nothing else than this humiliation it-
eternal and a temporal, and always caring either only self, the breaking and bending of the temper * down
for the one or only for the other, on Sunday for the to humility. If I call to some one to run away when
eternal, on the work-day for the temporal, in prayer a rock is to be blasted, I exert no moral influence by
for the former, in work for the latter. They have the this demand; if I say to a child " You will go hungry
priest in themselves, therefore they do not get rid of if you will not eat what is put on the table," this is
him, but hear themselves lectured inwardly every not moral influence. But, if I say to it " You will
Sunday. pray, honor your parents, respect the crucifix, speak
How men have struggled and calculated to get at a the truth, etc., for this belongs to man and is man's
solution regarding these dualistic essences ! Idea fol- calling," or even " this is God's will," then moral in-
lowed upon idea, principle upon principle, system up- fluence is complete; then a man is to bend before the
on system, and none knew how to keep down perma- calling of man, be tractable, become humble, give up
nently the contradiction of the " worldly " man, the his will for an alien one which is set up as rule and
so-called " egoist." Does not this prove that all those law; he is to abase himself before something higher:
ideas were too feeble to take up my whole will into self-abasement. " He that abaseth himself shall be
themselves and satisfy it ? They were and remained exalted." Yes, yes, children must early be made to
hostile to me, even if the hostility lay concealed for a practise piety, godliness, and propriety; a person of
considerable time. Will it be the same with self- good breeding is one into whom " good maxims " have
ownership ? Is it too only an attempt at mediation ? been instilled and impressed, poured in through a fun-
Whatever principle I turned to, it might be to that of nel, thrashed in and preached in.
reason, I always had to turn away from it again. Or If one shrugs his shoulders at this, at once the good
can I always be rational, arrange my life according to wring their hands despairingly, and cry : " But, for
reason in everything ? I can, no doubt, strive after heaven's sake, if one is to give children no good in-
rationality, I can love it, just as I can also love God struction, why, theft they will run straight into the
and every other idea. I can be a philosopher, a lover jaws of sin, and become good-for-nothing hoodlums ! "
of wisdom, as I love God. But what I love, what I Gently, you prophets of evil. Good-for-nothing in
strive for, is only in my idea, my conception, my your sense they certainly will become; but your sense
thoughts; it is in my heart, my head, it is in me like * [Muth] [Demuth]
the heart, but it is not I, I am not it.
106 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 107
happens to be a very good-for-nothing sense. The was the Middle Ages. With the common conscious-
impudent lads will no longer let anything be whined nessi. e. the consciousness which deals with things,
and chattered into them by you, and will have no that consciousness which has receptivity only for
sympathy for all the follies for which you have been things, or for what is sensuous and sense-moving
raving and driveling since the memory of man began; they thought to grasp what did not deal with things
they will abolish the law of inheritance, i. e. they will and was not perceptible by the senses. As one does
not be willing to inherit your stupidities as you in- indeed also exert his eye to see the remote, or labori-
herited them from your fathers; they destroy inherited ously exercise his hand till its fingers have become
sin.* If you command them, " Bend before the Most dexterous enough to press the keys correctly, so they
High," they will answer : " If he wants to bend us, chastened themselves in the most manifold ways, in
let him come himself and do it; we, at least, will not order to become capable of receiving the supersensual
bend of our own accord." And, if you threaten them wholly into themselves. But what they chastened
with his wrath and his punishment, they will take it was, after all, only the sensual man, the common con-
like being threatened with the bogie-man. If you are sciousness, so-called finite or objective thought. Yet
no longer successful in making them afraid of ghosts, as this thought, this understanding, which Luther de-
then the dominion of ghosts is at an end, and nurses' cries under the name of reason, is incapable of com-
tales find nofaith. prehending the divine, its chastening contributed just
And is it not precisely the liberals again that press as much to the understanding of the truth as if one
for good education and improvement of the educa- exercised the feet year in and year out in dancing, and
tional system ? For how could their liberalism, their hoped that in this way they would finally learn to
" liberty within the bounds of law," come about with- play the flute. Luther, with whom the so-called Mid-
out discipline ? Even if they do not exactly educate dle Ages end, was the first who understood that the
to the fear of God, yet they demand the fear of Man man himself must become other than he was if he
all the more strictly, and awaken " enthusiasm for wanted to comprehend truth,must become as true as
the truly human calling" by discipline. truth itself. Only he who already has truth in his
A long time passed away, in which people were belief, only he who believes in it, can become a par-
satisfied with the fancy that they had the truth, with- taker of it; i. e., only the believer finds it accessible
out thinking seriously whether perhaps they them- and sounds its depths. Only that organ of man which
selves must be true to possess the truth. This time is able to blow can attain the further capacity of flute-
playing, and only that man can become a partaker of
* [Called in English theology " original sin."]
truth who has the right organ for it. He who is
capable of thinking only what is sensuous, objective,
108 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 109
pertaining to things, figures to himself in truth only Reformation are only the consistent carrying out of
what pertains to things. But truth is spirit, stuff al- this abstraction of the religious principle from the
together inappreciable by the senses, and therefore other powers of humanity," I regard precisely the op-
only for the "higher consciousness," not for that which posite as correct, and think that the dominion of
is " earthly-minded." spirits, or freedom of mind (which comes to the same
With Luther, accordingly, dawns the perception thing), was never before so all-embracing and all-
that truth, because it is a thought, is only for the powerful, because the present one, instead of rending
thinking man. And this is to say that man must the religious principle from art, State, and science,
henceforth take an utterly different standpoint, lifted the latter altogether out of secularity into the
viz., the heavenly, believing, scientific standpoint, " realm of spirit " and made them religious.
or that of thought in relation to its object, the Luther and Descartes have been appropriately put
thought,that of mind in relation to mind. Con- side by side in their " He who believes is a God " and
sequently: only the like apprehend the like. " You " I think, therefore I am " (cogito, ergo sum). Man's
are like the spirit that you understand."* heaven is thought,mind. Everything can be
Because Protestantism broke the mediaeval hier- wrested from him, except thought, except faith.
archy, the opinion could take root that hierarchy in particular faith, like faith in Zeus, Astarte, Jehovah,
general had been shattered by it, and it could be Allah, etc., may be destroyed, but faith itself is in-
wholly overlooked that it was precisely a " reforma- destructible. In thought is freedom. What I need
tion," and so a reinvigoration of the antiquated hier- and what I hunger for is no longer granted to me by
archy. That mediaeval hierarchy had been only a any grace, by the Virgin Mary, by intercession of the
weakly one, as it had to let all possible barbarism of saints, or by the binding and loosing church, but I
unsanctified things run on uncoerced beside it, and it procure it for myself. In short, my being (the sum)
was the Reformation that first steeled the power of is a living in the heaven of thought, of mind, a
hierarchy. If Bruno Bauer thinks: " As the Re- cogitare. But I myself am nothing else than mind,
formation was mainly the abstract rending of the re- thinking mind (according to Descartes), believing
ligious principle from art, State, and science, and so mind (according to Luther). My body I am not;
its liberation from those powers with which it had my flesh may suffer from appetites or pains. I am
joined itself in the antiquity of the church and in the not my flesh, but I am mind, only mind.
hierarchy of the Middle Ages, so too the theological This thought runs through the history of the Re-
and ecclesiastical movements which proceeded from the formation till to-day.
* [Goethe, " Faust "] " Anekdota," II, 152. Only by the more modern philosophy since
Descartes has a serious effort been made to bring
110 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 111
Christianity to complete efficacy, by exalting the For this very reason the name of philosopher is not
" scientific consciousness " to be the only true and to be given to him who has indeed open eyes for the
valid one. Hence it begins with absolute doubt, du- things of the world, a clear and undazzled gaze, a cor-
bitare, with grinding common consciousness to atoms, rect judgment about the world, but who sees in the
with turning away from everything that "mind," world just the world, in objects only objects, and, in
" thought," does not legitimate. To it Nature counts short, everything prosaically as it is; but he alone is a
for nothing; the opinion of men, their " human pre- philosopher who sees, and points out or demonstrates,
cepts," for nothing: and it does not rest till it has heaven in the world, the supernal in the earthly, the
brought reason into everything, and can say " The divine in the mundane. The former may be ever so
real is the rational, and only the rational is the real." wise, there is no getting away from this:
Thus it has at last brought mind, reason, to victory;
and everything is mind, because everything is rational, What wise men see not by their wisdom's art
because all nature, as well as even the perversest opin- Is practised simply by a childlike heart.*
ions of men, contains reason ; for " all must serve for It takes this childlike heart, this eye for the divine, to
the best," i. e. lead to the victory of reason. make a philosopher. The first-named man has only a
Descartes's dubitare contains the decided statement " common " consciousness, but he who knows the
that only cogitare, thought, mind,is. A complete divine, and knows how to tell it, has a " scientific "
break with " common " consciousness, which ascribes one. On this ground Bacon was turned out of the
reality to irrational things ! Only the rational is, realm of philosophers. And certainly what is called
only mind is ! This is the principle of modern phil- English philosophy seems to have got no further than
osophy, the genuine Christian principle. Descartes in to the discoveries of so-called " clear heads," such as
his own time discriminated the body sharply from the Bacon and Hume. The English did not know how to
mind, and " the spirit 'tis that builds itself the body," exalt the simplicity of the childlike heart to philo-
says Goethe. sophic significance, did not know how to makephil-
But this philosophy itself, Christian philosophy, still osophers out of childlike hearts. This is as much as
does not get rid of the rational, and therefore inveighs to say, their philosophy was not able to become theo-
against the "merely subjective," against " fancies, logical or theology, and yet it is only as theology that
fortuities, arbitrariness," etc. What it wants is that it can really live itself out, complete itself. The field
the divine should become visible in everything, and all of its battle to the death is in theology. Bacon did
consciousness become a knowing of the divine, and not trouble himself about theological questions and
man behold God everywhere; but God never is, with- cardinal points.
out the devil. [Schiller, " Die Worte des Glaubens "]
112 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 113
Cognition has its object in life. German thought little scruple was felt about revolting against the exist-
seeks, more than that of others, to reach the begin- ing State or overturning the existing laws; but to sin
nings and fountain-heads of life, and sees no life till it ' against the idea of the State, not to submit to the idea
sees it in cognition itself. Descartes's cogito, ergo of law, who would have dared that ? So one re-
sum has the meaning " One lives only when one mained a " citizen " and a " law-respecting," loyal
thinks." Thinking life is called " intellectual life " ! man; yes, one seemed to himself to be only so much
Only mind lives, its life is the true life. Then, just so more law-respecting, the more rationalistically one
in nature only the " eternal laws," the mind or the abrogated the former defective law in order to do hom-
reason of nature, are its true life. In man, as in na- age to the " spirit of the law." In all this the objects
ture, only the thought lives; everything else is dead ! had only suffered a change of form ; they had re-
To this abstraction, to the life of generalities or of mained in their prepollence and pre-eminence; in
that which is lifeless, the history of mind had to come. short, one was still involved in obedience and pos-
God, who is spirit, alone lives. Nothing lives but the sessedness, lived in reflection, and had an object on
ghost. which one reflected, which one respected, and before
How can one try to assert of modern philosophy or which one felt reverence and fear. One had done no-
modern times that they have reached freedom, since thing but transform the things into conceptions of the
they have not freed us from the power of objectivity ? things, into thoughts and ideas, whereby one's depend-
Or am I perhaps free from a despot when I am not ence became all the more intimate and indissoluble.
afraid of the personal potentate, to be sure, but of So, e. g., it is not hard to emancipate oneself from the
every infraction of the loving reverence which I fancy commands of parents, or to set aside the admonitions
I owe him ? The case is the same with modern times. of uncle and aunt, the entreaties of brother and sister ;
They only changed the existing objects, the real ruler, but the renounced obedience easily gets into one's con-
etc., into conceived objects, i. e. into ideas, before science, and the less one does give way to the individ-
which the old respect not only was not lost, but in- ual demands, because he rationalistically, by his own
creased in intensity. Even if people snapped their fin- reason, recognizes them to be unreasonable, so much
gers, at God and the devil in their former crass reality, the more conscientiously does he hold fast to filial
people devoted only the greater attention to their piety and family love, and so much the harder is it for
ideas. " They are rid of the Evil One; evil is left."* him to forgive himself a trespass against the conception
The decision having once been made not to let oneself which he has formed of family love and of filial duty.
be imposed on any longer by the extant and palpable, Released from dependence as regards the existing
[Parodied from the words of Mephistopheles in the witch's kitchen in family, one falls into the more binding dependence on
" Faust " ] the idea of the family; one is ruled by the spirit of
114 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 115
the family. The family consisting of John, Maggie, The Protestant may put it as he will, the " holy *
etc., whose dominion has become powerless, is only Scripture," the " Word of God," still remains sacred
internalized, being left as " family " in general, to for him. He for whom this is no longer " holy " has
which one just applies the old saying, " We must obey ceased tobe a Protestant. But herewith what is
God rather than man," whose significance here is " ordained " in it, the public authorities appointed by
this : " I cannot, to be sure, accommodate myself to God, etc., also remain sacred for him. For him these
your senseless requirements, but, as my ' family,' you things remain indissoluble, unapproachable, " raised
still remain the object of my love and care " ; for " the above all doubt " ; and, as doubt, which in practice
family " is a sacred idea, which the individual must becomes a buffeting, is what is most man's own, these
never offend against.And this family internalized things remain " raised " above himself. He who can-
and desensualized into a thought, a conception, now not get away from them willbelieve ; for to believe
ranks as the " sacred," whose despotism is tenfold more in them is to be bound to them. Through the fact
grievous because it makes a racket in my conscience. that in Protestantism the faith became a more inward
This despotism is broken only when the conception, faith, the servitude has also become a more inward
family, also becomes a nothing to me. The Christian servitude; one has taken those sanctities up into him-
dicta, " Woman, what have I to do with thee ?"* " I pelf, entwined them with all his thoughts and en-
am come to stir up a man against his father, and a deavors, made them a " matter of conscience," con-
daughter against her mother," and others, are accom- structed out of them a "sacred duty'' for himself.
panied by something that refers us to the heavenly or Therefore what the Protestant's conscience cannot get
true family, and mean no more than the State's de- away from is sacred to him, and conscientiousness most
mand, in case of a collision between it and the family, clearly designates his character.
that we obey its commands. Protestantism has actually put a man in the posi-
The case of morality is like that of the family. tion of a country governed by secret police. The spy
Many a man renounces morals, but with great diffi- and eavesdropper, " conscience," watches over every
culty the conception, " morality." Morality is the motion of the mind, and all thought and action is for
" idea " of morals, their intellectual power, their power it a " matter of conscience," i. e. police business.
over the conscience; on the other hand, morals are This tearing apart of man into " natural impulse "
too material to rule the mind, and do not fetter an and " conscience " (inner populace and inner police)
" intellectual " man, a so-called independent, a is what constitutes the Protestant. The reason of the
" freethinker." Bible (in place of the Catholic " reason of the
Matt. 10. 35. * John 2 4 * [heilig] [heilig]
116 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 117
church ") ranks as sacred, and this feeling and con- Jesuits, gave aid to egoism in this way, found involun-
sciousness that the word of the Bible is sacred is called tary and unconscious adherents within Protestantism
conscience. With this, then, sacredness is " laid itself, and saved us from the subversion and extinction
upon one's conscience." If one does not free himself of sensuality. Nevertheless the Protestant spirit
from conscience, the consciousness of the sacred, he spreads its dominion farther and farther; and, as,
may act unconscientiously indeed, but never beside it the " divine," the Jesuit spirit represents
consciencelessly. only the " diabolic" which is inseparable from every-
The Catholic finds himself satisfied when he fulfils thing divine, the latter can never assert itself alone,
the command; the Protestant acts according to his but must look on and see how in France, e. g., the
" best judgment and conscience." For the Catholic is Philistinism of Protestantism wins at last, and mind is
only a layman; the Protestant is himself a clergyman* on top.
Just this is the progress of the Reformation period Protestantism is usually complimented on having
beyond the Middle Ages, and at the same time its brought the mundane into repute again, e. g. mar-
curse,that the spiritual became complete. riage, the State, etc. But the mundane itself as mun-
What else was the Jesuit moral philosophy than a dane, the secular, is even more indifferent to it than to
continuation of the sale of indulgences ? only that the Catholicism, which lets the profane world stand, yes,
man who was relieved of his burden of sin now gained and relishes its pleasures, while the rational, consist-
also an insight into the remission of sins, and con- ent Protestant sets about annihilating the mundane
vinced himself how really his sin was taken from him, altogether, and that simply by hallowing it. So mar-
since in this or that particular case (Casuists) it was riage has been deprived of its naturalness by becoming
so clearly no sin at all that he committed. The sale sacred, not in the sense of the Catholic sacrament,
of indulgences had made all sins and transgressions where it only receives its consecration from the church
permissible, and silenced every movement of con- and so is unholy at bottom, but in the sense of being
science. All sensuality might hold sway, if it was something sacred in itself to begin with, a sacred re-
only purchased from the church. This favoring of lation. Just so the State, etc. Formerly the pope
sensuality was continued by the Jesuits, while the gave consecration and his blessing to it and its prin-
strictly moral, dark, fanatical, repentant, contrite, ces; now the State is intrinsically sacred, majesty is
praying Protestants (as the true completers of Chris- sacred without needing the priest's blessing. The or-
tianity, to be sure) acknowledged only the intellectual der of nature, or natural law, was altogether hallowed
and spiritual man. Catholicism, especially the as " God's ordinance." Hence it is said e. g. in the
* [Geistlicher, literally " spiritual man "]
Augsburg Confession, Art. 11: "So now we reason-
ably abide by the saying, as the jurisconsults have
118 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 119
wisely and rightly said: that man and woman should their use for the church, hallows the means. Regicide
be with each other is a natural law. Now, if it is a was named as such ; if it was committed for the
natural law, then it is God's ordinance, therefore im- church's behoof, it could be certain of being hallowed
planted in nature, and therefore a divine law also." by the church, even if the hallowing was not openly
And is it anything more than Protestantism brought pronounced. To the Protestant, majesty ranks as
up to date, when Feuerbach pronounces moral rela- sacred; to the Catholic only that majesty which is
tions sacred, not as God's ordinance indeed, but, in- consecrated by the pontiff can rank as such; and it
stead, for the sake of the spirit that dwells in them ? does rank as such to him only because the pope, even
" But marriageas a free alliance of love, of course though it be without a special act, confers this sacred-
is sacred of itself, by the nature of the union that is ness on it once for all. If he retracted his consecra-
formed here. That marriage alone is a religious one tion, the king would be left only a " man of the world
that is a true one, that corresponds to the essence of or layman," an " unconsecrated " man, to the
marriage, love. And so it is with all moral relations. Catholic.
They are ethical, are cultivated with a moral mind,
If the Protestant seeks to discover a sacredness in
only where they rank as religious of themselves.
the sensual itself, that he may then be linked only to
True friendship is only where the limits of friendship
. what is holy, the Catholic strives rather to banish the
are preserved with religious conscientiousness, with the
sensual from himself into a separate domain, where it,
same conscientiousness with which the believer guards
like the rest of nature, keeps its value for itself. The
the dignity of his God. Friendship is and must be
Catholic church eliminated mundane marriage from its
sacred for you, and property, and marriage, and the
consecrated order, and withdrew those who were its
good of every man, but sacred in and of itself."*
own from the mundane family; the Protestant church
That is a very essential consideration. In Cathol- declared marriage and family ties to be holy, and
icism the mundane can indeed be consecrated or hal- therefore not unsuitable for its clergymen.
lowed, but it is not sacred without this priestly bless-
A Jesuit may, as a good Catholic, hallow every-
ing; in Protestantism, on the contrary, mundane rela-
thing. He needs only e. g. to say to himself : " I as
tions are sacred of themselves, sacred by their mere
a priest am necessary to the church, but serve it more
existence. The Jesuit maxim, " the end hallows the
zealously when I appease my desires properly; conse-
means," corresponds precisely to the consecration by
quently I will seduce this girl, have my enemy there
which sanctity is bestowed. No means are holy or un-
poisoned, etc. ; my end is holy because it is a priest's,
holy in themselves, but their relation to the church,
consequently it hallows the means." For in the end
* " Essence of Christianity," p. 403. it is still done for the benefit of the church. Why
should the Catholic priest shrink from handing Em-
120 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OK THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 121
peror Henry VII the poisoned wafer for thechurch's mountains rise to heaven. Thus he stands powerless
welfare ? before the uncontrollable. Can he keep off the im-
The genuinelychurchly Protestants inveighed pression that he is helpless against this gigantic world?
against every " innocent pleasure," because only the It is a fixed law to which he must submit, it deter-
sacred, the spiritual, could be innocent. What they mines his fate. Now, what did pre-Christian human-
could not point out the holy spirit in, the Protestants ity work toward ? Toward getting rid of the irrup-
had to reject,dancing, the theatre, ostentation (e. g. tions of the destinies, not letting oneself be vexed by
in the church), and the like. them. The Stoics attained this in apathy, declaring
Compared with this puritanical Calvinism, Luther- the attacks of nature indifferent, and not letting them-
anism is again more on the religious, i. e. spiritual, selves be affected by them. Horace utters the famous
track,is more radical. For the former excludes at Nil admirari, by which he likewise announces the in-
once a great number of things as sensual and worldly, difference of the other, the world ; it is not to influence
and purifies the church; Lutheranism, on the con- us, not to arouse our astonishment. And that
trary, tries to bring spirit into all things as far as pos- impavidum ferient ruinae expresses the very same im-
sible, to recognize the holy spirit as an essence in perturbability as Ps. 46. 3: " We do not fear, though
everything, and so to hallow everything worldly. the earth should perish." In all this there is room
("No one can forbid a kiss in honor." The spirit of made for the Christian proposition that the world is
honor hallows it.) Hence it was that the Lutheran empty, for the Christian contempt of the world.
Hegel (he declares himself such in some passage or The imperturbable spirit of " the wise man," with
other : he " wants to remain a Lutheran ") was com- which the old world worked to prepare its end, now
pletely successful in carrying the idea through every- underwent an inner perturbation against which no
thing. In everything there is reason, i. e. holy spirit, ataraxy, no Stoic courage, was able to protect it.
or " the real is rational." For the real is in fact The spirit, secured against all influence of the world,
everything, as in each thing, e. g. each lie, the truth insensible to its shocks and exalted above its attacks,
can be detected: there is no absolute lie, no absolute admiring nothing, not to be disconcerted by any
evil, and the like. downfall of the world,foamed over irrepressibly
Great " works of mind " were created almost solely again, because gases (spirits) were evolved in its own
by Protestants, as they alone were the true disciples interior, and, after the mechanical shock that comes
and consummators of mind. from without had become ineffective, chemical tensions,
How little man is able to control ! He must let that agitate within, began their wonderful play.
the sun run its course, the sea roll its waves, the In fact, ancient history ends with this.that I have
struggled till I won my ownership of the world.
122 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 123
" All things have been delivered to me by my man " whose gaze is turned inward," the thinking,
Father" (Matt. 11. 27). It has ceased to be over- meditative man.
powering, unapproachable, sacred, divine, etc., fra- All wisdom of the ancients is the science of the
me; it is undeified, and now I treat it so entirely as I world, all wisdom of the moderns is the science of God.
please that, if I cared, I could exert on it all miracle- The heathen (Jews included) got through with the
working power, i. e. power of mind,remove moun- world ; but now the thing was to get through with
tains, command mulberry trees to tear themselves up self, the spirit, too; i. e. to become spiritless or
and transplant themselves into the sea (Luke 17. 6), godless.
and do everything possible, i. e. thinkable : "All For almost two thousand years we have been work-
things are possible to him who believes."* I am the ing at subjecting the Holy Spirit to ourselves, and
lord of the world, mine is the "glory.'' The world little by little we have torn off and trodden under foot
has become prosaic, for the divine has vanished from many bits of sacredness; but the gigantic opponent is
it: it is my property, which I dispose of as I (to wit, constantly rising anew under a changed form and
the mind) choose. name. The spirit has not yet lost its divinity, its
When I had exalted myself to be the owner of the holiness, its sacredness. To be sure, it has long ceased
world, egoism had won its first complete victory, had to flutter over our heads as a dove; to be sure, it no
vanquished the world, had become worldless, and put longer gladdens its saints alone, but lets itself be
the acquisitions of a long age under lock and key. caught by the laity too, etc. ; but as spirit of human-
The first property, the first "glory," has been ity, as spirit of Man, it remains still an alien spirit to
acquired ! me or you, still far from becoming our unrestricted
But the lord of the world is not yet lord of his property, which we dispose of at our pleasure. How-
thoughts, his feelings, his will : he is not lord and ever, one thing certainly happened, and visibly guided
owner of the spirit, for the spirit is still sacred, the the progress of post-Christian history : this one thing
" Holy Spirit," and the " worldless " Christian is not was the endeavor to make the Holy Spirit more hu-
able to become " godless." If the ancient struggle man, and bring it nearer to men, or men to it.
was a struggle against the world, the mediaeval Through this it came about that at last it could be
(Christian) struggle is a struggle against self, the conceived as the " spirit of humanity," and, under dif-
mind ; the former against the outer world, the latter ferent expressions like " idea of humanity, mankind,
against the inner world. The mediaeval man is the humaneness, general philanthropy," etc., appeared
* Mark 9 23. more attractive, more familiar, and more accessible.
[Heirlichkeit, which, according to its derivation, means "lordliness "] Would not one think that now everybody could
possess the Holy Spirit, take up into himself the idea
124 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 125
of humanity, bring mankind to form and existence in case existed on its own account, and was not rather
himself ? the concept that one forms of the case ! As if a rela-
No, the spirit is not stripped of its holiness and tion which we enter into was not, by the uniqueness of
robbed of its unapproachableness, is not accessible to those who enter into it, itself unique ! As if it de-
us, not our property; for the spirit of humanity is not pended on how others stamp it ! But, as people sep-
my spirit. My ideal it may be, and as a thought I arated the " essence of Man " from the real man, and
call it mine; the thought of humanity is my property, judged the latter by the former, so they also separate
and I prove this sufficiently by propounding it quite his action from him, and appraise it by " human
according to my views, and shaping it to-day so, value." Concepts are to decide everywhere, concepts
to-morrow otherwise; we represent it to ourselves in to regulate life, concepts to rule. This is the religious
the most manifold ways. But it is at the same time world, to which Hegel gave a systematic expression,
an entail, which I cannot alienate nor get rid of. bringing method into the nonsense and completing the
Among many transformations, the Holy Spirit be- conceptual precepts into a rounded, firmly-based dog-
came in time the " absolute idea," which again in matic. Everything is sung according to concepts, and
manifold refractions split into the different ideas of the real man, i. e. I, am compelled to live according to
philanthropy, reasonableness, civic virtue, etc. these conceptual laws. Can there be a more grievous
But can I call the idea my property if it is the idea dominion of law, and did not Christianity confess at
of humanity, and can I consider the Spirit as van- the very beginning that it meant only to draw Juda-
quished if I am to serve it, " sacrifice myself " to it ? ism's dominion of law tighter ? (" Not a letter of
Antiquity, at its close, had gained its ownership of the the law shall be lost ! ")
world only when it had broken the world's overpower- Liberalism simply brought other concepts on the
ingness and " divinity," recognized the world's power- carpet, viz., human instead of divine, political in-
lessness and " vanity." stead of ecclesiastical, " scientific " instead of doctrinal,
The case with regard to the spirit corresponds. or, more generally, real concepts and eternal laws in-
When I have degraded it to a spook and its control stead of " crude dogmas " and precepts.
over me to a cranky notion, then it is to be looked Now nothing but mind rules in the world. An in-
upon as having lost its sacredness, its holiness, its numerable multitude of concepts buzz about in peo-
divinity, and then I use it, as one uses nature at ple's heads, and what are those doing who endeavor to
pleasure without scruple. get further ? They are negating these concepts to put
The " nature of the case," the " concept of the re- new ones in their place ! They are saying: " You
lationship," is to guide me in dealing with the case or form a false concept of right, of the State, of man, of
in contracting the relation. As if a concept of the liberty, of truth, of marriage, etc. ; the concept of
126 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 127
right, etc., is rather that one which we now set up." and its walls keep moving further and further out.
Thus the confusion of concepts moves forward. What they enclose issacred. You can no longer
The history of the world has dealt cruelly with us, get to it, no longer touch it. Shrieking with the hun-
and the spirit has obtained an almighty power. You ger that devours you, you wander round about these
must have regard for my miserable shoes, which could walls in search of the little that is profane, and the
protect your naked foot, my salt, by which your pota- circles of your course keep growing more and more ex-
toes would become palatable, and my state-carriage, tended. Soon that church will embrace the whole
whose possession would relieve you of all need at world, and you be driven out to the extreme edge ;
once; you must not reach out after them. Man is to another step, and the world of the sacred has con-
recognize the independence of all these and innumer- quered: you sink into the abyss. Therefore take
able other things: they are to rank in his mind as courage while it is yet time, wander about no longer
something that cannot be seized or approached, are to in the profane where now it is dry feeding, dare the
be kept away from him. He must have regard leap, and rush in through the gates into the sanctuary
for it, respect it; woe to him if he stretches out his itself. If you devour the sacred, you have made it
fingers desirously; we call that "being light- your own ! Digest the sacramental wafer, and you
fingered ! " are rid of it !
How beggarly little is left us, yes, how really
nothing ! Everything has been removed, we must III.THE FREE
not venture on anything unless it is given us; we con-
tinue to live only by the grace of the giver. You The ancients and the moderns having been pre-
must not pick up a pin, unless indeed you have got sented above in two divisions, it may seem as if the
leave to do so. And got it from whom ? From free were here to be described in a third division as in-
respect ! Only when this lets you have it as property, dependent and distinct. This, is not so. The free are
only when you can respect it as property, only then only the more modern and most modern among the
may you take it. And again, you are not to conceive " moderns," and are put in a separate division merely
a thought, speak a syllable, commit an action, that because they belong to the present, and what is
should have their warrant in you alone, instead of re- present, above all, claims our attention here. I give
ceiving it from morality or reason or humanity. " the free" only as a translation of " the liberals," but
Happy unconstraint of the desirous man, how merci- must with regard to the concept of freedom (as in
lessly people have tried to slay you on the altar of general with regard to so many other things whose
constraint ! anticipatory introduction cannot be avoided) refer to
But around the altar rise the arches of a church, what comes later.
128 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 129
1.POLITICAL LIBERALISM The true man is the nation, but the individual is
always an egoist. Therefore strip off your individ-
After the chalice of so-called absolute monarchy had uality or isolation wherein dwells discord and egoistic
been drained down to the dregs, in the eighteenth inequality, and consecrate yourselves wholly to the
century people became aware that their drink did not true man,the nation or the State. Then you will
taste humantoo clearly aware not to begin to crave rank as men, and have all that is man's; the State,
a different cup. Since our fathers were " human the true man, will entitle you to what belongs to it,
beings " after all, they at last desired also to be and give you the " rights of man " ; Man gives you
regarded as such. his rights !
Whoever sees in us something else than human So runs the speech of the commonalty.
beings, in him we likewise will not see a human being, The commonalty* is nothing else than the thought
but an inhuman being, and will meet him as an un- that the State is all in all, the true man, and that the
human being; on the other hand, whoever recognizes individual's human value consists in being a citizen of
us as human beings and protects us against the danger the State. In being a good citizen he seeks his high-
of being treated inhumanly, him we will honor as our est honor; beyond that he knows nothing higher
true protector and guardian. than at most the antiquated" being a good
Let us then hold together and protect the man in Christian."
each other; then we find the necessary protection in The commonalty developed itself in the struggle
our holding together, and in ourselves, those who hold against the privileged classes, by whom it was cav-
together, a fellowship of those who know their human alierly treated as " third estate " and confounded with
dignity and hold together as " human beings." Our the canaille. In other words, up to this time the State
holding together is the State ; we who hold together had recognized caste. The son of a nobleman was
are the nation. selected for posts to which the most distinguished
In our being together as nation or State we are commoners aspired in vain, etc. The civic feeling
only human beings. How we deport ourselves in revolted against this. No more distinction, no giving
other respects as individuals, and what self-seeking im- preference to persons, no difference of classes ! Let
pulses we may there succumb to, belongs solely all be alike ! No separate interest is to be pursued
to our private life ; our public or State life is a purely longer, but the general interest of all. The State is
human one. Everything un-human or " egoistic " * [Or "citizenhood " The word (das Buergertum) means either the con
that clings to us is degraded to a " private matter " dition of being a citizen, or citizen like principles, or the body of citizens or
and we distinguish the State definitely from " civil of the middle or business class, the bourgeoisie )
society," which is the sphere of "egoism's" activity. [Man hatte im Staate " die ungleiche Person angesehen," there had
been respect of unequal persons " in the State ]
130 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 131
to be a fellowship of free and equal men, and every this, it calls States-general, to have this money
one is to devote himself to the " welfare of the whole," granted to it. The shrinking from strictly logical
to be dissolved in the State, to make the State his end action destroyed the illusion of an absolute govern-
and ideal. State! State! so ran the general cry, ment; he who must have something " granted " to him
and thenceforth people sought for the " right form of cannot be regarded as absolute. The subjects recog-
State," the best constitution, and so the State in its nized that they were real proprietors, and that it was
best conception. The thought of the State passed their money that was demanded. Those who had
into all hearts and awakened enthusiasm; to serve it, hitherto been subjects attained the consciousness that
this mundane god, became the new divine service and they were proprietors. Bailly depicts this in a few
worship. The properly political epoch had dawned. words: "If you cannot dispose of my property without
To serve the State or the nation became the highest my assent, how much less can you of my person, of all
ideal, the State's interest the highest interest, State that concerns my mental and social position ? All
service (for which one does not by any means need to this is my property, like the piece of land that I till;
be an official) the highest honor. and I have a right, an interest, to make the laws my-
So then the separate interests and personalities had self." Bailly's words sound, certainly, as if every one
been scared away, and sacrifice for the State had be- Was a proprietor now. However, instead of the gov-
come the shibboleth. One must give up himself, and ernment, instead of the prince, thenation now be-
live only for the State. One must act " disinterest- came proprietor and master. From this time on the
edly," not want to benefit himself, but the State. ideal is spoken of as" popular liberty "" a free
Hereby the latter has become the true person, before people," etc.
whom the individual personality vanishes; not I live, As early as July 8, 1789 the declaration of the
but it lives in me. Therefore, in comparison with the bishop of Autun and Barrre took away all semblance
former self-seeking, this was unselfishness and imper- of the importance of each and every individual in leg-
sonality itself. Before this godStateall egoism islation ; it showed the complete powerlessness of the
vanished, and before it all were equal; they were constituents; the majority of the representatives has
without any other distinctionmen, nothing but men. become master. When on July 9 the plan for divi-
The Revolution took fire from the inflammable ma- sion of the work on the constitution is proposed, Mira-
terial of property. The government needed money. beau remarks that " the government has only power,
Now it must prove the proposition that it is absolute, no rights; only in the people is the source of all right
and so master of all property, sole proprietor ; it must to be found." On July 16 this same Mirabeau ex-
take to itself its money, which was only in the posses- claims: " Is not the people the source of all power ? "
sion of the subjects, not their property. Instead of The source, therefore, of all right, and the source of
132 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 133
all-power ! * By the way, here the substance of ative that he bestows, a " right." The times de-
" right " becomes visible ; it ispower. " He who manded absolute royalty, absolute monarchy; there-
has power has right." fore down fell that so-called absolute royalty which
The commonalty is the heir of the privileged classes. had so little understood how to become absolute that
In fact, the rights of the barons, which were taken it remained limited by a thousand little lords.
from them as " usurpations," only passed over to the What was longed for and striven for through thou-
commonalty. For the commonalty was now called the sands of years,to wit, to find that absolute lord be-
" nation." " Into the hands of the nation " all pre- side whom no other lords and lordlings any longer ex-
rogatives were given back. Thereby they ceased to ist to clip his power,the bourgeoisie has brought to
be " prerogatives " : they became " rights." From pass. It has revealed the Lord who alone confers
this time on the nation demands tithes, compulsory " rightful titles," and without whose warrant nothing
services; it has inherited the lord's court, the rights is justified. " So now we know that an idol is noth-
of vert and venison, theserfs. The night of August ing in the world, and that there is no other god save
4 was the death-night of privileges or " prerogatives " the one."*
(cities, communes, boards of magistrates, were also Against right one can no longer, as against a right,
privileged, furnished with prerogatives and seigniorial come forward with the assertion that it is " a wrong."
rights), and ended with the new morning of " right," One can say now only that it is a piece of nonsense, an
the " rights of the State," the " rights of the nation." illusion. If one called it wrong, one would have to
The monarch in the person of the " royal master " set up another right in opposition to it, and measure
had been a paltry monarch compared with this new it by this. If, on the contrary, one rejects right as
monarch, the " sovereign nation." This monarchy such, right in and of itself, altogether, then one also
was a thousand times severer, stricter, and more con- rejects the concept of wrong, and dissolves the whole
sistent. Against the new monarch there was no concept of right (to which the concept of wrong be-
longer any right, any privilege at all; how limited longs).
the " absolute king " of the ancien rgime looks in What is the meaning of the doctrine that we all en-
comparison! The Revolution effected the transforma- joy " equality of political rights " ? Only this,
tion of limited monarchy into absolute monarchy. that the State has no regard for my person, that to it
From this time on every right that is not conferred by I, like every other, am only a man, without having
this monarch is an " assumption"; but every prerog- another significance that commands its deference.
* [Gewalt, a word which is also commonly used like the English " vio- I do not command its deference as an aristocrat, a
lence," denoting especially unlawful violence ] * 1 Corinthians 8 4
[Vorrechte] [Rechte]
134 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 135
nobleman's son, or even as heir of an official whose the individual in dependence on a lot of little mon-
office belongs to me by inheritance (as in the Middle archies. These were fellowships (societies) like the
Ages countships, etc., and later under absolute royalty, guilds, the nobility, the priesthood, the burgher class,
where hereditary offices occur). Now the State has an cities, communes, etc. Everywhere the individual
innumerable multitude of rights to give away, e. g. must regard himself first as a member of this little so-
the right to lead a battalion, a company, etc. ; the ciety, and yield unconditional obedience to its spirit,
right to lecture at a university; and so forth; it has the esprit de corps, as his monarch. More, e. g.,
them to give away because they are its own, i. e. than the individual nobleman himself must his family,
State rights or " political " rights. Withal, it makes the honor of his race, be to him. Only by means of
no difference to it to whom it gives them, if the re- his corporation, his estate, did the individual have re-
ceiver only fulfils the duties that spring from the dele- lation to the greater corporation, the State,as in
gated rights. To it we are all of us all right, and Catholicism the individual deals with God only
equal,one worth no more and no less than another. through the priest. To this the third estate now,
It is indifferent to me who receives the command of the showing courage to negate itself as an estate, made an
army, says the sovereign State, provided the grantee end. It decided no longer to be and be called an es-
understands the matter properly. " Equality of polit- tate beside other estates, but to glorify and generalize
ical rights " has, consequently, the meaning that every itself into the " nation." Hereby it created a much
one may acquire every right that the State has to give more complete and absolute monarchy, and the entire
away, if only he fulfils the conditions annexed there- previously ruling principle of estates, the principle of
to,conditions which are to be sought only in the na- little monarchies inside the great, went down. 1 There-
ture of the particular right, not in a predilection for fore it cannot be said that the Revolution was a revo-
the person (persona grata) : the nature of the right to lution against the first two privileged estates: it was
become an officer brings with it, e. g., the necessity against the little monarchies of estates in general.
that one possess sound limbs and a suitable measure of But, if the estates and their despotism were broken (the
knowledge, but it does not have noble birth as a con- king too, we know, was only a king of estates, not a
dition; if, on the other hand, even the most deserving citizen-king), the individuals freed from the inequality
commoner could not reach that station, then an in- of estate were left. Were they now really to be with-
equality of political rights would exist. Among the out estate and " out of gear," no longer bound by any
States of to-day one has carried out that maxim of estate, without a general bond of union ? No, for
equality more, another less. the third estate had declared itself the nation
The monarchy of estates (so I will call absolute roy- only in order not to remain an estate beside other es-
alty, the time of the kings before the revolution) kept tates, but to become the sole estate. This sole estate
136 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 137
is the nation, the "State.'" What had the indi- servant is the free man ! What glaring nonsense !
vidual now become ? A political Protestant, for Yet this is the sense of the bourgeoisie, and its poet,
he had come into immediate connection with his God, Goethe, as well as its philosopher, Hegel, succeeded in
the State. He was no longer, as an aristocrat, in the glorifying the dependence of the subject on the object,
monarchy of the nobility ; as a mechanic, in the mon- obedience to the objective world, etc. He who only
archy of the guild ; but he, like all, recognized and serves the cause, " devotes himself entirely to it, " has
acknowledged onlyone lord, the State, as whose ser- the true freedom. And among thinkers the cause was
vants they all received the equal title of honor, reason, that which, like State and Church, gives
" citizen." general laws, and puts the individual man in irons by
The bourgeoisie is the aristocracy of DESERT; its the thought of humanity. It determines what is
motto, " Let desert wear its crowns." It fought " true," according to which one must then act. No
against the " lazy " aristocracy, for according to it more " rational " people than the honest servants, who
(the industrious aristocracy acquired by industry and primarily are called good citizens as servants of the
desert) it is not the " born " who is free, nor yet I who State.
am free either, but the " deserving" man, the honest Be rich as Croesus or poor as Jobthe State of the
servant (of his king; of the State; of the people in commonalty leaves that to your option; but only have
constitutional States). Through service one acquires a " good disposition." This it demands of you, and
freedom, i. e. acquires "deserts," even if one served counts it its most urgent task to establish this in all.
mammon. One must deserve well of the State, i. e. Therefore it will keep you from " evil promptings,"
of the principle of the State, of its moral spirit. He holding the "ill-disposed " in check and silencing
who serves this spirit of the State is a good citizen, let their inflammatory discourses under censors' cancel-
him live to whatever honest branch of industry he ling-marks or press-penalties and behind dungeon
will. In its eyes innovators practise a " breadless walls, and will, on the other hand, appoint people of
art." Only the "shopkeeper" is "practical," and the "good disposition" as censors, and in every way have
spirit that chases after public offices is as much the a moral influence exerted on you by " well-disposed
shopkeeping spirit as is that which tries in trade to and well-meaning" people. If it has made you deaf
feather its nest or otherwise to become useful to itself to evil promptings, then it opens your ears again all
and anybody else. the more diligently to good promptings.
But, if the deserving count as the free (for what With the time of the bourgeoisie begins that of lib-
does the comfortable commoner, the faithful office- eralism. People want to see what is "rational,"
holder, lack of that freedom that his heart desires ?), "suited to the times." etc., established everywhere.
then the " servants " are thefree. The obedient The following definition of liberalism, which is sup-
138 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 139
posed to be pronounced in its honor, characterizes it acitizen, not the subject of another, not even of the
completely: " Liberalism is nothing else than the king as a person, but only in his quality as " su-
knowledge of reason, applied to our existing rela- preme head of the State." Political liberty, this fun-
tions."* Its aim is a " rational order," a " moral be- damental doctrine of liberalism, is nothing but a sec-
havior," a " limited freedom," not anarchy, lawless- ond phase ofProtestantism, and runs quite parallel
ness, selfhood. But, if reason rules, then the person with "religious liberty."* Or would it perhaps be
succumbs. Art has for a long time not only acknowl- right to understand by the latter an independence of
edged the ugly, but considered the ugly as necessary religion? Anything but that. Independence of
to its existence, and taken it up into itself; it needs intermediaries is all that it is intended to express, in-
the villain, etc. In the religious domain, too, the ex- dependence of mediating priests, the abolition of the
tremest liberals go so far that they want to see the " laity," and so direct and immediate relation to re-
most religious man regarded as a citizeni. e. the ligion or to God. Only on the supposition that one
religious villain ; they want to see no more of trials has religion can he enjoy freedom of religion ; free-
for heresy. But against the " rational law " no one is dom of religion does not mean being without religion,
to rebel, otherwise he is threatened with the severest but inwardness of faith, unmediated intercourse with
penalty. What is wanted is not free movement and God. To him who is " religiously free " religion is an
realization of the person or of me, but of reason,i. e. affair of the heart, it is to him his own affair, it is to
a dominion of reason, a dominion. The liberals are him a "sacredly serious matter." So, too, to the
zealots, not exactly for the faith, for God, etc., but "politically free" man the State is a sacredly serious
certainly for reason, their master. They brook no matter; it is his heart's affair, his chief affair, his own
lack of breeding, and therefore no self-development affair.
and self-determination ; they play the guardian as Political liberty means that the polis, the State, is
effectively as the most absolute rulers. free; freedom of religion that religion is free, as free-
" Political liberty," what are we to understand by dom of conscience signifies that conscience is free;
that? Perhaps the individual's independence of the not, therefore, that I am free from the State, from reli-
State and its laws? No ; on the contrary, the individ- gion, from conscience, or that I am rid of them. It
ual's subjection in the State and to the State's laws. does not mean my liberty, but the liberty of a power
But why "liberty"? Because one is no longer sep- that rules and subjugates me; it means that one of my
arated from the State by intermediaries, but stands in despots, like State, religion, conscience, is free. State,
direct and immediate relation to it; because one is religion, conscience, these despots, make me a slave,
* " Ein und zwanzig Bogen," p 12 *Louis Diane says ("Histoire des Dix Ans "I p 138) of the time of the
Restoration " Le protestantisme devint le fond des ides et des murs."
140 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 141
and their liberty is my slavery. That in this they represented only by the constitutional prince, he who,
necessarily follow the principle, " the end hallows the without any personal significance, stands there spirit-
means," is self-evident. If the welfare of the State is ualized to the degree that he can rank as a sheer,
the end, war is a hallowed means ; if justice is the uncanny " spirit," as an idea. The constitutional king
State's end, homicide is a hallowed means, and is is the truly Christian king, the genuine, consistent
called by its sacred name, "execution," etc.; the carrying-out of the Christian principle. In the consti-
sacred State hallows everything that is serviceable tutional monarchy individual dominion,i. e., a real
to it. ruler that willshas found its end ; here, therefore,
" Individual liberty," over which civic liberalism individual liberty prevails, independence of every in-
keeps jealous watch, does not by any means signify a dividual dictator, of every one who could dictate to
completely free self-determination, by which actions be- me with a tel est notre plaisir. It is the completed
come altogether mine, but only independence of per- Christian State-life, a spiritualized life.
sons. Individually free is he who is responsible to no The behavior of the commonalty is liberal through
man. Taken in this sense,and we are not allowed and through. Every personal invasion of another's
to understand it otherwise,not only the ruler is indi- sphere revolts the civic sense; if the citizen sees that
vidually free, i. e., irresponsible toward men (" before one is dependent on the humor, the pleasure, the will
God," we know, he acknowledges himself responsible), of a man as individual (i. e. as not authorized by a
but all who are " responsible only to the law." This " higher power "), at once he brings his liberalism to
kind of liberty was won through the revolutionary the front and shrieks about " arbitrariness." In fine,
movement of the century,to wit, independence of the citizen asserts his freedom from what is called
arbitrary will, of tel est notre plaisir. Hence the con- orders (ordonnance) : " No one has any business to
stitutional prince must himself be stripped of all per- give meorders ! " Orders carries the idea that what
sonality, deprived of all individual decision, that he I am to do is another man's will, while law does not
may not as a person, as an individual man, violate express a personal authority of another. The liberty
the "individual liberty " of others. The personal will of the commonalty is liberty or independence from the
of the ruler has disappeared in the constitutional will of another person, so-called personal or individual
prince; it is with a right feeling, therefore, that ab- liberty; for being personally fee means being only
solute princes resist this. Nevertheless these very ones so free that no other person can dispose of mine, or
profess to be in the best sense " Christian princes." that what I may or may not do does not depend on
For this, however, they must become a purely spiritual the personal decree of another. The liberty of the
power, as the Christian is subject only to spirit (" God press, for instance, is such a liberty of liberalism, lib-
is spirit"). The purely spiritual power is consistently eralism fighting only against the coercion of the cen-
142 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 143
sorship as that of personal wilfulness, but otherwise the cause of legality, etc.,then no personal balking
showing itself extremely inclined and willing to tyr- of one by the other may be authorized either (as for-
annize over the press by " press laws " ; i. e., the civic merly, e. g., the commoner was balked of the aristo-
liberals want liberty of writing for themselves ; for, tocratic offices, the aristocrat of common mechanical
as they are law-abiding, their writings will not bring trades, etc.) ; i. e. free competition must exist. Only
them under the law. Only liberal matter, i. e. only through the thing* can one balk another (e. g. the
lawful matter, is to be allowed to be printed; oth- rich man balking the impecunious man by money, a
erwise the " press laws " threaten " press-penalties." thing), not as a person. Henceforth only one lord-
If one sees personal liberty assured, one does not no- ship, the lordship of the State, is admitted ; personally
tice at all how, if a new issue happens to arise, the no one is any longer lord of another. Even at birth
most glaring unfreedom becomes dominant. For one the children belong to the State, and to the parents
is rid of orders indeed, and " no one has any business only in the name of the State, which, e. g., does not
to give us orders," but one has become so much the allow infanticide, demands their baptism, etc.
more submissive to thelaw. One is enthralled now But all the State's children, furthermore,, are of
in due legal form. quite equal account in its eyes (" civic or political
In the citizen-State there are only " free people," equality "), and they may see to it themselves how
who are compelled to thousands of things (e. g. to de- they get along with each other; they may compete.
ference, to a confession of faith, and the like). But Free competition means nothing else than that
what does that amount to? Why, it is only the every one can present himself, assert himself, fight,
State, the law, not any man, that compels them! against another. Of course the feudal party set itself
What does the commonalty mean by inveighing against this, as its existence depended on an absence
against every personal order, i. e. every order not of competition. The contests in the time of the Res-
founded on the " cause," on " reason," etc.? It is toration in France had no other substance than this,
simply fighting in the interest of the " cause "* that the bourgeoisie was struggling for free competi-
against the dominion of " persons " ! But the mind's tion, and the feudalists were seeking to bring back the
cause is the rational, good, lawful, etc. ; that is the guild system.
" good cause." The commonalty wants an impersonal Now, free competition has won, and against the
ruler. guild system it had to win. (See below for the further
Furthermore, if the principle is this, that only the discussion.)
cause is to rule manto wit, the cause of morality, If the Revolution ended in a reaction, this only
* [Sache, which commonly means thing.] * [Sache]
144 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 145
showed what the Revolution really was. For every virtue in the place of vice. (Vice and virtue, again,
effort arrives at reaction when it comes to discreet re- are on their part distinguished from each other only
flection, and storms forward in the original action only as a wild young fellow from a Philistine.) Etc.
so long as it is an intoxication, an " indiscretion." To this day the revolutionary principle has gone no
" Discretion " will always be the cue of the reac- farther than to assail only one or another particular
tion, because discretion sets limits, and liberates what establishment, i. e. be ? reformatory. Much ass may
was really wanted, i. e. the principle, from the initial be improved, strongly as " discreet progress " may
" unbridledness " and " unrestrainedness." Wild be adhered to, always there is only a new master
young fellows, bumptious students, who set aside all set in the old one's place, and the overturning is a
considerations, are really Philistines, since with them, building up. We are still at the distinction of the
as with the latter, considerations form the substance young Philistine from the old one. The Revolution
of their conduct; only that as swaggerers they are began in bourgeois fashion with the uprising of the
mutinous against considerations and in negative rela- third estate, the "middle class; in bourgeois fashion it
tions to them, but as Philistines, later, they give them- dries away. It was not the individual manand he
selves up to considerations and have positive relations alone is Manthat became free, but the citizen, the
to them. In both cases all their doing and thinking citoyen, the political man, who for that very reason is
turns upon " considerations," but the Philistine is re- not Man but a specimen of the human species, and
actionary in relation to the student; he is the wild more particularly a specimen of the species Citizen, a
fellow come to discreet reflection, as the latter is the free citizen.
unreflecting Philistine. Daily experience confirms In the Revolution it was not the individual who
the truth of this transformation, and shows how the acted so as to affect the world's history, but a people ;
swaggerers turn to Philistines in turning gray. the nation, the sovereign nation, wanted to effect
So too the so-called reaction in Germany gives everything. A fancied I, an idea, such as the nation
proof that it was only the discreet continuation of the is, appears acting ; i. e., the individuals contribute
warlike jubilation of liberty. themselves as tools of this idea, and act as " citizens."
The Revolution was not directed against the estab- The commonalty has its power, and at the same
lished, but against the establishment in question, time its limits, in the fundamental law of the State,
against a particular establishment. It did away with in a charter, in a legitimate* or "just" prince who
this ruler, not with the ruleron the contrary, the himself is guided, and rules, according to " rational
French were ruled most inexorably; it killed the old laws " ; in short, in legality. The period of the
vicious rulers, but wanted to confer on the virtuous * [Or " righteous." German rechtlich ] [gerecht]
ones a securely established position, i. e. it simply set
146 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 147
bourgeoisie is ruled by the British spirit of legality. king's will, and the like. If they will not or can not
An assembly of provincial estates, e. g., is ever recall- do that, then they are to " step out." What dutiful
ing that its authorization goes only so and so far, and man could act otherwise, could put himself, his con-
that it is called at all only through favor and can be viction, and his will as the first thing? who could be
thrown out again through disfavor. It is always re- so immoral as to want to assert himself, even if the
minding itself of itsvocation. It is certainly not body corporate and everything should go to ruin over
to be denied that my father begot me ; but, now that it? People keep carefully within the limits of their
I am once begotten, surely his purposes in begetting authorization ; of course one must remain within the
do not concern me a bit and, whatever he may have limits of his power anyhow, because no one can do
called me to, I do what I myself will. Therefore even more than he can. " My power, or, if it be so, pow-
a called assembly of estates, the French assembly in erlessness, be my sole limit, but authorizations
the beginning of the Revolution, recognized quite only restrainingprecepts ? Should I profess this
rightly that it was independent of the caller. It ex- all-subversive view ? No, I am alaw-abiding
isted, and would have been stupid if it did not avail citizen ! "
itself of the right of existence, but fancied itself de- The commonalty professes a morality which is most
pendent as on a father. The called one no longer closely connected with its essence. The first demand
has to ask " what did the caller want when he created of this morality is to the effect that one should carry
me ?" but " what do I want after I have once fol- on a solid business, an honorable trade, lead a moral
lowed the call ?" Not the caller, not the constituents, life. Immoral, to it, is the sharper, the demirep, the
not the charter according to which their meeting was thief, robber, and murderer, the gamester, the penni-
called out, nothing will be to him a sacred, inviolable less man without a situation, the frivolous man. The
power. He is authorized for everything that is in his doughty commoner designates the feeling against these
power; he will know no restrictive " authorization," " immoral " people as his " deepest indignation."
will not want to be loyal. This, if any such thing All these lack settlement, the solid quality of business,
could be expected from chambers at all, would give a a solid, seemly life, a fixed income, etc. ; in short, they
completely egoistic chamber, severed from all navel- belong, because their existence does not rest on a
string and without consideration. But chambers are secure basis, to the dangerous " individuals or isolated
always devout, and therefore one cannot be surprised persons," to the dangerous proltariat ; they are " in-
if so much half-way or undecided, i. e. hypocritical, dividual bawlers " who offer no " guarantee " and
" egoism " parades in them. have " nothing to lose," and so nothing to risk. The
The members of the estates are to remain within the forming of family ties, e. g., binds a man: he who is
limits that are traced for them by the charter, by the bound furnishes security, can be taken hold of; not
148 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 149
so the street-walker. The gamester stakes everything discontented poverty, by those poor who no longer
on the game, ruins himself and others;no guaran- behave quietly and endure, but begin to run wild and
tee. All who appear to the commoner suspicious, become restless. Lock up the vagabond, thrust the
hostile, and dangerous might be comprised under the breeder of unrest into the darkest dungeon ! He
name " vagabonds " ; every vagabondish way of living wants to " arouse dissatisfaction and incite people
displeases him. For there are intellectual vagabonds against existing institutions " in the Statestone
too, to whom the hereditary dwelling-place of their him, stone him!
fathers seems too cramped and oppressive for them to But from these identical discontented ones comes a
be willing to satisfy themselves with the limited space reasoning somewhat as follows: It need not make
any more : instead of keeping within the limits of a any difference to the " good citizens " who protects
temperate style of thinking, and taking as inviolable them and their principles, whether an absolute king or
truth what furnishes comfort and tranquillity to thou- a constitutional one, a republic, etc., if only they are
sands, they overleap all bounds of the traditional and protected. And what is their principle, whose pro-
run wild with their impudent criticism and untamed tector they always " love "? Not that of labor; not
mania for doubt, these extravagating vagabonds. that of birth either. But that of mediocrity, of the
They form the class of the unstable, restless, change- , golden mean : a little birth and a little labor, i. e., an
able, i. e. of the proltariat, and, if they give voice interest-bearing possession. Possession is here the
to their unsettled nature, are called " unruly fellows." fixed, the given, inherited (birth) ; interest-drawing
Such a broad sense has the so-called proltariat, or is the exertion about it (labor) ; laboring capital,
pauperism. How much one would err if one believed therefore. Only no immoderation, no ultra, no rad-
the commonalty to be desirous of doing away with icalism ! Right of birth certainly, but only hereditary
poverty (pauperism) to the best of its ability! On possessions; labor certainly, yet little or none at all of
the contrary, the good citizen helps himself with the one's own, but labor of capital and of thesubject
incomparably comforting conviction that " the fact is laborers.
that the good things of fortune are unequally divided If an age is imbued with an error, some always de-
and will always remain soaccording to God's wise rive advantage from the error, while the rest have to
decree." The poverty which surrounds him in every suffer from it. In the Middle Ages the error was
alley does not disturb the true commoner further than general among Christians that the church must have
that at most he clears his account with it by throwing all power, or the supreme lordship on earth; the
an alms, or finds work and food for an " honest and hierarchs believed in this " truth " not less than the
serviceable " fellow. But so much the more does he laymen, and both were spellbound in the like error.
feel his quiet enjoyment clouded by innovating and But by it the hierarchs had the advantage of power,
150 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 151
the laymen had to suffer subjection. However, as he does not need the protection of the State for his
the saying goes, " one learns wisdom by suffering"; "nothing." He may gain, on the contrary, if that
and so the laymen at last learned wisdom and no protection of the State is withdrawn from the protege.
longer believed in the mediaeval " truth."A like re- Therefore the non-possessor will regard the State as
lation exists between the commonalty and the laboring a power protecting the possessor, which privileges the
class. Commoner and laborer believe in the " truth " latter, but does nothing for him, the non-possessor,
of money ; they who do not possess it believe in it no but tosuck his blood. The State is acommoners'
less than those who possess it: the laymen, therefore, State, is the estate of the commonalty. It protects
as well as the priests. man not according to his labor, but according to his
" Money governs the world " is the keynote of the tractableness ("loyalty"),to wit, according to
civic epoch. A destitute aristocrat and a destitute whether the rights entrusted to him by the State are
laborer, as " starvelings," amount to nothing so far as enjoyed and managed in accordance with the will,
political consideration is concerned; birth and labor i. e. laws, of the State.
do not do it, but money brings consideration.* The Under the rgime of the commonalty the laborers
possessors rule, but the State trains up from the desti- always fall into the hands of the possessors,i. e. of
tute its " servants," to whom, in proportion as they those who have at their disposal some bit of the State
are to rule (govern) in its name, it gives money domains (and everything possessible is State domain,
(a salary). belongs to the State, and is only a fief of the indi-
I receive everything from the State. Have I any- vidual), especially money and land; of the capitalists,
thing without the State's assent ? What I have with- therefore. The laborer cannot realize on his labor to
out this it takes from me as soon as it discovers the the extent of the value that it has for the consumer.
lack of a " legal title." Do I not, therefore, have " Labor is badly paid! " The capitalist has the
everything through its grace, its assent ? greatest profit from it.Well paid, and more than
On this alone, on the legal title, the commonalty well paid, are only the labors of those who heighten
rests. The commoner is what he is through the pro- the splendor and dominion of the State, the labors of
tection of the State, through the State's grace. He high State servants. The State pays well that its
would necessarily be afraid of losing everything if the " good citizens," the possessors, may be able to pay
State's power were broken. badly without danger ; it secures to itself by good
But how is it with him who has nothing to lose, payment its servants, out of whom it forms a protect-
how with the proletarian? As he has nothing to lose, ing power, a " police " (to the police belong soldiers,
officials of all kinds, e. g. those of justice, education,
*[das Geld gibt Geltung ]
etc.,in short, the whole " machinery of the State ")
152 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 153
for the " good citizens," and the " good citizens " Who is this person that you call " All " ?It is
gladly pay high tax-rates to it in order to pay so " society " ! But is it corporeal, then?We are its
much lower rates to their laborers. body!You? Why, you are not a body yourselves;
But the class of laborers, because unprotected in you, sir, are corporeal to be sure, you too, and you,
what they essentially are (for they do not enjoy the but you all together are only bodies, not a body.
protection of the State as laborers, but as its subjects Accordingly the united society may indeed have bodies
they have a share in the enjoyment of the police, a so- at its service, but no one body of its own. Like the
called protection of the law), remains a power hostile " nation " of the politicians, it will turn out to be
to this State, this State of possessors, this " citizen nothing but a " spirit," its body only semblance.
kingship." Its principle, labor, is not recognized as The freedom of man is, in political liberalism, free-
to its value ; it is exploited,* a spoil of the possess- dom from persons, from personal dominion, from the
ors, the enemy. master; the securing of each individual person against
The laborers have the most enormous power in their other persons, personal freedom.
hands, and, if they once became thoroughly conscious No one has any orders to give; the law alone gives
of it and used it, nothing would withstand them ; they orders.
would only have to stop labor, regard the product But, even if the persons have become equal, yet
of labor as theirs, and enjoy it. This is the sense of their possessions have not. And yet the poor man
the labor disturbances which show themselves here and needs the rich, the rich the poor, the former the rich
there. man's money, the latter the poor man's labor. So no
The State rests on theslavery of labor. If labor one needs another as a person, but needs him as a
becomes free, the State is lost. giver, and thus as one who has something to give, as
holder or possessor. So what he has makes the man.
2.SOCIAL LIBERALISM And in having, or in " possessions," people are un-
equal.
We are freeborn men, and wherever we look we see Consequently, social liberalism concludes, no one
ourselves made servants of egoists! Are we therefore must have, as according to political liberalism no one
to become egoists too? Heaven forbid! we want was to give orders ; i. e., as in that case the State
rather to make egoists impossible ! We want to alone obtained the command, so now society alone
make them all " ragamuffins " ; all of us must have obtains the possessions.
nothing, that " all may have."
For the State, protecting each one's person and
So say the Socialists. property against the other, separates them from one
* [ausgebeutet] [Kriegsbeute] another; each one is his special part and has his
154 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 155
special part. He who is satisfied with what he is and and poor is to be removed, then he will be a raga-
has finds this state of things profitable ; but he who muffin, for then he will feel that it amounts to some-
would like to be and have more looks around for this thing to be a ragamuffin, and might lift " Ragamuf-
" more," and finds it in the power of other persons. fin " to be an honorable form of address, just as the
Here he comes upon a contradiction ; as a person no Revolution did with the word "Citizen." Ragamuf-
one is inferior to another, and yet one person has fin is his ideal; we are all to become ragamuffins.
what another has not but would like to have. So, he This is the second robbery of the "personal" in
concludes, the one person is more than the other, after the interest of "humanity." Neither command nor
all, for the former has what he needs, the latter has property is left to the individual; the State took the
not; the former is a rich man, the latter a poor man. former, society the latter.
He now asks himself further, are we to let what we Because in society the most oppressive evils make
rightly buried come to life again? are we to let this themselves felt, therefore the oppressed especially, and
circuitously restored inequality of persons pass ? No ; consequently the members in the lower regions of
on the contrary, we must bring quite to an end what society, think they find the fault in society, and make
was only half accomplished. Our freedom from it their task to discover the right society. This is
another's person still lacks the freedom from what the only the old phenomenon,that one looks for the
other's person can command, from what he has in his fault first in everything but himself, and conse-
personal power,in short, from " personal property." quently in the State, in the self-seeking of the rich,
Let us then do away with personal property. Let no etc., which yet have precisely our fault to thank for
one have anything any longer, let every one be a their existence.
ragamuffin. Let property be impersonal, let it belong The reflections and conclusions of Communism look
tosociety. very simple. As matters lie at this time,in the
Before the supreme ruler, the sole commander, we present situation with regard to the State, therefore,
had all become equal, equal persons, i. e. nullities. some, and they the majority, are at a disadvantage
Before the supreme proprietor we all become equal compared to others, the minority. In this state of
ragamuffins. For the present, one is still in an- things the former are in a state of prosperity, the lat-
other's estimation a " ragamuffin," a " have-nothing " ; ter in a state of need. Hence the present state of
but then this estimation ceases. We are all ragamuf- things, i. e. the State, must be done away with. And
fins together, and as the aggregate of Communistic what in its place? Instead of the isolated state of
society we might call ourselves a " ragamuffin crew." prosperitya general state of prosperity, a prosperity
When the proletarian shall really have founded his of all.
purposed " society " in which the interval between rich Through the Revolution the bourgeoisie became
156 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW l57
omnipotent, and all inequality was abolished by every either, but only for what you are for us. By what
one's being raised or degraded to the dignity of a have you claims on us ? Perhaps by your high birth,
citizen : the common manraised, the aristocrat etc. ? No, only by what you do for us that is desir-
degraded; the third estate became sole estate,viz., able or useful. Be it thus then: we are willing to be
the estate ofcitizens of the State. Now Communism worth to you only so much as we do for you ; but you
responds: Our dignity and our essence consist not in are to be held likewise by us. Services determine
our being allthe equal children of our mother, the value,i. e. those services that are worth something to
State, all born with equal claim to her love and her us, and consequently labors for each other, labors for
protection, but in our all existing for each other. the common good. Let each one be in the other's eyes
This is our equality, or herein we are equal, in that a laborer. He who accomplishes something useful is
we, I as well as you and you and all of you, are active inferior to none, orall laborers (laborers, of course,
or "labor" each one for the rest; in that each of us is in the sense of laborers "for the common good," i. e.
a laborer, then. The point for us is not what we are communistic laborers) are equal. But, as the laborer
for the State {viz., citizens), not our citizenship is worth his wages,* let the wages too be equal.
therefore, but what we are for each other,viz., that As long as faith sufficed for man's honor and dig-
each of us exists only through the other, who, caring nity, no labor, however harassing, could be objected to
for my wants, at the same time sees his own satisfied if it only did not hinder a man in his faith. Now, on
by me. He labors, e. g., for my clothing (tailor), I the contrary, when every one is to cultivate himself
for his need of amusement (comedy-writer, rope- into man, condemning a man to machine-like labor
dancer, etc.), he for my food (farmer, etc.), I for his amounts to the same thing as slavery. If a factory-
instruction (scientist, etc.). It is labor that consti- worker must tire himself to death twelve hours and
tutes our dignity and ourequality. more, he is cut off from becoming man. Every labor
What advantage does citizenship bring us ? Bur- is to have the intent that the man be satisfied.
dens ! And how high is our labor appraised ? As Therefore he must become a master in it too, i. c. be
low as possible ! But labor is our sole value all the able to perform it as a totality. He who in a pin-fac-
same; that we are laborers is the best thing about us, tory only puts on the heads, only draws the wire, etc.,
this is our significance in the world, and therefore it works, as it were, mechanically, like a machine; he
must be our consideration too and must come to remains half-trained, does not become a master: his
receive consideration. What can you meet us with ? labor cannot satisfy him, it can only fatigue him.
Surely nothing butlabor too. Only for labor or His labor is nothing taken by itself, has no object in
services do we owe you a recompense, not for your * [In German an exact quotation of Luke 10 7.]
bare existence ; not for what you are for yourselves
158 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 159
itself, is nothing complete in itself; he labors only into less, and a law! Let us no longer be slaves OP chance!
another's hands, and is used (exploited) by this other. Let us create a new order that makes an end of fluctu-
For this laborer in another's service there is no enjoy- ations. Let this order then be sacred !
ment of a cultivated mind, at most crude amusements : Formerly one had to suit the lords to come to any-
culture, you see, is barred against him. To be a good thing; after the Revolution the word was " Grasp
Christian one needs only to believe, and that can be fortune ! " Luck-hunting or hazard-playing, civil
done under the most oppressive circumstances. Hence life was absorbed in this. Then, alongside this, the
the Christian-minded take care only of the oppressed demand that he who has obtained something shall not
laborers' piety, their patience, submission, etc. Only frivolously stake it again.
so long as the downtrodden classes were Christians Strange and yet supremely natural contradiction.
could they bear all their misery : for Christianity does Competition, in which alone civil or political life un-
not let their murmurings and exasperation rise. Now rolls itself, is a game of luck through and through,
the hushing of desires is no longer enough, but their from the speculations of the exchange down to the so-
sating is demanded. The bourgeoisie has proclaimed licitation of offices, the hunt for customers, looking for
the gospel of the enjoyment of the world, of material work, aspiring to promotion and decorations, the
enjoyment, and now wonders that this doctrine finds second-hand dealer's petty haggling, etc. If one suc-
adherents among us poor: it has shown that not faith ceeds in supplanting and outbidding his rivals, then
and poverty, but culture and possessions, make a man the " lucky throw " is made ; for it must be taken as a
blessed; we proletarians understand that too. piece of luck to begin with that the victor sees himself
The commonalty freed us from the orders and arbi- equipped with an ability (even though it has been de-
trariness of individuals. But that arbitrariness was veloped by the most careful industry) against which
left which springs from the conjuncture of situations, the others do not know how to rise, consequently that
and may be called the fortuity of circumstances ; fa- no abler ones are found. And now those who ply
voring fortune, and those " favored by fortune," still their daily lives in the midst of these changes of for-
remain. tune without seeing any harm in it are seized with the
When e. g. a branch of industry is ruined and most virtuous indignation when their own principle
thousands of laborers become breadless, people think appears in naked form and " breeds misfortune " as
reasonably enough to acknowledge that it is not the hazard-playing. Hazard-playing, you see, is too
individual who must bear the blame, but that " the clear, too barefaced a competition, and, like every de-
evil lies in the situation." cided nakedness, offends honorable modesty.
Let us change the situation then, but let us change The Socialists want to put a stop to this activity of
it thoroughly, and so that its fortuity becomes power- chance, and to form a society in which men are no
160 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 161
longer dependent on fortune, but free. for them if he liked.
In the most natural way in the world this endeavor Communism really procures them for each one,
first utters itself as hatred of the " unfortunate " presses them upon him, and compels him to acquire
against the "fortunate," i. e., of those for whom for- them. It takes seriously the idea that, because only
tune has done little or nothing, against those for spiritual and material goods make us men, we must
whom it has done everything. unquestionably acquire these goods in order to be
But properly the ill-feeling is not directed against man. The commonalty made acquisition free; Com-
the fortunate, but against fortune, this rotten spot of munism compels to acquisition, and recognizes only
the commonalty. the acquirer, him who practises a trade. It is not
As the Communists first declare free activity to be enough that the trade is free, but you must take it
man's essence, they, like all work-day dispositions, up.
need a Sunday; like all material endeavors, they need So all that is left for criticism to do is to prove
a God, an uplifting and edification alongside their that the acquisition of these goods does not yet by any
witless " labor." means make us men.
That the Communist sees in you the man, the bro- With the liberal commandment that every one is to
ther, is only the Sunday side of Communism. Accord- make a man of himself, or every one to make himself
ing to the work-day side he does not by any means man, there was posited the necessity that every one
take you as man simply, but as human laborer or must gain time for this labor of humanization, i. e.
laboring man. The first view has in it the liberal that it should become possible for every one to labor
principle; in the second, illiberality is concealed. If on himself.
you were a " lazybones," he would not indeed fail to The commonalty thought it had brought this about
recognize the man in you, but would endeavor to if it handed over everything human to competition,
cleanse him as a " lazy man " from laziness and to but gave the individual a right to every human
convert you to the faith that labor is man's " destiny thing. " Each may strive after everything! "
and calling." Social liberalism finds that the matter is not settled
Therefore he shows a double face : with the one he with the " may," because may means only " it is for-
takes heed that the spiritual man be satisfied, with the bidden to none " but not " it is made possible to every
other he looks about him for means for the material one." Hence it affirms that the commonalty is liberal
or corporeal man. He gives man a twofold post,an only with the mouth and in words, supremely illiberal
office of material acquisition and one of spiritual. in act. It on its part wants to give all of us the
The commonalty had thrown open spiritual and means to be able to labor on ourselves.
material goods, and left it with each one to reach out By the principle of labor that of fortune or compe-
162 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 163
tition is certainly outdone. But at the same time the 3.HUMANE LIBERALISM
laborer, in his consciousness that the essential thing in
him is " the laborer," holds himself aloof from egoism As liberalism is completed in self-criticising, "criti-
and subjects himself to the supremacy of a society of cal"* liberalism,in which the critic remains a lib-
laborers, as the commoner clung with self-abandon- eral and does not go beyond the principle of liberal-
ment to the competition-State. The beautiful dream ism, Man,this may distinctively be named after
of a " social duty " still continues to be dreamed. Man and called the " humane."
People think again that society gives what we need, The laborer is counted as the most material and
and we are under obligations to it on that account, egoistical man. He does nothing at all for humanity,
owe it everything.* They are still at the point of does everything for himself, for his welfare.
wanting to serve a " supreme giver of all good." That The commonalty, because it proclaimed the freedom
society is no ego at all, which could give, bestow, or of Man only as to his birth, had to leave him in the
grant, but an instrument or means, from which we claws of the un-human man (the egoist) for the rest of
may derive benefit; that we have no social duties, but life. Hence under the rgime of political liberalism
solely interests for the pursuance of which society must egoism has an immense field for free utilization.
serve us; that we owe society no sacrifice, but, if we The laborer will utilize society for his egoistic
sacrifice anything, sacrifice it to ourselves,of this the ends as the commoner does the State. You have only
Socialists do not think, because theyas liberalsare an egoistic end after all, your welfare! is the humane
imprisoned in the religious principle, and zealously as- liberal's reproach to the Socialist; take up a 'purely
pire aftera sacred society, such as the State was human interest, then I will be your companion.
hitherto. " But to this there belongs a consciousness stronger,
Society, from which we have everything, is a new more comprehensive, than a laborer-consciousness."
master, a new spook, a new " supreme being," which " The laborer makes nothing, therefore he has noth-
"takes us into its service and allegiance"! ing; but he makes nothing because his labor is always
The more precise appreciation of political as well as a labor that remains individual, calculated strictly for
social liberalism must wait to find its place further on. * [In his strictures on " criticism " Stirner refers to a special movement
known by that name in the early forties of the last century, of which Bruno
For the present we pass this over, in order first to Bauer was the principal exponent. After his official separation from the
faculty of the university of Bonn on account of his views in regard to the
summon them before the tribunal of humane or crit- Bible, Bruno Bauer in 1841 settled near Berlin and founded the Allgemeine
ical liberalism. Literatur-Zeitung, in which he and his friends, at war with their surround-
ings, championed the '' absolute emancipation " of the individual within
* Proudhon (" Cration de l'Ordre") cries out, e. g., p. 414, " In industry, the limits of " pure humanity" and fought as their foe "the mass," com-
prehending in that term the radical aspirations of political liberalism and
as in science, the publication of an invention is the first and most sacred of the communistic demands of the rising Socialist movement of that time.
duties!" For a brief account of Bruno Bauer's movement of criticism, see John
Henry Mackay, " Max Stirner. Sein Leben und sein Werk,"]
164 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 165
his own want, a labor day by day."* In opposition therefore the egoist is not to become master over man
to this one might, for instance, consider the fact that again either, but man over the egoist. Man must as-
Gutenberg's labor did not remain individual, but be- suredly find leisure : but, if the egoist makes use of it,
got innumerable children, and still lives to-day; it it will be lost for man; therefore you ought to have
was calculated for the want of humanity, and was an given leisure a human significance. But you laborers
eternal, imperishable labor. undertake even your labor from an egoistic impulse,
The humane consciousness despises the commoner- because you want to eat, drink, live; how should you
consciousness as well as the laborer-consciousness: for be less egoists in leisure? You labor only because
the commoner is " indignant " only at vagabonds (at having your time to yourselves (idling) goes well after
all who have " no definite occupation ") and their work done, and what you are to while away your lei-
"immorality"; the laborer is "disgusted" by the sure time with is left to chance.
idler (" lazybones ") and his " immoral," because par- But, if every door is to be bolted against egoism, it
asitic and unsocial, principles. To this the humane would be necessary to strive after completely " disin-
liberal retorts : The unsettledness of many is only terested " action, total disinterestedness. This alone
your product, Philistine! But that you, proletarian, is human, because only Man is disinterested, the egoist
demand the grind of all, and want to make drudgery always interested.
general, is a part, still clinging to you, of your pack- If we let disinterestedness pass unchallenged for a
mule life up to this time. Certainly you want to while, then we ask, do you mean not to take an inter-
lighten drudgery itself by all having to drudge equally est in anything, not to be enthusiastic for anything,
hard, yet only for this reason, that all may gain lei- not for liberty, humanity, etc. ? " Oh, yes, but that
sure to an equal extent. But what are they to do is not an egoistic interest, not interestedness, but a hu-
with their leisure? What does your " society " do, man, i. e. atheoretical interest, to wit, an interest
that this leisure may be passed humanly ? It must not for an individual or individuals ('all '), but for
leave the gained leisure to egoistic preference again, the idea, for Man ! "
and the very gain that your society furthers falls to And you do not notice that you too are enthusiastic
the egoist, as the gain of the commonalty, the master- only for your idea, your idea of liberty?
lessness of man, could not be filled with a human ele- And, further, do you not notice that your disinter-
ment by the State, and therefore was left to arbitrary estedness is again, like religious disinterestedness, a
choice. heavenly interestedness? Certainly benefit to the in-
It is assuredly necessary that man be masterless: but dividual leaves you cold, and abstractly you could
* Br. Bauer, " Lit. Ztg." V, 18. cry fiat libertas, pereat mundus. You do not take
166 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 167
thought for the coming day either, and take no serious which our powers were not sufficient ? Or do you per-
care for the individual's wants anyhow, not for your haps think that in your fortieth or fiftieth year you
own comfort nor for that of the rest; but you make have come so far that the following days have nothing
nothing of all this, because you are adreamer. more to dissipate in you, and that you are a human
Do you suppose the humane liberal will be so lib- being? The men of the future will yet fight their
eral as to aver that everything possible to man is hu- way to many a liberty that we do not even miss.
man? On the contrary! He does not, indeed, share What do you need that later liberty for? If you
the Philistine's moral prejudice about the strumpet, meant to esteem yourself as nothing before you had be-
but "that this woman turns her body into a money- come a human being, you would have to wait till the
getting machine "* makes her despicable to him as "last judgment," till the day when man, or humanity,
"human being." His judgment is, The strumpet is not shall have attained perfection. But, as you will surely
a human being; or, So far as a woman is a strumpet, die before that, what becomes of your prize of victory?
so far is she unhuman, dehumanized. Further: The Rather, therefore, invert the case, and say to your-
Jew, the Christian, the privileged person, the theolo- self, I am a human being! I do not need to begin by
gian, etc., is not a human being; so far as you are a producing the human being in myself, for he belongs
Jew, etc., you are not a human being. Again the im- to me already, like all my qualities.
perious postulate: Cast from you everything peculiar, But, asks the critic, how can one be a Jew and a
criticise it away! Be not a Jew, not a Christian, etc., man at once? In the first place, I answer, one cannot
but be a human being, nothing but a human being. be either a Jew or a man at all, if " one " and Jew
Assert your humanity against every restrictive specifi- or man are to mean the same; "one " always reaches
cation; make yourself, by means of it, a human being, beyond those specifications, and,let Isaacs be ever so
and free from those limits; make yourself a " free Jewish,a Jew, nothing but a Jew, he cannot be, just
man," i. e. recognize humanity as your all-determining because he is this Jew. In the second place, as a Jew
essence. one assuredly cannot be a man, if being a man means
I say: You are indeed more than a Jew, more than being nothing special. But in the third placeand
a Christian, etc., but you are also more than a human this is the pointI can, as a Jew, be entirely what I
being. Those are all ideas, but you are corporeal. Do can be. From Samuel or Moses, and others, you
you suppose, then, that you can ever become " a hu- hardly expect that they should have raised themselves
man being as such"? Do you suppose our posterity above Judaism, although you must say that they were
will find no prejudices and limits to clear away, for not yet " men." They simply were what they could
* "Lit Ztg " V, 26. be. Is it otherwise with the Jews of to-day? Because
you have discovered the idea of humanity, does it fol-
168 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 169
low from this that every Jew can become a convert to belief), and against limited society that it makes too
it? If he can, he does not fail to, and, if he fails to, much of material private interests. Both are to leave
hecannot. What does your demand concern him ? private interests to private people, and, as human so-
what the call to be a man, which you address to him? ciety, concern themselves solely about general human
As a universal principle, in the " human society " interests.
which the humane liberal promises, nothing " special " The politicians, thinking to abolish personal will,
which one or another has is to find recognition, noth- self-will or arbitrariness, did not observe that through
ing which bears the character of " private " is to have property * our self-will gained a secure place of
value. In this way the circle of liberalism, which has refuge.
its good principle in man and human liberty, its bad The Socialists, taking away property too, do not no-
in the egoist and everything private, its God in the tice that this secures itself a continued existence in
former, its devil in the latter, rounds itself off com- self-ownership. Is it only money and goods, then,
pletely; and, if the special or private person lost his that are a property, or is every opinion something of
value in the State (no personal prerogative), if in the mine, something of my own?
" laborers' or ragamuffins' society " special (private) So every opinion must be abolished or made im-
property is no longer recognized, so in " human so- personal. The person is entitled to no opinion, but,
ciety " everything special or private will be left out as self-will was transferred to the State, property to so-
of account; and, when "pure criticism" shall have ciety, so opinion too must be transferred to something
accomplished its arduous task, then it will be known general, " Man," and thereby become a general hu-
just what we must look upon as private, and what, man opinion.
" penetrated with a sense of our nothingness," we If opinion persists, then I have my God (why, God
mustlet stand. exists only as " my God," he is an opinion or my
Because State and society do not suffice for humane " faith"), and consequently my faith, my religion, my
liberalism, it negates both, and at the same time re- thoughts, my ideals. Therefore a general human faith
tains them. So at one time the cry is that the task of must come into existence, the "fanaticism of liberty."
the day is " not a political, but a social, one," and For this would be a faith that agreed with the " es-
then again the " free State " is promised for the future. sence of man," and, because only " man " is reason-
In truth, " human society " is both,the most general able (you and I might be very unreasonable!), a rea-
State and the most general society. Only against the sonable faith.
limited State is it asserted that it makes too much stir
about spiritual private interests (e. g. people's religious As self-will and property become powerless, so must
[Eigentum, " owndom "] [Eigenwille, " own will "]
170 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 171
self-ownership or egoism in general. complete organ of humanity. What kind of activity
In this supreme development of "free man" egoism, society demands of you remains accidental, you know;
self-ownership, is combated on principle, and such sub- it might give you a place in building a temple or
ordinate ends as the social "welfare" of the Social- something of that sort, or, even if not that, you might
ists, etc., vanish before the lofty " idea of humanity." yet on your own impulse be active for something fool-
Everything that is not a "general human" entity is ish, therefore unhuman; yes, more yet, you really
something separate, satisfies only some or one ; or, if it labor only to nourish yourself, in general to live, for
satisfies all, it does this to them only as individuals, dear life's sake, not for the glorification of humanity.
not as men, and is therefore called " egoistic." Consequently free activity is not attained till you
To the Socialists welfare is still the supreme aim, as make yourself free from all stupidities, from every-
free rivalry was the approved thing to the political thing non-human, i. e. egoistic (pertaining only to the
liberals; now welfare is free too, and we are free to individual, not to the Man in the individual), dissi-
achieve welfare, just as he who wanted to enter into pate all untrue thoughts that obscure man or the idea
rivalry (competition) was free to do so. of humanity: in short, when you are not merely un-
But to take part in the rivalry you need only to be hampered in your activity, but the substance too of
commoners; to take part in the welfare, only to be your activity is only what is human, and you live and
laborers. Neither reaches the point of being synony- work only for humanity. But this is not the case so
mous with "man." It is "truly well" with man only long as the aim of your effort is only your welfare and
when he is also " intellectually free"! For man is that of all; what you do for the society of ragamuf-
mind: therefore all powers that are alien to him, the fins is not yet anything done for "human society."
mind,all superhuman, heavenly, unhuman powers, Laboring does not alone make you a man, because
must be overthrown, and the name "man" must be it is something formal and its object accidental; the
above every name. question is who you that labor are. As far as labor-
So in this end of the modern age (age of the mod- ing goes, you might do it from an egoistic (material)
erns) there returns again, as the main point, what had impulse, merely to procure nourishment and the like;
been the main point at its beginning: "intellectual it must be a labor furthering humanity, calculated for
liberty." the good of humanity, serving historical (i. e. human)
evolution,in short, a humane labor. This implies
To the Communist in particular the humane liberal
two things: one, that it be useful to humanity; next,
says: If society prescribes to you your activity, then
that it be the work of a "man." The first alone may
this is indeed free from the influence of the individual,
be the case with every labor, as even the labors of
i. e. the egoist, but it still does not on that account
nature, e. g. of animals, are utilized by humanity for
need to be a purely human activity, nor you to be a
172 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 173
the furthering of science, etc. ; the second requires "egoist."
that he who labors should know the human object of Such is the attitude of criticism toward labor. It
his labor; and, as he can have this consciousness only points to " mind," wages the war " of mind with the
when he knows himself as man, the crucial condition masses,"* and pronounces communistic labor unintel-
isself-consciousness. lectual mass-labor. Averse to labor as they are, the
Unquestionably much is already attained when you masses love to make labor easy for themselves. In
cease to be a " fragment-laborer,"* yet therewith you literature, which is to-day furnished in mass, this aver-
only get a view of the whole of your labor, and ac- sion to labor begets the universally-known superficial-
quire a consciousness about it, which is still far re- ity, which puts from it "the toil of research."
moved from a self-consciousness, a consciousness about Therefore humane liberalism says: You want labor;
your true "self" or "essence," Man. The laborer has all right, we want it likewise, but we want it in the
still remaining the desire for a "higher consciousness," fullest measure. We want it, not that we may gain
which, because the activity of labor is unable to quiet spare time, but that we may find all satisfaction in it
it, he satisfies in a leisure hour. Hence leisure stands itself. We want labor because it is our self-
by the side of his labor, and he sees himself compelled development.
to proclaim labor and idling human in one breath, < But then the labor too must be adapted to that
yes, to attribute the true elevation to the idler, the end! Man is honored only by human, self-conscious
leisure-enjoyer. He labors only to get rid of labor; labor, only by the labor that has for its end no " ego-
he wants to make labor free, only that he may be free istic " purpose, but Man, and is Man's self-revelation ;
from labor. so that the saying should be laboro, ergo sum, I labor,
In fine, his work has no satisfying substance, be- therefore I am a man. The humane liberal wants
cause it is only imposed by society, only a stint, a that labor of the mind which works up all material ;
task, a calling; and, conversely, his society does not he wants the mind, that leaves no thing quiet or in its
satisfy, because it gives only work. existing condition, that acquiesces in nothing, analyzes
His labor ought to satisfy him as a man; instead everything, criticises anew every result that has been
of that, it satisfies society ; society ought to treat him gained. This restless mind is the true laborer, it ob-
as a man, and it treats him asa rag-tag laborer, or literates prejudices, shatters limits and narrownesses,
a laboring ragamuffin. and raises man above everything that would like to
Labor and society are of use to him not as he needs dominate over him, while the Communist labors only
them as a man, but only as he needs them as an for himself, and not even freely, but from necessity,
* [Referring to minute subdivision of labor, whereby the single workman * " Lit. Ztg." V, 24. " Lit. Ztg." ibid.
produces, not a whole, but a part.]
174 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 175
in short, represents a man condemned to hard labor. labor of his whole being, because he has done his best
The laborer of such a type is not " egoistic," be- in it, has spread himself out wholly and is wholly to
cause he does not labor for individuals, neither for be known from it, while the work of a handicraftsman
himself nor for other individuals, not for private men mirrors only the handicraftsman, i. e. the skill in
therefore, but for humanity and its progress : he does handicraft, not "the man"? In his poems we have
not ease individual pains, does not care for individual the whole Schiller; in so many hundred stoves, on the
wants, but removes limits within which humanity is other hand, we have before us only the stove-maker,
pressed, dispels prejudices which dominate an entire not " the man."
time, vanquishes hindrances that obstruct the path of But does this mean more than " in the one work
all, clears away errors in which men entangle them- you see me as completely as possible, in the other only
selves, discovers truths which are found through him my skill"? Is it not me again that the act expresses?
for all and for all time; in shorthe lives and labors And is it not more egoistic to offer oneself to the
for humanity.' world in a work, to work out and shape oneself, than
Now, in the first place, the discoverer of a great to remain concealed behind one's labor? You say, to
truth doubtless knows that it can be useful to the rest be sure, that you are revealing Man. But the Man
of men, and, as a jealous withholding furnishes him no that you reveal is you ; you reveal only yourself, yet
enjoyment, he communicates it; but, even though he with this distinction from the handicraftsman,that
has the consciousness that his communication is highly he does not understand how to compress himself into
valuable to the rest, yet he has in no wise sought and one labor, but, in order to be known as himself, must
found his truth for the sake of the rest, but for his be searched out in his other relations of life, and that
own sake, because he himself desired it, because dark- your want, through whose satisfaction that work came
ness and fancies left him no rest till he had procured into being, was atheoretical want.
for himself light and enlightenment to the best of his But you will reply that you reveal quite another
powers. man, a worthier, higher, greater, a man that is more
He labors, therefore, for his own sake and for the man than that other. I will assume that you accom-
satisfaction of his want. That along with this he was plish all that is possible to man, that you bring to
also useful to others, yes, to posterity, does not take pass what no other succeeds in. Wherein, then, does
from his labor the egoistic character. your greatness consist? Precisely in this, that you
In the next place, if he did labor only on his own are more than other men (the " masses"), more than
account, like the rest, why should his act be human, men ordinarily are, more than "ordinary men "; pre-
those of the rest unhuman, i. e. egoistic? Perhaps cisely in your elevation above men. You are distin-
because this book, painting, symphony, etc., is the guished beyond other men not by being man, but be-
176 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 177
cause you are a "unique"* man. Doubtless you show prerogatives, down to the prerogative of faith. In it
what a man can do; but because you, a man, do it, the love-principle of Christianity, the true social prin-
this by no means shows that others, also men, are ciple, comes to the purest fulfilment, and the last pos-
able to do as much; you have executed it only as a sible experiment is tried to take away exclusiveness
unique man, and are unique therein. and repulsion from men: a fight against egoism in its
It is not man that makes up your greatness, but simplest and therefore hardest form, in the form of
you create it, because you are more than man, and singleness,* exclusiveness, itself.
mightier than othermen. " How can you live a truly social life so long as
It is believed that one cannot be more than man. even one exclusiveness still exists between you?"
Rather, one cannot be less! I ask conversely, How can you be truly single so
It is believed further that whatever one attains is long as even one connection still exists between you?
good for Man. In so far as I remain at all times a If you are connected, you cannot leave each other; if
manor, like Schiller, a Swabian; like Kant, a Prus- a " tie " clasps you, you are something only with
sian; like Gustavus Adolphus, a near-sighted person another, and twelve of you make a dozen, thousands
I certainly become by my superior qualities a not- of you a people, millions of you humanity.
able man, Swabian, Prussian, or near-sighted per- " Only when you are human can you keep company
son. But the case is not much better with that than with each other as men, just as you can understand
with Frederick the Great's cane, which became famous each other as patriots only when you are patriotic! "
for Frederick's sake. All right; then I answer, Only when you are single
To " Give God the glory " corresponds the modern can you have intercourse with each other as what you
" Give Man the glory." But I mean to keep it for are.
myself. It is precisely the keenest critic who is hit hardest
Criticism, issuing the summons to man to be " hu- by the curse of his principle. Putting from him one
man," enunciates the necessary condition of sociabil- exclusive thing after another, shaking off churchlincss,
ity; for only as a man among men is one companion- patriotism, etc., he undoes one tie after another and
able. Herewith it makes known its social object, the separates himself from the churchly man, from the
establishment of "human society." patriot, etc., till at last, when all ties are undone, he
Among social theories criticism is indisputably the standsalone. He, of all men, must exclude all that
most complete, because it removes and deprives of have anything exclusive or private; and, when you
value everything that separates man from man: all get to the bottom, what can be more exclusive than
* ["einziger"] * [Einzigkeit]
178 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 179
the exclusive, single person himself ! a matter of purely private concern. Even when
Or does he perhaps think that the situation would they were connected with the State and made it Chris-
be better if all became " men " and gave up exclusive- tian, they were only the proof that the State had not
ness? Why, for the very reason that " all " means yet developed its general political idea, that it was
" every individual " the most glaring contradiction is only instituting private rights they were only the
still maintained, for the " individual " is exclusiveness highest expression for the fact that the State was a
itself. If the humane liberal no longer concedes to private affair and had to do only with private affairs.
the individual anything private or exclusive, any pri- When the State shall at last have the courage and
vate thought, any private folly; if he criticises every- strength to fulfil its general destiny and to be free;
thing away from him before his face, since his hatred when, therefore, it is also able to give separate inter-
of the private is an absolute and fanatical hatred; if ests and private concerns their true position,then
he knows no tolerance toward what is private, because religion and the church will be free as they have never
everything private is unhuman,yet he cannot criti- been hitherto. As a matter of the most purely pri-
cise away the private person himself, since the hard- vate concern, and a satisfaction of purely personal
ness of the individual person resists his criticism, and want, they will be left to themselves; and every indi-
he must be satisfied with declaring this person a " pri- vidual, every congregation and ecclesiastical commun-
vate person " and really leaving everything private to ion, will be able to care for the blessedness of their
him again. souls as they choose and as they think necessary.
What will the society that no longer cares about Every one will care for his soul's blessedness so far
anything private do? Make the private impossible? as it is to him a personal want, and will accept and
No, but " subordinate it to the interests of society, pay as spiritual caretaker the one who seems to him
and, e. g., leave it to private will to institute holidays to offer the best guarantee for the satisfaction of his
as many as it chooses, if only it does not come in col- want. Science is at last left entirely out of the
lision with the general interest."* Everything pri- game."*
vate is left free ; i. e. it has no interest for society. What is to happen, though? Is social life to have
" By their raising of barriers against science the an end, and all companionableness, all fraternization,
church and religiousness have declared that they are everything that is created by the love or society prin-
what they always were, only that this was hidden ciple, to disappear?
under another semblance when they were proclaimed As if one will not always seek the other because he
to be the basis and necessary foundation of the State needs him ; as if one must not accommodate, himself to
* Bruno Bauer, "Judenfrage," p. 66 * Bruno Bauer, "Die gute Sache der Freiheit," pp 62-63
180 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 181
the other when he needs him. But the difference is as a born man, among which there are counted liberty
this, that then the individual really unites with the in- of conscience, the possession of goods, etc.,in short,
dividual, while formerly they were bound together by the " rights of man " ; Socialism grants to the individ-
a tie ; son and father are bound together before ual what pertains to him as an active man, as a
majority, after it they can come together indepen- "laboring" man; finally, humane liberalism gives
dently; before it they belonged together as members the individual what he has as " a man," i. e. every-
of the family, after it they unite as egoists ; sonship thing that belongs to humanity. Accordingly the
and fatherhood remain, but son and father no longer single one* has nothing at all, humanity everything ;
pin themselves down to these. and the necessity of the " regeneration " preached in
The last privilege, in truth, is "Man"; with it all Christianity is demanded unambiguously and in the
are privileged or invested. For, as Bruno Bauer him- completest measure. Become a new creature, become
self says, " privilege remains even when it is extended "man"!
to all."* One might even think himself reminded of the close
Thus liberalism runs its course in the following of the Lord's Prayer. To Man belongs the lordship
transformations: "First, the individual is not man, (the " power " or dynamis) ; therefore no individual
therefore his individual personality is of no account: may be lord, but Man is the lord of individuals ;
no personal will, no arbitrariness, no orders or Man's is the kingdom, i. e. the world, consequently
mandates ! the individual is not to be proprietor, but Man, " all,"
" Second, the individual has nothing human, there- commands the world as property ;to Man is due re-
fore no mine and thine, or property, is valid. nown, glorification or " glory " (doxa) from all, for
" Third, as the individual neither is man nor has Man or humanity is the individual's end, for which he
anything human, he shall not exist at all : he shall, as labors, thinks, lives, and for whose glorification he
an egoist with his egoistic belongings, be annihilated must become " man."
by criticism to make room for Man, ' Man, just dis- Hitherto men have always striven to find out a fel-
covered '." lowship in which their inequalities in other respects
But, although the individual is not Man, Man is should become " non-essential "; they strove for equali-
yet present in the individual, and, like every spook zation, consequently for equality, and wanted to come
and everything divine, has its existence in him. all under one hat, which means nothing less than that
Hence political liberalism awards to the individual they were seeking for one lord, one tie, one faith
everything that pertains to him as " a man by birth," (" 'Tis in one God we all believe"). There cannot be
* [Einzige]
* Bruno Bauer, "Judenfrage," p. 60.
182 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 183
for men anything more fellowly or more equal than and have. Whether others are and have anything
Man himself, and in this fellowship the love-craving similar, what do I care? The equal, the same, they
has found its contentment: it did not rest till it had can neither be nor have. I cause no detriment to
brought on this last equalization, leveled all inequality, them, as I cause no detriment to the rock by being
laid man on the breast of man. But under this very "ahead of it" in having motion. If they could have
fellowship decay and ruin become most glaring. In it, they would have it.
a more limited fellowship the Frenchman still stood To cause other men no detriment is the point of the
against the German, the Christian against the Moham- demand to possess no prerogative; to renounce all
medan, etc. Now, on the contrary, man stands against " being ahead," the strictest theory of renunciation.
men, or, as men are not man, man stands against the One is not to count himself as " anything especial,"
un-man. such as e. g. a Jew or a Christian. Well, I do not
The sentence " God has become man " is now fol- count myself as anything especial, but as unique*
lowed by the other, " Man has become I." This is Doubtless I have similarity with others; yet that holds
the human I. But we invert it and say : I was not good only for comparison or reflection; in fact I am
able to find myself so long as I sought myself as incomparable, unique. My flesh is not their flesh, my
Man. But, now that it appears that Man is aspiring mind is not their mind. If you bring them under the
to become I and to gain a corporeity in me, I note generalities "flesh, mind," those are your thoughts,
that, after all, everything depends on me, and Man is which have nothing to do with my flesh, my mind, and
lost without me. But I do not care to give myself up can least of all issue a " call " to mine. '
to be the shrine of this most holy thing, and shall not I do not want to recognize or respect in you any-
ask henceforward whether I am man or un-man in thing, neither the proprietor nor the ragamuffin, nor
what I set about; let this spirit keep off my neck! even the man, but to use you. In salt I find that it
Humane liberalism goes to work radically. If you makes food palatable to me, therefore I dissolve it; in
want to be or have anything especial even in one the fish I recognize an aliment, therefore I eat it; in
point, if you want to retain for yourself even one pre- you I discover the gift of making my life agreeable,
rogative above others, to claim even one right that is therefore I choose you as a companion. Or, in salt I
not a "general right of man," you are an egoist. study crystallization, in the fish animality, in you
Very good! I do not want to have or be anything men, etc. But to me you are only what you are for
especial above others, I do not want to claim any pre- me,to wit, my object; and, because my object, there-
rogative against them, butI do not measure myself fore my property.
by others either, and do not want to have any right * [einzig]
whatever. I want to be all and have all that I can be
184 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 185
In humane liberalism ragamuffinhood is completed. Liberalism as a whole has a deadly enemy, an in-
We must first come down to the most ragamuffin-like, vincible opposite, as God has the devil :' by the side of
most poverty-stricken condition if we want to arrive man stands always the un-man, the individual, the
at ownness, for we must strip off everything alien. egoist. State, society, humanity, do not master this
But nothing seems more ragamuffin-like than naked devil.
Man. Humane liberalism has undertaken the task of show-
It is more than ragamuffinhood, however, when ing the other liberals that they still do not want
I throw away Man too because I feel that he too is "freedom."
alien to me and that I can make no pretensions on If the other liberals had before their eyes only iso-
that basis. This is no longer mere ragamuffinhood: lated egoism and were for the most part blind, radical
because even the last rag has fallen off, here stands liberalism has against it egoism " in mass," throws
real nakedness, denudation of everything alien. The among the masses all who do not make the cause of
ragamuffin has stripped off ragamuffinhood itself, and freedom their own as it does, so that now man and
therewith has ceased to be what he was, a ragamuffin. un-man, rigorously separated, stand over against each
I am no longer a ragamuffin, but have been one. other as enemies, to wit, the " masses " and " criti-
Up to this time the discord could not come to an cism"; * namely, "free, human criticism," as it is
outbreak, because properly there is current only a con- called {"Judenfrage" p. 114), in opposition to crude,
tention of modern liberals with antiquated liberals, a e. g. religious, criticism.
contention of those who understand " freedom " in a Criticism expresses the hope that it will be victor-
small measure and those who want the "full measure" ious over all the masses and " give them a general
of freedom ; of the moderate and measureless, therefore. certificate of insolvency." So it means finally to
Everything turns on the question, how free must man make itself out in the right, and to represent all con-
be? That man must be free, in this all believe; there- tention of the " faint-hearted and timorous " as an
fore all are liberal too. But the un-man * who is egoistic stubbornness, as pettiness, paltriness. All
somewhere in every individual, how is he blocked? wrangling loses significance, and petty dissensions are
How can it be arranged not to leave the un-man free given up, because in criticism a common enemy enters
at the same time with man ? the field. " You are egoists altogether, one no better
* [It should be remembered that to be an Unmensch (" un man ") one than another ! " Now the egoists stand together
must be a man The word means an inhuman or unhuman man, a man against criticism.
who is not man A tiger, an avalanche, a drought, a cabbage, is not an * "Lit. Ztg." V, 23 ; as comment, V, 12 ff. "Lit. Ztg." V, 15.
un-man.]
[Rechthaberei, literally the character of always insisting on making
one's self out to be m the right]
186 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 187
Really the egoists? No, they fight against criti- reduced to the following contradiction : " You are
cism precisely because it accuses them of egoism ; they egoists"! "No, we are not"! "I will prove it to
do not plead guilty to egoism. Accordingly criticism you " ! " You shall have our justification " !
and the masses stand on the same basis: both fight Let us then take both for what they give themselves
against egoism, both repudiate it for themselves and out for, non-egoists, and what they take each other
charge it to each other. for, egoists. They are egoists and are not.
Criticism and the masses pursue the same goal, free- Properly criticism says: You must liberate your
dom from egoism, and wrangle only over which of ego from all limitedness so entirely that it becomes a
them approaches nearest to the goal or even attains it. human ego. I say : Liberate yourself as far as you
The Jews, the Christians, the absolutists, the men can, and you have done your part; for it is not given
of darkness and men of light, politicians, Commun- to every one to break through all limits, or, more ex-
ists,all, in short,hold the reproach of egoism far pressively: not to every one is that a limit which is a
from them ; and, as criticism brings against them this limit for the rest. Consequently, do not tire yourself
reproach in plain terms and in the most extended with toiling at the limits of others ; enough if you
sense, all justify themselves against the accusation tear down yours. Who has ever succeeded in tearing
of egoism, and combategoism, the same enemy with down even one limits for all men? Are not countless
whom criticism wages war. persons to-day, as at all times, running about with all
Both, criticism and masses, are enemies of egoists, the "limitations of humanity"? He who overturns
and both seek to liberate themselves from egoism, as one of his limits may have shown others the way and
well by clearing or whitewashing themselves as by as- the means; the overturning of their limits remains
cribing it to the opposite party. their affair. Nobody does anything else either. To
The critic is the true "spokesman of the masses" demand of people that they become wholly men is to
who gives them the "simple concept and the phrase" call on them to cast down all human limits. That is
of egoism, while the spokesmen to whom the triumph impossible, because Man has no limits. I have some
is denied in "Lit. Ztg." V. 24 were only bunglers. indeed, but then it is only mine that concern me any,
He is their prince and general in the war against ego- and only they can be overcome by me. A human
ism for freedom ; what he fights against they fight ego I cannot become, just because I am I and not
against. But at the same time he is their enemy too, merely man.
only not the enemy before them, but the friendly Yet let us still see whether criticism has not taught
enemy who wields the knout behind the timorous to us something that we can lay to heart! , I am not
force courage into them. free if I am not without interests, not man if I am not
Hereby the opposition of criticism and the masses is disinterested? Well, even if it makes little difference
188 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 189
to me to be free or man, yet I do not want to leave through liberalism, I turn my gaze back upon myself
unused any occasion to realize myself or make myself and confess to myself openly : What Man seems to
count. Criticism offers me this occasion by the teach- have gained, I alone have gained.
ing that, if anything plants itself firmly in me, and Man is free when " Man is to man the supreme
becomes indissoluble, I become its prisoner and ser- being." So it belongs to the completion of liberalism
vant, i. e. a possessed man. An interest, be it for that every other supreme being be annulled, theology
what it may, has kidnapped a slave in me if I cannot overturned by anthropology, God and his grace
get away from it, and is no longer my property, but laughed down, " atheism " universal.
I am its. Let us therefore accept criticism's lesson to The egoism of property has given up the last that it
let no part of our property become stable, and to feel had to give when even the " My God " has become
comfortable only indissolving it. senseless; for God exists only when he has at heart the
So, if criticism says : You are man only when you individual's welfare, as the latter seeks his welfare in
are restlessly criticising and dissolving! then we say: him.
Man I am without that, and I am I likewise; there- Political liberalism abolished the inequality of
fore I want only to be careful to secure my property masters and servants: it made people masterless,
to myself; and, in order to secure it, I continually anarchic. The master was now removed from the
take it back into myself, annihilate in it every move- individual, the "egoist," to become a ghost,the law
ment toward independence, and swallow it before it or the State. Social liberalism abolishes the inequal-
can fix itself and become a " fixed idea " or a ity of possession, of the poor and rich, and makes
" mania." people possessionless or propertyless. Property is
But I do that not for the sake of my " human withdrawn from the individual and surrendered to
calling," but because I call myself to it. I do not ghostly society. Humane liberalism makes people
strut about dissolving everything that it is possible godless, atheistic. Therefore the individual's God,
for a man to dissolve, and, e. g., while not yet ten "my God," must be put an end to. Now masterless-
years old I do not criticise the nonsense of the Com- ness is indeed at the same time freedom from service,
mandments, but I am man all the same, and act possessionlessness at the same time freedom from care,
humanly in just this,that I still leave them uncriti- and godlessness at the same time freedom from preju-
cised. In short, I have no calling, and follow none, dice: for with the master the servant falls away; with
not even that to be a man. possession, the care about it; with the firmly-rooted
Do I now reject what liberalism has won in its God, prejudice. But, since the master rises again as
various exertions? Far be the day that anything won State, the servant appears again as subject; since
should be lost! Only, after "Man " has become free possession becomes the property of society, care is be-
190 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 191
gotten anew as labor ; and, since God as Man becomes society." Criticism only "saw itself compelled to
a prejudice, there arises a new faith, faith in humanity identify for a moment human and political affairs" in
or liberty. For the individual's God the God of all, 1842; but now it has found that the State, even as
viz., "Man," is now exalted ; "for it is the highest "free State," is not human society, or, as it could
thing in us all to be man." But, as nobody can be- likewise say, that the people is not "man." We saw
come entirely what the idea "man" imports, Man re- how it got through with theology and showed clearly
mains to the individual a lofty other world, an unat- that God sinks into dust before Man; we see it now
tained supreme being, a God. But at the same time come to a clearance with politics in the same way,
this is the " true God," because he is fully adequate to and show that before Man peoples and nationalities
us,to wit, our own "self"; we ourselves, but sepa- fall : so we see how it has its explanation with Church
rated from us and lifted above us. and State, declaring them both unhuman, and we shall
seefor it betrays this to us already-how it can also
Postscript give proof that before Man the " masses,'" which it
even calls a " spiritual being," appear worthless. And
The foregoing review of " free human criticism " how should the lesser "spiritual beings" be able to
was written by bits immediately after the appearance maintain themselves before the supreme spirit?
of the books in question, as was also that which else- " Man " casts down the false idols.
where refers to writings of this tendency, and I did So what the critic has in view for the present is the
little more than bring together the fragments. But scrutiny of the "masses," which he will place before
criticism is restlessly pressing forward, and thereby " Man " in order to combat them from the standpoint
makes it necessary for me to come back to it once of Man. "What is now the object of criticism?"
more, now that my book is finished, and insert this "The masses, a spiritual being! " These the critic
concluding note. will "learn to know," and will find that they are in
I have before me the latest (eighth) number of the contradiction with Man; he will demonstrate that
"Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung" of Bruno Bauer. they are unhuman, and will succeed just as well in
There again "the general interests of society " this demonstration as in the former ones, that the
stand at the top. But criticism has reflected, and divine and the national, or the concerns of Church
given this " society " a specification by which it is and of State, were the unhuman.
discriminated from a form which previously had still The masses are defined as "the most significant
been confused with it: the "State," in former passages product of the Revolution, as the deceived multitude
still celebrated as "free State," is quite given up be- which the illusions of political Illumination, and in
cause it can in no wise fulfil the task of "human general the entire Illumination movement of the
192 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 193
eighteenth century, have given over to boundless dis- The critic clears away everything human; and,
gruntlement." The Revolution satisfied some by its starting from the presupposition that the human is the
result, and left others unsatisfied; the satisfied part true, he works against himself, denying it wherever it
is the commonalty (bourgeoisie, etc.), the unsatisfied had been hitherto found. He proves only that the
is themasses. Does not the critic, so placed, himself human is to be found nowhere except in his head, but
belong to the "masses"? the unhuman everywhere. The unhuman is the real,
But the unsatisfied are still in great mistiness, and the extant on all hands, and by the proof that it is
their discontent utters itself only in a "boundless dis- " not human " the critic only enunciates plainly the
gruntlement." This the likewise unsatisfied critic now tautological sentence that it is the unhuman.
wants to master: he cannot want and attain more But what if the unhuman, turning its back on itself
than to bring that "spiritual being," the masses, out with resolute heart, should at the same time turn
of its disgruntlement, and to "uplift" those who were away from the disturbing critic and leave him stand-
only disgruntled, i. e. to give them the right attitude ing, untouched and unstung by his remonstrance?
toward those results of the Revolution which are to be " You call me the unhuman," it might say to him,
overcome;he can become the head of the masses, "and so I really amfor you; but I am so only be-
their decided spokesman. Therefore he wants also to cause you bring me into opposition to the human, and
"abolish the deep chasm which parts him from the I could despise myself only so long as I let myself be
multitude." From those who want to " uplift the hypnotized into this opposition. I was contemptible .
lower classes of the people " he is distinguished by because I sought my 'better self outside me; I was the
wanting to deliver from " disgruntlement," not merely unhuman because I dreamed of the ' human '; I re-
these, but himself too. sembled the pious who hunger for their ' true self ' and
But assuredly his consciousness does not deceive always remain ' poor sinners ' ; I thought of myself
him either, when he takes the masses to be the only in comparison to another; enough, I was not all
" natural opponents of theory," and foresees that, " the in all, was notunique.* But now I cease to appear
more this theory shall develop itself, so much the more to myself as the unhuman, cease to measure myself
will it make the masses compact." For the critic can- and let myself be measured by man, cease to recognize
not enlighten or satisfy the masses with his presupposi- anything above me: consequentlyadieu, humane
tion, Man. If over against the commonalty they are critic! I only have been the unhuman, am it now no
only the "lower classes of the people," politically in- longer, but am the unique, yes, to your loathing, the
significant masses, over against " Man " they must egoistic ; yet not the egoistic as it lets itself be mea-
still more be mere " masses," humanly insignificant * [einzig]
yes, unhumanmasses, or a multitude of un-men.
194 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 195
sured by the human, humane, and unselfish, but the fixity. But yet he cannot decompose this thought
egoistic as theunique." till he has found a" higher " in which it dissolves ;
We have to pay attention to still another sentence for he moves onlyin thoughts. This higher thought
of the same number. " Criticism sets up no dogmas, might be enunciated as that of the movement or pro-
and wants to learn to know nothing but thing's.''' cess of thinking itself, i. e. as the thought of thinking
The critic is afraid of becoming " dogmatic " or or of criticism.
setting up dogmas. Of course: why, thereby he Freedom of thinking has in fact become complete
would become the opposite of the critic,the dogmat- hereby, freedom of mind celebrates its triumph : for
ist; he would now become bad, as he is good as critic, the individual, " egoistic " thoughts have lost their
or would become from an unselfish man an egoist, etc. dogmatic truculence. There is nothing left but the
" Of all things, no dogma! " this is hisdogma. For dogma of free thinking or of criticism.
the critic remains on one and the same ground with Against everything that belongs to the world of
the dogmatist,that of thoughts. Like the latter he thought, criticism is in the right, i. e. in might: it is
always starts from a thought, but varies in this, that the victor. Criticism, and criticism alone, is "up to
he never ceases to keep the principle-thought in the date." From the standpoint of thought there is no
process of thinking, and so does not let it become power capable of being an overmatch for criticism's,
stable. He only asserts the thought-process against and it is a pleasure to see how easily and sportively
the thought-faith, the progress of thinking against this dragon swallows all other serpents of thought.
stationariness in it. From criticism no thought is Each serpent twists, to be sure, but criticism crushes it
safe, since criticism is thought or the thinking mind in all its " turns."
itself. I am no opponent of criticism, i. e. I am no dog-
Therefore I repeat that the religious worldand matist, and do not feel myself touched by the critic's
this is the world of thoughtsreaches its completion tooth with which he tears the dogmatist to pieces. If
in criticism, where thinking extends its encroach- I were a "dogmatist," I should place at the head a
ments over every thought, no one of which may dogma, i. e. a thought, an idea, a principle, and
" egoistically " establish itself. Where would the should complete this as a " systematist," spinning it
" purity of criticism," the purity of thinking, be left if out to a system, i. e. a structure of thought. Con-
even one thought escaped the process of thinking? versely, if I were a critic, viz., an opponent of the
This explains the fact that the critic has even begun dogmatist, I should carry on the fight of free thinking
already to gibe gently here and there at the thought against the enthralling thought, I should defend
of Man, of humanity and humaneness, because he sus- thinking against what was thought. But I am neither
pects that here a thought is approaching dogmatic the champion of a thought nor the champion of think-
196 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME. AND THE NEW 197
ing; for " I," from whom I start, am not a thought, who have set the tasks, arc you not to be able to upset
nor do I consist in thinking. Against me, the un- them again? Must you be bound to these tasks, and
nameable, the realm of thoughts, thinking, and mind must they become absolute tasks ?
is shattered. To cite only one thing, the government has been
Criticism is the possessed man's fight against pos- disparaged on account of its resorting to forcible
session as such, against all possession : a fight which is means against thoughts, interfering against the press
founded in the consciousness that everywhere posses- by means of the police power of the censorship, and
sion, or, as the critic calls it, a religious and theologi- making a personal fight out of a literary one. As if
cal attitude, is extant. He knows that people stand it were solely a matter of thoughts, and as if one's
in a religious or believing attitude not only toward attitude toward thoughts must be unselfish, self-
God, but toward other ideas as well, like right, the denying, and self-sacrificing! Do not those thoughts
State, law, etc.; i. e. he recognizes possession in all attack the governing parties themselves, and so call
places. So he wants to break up thoughts by think- out egoism? And do the thinkers not set before the
ing; but I say, only thoughtlessness really saves me attacked ones the religious demand to reverence the
from thoughts. It it not thinking, but my thought- power of thought, of ideas? They are to succumb
lessness, or I the unthinkable, incomprehensible, that voluntarily and resignedly, because the divine power
frees me from possession. of thought, Minerva, fights on their enemies' side.
A jerk does me the service of the most anxious Why, that would be an act of possession, a religious
thinking, a stretching of the limbs shakes off the tor- sacrifice. To be sure, the governing parties are them-
ment of thoughts, a leap upward hurls from my breast selves held fast in a religious bias, and follow the lead-
the nightmare of the religious world, a jubilant Hoop- ing power of an idea or a faith; but they are at the
la throws off year-long burdens. But the monstrous same time unconfessed egoists, and right here, against
significance of unthinking jubilation could not be the enemy, their pent-up egoism breaks loose: pos-
recognized in the long night of thinking and sessed in their faith, they are at the samp time unpos-
believing. sessed by their opponents' faith, i. e. they are egoists
" What clumsiness and frivolity, to want to solve toward this. If one wants to make them a reproach,
the most difficult problems, acquit yourself of the it could only be the converse,to wit, that they are
most comprehensive tasks, by a breaking off!"" possessed by their ideas.
But have you tasks if you do not set them to your- Against thoughts no egoistic power is to appear, no
self ? So long as you set them, you will not give police power and the like. So the believers in think-
them up, and I certainly do not care if you think, ing believe. But thinking and its thoughts are not
and, thinking, create a thousand thoughts. But you sacred to me, and I defend my skin against them as
198 THE EGO AND HIS OWN MEN OF THE OLD TIME AND THE NEW 199
against other things. That may be an unreasonable time or hobby as it were, and to take from it the im-
defence; but, if I am in duty bound to reason, then I, portance of " being the last decisive power" ; this
like Abraham, must sacrifice my dearest to it! degradation and desecration of thinking ; this equali-
In the kingdom of thought, which, like that of zation of the unthinking and thoughtful ego ; this
faith, is the kingdom of heaven, every one is assuredly clumsy but real " equality,"criticism is not able to
wrong who uses unthinking force, just as every one is produce, because it itself is only the priest of thinking,
wrong who in the kingdom of love behaves unlov- and sees nothing beyond thinking butthe deluge.
ingly, or, although he is a Christian and therefore Criticism does indeed affirm, e. g., that free criti-
lives in the kingdom of love, yet acts unchristianly ; cism may overcome the State, but at the same time it
in these kingdoms, to which he supposes himself to be- defends itself against the reproach which is laid upon
long though he nevertheless throws off their laws, he it by the State government, that it is " self-will and
is a "sinner" or "egoist." But it is only when he be- impudence "; it thinks, then, that " self will and im-
comes a criminal against these kingdoms that he can pudence" may not overcome, it alone may. The
throw off their dominion. truth is rather the reverse: the State can be really
Here too the result is this, that the fight of the overcome only by impudent self-will.
thinkers against the government is indeed in the right, It may now, to conclude with this, be clear that
viz., in might,so far as it is carried on against in the critic's new change of front he has not trans-
the government's thoughts (the government is dumb, formed himself, but only " made good an oversight,"
and does not succeed in making any literary rejoinder " disentangled a subject, " and is saying too much
to speak of), but is, on the other hand, in the wrong, when he speaks of " criticism criticising itself": it, or
viz., in impotence, so far as it does not succeed in rather he, has only criticised its " oversight " and
bringing into the field anything but thoughts against cleared it of its " inconsistencies." If he wanted to
a personal power (the egoistic power stops the criticise criticism, he would have to look and see if
mouths of the thinkers). The theoretical fight can- there was anything in its presupposition.
not complete the victory, and the sacred power of I on my part start from a presupposition in presup-
thought succumbs to the might of egoism. Only the posing myself; but my presupposition does not
egoistic fight, the fight of egoists on both sides, clears struggle for its perfection like " Man struggling for
up everything. his perfection," but only serves me to enjoy it and
This last now, to make thinking an affair of egoistic consume it. I consume my presupposition, and noth-
option, an affair of the single person,* a mere pas- ing else, and exist only in consuming it. But that
* [des Einzigen] presupposition is therefore not a presupposition at all:
for, as I am the Unique, I know nothing of the dual-
200 THE EGO AND HIS OWN
ity of a presupposing and a presupposed ego (an " in-
complete " and a '' complete " ego or man) ; but this,
that I consume myself, means only that I am. I do
not presuppose myself, because I am every moment
just positing or creating myself, and am I only by be-
ing not presupposed but posited, and, again, posited
only in the moment when I posit myself; i. e., I am
creator and creature in one.
If the presuppositions that have hitherto been cur-
rent are to melt away in a full dissolution, they must
not be dissolved into a higher presupposition again,
i. e. a thought, or thinking itself, criticism. For that
dissolution is to be for my good; otherwise it would Part Second
belong only in the series of the innumerable dissolu-
tions which, in favor of others, (e. g. this very Man, I
God, the State, pure morality, etc.), declared old
truths to be untruths and did away with long-
fostered presuppositions.
At the entrance of the modern time stands the " God-man."
At its exit will only the God in the God-man evaporate ? and
can
I.
the God-man really die if only the God in him dies ? They OWNNESS *
did
not think of this question, and thought they were through
when " Does not the spirit thirst for freedom?"Alas,
in our days they brought to a victorious end the work of the not my spirit alone, my body too thirsts for it hourly!
Illumination, the vanquishing of God; they did not notice that When before the odorous castle-kitchen my nose tells
Man has killed God in order to become now" sole God on my palate of the savory dishes that are being prepared
high." The other world outside us is indeed brushed away, therein, it feels a fearful pining at its dry bread;
and the great undertaking of the Illuminators completed ; but when my eyes tell the hardened back about soft down
the on which one may lie more delightfully than on its
other world in us has become a new heaven and calls us forth compressed straw, a suppressed rage seizes it; when
to but let us not follow the pains further.And you
renewed heaven-storming : God has had to give place, yet not call that a longing for freedom? What do you want
to to become free from, then? From your hardtack and
us, but toMan. How can you believe that the God-man is your straw bed? Then throw them away!But
dead before the Man in him, besides the God, is dead? that seems not to serve you : you want rather to have
the freedom to enjoy delicious foods and downy beds.
Are men to give you this "freedom,"are they to
permit it to you? You do not hope that from
their philanthropy, because you know they all think

* [This is a literal translation of the German word Eigenheit, which, with


its primitive eigen, " own," is used in this chapter in a way that the Ger-
man dictionaries do not quite recognize. The author's conception being:
new, he had to make an innovation in the German language to express it.
The translator is under the like necessity. In most passages " self-owner-
ship," or else " personality," would translate the word, but there are some
where the thought is so eigen, that is, so peculiar or so thoroughly the
author's own, that no English word I can think of would express it. It will
explain itself to one who has read Part First intelligently.]
204 THE EGO AND HIS OWN OWNNESS 205
likeyou : each is the nearest to himself ! How, piles up before my eyes; and the more impotent I feel
therefore, do you mean to come to the enjoyment of myself. The unfree son of the wilderness does not yet
those foods and beds? Evidently not otherwise than feel anything of all the limits that crowd a civilized
in making them your property! man : he seems to himself freer than this latter. In
If you think it over rightly, you do not want the the measure that I conquer freedom for myself I create
freedom to have all these fine things, for with this for myself new bounds and new tasks : if I have in-
freedom you still do not have them ; you want really vented railroads, I feel myself weak again because I
to have them, to call them yours and possess them as cannot yet sail through the skies like the bird ; and, if
your property. Of what use is a freedom to you, in- I have solved a problem whose obscurity disturbed my
deed, if it brings in nothing? And, if you became mind, at once there await me innumerable others,
free from everything, you would no longer have any- whose perplexities impede my progress, dim my free
thing; for freedom is empty of substance. Whoso gaze, make the limits of my freedom painfully sensible
knows not how to make use of it, for him it has no to me. " Now that you have become free from sin,
value this useless permission ; but how I make use of you have become servants of righteousness."* Repub-
it depends on my personality.* licans in their broad freedom, do they not become
I have no objection to freedom, but I wish more servants of the law? How true Christian hearts at all
than freedom for you: you should not merely be rid times longed to " become free," how they pined to see
of what you do not want, you should also have what themselves delivered from the "bonds of this earth-
you want ; you should not only be a " freeman," you life"! they looked out toward) the land of freedom.
should be an " owner " too. (" The Jerusalem that is above is the freewoman ; she
Freefrom what? Oh! what is there that cannot is the mother of us all." Gal. 4. 26.)
be shaken off' ? The yoke of serfdom, of sovereignty, Being free from anything-means only being clear
of aristocracy and princes, the dominion of the desires or rid. "He is free from headache" is equal to "he
and passions; yes, even the dominion of one's own is rid of it." " He is free from this prejudice" is
will, of self-will, for the completest self-denial is equal to " he has never conceived it" or "he has got
nothing but freedomfreedom, to wit, from self- rid of it." In "less" we complete the freedom recom-
determination, from one's own self. And the craving mended by Christianity, in sinless, godless, morality-
for freedom as for something absolute, worthy of every less, etc.
praise, deprived us of ownness: it created self-denial. Freedom is the doctrine of Christianity. " Ye, dear
However, the freer I become, the more compulsion brethren, are called to freedom." "So speak and so
* [Eigenheit] * Rom. 6. 18. 1 Pet. 2. 16.
206 THE EGO AND HIS OWN OWNNESS 207
do, as those who are to be judged by the law of again, not to draw worse upon myself by contumacy.
freedom."* But, as I keep my eye on myself and my selfishness, I
Must we then, because freedom betrays itself as a take by the forelock the first good opportunity to
Christian ideal, give it up? No, nothing is to be lost, trample the slaveholder into the dust. That I then
freedom no more than the rest ; but it is to become become free from him and his whip is only the conse-
our own, and in the form of freedom it cannot. quence of my antecedent egoism. Here one perhaps
What a difference between freedom and ownness ! says I was " free " even in the condition of slavery,
One can get rid of a great many things, one yet does to wit, "intrinsically" or "inwardly." But "intrinsi-
not get rid of all ; one becomes free from much, not cally free" is not "really free," and "inwardly" is
from everything. Inwardly one may be free in spite not "outwardly." I was own, on the other hand, my
of the condition of slavery, although, too, it is again own, altogether, inwardly and outwardly. Under the
only from all sorts of things, not from everything ; dominion of a cruel master my body is not "free"
but from the whip, the domineering temper, etc., of from torments and lashes ; but it is my bones that
the master, one does not as slave become free. " Free- moan under the torture, my fibres that quiver under
dom lives only in the realm of dreams ! " Ownness, the blows, and I moan because my body moans.
on the contrary, is my whole being and existence, it is That I sigh and shiver proves that I have not yet lost
I myself. I am free from what I am rid of, owner of myself, that I am still my own. My leg is not "free"
what I have in my power or what I control. My own from the master's stick, but it is my leg and is insepa-
I am at all times and under all circumstances, if I rable. Let him tear it off me and look and see if he
know how to have myself and do not throw myself still has my leg! He retains in his hand nothing but
away on others. To be free is something that I can- thecorpse of my leg, which is as little my leg as a
not truly will, because I cannot make it, cannot create dead dog is still a dog: a dog has a pulsating heart, a
it: I can only wish it andaspire toward it, for it re- so-called dead dog has none and is therefore no longer
mains an ideal, a spook. The fetters of reality cut a dog.
the sharpest welts in my flesh every moment. But my If one opines that a slave may yet be inwardly free,
own I remain. Given up as serf to a master, I think he says in fact only the most indisputable and trivial
only of myself and my advantage ; his blows strike me thing. For who is going to assert that any man is
indeed, I am not free from them ; but I endure them wholly without freedom ? If I am an eye-servant, can
only for my benefit, perhaps in order to deceive him I therefore not be free from innumerable things, e. g.
and make him secure by the semblance of patience, or, from faith in Zeus, from the desire for fame, and the
* James 2.12.
like? Why then should not a whipped slave also be
able to be inwardly free from unchristian sentiments,
208 THE EGO AND HIS OWN OWNNESS 209
from hatred of his enemy, etc. ? He then has " Chris- comefree from all commanding lords. There is no
tian freedom," is rid of the unchristian ; but has he help in that, says a fourth: we only get a new lord
absolute freedom, freedom from everything, e. g. from then, a " dominant majority " ; let us rather free our-
the Christian delusion, or from bodily pain, etc.? selves from this dreadful inequality.0 hapless
In the meantime, all this seems to be said more equality, already I hear your plebeian roar again !
against names than against the thing. But is the How I had dreamed so beautifully just now of a para-
name indifferent, and has not a word, a shibboleth, dise of freedom, and whatimpudence and licentious-
always inspired andfooled men? Yet between ness now raises its wild clamor! Thus the first la-
freedom and ownness there lies still a deeper chasm ments, and gets on his feet to grasp the sword against
than the mere difference of the words. " unmeasured freedom." Soon we no longer hear any-
All the world desires freedom, all long for its reign thing but the clashing of the swords of the disagreeing
to come. 0 enchantingly beautiful dream of a dreamers of freedom.
blooming " reign of freedom," a " free human race "! What the craving for freedom has always come to
who has not dreamed it? So men shall become has been the desire for a particular freedom, e. g.
free, entirely free, free from all constraint! From all freedom of faith; i. e., the believing man wanted to be
constraint, really from all? Are they never to put free and independent; of what? of faith perhaps? no!
constraint on themselves any more? "Oh yes, that, but of the inquisitors of faith. So now " political or
of course; don't you see, that is no constraint at all?" civil " freedom. The citizen wants to become free not
Well, then at any rate they are to become free from from citizenhood, but from bureaucracy, the arbitrari-
religious faith, from the strict duties of morality, ness of princes, and the like. Prince Metternich once
from the inexorability of the law, from" What a said he had " found a way that was adapted to guide
fearful misunderstanding!" Well, what are they men in the path of genuine freedom for all the
to be free from then, and what not? future." The Count of Provence ran away from
The lovely dream is dissipated; awakened, one rubs France precisely at the time when she was preparing
his half-opened eyes and stares at the prosaic ques- the " reign of freedom," and said: " My imprison-
tioner. " What men are to be free from?"From ment had become intolerable to me; I had only one
blind credulity, cries one. What's that? exclaims an- passion, the desire forfreedom ; I thought only of it."
other, all faith is blind credulity; they must become The craving for a particular freedom always in-
free from all faith. No, no, for God's sake,inveighs cludes the purpose of a new dominion, as it was with
the first again,do not cast all faith from you, else the Revolution, which indeed "could give its de-
the power of brutality breaks in. We must have the fenders the uplifting feeling that they were fighting
republic,a third makes himself heard,and be- for freedom," but in truth only because they were
210 THE EGO AND HIS OWN OWNNESS 211
after a particular freedom, therefore a new dominion, Why will you not take courage now to really make
the " dominion of the law." yourselves the central point and the main thing alto-
Freedom you all want, you want freedom. Why gether? Why grasp in the air at freedom, your
then do you higgle over a more or less? Freedom can dream? Are you your dream? Do not begin by in-
only be the whole of freedom ; a piece of freedom is quiring of your dreams, your notions, your thoughts,
not freedom. You despair of the possibility of ob- for that is all "hollow theory." Ask yourselves and
taining the whole of freedom, freedom from every- ask after yourselvesthat is practical, and you know
thing,yes, you consider it insanity even to wish you want very much to be " practical." But there the
this?Well, then leave off chasing after the phantom, one hearkens what his God (of course what he thinks
and spend your pains on something better than the of at the name God is his God) may be going to say
unattainable. to it, and another what his moral feelings his con-
" Ah, but there is nothing better than freedom ! " science, his feeling of duty, may determine about it,
What have you then when you have freedom, viz., and a third calculates what folks will think of it,
for I will not speak here of your piecemeal bits of and, when each has thus asked his Lord God (folks
freedom,complete freedom? Then you are rid of are a Lord God just as good as, nay, even more com-
everything that embarrasses you, everything, and pact than, the other-worldly and imaginary one:
there is probably nothing that does not once in vox populi, vox dei), then he accommodates himself to
your life embarrass you and cause you inconvenience. his Lord's will and listens no more at all for what he
And for whose sake, then, did you want to be rid of himself would like to say and decide.
it? Doubtless for your sake, because it is in your Therefore turn to yourselves rather than to your
way! But, if something were not inconvenient to gods or idols. Bring out from yourselves what is in
you; if, on the contrary, it were quite to your mind you, bring it to the light, bring yourselves to
(e. g. the gently but irresistibly commanding look of revelation.
your loved one),then you would not want to be rid How one acts only from himself, and asks after noth-
of it and free from it. Why not? For your sake ing further, the Christians have realized in the notion
again! So you take yourselves as measure and judge " God." He acts " as it pleases him." And foolish
over all. You gladly let freedom go when unfreedom, man, who could do just so, is to act as it " pleases
the "sweet service of love," suits you; and you take God" instead.If it is said that even God proceeds
up your freedom again on occasion when it begins according to eternal laws, that too fits me, since I too
to suit you better,-that is, supposing, which is not cannot get out of my skin, but have my law in my
the point here, that you are not afraid of such a Re- whole nature, i. e. in myself.
peal of the Union for other (perhaps religious) reasons. But one needs only admonish you of yourselves to
212 THE EGO AND HIS OWN OWNNESS 213
bring you to despair at once. " What am I?" each that the voice of nature is a seducer? And if he even
of you asks himself. An abyss of lawless and unregu- demanded of you to turn the thing about and actually
lated impulses, desires, wishes, passions, a chaos with- to deem the voice of God and conscience to be the
out light or guiding star ! How am I to obtain a devil's work? There are such graceless men ; how
correct answer, if, without regard to God's command- will you settle them? You cannot appeal to your
ments or to the duties which morality prescribes, with- parsons, parents, and good men, for precisely these are
out regard to the voice of reason, which in the course designated by them as your seducers, as the true se-
of history, after bitter experiences, has exalted the ducers and corrupters of youth, who busily sow broad-
best and most reasonable thing into law, I simply cast the tares of self-contempt and reverence to God,
appeal to myself ? My passion would advise me to do who fill young hearts with mud and young heads with
the most senseless thing possible.Thus each deems stupidity.
himself thedevil; for, if, so far as he is unconcerned But now those people go on and ask : For whose
about religion, etc., he only deemed himself a beast, sake do you care about God's and the other command-
he would easily find that the beast, which does follow ments? You surely do not suppose that this is done
only its impulse (as it were, its advice), does not advise merely out of complaisance toward God? No, you
and impel itself to do the " most senseless " things, but are doing it-for your sake again.Here too, there-
takes very correct steps. But the habit of the re- fore, you, are the main thing, and each must say to
ligious way of thinking has biased our mind so griev- himself, I am everything to myself and I do every-
ously that we areterrified at ourselves in our naked- thing on my account. If it ever became clear to you
ness and naturalness; it has degraded us so that we that God, the commandments, etc., only harm you,
deem ourselves depraved by nature, born devils. Of that they reduce and ruin you, to a certainty you
course it comes into your head at once that your would throw them from you just as the Christians once
calling requires you to do the " good," the moral, condemned Apollo or Minerva or heathen morality.
the right. Now, if you ask yourselves what is to be They did indeed put in the place of these Christ and
done, how can the right voice sound forth from you, afterward Mary, as well as a Christian morality; but
the voice which points the way of the good, the right, they did this for the sake of their souls' welfare too,
the true, etc.? What concord have God and Belial? therefore out of egoism or ownness.
But what would you think if one answered you by And it was by this egoism, this ownness, that they
saying: "That one is to listen to God, conscience, got rid of the old world of gods and became free
duties, laws, etc., is flim-flam with which people have from it. Ownness created a new freedom; for ownness
stuffed your head and heart and made you crazy"? is the creator of everything, as genius (a definite
And if he asked you how it is that you know so surely ownness), which is always originality, has for a long
214 THE EGO AND HIS OWN OWNNESS 215
time already been looked upon as the creator of new removes just so much unfreedom as by barring your
productions that have a place in the history of the own way hinders you. What does not disturb you,
world. you will not want to renounce ; and, if it begins to
disturb you, why, you know that " you must obey
If your efforts are ever to make " freedom " the
yourselves rather than men ! "
issue, then exhaust freedom's demands. Who is it
that is to become free? You, I, we. Free from what? Freedom teaches only : Get yourselves rid, relieve
From everything that is not you, not I, not we. I, yourselves, of everything burdensome ; it does not
therefore, am the kernel that is to be delivered from teach you who you yourselves are. Rid, rid! so
all wrappings andfreed from all cramping shells. rings its rallying-cry, and you, eagerly following its
What is left when I have been freed from everything call, get rid even of yourselves, " deny yourselves."
that is not I? Only I; nothing but I. But freedom But ownness calls you back to yourselves, it says
has nothing to offer to this I himself. As to what is " Come to yourself ! " Under the aegis of freedom
now to happen further after I have become free, free- you get rid of many kinds of things, but something
dom is silent,as our governments, when the pris- new pinches you again: "you are rid of the Evil One;
oner's time is up, merely let him go, thrusting him out evil is left."* As own you are really rid of everything,
into abandonment. and what clings to you you have accepted ; it is your
choice and your pleasure. The own man is the free-
Now why, if freedom is striven after for love of the
born, the man free to begin with ; the free man, on
I after all,why not choose the I himself as beginning,
the contrary, is only the eleutheromaniac, the dreamer
middle, and end? Am I not worth more than free-
and enthusiast.
dom? Is it not I that make myself free, am not I the
first? Even unfree, even laid in a thousand fetters, I The former is originally free, because he recognizes
yet am; and I am not, like freedom, extant only in nothing but himself; he does not need to free himself
the future and in hopes, but even as the most abject of first, because at the start he rejects everything outside
slaves I ampresent. himself, because he prizes nothing more than himself,
rates nothing higher, because, in short, he starts from
Think that over well, and decide whether you will
himself and " comes to himself." Constrained by
place on your banner the dream of " freedom " or the
childish respect, he is nevertheless already working at
resolution of " egoism," of " ownness." " Freedom "
"freeing" himself from this constraint. 'Ownness
awakens your rage against everything that is not
works in the little egoist, and procures him the de-
you; "egoism" calls you to joy over yourselves, to
siredfreedom.
self-enjoyment; "freedom" is and remains a longing,
a romantic plaint, a Christian hope for unearthliness * [See note, p 112 ]
and futurity ; " ownness " is a reality, which of itself
216 THE EGO AND HIS OWN OWNNESS 217
Thousands of years of civilization have obscured to hence not manifest and public egoism, consequently
you what you are, have made you believe you are not unconscious egoism,therefore they are not egoism,
egoists but are called to be idealists (" good men"). but thraldom, service, self-renunciation ; you are ego-
Shake that off" ! Do not seek for freedom, which does ists, and you are not, since you renounce egoism.
precisely deprive you of yourselves, in "self-denial"; Where you seem most to be such, you have drawn
but seek for yourselves, become egoists, become each of upon the word "egoist"loathing and contempt.
you an almighty ego. Or, more clearly: Just recog- I secure my freedom with regard to the world in the
nize yourselves again, just recognize what you really degree that I make the world my own, i. e. " gain it
are, and let go your hypocritical endeavors, your and take possession of it" for myself, by whatever
foolish mania to be something else than you are. might, by that of persuasion, of petition, of categori-
Hypocritical I call them because you have yet re- cal demand, yes, even by hypocrisy, cheating, etc.;
mained egoists all these thousands of years, but sleep- for the means that I use for it are determined by what
ing, self-deceiving, crazy egoists, you Heautontimoru- I am. If I am weak, I have only weak means, like
menoses, you self-tormentors. Never yet has a religion the aforesaid, which yet are good enough for a con-
been able to dispense with " promises," whether they siderable part of the world. Besides, cheating, hypoc-
referred us to the other world or to this ("long life," risy, lying, look worse than they are. Who has not
etc.) ; for man is mercenary and does nothing cheated the police, the law? who has not quickly taken
"gratis." But how about that " doing the good on an air of honorable loyalty before the sheriff's
for the good's sake" without prospect of reward? officer who meets him, in order to conceal an illegality
As if here too the pay was not contained in the satis- that may have been committed, etc.? He who has
faction that it is to afford. Even religion, therefore, not done it has simply let violence be done to him ;
is founded on our egoism andexploits it; calculated he was a weakling fromconscience. I know that my
for our desires, it stifles many others for the sake freedom is diminished even by my not being able to
of one. This then gives the phenomenon of cheated carry out my will on another object, be this other
egoism, where I satisfy, not myself, but one of my something without will, like a rock, or something with
desires, e. g. the impulse toward blessedness. Reli- will, like a government, an individual, etc. ; I deny my
gion promises me the"supreme good" ; to gain this ownness whenin presence of anotherI give myself
I no longer regard any other of my desires, and do up, i. e. give way, desist, submit ; therefore by
not slake them.All your doings are unconfessed, loyalty, submission. For it is one thing when I give
secret, covert, and concealed egoism. But because up my previous course because it does not lead to the
they are egoism that you are unwilling to confess to goal, and therefore turn out of a wrong road ; it
yourselves, that you keep secret from yourselves, is another when I yield myself a prisoner. I get
218 THE EGO AND HIS OWN OWNNESS 219
around a rock that stands in my way, till I have blow peoples over, be it the breath of a Nero, a
powder enough to blast it; I get around the laws of a Chinese emperor, or a poor writer. Why is it that
people, till I have gathered strength to overthrow the G * legislatures pine in vain for freedom,
them. Because I cannot grasp the moon, is it there- and are lectured for it by the cabinet ministers? Be-
fore to be "sacred" to me, an Astarte? If I only cause they are not of the " mighty "! Might is a fine
could grasp you, I surely would, and, if I only find a thing, and useful for many purposes; for " one goes
means to get up to you, you shall not frighten me! further with a handful of might than with a bagful of
You inapprehensible one, you shall remain in- right." You long for freedom? You fools! If you
apprehensible to me only till I have acquired the took might, freedom would come of itself. See, he
might for apprehension and call you my own; I do who has might "stands above the law." How does
not give myself up before you, but only bide my time. this prospect taste to you, you "law-abiding" people?
Even if for the present I put up with my inability to But you have no taste!
touch you, I yet remember it against you. The cry for " freedom " rings loudly all around.
Vigorous men have always done so. When the But is it felt and known what a donated or chartered
" loyal " had exalted an unsubdued power to be their freedom must mean ? It is not recognized in the full
master and had adored it, when they had demanded amplitude of the word that all freedom is essentially
adoration from all, then there came some such son of self-liberation,i. e., that I can have only so much
nature who would not loyally submit, and drove the freedom as I procure for myself by my ownness. Of
adored power from its inaccessible Olympus. He what use is it to sheep that no one abridges their free-
cried his " Stand still " to the rolling sun, and made dom of speech ? They stick to bleating. Give one
the earth go round; the loyal had to make the best of who is inwardly a Mohammedan, a Jew, or a Chris-
it; he laid his axe to the sacred oaks, and the " loyal " tian, permission to speak what he likes: he will yet
were astonished that no heavenly fire consumed him; utter only narrow-minded stuff. If, on the contrary,
he threw the pope off Peter's chair, and the " loyal " certain others rob you of the freedom of speaking and
had no way to hinder it; he is tearing down the hearing, they know quite rightly wherein lies their
divine-right business, and the "loyal" croak in vain, temporary advantage, as you would perhaps be able
and at last are silent. to say and hear something whereby those " certain "
My freedom becomes complete only when it is my persons would lose their credit.
might ; but by this I cease to be a merely free man, If they nevertheless give you freedom, they are
and become an own man. Why is the freedom of the simply knaves who give more than they have. For
peoples a "hollow word"? Because the peoples * [Meaning " German " Written in this form because of the censorship ]
have no might ! With a breath of the living ego I
220 THE EGO AND HIS OWN OWNNESS 221
then they give you nothing of their own, but stolen Jews, although he who relieves their condition is cer-
wares: they give you your own freedom, the freedom tainly more than a churchly Christian, as the latter
that you must take for yourselves; and they give it to cannot do this without inconsistency. But, emanci-
you only that you may not take it and call the thieves pated or not emancipated, Jew remains Jew; he who
and cheats to an account to boot. In their slyness is not self-freed is merely anemancipated man. The
they know well that given (chartered) freedom is no Protestant State can certainly set free (emancipate)
freedom, since only the freedom one takes for him- the Catholics; but, because they do not make them-
self, therefore the egoist's freedom, rides with full sails. selves free, they remain simplyCatholics.
Donated freedom strikes its sails as soon as there Selfishness and unselfishness have already been
comes a stormor calm; it requires always agentle spoken of. The friends of freedom are exasperated
and moderate breeze. against selfishness because in their religious striving
Here lies the difference between self-liberation and after freedom they cannotfree themselves from that
emancipation (manumission, setting free). Those who sublime thing, " self-renunciation." The liberal's
to-day "stand in the opposition" are thirsting and anger is directed against egoism, for the egoist, you
screaming to be " set free." The princes are to " de- know, never takes trouble about a thing for the sake
clare their peoples of age," i. e. emancipate them! of the thing, but for his sake : the thing must serve
Behave as if you were of age, and you are so without him. It is egoistic to ascribe to no thing a value of
any declaration of majority ; if you do not behave ac- its own, an " absolute " value, but to seek its value
cordingly, you are not worthy of it, and would never in me. One often hears that pot-boiling study which
be of age even by a declaration of majority. When is so common counted among the most repulsive traits
the Greeks were of age, they drove out their tyrants, of egoistic behavior, because it manifests the most
and, when the son is of age, he makes himself inde- shameful desecration of science ; but what is science
pendent of his father. If the Greeks had waited till for but to be consumed? If one does not know how
their tyrants graciously allowed them their majority, to use it for anything better than to keep the pot boil-
they might have waited long. A sensible father ing, then his egoism is a petty one indeed, because
throws out a son who will not come of age, and keeps this egoist's power is a limited power; but the egoistic
the house to himself; it serves the noodle right. element in it, and the desecration of science, only a
The man who is set free is nothing but a freedman, possessed man can blame.
a libertinus, a dog dragging a piece of chain with him : Because Christianity, incapable of letting the indi-
he is an unfree man in the garment of freedom, like vidual count as an ego, * thought of him only as a
the ass in the lion's skin. Emancipated Jews are * [Einzige}
nothing bettered in themselves, but only relieved as
222 THE EGO AND HIS OWN OWNNESS 223
dependent, and was properly nothing but a social Church, etc.) ; what is of use to me, this self-owned or
theory,a doctrine of living together, and that of self-appertaining one, my selfishness pursues.
man with God as well as of man with man,therefore Besides, one sees himself every moment compelled to
in it everything " own " must fall into most woeful dis- believe in that constantly-blasphemed selfishness as an
repute: selfishness, self-will, ownness, self-love, etc. all-controlling power. In the session of February 10,
The Christian way of looking at things has on all 1844, Welcker argues a motion on the dependence of
sides gradually re-stamped honorable words into dis- the judges, and sets forth in a detailed speech that
honorable; why should they not be brought into removable, dismissable, transferable, and pensionable
honor again ? So Schimpf (contumely) is in its old judgesin short, such members of a court of justice as
sense equivalent to jest, but for Christian seriousness can by mere administrative process be damaged and
pastime became a dishonor,* for that seriousness can- endangered,are wholly without reliability, yes, lose
not take a joke; frech (impudent) formerly meant all respect and all confidence among the people. The
only bold, brave; Frevel (wanton outrage) was only whole bench, Welcker cries, is demoralized by this de-
daring. It is well known how askance the word pendence ! In blunt words this means nothing else
" reason " was looked at for a long time. than that the judges find it more to their advantage to
Our language has settled itself pretty well to the give judgment as the ministers would have them than
Christian standpoint, and the general consciousness is to give it as the law would have them. How is that
still too Christian not to shrink in terror from every- to be helped? Perhaps by bringing home to the
thing unchristian as from something incomplete or judges' hearts the ignominiousness of their venality,
evil. Therefore " selfishness " is in a bad way too. and then cherishing the confidence that they will re-
Selfishness, in the Christian sense, means some- pent and henceforth prize justice more highly than
thing like this: I look only to see whether anything their selfishness? No, the people does not soar to this
is of use to me as a sensual man. But is sensuality romantic confidence, for it feels that selfishness is
then the whole of my ownness? Am I in my own mightier than any other motive. Therefore the same
senses when I am given up to sensuality? Do I fol- persons who have been judges hitherto may remain so,
low myself, my own determination, when I follow however thoroughly one has convinced himself that
that? I am my own only when I am master of my- they behaved as egoists; only they must not any
self, instead of being mastered either by sensuality or longer find their selfishness favored by the venality of
by anything else (God, man, authority, law, State, justice, but must stand so independent of the govern-
* [I take Entbehrung, "destitution," to be a misprint for Entehrung.]
ment that by a judgment in conformity with the facts
[Eigennutz, literally " own-use. "] they do not throw into the shade their own cause, their
" well-understood interest," but rather secure a com-
224 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 225
fortable combination of a good salary with respect
among the citizens.
II
So Welcker and the commoners of Baden consider
themselves secured only when they can count on self- THE OWNER
ishness. What is one to think, then, of the countless
phrases of unselfishness with which their mouths over- Ido I come to myself and mine through
flow at other times? liberalism ?
To a cause which I am pushing selfishly I have an- Whom does the liberal look upon as his equal?
other relation than to one which I am serving unself- Man ! Be only man,and that you are anyway,
ishly. The following criterion might be cited for it: and the liberal calls'' you his brother. He asks very
against the one I can sin or commit a sin, the other I little about your private opinions and private follies,
can only trifle away, push from me, deprive myself of, if only he can espy " Man " in you. <
i. e. commit an imprudence. Free trade is looked
But, as he takes little heed of what you are priva-
at in both ways, being regarded partly as a freedom
tim,nay, in a strict following out of his principle
which may under certain circumstances be granted or
sets no value at all on it,he sees in you only what
withdrawn, partly as one which is to be held sacred
you are generatim. In other words, he sees in you,
under all circumstances. ,
not you, but the species; not Tom or Jim, but Man;
If I am not concerned about a thing in and for it- not the real or unique one,* but your essence or your
self, and do not desire it for its own sake, then I de- concept; not the bodily man, but the spirit.
sire it solely as a means to an end, for its usefulness;
As Tom you would not be his equal, because he is
for the sake of another end; e. g., oysters for a pleas-
Jim, therefore not Tom ; as man you are the same
ant flavor. Now will not every thing whose final end
that he is. And, since as Tom you virtually do not
he himself is serve the egoist as means? and is he to
exist at all for him (so far, to wit, as he is a liberal
protect a thing that serves him for nothing,e. g., the
and not unconsciously an egoist), he has really made
proletarian to protect the State?
" brother-love " very easy for himself: he loves in you
Ownness includes in itself everything own, and not Tom, of whom he knows nothing and wants to
brings to honor again what Christian language dis- know nothing, but Man.
honored. But ownness has not any alien standard
either, as it is not in any sense an idea like freedom,
morality, humanity, and the like: it is only a descrip- * [Einzigen]
tion of theowner.
226 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 227
To see in you and me nothing further than " men," the most various persons to be " our equals," but each
that is running the Christian way of looking at things, time in the measure of that spirit which we expected
according to which one is for the other nothing but a from them,e. g. each one in whom the spirit of the
concept (e. g. a man called to salvation, etc.), into need of redemption may be assumed, then later each
the ground. one who has the spirit of integrity, finally each one
Christianity properly so called gathers us under a who shows a human spirit and a human face. " Thus
less utterly general concept: there we are " sons of the fundamental principle of " equality "'varied.
God " and " led by the Spirit of God." * Yet not all Equality being now conceived as equality of the
can boast of being God's sons, but " the same Spirit human spirit, there has certainly been discovered an
which witnesses to our spirit that we are sons of God equality that includes all men ; for who could deny
reveals also who are the sons of the devil." Con- that we men have a human spirit, i. e. no other than a
sequently, to be a son of God one must not be a son human !
of the devil; the sonship of God excluded certain men. But are we on that account further on now than in
To be sons of men,i. e. men, on the contrary, we the beginning of Christianity? Then we were to have
need nothing but to belong to the human species, need a divine spirit, now a human; but, if the divine did
only to be specimens of the same species. What I not exhaust us, how should the human wholly express
am as this I is no concern of yours as a good liberal, what we are? Feuerbach, e. g., thinks that, if he hu-
but is my private affair alone ; enough that we are manizes the divine, he has found the truth. No, if
both sons of one and the same mother, to wit, the hu- God has given us pain, " Man " is capable of pinching
man species: as " a son of man " I am your equal. us still more torturingly. The long and the short of it
What am I now to you? Perhaps this bodily I as I is this : that we are men is the slightest thing about us,
walk and stand? Anything but that. This bodily and has significance only in so far as it is one of our
I, with its thoughts, decisions, and passions, is in your qualities,* i. e. our property. I am indeed among
eyes a "private affair" which is no concern of yours: other things a man, as I am, e. g., a living being,
it is an " affair by itself." As an " affair for you " therefore an animal, or a European, a Berliner, and
there exists only my concept, my generic concept, only the like; but he who chose to have regard for me only
the Man, who, as he is called Tom, could just as well as a man, or as a Berliner, would pay me a regard
be Joe or Dick. You see in me not me, the bodily that would be very unimportant to me. And where-
man, but an unreal thing, the spook, i. e. a Man. fore? Because he would have regard only for one of'
In the course of the Christian centuries we declared my qualities, not for me.
* Rom. 8.14. Cf. 1 John 3. 10 with Rom. 8.16. * [Eigenschaften] [Eigentum]
228 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 229
It is just so with the spirit too. A Christian spirit, to the ego (as e. g. in the doctrine of immortality, in
an upright spirit, and the like may well be my ac- the cure of souls, etc.) comes to light. No, it assigns
quired quality, i. e. my property, but I am not this this value to Man alone. Only Man is immortal, and
spirit: it is mine, not I its. only because I am man am I too immortal. In fact,
Hence we have in liberalism only the continuation Christianity had to teach that no one is lost, just as
of the old Christian depreciation of the I, the bodily liberalism too puts all on an equality as men ; but that
Tom. Instead of taking me as I am, one looks eternity, like this equality, applied only to the Man in
solely at my property, my qualities, and enters into me, not to me. Only as the bearer and harborer of
marriage bonds with me only for the sake of mypos- Man do I not die, as notoriously " the king never
sessions; one marries, as it were, what I have, not dies." Louis dies, but the king remains; I die, but
what I am. The Christian takes hold of my spirit, my spirit, Man, remains. To identify me now en-
the liberal of my humanity. tirely with Man the demand has been invented, and
But, if the spirit, which is not regarded as the prop- stated, that I must become a " real generic being." *
erty of the bodily ego but as the proper ego itself, is a The HUMAN religion is only the last metamorphosis
ghost, then the Man too, who is not recognized as my of the Christian religion. For liberalism is a religion
quality but as the proper I, is nothing but a spook, a because it separates my essence from me and sets it
thought, a concept. above me, because it exalts " Man " to the same ex-
Therefore the liberal too revolves in the same circle tent as any other religion does its God or idol, because
as the Christian. Because the spirit of mankind, i. e. it makes what is mine into something otherworldly,
Man, dwells in you, you are a man, as when the spirit because in general it makes out of what is mine, out
of Christ dwells in you you are a Christian ; but, be- of my qualities and my property, something alien,to
cause it dwells in you only as a, second ego, even wit, an " essence"; in short, because it sets me be-
though it be as your proper or " better " ego, it re- neath Man, and thereby creates for me a "vocation."
mains otherworldly to you, and you have to strive to But liberalism declares itself a religion in form too
become wholly man. A striving just as fruitless as when it demands for this supreme being, Man, a zeal
the Christian's to become wholly a blessed spirit! of faith, " a faith that some day will at last prove its
fiery zeal too, a zeal that will be invincible." But,
One can now, after liberalism has proclaimed Man,
as liberalism is a human religion, its professor takes
declare openly that herewith was only completed the
a tolerant attitude toward the professor of any other
consistent carrying out of Christianity, and that in
truth Christianity set itself no other task from the start *E.g. Marx in the " Deutsch-franzoesische Jahrbuecher," p. 197.
Br. Bauer, " Judenfrage," p. 81.
than to realize " man," the "true man." Hence, then,
the illusion that Christianity ascribes an infinite value
230 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 231
(Catholic, Jewish, etc.), as Frederick the Great did to- something human, yes, possible only to a man, not to
ward every one who performed his duties as a subject, any beast; it is, in fact, something "possible to man."
whatever fashion of becoming blest he might be in- But, although every un-man is a man, yet the State
clined toward. This religion is now to be raised to excludes him; i. e., it locks him up, or transforms him
the rank of the generally customary one, and separated from a fellow of the State into a fellow of the prison
from the others as mere "private follies," toward (fellow of the lunatic asylum or hospital, according to
which, besides, one takes a highly liberal attitude on Communism).
account of their unessentialness. To say in blunt words what an un-man is is not
One may call it the State-religion, the religion of particularly hard: it is a man who does not corre-
the " free State," not in the sense hitherto current that spond to the concept man, as the inhuman is something
it is the one favored or privileged by the State, but as human which is not conformed to the concept of the
that religion which the " free Stale " not only has the human. Logic calls this a " self-contradictory judg-
right, but is compelled, to demand from each of those ment." Would it be permissible for one to pronounce
who belong to it, let him be privatim a Jew, a Chris- this judgment, that one can be a man without being a
tian, or anything else. For it does the same service man, if he did not admit the hypothesis that the con-
to the State as filial piety to the family. If the fam- cept of man can be separated from the existence, the
ily is to be recognized and maintained, in its existing essence from the appearance? They say, he appears
condition, by each one of those who belong to it, then indeed as a man, but is not a man.
to him the tie of blood must be sacred, and his feeling Men have passed this "self-contradictory judgment"
for it must be that of piety, of respect for the ties of through a long line of centuries! Nay, what is still
blood, by which every blood-relation becomes to him a more, in this long time there were onlyun-men.
consecrated person. So also to every member of the What individual can have corresponded to his con-
State-community this community must be sacred, and cept? Christianity knows only one Man, and this
the concept which is the highest to the State must like- one-Christis at once an un-man again in the re-
wise be the highest to him. verse sense, to wit, a superhuman man, a " God."
But what concept is the highest to the State? Only theun-man is a real man.
Doubtless that of being a really human society, a so- Men that are not men, what should they be but
ciety in which every one who is really a man, i. e. ghosts ? Every real man, because he does not cor-
not an un-man, can obtain admission as a member. respond to the concept " man," or because he is not
Let a State's tolerance go ever so far, toward an un- a " generic man," is a spook. But do I still remain
man and toward what is inhuman it ceases. And yet an un-man even if I bring Man (who towered above
this " un-man " is a man, yet the " inhuman " itself is me and remained otherworldly to me only as my
232 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 233
ideal, my task, my essence or concept) down to be my believers, could not receive every man into her bosom;
quality, my own and inherent in me; so that Man is the State, as a society of men, can. But, when the
nothing else than my humanity, my human existence, State has carried its principle clear through, of presup-
and everything that I do is human precisely because posing in its constituents nothing but that they are
I do it, but not because it corresponds to the concept men (even the North Americans still presuppose in
" man "? I am really Man and the un-man in one; theirs that they have religion, at least the religion of
for I am a man and at the same time more than a integrity, of respectability), then it has dug its grave.
man; i. e., I am the ego of this my mere quality. While it will fancy that those whom it possesses are
It had to come to this at last, that it was no longer without exception men, these have meanwhile become
merely demanded of us to be Christians, but to become without exception egoists, each of whom utilizes it ac-
men; for, though we could never really become even cording to his egoistic powers and ends. Against the
Christians, but always remained " poor sinners " (for egoists "human society" is wrecked; for they no
the Christian was an unattainable ideal too), yet in longer have to do with each other as men, but appear
this the contradictoriness did not come before our egoistically as an I against a You altogether different
consciousness so, and the illusion was easier than now from me and in opposition to 'me.
when of us, who are men and act humanly (yes, cannot If the State must count on our humanity, it is the
do otherwise than be such and act so), the demand is same if one says it must count on our morality. See-
made that we are to be men, " real men." ing Man in each other, and acting as men toward each
Our States of to-day, because they still have all sorts other, is called moral behavior. This is every whit the
of things' sticking to them, left from their churchly " spiritual love " of Christianity. For, if I see Man in
mother, do indeed load those who belong to them you, as in myself I see Man and nothing but Man,
with various obligations (e. g. churchly religiousness) then I care for you as I would care for myself; for we
which properly do not a bit concern them, the States; represent, you see, nothing but the mathematical prop-
yet on the whole they do not deny their significance, osition: A=C and B=C, consequently A=B,
since they want to be looked upon as human societies, i. e., I nothing but man and you nothing but man,
in which man as man can be a member, even if he is consequently I and you the same. Morality is incom-
less privileged than other members; most of them ad- patible with egoism, because the former does not allow
mit adherents of every religious sect, and receive peo- validity to me, but only to the Man in me. But, if
ple without distinction of race or nation : Jews, Turks, the State is a society of men, not a union of egos each
Moors, etc., can become French citizens. In the act of whom has only himself before his eyes, then it can-
of reception, therefore, the State looks only to see not last without morality, and must insist on morality.
whether one is a man. The Church, as a society of Therefore we two, the State and I, are enemies. I,
234 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 235
the egoist, have not at heart the welfare of this " hu- abstract, but always my own things; i. e., my human
man society," I sacrifice nothing to it, I only utilize act is diverse from every other human act, and only by
it; but to be able to utilize it completely I transform this diversity is it a real act belonging to me. The
it rather into my property and my creature,i. e. I human in it is an abstraction, and, as such, spirit,
annihilate it, and form in its place the Union of i. e. abstracted essence.
Egoists. Br. Bauer states (e. g. " Judenfrage," p. 84) that
So the State betrays its enmity to me by demanding the truth of criticism is the final truth, and in fact the
that I be a man, which presupposes that I may also truth sought for by Christianity itself,to wit,
not be a man, but rank for it as an " un-man "; it " Man." He says, " The history of the Christian world
imposes being a man upon me as a duty. Further, is the history of the supreme fight for truth, for in it
it desires me to do nothing along with which it cannot and in it only!the thing at issue is the discovery
last; so its permanence is to be sacred for me. Then of the final or the primal truthman and freedom."
I am not to be an egoist, but a " respectable, up- All right, let us accept this gain, and let us take
right," i. e. moral, man. Enough, before it and its man as the ultimately found result of Christian
permanence I am to be impotent and respectful,etc. history and of the religious or ideal efforts of man in
This State, not a present one indeed, but still in general. Now, who is Man? I am! Man, the end
need of being first created, is the ideal of advancing and outcome of Christianity, is, as I, the beginning
liberalism. There is to come into existence a true and raw material of the new history, a history of en-
" society of men," in which every " man" finds room. joyment after the history of sacrifices, a history not of
Liberalism means to realize " Man," i. e. create a man or humanity, but ofme. Man ranks as the
world for him ; and this should be the human world or general. Now then, I and the egoistic are the really
the general (Communistic) society of men. It was said, general, since every one is an egoist and of paramount
" The Church could regard only the spirit, the State is importance to himself. The Jewish is not the purely
to regard the whole man." * But is not, " Man " egoistic, because the Jew still devotes; himself to
" spirit "? The kernel of the State is simply " Man," Jehovah; the Christian is not, because the Christian
this unreality, and it itself is only a " society of men." lives on the grace of God and subjects himself to him.
The world which the believer (believing spirit) creates As Jew and as Christian alike a man satisfies only
is called Church, the world which the man (human or certain of his wants, only a certain need, not himself:
humane spirit) creates is called State. But that is not a half-egoism, because the egoism of a half-man, who
my world. I never execute anything human in the is half he, half Jew, or half his own proprietor, half a
* Hess, " Triarchie," p. 76. slave. Therefore, too, Jew and Christian always half-
way exclude each other; i. e., as men they recognize
236 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 237
each other, as slaves they exclude each other, because because he has the title " man." But I put the accent
they are servants of two different masters. If they on me, not on my being man.
could be complete egoists, they would exclude each Man is something only as my quality* (property ),
other wholly and hold together so much the more like masculinity or femininity. The ancients found
firmly. Their ignominy is not that they exclude each the ideal in one's being male in the full sense; their
other, but that this is done only half-way. Br. Bauer, virtue is virtus and arete,i. e. manliness. What is
on the contrary, thinks Jews and Christians cannot re- one to think of a woman who should want only to be
gard and treat each other as " men " till they give up perfectly " woman "? That is not given to all, and
the separate essence which parts them and obligates many a one would therein be fixing for herself an
them to eternal separation, recognize the general unattainable goal. Feminine, on the other hand, she
essence of " Man," and regard this as their " true is anyhow, by nature; femininity is her quality, and
essence." she does not need " true femininity." I am a man
According to his representation the defect of the just as the earth is a star. As ridiculous as it would
Jews and the Christians alike lies in their wanting to be to set the earth the task of being a " thorough
be and have something " particular" instead of only star," so ridiculous it is to burden me with the call to
being men and endeavoring after what is human,to be a " thorough man." i
wit, the " general rights of man." He thinks their When Fichte says, " The ego is all," this seems to
fundamental error consists in the belief that they arc harmonize perfectly with my theses. But it is not that
"privileged," possess " prerogatives"; in general, in the ego is all, but the ego destroys all, and only the
the belief in prerogative* In opposition to this he self-dissolving ego, the never-being ego, thefinite ego
holds up to them the general rights of man. The is really I. Fichte speaks of the " absolute " ego, but
rights of man ! I speak of me, the transitory ego.
Man is man in general, and in so far every one who How natural is the supposition that man and ego
is a man. Now every one is to have the eternal rights mean the same! and yet one sees, e. g., by Feuerbach,
of man, and, according to the opinion of Communism, that the expression " man " is to designate the abso-
enjoy them in the complete " democracy," or, as it lute ego, the species, not the transitory, individual ego.
ought more correctly to be called,anthropocracy. Egoism and humanity (humaneness) ought to mean
But it is I alone who have everything that Iprocure the same, but according to Feuerbach the individual
for myself; as man I have nothing. People would can " only lift himself above the limits of his individu-
like to give every man an affluence of all good, merely ality, but not above the laws, the positive ordinances,
* [Vorrecht, literally " precedent right,"] * [Eigenschaft] [Eigentum]
238 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 239
of his species." * But the species is nothing, and, if more washed-out than the latter. As the individual is
the individual lifts himself above the limits of his in- the whole of nature, so he is the whole of the species
dividuality, this is rather his very self as an individ- too.
ual; he exists only in raising himself, he exists only in Everything that I do, think, etc.,in short, my ex-
not remaining what he is; otherwise he would be pression or manifestationis indeed conditioned by
done, dead. Man with the great M is only an ideal, what I am. The Jew, e. g., can will only thus or thus,
the species only something thought of. To be a man can " present himself" only thus; the Christian can
is not to realize the ideal of Man, but to present one- present and manifest himself only christianly, etc. If
self, the individual. It is not how I realize the gen- it were possible that you could be a Jew or Christian,
erally human that needs to be my task, but how I you would indeed bring out only what was Jewish or
satisfy myself. I am my species, am without norm, Christian; but it is not possible; in the most rigorous
without law, without model, and the like. It is pos- conduct you yet remain an egoist, a sinner against
sible that I can make very little out of myself; but that concepti. e., you are not the precise equivalent
this little is everything, and is better than what I al- of Jew. Now, because the egoistic always keeps
low to be made out of me by the might of others, by peeping through, people have inquired for a more per-
the training of custom, religion, the laws, the State, fect concept which should really wholly express what
etc. Betterif the talk is to be of better at all you are, and which, because it is your true nature,
better an unmannerly child than an old head on should contain all the laws of your activity. The most
young shoulders, better a mulish man than a man com- perfect thing of the kind has been attained in " Man."
pliant in everything. The unmannerly and mulish As a Jew you are too little, and the Jewish is not
fellow is still on the way to form himself according to your task; to be a Greek, a German, does not suffice.
his own will; the prematurely knowing and compliant But be a-man, then you have everything; look upon
one is determined by the " species," the general de- the human as your calling.
mands, etc.,the species is law to him. He is deter- Now I know what is expected of me, and the new
mined by it ; for what else is the species to him but catechism can be written. The subject is again sub-
his " destiny," his " calling"? Whether I look to jected to the predicate, the individual to something
" humanity," the species, in order to strive toward this general; the dominion is again secured to an idea, and
ideal, or to God and Christ with like endeavor, where the foundation laid for a new religion. This is a step
is the essential dissimilarity? At most the former is forward in the domain of religion, and in particular
* " Essence of Christianity," 2d ed., p. 401. of Christianity; not a step out beyond it.
[bestimmt] [Bestimmung] The step out beyond it leads into the unspeakable,
For me paltry language has no word, and " the
240 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 241
Word," the Logos, is to me a " mere word." fear of God, for fear of God would determine him in
My essence is sought for. If not the Jew, the Ger- everything that he left standing as sacred. Whether
man, etc., then at any rate it isthe man. " Man is it is the God or the Man that exercises the hallowing
my essence." power in the God-man,whether, therefore, anything
I am repulsive or repugnant to myself; I have a is held sacred for God's sake or for Man's (Human-
horror and loathing of myself, I am a horror to my- ity's),this does not change the fear of God, since
self, or, I am never enough for myself and never do Man is revered as " supreme essence," as much as on
enough to satisfy myself. From such feelings springs the specifically religious standpoint God as " supreme
self-dissolution or self-criticism. Religiousness begins essence" calls for our fear and reverence; both over-
with self-renunciation, ends with completed criticism. awe us.
I am possessed, and want to get rid of the "evil The fear of God in the proper sense was shaken
spirit." How do I set about it? I fearlessly commit long ago, and a more or less conscious " atheism," ex-
the sin that seems to the Christian the direst, the sin ternally recognizable by a wide-spread " unchurchli-
and blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. " He who ness," has involuntarily become the mode. But what
blasphemes the Holy Spirit has no forgiveness forever, was taken from God has been superadded to Man, and
but is liable to the eternal judgment !" * I want no 'the power of humanity grew greater in just the degree
forgiveness, and am not afraid of the judgment. that that of piety lost weight: " Man " is the God of
Man is the last evil spirit or spook, the most decep- to-day, and fear of Man has taken the place of the old
tive or most intimate, the craftiest liar with honest fear of God.
mien, the father of lies. But, because Man represents only another Supreme
The egoist, turning against the demands and con- Being, nothing has in fact taken place but a metamor-
cepts of the present, executes pitilessly the most mea- phosis in the Supreme Being, and the fear of Man is
surelessdesecration. Nothing is holy to him ! merely an altered form of the fear of God.
It would be foolish to assert that there is no power Our atheists are pious people.
above mine. Only the attitude that I take toward it If in the so-called feudal times we held everything
will be quite another than that of the religious age: I as a fief from God, in the liberal period the same
shall be the enemy of every higher power, while re- feudal relation exists with Man. God was the Lord,
ligion teaches us to make it our friend and be humble now Man is the Lord; God was the Mediator, now
toward it. Man is; God was the Spirit, now Man is. In this
The desecrator puts forth his strength against every threefold regard the feudal relation has experienced a
transformation. For now, firstly, we hold as a fief
*Mark 3. 29.
from all-powerful Man our power, which, because it
242 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 243
comes from a higher, is not called power or might, but foreign to me? When a blockhead makes me out in
" right,"the " rights of man "; we further hold as a the right, I grow distrustful of my Tightness; I don't
fief from him our position in the world, for he, the like to receive it from him. But, even when a wise
mediator, mediates our intercourse with others, which man makes me out in the right, I nevertheless am not
therefore may not be otherwise than " human"; fin- in the right on that account. Whether I am in the
ally, we hold as a fief from him ourselves,to wit, our right is completely independent of the fool's making
own value, or all that we are worth,inasmuch as we out and of the wise man's.
are worth nothing when he does not dwell in us, and All the same, we have coveted this right till now.
when or where we are not " human." The power is We seek for right, and turn to the court for that pur-
Man's, the world is Man's, I am Man's. pose. To what? To a royal, a papal, a popular
But am I not still unrestrained from declaring my- court, etc. Can a sultanic court declare another
self the entitler, the mediator, and the own self? right than that which the sultan has ordained to be
Then it runs thus : right? Can it make me out in the right if I seek for
My power is my property. a right that does not agree with the sultan's law?
My power gives me property. Can it, e. g., concede to me high treason as a right,
My power am I myself, and through it am I my since it is assuredly not a right according to the
property. sultan's mind? Can it as a court of censorship allow
me the free utterance of opinion as a right, since the
sultan will hear nothing of this my right? What am
I.MY POWER
I seeking for in this court, then? I am seeking for
Right* is the spirit of society. If society has a sultanic right, not my right; I am seeking for
will, this will is simply right: society exists only foreign right. As long as this foreign right harmon-
through right. But, as it endures only by exercising izes with mine, to be sure, I shall find in it the latter
a sovereignty over individuals, right is its SOVEREIGN too.
WILL. Aristotle says justice is the advantage of society The State does not permit pitching into each other
All existing right isforeign law ; some one makes man to man; it opposes the duel. Even every ordin-
me out to be in the right, " does right by me." But ary appeal to blows, notwithstanding that neither of
should I therefore be in the right if all the world the fighters calls the police to it, is punished ; except
made me out so? And yet what else is the right that when it is not an I whacking away at a you, but, say,
I obtain in the State, in society, but a right of those the head of a family at the child. The family is en-
titled to this, and in its name the father; I as Ego
* [This word has also in German, the meaning of " common law," and
will sometimes be translated " law " in the following paragraphs ]
am not.
244 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 245
The " Vossische Zeitung'' presents to us the " com- right of all will I defend it, but as my right: and
monwealth of right." There everything is to be de- then every other may see to it how he shall likewise
cided by the judge and a court. It ranks the supreme maintain it for himself. The right of all (e. g. to
court of censorship as a " court " where " right is de- eat) is a right of every individual. Let each keep
clared." What sort of a right? The right of the this right unabridged for himself, then all exercise it
censorship. To recognize the sentences of that court spontaneously; let him not take care for all though,
as right one must regard the censorship as right. let him not grow zealous for it as for a right of all.
But it is thought nevertheless that this court offers a But the social reformers preach to us a " law of so-
protection. Yes, protection against an individual ciety." There the individual becomes society's slave,
censor's error: it protects only the censorship-legislator and is in the right only when society makes him out in
against false interpretation of his will, at the same the right, i. e. when he lives according to society's
time making his statute, by the " sacred power of statutes and so isloyal. Whether I am loyal under
right," all the firmer against writers. a despotism or in a " society " la Weitling, it is the
Whether I am in the right or not there is no judge same absence of right in so far as in both cases I have
but myself. Others can judge only whether they en- not my right but foreign right.
dorse my right, and whether it exists as right for In considerations of right the question is always
them too. asked, " What or who gives me the right to it?" An-
In the meantime let us take the matter yet another swer: God, love, reason, nature, humanity, etc. No,
way. I am to reverence sultanic law in the sultanate, only your might, your power gives you the right
popular law in republics, canon law in Catholic com- (your reason, e. g., may give it to you)
munities, etc. To these laws I am to subordinate my- Communism, which assumes that men " have equal
self; I am to regard them as sacred. A " sense of rights by nature," contradicts its own proposition till
right " and " law-abiding mind " of such a sort is so it comes to this, that men have no right at all by na-
firmly planted in people's heads that the most revolu- ture. For it is not willing to recognize, e. g., that
tionary persons of our days want to subject us to a parents have " by nature " rights as against their
new " sacred law," the " law of society," the law of children, or the children as against the parents: it
mankind, the " right of all," and the like. The abolishes the family. Nature gives parents, brothers,
right of " all " is to go before my right. As a right etc., no right at all. Altogether, this entire revolu-
of all it would indeed be my right among the rest, tionary or Babouvist principle * rests on a religious,
since I, with the rest, am included in all; but that it i. e. false, view of things. Who can ask after "right"
is at the same time a right of others, or even of all * Cf " Die Kommunisten in der Schweiz," committee report, p. 3.
others, does not move me to its upholding. Not as a
246 THE EGO AND HIS OWN * [Rechtsstreit, a word which usually means " lawsuit."]

if he does not occupy the religious standpoint himself ?


Is not "right" a religious concept, i. e. something
sacred? Why, "equality of rights," as the Revolu-
tion propounded it, is only another name for " Chris-
tian equality," the "equality of the brethren," "of
God's children," "of Christians," etc.: in short,
fraternit. Each and every inquiry after right
deserves to be lashed with Schiller's words:

Many a year I've used my nose


To smell the onion and the rose ;
Is there any proof which shows
That I've a right to that same nose?
When the Revolution stamped equality as a
"right," it took flight into the religious domain,
into the region of the sacred, of the ideal. Hence,
since then, the fight for the " sacred, inalienable
rights of man." Against the " eternal rights of man "
the " well-earned rights of the established order " are
quite naturally, and with equal right, brought to
bear: right against right, where of course one is de-
cried by the other as " wrong." This has been the
content of rights* since the Revolution.
You want to be " in the right " as against the rest.
That you cannot; as against them you remain forever
" in the wrong " ; for they surely would not be your
opponents if they were not in "their right" too;
they will always make you out " in the wrong." But,
as against the right of the rest, yours is a higher,
greater, more powerful right, is it not? No such
thing! Your right is not more powerful if you are
THE OWNER 247
not more powerful. Have Chinese subjects a right to
freedom? Just bestow it on them, and then look how
far you have gone wrong in your attempt: because
they do not know how to use freedom they have no
right to it, or, in clearer terms, because they have
not freedom they have not the right to it. Children
have no right to the condition of majority because
they are not of age, i. e. because they are children.
Peoples that let themselves be kept in nonage have no
right to the condition of majority; if they ceased to be
in nonage, then only would they have the right to be
of age. This means nothing else than " What you
have the power to be you have the right to." ' 1 derive
all right and all warrant from me ; I am entitled to
everything that I have in my power. I am entitled to
overthrow Zeus, Jehovah, God, etc., if I can ; if I can-
not, then these gods will always remain in the right
and in power as against me, and what I do will be to
fear their right and their power in impotent "god-fear-
ingness," to keep their commandments and believe that
I do right in everything that I do according to their
right, about as the Russian boundary-sentinels think
themselves rightfully entitled to shoot dead the suspic-
ious persons who are escaping, since they murder " by
superior authority," i. e. "with right." But I am en-
titled by myself to murder if I myself do not forbid
it to myself, if I myself do not fear murder as a
" wrong." This view of things lies at the foundation
of Chamisso's poem, " The Valley of Murder," where
the gray-haired Indian murderer compels reverence
from the white man whose brethren he has murdered.
The only thing I am not entitled to is what I do not
248 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 249
do with a free cheer, i. e. what I do not entitle myself them worthy to besubjects.
to. Whether nature gives me a right, or whether God,
I decide whether it is the right thing in me ; there the people's choice, etc., does so, all of that is the same
is no right outside me. If it is right for me,* it is foreign right, a right that I do not give or take to
right. Possibly this may not suffice to make it right myself.
for the rest; that is their care, not mine: let them de- Thus the Communists say, equal labor entitles man
fend themselves. And if for the whole world some- to equal enjoyment. Formerly the question was
thing were not right, but it were right for me, i. e. I raised whether the " virtuous " man must not be ''
wanted it, then I would ask nothing about the whole " happy " on earth. The Jews actually drew this in-
world. So every one does who knows how to value ference: "That it may go well with thee on earth."
himself, every one in the degree that he is an egoist; No, equal labor does not entitle you to" it, but equal
for might goes before right, and thatwith perfect enjoyment alone entitles you to equal enjoyment.
right. Enjoy, then you are entitled to enjoyment. But, if
Because I am " by nature " a man I have an equal you have labored and let the enjoyment be taken from
right to the enjoyment of all goods, says Babeuf. you, then" it serves you right."
Must he not also say: because I am " by nature " a If you take the enjoyment, it is your right; if, on
first-born prince I have a right to the throne ? The the contrary, you only pine for it without laying hands
rights of man and the " well-earned rights " come to on it, it remains as before, a " well-earned right" of
the same thing in the end, to wit, to nature, which those who are privileged for enjoyment. It is their
gives me a right, i. e. to birth (and, further, inheri- right, as by laying hands on it it would become your
tance, etc.). " I am born as a man " is equal to " I am right.
born as a king's son." The natural man has only a
The conflict over the " right of property " wavers in
natural right (because he has only a natural power)
vehement commotion. The Communists affirm * that
and natural claims : he has right of birth and claims
" the earth belongs rightfully to him who tills it, and
of birth. But nature cannot entitle me, i. e. give me
its products to those who bring them out." I think it
capacity or might, to that to which only my act
belongs to him who knows how to take it, or who does
entitles me. That the king's child sets himself above
not let it be taken from him, does not let himself be
other children, even this is his act, which secures to
deprived of it. If he appropriates it, then not only the
him the precedence; and that the other children ap-
earth, but the right to it too, belongs to him. This
prove and recognize this act is their act, which makes
is egoistic right: i. e., it is right for me, therefore
* [A common German phrase for " it suits me "]
* A. Becker, " Volksphilosophie," p. 22f.
250 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 251
it is right. the coal-mines or at the loom? Are these not birth-
Aside from this, right does have "a wax nose." rights, rights that have come down to me from my ,
The tiger that assails me is in the right, and I who parents through birth ? You think no ; you think
strike him down am also in the right. I defend these are only rights improperly so called, it is just
against him not my right, but myself. these rights that you aim to abolish through the real
As human right is always something given, it birthright. To give a basis for this you go back to
always in reality reduces to the right which men the simplest thing and affirm that every one is by
give. i. e. " concede," to each other. If the right birth equal to another,to wit, a man. I will grant
to existence is conceded to new-born children, then you that every one is born as man, hence the new-born
they have the right; if it is not conceded to them, as are therein equal to each other. Why are they?
was the case among the Spartans and ancient Romans, Only because they do not yet show and exert them-
then they do not have it. For only society can give selves as anything but barechildren of men, naked
or concede it to them ; they themselves cannot take it, little human beings. But thereby they are at once dif-
or give it to themselves. It will be objected, the ferent from those who have already made something
children had nevertheless " by nature " the right to out of themselves, who thus are no longer bare " chil-
exist; only the Spartans refused recognition to this dren of men," butchildren of their own creation.
right. But then they simply had no right to this The latter possess more than bare birthrights: they
recognition,no more than they had to recognition have earned rights. What an antithesis, what a field
of their life by the wild beasts to which they were of combat! The old combat of the birthrights of man
thrown. and well-earned rights. Go right on appealing to
People talk so much about birthright, and com- your birthrights; people will not fail to oppose to you
plain : the well-earned. Both stand on the " ground of
right " ; for each of the two has a " right " against
There isalas !no mention of the rights the other, the one the birthright or natural right, the
That were born with us .* other the earned or " well-earned " right.
If you remain on the ground of right, you remain
What sort of right, then, is there that was born with inRechthaberei.* The other cannot give you your
me? The right to receive an entailed estate, to right; he cannot " mete out right" to you. He who
inherit a throne, to enjoy a princely or noble edu- has might hasright; if you have not the former,
cation ; or, again, because poor parents begot me, to
* " I beg you. spare my lungs ! He who insists on proving himself
get free schooling, be clothed out of contributions of right, if he has but one of these things called tongues, can hold his own in
alms, and at last earn my bread and my herring in all the world's despite ! " [Faust's words to Mephistopheles, slightly mis-
* [ Mephistopheles in " Faust"] quoted,For Rechthaberei see note on p. 185.]
252 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 253
neither have you the latter. Is this wisdom so hard to The "commonwealth of right," as the "Vossische
attain? Just look at the mighty and their doings! Zeitung " among others stands for it, asks that office-
We are talking here only of China and Japan, of holders be removable only by the Judge, not by the
course. Just try it once, you Chinese and Japanese, to administration. Vain illusion ! If it were settled by
make them out in the wrong, and learn by experience law that an office-holder who is once seen drunken
how they throw you into jail. (Only do not confuse shall lose his office, then the judges would have to
with this the " well-meaning counsels " whichin condemn him on the word of the witnesses, etc. In
China and Japanare permitted, because they do not short, the lawgiver would only have to state precisely
hinder the mighty one, but possibly help him on.) all the possible grounds which entail the loss of office,
For him who should want to make them out in the however laughable they might be (e. g. he who laughs
wrong there would stand open only one way thereto, in his superiors' faces, who does not go to church
that of might. If he deprives them of their might, every Sunday, who does not take the communion every
then he has really made them out in the wrong, de- four weeks, who runs in debt, who has disreputable
prived them of their right; in any other case he can do associates, who shows no determination, etc., shall be
nothing but clench his little fist in his pocket, or fall a removed. These things the lawgiver might take it
victim as an obtrusive fool. into his head to prescribe, e. g., for a court of honor) ;
In short, if you Chinese and Japanese did not ask then the judge would solely have to investigate
after right, and in particular if you did not ask after whether the accused had "become guilty" of those
the rights "that were born with you," then you would "offences," and, on presentation of the proof, pro-
not need to ask at all after the well-earned rights nounce sentence of removal against him " in the name
either. of the law."
You start back in fright before others, because you The judge is lost when he ceases to be mechanical,
think you see beside them the ghost of right, which, when he " is forsaken by the rules of evidence." Then
as in the Homeric combats, seems to fight as a he no longer has anything but an opinion like every-
goddess at their side, helping them. What do you body else; and, if he decides according to this opinion,
do? Do you throw the spear? No, you creep his action is no longer an official action. As judge he
around to gain the spook over to yourselves, that it must decide only according to the law. Commend
may fight on your side: you woo for the ghost's favor. me rather to the old French parliaments, which
Another would simply ask thus: Do I will what my wanted to examine for themselves what was to be
opponent wills? "No!" Now then, there may matter of right, and to register it only after their own
fight for him a thousand devils or gods, I go at him approval. They at least judged according to a right
all the same! of their own, and were not willing to give themselves
254 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 255
up to be machines of the lawgiver, although as judges trary orders, from an ordinance: the former comes
they must, to be sure, become their own machines. from a duly entitled authority. But a law over hu-
It is said that punishment is the criminal's right. man action (ethical law, State; law, etc.) is always a
But impunity is just as much his right. If his under- declaration of will, and so an order. Yes, even if I
taking succeeds, it serves him right, and, if it does myself gave myself the law, it would yet be only my
not succeed, it likewise serves him right. You make order, to which in the next moment I can refuse obedi-
your bed and lie in it. If some one goes foolhardily ence. One may well enough declare what he will put
into dangers and perishes in them, we are apt to say, up with, and so deprecate the opposite by a law, mak-
" It serves him right; he would have it so." But, if ing known that in the contrary case he will treat the
he conquered the dangers, i. e. if his might was victor- transgressor as his enemy; but no one has any busi-
ious, then he would be in the right too. If a child ness to command my actions, to say what course I
plays with the knife and gets cut, it is served right; shall pursue and set up a code to govern it. I must
but, if it doesn't get cut, it is served right too. put up with it that he treats me as his enemy, but
Hence right befalls the criminal, doubtless, when he never that he makes free with me as his creature, and
suffers what he risked; why, what did he risk it for, that he makes his reason, or even unreason, my
since he knew the possible consequences? But the plumb-line.
punishment that we decree against him is only our States last only so long as there is a ruling will and
right, not his. Our right reacts against his, and he is this ruling will is looked upon as tantamount to the
" in the wrong at last" becausewe get the upper own will. The lord's will islaw. What do your
hand. laws amount to if no one obeys them? what your
But what is right, what is matter of right in a so- orders, if nobody lets himself be ordered? The State
ciety, is voiced tooin the law.* cannot forbear the claim to determine the individual's
Whatever the law may be, it must be respected by will, to speculate and count on this. For the State
theloyal citizen. Thus the law-abiding mind of it is indispensable that nobody have an own will; if
Old England is eulogized. To this that Euripidean one had, the State would have to exclude (lock up,
sentiment (Orestes, 418) entirely corresponds: " We banish, etc.) this one ; if all had, they would do away
serve the gods, whatever the gods are." Law as such with the State. The State is not thinkable without
God as such, thus far we are to-day. lordship and servitude (subjection) ; for the State
People are at pains to distinguish law from arbi- must will to be the lord of all that it embraces, and
this will is called the " will of the State."
* {Gesetz, statute ; no longer the same German word as " right."]
He who, to hold his own, must count on the absence
of will in others is a thing made by these others, as
256 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 257
the master is a thing made by the servant. If submis- such my life long. So in the State-life I am at best
siveness ceased, it would be all over with lordship. I might just as well say, at worsta bondman of my-
The own will of Me is the State's destroyer; it is self. Because I was a willer yesterday, I am to-day
therefore branded by the State as "self-will." Own without will: yesterday voluntary, to-day involuntary.
will and the State are powers in deadly hostility, be- How change it? Only by recognizing no duty, i. e.
tween which no " eternal peace " is possible. As long not binding myself nor letting myself be bound. If I
as the State asserts itself, it represents own will, its have no duty, then I know no law either.
ever-hostile opponent, as unreasonable, evil, etc. ; and " But they will bind me! " My will nobody can
the latter lets itself be talked into believing this,nay, bind, and my disinclination remains free.
it really is such, for no more reason than this, that it " Why, everything must go topsy-turvy if every one
still lets itself be talked into such belief: it has not could do what he would! " Well, who says that
yet come to itself and to the consciousness of its dig- every one can do everything? What are you there
nity; hence it is still incomplete, still amenable to fine for, pray, you who do not need to put up with
words, etc. everything? Defend yourself, and no one will do
Every State is a despotism, be the despot one or anything to you! He who would break your will has
many, or (as one is likely to imagine about a republic) to do with you, and is your enemy. Deal with him as
if all be lords, i. e. despotize one over another. For such. If there stand behind you for your protection
this is the case when the law given at any time, the ex- some millions more, then you are an imposing power
pressed volition of (it may be) a popular assembly, is and will have an easy victory. But, even if as a
thenceforth to be law for the individual, to which power you overawe your opponent, still you are not
obedience is due from him, or toward which he has the on that account a hallowed authority to him, unless
duty of obedience. If one were even to conceive the he be a simpleton. He does not owe you respect and
case that every individual in the people had expressed regard, even though he will have to consider your
the same will, and hereby a complete " collective will " might.
had come into being, the matter would still remain We are accustomed to classify States according to
the same. Would I not be bound to-day and hence- the different ways in which "the supreme might" is
forth to my will of yesterday? My will would in this distributed. If an individual has itmonarchy; if
case be frozen. Wretched stability! My creature all have itdemocracy; etc. Supreme might then !
to wit, a particular expression of willwould have Might against whom? Against the individual and his
become my commander. But I in my will, I the " self-will." The State practises " violence," the
creator, should be hindered in my flow and my disso- individual must not do so. The State's behavior is
lution. Because I was a fool yesterday I must remain violence, and it calls its violence " law " ; that of the
258 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 259
individual, "crime." Crime,* then,so the individ- well as the president or any aristocracy, etc., acts and
ual's violence is called; and only by crime does he commands " in the name of the State." They are in
overcome the State's violence when he thinks that possession of the " authority of the State," and it is
the State is not above him, but he above the State. perfectly indifferent whether, were this possible, the
Now, if I wanted to act ridiculously, I might, as a people as a collectivity (all individuals) exercise this
well-meaning person, admonish you not to make laws State-authority, or whether it is only the representa-
which impair my self-development, self-activity, self- tives of this collectivity, be there many of them as in
creation. I do not give this advice. For, if you aristocracies or one as in monarchies. Always the col-
should follow it, you would be unwise, and I should lectivity is above the individual, and has a power
have been cheated of my entire profit. I request which is called legitimate, i. e. which is law.
nothing at all from you; for, whatever I might de- Over against the sacredness of the State, the indi-
mand, you would still be dictatorial lawgivers, and vidual is only a vessel of dishonor, in which ." exuber-
must be so, because a raven cannot sing, nor a robber ance, malevolence, mania for ridicule and slander,
live without robbery. Rather do I ask those who frivolity," etc., are left as soon as he does not deem
would be egoists what they think the more egoistic, that object of veneration, the State, to be worthy of
to let laws be given them by you, and to respect those recognition. The spiritual haughtiness of the servants
that are given, or to practise refractoriness, yes, com- and subjects of the State has fine penalties against
plete disobedience. Good-hearted people think the unspiritual " exuberance."
laws ought to prescribe only what is accepted in the When the government designates as punishable all
people's feeling as right and proper. But what con- play of mind against the State, the moderate liberals
cern is it of mine what is accepted in the nation and come and opine that fun, satire, wit, humor, etc.. must
by the nation? The nation will perhaps be against have free play anyhow, and genius must enjoy free-
the blasphemer; therefore a law against blasphemy. dom. So not the individual man indeed, but still
Am I not to blaspheme on that account? Is this law genius, is to be free. Here the State, or in its name
to be more than an "order" to me? I put the the government, says with perfect right: He who is not
question. for me is against me. Fun, wit, etc.,-in short, the
Solely from the principle that all right and all turning of State affairs into a comedy,have under-
authority belong to the collectivity of the people do mined States from of old: they are not "innocent."
all forms of government arise. For none of them And, further, what boundaries are to be drawn between
lacks this appeal to the collectivity, and the despot, as guilty and innocent wit, etc. ? At this question the
* [Verbrechen] [brechen] moderates fall into great perplexity, and everything
reduces itself to the prayer that the State (govern-
260 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 261
ment) would please not be so sensitive, so ticklish; everything and perish; it must be either sensitive
that it would not immediately scent malevolence in through and through, or, like a dead man, insensitive.
" harmless " things, and would in general be a little Tolerance is done with. If the State but gives a
finger, they take the whole hand at once. There can
" more tolerant." Exaggerated sensitiveness is cer- be no more "jesting," and all jest, such as fun, wit,
tainly a weakness, its avoidance may be a praiseworthy humor, etc., becomes bitter earnest.
virtue; but in time of war one cannot be sparing, and The clamor of the Liberals for freedom of the press
what may be allowed under peaceable circumstances runs counter to their own principle, their proper
ceases to be permitted as soon as a state of siege is de- will. They will what they do not will, i. e. they wish,
clared. Because the well-meaning liberals feel this they would like. Hence it is too that they fall away
plainly, they hasten to declare that, considering " the so easily when once so-called freedom of the press
devotion of the people," there is assuredly no danger appears ; then they would like censorship. Quite
to be feared. But the government will be wiser, and naturally. The State is sacred even to them; likewise
not let itself be talked into believing anything of that morals, etc. They behave toward it only as ill-bred
sort. It knows too well how people stuff one with fine brats, as tricky children who seek to utilize the weak-
words, and will not let itself be satisfied with this nesses of their parents. Papa State is to permit them
Barmecide dish. to say many things that do not please him, but papa
But they are bound to have their play-ground, for has the right, by a stern look, to blue-pencil their
they are children, you know, and cannot be so staid as impertinent gabble. If they recognize in him their
old folks; boys will be boys. papa, they must in his presence put up with the cen-
Only for this play-ground, only for a few hours of sorship of speech, like every child.
jolly running about, they bargain. They ask only If you let yourself be made out in the right by an-
that the State should not, like a splenetic papa, be too other, you must no less let yourself be made out in
cross. It should permit some Processions of the Ass the wrong by him; if justification and reward come to
and plays of fools, as the church allowed them in the you from him, expect also his arraignment and punish-
Middle Ages. But the times when it could grant this ment. Alongside right goes wrong, alongside legality
without danger are past. Children that now once crime. What are you ?You are acriminal!
come into the open, and live through an hour without " The criminal is in the utmost degree the State's
the rod of discipline, are no longer willing to go into own crime! " says Bettina.* One may let this senti-
the cell. For the open is now no longer a supplement
to the cell, no longer a refreshing recreation, but its
* " This Book Belongs to the King," p. 376.
opposite, an autaut. In short, the State must
either no longer put up with anything, or put up with
262 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 263
ment pass, even if Bettina herself does not understand " develop mankind's germ of freedom ; otherwise it is a
it exactly so. For in the State the unbridled I raven-mother* and caring for raven-fodder! " It
I, as I belong to myself alonecannot come to my ful- cannot do otherwise, for in its very caring for " man-
filment and realization. Every ego is from birth a kind " (which, besides, would have to be the " hu-
criminal to begin with against the people, the State. mane " or " free " State to begin with) the " indi-
Hence it is that it does really keep watch over all; it vidual " is raven-fodder for it. How rightly speaks
sees in each one anegoist, and it is afraid of the the burgomaster, on the other hand : " What? the
egoist. It presumes the worst about each one, and State has no other duty than to be merely the attend-
takes care, police-care, that " no harm happens to the ant of incurable invalids?That isn't to the point.
State," ne quid respublica detrimenti capiat. The From of old the healthy State has relieved itself of the
unbridled egoand this we originally are, and in diseased matter, and not mixed itself with it. It does
our secret inward parts we remain so alwaysis the not need to be so economical with its juices. Cut off
never-ceasing criminal in the State. The man whom the robber-branches without hesitation, that the others
his boldness, his will, his inconsiderateness and fear- may bloom.Do not shiver at the State's harshness;
lessness lead is surrounded with spies by the State, by its morality, its policy and religion, point it to that.
the people. I say, by the people! The people (think Accuse it of no want of feeling ; its sympathy revolts
it something wonderful, you good-hearted folks, what against this, but its experience finds safety only in this
you have in the people)the people is full of police severity! There are diseases in which only drastic
sentiments through and through.Only he who re- remedies will help. The physician who recognizes the
nounces his ego, who practises " self-renunciation," is disease as such, but timidly turns to palliatives, will
acceptable to the people. never remove the disease, but may well cause the
In the book cited Bettina is throughout good- patient to succumb after a shorter or longer sickness ! "
natured enough to regard the State as only sick, and Frau Rat's question, " If you apply death as a
to hope for its recovery, a recovery which she would drastic remedy, how is the cure to be wrought then?"
bring about through the " demagogues " ; * but it is isn't to the point. Why, the State does not apply
not sick; rather is it in its full strength, when it puts death against itself, but against an offensive member;
from it the demagogues who want to acquire some- it tears out an eye that offends it, etc.
thing for the individuals, for " all." In its believers it " For the invalid State the only way of salvation is
is provided with the best demagogues (leaders of the to make man flourish in it." If one here, like
people). According to Bettina, the State is to Bettina, understands by man the concept " Man," she
* P. 376. P. 374.
* [An unnatural mother] P. 381. P. 385.
264 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 265
is right; the " invalid " State will recover by the he might rather hold up to him the fact that he has
flourishing of " Man," for, the more infatuated the befouled himself in not despising the alien thing, but
individuals are with " Man," the better it serves the thinking it worth stealing; he could, if he were not a
State's turn. But, if one referred it to the individ- parson. Talk with the so-called criminal as with an
uals, to " all " (and the authoress half does this too, egoist, and he will be ashamed, not that he trans-
because about " Man " she is still involved in vague- gressed against your laws and goods, but that he con-
ness), then it would sound somewhat like the follow- sidered your laws worth evading, your goods worth
ing: For an invalid band of robbers the only way of desiring; he will be ashamed that he did notdespise
salvation is to make the loyal citizen flourish in it! you and yours together, that he was too little an
Why, thereby the band of robbers would simply go to egoist. But you cannot talk egoistically with him,
ruin as a band of robbers; and, because it perceives for you are not so great as a criminal, youcommit
this, it prefers to shoot every one who has a leaning no crime ! You do not know that an ego who is his
toward becoming a "steady man." own cannot desist from being a criminal, that crime
In this book Bettina is a patriot, or. what is little is his life. And yet you should know it, since you
more, a philanthropist, a worker for human happiness. believe that "we are all miserable sinners"; but you
She is discontented with the existing order in quite the think surreptitiously to get beyond sin, you do not
same way as is the title-ghost of her book, along with comprehendfor you are devil-fearingthat guilt is
all who would like to bring back the good old faith the value of a man. Oh, if you were guilty! But
and what goes with it. Only she thinks, contrariwise, now you are "righteous."* Well,just put every
that the politicians, place-holders, and diplomats thing nicely to rights for your master!
ruined the State, while those lay it at the door of the When the Christian consciousness, or the Christian
malevolent, the " seducers of the people." man, draws up a criminal code, what can the concept
What is the ordinary criminal but one who has of crime be there but simplyheartlessness ? Each
committed the fatal mistake of endeavoring after what severing and wounding of a heart relation, each heart-
is the people's instead of seeking for what is his? He less behavior toward a sacred being, is crime. The
has sought despicable alien goods, has done what more heartfelt the relation is supposed to be. the more
believers do who seek after what is God's. What does scandalous is the deriding of it, and the more worthy
the priest who admonishes the criminal do? He sets of punishment the crime. Every one who is subject to
before him the great wrong of having desecrated by the lord should love him ; to deny this love is a high
his act what was hallowed by the State, its property treason worthy of death. Adultery is a heartlessness
(in which, of course, must be included even the life * [Gerechte] [macht Alles huebsch gerecht]
of those who belong to the State) ; instead of this,
266 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 267
worthy of punishment; one has no heart, no enthusi- that he has to act as I see fit? And this action I call
asm, no pathetic feeling for the sacredness of marriage. the right, the good, etc.; the divergent action, a
So long as the heart or soul dictates laws, only the crime. So I think that the others must aim at the
heartful or soulful man enjoys the protection of the same goal with me; i. e., I do not treat them as
laws. That the man of soul makes laws means prop- unique beings * who bear their law in themselves and
erly only that the moral man makes them : what con- live according to it, but as beings who are to obey
tradicts these men's " moral feeling," this they penal- some " rational " law. I set up what " Man " is and
ize. How, e. g., should disloyalty, secession, breach of what acting in a " truly human " way is, and I de-
oaths,in short, all radical breaking off, all tearing mand of every one that this law become norm and
asunder of venerable ties,not be flagitious and crimi- ideal to him ; otherwise he will expose himself as a
nal in their eyes? He who breaks with these demands " sinner and criminal." But upon the " guilty " falls
of the soul has for enemies all the moral, all the men the " penalty of the law " !
of soul. Only Krummacher and his mates are the One sees here how it is " Man " again who sets on
right people to set up consistently a penal code of the foot even the concept of crime, of sin, and therewith
heart, as a certain bill sufficiently proves. The con- that of right. A man in whom I do not recognize
sistent legislation of the Christian State must be placed " Man " is " a sinner, a guilty one."
wholly in the hands of theparsons, and will not Only against a sacred thing are there criminals;
become pure and coherent so long as it is worked out you against me can never be a criminal, but only an
only bythe parson-ridden, who are always only half- opponent. But not to hate him who injures a sa-
parsons. Only then will every lack of soulfulness, cred thing is in itself a crime, as St. Just cries out
every heartlessness, be certified as an unpardonable against Danton: "Are you not a criminal and re-
crime, only then will every agitation of the soul be- sponsible for not having hated the enemies of the
come condemnable, every objection of criticism and fatherland?"
doubt be anathematized; only then is the own man, If, as in the Revolution, what " Man " is is appre-
before the Christian consciousness, a convicted hended as " good citizen," then from this concept of
criminal to begin with. " Man " we have the well-known " political offences
The men of the Revolution often talked of the and crimes."
people's "just revenge" as its "right." Revenge and In all this the individual, the individual man, is
right coincide here. Is this an attitude of an ego to regarded as refuse, and on the other hand the general
an ego? The people cries that the opposite party has man, " Man," is honored. Now, according to how
committed " crimes " against it. Can I assume that
*[Einzige]
one commits a crime against me, without assuming
268 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 269
this ghost is named,as Christian, Jew, Mussulman, man himself with his " eternal rights of man," neither
good citizen, loyal subject, freeman, patriot, etc., divine nor human right.
just so do those who would like to carry through a di- Right " in and for itself." Without relation to
vergent concept of man, as well as those who want to me, therefore! " Absolute right." Separated from
put themselves through, fall before victorious " Man." me, therefore ! A thing that exists in and for itself !
And with what unction the butchery goes on here An absolute! An eternal right, like an eternal truth!
in the name of the law, of the sovereign people, of According to the liberal way of thinking, right is to
God, etc.! be obligatory for me because it is thus established
Now, if the persecuted trickily conceal and protect by human reason, against which my reason is " un-
themselves from the stern parsonical judges, people reason." Formerly people inveighed in the name of
stigmatize them as " hypocrites," as St. Just, e. g., divine reason against weak human reason ; now, in the
does those whom he accuses in the speech against name of strong human reason, against egoistic reason,
Danton.* One is to be a fool, and deliver himself up which is rejected as " unreason." And yet none is real
to their Moloch. but this very " unreason." Neither divine nor human
Crimes spring from fixed ideas. The sacredness of reason, but only your and my reason existing at any
marriage is a fixed idea. From the sacredness it given time, is real, as and because you and I are real.
follows that infidelity is a crime, and therefore a cer- The thought of right is originally my thought ; or,
tain marriage law imposes upon it a shorter or longer it has its origin in me. But, when it has sprung from
penalty. But by those who proclaim " freedom as me, when the " Word " is out, then it has " become
sacred " this penalty must be regarded as a crime flesh," it is a fixed idea. Now I no longer get rid of
against freedom, and only in this sense has public the thought; however I turn, it stands before me.
opinion in fact branded the marriage law. Thus men have not become masters again of the
Society would have every one come to his right thought "right," which they themselves created; their
indeed, but yet only to that which is sanctioned by creature is running away with them. This is absolute
society, to the society-right, not really to his right. right, that which is absolved or unfastened from me.
But I give or take to myself the right out of my own We, revering it as absolute, cannot devour it again,
plenitude of power, and against every superior power I and it takes from us the creative power; the creature
am the most impenitent criminal. Owner and creator is more than the creator, it is " in and for itself."
of my right, I recognize no other source of right than Once you no longer let right run around free,
me, neither God nor the State nor nature nor even once you draw it back into its origin, into you, it is
your right; and that is right which suits you.
*See "Political Speeches," 10, p. 153.
270 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 271
Right has had to suffer an attack within itself, i. e. So people dream of " all citizens of the State having
from the standpoint of right; war being declared on to stand side by side, with equal rights." As citizens
the part of liberalism against "privilege."* of the State they are certainly all equal for the State.
But it will divide them, and advance them or put them
Privileged and endowed with equal rights--on
in the rear, according to its special ends, if on no other
these two concepts turns a stubborn fight. Excluded
account; and still more must it distinguish them from
or admittedwould mean the same. But where
one another as good and bad citizens.
should there be a powerbe it an imaginary one like
God, law, or a real one like I, youof which it should Bruno Bauer disposes of the Jew question from the
not be true that before it all are " endowed with equal standpoint that " privilege " is not justified. Because
rights," i. e. no respect of persons holds? Every one Jew and Christian have each some point of advantage
is equally dear to God if he adores him, equally agree- over the other, and in having this point of advantage
able to the law if only he is a law-abiding person ; are exclusive, therefore before the critic's gaze they
whether the lover of God and the law is humpbacked crumble into nothingness. With them the State lies
and lame, whether poor or rich, and the like, that under the like blame, since it justifies their having ad-
amounts to nothing for God and the law; just so, when vantages and stamps it as a " privilege " or preroga-
you are at the point of drowning, you like a negro as tive, but thereby derogates from its calling to become
rescuer as well as the most excellent Caucasian,yes, a " free State."
in this situation you esteem a dog not less than a man. But now every one has something of advantage over
But to whom will not every one be also, contrariwise, another,viz., himself or his individuality; in this
a preferred or disregarded person ? God punishes the everybody remains exclusive.
wicked with his wrath, the law chastises the lawless, And, again, before a third party every one makes
you let one visit you every moment and show the other his peculiarity count for as much as possible, and (if
the door. he wants to win him at all) tries to make it appear
The " equality of right " is a phantom just because attractive before him.
right is nothing more and nothing less than admission, Now, is the third party to be insensible to the dif-
i. e. a matter of grace, which, be it said, one may also ference of the one from the other? Do they ask that
acquire by his desert; for desert and grace are not of the free State or of humanity? Then these would
contradictory, since even grace wishes to be " de- have to be absolutely without self-interest, and in-
served " and our gracious smile falls only to him who capable of taking an interest in any one whatever.
knows how to force it from us. Neither God (who divides his own from the wicked)
* [Literally, " precedent right."] nor the State (which knows how to separate good
citizens from bad) was thought of as so indifferent.
272 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 273
But they are looking for this very third party that People conceive the significance of the opposition
bestows no more " privilege." Then it is called too formally end weakly when they want only to " dis-
perhaps the free State, or humanity, or whatever else solve " it in order to make room for a third thing that
it may be. shall " unite." The opposition deserves rather to be
As Christian and Jew are ranked low by Br. sharpened. As Jew and Christian you are in too
Bauer on account of their asserting privileges, it must slight an opposition, and are contending only about
be that they could and should free themselves from religion, as it were about the emperor's beard, about
their narrow standpoint by self-renunciation or unself- a fiddlestick's end. Enemies in religion indeed, in the
ishness. If they threw off their "egoism," the rest you still remain good friends, and equal to each
mutual wrong would cease, and with it Christian and other, e. g., as men. Nevertheless the rest too is un-
Jewish religiousness in general; it would be necessary like in each; and the time when you no longer merely
only that neither of them should any longer want to dissemble your opposition will be only when you en-
be anything peculiar. tirely recognize it, and everybody asserts himself from
But, if they gave up this exclusiveness, with that the top to toe as unique.* Then the former opposition
ground on which their hostilities were waged would in will assuredly be dissolved, but only because a stronger
truth not yet be forsaken. In case of need they would has taken it up into itself.
indeed find a third thing on which they could unite, a Our weakness consists not in this, that we are in
" general religion," a " religion of humanity," and opposition to others, but in this, that we are not com-
the like; in short, an equalization, which need not pletely so; i. e. that we are not entirely severed from
be better than that which would result if all Jews them, or that we seek a " communion," a " bond,"
became Christians, by which likewise the " privilege " that in communion we have an ideal. One faith, one
of one over the other would have an end. The God, one idea, one hat, for all! If all were brought
tension * would indeed be done away, but in this con- under one hat, certainly no one would any longer
sisted not the essence of the two, but only their neigh- need to take off his hat before another.
borhood. As being distinguished from each other The last and most decided opposition, that of
they must necessarily be mutually resistant, and the unique against unique, is at bottom beyond what is
disparity will always remain. Truly it is not a fail- called opposition, but without having sunk back into
ing in you that you stiffen yourself against me and " unity " and unison. As unique you have nothing
assert your distinctness or peculiarity: you need not in common with the other any longer, and therefore
give way or renounce yourself. nothing divisive or hostile either; you are not seeking
* [Spannung] [gespannt] [spannen] * [einzig]
274 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 275
to be in the right against him before a third party, no longer " right " at all, because right can be be-
and are standing with him neither " on the ground of stowed only by a spirit, be it the spirit of nature or
right " nor on any other common ground. The oppo- that of the species, of mankind, the Spirit of God or
sition vanishes in completeseverance or singleness.* that of His Holiness or His Highness, etc. What I
This might indeed be regarded as the new point in have without an entitling spirit I have without right ;
common or a new parity, but here the parity consists I have it solely and alone through my power.
precisely in the disparity, and is itself nothing but dis- I do not demand any right, therefore I need not
parity, a par of disparity, and that only for him who recognize any either. What I can get by force I get
institutes a " comparison." by force, and what I do not get by force I have no
The polemic against privilege forms a characteristic right to, nor do I give myself airs, or consolation,
feature of liberalism, which fumes against " privilege " with my imprescriptible right.
because it itself appeals to " right." Further than With absolute right, right itself passes away ; the
to fuming it cannot carry this; for privileges do not dominion of the " concept of right " is canceled at the
fall before right falls, as they are only forms of right. same time. For it is not to be forgotten that hitherto
But right falls apart into its nothingness when it is concepts, ideas, or principles ruled us, and that among
swallowed up by might, i. e. when one understands these rulers the concept of right, or of justice, played
what is meant by " Might goes before right." All one of the most important parts.
right explains itself then as privilege, and privilege Entitled or unentitledthat does not concern me ;
itself as power, as superior power. if I am only powerful, I am of myself empowered, and
But must not the mighty combat against superior need no other empowering or entitling.
power show quite another face than the modest combat Rightis a wheel in the head, put there by a
against privilege, which is to be fought out before a spook; powerthat am I myself, I am the powerful
first judge, " Right," according to the judge's mind? one and owner of power. Right is above me, is
Now, in conclusion, I have still to take back the absolute, and exists in one higher, as whose grace it
half-way form of expression of which I was willing to flows to me: right is a gift of grace from the judge;
make use only so long as I was still rooting among power and might exist only in me the powerful and
the entrails of right, and letting the word at least mighty.
stand. But, in fact, with the concept the word too
loses its meaning. What I called " my right " is II.MY INTERCOURSE
* [Einzigkeit]
In society the human demand at most can be
satisfied, while the egoistic must always come short.
276 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 277
Because it can hardly escape anybody that the kind); then every subdivision of this "people," which
present shows no such living interest in any question could and must have its special societies, the Spanish,
as in the " social," one has to direct his gaze especially French people, etc.; within it again classes, cities, in
to society. Nay, if the interest felt in it were less pas- short all kinds of corporations; lastly, tapering to the
sionate and dazzled, people would not so much, in finest point, the little peoplet of thefamily. Hence,
looking at society, lose sight of the individuals in it, instead of saying that the person that walked as ghost
and would recognize that a society cannot become new in all societies hitherto has been the people, there
so long as those who form and constitute it remain the might also have been named the two extremes,to wit,
old ones. If, e. g., there was to arise in the Jewish either "mankind" or the "family," both the most
people a society which should spread a new faith over "natural-born units." We choose the word "peo-
the earth, these apostles could in no case remain pie " * because its derivation has been brought into
Pharisees. connection with the Greek polloi, the "many" or "the
As you are, so you present yourself, so you behave masses," but still more because " national efforts " are
toward men: a hypocrite as a hypocrite, a Christian at present the order of the day, and because even the
as a Christian. Therefore the character of a society newest mutineers have not yet shaken off this deceptive
is determined by the character of its members : they person, although on the other hand the latter consider-
are its creators. So much at least one must perceive ation must give the preference to the expression " man-
even if one were not willing to put to the test the con- kind," since on all sides they are going in for enthusi-
cept " society " itself. asm over " mankind."
Ever far from letting themselves come to their full The people, then,mankind or the family,have
development and consequence, men have hitherto not hitherto, as it seems, played history: no egoistic in-
been able to found their societies on themselves ; or terest was to come up in these societies, but solely
rather, they have been able only to found " societies " general ones, national or popular interests, class inter-
and to live in societies. The societies were always ests, family interests, and "general human interests."
persons, powerful persons, so-called " moral persons," But who has brought to their fall the peoples whose
i. e. ghosts, before which the individual had the decline history relates? Who but the egoist, who was
appropriate wheel in his head, the fear of ghosts. As seeking his satisfaction ! If once an egoistic interest
such ghosts they may most suitably be designated by crept in, the society was " corrupted " and moved
the respective names "people" and "peoplet": the toward its dissolution, as Rome, e. g., proves with its
people of the patriarchs, the people of the Hellenes, * [Volk ; but the etymological remark following applies equally to the
etc., at last thepeople of men, Mankind (Anacharsis English word " people." See Liddell & Scott's Greek lexicon, under
Clootz was enthusiastic for the " nation " of man- pimplemi.]
278 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 279
highly developed system of private rights, or Christi- to overpower. Only that which I cannot overpower
anity with the incessantly-breaking-in " rational self- still limits my might ; and I of limited might am tem-
determination, "self-consciousness," the "autonomy porarily a limited I, not limited by the might out-
of the spirit," etc. side me, but limited by my own still deficient might,
The Christian people has produced two societies by my own impotence. However, " the Guard dies,
whose duration will keep equal measure with the but does not surrender! " Above all, only a bodily
permanence of that people: these are the societies opponent!
State and Church. Can they be called a union of
egoists? Do we in them pursue an egoistic, personal, I dare meet every foeman
own interest, or do we pursue a popular (i. e. an inter- Whom I can see and measure with my eye,
est of the Christian people), to wit, a State and Whose mettle fires my mettle for the fight,etc.
Church interest? Can I and may I be myself in Many privileges have indeed been cancelled with
them? May I think and act as I will, may I reveal time, but solely for the sake of the common weal, of
myself, live myself out, busy myself ? Must I not the State and the State's weal, by no means for the
leave untouched the majesty of the State, the sanctity strengthening of me. Vassalage, e. g., was abrogated
of the Church? only that a single liege lord, the lord of the people,
Well, I may not do as I will. But shall I find in the monarchical power, might be strengthened: vassal-
any society such an unmeasured freedom of maying? age under the one became yet more rigorous thereby.
Certainly no! Accordingly we might be content? Only in favor of the monarch, be he called " prince "
Not a bit! It is a different thing whether I rebound or "law," have privileges fallen. In France the
from an ego or from a people, a generalization. citizens are not, indeed, vassals of the king, but are
There I am my opponent's opponent, born his equal; instead vassals of the " law " (the Charter). Subordi-
here I am a despised opponent, bound and under nation was retained, only the Christian State recog-
a guardian: there I stand man to man ; here I am nized that man cannot serve two masters (the lord of
a schoolboy who can accomplish nothing against his the manor and the prince, etc.) ; therefore one obtained
comrade because the latter has called father and all the prerogatives ; now he can again place one
mother to aid and has crept under the apron, while I above another, he can make "men in high place."
am well scolded as an ill-bred brat, and I must not But of what concern to me is the common weal?
" argue " : there I fight against a bodily enemy ; here The common weal as such is not my weal, but only
against mankind, against a generalization, against a the furthest extremity of self-renunciation. The com-
" majesty," against a spook. But to me no majesty, mon weal may cheer aloud while I must " down "; *
nothing sacred, is a limit ; nothing that I know how
* [kuschen, a word whose only use is in ordering clogs to keep quiet. ]
280 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 281
the State may shine while I starve. In what lies the that shall be of age.
folly of the political liberals but in their opposing A people cannot be free otherwise than at the indi-
the people to the government and talking of people's vidual's expense; for it is not the individual that is
rights? So there is the people going to be of age, the main point in this liberty, but the people. The
etc. As if one who has no mouth could be muendig!* freer the people, the more bound the individual; the
Only the individual is able to be muendig. Thus Athenian people, precisely at its freest time, created
the whole question of the liberty of the press is turned ostracism, banished the atheists, poisoned the most
upside down when it is laid claim to as a " right of honest thinker.
the people." It is only a right, or better the might, How they do praise Socrates for his conscientious-
of the individual. If a people has liberty of the press, ness, which makes him resist the advice to get away
then I, although in the midst of this people, have it from the dungeon! He is a fool that he concedes to
not; a liberty of the people is not my liberty, and the the Athenians a right to condemn him. Therefore it
liberty of the press as a liberty of the people must certainly serves him right; why then does he remain
have at its side a press law directed against me. standing on an equal footing with the Athenians?
This must be insisted on all around against the Why does he not break with them? Had he known,
present-day efforts for liberty: and been able to know, what he was, he would have
Liberty of the people is not my liberty ! conceded to such judges no claim, no right. That he
Let us admit these categories, liberty of the people did not escape was just his weakness, his delusion of
and right of the people: e. g. the right of the people still having something in common with the Athenians,
that everybody may bear arms. Does one not forfeit or the opinion that he was a member, a mere member
such a right? One cannot forfeit his own right, but of this people. But he was rather this people itself in
may well forfeit a right that belongs not to me but to person, and could only be his own judge. There was
the people. I may be locked up for the sake of the no judge over him, as he himself had really pro-
liberty of the people; I may, under sentence, incur the nounced a public sentence on himself and rated him-
loss of the right to bear arms. self worthy of the Prytaneum. He should have stuck
Liberalism appears as the last attempt at a creation to that, and, as he had uttered no sentence of death
of the liberty of the people, a liberty of the commune, against himself, should have despised that of the
of " society," of the general, of mankind; the dream Athenians too and escaped. But he subordinated
of a humanity, a people, a commune, a " society," himself and recognized in the people his judge; he
seemed little to himself before the majesty of the
* [This is the word for " of age " , but it is derived from Mund, " mouth,"
and refers properly to the right of speaking through one's own mouth, not people. That he subjected himself to might (to
by a guardian. ] which alone he could succumb) as to a " right " was
282 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 283
treason against himself: it was virtue. To Christ, verted and undermined by the egoists within these
who, it is alleged, refrained from using the power over States, and the States went down that the individuals
his heavenly legions, the same scrupulousness is there- might become free, the Greek people fell" because the
by ascribed by the narrators. Luther did very well individuals cared less for this people than for them-
and wisely to have the safety of his journey to Worms selves. In general, all States, constitutions, churches,
warranted to him in black and white, and Socrates etc., have sunk by the secession of individuals; for the
should have known that the Athenians were his individual is the irreconcilable enemy of every gener-
enemies, he alone his judge. The self-deception of ality, every tie, i. e. every fetter. Yet people fancy to
a "-reign of law," etc., should have given way to the this day that man needs "sacred ties": he, the deadly
perception that the relation was a relation of might. enemy of every " tie." The history of the world
It was with pettifoggery and intrigues that Greek shows that no tie has yet remained unrent, shows that
liberty ended. Why? Because the ordinary Greeks man tirelessly defends himself against ties of every
could still less attain that logical conclusion which not sort; and yet, blinded, people think up new ties
even their hero of thought, Socrates, was able to draw. again and again, and think, e. g., that they have
What then is pettifoggery bub a way of utilizing arrived at the right one if one puts upon them the tie
something established without doing away with it? of a so-called free constitution, a beautiful, constitu-
I might add " for one's own advantage," but, you see, tional tie ; decoration ribbons, the ties of confidence
that lies in " utilizing." Such pettifoggers are the between " ," do seem gradually to have be-
theologians who "wrest" and "force" God's word; come somewhat infirm, but people have made no
what would they have to wrest if it were not for the further progress than from apron-strings to garters
" established " Word of God? So those liberals who and collars.
only shake and wrest the " established order." They Everything sacred is a tie, a fetter.
are all perverters, like those perverters of the law. Everything sacred is and must be perverted by per-
Socrates recognized law, right; the Greeks constantly verters of the law ; therefore our present time has
retained the authority of right and law. If with this multitudes of such perverters in all spheres. They
recognition they wanted nevertheless to assert their are preparing the way for the break-up of law, for
advantage, every one his own, then they had to seek lawlessness.
it in perversion of the law, or intrigue. Alcibiades, Poor Athenians who are accused of pettifoggery and
an intriguer of genius, introduces the period of Athen- sophistry ! poor Alcibiades, of intrigue ! Why, that
ian "decay "; the Spartan Lysander and others show was just your best point, your first step in freedom.
that intrigue had become universally Greek. Greek Your Aeschylus, Herodotus, etc., only wanted to have
laze, on which the Greek States rested, had to be per- a free Greek people ; you were the first to surmise
284 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 285
something of your freedom. people is dead.Up with me!
A people represses those who tower above its O thou my much-tormented German peoplewhat
majesty, by ostracism against too-powerful citizens, was thy torment? It was the torment of a thought
by the Inquisition against the heretics of the Church, that cannot create itself a body, the torment of a
by theInquisition against traitors in the State, etc. walking spirit that dissolves into nothing at every
For the people is concerned only with its self-asser- cock-crow and yet pines for deliverance and fulfilment.
tion; it demands " patriotic self-sacrifice" from every- In me too thou hast lived long, thou dearthought,
body. To it, accordingly, every one in himself is thou dearspook. Already I almost fancied I had
indifferent, a nothing, and it cannot do, not even found the word of thy deliverance, discovered flesh and
suffer, what the individual and he alone must do,to bones for the wandering spirit; then I hear them
wit, turn him to account. Every people, every State, sound, the bells that usher thee into eternal rest; then
is unjust toward the egoist. the last hope fades out, then the notes of the last love
As long as there still exists even one institution die away, then I depart from the desolate house of
which the individual may not dissolve, the ownness those who now are dead and enter at the door of the
and self-appurtenance of Me is still very remote. How living one:
can I, e. g., be free when I must bind myself by oath For only he who is alive is in the right.
to a constitution, a charter, a law, " vow body and Farewell, thou dream of so many millions ; farewell,
soul" to my people? How can I be my own when thou who hast tyrannized over thy children for a
my faculties may develop only so far as they " do not thousand years!
disturb the harmony of society " (Weitling) ? To-morrow they carry thee to the grave ; soon thy
The fall of peoples and mankind will invite me to sisters, the peoples, will follow thee. But, when they
my rise. have all followed, thenmankind is buried, and
Listen, even as I am writing this, the bells begin to I am my own, I am the laughing heir!
sound, that they may jingle in for to-morrow the The word Gesellschaft (society) has its origin in the
festival of the thousand years' existence of our dear word Sal (hall). If the hall encloses many persons,
Germany. Sound, sound its knell! You do sound then the hall causes these persons to be in society.
solemn enough, as if your tongue was moved by the They are in society, and at most constitute a parlor-
presentiment that it is giving convoy to a corpse. The society by talking in the traditional forms of parlor
German people and German peoples have behind them speech. When it comes to real intercourse, this is to
a history of a thousand years: what a long life! O, be regarded as independent of society : it may occur
go to rest, never to rise again,that all may become
free whom you so long have held in fetters.The
286 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 287
or be lacking, without altering the nature of what is prisoners, i. e. only so far as the prison laws allow it;
named society. Those who are in the hall are a but that they themselves hold intercourse, I with you,
society even as mute persons, or when they put each this the prison cannot bring to pass; on the contrary,
other off solely with empty phrases of courtesy. In- it must have an eye to guarding against such egoistic,
tercourse is mutuality, it is the action, the commer- purely personal intercourse (and only as such is it
cium, of individuals; society is only community of the really intercourse between me and you). That we
hall, and even the statues of a museum-hall are in jointly execute a job, run a machine, effectuate any-
society, they are "grouped." People are accustomed thing in general,for this a prison will indeed pro-
to say "they haben inne * this hall in common," but vide ; but that I forget that I am a prisoner, and
the case is rather that the hall has us inne or in it. engage in intercourse with you who likewise disregard
So far the natural signification of the word society. it, brings danger to the prison, and not only cannot
In this it comes out that society is not generated by be caused by it, but must not even be permitted. For
me and you, but by a third factor which makes associ- this reason the saintly and moral-minded French
ates out of us two, and that it is just this third factor chamber decides to introduce solitary confinement,
that is the creative one, that which creates society. and other saints will do the like in order to cut off
Just so a prison society or prison companionship " demoralizing intercourse." Imprisonment is the
(those who enjoy the same prison). Here we already established andsacred condition, to injure which no
hit upon a third factor fuller of significance than was attempt must be made. The slightest push of that
that merely local one, the hall. Prison no longer kind is punishable, as is every uprising against a
means a space only, but a space with express refer- sacred thing by which man is to be charmed and
ence to its inhabitants: for it is a prison only through chained.
being destined for prisoners, without whom it would Like the hall, the prison does form a society, a
be a mere building. What gives a common stamp to companionship, a communion (e. g. communion of
those who are gathered in it? Evidently the prison, labor), but no intercourse, no reciprocity, no union.
since it is only by means of the prison that they are On the contrary, every union in the prison bears
prisoners. What, then, determines the manner of life within it the dangerous seed of a " plot," which under
of the prison society? The prison! What deter- favorable circumstances might spring up and bear
mines their intercourse? The prison too, perhaps? fruit.
Certainly they can enter upon intercourse only as Yet one does not usually enter the prison volun-
* ["occupy"; literally, "have within " tarily, and seldom remains in it voluntarily either, but
[The word Genosse, " companion," signifies originally a companion in cherishes the egoistic desire for liberty. Here, there-
enjoyment.] fore, it sooner becomes manifest that personal inter-
288 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 289
course is in hostile relations to the prison society and sacred,viz., the family itself, or, more expressively,
tends to the dissolution of this very society, this joint piety. That the family is to persist remains to its
incarceration. member, so long as he keeps himself free from that
Let us therefore look about for such communions egoism which is hostile to the family, an unassailable
as, it seems, we remain in gladly and voluntarily, with truth. In a word:If the family is sacred, then no-
out wanting to endanger them by our egoistic body who belongs to it may secede from it ; else he
impulses. becomes a " criminal " against the family: he may
As a communion of the required sort the family , never pursue an interest hostile to the family, e. g.
offers itself in the first place. Parents, husband and form a misalliance. He who does this has " dis-
wife, children, brothers and sisters, represent a whole honored the family," "put it to shame," etc.
or form a family, for the further widening of which the Now, if in an individual the egoistic impulse has
collateral relatives also may be made to serve if taken not force enough, he complies and makes a marriage
into account. The family is a true communion only which suits the claims of the family, takes a rank
when the law of the family, piety * or family love, is which harmonizes with its position, and the like ; in
observed by its members. A son to whom parents, short, he " does honor to the family."
brothers, and sisters have become indifferent has been If, on the contrary, the egoistic blood flows fierily
a son; for, as the sonship no longer shows itself effica- enough in his veins, he prefers to become a "criminal"
cious, it has no greater significance than the long-past against the family and to throw off its laws.
connection of mother and child by the navel-string. Which of the two lies nearer my heart, the good of
That one has once lived in this bodily juncture cannot the family or my good? In innumerable cases both
as a fact be undone ; and so far one remains irrevoc- go peacefully together; the advantage of the family
ably this mother's son and the brother of the rest of is at the same time mine, and vice versa. Then
her children; but it would come to a lasting connec- it is hard to decide whether I am thinking selfishly
tion only by lasting piety, this spirit of the family. or for the common benefit, and perhaps I complacently,
Individuals are members of a family in the full sense flatter myself with my unselfishness. But there
only when they make the persistence of the family comes the day when a necessity of choice makes
their task ; only as conservative do they keep aloof me tremble, when I have it in mind to dishonor my
from doubting their basis, the family. To every family tree, to affront parents, brothers, and kindred.
member of the family one thing must be fixed and What then? Now it will appear how I am disposed
* [Thus word in German does not mean religion, but as in Latin, faithful at the bottom of my heart ; now it will be revealed
ness to family tiesas we speak of "filial piety " But the word elsewhere whether piety ever stood above egoism for me, now
translated '* pious" (fromm) means " religious," as usually in English. ] the selfish one can no longer skulk behind the sem-
290 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 291
blance of unselfishness. A wish rises in my soul, pliable girl felt herself more satisfied by the unity of
and, growing from hour to hour, becomes a pas- the family than by the fulfilment of her wish. That
sion. To whom does it occur at first blush that the might be; but what if there remained a sure sign that
slightest thought which may result adversely to the egoism had been sacrificed to piety? What if, even
spirit of the family (piety) bears within it a transgres- after the wish that had been directed against the
sion against this? nay, who at once, in the first peace of the family was sacrificed, it remained at least
moment, becomes completely conscious of the matter? as a recollection of a " sacrifice " brought to a sacred
It happens so with Juliet in " Romeo and Juliet." tie? What if the pliable girl were conscious of hav-
The unruly passion can at last no longer be tamed, ing left her self-will unsatisfied and humbly subjected
and undermines the building of piety. You will say, herself to a higher power? Subjected and sacrificed,
indeed, it is from self-will that the family casts out of because the superstition of piety exercised its dominion
its bosom those wilful ones that grant more of a hear- over her!
ing to their passion than to piety; the good Protest- There egoism won, here piety wins and the egoistic
ants used the same excuse with much success against heart bleeds; there egoism was strong, here it was
the Catholics, and believed in it themselves. But it is weak. But the weak, as we have long known, are the
just a subterfuge to roll the fault off oneself, nothing unselfish. For them, for these its weak members,
more. The Catholics had regard for the common the family cares, because they belong to the family,
bond of the church, and thrust those heretics from do not belong to themselves and care for themselves.
them only because these did not have so much regard This weakness Hegel, e. g., praises when he wants to
for the bond of the church as to sacrifice their convic- have match-making left to the choice of the parents.
tions to it ; the former, therefore, held the bond fast, As a sacred communion to which, among the rest,
because the bond, the Catholic (i. e. common and the individual owes obedience, the family has the
united) church, was sacred to them ; the latter, on the judicial function too vested in it ; such a " family
contrary, disregarded the bond. Just so those who court " is described e. g. in the " Cabanis " of Wili-
lack piety. They are not thrust out, but thrust them- bald Alexis. There the father, in the name of the
selves out, prizing their passion, their wilfulness, " family council," puts the intractable son among the
higher than the bond of the family. soldiers and thrusts him out of the family, in order
But now sometimes a wish glimmers in a less pas- to cleanse the smirched family again by means of this
sionate and wilful heart than Juliet's. The pliable act of punishment.The most consistent development
girl brings herself as a sacrifice to the peace of the of family responsibility is contained in Chinese law,
family. One might say that here too selfishness pre- according to which the whole family has to expiate
vailed, for the decision came from the feeling that the the individual's fault.
292 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 293
To-day, however, the arm of family power seldom What is called a State is a tissue and plexus of
reaches far enough to take seriously in hand the dependence and adherence ; it is a belonging together,
punishment of apostates (in most cases the State pro- a holding together, in which those who are placed
tects even against disinheritance). The criminal together fit themselves to each other, OP, in short,
against the family (family-criminal) flees into the mutually depend on each other: it is the order of this
domain of the State and is free, as the State-criminal dependence. Suppose the king, whose authority lends
who gets away to America is no longer reached by the authority to all down to the beadle, should vanish:
punishments of his State. He who has shamed his still all in whom the will for order was awake would
family, the graceless son, is protected against the keep order erect against the disorders of bestiality.
family's punishment because the State, this protecting If disorder were victorious, the State would be at an
lord, takes away from family punishment its " sacred- end.
ness " and profanes it, decreeing that it is only " re- But is this thought of love, to fit ourselves to each
venge " : it restrains punishment, this sacred family other, to adhere to each other and depend on each
right, because before its, the State's, " sacredness " other, really capable of winning us? According to
the subordinate sacredness of the family always pales this the State would be love realized, the being for
and loses its sanctity as soon as it comes in conflict each other and living for each other of all. Is not
with this higher sacredness. Without the conflict, self-will being lost while we attend to the will for
the State lets pass the lesser sacredness of the family; order? Will people not be satisfied when order is
but in the opposite case it even commands crime cared for by authority, i. e. when authority sees to it
against the family, charging, e. g., the son to refuse that no one "gets in the way of" another; when,
obedience to his parents as soon as they want to be- then, the herd is judiciously distributed or ordered?
guile him to a crime against the State. Why, then everything is in "the best order," and it is
Well, the egoist has broken the ties of the family this best order that is calledState!
and found in the State a lord to shelter him against Our societies and States are without our making
the grievously affronted spirit of the family. But them, are united without our uniting, are predestined
where has he run now? Straight into a new society, and established, or have an independent standing * of
in which his egoism is awaited by the same snares and their own, are the indissolubly established against us
nets that it has just escaped. For the State is likewise egoists. The fight of the world to-day is, as it is said,
a society, not a union ; it is the broadened family directed against the " established." Yet people are
(" Father of the CountryMother of the Country- wont to misunderstand this as if it were only that
children of the country"). * [It should be remembered that the words " establish " and " State " are
both derived from the root "stand "]
294 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 295
what is now established was to be exchanged for an- as long as we rest in the error that it is an I, as which
other, a better, established system. But war might it then applies to itself the name of a " moral, mysti-
rather be declared against establishment itself, i. e. cal, or political person." I, who really am I, must
the State, not a particular State, not any such thing pull off this lion-skin of the I from the stalking
as the mere condition of the State at the time ; it is thistle-eater. What manifold robbery have I not put
not another State (such as a " people's State ") that up with in the history of the world! There I let sun,
men aim at, but their union, uniting, this ever-fluid moon, and stars, cats and crocodiles, receive the honor
uniting of everything standing.A State exists of ranking as I ; there Jehovah, Allah, and Our
even without my co-operation: I am born in it, Father came and were invested with the I ; there
brought up in it, under obligations to it, and must families, tribes, peoples, and at last actually mankind,
" do it homage."* It takes me up into its " favor," came and were honored as I's; there the Church, the
and I live by its "grace." Thus the independent estab- State, came with the pretension to be I,and I
lishment of the State founds my lack of independence ; gazed calmly on all. What wonder if then there was
its condition as a " natural growth," its organism, de- always a real I too that joined the company and
mands that my nature do not grow freely, but be cut affirmed in my face that it was not my you but my
to fit it. That it may be able to unfold in natural real I. Why, the Son of Man par excellence had
growth, it applies to me the shears of " civilization " ; done the like ; why should not a son of man do it
it gives me an education and culture adapted to it, too? So I saw my I always above me and outside
not to me, and teaches me e. g. to respect the laws, to me, and could never really come to myself.
refrain from injury to State property (i. e. private I never believed in myself; I never believed in my
property), to reverence divine and earthly highness, present, I saw myself only in the future. The boy
etc.; in short, it teaches me to beunpunishable, believes he will be a proper I, a proper fellow, only
"sacrificing" my ownness to " sacredness " (everything when he has become a man ; the man thinks, only in
possible is sacred, e. g. property, others' life, etc.). the other world will he be something proper. And, to
In this consists the sort of civilization and culture that enter more closely upon reality at once, even the best
the State is able to give me: it brings me up to be a are to-day still persuading each other that one must
" serviceable instrument," a " serviceable member of have received into himself the State, his people, man-
society." kind, and what not, in order to be a real I, a " free
This every State must do, the people's State as well burgher," a " citizen," a " free or true man "; they
as the absolute or constitutional one. It must do so too see the truth and reality of me in the reception of
* [huldigen] [Huld] an alien I and devotion to it. And what sort of an
I? An I that is neither an I nor a you, a fancied I,
296 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 297
a spook. make me ask, what concern has it with the " wheel in
While in the Middle Ages the church could well my head " (principle) ? Very much, for the State
brook many States living united in it, the States is theruling principle. It is supposed that in
learned after the Reformation, especially after the divorce matters, in marriage law in general, the ques-
Thirty Years' War, to tolerate many churches (con- tion is of the proportion of rights between Church
fessions) gathering under one crown. But all States and State. Rather, the question is of whether any-
are religious and, as the case may be, " Christian thing sacred is to rule over man, be it called faith or
States," and make it their task to force the intract- ethical law (morality). The State behaves as the
able, the " egoists," under the bond of the unnatural, same ruler that the Church was. The latter rests on
i. e. Christianize them. All arrangements of the Chris- godliness, the former on morality.
tian State have the object of Christianizing the people. People talk of the tolerance, the leaving opposite
Thus the court has the object of forcing people to tendencies free, and the like, by which civilized States
justice, the school that of forcing them to mental cul- are distinguished. Certainly some are strong enough
ture,in short, the object of protecting those who act to look with complacency on even the most unre-
Christianly against those who act unchristianly, of strained meetings, while others charge their catchpolls
bringing Christian action to dominion, of making it to go hunting for tobacco-pipes. Yet for one State
powerful. Among these means of force the State as for another the play of individuals among them-
counted the Church too, it demanded aparticular selves, their buzzing to and fro, their daily life, is an
religion from everybody. Dupin said lately against incident which it must be content to leave to them-
the clergy, " Instruction and education belong to the selves because it can do nothing with this. Many,
State." indeed, still strain out gnats and swallow camels, while
Certainly everything that regards the principle of others are shrewder. Individuals are "freer!" in the
morality is a State affair. Hence it is that the latter, because less pestered. But I am free in no
Chinese State meddles so much in family concerns, State. The lauded tolerance of States is simply a
and one is nothing there if one is not first of all tolerating of the "harmless," the "not dangerous";
a good child to his parents. Family concerns are it is only elevation above pettymindedness, only a
altogether State concerns with us too, only that our more estimable, grander, prouderdespotism. A
Stateputs confidence in the families without painful certain State seemed for a while to mean to be pretty
oversight; it holds the family bound by the marriage well elevated above literary combats, which might
tie, and this tie cannot be broken without it. be carried on with all heat ; England is elevated
But that the State makes me responsible for my above popular turmoil andtobacco-smoking. But
principles, and demands certain ones from me, might woe to the literature that deals blows at the State
298 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 299
itself, woe to the mobs that "endanger" the State. and is nothing. " He is nothing " means as much as,
In that certain State they dream of a " free science," The State does not make use of him, grants him no
in England of a " free popular life." position, no office, no trade, and the like.
The State does let individuals play as freely as pos- E. Bauer,* in the "Liberale Bestrebungen," II, 50,
sible, only they must not be in earnest, must not for- is still dreaming of a " government which, proceeding
get it. Man must not carry on intercourse with man out of the people, can never stand in opposition to
unconcernedly, not without " superior oversight and it." He does indeed (p. 69) himself take back the
mediation." I must not execute all that I am able word " government " : " In the republic no govern-
to, but only so much as the State allows; I must not ment at all obtains, but only an executive authority.
turn to account my thoughts, nor my work, nor, in An authority which proceeds purely and alone out of
general, anything of mine. the people; which has not an independent power, in-
The State always has the sole purpose to limit, dependent principles, independent officers, over against
tame, subordinate, the individualto make him sub- the people; but which has its foundation, the fountain
ject to some generality or other; it lasts only so long of its power and of its principles, in the sole, supreme
as the individual is not all in all, and it is only the authority of the State, in the people. The concept
clearly-marked restriction of me, my limitation, my government, therefore, is not at all suitable in the
slavery. Never does a State aim to bring in the free people's State." But the thing remains the same.
activity of individuals, but always that which is bound That which has " proceeded, been founded, sprung
to the purpose of the State. Through the State noth- from the fountain " becomes something " independent F
ing in common comes to pass either, as little as one and, like a child delivered from the womb, enters
can call a piece of cloth the common work of all the upon opposition at once. The government, if it were
individual parts of a machine ; it is rather the work of nothing independent and opposing, would be nothing
the whole machine as a unit, machine work. In the at all.
same style everything is done by the State machine "In the free State there is no government," etc.
too ; for it moves the clockwork of the individual (p. 94). This surely means that the people, when it
minds, none of which follow their own impulse. The is the sovereign, does not let itself be conducted by a
State seeks to hinder every free activity by its censor- superior authority. Is it perchance different in abso-
ship, its supervision, its police, and holds this hinder- lute monarchy? Is there there for the sovereign, per-
ing to be its duty, because it is in truth a duty of chance, a government standing over him? Over the
self-preservation. The State wants to make something * What was said in the concluding remarks after Humane Liberalism
out of man, therefore there live in it only made men; holds good of the following,to wit that it was likewise written immedi-
every one who wants to be his own self is its opponent ately after the appearance of the book cited
300 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 301
sovereign, be he called prince or people, there never and what a chimera, to be no longer willing to call
stands a government : that is understood of itself. the "people's officials" "servants, instruments," be-
But over me there will stand a government in every ause they " execute the free, rational law-will of the
" State," in the absolute as well as in the republican people! " (p. 73). He thinks (p. 74) : " Only by all
or " free." I am as badly off in one as in the other. official circles subordinating themselves to the govern-
The republic is nothing whatever butabsolute ment's views can unity be brought into the State";
monarchy; for it makes no difference whether the but his "people's State" is to have "unity" too;
monarch is called prince or people, both being a how will a lack of subordination be allowable there?
" majesty." Constitutionalism itself proves that no- subordination to thepeople's will.
body is able and willing to be only an instrument. " In the constitutional State it is the regent and his
The ministers domineer over their master the prince, disposition that the whole structure of government
the deputies over their master the people. Here, rests on in the end." (Ibid., p. 130.) How would
then, the parties at least are already free,videlicet, that be otherwise in the "people's State"? Shall I not
the office-holders' party (so-called people's party). there be governed by the people's disposition too, and
The prince must conform to the will of the ministers, does it make a difference me whether I see rnyself
the people dance to the pipe of the chambers. Con- kept in dependence by the prince's disposition or by
stitutionalism is further than the republic, because it the people's disposition, so-called "public opinion"?
is the State in incipient dissolution. If dependence means as much as " religious relation,"
E. Bauer denies (p. 56) that the people is a " per- E. Bauer rightly alleges, then in the people's State
sonality" in the constitutional State; per contra, their the people remains for me the superior power, the
in the republic? Well, in the constitutional State that majesty " (for God and prince have their proper
people isa party, and a party is surely a " person- essence in " majesty ") to which I stand in religious
ality " if one is once resolved to talk of a " political '' relations.Like the sovereign regent, the sovereign
(p. 76) moral person anyhow. The fact is that a people too would be reached by no law. E. Bauer's
moral person, be it called people's party or people or whole attempt comes to a change of masters. Instead
even "the Lord," is in no wise a person, but a spook. of wanting to make the people free, he should have
Further, E. Bauer goes on (p. 69): "guardianship bad his mind on the sole realizable freedom, his own.
is the characteristic of a government." Truly, still In the constitutional State absolutism itself has at
more that of a people and " people's State "; it is last come in conflict with itself, as it has been shat-
the characteristic of all dominion. A people's State, tered into a duality; the government wants to be
which " unites in itself all completeness of power," the absolute, and the people wants to be absolute. These
" absolute master," cannot let me become powerful. TO absolutes will wear out against each other.
302 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 303
E. Bauer inveighs against the determination of the the vox populi is at the same time vox del ; but is
regent by birth, by chance. But, when " the people" either of any use, and is not the vox principis also
have become "the sole power in the State" (p. 132), vox dei?
have we not then in it a master from chance ? Why, At this point the " Nationals " may be brought to
what is the people? The people has always been only mind. To demand of the thirty-eight States of
the body of the government: it is many under one hat Germany that they shall act as one nation can only be
(a prince's hat) or many under one constitution. And put alongside the senseless desire that thirty-eight
the constitution is theprince. Princes and peoples swarms of bees, led by thirty-eight queen-bees, shall "
will persist so long as both do not collapse, i. e. fall unite themselves into one swarm. Bees they all re-
together. If under one constitution there are many main; but it is not the bees as bees that belong to-
" peoples,"e. g. in the ancient Persian monarchy gether and can join themselves together, it is only that
and to-day,then these " peoples " rank only as the subject bees are connected with the ruling queens.
" provinces." For me the people is in any case an Bees and peoples are destitute of will, and the instinct
accidental power, a force of nature, an enemy that I of their queens leads them.
must overcome. If one were to point the bees to their beehood, in
What is one to think of under the name of an which at any rate they are all equal to each other, one
"organized" people (ibid., p. 132)? A people "that would be doing the same thing that they are now do-
no longer has a government," that governs itself. In ing so stormily in pointing the Germans to their
which, therefore, no ego stands out prominently; a Germanhood. Why, Germanhood is just like bee-
people organized by ostracism. The banishment of hood in this very thing, that it bears in itself the
egos, ostracism, makes the people autocrat. necessity of cleavages and separations, yet without
If you speak of the people, you must speak of the pushing on to the last separation, where, with the
prince; for the people, if it is to be a subject'1' and complete carrying through of the process of separating,
make history, must, like everything that acts, have a its end appears: I mean, to the separation of man
head, its " supreme head." Weitling sets this forth in from man. Germanhood does indeed divide itself into
the "Trio," and Proudhon declares, "une socit, pour different peoples and tribes, i. e. beehives; but the
ainsi dire acphale, ne peut vivre." individual who has the quality of being a German is
The vox populi is now always held up to us, and still as powerless as the isolated bee. And yet only
" public opinion " is to rule our princes. Certainly individuals can enter into union with each other, and
* [In the philosophical sense (a thinking and acting being), not in the all alliances and leagues of peoples are and remain
political sense,] mechanical compoundings, because those who come
[" Cration de l'Ordre," p. 485.] together, at least so far as the "peoples" are regarded
304 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 305
as the ones that have come together, are destitute of "family disposition." From the superstition of
will. Only with the last separation docs separation "piety," from " brotherliness " or " childlikeness " or
itself end and change to unification. however else the soft-hearted piety-phrases run,from
Now the Nationals are exerting themselves to set up the family spirit,the Nationals, who want to have
the abstract, lifeless unity of beehood ; but the self- a great family of Germans, cannot liberate themselves.
owned are going to fight for the unity willed by their Aside from this, the so-called Nationals would only
own will, for union. This is the token of all reaction- have to understand themselves rightly in order to lift
ary wishes, that they want to set up something themselves out of their juncture with the good-natured
general, abstract, an empty, lifeless concept, in dis- Teutomaniacs. For the uniting for material ends and
tinction from which the self-owned aspire to relieve interests, which they demand of the Germans, comes
the robust, lively particular from the trashy burden of to nothing else than a voluntary union. Carriere, in-
generalities. The reactionaries would be glad to spired, cries out,* "Railroads are to the more penetrat-
smite a people, a nation, forth from the earth; the ing eye the way to a life of the people such as has not
self-owned have before their eyes only themselves. In yet anywhere appeared in such significance." Quite
essentials the two efforts that are just now the order right, it will be a life of the people that has nowhere
of the dayto wit, the restoration of provincial appeared, because it is not alife of the people.So
rights and of the old tribal divisions (Franks, Bavari- Carriere then combats himself (p. 10): " Pure hu-
ans, etc., Lusatia, etc.), and the restoration of the manity or manhood cannot be better represented than
entire nationalitycoincide in one. But the Germans by a people fulfilling its mission." Why, by this
will come into unison, i. e. unite themselves, only when nationality only is represented. " Washed-out gener-
they knock over their beehood as well as all the bee- ality is lower than the form complete in itself, which
hives; in other words, when they are more than is itself a whole, and lives as a living member of the
Germans: only then can they form a " German truly general, the organized." Why, the people is
Union." They must not want to turn back into this very "washed-out generality," and it is only a
their nationality, into the womb, in order to be born man that is the " form complete in itself."
again, but let every one turn in to himself. How The impersonality of what they call " people, na-
ridiculously sentimental when one German grasps tion," is clear also from this: that a people which
another's hand and presses it with sacred awe wants to bring its I into view to the best of its power
because " he too is a German "! With that he is puts at its head the ruler without will. It finds itself
something great! But this will certainly still be in the alternative either to be subjected to a prince
thought touching as long as people are enthusiastic * ["Koelner Dom," p. 4.]
for " brotherliness," i. e. as long as they have a
306 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 307
who realizes only himself, his individual pleasurethen representatives, It is my will ! "
it does not recognize in the " absolute master " its own As with the Greeks, there is now a wish to make
will, the so-called will of the people, or to seat on man a zoon politicon, a citizen of the State or political
the throne a prince who gives effect to no will of his man. So he ranked for a long time as a " citizen of
ownthen it has a prince without will, whose place heaven." But the Greek fell into ignominy along
some ingenious clockwork would perhaps fill just as with his State, the citizen of heaven likewise falls with
well.Therefore insight need go only a step farther; heaven; we, on the other hand, are not willing to go
then it becomes clear of itself that the I of the people down along with the people, the nation and national-
is an impersonal, " spiritual " power, thelaw. The ity, not willing to be merely political men or politi-
people's I, therefore, is aspook, not an I. I am I cians. Since the Revolution they have striven to
only by this, that I make myself; i. e. that it is not " make the people happy," and in making the people
another who makes me, but I must be my own work. happy, great, and the like, they make Us unhappy:
But how is it with this I of the people? Chance plays the people's good hap ismy mishap.
it into the people's hand, chance gives it this or that What empty talk the political liberals utter with
born lord, accidents procure it the chosen one; he is emphatic decorum is well seen again in Nauwerk's
not its (the "sovereign" people's) product, as I am my " On Taking Part in the State." There complaint is
product. Conceive of one wanting to talk you into made of those who are indifferent and do not take
believing that you were not your I, but Tom or Jack part, who are not in the full sense citizens, and the
was your I ! But so it is with the people, and rigidly. author speaks as if one could not be man at all if one
For the people has an I as little as the eleven planets did not take a lively part in State affairs, i. e. if one
counted together have an I, though they revolve were not a politician. In this he is right; for, if the
around a common centre. State ranks as the warder of everything "human," we
Bailly's utterance is representative of the slave- can have nothing human without taking part in it.
disposition that folks manifest before the sovereign But what does this make out against the egoist?
people, as before the prince. " I have," says he, " no Nothing at all, because the egoist is to himself the
longer any extra reason when the general reason has warder of the human, and has nothing to say to the
pronounced itself. My first law was the nation's will; State except " Get out of my sunshine." Only when
as soon as it had assembled I knew nothing beyond its the State comes in contact with his ownness does the
sovereign will." He would have no " extra reason," egoist take an active interest in it. If the condition
and yet this extra reason alone accomplishes every- of the State does not bear hard on the closet-philo-
thing. Just so Mirabeau inveighs in the words, " No sopher, is he to occupy himself with it because it is his
power on earth has the right to say to the nation's " most sacred duty "? So long as the State does
308 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 309
according to his wish, what need has he to look up be addressed as one will have to address them at the
from his studies? Let those who from an interest of decisive moment if he wants to attain his end. In-
their own want to have conditions otherwise busy stead of this, the theology-hating author says, " If
themselves with them. Not now, nor evermore, will there has ever been a time when the State laid claim
" sacred duty " bring folks to reflect about the State, to all that are hers, such a time is ours.The think-
as little as they become disciples of science, artists, ing man sees in participation in the theory and prac-
etc., from " sacred duty." Egoism alone can impel tice of the State a duty, one of the most sacred duties
them to it, and will as soon as things have become that rest upon him "and then takes under closer
much worse. If you showed folks that their egoism consideration the " unconditional necessity that every-
demanded that they busy themselves with State affairs, body participate in the State."
you would not have to call on them long; if, on the He in whose head or heart or both the State is
other hand, you appeal to their love of fatherland and seated, he who is possessed by the State, or the believer
the like, you will long preach to deaf hearts in behalf in the State, is a politician, and remains such to all
of this " service of love." Certainly, in your sense eternity.
the egoists will not participate in State affairs at all. "The State is the most necessary means for the com-
Nauwerk utters a genuine liberal phrase on p. 16: plete development of mankind." It assuredly has X
" Man completely fulfils his calling only in feeling and been so as long as we wanted to develop mankind;
knowing himself as a member of humanity, and being but, if we want to develop ourselves, it can be to us
active as such. The individual cannot realize the idea only a means of hindrance.
of manhood if he does not stay himself upon all hu- Can State and people still be reformed and bettered
manity, if he does not draw his powers from it like now? As little as the nobility, the clergy, the church,
Antaeus." etc.: they can be abrogated, annihilated, done away
In the same place it is said : " Man's relation to the with, not reformed. Can I change a piece of nonsense
res publica is degraded to a purely private matter by into sense by reforming it, or must I drop it outright?
the theological view; is, accordingly, made away with Henceforth what is to be done is no longer about
by denial." As if the political view did otherwise the State (the form of the State, etc.), but about me.
with religion! There religion is a " private matter." With this all questions about the prince's power, the
If, instead of " sacred duty," " man's destiny," the constitution, etc., sink into their true abyss and their
" calling to full manhood," and similar command- true nothingness. I, this nothing, shall put forth my
ments, it were held up to people that their self-interest creations from myself.
was infringed on when they let everything in the State
go as it goes, then, without declamations, they would
310 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 311
To the chapter of society belongs also " the party," to be something outside their party, i. e. non-partis-
whose praise has of late been sung. ans. Non-partisan they cannot be as party-men, but
In the State the party is current. " Party, party, only as egoists. If you are a Protestant and belong
who should not join one ! " But the individual is to that party, you must only justify Protestantism, at
unique,* not a member of the party. He unites most "purge" it, not reject it; if you are a Christian
freely, and separates freely again. The party is noth- and belong among men to the Christian party, you
ing but a State in the State, and in this smaller bee- cannot go beyond this as a member of this party, but
State "peace" is also to rule just as in the greater. only when your egoism, i. e. non-partisanship, impels
The very people who cry loudest that there must be an you to it. What exertions the Christians, down to
opposition in the State inveigh against every discord Hegel and the Communists, have put forth to make
in the party. A proof that they too want only a their party strong! they stuck to it that Christianity
State. All parties are shattered not against the State, must contain the eternal truth, and that one needs
but against the ego. only to get at it, make sure of it, and justify it.
One hears nothing oftener now than the admonition In short, the party cannot bear non-partisanship,
to remain true to his party; party men despise noth- and it is in this that egoism appears. What matters
ing so much as a mugwump. One must run with his the party to me? I shall find enough anyhow who
party through thick and thin, and unconditionally ap- unite with me without swearing allegiance to my flag.
prove and represent its chief principles. It does not He who passes over from one party to another is at
indeed go quite so badly here as with closed societies, once abused as a "turncoat." Certainly morality de-
because these bind their members to fixed laws or mands that one stand by his party, and to become
statutes (e. g. the orders, the Society of Jesus, etc.). apostate from it is to spot oneself with the stain of
But yet the party ceases to be a union at the same "faithlessness"; but ownness knows no commandment
moment at which it makes certain principles binding of " faithfulness, adhesion, etc.," ownness permits
and wants to have them assured against attacks; but everything, even apostasy, defection. Unconsciously
this moment is the very birth-act of the party. As even the moral themselves let themselves be led by this
party it is already a born society, a dead union, an principle when they have to judge one who passes over
idea that has become fixed. As party of absolutism it to their party,nay, they are likely to be making
cannot will that its members should doubt the irre- proselytes; they should only at the same time acquire
fragable truth of this principle; they could cherish this a consciousness of the fact that one must commit im-
doubt only if they were egoistic enough to want still moral actions in order to commit his own,i. e. here,
* [einzig] [am Einzigen]
that one must break faith, yes, even his oath, in order
to determine himself instead of being determined by
312 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 313
moral considerations. In the eyes of people of strict that degree, they lack egoism in that degree, in which
moral judgment an apostate always shimmers in equi- they serve this desire of the party. The independence
vocal colors, and will not easily obtain their con- of the party conditions the lack of independence in the
fidence; for there sticks to him the taint of "faithless- party-members.
ness," i. e. of an immorality. In the lower man this A party, of whatever kind it may be, can never
view is found almost generally; advanced thinkers fall do without a confession of faith. For those who be-
here too, as always, into an uncertainty and bewilder- long to the party must believe in its principle, it must
ment, and the contradiction necessarily founded in the not be brought in doubt or put in question by them,
principle of morality does not, on account of the con- it must be the certain, indubitable thing for the party-
fusion of their concepts, come clearly to their con- member. That is : One must belong to a party body
sciousness. They do not venture to call the apostate and soul, else one is not truly a party-man, but more
immoral downright, because they themselves entice to or lessan egoist. Harbor a doubt of Christianity,
apostasy, to defection from one religion to another, and you are already no longer a true Christian, you
etc.; still, they cannot give up the standpoint of have lifted yourself to the " effrontery" of putting a
morality either. And yet here the occasion was to be question beyond it and haling Christianity before your
seized to step outside of morality. egoistic judgment-seat. You havesinned against
Are the Own or Unique* perchance a party? How Christianity, this party cause (for it is surely not e. g.
could they be own if they were such as belonged to a a cause for the Jews, another party). But well for
party ? * you if you do not let yourself be affrighted : your ef-
Or is one to hold with no party? In the very act frontery helps you to ownness.
of joining them and entering their circle one forms a So then an egoist* could never embrace a party or
union with them that lasts as long as party and I take up with a party? Oh, yes, only he cannot let
pursue one and the same goal. But to-day I still himself be embraced and taken up by the party. For
share the party's tendency, and by to-morrow I can do him the party remains all the time nothing but a
so no longer and I become " untrue " to it. The gathering : he is one of the party, he takes part.
party has nothing binding (obligatory) for me, and I The best State will clearly be that which has the
do not have respect for it ; if it no longer pleases me, most loyal citizens, and the more the devoted mind for
I become its foe. legality is lost, so much the more will the State, this
In every party that cares for itself and its persist- system of morality, this moral life itself, be diminished
ence, the members are unfree (or better, unown) in in force and quality. With the " good citizens " the
* [Einzigen] good State too perishes and dissolves into anarchy and
314 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 315
lawlessness. " Respect for the law! " By this cement against which the society adopts counter-measures, re-
the total of the State is held together. " The law is solves on a defence. The State, on the contrary,
sacred, and he who affronts it a criminal." Without stamps the duel as a crime, i. e. as an injury to its
crime no State: the moral worldand this the State is sacred law: it makes it a criminal case. The society
is crammed full of scamps, cheats, liars, thieves, etc. leaves it to the individual's decision whether he will
Since the State is the " lordship of law," its hierarchy, draw upon himself evil consequences and inconveni-
it follows that the egoist, in all cases where his ad- ences by his mode of action, and hereby recognizes his
vantage runs against the State's, can satisfy himself free decision; the State behaves in exactly the reverse
only by crime. way, denying all right to the individual's decision
The State cannot give up the claim that its laws and and, instead, ascribing the sole right to its own de-
ordinances are sacred.* At this the individual ranks cision, the law of the State, so that he who trans-
as the unholy (barbarian, natural man, " egoist ") gresses the State's commandment is looked upon as if
over against the State, exactly as he was once regarded he were acting against God's commandment,a view
by the Church; before the individual the State takes which likewise was once maintained by the Church.
on the nimbus of a saint. Thus it issues a law Here God is the Holy in and of himself, and the com-
against dueling. Two men who are both at one in mandments of the Church, as of the State, are the
this, that they are willing to stake their life for a commandments of this Holy One, which he transmits to
cause (no matter what), are not to be allowed this, be- the world through his anointed and Lords-by-the-
cause the State will not have it: it imposes a penalty Grace-of-God. If the Church had deadly sins, the State
on it. Where is the liberty of self-determination then? has capital crimes ; if the one had heretics, the other
It is at once quite another situation if, as e. g. in has traitors; the one ecclesiastical penalties, the other
North America, society determines to let the duelists criminal penalties ; the one inquisitorial processes, the
bear certain evil consequences of their act, e. g. with- other fiscal; in short, there sins, here crimes, there
drawal of the credit hitherto enjoyed. To refuse sinners, here criminals, there inquisition and here
credit is everybody's affair, and, if a society wants to inquisition. Will the sanctity of the State not fall
withdraw it for this or that reason, the man who is hit like the Church's? The awe of its laws, the reverence
cannot therefore complain of encroachment on his lib- for its highness, the humility of its " subjects," will
erty: the society is simply availing itself of its own this remain? Will the "saint's" face not be stripped
liberty. That is no penalty for sin, no penalty for a of its adornment?
crime. The duel is no crime there, but only an act What a folly, to ask of the State's authority that it
* [heilig] [unheilig] [Heiliger] should enter into an honorable fight with the indi-
vidual, and, as they express themselves in the matter
316 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 317
of freedom of the press, share sun and wind equally! and hence treated according to the requirements of
If the State, this thought, is to be a de facto power, it this " human calling." Curative means or healing is
simply must be a superior power against the individ- only the reverse side of punishment, the theory of cure
ual. The State is " sacred " and must not expose runs parallel with the theory of punishment ; if the
itself to the " impudent attacks " of individuals. If latter sees in an action a sin against right, the former
the State is sacred, there must be censorship. The takes it for a sin of the man against himself, as a de-
political liberals admit the former and dispute the cadence from his health. But the correct thing is
inference. But in any case they concede repressive that I regard it either as an action that suits me or as
measures to it, forthey stick to this, that State is one that does not suit me, as hostile or friendly to me,
more than the individual and exercises a justified i. e. that I treat it as my property, which I cherish or
revenge, called punishment. demolish. " Crime " or " disease " are not either of
Punishment has a meaning only when it is to afford them an egoistic view of the matter, i. e. a judgment
expiation for the injuring of a sacred thing. If some- starting from me, but starting from another,to
thing is sacred to any one, he certainly deserves wit, whether it injures right, general right, or the
punishment when he acts as its enemy. A man who health partly of the individual (the sick one), partly
lets a man's life continue in existence because to him of the generality (society). " Crime " is treated inex-
it is sacred and he has a dread of touching it is simply orably, "disease" with "loving gentleness, compas-
areligious man. sion," and the like.
Weitling lays crime at the door of " social dis- Punishment follows crime. If crime falls because
order," and lives in the expectation that under Com- the sacred vanishes, punishment must not less be
munistic arrangements crimes will become impossible, drawn into its fall; for it too has significance only
because the temptations to them, e. g. money, fall over against something sacred. Ecclesiastical punish-
away. As, however, his organized society is also ex- ments have been abolished. Why? Because how
alted into a sacred and inviolable one, he miscalcu- one behaves toward the "holy God " is his own affair.
lates in that good-hearted opinion. Such as with But, as this one punishment, ecclesiastical punishment,
their mouth professed allegiance to the Communistic has fallen, so all punishments must fall. As sin
society, but worked underhand for its ruin, would not against the so-called God is a man's own affair, so
be lacking. Besides, Weitling has to keep on with that against every kind of the so-called sacred. Ac-
" curative means against the natural remainder of hu- cording to our theories of penal law, with whose " im-
man diseases and weaknesses," and " curative means " provement in conformity to the times " people are
always announce to begin with that individuals will be tormenting themselves in vain, they want to punish
looked upon as "called" to a particular "salvation" men for this or that " inhumanity "; and therein they
318 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 319
make the silliness of these theories especially plain by moral protects the police institution more than the.
their consistency, hanging the little thieves and letting government could in any way protect it.
the big ones run. For injury to property they have In crime the egoist has hitherto asserted himself
the house of correction, and for " violence to thought," and mocked at the sacred; the break with the sacred,
suppression of "natural rights of man," onlyrepre- or rather of the sacred, may become general. A
sentations and petitions. revolution never returns, but a mighty, reckless,
The criminal code has continued existence only shameless, conscienceless, proudcrime, does it not
through the sacred, and perishes of itself if punish- rumble in distant thunders, and do you not see how
ment is given up. Now they want to create every- the sky grows presciently silent and gloomy?
where a new penal law, without indulging in a mis- He who refuses to spend his powers for such limited
giving about punishment itself. But it is exactly societies as family, party, nation, is still always long-
punishment that must make room for satisfaction, ing for a worthier society, and thinks he has found the
which, again, cannot aim at satisfying right or justice, true object of love, perhaps, in " human society " or
but at procuring us a satisfactory outcome. If one "mankind," to sacrifice himself to which constitutes
does to us what we will not put up with, we break his his honor; from now on he "'lives for and serves
power and bring our own to bear: we satisfy ourselves mankind."
on him, and do not fall into the folly of wanting to People is the name of the body, State of the spirit,
satisfy right (the spook). It is not the sacred that of that ruling person that has hitherto suppressed me.
is to defend itself against man, but man against man; Some have wanted to transfigure peoples and States by
as God too, you know, no longer defends himself broadening them out to " mankind " and " general
against man, God to whom formerly (and in part, in- reason " ; but servitude would only become still more
deed, even now) all the " servants of God " offered intense with this widening, and philanthropists and
their hands to punish the blasphemer, as they still at humanitarians are as absolute masters as politicians
this very day lend their hands to the sacred. This and diplomats.
devotion to the sacred brings it to pass also that, with- Modern critics inveigh against religion because it
out lively participation of one's own, one only delivers sets God, the divine, moral, etc., outside of man, or
misdoers into the hands of the police and courts: a makes them something objective, in opposition to
non-participating making over to the authorities, which the critics rather transfer these very subjects
" who, of course, will best administer sacred matters." into man. But those critics none the less fall into
The people is quite crazy for hounding the police on the proper error of religion, to give man a " destiny,"
against everything that seems to it to be immoral, in that they too want to have him divine, human, and
often only unseemly, and this popular rage for the
320 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 321
the like: morality, freedom and humanity, etc., are it went on with its own existence there as something
his essence. And, like religion, politics too wanted personal in itself, as a " God ": but the error of reli-
to " educate " man, to bring him to the realization of gion is by no means exhausted with this. One might
his " essence," his " destiny," to make something out very well let fall the personality of the displaced hu-
of him,to wit, a " true man," the one in the form of man, might transform God into the divine, and still
the " true believer," the other in that of the " true remain religious. For the religious consists in discon-
citizen or subject." In fact, it comes to the same tent with the present man, i. e. in the setting up of a
whether one calls the destiny the divine or human. "perfection" to be striven for, in "man wrestling for
Under religion and politics man finds himself at the his completion."* (" Ye therefore should be perfect
standpoint of should : he should become this and that, as your father in heaven is perfect." Matt. 5. 48):
should be so and so. With this postulate, this com- . it consists in the fixation of an ideal, an absolute.
mandment, every one steps not only in front of an- Perfection is the " supreme good," the finis bonorum ;
other but also in front of himself. Those critics say : every one's ideal is the perfect man, the true, the free
You should be a whole, free man. Thus they too man, etc.
stand in the temptation to proclaim a new religion, to The efforts of modern times aim to set up the ideal
set up a new absolute, an ideal,to wit, freedom. of the "free man." If one could find it, there would
Men should be free. Then there might even arise mis- be a newreligion, because a new ideal; there would
sionaries of freedom, as Christianity, in the conviction be a new longing, a new torment, a new devotion, a
that all were properly destined to become Christians, new deity, a new contrition.
sent out missionaries of the faith. Freedom would With the ideal of " absolute liberty," the same tur-
then (as have hitherto faith as Church, morality as moil is made as with everything absolute, and accord-
State) constitute itself as a new Community and carry ing to Hess, e. g., it is said to " be realizable in abso-
on a like " propaganda " therefrom. Certainly no lute human society." Nay, this realization is
objection can be raised against a getting together; immediately afterward styled a "vocation"; just so he
but so much the more must one oppose every renewal then defines liberty as " morality " : the kingdom of
of the old care for us, of culture directed toward an "justice " (i. e. equality) and " morality " (i. e.
end,in short, the principle of making something out liberty) is to begin, etc.
of us, no matter whether Christians, subjects, or free- Ridiculous is he who, while fellows of his tribe,
men and men. family, nation, etc., rank high, isnothing but
One may well say with Feuerbach and others that "puffed up " over the merit of his fellows; but
religion has displaced the human from man, and has * B. Bauer, "Lit. Ztg." 8. 22. "E. u. Z. B.," p. 8 9 ff.
transferred it so into another world that, unattainable,
322 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 323
blinded too is he who wants only to be " man." one cannot deny his nationality: and the humanitar-
Neither of them puts his worth in exclusiveness, but ians are in the right; one must not remain in the
in connectedness, or in the " tie" that conjoins him narrowness of the national. In uniqueness * the con-
with others, in the ties of blood, of nationality, of tradiction is solved; the national is my quality. But
humanity. I am not swallowed up in my quality,as the human
Through the " Nationals " of to-day the conflict has too is my quality, but I give to man his existence first'
again been stirred up between those who think them- through my uniqueness.
selves to have merely human blood and human ties of History seeks for Man: but he is I, you, we.
blood, and the others who brag of their special blood Sought as a mysterious essence, as the divine, first as
and the special ties of blood. God, then as Man (humanity, humaneness, and
If we disregard the fact that pride may mean con- mankind), he is found as the "individual, the finite, the
ceit, and take it for consciousness alone, there is found unique one.
to be a vast difference between pride in " belonging I am owner of humanity, am humanity, and do
to" a nation and therefore being its property, and nothing for the good of another humanity. Fool, you
that in calling a nationality one's property. Nation- who are a unique humanity, that you make a merit
ality is my quality, but the nation my owner and' of wanting to live for another than you are.
mistress. If you have bodily strength, you can apply The hitherto-considered relation of me to the world
it at a suitable place and have a self-consciousness or of men offers such a wealth of phenomena that it will
pride of it; if, on the contrary, your strong body has have to be taken up again and again on other occa-
you, then it pricks you everywhere, and at the most sions, but here, where it was only to have its chief
unsuitable place, to show its strength : you can give outlines made clear to the eye, it must be broken off
nobody your hand without squeezing his. to make place for an apprehension of two other sides
The perception that one is more than a member of toward which it radiates. For, as I find myself in
the family, more than a fellow of the tribe, more than relation not merely to men so far as they present in
an individual of the people, etc., has finally led to say- themselves the concept " man " or are children of men
ing, one is more than all this because one is man, or, (children of Man, as children of God are spoken of),
the man is more than the Jew, German etc. " There- but also to that which they have of man and call their
fore be every one wholly and solely man! " Could own, and as therefore I relate myself not only to that
one not rather say : Because we are more than what which they are through man, but also to their human
has been stated, therefore we will be this, as well as possessions : so, besides the world of men, the world of
that "more" also? Man and German, then, man
and Guelph, etc.? The Nationals are in the light; * [Einzigkeit]
324 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 325
the senses and of ideas will have to be included in our cannot defend of spiritual goods falls a prey to us
survey, and somewhat said of what men call their own likewise: so far goes the liberty of discussion, of
of sensuous goods, and of spiritual as well. science, of criticism.
According as one had developed and clearly But consecrated goods are inviolable. Consecrated
grasped the concept of man, he gave it to us to respect and guaranteed by whom? Proximately by the
as this or that pet son of respect, and from the broad- State, society, but properly by man or the "concept,"
est understanding of this concept there proceeded at the " concept of the thing ": for the concept of con-
last the command " to respect Man in every one." secrated goods is this, that they are truly human, or
But, if I respect Man, my respect must likewise ex- rather that the holder possesses them as man and not
tend to the human, or what is Man's. as un-man.*
Men have somewhat of their own, and I am to On the spiritual side man's faith is such goods, his
recognize this own and hold it sacred. Their own honor, his moral feeling,yes, his feeling of decency,
consists partly in outward, partly in inward posses- modesty, etc. Actions (speeches, writings) that
sions. The former are things, the latter spiritualities, touch honor are punishable ; attacks on " the founda-
thoughts, convictions, noble feelings, etc. But I am tion of all religion "; attacks on political faith; in
always to respect only rightful or human possessions; short, attacks on everything that a man " rightly "
the wrongful and unhuman I need not spare, for only has.
Mail's own is men's real own. An inward possession How far critical liberalism would extend the sanc-
of this sort is, e. g., religion; because religion is free, tity of goods,on this point it has not yet made any
i. e. is Man's, I must not strike at it. Just so honor pronouncement, and doubtless fancies itself to be
is an inward possession ; it is free and must not be ill-disposed toward all sanctity; but, as it combats
struck at by me. (Action for insult, caricatures, etc.) egoism, it must set limits to it, and must not let the
Religion and honor are " spiritual property." In un-man pounce on the human. To its theoretical
tangible property the person stands foremost: my contempt for the " masses " there must correspond a
person is my first property. Hence freedom of the practical snub if it should get into power.
person; but only the rightful or human person is What extension the concept " man " receives, and
free, the other is locked up. Your life is your prop- what comes to the individual man through it,what,
erty; but it is sacred for men only if it is not that of therefore, man and the human are,on this point the
an inhuman monster. various grades of liberalism differ, and the political,
What a man as such cannot defend of bodily the social, the humane man are each always claiming
goods, we may take from him: this is the meaning * [See note on p. 184 ]
of competition, of freedom of occupation. What he
326 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 327
more than the other for " man." He who has best God, there is opposed that which is derived " from the
grasped this concept knows best what is " man's." essence of man."
The State still grasps this concept in political re- Now, as men's relation to each other, in opposition
striction, society in social; mankind, so it is said, is to the religious dogma which commands a " Love one
the first to comprehend it entirely, or " the history of another for God's sake," had to receive its human
mankind develops it." But, if " man is discovered," position by a " Love each other for man's sake," so
then we know also what pertains to man as his own, the revolutionary teaching could not do otherwise
man's property, the human. than, first as to what concerns the relation of men
But let the individual man lay claim to ever so to the things of this world, settle it that the world,
many rights because Man or the concept man " en- which hitherto was arranged according to God's ordi-
titles " him to them, i. e. because his being man does nance, henceforth belongs to " Man."
it: what do I care for his right and his claim? If The world belongs to " Man," and is to be re-
he has his right only from Man and does not have it spected by me as his property.
from me, then for me he has no right. His life, e. g., Property is what is mine!
counts to me only for what it is worth to me. I re- Property in the civic sense means sacred property,
spect neither a so-called right of property (or his such that I must respect your property. " Respect
claim to tangible goods) nor yet his right to the for property! " Hence the politicians would like to
" sanctuary of his inner nature" (or his right to have have every one possess his little bit of property, and
the spiritual goods and divinities, his gods, remain they have in part brought about an incredible par-
unaggrieved). His goods, the sensuous as well as the cellation by this effort. Each must have his bone on
spiritual, are mine, and I dispose of them as propri- which he may find something to bite.
etor, in the measure of mymight.
The position of affairs is different in the egoistic
In the property question lies a broader meaning sense. I do not step shyly back from your property,
than the limited statement of the question allows to but look upon it always as my property, in which I
be brought out. Referred solely to what men call our need to " respect " nothing. Pray do the like with
possessions, it is capable of no solution ; the decision what you call my property!
is to be found only in him " from whom we have
With this view we shall most easily come to an un-
everything." Property depends on the owner.
derstanding with each other.
The Revolution directed its weapons against every-
The political liberals are anxious that, if possible,
thing which came " from the grace of God," e. g.,
all servitudes be dissolved, and every one be free lord
against divine right, in whose place the human was
on his ground, even if this ground has only so much
confirmed. To that which is granted by the grace of
area as can have its requirements adequately filled by
328 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 329
the manure of one person. (The farmer in the story only the benefit of a field is assuredly not the proprie-
married even in his old age " that he might profit by tor of it; still less he who, as Proudhon would have it,
his wife's dung.") Be it ever so little, if one only must give up so much of this benefit as is not required
has somewhat of his own,to wit, a respected prop- for his wants; but he is the proprietor of the share
erty! The more such owners, such cotters,* the more that is left him. Proudhon, therefore, denies only
" free people and good patriots " has the State. such and such property, not property itself. If we
Political liberalism, like everything religious, counts want no longer to leave the land to the landed propri-
on respect, humaneness, the virtues of love. There- etors, but to appropriate it to ourselves, we unite our-
fore does it live in incessant vexation. For in practice selves to this end, form a union, a socit, that makes
people respect nothing, and every day the small itself proprietor; if we have good luck in this, then
possessions are bought up again by greater propri- those persons cease to be landed proprietors. And, as
etors, and the " free people " change into day-laborers. from the land, so we can drive them out of many
If, on the contrary, the " small proprietors " had another property yet, in order to make it our property,
reflected that the great property was also theirs, they the property of theconquerors. The conquerors
would not have respectfully shut themselves out from form a society which one may imagine so great that it
it, and would not have been shut out. by degrees embraces all humanity; but so-called hu-
Property as the civic liberals understand it de- manity too is as such only a thought (spook) ; the indi-
serves the attacks of the Communists and Proudhon : viduals are its reality. And these individuals as a col-
it is untenable, because the civic proprietor is in truth lective mass will treat land and earth not less arbitra-
nothing but a propertyless man, one who is every- rily than an isolated individual or so-called propri-
where shut out. Instead of owning the world, as he taire. Even so, therefore, property remains stand-
might, he does not own even the paltry point on ing, and that as " exclusive " too, in that humanity,
which he turns around. this great society, excludes the individual from its
property (perhaps only leases to him, gives him as a
Proudhon wants not the propritaire but the pos-
fief, a piece of it) as it besides excludes everything that
sesseur or usufruitier. What does that mean? He
is not humanity, e. g. does not allow animals to have
wants no one to own the land ; but the benefit of it
property.So too it will remain, and will grow to be.
even though one were allowed only the hundredth part
That in which all want to have a share will be with-
of this benefit, this fruitis at any rate one's prop-
drawn from that individual who wants to have it for
erty, which he can dispose of at will. He who has
himself alone: it is made a common estate] As a
* [The words " cot " and " dung " are alike in German ] common estate every one has his share in it, and this
E. g. , " Qu'est ce que la Proprit? p. 83.
share is his property. Why, so in our old relations a
330 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 331
house which belongs to five heirs is their common es- what has long been extant as a matter of fact,viz.,
tate; but the fifth part of the revenue is each one's the propertylessness of the individual. When the law
property. Proudhon might spare his prolix pathos if says, Ad reges potestas omnium pertinet, ad singulos
he said: " There are some things that belong only to proprietas ; omnia rex imperio possidet, singuli do-
a few, and to which we others will from now on lay minio, this means: The king is proprietor, for he alone
claim orsiege. Let us take them, because one can control and dispose of "everything," he has potes-
comes to property by taking, and the property of tas and Imperium over it. The Communists make this
which for the present we are still deprived came to the clearer, transferring that imperium to the " society of
proprietors likewise only by taking. It can be uti- all." Therefore: Because enemies of egoism, they are
lized better if it is in the hands of us all than if the on that accountChristians, or, more generally speak-
few control it. Let us therefore associate ourselves ing, religious men, believers in ghosts, dependents, ser-
for the purpose of this robbery (vol)."Instead of vants of some generality (God, society, etc.). In this
this, he tries to get us to believe that society is the too Proudhon is like the Christians, that he ascribes to
original possessor and the sole proprietor, of impre- God that which he denies to men. He names him
scriptible right; against it the so-called proprietors (e. g , page 90) the Propritaire of the earth. Here-
have become thieves (La proprit c'est le vol); if it with he proves that he cannot think away the pro-
now deprives of his property the present proprietor, it prietor as such ; he comes to a proprietor at last, but
robs him of nothing, as it is only availing itself of its removes him to the other world.
imprescriptible right.So far one comes with the Neither God nor Man (" human society ") is pro-
spook of society as a moral person. On the contrary, prietor, but the individual.
what man can obtain belongs to him : the world be- Proudhon (Weitling too) thinks he is telling the
longs to me. Do you say anything else by your oppo- worst about property when he calls it theft (vol).
site proposition, "The world belongs to all" ? All Passing quite over the embarrassing question, what
are I and again I, etc. But you make out of the well-founded objection could be made against theft,
" all" a spook, and make it sacred, so that then the we only ask: Is the concept "theft" at all possible
" all " become the individual's fearful master. Then unless one allows validity to the concept "property"?
the ghost of " right " places itself on their side. How can one steal if property is not already extant?
Proudhon, like the Communists, fights against What belongs to no one cannot be stolen ; the water
egoism. Therefore they are continuations and consis- that one draws out of the sea he does not steal. Ac-
tent carryings-out of the Christian principle, the prin- cordingly property is not theft, but a theft becomes
ciple of love, of sacrifice for something general, some- possible only through property. Weitling has to
thing alien. They complete in property, e. g., only
332 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 333
come to this too, as he does regard everything as the from him, as liberty belongs to him who takes it.
property of all: if something is "the property of all," Only might decides about property, and, as the
then indeed the individual who appropriates it to State (no matter whether State of well-to-do citizens or
himself steals. of ragamuffins or of men in the absolute) is the sole
Private property lives by grace of the law. Only mighty one, it alone is proprietor; I, the unique,*
in the law has it its warrantfor possession is not yet have nothing, and am only enfeoffed, am vassal and,
property, it becomes " mine " only by assent of the as such, servitor. Under the dominion of the State
law; it is not a fact, not un fait as Proudhon there is no property of mine.
thinks, but a fiction, a thought. This is legal prop- I want to raise the value of myself, the value of
erty, legitimate property, guaranteed property. It is ownness, and should I cheapen property? No, as I
mine not through me but through thelaw. was not respected hitherto because people, mankind,
Nevertheless, property is the expression for unlimited and a thousand other generalities were put higher, so
dominion over somewhat (thing, beast, man) which " I property too has to this day not yet been recognized
can judge and dispose of as seems good to me." Ac- in its full value. Property too was only the property
cording to Roman law, indeed, jus utendi et abutendi of a ghost, e. g. the people's property; my whole ex-
re sua, quatenus juris ratio patitur, an exclusive and istence " belonged to the fatherland ": I belonged to
unlimited right ; but property is conditioned by the fatherland, the people, the State, and therefore
might. What I have in my power, that is my own. also everything that I called my own. It is demanded'
So long as I assert myself as holder, I am the propri- of States that they make away with pauperism. It
etor of the thing; if it gets away from me again, no seems to me this is asking that the State should cut
matter by what power, e. g. through my recognition off its own head and lay it at its feet; for so long as
of a title of others to the thing,then the property the State is the ego the individual ego must remain a
is extinct. Thus property and possession coincide. poor devil, a non-ego. The State has an interest
It is not a right lying outside my might that legiti- only in being itself rich ; whether Michael is rich and
mizes me, but solely my might: if I no longer have Peter poor is alike to it; Peter might also be rich and
this, the thing vanishes away from me. When the Michael poor. It looks on indifferently as one grows
Romans BO longer had any might against the Ger- poor and the other rich, unruffled by this alternation.
mans, the world-empire of Rome belonged to the As individuals they are really equal before its face;
latter, and it would sound ridiculous to insist that in this it is just: before it both of them arenothing,
the Romans had nevertheless remained properly the as we " are altogether sinners before God V ; on the
proprietors. Whoever knows how to take and to de- * [Einzige]
fend the thing, to him it belongs till it is again taken
334 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 335
other hand, it has a very great interest in this, that but what chance or anotherto wit, the Statemakes
those individuals who make it their ego should have out of him also has quite rightly nothing but what
a part in its wealth; it makes them partakers in its another gives him. And this other will give him only
property. Through property, with which it rewards what he deserves, i. e. what he is worth by service. It
the individuals, it tames them ; but this remains its is not he that realizes a value from himself; the State
property, and every one has the usufruct of it only so realizes a value from him.
long as he bears in himself the ego of the State, or is National economy busies itself much with this sub-
a " loyal member of society " ; in the opposite case the ject. It lies far out beyond the "national," however,
property is confiscated, or made to melt away by and goes beyond the concepts and horizon of the State,
vexatious lawsuits. The property, then, is and re- which knows only State property and can distribute
mains State property, not property of the ego. That nothing else. For this reason it binds the possession
the State does not arbitrarily deprive the individual of of property to conditions,as it binds everything to
what he has from the State means simply that the them, e. g. marriage, allowing validity only to the
State does not rob itself. He who is a State-ego, i. e. marriage sanctioned by it, and wresting this out of my
a good citizen or subject, holds his fief undisturbed as power. But property is my property only when I
such an ego, not as being an ego of his own. Accord- hold it unconditionally : only I, as unconditioned ego,
ing to the code, property is what I call mine " by vir- have property, enter a relation of love, carry on free
tue of God and law." But it is mine by virtue of trade.
God and law only so long asthe State has nothing The State has no anxiety about me and mine, but
against it. about itself and its: I count for something to it only
In expropriations, disarmaments, and the like (as, as its child, as " a son of the country "; as ego I am
e. g., the exchequer confiscates inheritances if the heirs nothing at all for it. For the State's understanding,
do not put in an appearance early enough) how what befalls me as ego is something accidental, my
plainly the else-veiled principle that only the people, wealth as well as my impoverishment. But, if I with
" the State," is proprietor, while the individual is all that is mine am an accident in the State's eyes,
feoffee, strikes the eye! this proves that it cannot comprehend me : I go be-
The State, I mean to say, cannot intend that any- yond its concepts, or, its understanding is too limited
body should for his own sake have property or act- to comprehend me. Therefore it cannot do anything
ually be rich, nay, even well-to-do; it can acknowledge for me either.
nothing, yield nothing, grant nothing to me as me. Pauperism is the valuelessness of me, the phenome-
The State cannot check pauperism, because the poverty non that I cannot realize value from myself. For this
of possession is a poverty of me. He who is nothing reason State and pauperism are one and the same.
336 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 337
The State does not let me come to my value, and con- when they do not agree, but, in the absence of
tinues in existence only through my valuelessness: it a settlement, take each other by the hair. The State
is forever intent on getting benefit from me, i. e. ex- cannot endure that man stand in a direct relation to
ploiting me, turning me to account, using me up, man; it must step between asmediator, mustinter-
even if the use it gets from me consists only in my vene. What Christ was, what the saints, the Church
supplying a proles (proletariat) ; it wants me to be were, the State has become,to wit, "mediator." It
" its creature." tears man from man to put itself between them as
Pauperism can be removed only when I as ego real- " spirit." The laborers who ask for higher pay are
ize value from myself, when I give my own self value, treated as criminals as soon as they want to compel it.
and make my price myself. I must rise in revolt to What are they to do? Without compulsion they
rise in the world. don't get it, and in compulsion the State sees a self-
What I produce, flour, linen, or iron and coal, help, a determination of price by the ego, a genuine,
which I toilsomely win from the earth, etc., is my free realization of value from his property, which it
work that I want to realize value from. But then I cannot admit of. What then are the laborers to
may long complain that I am not paid for my work do? Look to themselves and ask nothing about the
according to its value: the payer will not listen to me, State?
and the State likewise will maintain an apathetic atti- But, as is the situation with regard to my material
tude so long as it does not think it must " appease " work, so it is with my intellectual too. The State
me that I may not break out with my dreaded might. allows me to realize value from all my thoughts and
But this " appeasing " will be all, and, if it comes to find customers for them (I do realize value from
into my head to ask for more, the State turns against them, e. g., in the very fact that they bring me honor
me with all the force of its lion-paws and eagle-claws: from the listeners, and the like) ; but only so long as
for it is the king of beasts, it is lion and eagle. If my thoughts areits thoughts. If, on the other
I refuse to be content with the price that it fixes for hand, I harbor thoughts that it cannot approve (i. c.
my ware and labor, if I rather aspire to determine make its own), then it does not allow me at all to
the price of my ware myself, i. e. " to pay myself," realize value from them, to bring them into exchange,
in the first place I come into a conflict with the into commerce. My thoughts are free only if they are
buyers of the ware. If this were stilled by a mutual granted to me by the State's grace, i. e. if they are
understanding, the State would not readily make ob- the State's thoughts. It lets me philosophize freely
jections; for how individuals get along with each other only so far as I approve myself a " philosopher of
troubles it little, so long as therein they do not get in State " ; against the State I must not philosophize,
its way. Its damage and its danger begin only gladly as it tolerates my helping it out of its " defi-
338 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 339
ciencies," "furthering" it.Therefore. as I may be- in a position to give them away in return for other
have only as an ego most graciously permitted by the thoughts: I give them up and take in exchange for
State, provided with its testimonial of legitimacy and them others, which then are my new purchased
police pass, so too it is not granted me to realize value property.
from what is mine, unless this proves to be its. which I What then is my property? Nothing but what is
hold as fief from it. My ways must be its ways, else it in my power ! To what property am I entitled? To
distrains me; my thoughts its thoughts, else it stops every property to which Iempower myself.* I give
my mouth. myself the right of property in taking property to my-
The State has nothing to be more afraid of than the self, or giving myself the proprietor's power, full *
value of me, and nothing must it more carefully guard power, empowerment.
against than every occasion that offers itself to me Everything over which I have might that cannot be
for realizing value from myself. I am the deadly torn from me remains my property; well, then let
enemy of the State, which always hovers between the might decide about property, and I will expect every-
alternatives, it or I. Therefore it strictly insists not thing from my might! Alien might, might that I
only on not letting me have a standing; but also on leave to another, makes me an owned slave: then let
keeping down what is mine. In the State there is no my own might make me an owner. ' Let me then with-
property, i. e. no property of the individual, but draw the might that I have conceded to others out of
only State property. Only through the State have I ignorance regarding the strength of my own might!
what I have, as I am only through it what I am. My Let me say to myself, what my might reaches to is my
private property is only that which the State leaves to property; and let me claim as property everything
me of its, cutting off others from it (depriving them, that I feel myself strong enough to attain, and let me
making it private) ; it is State property. extend my actual property as far as I entitle, i. e.em-
But, in opposition to the State, I feel more and more power, myself to take.
clearly that there is still left me a great might, the Here egoism, selfishness, must decide; not the prin-
might over myself, i. e. over everything that pertains ciple of love, not love-motives like mercy, gentleness,
only to me and that exists only in being my own. good-nature, or even justice and equity (for justitia
What do I do if my ways are no longer its ways, too is a phenomenon oflove, a product of love) : love
my thoughts no longer its thoughts? I look to my- knows only sacrifices and demands "self-sacrifice."
self, and ask nothing about it! In my thoughts, Egoism does not think of sacrificing anything, giv-
which I get sanctioned by no assent, grant, or grace, I ing away anything that it wants ; it simply decides,
have my real property, a property with which I can * [A German idiom for ' take upon myself,' " assume "]
trade. For as mine they are my creatures, and I am
340 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 341
What I want I must have and will procure. " States " from the most ancient times, each receiving
All attempts to enact rational laws about property " according to his desert," and therefore according to
have put out from the bay of love into a desolate sea of the measure in which each was able to deserve it, to
regulations. Even Socialism and Communism cannot acquire it by service), but: Take hold, and take what
be excepted from this. Every one is to be provided you require! With this the war of all against all is
with adequate means, for which it is little to the point declared. I alone decide' what I will have.
whether one socialistically finds them still in a per- " Now, that is truly no new wisdom, for self-seekers
sonal property, or communistically draws them from have acted so at all times ! " Not at all necessary
the community of goods. The individual's mind in either that the thing be new, if only consciousness of
this remains the same ; it remains a mind of depend- it is present. But this latter will not be able to claim
ence. The distributing board of equity lets me have great age, unless perhaps one counts in the Egyptian
only what the sense of equity, its loving care for all, and Spartan law; for how little current it is appears
prescribes. For me, the individual, there lies no less even from the stricture above, which speaks with con-
of a check in collective wealth than in that of individ- tempt of " self-seekers." One is to know just this,
ual others; neither that is mine, nor this: whether the that the procedure of taking hold is not contemptible,
wealth belongs to the collectivity, which confers part but manifests the pure deed of the egoist at one with
of it on me, or to individual possessors, is for me the himself.
same constraint, as I cannot decide about either of the Only when I expect neither from individuals nor
two. On the contrary, Communism, by the abolition from a collectivity what I can give to myself, only
of all personal property, only presses me back still then do I slip out of the snares oflove; the rabble
more into dependence on another, viz., on the gen- ceases to be rabble only when it takes hold. Only
erality or collectivity; and, loudly as it always attacks the dread of taking hold, and the corresponding pun-
the " State," what it intends is itself again a State, a ishment thereof, makes it a rabble. Only that taking!
status, a condition hindering my free movement, a hold is sin, crime,only this dogma creates a rabble. {
sovereign power over me. Communism rightly revolts For the fact that the rabble remains what it is,
against the pressure that I experience from individual it (because it allows validity to that dogma) is to
proprietors; but still more horrible is the might that blame as well as, more especially, those who " self-
it puts in the hands of the collectivity. seekingly " (to give them back their favorite word)
Egoism takes another way to root out the non-pos- demand that the dogma be respected. In short, the
sessing rabble. It does not say: Wait for what the lack of consciousness of that "new wisdom," the old
board of equity willbestow on you in the name of consciousness of sin, alone bears the blame.
the collectivity (for such bestowal took place in If men reach the point of losing respect for prop-
342 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 343
erty, every one will have property, as all slaves be- and become my property; then the erroneous con-
come free men as soon as they no longer respect the sciousness, that I cannot entitle myself to as much as I
master as master. Unions will then, in this matter require, will vanish.
too, multiply the individual's means and secure his " But what cannot man require! " Well, whoever
assailed property. requires much, and understands how to get it, has at
According to the Communists' opinion the commune all times helped himself to it, as Napoleon did with the
should be proprietor. On the contrary, I am proprie- Continent and France with Algiers. Hence the exact
tor, and I only come to an understanding with others point is that the respectful " rabble " should learn at
about my property. If the commune does not do last to help itself to what it requires. If it reaches
what suits me, I rise against it and defend my prop- out too far for you, why, then defend yourselves.
erty. I am proprietor, but property is not sacred. You have no need at all to good-heartedlybestow
I should be merely possessor? No, hitherto one was anything on it; and, when it learns to know itself, it
only possessor, secured in the possession of a parcel by or rather : whoever of the rabble learns to know him-
leaving others also in possession of a parcel; but now self, hecasts off the rabble-quality in refusing your
everything belongs to me, I am proprietor of every- alms with thanks. But it remains ridiculous that you
thing that I require and can get possession of. If it is declare the rabble " sinful and criminal " if it is not
said socialistically, society gives me what I require, pleased to live from your favors because it can do
then the egoist says, I take what I require. If the something in its own favor. Your bestowals cheat
Communists conduct themselves as ragamuffins, the it and put it off. Defend your property, then you
egoist behaves as proprietor. will be strong; if, on the other hand, you want to re-
All swan-fraternities,* and attempts at making the tain your ability to bestow, and perhaps actually have
rabble happy, that spring from the principle of love, the more political rights the more alms (poor-rates)
must miscarry. Only from egoism can the rabble get you can give, this will work just as long as the recipi-
help, and this help it must give to itself andwill ents let you work it.*
give to itself. If it does not let itself be coerced into In short, the property question cannot be solved so
fear, it is a power. " People would lose all respect if amicably as the Socialists, yes, even the Communists,
one did not coerce them so into fear," says bugbear dream. It is solved only by the war of all against all.
Law in "Der gestiefelte Kater." The poor become free and proprietors only when they
Property, therefore, should not and cannot be * In a registration bill for Ireland the government made the proposal to
abolished; it must rather be torn from ghostly hands let those be electors who pay 5 sterling of poor rates He who gives alms,
therefore, acquires political rights, or elsewhere becomes a swan knight.
* [Apparently some benevolent scheme of the day compare note on
[See p. 342 ]
p. 343 ]
344 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 345
rise. Bestow ever so much on them, they will still not trouble me, the State ! Among yourselves you
always want more; for they want nothing less than are free in competing, you are competitors; that is
that at lastnothing more be bestowed. your social position. But before me, the State, you
It will be asked, But how then will it be when the are nothing but " simple individuals "! *
have-nots take heart? Of what sort is the settlement What in the form of principle or theory was pro-
to be? One might as well ask that I cast a child's pounded as the equality of all has found here in com-
nativity. What a slave will do as soon as he has petition its realization and practical carrying out; for
broken his fetters, one mustawait. galit isfree competition. All are, before the
In Kaiser's pamphlet, worthless for lack of form as State,simple individuals; in society, or in relation
well as substance ("Die Persoenlichkeit des Eigen- to each other,competitors.
tuemers in Bezug auf den Socialismus und Commun- I need be nothing further than a simple individual
ismus," etc.), he hopes from the State that it will to be able to compete with all others aside from the
bring about a leveling of property. Always the State! prince and his family: a freedom which formerly was
Herr Papa! As the Church was proclaimed and made impossible by the fact that only by means of
looked upon as the " mother " of believers, so the one's corporation, and within it, did one enjoy any
State has altogether the face of the provident father. freedom of effort.
Competition shows itself most strictly connected with In the guild and feudality the State is in an intol-
the principle of civism. Is it anything else than equal- erant and fastidious attitude, granting privileges, in
ity (galit) ? And is not equality a product of that competition and liberalism it is in a tolerant and in-
same Revolution which was brought on by the com- dulgent attitude, granting only patents (letters assur-
monalty, the middle classes? As no one is barred ing the applicant that the business stands open [pa-
from competing with all in the State (except the tent] to him) or "concessions." Now, as the State
prince, because he represents the State itself) and has thus left everything to the applicants, it must
working himself up to their height, yes, overthrowing come in conflict with all, because each and all are
or exploiting them for his own advantage, soaring entitled to make application. It will be "stormed,";,
above them and by stronger exertion depriving them and will go down in this storm.
of their favorable circumstances,this serves as a clear Is " free competition " then really " free "? nay, is it
proof that before the State's judgment-seat every one * Minister Stein used this expression about Count von Reisach when he
has only the value of a " simple individual " and may cold bloodedly left the latter at the mercy of the Bavarian government be-
not count on any favoritism. Outrun and outbid cause to him, as he said, " a government like Bavaria must be worth more
than a simple individual " Reisach had written against Montgelas at
each other as much as you like and can ; that shall Stein's bidding and Stein later agreed to the giving up of Reisach, which
was demanded by Montgelas on account of this very book, See Hinrichs,
"Politische Vorlesungen," I, 280.
346 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 347
really a "competition,"to wit, one of persons,as it first; then we will see what is to be done."
gives itself out to be because on this title it bases its This, therefore, is the " freedom " of competition.
right? It originated, you know, in persons becom- The State, my lord, first qualifies me to compete.
ing free of all personal rule. Is a competition " free" But do persons really compete? No, again things
which the State, this ruler in the civic principle, hems only! Moneys in the first place, etc.
in by a thousand barriers? There is a rich manufac- In the rivalry one will always be left behind another
turer doing a brilliant business, and I should like to (e. g. a poetaster behind a poet). But it makes a
compete with him. " Go ahead," says the State, " I difference whether the means that the unlucky com-
have no objection to make to your person as competi- petitor lacks are personal or material, and likewise
tor." Yes, I reply, but for that I need a space for whether the material means can be won by personal
buildings, I need money! "That's bad; but, if you energy or are to be obtained only by grace, only as a
have no money, you cannot compete. You must not present; as when, e. g., the poorer man must leave,
take anything from anybody, for I protect property i. e. present, to the rich man his riches. But, if I must
and grant it privileges." Free competition is not all along wait for the State's approval to obtain or to
" free," because I lack the THINGS for competition. use (e. g. in the case of graduation) the means, I have
Against my person no objection can be made, but be- the means by the grace of the State.*
cause I have not the things my person too must step
Free competition, therefore, has only the following
to the rear. And who has the necessary things?
meaning: To the State all rank as its equal chil-
Perhaps that manufacturer? Why, from him I could
dren, and every one can scud and run to earn the
take them away! No, the State has them as prop-
State's goods and largess Therefore all do chase
erty, the manufacturer only as fief, as possession.
after havings, holdings, possessions (be it of money or
But, since it is no use trying it with the manufac- offices, titles of honor, etc.), after the things.
turer, I will compete with that professor of jurispru-
In the mind of the commonalty every one is pos-
dence; the man is a booby, and I, who know a hun-
sessor or " owner." Now, whence comes it that the
dred times more than he, shall make his class-room
most have in fact next to nothing? From this,
empty. " Have you studied and graduated, friend?"
that the most are already joyful over being posses-
No, but what of that? I understand abundantly
sors at all, even though it be of some rags, as children
what is necessary for instruction in that department.
*In colleges and universities, etc , poor men compete with rich. But
" Sorry, but competition is not ' free ' here. Against they are able to do so in most cases only through scholarships, whicha
your person there is nothing to be said, but the thing, significant pointalmost all come down to us from a time when free com-
petition was still far from being a controlling principle The principle of
the doctor's diploma, is lacking. And this diploma competition founds no scholarship but says, Help yourself, i. e. provide
I, the State, demand. Ask me for it respectfully yourself the means What the State gives for such purposes it pays out
from interested motives, to educate " servants " for itself
348 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 349
are joyful in their first trousers or even the first penny erty, or as " possessor," man does certainly show him-
that is presented to them. More precisely, however, self as man ; it was for this reason that we let the
the matter is to be taken as follows. Liberalism came possessor, whom we called " proprietor," keep his
forward at once with the declaration that it belonged standing so long. Yet you possess the things only
to man's essence not to be property, but proprietor. so long as you are not " put out of this property."
As the consideration here was about "man," not The possessor is competent, but only so far as the
about the individual, the how-much (which formed ex- others are incompetent. Since your ware forms your
actly the point of the individual's special interest) was competence only so long as you are competent to de
left to him. Hence the individual's egoism retained fend it (i. e., as we are not competent to do anything
room for the freest play in this how-much, and carried with it), look about you for another competence;
on an indefatigable competition. for we now, by our might, surpass your alleged
However, the lucky egoism had to become a snag competence.
in the way of the less fortunate, and the latter, still It was an extraordinarily large gain made, when
keeping its feet planted on the principle of humanity, the point of being regarded as possessors was put
put forward the question as to the how-much of pos- through. Therein bondservice was abolished, and
session, and answered it to the effect that " man must every one who till then had been bound to the lord's
have as much as he requires." service, and more or less had been his property, now
Will it be possible for my egoism to let itself be became a " lord." But henceforth your having, and
satisfied with that? What " man " requires furnishes what you have, are no longer adequate and no longer
by no means a scale for measuring me and my needs; recognized; per contra, your working and your work
for I may have use for less or more. I must rather rise in value. We now respect your subduing
have so much as I am competent to appropriate. things, as we formerly did your possessing them.
Competition suffers from the unfavorable circum- Your work is your competence! You are lord or
stance that the means for competing are not at every possessor only of what comes by work, not by inher-
one's command, because they are not taken from per- itance. But as at the time everything has come by
sonality, but from accident Most are without means, inheritance, and every copper that you possess bears
and for this reason without goods. not a labor-stamp but an inheritance-stamp, every-
Hence the Socialists demand the means for all, and thing must be melted over.
aim at a society that shall offer means. Your money But is my work then really, as the Communists
value, say they, we no longer recognize as your " com- suppose, my sole competence? or does not this con-
petence " ; you must show another competence,to sist rather in everything that I am competent for?
wit, your working force. In the possession of a prop- And does not the workers' society itself have to con-
350 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 351
cede this, e. g. in supporting also the sick, children, smiling, its playing, its screaming! in short, in its
old men,in short, those who are incapable of work? mere existence! Are you capable of resisting its
These are still competent for a good deal, e. g. to desire? or do you not hold out to it, as mother, your
preserve their life instead of taking it. If they are breast; as father, as much of your possessions as it
competent to cause you to desire their continued exist- needs? It compels you, therefore it possesses what
ence, they have a power over you. To him who exer- you call yours.
cised utterly no power over you, you would vouchsafe If your person is of consequence to me, you pay me
nothing; he might perish. with your very existence; if I am concerned only with
Therefore, what you are competent for is your com- one of your qualities, then your compliance, perhaps,
petence ! If you are competent to furnish pleasure to or your aid, has a value (a money value) for me, and
thousands, then thousands will pay you an honora- I purchase it.
rium for it; for it would stand in your power to for- If you do not know how to give yourself any other
bear doing it, hence they must purchase your deed. than a money value in my estimation, there may arise
If you are not competent to captivate any one, you the case of which history tells us, that Germans, sons
may simply starve. of the fatherland, were sold to America. Should
Now am I, who am competent for much, perchance those who let themselves be traded in be worth more
to have no advantage over the less competent? to the seller? He preferred the cash to this living
We are all in the midst of abundance ; now shall I ware that did not understand how to make itself pre-
not help myself as well as I can, but only wait and see cious to him. That he discovered nothing more val-
how much is left me in an equal division? uable in it was assuredly a defect of his competence;
Against competition there rises up the principle of but it takes a rogue to give more than he has. How
ragamuffin society,partition. should he show respect when he did not have it, nay,
To be looked upon as a mere part, part of society, hardly could have it for such a pack!
the individual cannot bearbecause he is more ; his You behave egoistically when you respect each
uniqueness puts from it this limited conception. other neither as possessors nor as ragamuffins or work-
Hence he does not await his competence from the ers, but as a part of your competence, as " useful
sharing of others, and even in the workers' society bodies." Then you will neither give anything to the
there arises the misgiving that in an equal partition possessor (" proprietor ") for his possessions, nor to
the strong will be exploited by the weak ; he awaits him who works, but only to him whom you require.
his competence rather from himself, and says now, The North Americans ask themselves, Do we require a
What I am competent to have, that is my competence. king? and answer, Not a farthing are he and his work
What competence does not the child possess in its worth to us.
352 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 353
If it is said that competition throws every thing open according to my competence.
to all, the expression is not accurate, and it is better " All belongs to all! " This proposition springs
put thus: competition makes everything purchasable. from the same unsubstantial theory. To each belongs
In abandoning * it to them, competition leaves it to only what he is competent for. If I say, The world
their appraisal or their estimation, and demands a belongs to me, properly that too is empty talk, which
price for it. has a meaning only in so far as I respect no alien
But the would-be buyers mostly lack the means to property. But to me belongs only as much as I am
make themselves buyers: they have no money. For competent for, or have within my competence.
money, then, the purchasable things are indeed to be One is not worthy to have what one, through weak-
had (" For money everything is to be had! "), but it is ness, lets be taken from him ; one is not worthy of it
exactly money that is lacking. Where is one to get because one is not capable of it.
money, this current or circulating property? Know They raise a mighty uproar over the " wrong of a
then, you have as much money as you havemight; thousand years " which is being committed by the
for you count || for as much as you make yourself rich against the poor. As if the rich were to blame
count for. for poverty, and the poor were not in like manner
One pays not with money, of which there may come responsible for riches! Is there another difference
a lack, but with his competence, by which alone we between the two than that of competence and incom-
are " competent "; for one is proprietor only so far as petence, of the competent and incompetent? Wherein,
the arm of our power reaches. pray, does the crime of the rich consist? " In their
Weitling has thought out a new means of payment, hardheartedness." But who then have maintained
work. But the true means of payment remains, as the poor? who have cared for their nourishment? who
always, competence. With what you have " within have given alms, those alms that have even their name
your competence " you pay. Therefore think on the from mercy (eleemosyne) ? Have not the rich been
enlargement of your competence. " merciful" at all times? are they not to this day
This being admitted, they are nevertheless right " tender-hearted," as poor-taxes, hospitals, foundations
on hand again with the motto, " To each according of all sorts, etc., prove?
to his competence ! " Who is to give to me according But all this does not satisfy you ! Doubtless, then,
to my competence? Society? Then I should have to they are to share with the poor? Now you are de-
put up with its estimation. Rather, I shall take manding that they shall abolish poverty] Aside from
the point that there might be hardly one among you
* [preisgeben] [Preis] [Preis] [Geld] || [gelten]
who would act so, and that this one would be a fool
[Equivalent in ordinary German use to our " possessed of a competence "] for it, do ask yourselves: why should the rich let go
354 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 355
their fleeces and give up themselves, thereby pursuing age, etc.; the rest remain egoistic, because, e. g., no
the advantage of the poor rather than their own ? one can in your stead elaborate your musical composi-
You, who have your thaler daily, are rich above tions, carry out your projects of painting, etc. ; nobody
thousands who live on four groschen. Is it for your can replace Raphael's labors. The latter are labors
interest to share with the thousands, or is it not rather of a unique person, * which only he is competent to
for theirs? achieve, while the former deserved to be called
With competition is connected less the intention to "human," since what is anybody's own in them is of
do the thing best than the intention to make it as slight account, and almost " any man " can be
profitable, as productive, as possible. Hence people trained to it.
study to get into the civil service (pot-boiling study), Now, as society can regard only labors for the com-
study cringing and flattery, routine and " acquaint- mon benefit, human labors, he who does anything
ance with business," work " for appearances." Hence, unique remains without its care; nay, he may find
while it is apparently a matter of doing "good ser- himself disturbed by its intervention. The unique
vice," in truth only a " good business " and earning person will work himself forth out of society all right,
of money are looked out for. The job is done only but society brings forth no unique person.
ostensibly for the job's sake, but in fact on account of Hence it is at any rate helpful that we come to an
the gain that it yields. One would indeed prefer not agreement about human labors, that they may not, as
to be censor, but one wants to beadvanced; one under competition, claim all our time and toil. So
would like to judge, administer, etc., according to his far Communism will bear its fruits. For before the
best convictions, but one is afraid of transference or dominion of the commonalty even that for which all
even dismissal; one must, above all things,live. men are qualified, or can be qualified, was tied up to
Thus these goings-on are a fight for dear life, and, a few and withheld from the rest: it was a privilege.
in gradation upward, for more or less of a " good To the commonalty it looked equitable to leave free
living." all that seemed to exist for every " man." But, be-
And yet, withal, their whole round of toil and care cause left free, it was yet given to no one, but rather
brings in for most only " bitter life " and " bitter left to each to be got hold of by his human power.
poverty." All the bitter painstaking for this! By this the mind was turned to the acquisition of the
Restless acquisition does not let us take breath, human, which henceforth beckoned to every one; and
take a calm enjoyment , we do not get the comfort of there arose a movement which one hears so loudly
our possessions. bemoaned under the name of " materialism."
But the organization of labor touches only such * [Einzige] [Literally, " given "]
labors as others can do for us, e. g. slaughtering, till-
356 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 357
Communism seeks to check its course, spreading the culture which is attainable, even if not exactly by all,
belief that the human is not worth so much discom- at any rate by many ; i. e. that for such a thing one
fort, and, with sensible arrangements, could be gained need only be an ordinary man.
without the great expense of time and powers which If we assume that, as order belongs to the essence of
has hitherto seemed requisite. the State, so subordination too is founded in its na-
But for whom is time to be gained? For what ture, then we see that the subordinates, or those who
does man require more time than is necessary to re- have received preferment, disproportionately over-
fresh his wearied powers of labor? Here Communism charge and overreach those who are put in the lower ,
is silent. ranks. But the latter take heart (first from the
For what? To take comfort in himself as the Socialist standpoint, but certainly with egoistic con-
unique, after he has done his part as man ! sciousness later, of which we will therefore at once
In the first joy over being allowed to stretch out their give their speech some coloring) for the question, By
hands toward everything human, people forgot to what then is your property secure, you creatures of
want anything else; and they competed away vigor- preferment?and give themselves the answer, By our
ously, as if the possession of the human were the refraining from interference! And so by our protec-
goal of all our wishes. tion! And what do you give us for it? Kicks and
But they have run themselves tired, and are gradu- disdain you give to the " common people "; police
ally noticing that " possession does not give happi- supervision, and a catechism with the chief sentence
ness." Therefore they are thinking of obtaining the " Respect what is not yours, what belongs to others!
necessary by an easier bargain, and spending on it respect others, and especially your superiors! " But
only so much time and toil as its indispensableness we reply, " If you want our respect, buy it for a price
exacts. Riches fall in price, and contented poverty, agreeable to us. We will leave you your property, if
the care-free ragamuffin, becomes the seductive ideal. you give a due equivalent for this leaving." Really,
what equivalent does the general in time of peace
Should such human activities, that every one is con-
give for the many thousands of his yearly income?
fident of his capacity for, be highly salaried, and
another for the sheer hundred-thousands and millions
sought for with toil and expenditure of all life-forces?
yearly? What equivalent do you give for our chew-
Even in the every-day form of speech, "If I were
ing potatoes and looking calmly on while you swallow
minister, or even the , then it should go quite oysters? Only buy the oysters of us as dear as we
otherwise," that confidence expresses itself,that one have to buy the potatoes of you, then you may go on
holds himself capable of playing the part of such a eating them. Or do you suppose the oysters do not
dignitary; one does get a perception that to things belong to us as much as to you? You will make an
of this sort there belongs not uniqueness, but only a
358 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 359
outcry over violence if we reach out our hands and and therefore do not mean a wretched " alms." For
help consume them, and you are right. Without their life is the property even of those who cannot
violence we do not get them, as you no less have them work; if we (no matter for what reason) want them
by doing violence to us. not to withdraw this life from us, we can mean to
But take the oysters and have done with it, and let bring this to pass only by purchase; nay, we shall
us consider our nearer property, labor; for the perhaps (maybe because we like to have friendly faces
other is only possession. We distress ourselves twelve about us) even want a life of comfort for them. In
hours in the sweat of our face, and you offer us a few short, we want nothing presented by you, but neither
groschen for it. Then take the like for your labor will we present you with anything. For centuries we
too. Are you not willing? You fancy that our have handed alms to you from good-heartedstupid-
labor is richly repaid with that wage, while yours on ity, have doled out the mite of the poor and given to
the other hand is worth a wage of many thousands. the masters the things that arenot the masters' ; now
But, if you did not rate yours so high, and gave us a just open your wallet, for henceforth our ware rises in
better chance to realize value from ours, then we price quite enormously. We do not want to take
might well, if the case demanded it, bring to pass still from you anything, anything at all, only you are to
more important things than you do for the many pay better for what you want to have. What then
thousand thalers; and, if you got only such wages as have you? ' ' I have an estate of a thousand acres."
we, you would soon grow more industrious in order to And I am your plowman, and will henceforth attend
receive more. But, if you render any service that to your fields only for one thaler a day wages.
seems to us worth ten and a hundred times more than " Then I'll take another." You won't find any,
our own labor, why, then you shall get a hundred for we plowmen are no longer doing otherwise, and,
times more for it too; we, on the other hand, think if one puts in an appearance who takes less, then let
also to produce for you things for which you will re- him beware of us. There is the housemaid, she too is
quite us more highly than with the ordinary day's now demanding as much, and you will no longer find
wages. We shall be willing to get along with each one below this price. " Why, then it is all over with
other all right, if only we have first agreed on this, me." Not so fast! You will doubtless take in as
that neither any longer needs topresent anything to much as we; and, if it should not be so, we will take
the other. Then we may perhaps actually go so far as off so much that you shall have wherewith to live like
to pay even the cripples and sick and old an appropri- us. " But I am accustomed to live better." We
ate price for not parting from us by hunger and want; have nothing against that, but it is not our lookout;
for, if we want them to live, it is fitting also that we if you can clear more, go ahead. Are we to hire out;
purchase the fulfilment of our will. I say " purchase," under rates, that you may have a good living? The
360 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 361
rich man always puts off the poor with the words, But can the State bear with it? The State cannot
" What does your want concern me? See to it how possibly bear with people's suffering coercion from an-
you make your way through the world ; that is your other than it; it could not, therefore, admit the self-
affair, not mine." Well, let us let it be our affair, help of the unanimous plowmen against those who
then, and let us not let the means that we have to want to engage for lower wages. Suppose, however,
realize value from ourselves be pilfered from us by the that the State made the law, and all the plowmen
rich. " But you uncultured people really do not need were in accord with it: could the State bear with it
so much." Well, we are taking somewhat more in then?
order that for it we may procure the culture that we In the isolated caseyes; but the isolated case is
perhaps need. " But, if you thus bring down the more than that, it is a case of principle. The ques-
rich, who is then to support the arts and sciences tion therein is of the whole range of the ego's self-
hereafter?" Oh, well, we must make it up by num- realization of value from himself, and therefore also
bers; we club together, that gives a nice little sum, of his self-consciousness against the State. So far the
besides, you rich men now buy only the most tasteless Communists keep company; but, as self-realization of
books and the most lamentable Madonnas or a pair value from self necessarily directs itself against the
of lively dancer's legs. " O ill-starred equality! " State, so it does against society too, and therewith
No, my good old sir, nothing of equality. We only reaches out beyond the commune and the communistic
want to count for what we are worth, and, if you are out of egoism.
worth more, you shall count for more right along. Communism makes the maxim of the commonalty,
We only want to be worth our price, and think to that every one is a possessor (" proprietor"), into an
show ourselves worth the price that you will pay. irrefragable truth, into a reality, since the anxiety
Is the State likely to be able to awaken so secure about obtaining now ceases and every one has from
a temper and so forceful a self-consciousness in the the start what he requires. In his labor-force he has
menial? Can it make man feel himself? nay, may his competence, and, if he makes no use of it, that is
it even do so much as set this goal for itself ? Can it his fault. The grasping and hounding is) at an end,
want the individual to recognize his value and realize and no competition is left (as so often now) without
this value from himself ? Let us keep the parts of the fruit, because with every stroke of labor an adequate
double question separate, and see first whether the supply of the needful is brought into the house. Now
State can bring about such a thing. As the unani- for the first time one is a real possessor, because what
mity of the plowmen is required, only this unanimity one has in his labor-force can no longer escape from
can bring it to pass, and a State law would be evaded him as it was continually threatening to do under the
in a thousand ways by competition and in secret. system of competition. One is a carefree and assured
362 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 363
possessor. And one is this precisely by seeking his for human labors, but do not deprive your uniqueness
competence no longer in a ware, but in his own labor, of its desert.
his competence for labor; and therefore by being a Human or general needs can be satisfied through
ragamuffin, a man of only ideal wealth. I, how- society ; for satisfaction of unique needs you must do
ever, cannot content myself with the little that I some seeking. A friend and a friendly service, or
scrape up by my competence for labor, because my even an individual's service, society cannot procure
competence does not consist merely in my labor. you. And yet you will every moment be in need of
By labor I can perform the official functions of a such a service, and on the slightest occasions require
president, a minister, etc.; these offices demand only a somebody who is helpful to you. Therefore do not
general culture,to wit, such a culture as is generally rely on society, but see to it that you have the where-
attainable (for general culture is not merely that withal topurchase the fulfilment of your wishes.
which every one has attained, but broadly that which Whether money is to be retained among egoists?
every one can attain, and therefore every special cul- To the old stamp an inherited possession adheres. If
ture, e. g. medical, military, philological, of which no you no longer let yourselves be paid with it, it is
" cultivated man " believes that they surpass his ruined : if you do nothing for this money, it loses all
powers), or, broadly, only a skill possible to all. power. Cancel the inheritance, and you have broken
But, even if these offices may vest in every one, yet off the executor's court-seal. For now everything is
it is only the individual's unique force, peculiar to an inheritance, whether it be already inherited or
him alone, that gives them, so to speak, life and sig- await its heir. If it is yours, wherefore do you let it
nificance. That he does not manage his office like an be sealed up from you? why do you respect the seal?
" ordinary man," but puts in the competence of his But why should you not create a new money? Do
uniqueness, this he is not yet paid for when he is paid you then annihilate the ware in taking from it the
only in general as an official or a minister. If he has hereditary stamp? Now, money is a ware, and an es-
done it so as to earn your thanks, and you wish to re- sential means or competence. For it protects against
tain this thankworthy force of the unique one, you the ossification of resources, keeps them in flux and
must not pay him like a mere man who performed brings to pass their exchange. If you know a better
only what was human, but as one who accomplishes medium of exchange, go ahead ; yet it will be a
what is unique. Do the like with your labor, do ! "money" again. It is not the money that does you
There cannot be a general schedule-price fixed for damage, but your incompetence to take it. Let your
my uniqueness as there can for what I do as man. competence take effect, collect yourselves, and there
Only for the latter can a schedule-price be set. will be no lack of moneyof your money, the money
Go right on, then, setting up a general appraisal of your stamp. But working I do not call "letting
364 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 365
your competence take effect." Those who are only competing bakers. Just so meat to the butchers, wine
" looking for work " and " willing to work hard " are to the wine-dealers, etc.
preparing for their own selves the infallible upshotto Abolishing competition is not equivalent to favor-
be out of work. ing the guild. The difference is this: In the guild
Good and bad luck depend on money. It is a baking, etc., is the affair of the guild-brothers; in
power in the bourgeois period for this reason, that it competition, the affair of chance competitors; in the
is only wooed on all hands like a girl, indissolubly union, of those who require baked goods, and there-
wedded by nobody. All the romance and chivalry of fore my affair, yours, the affair of neither the guildic
wooing for a dear object come to life again in com- nor the concessionary baker, but the affair of the
petition. Money, an object of longing, is carried off united.
by the bold "knights of industry."* If I do not trouble myself about my affair, I must
He who has luck takes home the bride. The raga- be content with what it pleases others to vouchsafe
muffin has luck; he takes her into his household, me. To have bread is my affair, my wish and desire,
" society," and destroys the virgin. In his house she and yet people leave that to the bakers and hope at
is no longer bride, but wife; and with her virginity most to obtain through their wrangling, their getting
her family name is also lost. As housewife the ahead of each other, their rivalry,in short, their
maiden Money is called " Labor," for " Labor " is her competition,an advantage which one could not
husband's name. She is a possession of her husband's. count on in the case of the guild-brothers who were
To bring this figure to an end, the child of Labor lodged entirely and alone in the proprietorship of the
and Money is again a girl, an unwedded one and baking franchise.What every one requires, every
therefore Money, but with the certain descent from one should also take a hand in procuring and produc-
Labor, her father. The form of the face, the " effigy," ing; it is his affair, his property, not the property of
bears another stamp. the guildic or concessionary master.
Finally, as regards competition once more, it has Let us look back once more. The world belongs
a continued existence by this very means, that all do to the children of this world, the children of men; it
not attend to their affair and come to an understand- is no longer God's world, but man's. As much as
ing with each other about it. Bread, e. g., is a need every man can procure of it, let him call his; only
of all the inhabitants of a city ; therefore they might the true man, the State, human society or mankind,
easily agree on setting up a public bakery. Instead will look to it that each shall make nothing else his
of this, they leave the furnishing of the needful to the own than what he appropriates as man, i. e. in human
* [A German phrase for sharpers ] fashion. Unhuman appropriation is that which is
not consented to by man, i. e. it is a " criminal " ap-
366 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 367
propriation, as the human, vice versa, is a " rightful " to a thing by giving the thing away, squandering it,
one, one acquired in the " way of law." and the like. And we should not be able likewise to
So they talk since the Revolution. let go the might that we lend to him ?
But my property is not a thing, since this has an The rightful man, the just, desires to call nothing
existence independent of me ; only my might is my his own that he does not have " rightly " or have the
own. Not this tree, but my might or control over it, right to, and therefore only legitimate property.
is what is mine. Now, who is to be judge, and adjudge his right
Now, how is this might perversely expressed ? They to him? At last, surely, Man, who imparts to him
say I have a right to this tree, or it is my rightful the rights of man : then he can say, in an infinitely
property. So I have earned it by might. That the broader sense than Terence, humani nihil a me
might must last in order that the tree may also be alienum puto, i. e. the human is my property. How-
held,or better, that the might is not a thing existing ever he may go about it, so long as he occupies this
of itself, but has existence solely in the mighty ego, in standpoint he cannot get clear of a judge; and in our
me the mighty,is forgotten. Might, like other of my time the multifarious judges that had been selected
qualities (e. g. humanity, majesty, etc.), is exalted have set themselves against each other in two persons
to something existing of itself, so that it still exists at deadly enmity,to wit, in God and Man. The
long after it has ceased to be my might. Thus trans- one, party appeal to divine right, the other to human
formed into a ghost, might isright. This eternal- right or the rights of man.
ized might is not extinguished even with my death, So much is clear, that in neither case does the
but is transferred or "bequeathed." individual do the entitling himself.
Things now really belong not to me, but to right. Just pick me out an action to-day that would not be
On the other side, this is nothing but a hallucin- a violation of right! Every moment the rights of
ation of vision. For the individual's might becomes man are trampled under foot by one side, while their
permanent and a right only by others joining their opponents cannot open their mouth without uttering a
might with his. The delusion consists in their believ- blasphemy against divine right. Give an alms, you
ing that they cannot withdraw their might. The mock at a right of man, because the relation of beggar
same phenomenon over again; might is separated and benefactor is an inhuman relation; utter a doubt,
from me. I cannot take back the might that I gave you sin against a divine right. Eat dry bread with
to the possessor. One has " granted power of attor- contentment, you violate the right of man by your
ney," has given away his power, has renounced coming equanimity; eat it with discontent, you revile divine
to a better mind. right by your repining. There is not one among you
The proprietor can give up his might and his right who does not commit a crime at every moment; your
368 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 369
speeches are crimes, and every hindrance to your tune I as little see anything alien as Napoleon did in
freedom of speech is no less a crime. Ye are criminals the territories of kings: we have no dread of " con-
altogether ! quering " it, and we look about us also for the means
Yet you are so only in that you all stand on the thereto. We strip off from it, therefore, the spirit of
ground of right; i. e., in that you do not even know, alienness, of which we had been afraid.
and understand how to value, the fact that you are Therefore it is necessary that I do not lay claim to
criminals. anything more as man, but to everything as I, this I,
Inviolable or sacred property has grown on this and accordingly to nothing human, but to mine; i. e.
very ground: it is a juridical concept. nothing that pertains to me as man, butwhat I will
A dog sees the bone in another's power, and stands and because I will it.
off only if it feels itself too weak. But man respects Rightful, or legitimate, property of another will be
the other's right to his bone. The latter action, only that which you are content to recognize as such.
therefore, ranks as human, the former as brutal or If your content ceases, then this property has lost
" egoistic." legitimacy for you, and you will laugh at absolute
And as here, so in general, it is called " human " right to it.
when one sees in everything something spiritual (here Besides the hitherto discussed property in the
right), i. e. makes everything a ghost and takes his limited sense, there is held up to our reverent heart
attitude toward it as toward a ghost, which one can another property against which we are far less " to
indeed scare away at its appearance, but cannot kill. sin." This property consists in spiritual goods, in the
It is human to look at what is individual not as "sanctuary of the inner nature." What a man
individual, but as a generality. holds sacred, no other is to gibe at; because, untrue
In nature as such I no longer respect anything, but as it may be, and zealously as one may "in loving
know myself to be entitled to everything against it; in and modest wise " seek to convince of a true sanctity
the tree in that garden, on the other hand, I must the man who adheres to it and believes in it, yet the
respect alienness (they say in one-sided fashion " prop- sacred itself is always to be honored in it: the mis-
erty "), I must keep my hand off it. This comes to an taken man does believe in the sacred, even though in
end only when I can indeed leave that tree to another an incorrect essence of it, and so his belief in the
as I leave my stick, etc., to another, but do not in sacred must at least be respected.
advance regard it as alien to me, i. e. sacred. Rather, In ruder times than ours it was customary to de-
I make to myself no crime of felling it if I will, and it mand a particular faith, and devotion to a particular
remains my property, however long I resign it to sacred essence, and they did not take the gentlest way
others: it is and remains mine. In the banker's for- with those who believed otherwise; since, however,
370 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 371
" freedom of belief " spread itself more and more goods are to be protected, and what left unprotected,
abroad, the "jealous God and sole Lord" gradually depends entirely on the concept that one forms of the
melted into a pretty general "supreme being," and it " supreme being " ; and he who fears God, e. g., has
satisfied humane tolerance if only every one revered more to shelter than he (the liberal) who fears Man.
"something sacred." In spiritual goods we are (in distinction from the
Reduced to the most human expression, this sacred sensuous) injured in a spiritual way, and the sin
essence is "man himself" and "the human." With against them consists in a direct desecration, while
the deceptive semblance as if the human were alto- against the sensuous a purloining or alienation takes
gether our own, and free from all the otherworldliness place ; the goods themselves are robbed of value and
with which the divine is tainted,yes, as if Man were of consecration, not merely taken away ; the sacred is
as much as I or you,there may arise even the proud immediately compromised. With the word " irrever-
fancy that the talk is no longer of a " sacred essence " ence " or " flippancy " is designated everything that
and that we now feel ourselves everywhere at home can be committed as crime against spiritual goods, i. e.
and no longer in the uncanny,* i. e. in the sacred and against everything that is sacred for us; and scoffing,
in sacred awe: in the ecstasy over " Man discovered at reviling, contempt, doubt, and the like, are only differ-
last " the egoistic cry of pain passes unheard, and the ent shades of criminal flippancy. , '
spook that has become so intimate is taken for our That desecration can be practiced in the most mani-
true ego. fold wise is here to be passed over, and only that dese-
But " Humanus is the saint's name" (see Goethe), cration is to be preferentially mentioned which threat-
and the humane is only the most clarified sanctity. ens the sacred with danger through an unrestricted
The egoist makes the reverse declaration. For this press.
precise reason, because you hold something sacred, I As long as respect is demanded even for one spirit-
gibe at you; and, even if I respected everything in ual essence, speech and the press must be enthralled in
you, your sanctuary is precisely what I should not the name of this essence ; for just so long the egoist
respect. might " trespass " against it by his utterances, from
With these opposed views there must also be as- which thing he must be hindered by " due punish-
sumed a contradictory relation to spiritual goods: the ment " at least, if one does not prefer to take up the
egoist insults them, the religious man (i. e. every one more correct means against it, the preventive use of
who puts his "essence" above himself) must con- police authority, e. g. censorship.
sistentlyprotect them. But what kind of spiritual What a sighing for liberty of the press ! What
* [Literally, "unhomely."] then is the press to be liberated from ? Surely from a
dependence, a belonging, and a liability to service!
372 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 373
But to liberate himself from that is every one's affair, cry for liberty of the press. What they ostensibly
and it may with safety be assumed that, when you ask is that the State shall set the press free ; but what
have delivered yourself from liability to service, that they are really after, without knowing it themselves is
which you compose and write will also belong to you that the press become free from the State, or clear of
as your own instead of having been thought and in- the State. The former is a petition to the State, the
dited in the service of some power. What can a be- latter an insurrection against the State. As a
liever in Christ say and have printed, that should be "petition for right," even as a serious demanding of
freer from that belief in Christ than he himself is? the right of liberty of the press, it presupposes the
If I cannot or may not write something, perhaps the State as the giver, and can hope only for a present, a
primary fault lies with me. Little as this seems to permission, a chartering. Possible, no doubt, that a
hit the point, so near is the application nevertheless to State acts so senselessly as to grant the demanded
be found. By a press-law I draw a boundary for my present; but you may bet everything that those who
publications, or let one be drawn, beyond which wrong receive the present will not know how to use it so long
and its punishment follows. I myself limit myself. as they regard the State as a truth : they will not
If the press was to be free, nothing would be so im- trespass against this "sacred thing," and will call for
portant as precisely its liberation from every coercion a penal press-law against every one who would be
that could be put on it in the name of a law. And, willing to dare this.
that it might come to that, I my own self should have In a word, the press does not become free from
to have absolved myself from obedience to the law. what I am not free from.
Certainly, the absolute liberty of the press is like Do I perhaps hereby show myself an opponent of 1
every absolute liberty, a nonentity. The press can the liberty of the press? On the contrary, I only as-
become free from full many a thing, but always only sert that one will never get it if one wants only it, the
from what I too am free from. If we make ourselves liberty of the press ; i. e. if one sets out only for an
free from the sacred, if we have become graceless and unrestricted permission. Only beg right along for
lawless, our words too will become so. this permission: you may wait forever for it, for there
As little as we can be declared clear of every coer- is no one in the world who could give it to you. As
cion in the world, so little can our writing be with- long as you want to have yourselves "entitled " to the
drawn from it. But as free as we are, so free we can use of the press by a permission, i. e. liberty of the
make it too. press, you live in vain hope and complaint.
It must therefore become our own, instead of, as " Nonsense ! Why, you yourself, who harbor such
hitherto, serving a spook. thoughts as stand in your book, can unfortunately
People do not yet know what they mean by their bring them to publicity only through a lucky chance
374 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 375
or by stealth ; nevertheless you will inveigh against able opportunities,' and accordingly will never be an
one's pressing and importuning his own State till it absolute liberty; but secondly this, that he who would
gives the refused permission to print?" But an enjoy it must seek out and, if possible, create the
author thus addressed would perhapsfor the impu- favorable opportunity, availing himself of his own
dence of such people goes fargive the following advantage against the State, and counting himself
reply : " Consider well what you say ! What then and his will more than the State and every ' superior '
do I do to procure myself liberty of the press for my power. Not in the State, but only against it, can
book? Do I ask for permission, or do I not rather, the liberty of the press be carried through ; if it is
without any question of legality, seek a favorable oc- to be established, it is to be obtained not as the con-
casion and grasp it in complete recklessness of the sequence of a petition but as the work of an insur-
State and its wishes? Ithe terrifying word must be rection. Every petition and every motion for liberty
utteredI cheat the State. You unconsciously do the of the press is already an insurrection, be it conscious
same. From your tribunes you talk it into the idea or unconscious: a thing which Philistine halfness
that it must give up its sanctity and inviolability, it alone will not and cannot confess to itself until, with a
must lay itself bare to the attacks of writers, without shrinking shudder, it shall see it clearly and irrefut-
needing on that account to fear danger. But you are ably by the outcome. For the requested liberty of
imposing on it; for its existence is done for as soon as the press has indeed a friendly and well-meaning face
it loses its unapproachableness. To you indeed it at the beginning, as it is not in the least minded ever
might well accord liberty of writing, as England has to let the ' insolence of the press ' come into vogue ; but
done; you are believers in the State and incapable of little by little its heart grows more hardened, and the
writing against the State, however much you would inference flatters its way in that really a liberty is not
like to reform it and ' remedy its defects.' But a liberty if it stands in the service of the State, of
what if opponents of the State availed themselves of morals, or of the law. A liberty indeed from the
free utterance, and stormed out against Church, State, coercion of censorship, it is yet not a liberty from the
morals, and everything ' sacred ' with inexorable coercion of law. The press, once seized by the lust
reasons? You would then be the first, in terrible for liberty, always wants to grow freer, till at last the
agonies, to call into life the September laws. Too writer says to himself, Really I am not wholly free
late would you then rue the stupidity that earlier till I ask about nothing; and writing is free only
made you so ready to fool and palaver into compli- when it is my own, dictated to me by no power or
ance the State, or the government of the State.But authority, by no faith, no dread; the press must not
I prove by my act only two things. This for one, be freethat is too littleit must be mine:ownness
that the liberty of the press is always bound to ' favor- of the press or property in the press, that is what I
376 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 377
will take. people, society, and the like, cease, because they have
" Why, liberty of the press is only permission of the to thank for their existence only the disrespect that I
press, and the State never will or can voluntarily per- have for myself, and with the vanishing of this under-
mit me to grind it to nothingness by the press. valuation they themselves are extinguished : they ex-
" Let us now, in conclusion, bettering the above ist only when they exist above me, exist only as
language, which is still vague, owing to the phrase powers and power-holders. Or can you imagine a
'liberty of the press,' rather put it thus: Liberty of State whose citizens one and all think nothing of it?
the press, the liberals' loud demand, is assuredly pos- it would be as certainly a dream, an existence in seem-
sible in the State ; yes, it is possible only in the State, ing, as ' united Germany.'
because it is a permission, and consequently the per- "The press is my own as soon as I myself am my
mitter (the State) must not be lacking. But as per- own, a self-owned man : to the egoist belongs the
mission it has its limit in this very State, which surely world, because he belongs to no power of the world.
should not in reason permit more than is compatible " With this my press might still be very unfree, as
with itself and its welfare: the State fixes for it this e. g., at this moment. But the world is large, and
limit as the law of its existence and of its extension. one helps himself as well as he can. If I were willing
That one State brooks more than another is only a to abate from the property of my press, I could easily
quantitative distinction, which alone, nevertheless, lies attain the point where I might everywhere have as
at the heart of the political liberals: they want in Ger- much printed as my fingers produced. But, as I want
many, e. g., only a ' more extended, broader accordance to assert my property, I must necessarily swindle my
of free utterance.' The liberty of the press which is enemies. ' Would you not accept their permission if it
sought for is an affair of the people's, and before the were given you?' Certainly, with joy; for their per-
people (the State) possesses it I may make no use of it. mission would be to me a proof that I had fooled
From the standpoint of property in the press, the sit- them and started them on the road to ruin. I am
uation is different. Let my people, if they will, go not concerned for their permission, but so much the
without liberty of the press, I will manage to print by more for their folly and their overthrow. I do not
force or ruse ; I get my permission to print only from sue for their permission as if I flattered myself (like
myself and my strength. the political liberals) that we both, they and I, could
" If the press is my own, I as little need a permis- make out peaceably alongside and with each other,
sion of the State for employing it as I seek that per- yes, probably raise and prop each other; but I sue for
mission in order to blow my nose. The press is my it in order to make them biped to death by it, that
property from the moment when nothing is more to the permitters themselves may cease at last. I act as"
me than myself ; for from this moment State, Church, a conscious enemy, overreaching them and utilizing
378 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 379
their heedlessness. longer an individual but a member of a true and ra-
"The press is mine when I recognize outside myself tional generality, has the right to utter his mind."
no judge whatever over its utilization, i. e. when my So not the individual, but the " member," has liberty
writing is no longer determined by morality or reli- of the press. But, if for the purpose of liberty of the
gion or respect for the State laws or the like, but by press the individual must first give proof of himself re-
me and my egoism ! " garding his belief in the generality, the people ; if he
Now, what have you to reply to him who gives you does not have this liberty through might of his own,
so impudent an answer?We shall perhaps put the then it is a people's liberty, a liberty that he is in-
question most strikingly by phrasing it as follows: vested with for the sake of his faith, his " member-
Whose is the press, the people's (State's) or mine? ship." The reverse is the case: it is precisely as an in-
The politicals on their side intend nothing further dividual that every one has open to him the liberty to
than to liberate the press from personal and arbitrary utter his mind. But he has not the "right": that
interferences of the possessors of power, without think- liberty is assuredly not his "sacred right." He has
ing of the point that to be really open for everybody only the might ; but the might alone makes him
it would also have to be free from the laws, i. e. from owner. I need no concession for the liberty of the
the people's (State's) will. They want to make a press, do not need the people's consent to it, do not ,
" people's affair" of it. need the "right" to it, nor any "justification." The
But, having become the people's property, it is still liberty of the press too, like every liberty, I must
far from being mine; rather, it retains for me the "take"; the people, "as being the sole judge," cannot
subordinate significance of a permission. The people give it to me. It can put up with the liberty that I
plays judge over my thoughts ; it has the right of call- take, or defend itself against it; give, bestow, grant it ,
ing me to account for them, or, I am responsible to it it cannot. I exercise it despite the people, purely as
for them. Jurors, when their fixed ideas are attacked, an individual; i. e. I get it by fighting the people, my
have just as hard heads and hearts as the stiffest des- enemy, and obtain it only when I really get it by
pots and their servile officials. such fighting, i. e. take it. But I take it because it is
my property.
In the "Liberale Bestrebungen"* E. Bauer asserts
that liberty of the press is impossible in the absolutist Sander, against whom E. Bauer writes, lays claim
and the constitutional State, whereas in the " free (page 99) to the liberty of the press "as the right and
State" it finds its place. "Here," the statement is, "it the liberty of the citizen in the State.'''' What else
is recognized that the individual, because he is no does E. Bauer do? To him also it is only a right of
the free citizen.
* II, p. 91 ff. (See my note above. )
The liberty of the press is also demanded under the
380 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 381
name of a "general human right." Against this the kind."
objection was well-founded that not every man knew If we formulate the sense of this law, it will be
how to use it rightly, for not every individual was about as follows: Every man must have a something
truly man. Never did a government refuse it to Man that is more to him than himself. You are to put
as such ; but Man writes nothing, for the reason that your " private interest " in the background when it is
he is a ghost. It always refused it to individuals a question of the welfare of others, the weal of the
only, and gave it to others, c. g. its organs. If then fatherland, of society, the common weal, the weal of
one would have it for all, one must assert outright mankind, the good cause, and the like! Father-
that it is due to the individual, me, not to man or to land, society, mankind, etc., must be more to you than
the individual so far as he is man. Besides, another yourself, and as against their interest your " private
than a man (e. g. a beast) can make no use of it. interest " must stand back; for you must not be an
The French government, e. g., does not dispute the egoist.
liberty of the press as a right of man, but demands Love is a far-reaching religious demand, which is
from the individual a security for his really being not, as might be supposed, limited to love to God and
man ; for it assigns liberty of the press not to the in- man, but stands foremost in every regard. Whatever
dividual, but to man. we' do, think, will, the ground of it is always to be
Under the exact pretence that it was not human, love. Thus we may indeed judge, but only " with
what was mine was taken from me! what was human love." The Bible may assuredly be criticised, and
was left to me undiminished. that very thoroughly, but the critic must before all
Liberty of the press can bring about only a re- things love it and see in it the sacred book. Is this
sponsible press ; the irresponsible proceeds solely from anything else than to say he must not criticise it to
property in the press. death, he must leave it standing, and that as a sacred
For intercourse with men an express law (conform- thing that cannot be upset?In our criticism on men
ity to which one may venture at times sinfully to for- too, love must remain the unchanged key-note. Cer-
get, but the absolute value of which one at no time tainly judgments that hatred inspires are not at all our
ventures to deny) is placed foremost among all who own judgments, but judgments of the hatred that rules
live religiously : this is the lawof love, to which not us, "rancorous judgments." But are judgments that
even those who seem to fight against its principle, and love inspires in us any more our own ? They are judg-
who hate its name, have as yet become untrue; for ments of the love that rules us, they are " loving, leni-
they also still have love, yes, they love with a deeper ent " judgments, they are not our own, and accord-
and more sublimated love, they love " man and man- ingly not real judgments at all. He who burns with
love for justice cries out, fiat justitia, pereat mundus!
382 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 383
He can doubtless ask and investigate what justice with unreason and the accidental. God lets no being
properly is or demands, and in what it consists, but go its own gait, and Man likewise wants to make us
not whether it is anything. walk only in human wise.
It is very true, " He who abides in love abides in But whoso is full of sacred (religious, moral, hu-
God, and God in him." (I John 4. 16.) God abides mane) love loves only the spook, the " true man," and
in him, he does not get rid of God, does not become persecutes with dull mercilessness the individual, the
godless; and he abides in God, does not come to him- real man, under the phlegmatic legal title of measures
self and into his own home, abides in love to God and against the " un-man." He finds it praiseworthy and
does not become loveless. indispensable to exercise pitilessness in the harshest
" God is love! All times and all races recognize measure; for love to the spook or generality commands
in this word the central point of Christianity." God, him to hate him who is not ghostly, i. e. the egoist or
who is love, is an officious God : he cannot leave the individual ; such is the meaning of the renowned love-
world in peace, but wants to make it blest. " God be- phenomenon that is called "justice."
came man to make men divine."* He has his hand The criminally arraigned man can expect no for-
in the game everywhere, and nothing happens without bearance, and no one spreads a friendly veil over his
it; everywhere he has his " best purposes," his " in- unhappy nakedness. Without emotion the stern judge
comprehensible plans and decrees." Reason, which tears the last rags of excuse from the body of the poor
he himself is, is to be forwarded and realized in the accused ; without compassion the jailer drags him into
whole world. His fatherly care deprives us of all in- his damp abode ; without placability, when the time
dependence. We can do nothing sensible without its of punishment has expired, he thrusts the branded
being said, God did that! and can bring upon our- man again among men, his good, Christian, loyal
selves no misfortune without hearing, God ordained brethren! who contemptuously spit on him. Yes,
that; we have nothing that we have not from him, he without grace a criminal " deserving of death " is led
" gave " everything. But, as God does, so does Man. to the scaffold, and before the eyes of a jubilating
God wants perforce to make the world blest, and Man crowd the appeased moral law celebrates its sublime
wants to make it happy, to make all men happy. revenge. For only one can live, the moral law or the
Hence every " man " wants to awaken in all men the criminal. Where criminals live unpunished, the
reason which he supposes his own self to have : every- moral law has fallen ; and, where this prevails, those
thing is to be rational throughout. God torments must go down. Their enmity is indestructible.
himself with the devil, and the philosopher does it The Christian age is precisely that of mercy, love,
* Athanasius. solicitude to have men receive what is due them, yes,
to bring them to fulfil their human (divine) calling.
384 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 385
Therefore the principle has been put foremost for intercourse with men.
intercourse, that this and that is man's essence and The natural man's love becomes through culture a
consequently his calling, to which either God has commandment. But as commandment it belongs to
called him or (according to the concepts of to-day) Man as such, not to me ; it is my essence,* about
his being man (the species) calls him. Hence the zeal which much ado is made, not my property. Man,
for conversion. That the Communists and the hu- i. e. humanity, presents that demand to me; love is
mane expect from man more than the Christians do demanded, it is my duty. Instead, therefore, of being
does not change the standpoint in the least. Man really won for me, it has been won for the generality,
shall get what is human! If it was enough for the Man, as his property or peculiarity:," it becomes
pious that what was divine became his part, the hu- man, i. e. every man, to love ; love is the duty and
mane demand that he be not curtailed of what is calling of man," etc.
human. Both set themselves against what is egoistic. Consequently I must again vindicate love for my-
Of course ; for what is egoistic cannot be accorded to self, and deliver it out of the power of Man with the
him or vested in him (a fief); he must procure it great M.
for himself. Love imparts the former, the latter can What was originally mine, but accidentally mine,
be given to me by myself alone. instinctively mine, I was invested with as the property
Intercourse hitherto has rested on love, regardful of Man ; I became feoffee in loving, I became the re-
behavior, doing for each other. As one owed it to tainer of mankind, only a specimen of this species, and
himself to make himself blessed, or owed himself the acted, loving, not as I. but as man, as a specimen of
bliss of taking up into himself the supreme essence man, i. e. humanly. The whole condition of civiliza-
and bringing it to a vrit (a truth and reality), so tion is the feudal system, the property being Man's or
one owed it to others to help them realize their essence mankind's, not mine. A monstrous feudal State was
and their calling: in both cases one owed it to the founded, the individual robbed of everything, every-
essence of man to contribute to its realization. thing left to " man." The individual had to appear
But one owes it neither to himself to make anything at last as a " sinner through and through."
out of himself, nor to others to make anything out of Am I perchance to have no lively interest in the
them ; for one owes nothing to his essence and that of person of another, are his joy and his weal not to lie
others. Intercourse resting on essence is an inter- at my heart, is the enjoyment that I furnish him not
course with the spook, not with anything real. If I to be more to me than other enjoyments of my own ?
hold intercourse with the supreme essence, I am not On the contrary, I can with joy sacrifice to him num-
holding intercourse with myself, and, if I hold inter-
* [Wesen] [Wesen]
course with the essence of man, I am not holding
386 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 387
berless enjoyments, I can deny myself numberless torments, their refreshment refreshes me too; I can kill
things for the enhancement of his pleasure, and I can them, not torture them. Per contra, the high-souled,
hazard for him what without him was the dearest to virtuous Philistine prince Rudolph in " The Mysteries
me, my life, my welfare, my freedom. Why, it con- of Paris," because the wicked provoke his " indigna-
stitutes my pleasure and my happiness to refresh my- tion," plans their torture. That fellow-feeling proves
self with his happiness and his pleasure. But myself, only that the feeling of those who feel is mine too, my
my own self, I do not sacrifice to him, but remain an property; in opposition to which the pitiless dealing
egoist andenjoy him. If I sacrifice to him every- of the " righteous " man (e. g. against notary Ferrand)
thing that but for my love to him I should keep, that is like the unfeelingness of that robber who cut off or
is very simple, and even more usual in life than it stretched his prisoners' legs to the measure of his bed-
seems to be; but it proves nothing further than that stead: Rudolph's bedstead, which he cuts men to fit,
this one passion is more powerful in me than all the is the concept of the " good." The feeling for right,
rest. Christianity too teaches us to sacrifice all other virtue, etc., makes people hard-hearted and intolerant.
passions to this. But, if to one passion I sacrifice Rudolph does not feel like the notary, but the reverse ;
others, I do not on that account go so far as to sacri- he feels that " it serves the rascal right "; that is no
fice myself, nor sacrifice anything of that whereby I fellow-feeling.
truly am myself; I do not sacrifice my peculiar value, You love man, therefore you torture the individual
my ownness. Where this bad case occurs, love cuts no man, the egoist; your philanthropy (love of men) is i
better figure than any other passion that I obey the tormenting of men.
blindly. The ambitious man, who is carried away by If I see the loved one suffer, I suffer with him, and I
ambition and remains deaf to every warning that a know no rest till I have tried everything to comfort
calm moment begets in him, has let this passion grow and cheer him ; if I see him glad, I too become glad
up into a despot against whom he abandons all power over his joy. From this it does not follow that suffer-
of dissolution : he has given up himself, because he ing or joy is caused in me by the same thing that
cannot dissolve himself, and consequently cannot ab- brings out this effect in him, as is sufficiently proved
solve himself from the passion: he is possessed. by every bodily pain which I do not feel as he does ;
I love men too,not merely individuals, but every his tooth pains him, but his pain pains me.
one. But I love them with the consciousness of ego- But, because I cannot bear the troubled crease on
ism ; I love them because love makes me happy, I love the beloved forehead, for that reason, and therefore
because loving is natural to me, because it pleases me. for my sake, I kiss it away. If I did not love this
I know no " commandment of love." I have a fellow- person, he might go right on making creases, they
feeling with every feeling being, and their torment would not trouble me; I am only driving away my
388 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 389
trouble. romantic by a should entering into it, i. e. the
How now, has anybody or anything, whom and " object's " becoming sacred for me, or my becoming
which I do not love, a right to be loved by me? Is bound to it by duty, conscience, oath. Now the
my love first, or is his right first? Parents, kinsfolk, object no longer exists for me, but I for it.
fatherland, nation, native town, etc., finally fellow- Love is a possessedness, not as my feelingas such
men in general ("brothers, fraternity"), assert that I rather keep it in my possession as property, but
they have a right to my love, and lay claim to it with- through the alienness of the object. For religious
out further ceremony. They look upon it as their love consists in the commandment to love in the be-
property, and upon me, if I do not respect this, as a loved a " holy one," or to adhere to a holy one ; for
robber who takes from them what pertains to them unselfish love there are objects absolutely lovable for
and is theirs. I should love. If love is a command- which my heart is to beat,e. g. fellow-men, or my
ment and law, then I must be educated into it, culti- wedded mate, kinsfolk, etc. Holy love loves the
vated up to it, and, if I trespass against it, punished. holy in the beloved, and therefore exerts itself also to
Hence people will exercise as strong a " moral influ- make of the beloved more and more a holy one (e. g.
ence " as possible on me to bring me to love. And a " man ").
there is no doubt that one can work up and seduce The beloved is an object that should be loved by
men to love as one can to other passions,e. g., if you me. He is not an object of my love on account of,
like, to hate. Hate runs through whole races merely because of, or by, my loving him, but is an object of
because the ancestors of the one belonged to the love in and of himself. Not I make him an object of
Guelphs, those of the other to the Ghibellines. love, but he is such to begin with ; for it is here irrele-
But love is not a commandment, but, like each of vant that he has become so by my choice, if so it be
my feelings, my property. Acquire, i. e. purchase, my (as with a fiance, a spouse, and the like), since even
property, and then I will make it over to you. A so he has in any case, as the person once chosen, ob-
church, a nation, a fatherland, a family, etc., that does tained a " right of his own to my love," and I, be-
not know how to acquire my love, I need not love; cause I have loved him, am under obligation to love
and I fix the purchase price of my love quite at my him forever. He is therefore not an object of my
pleasure. love, but of love in general: an object that should be
Selfish love is far distant from unselfish, mystical, loved. Love appertains to him, is due to him, or is
or romantic love. One can love everything possible, his right, while I am under obligation to love him.
not merely men, but an " object " in general (wine, My love, i. e. the toll of love that I pay him, is in
one's fatherland, etc.). Love becomes blind and crazy truth his love, which he only collects from me as toll.
by a must taking it out of my power (infatuation), Every love to which there clings but the smallest
390 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 391
speck of obligation is an unselfish love, and, so far as high enough for him to humble himself before it,
this speck reaches, a possessedness. He who believes nothing so independent that he Would live for love of
that he owes the object of his love anything loves ro- it, nothing so sacred that he would sacrifice himself to
mantically or religiously. it. The egoist's love rises in selfishness, flows in the
Family love, e. g., as it is usually understood as bed of selfishness, and empties into selfishness again.
" piety," is a religious love ; love of fatherland, Whether this can still be called love? If you
preached as " patriotism," likewise. All our romantic know another word for it, go ahead and choose it;
love moves in the same pattern : everywhere the hy- then the sweet word love may wither with the departed
pocrisy, or rather self-deception, of an " unselfish world; for the present I at least find none in our
love," an interest in the object for the object's sake, Christian language, and hence stick to the old sound
not for my sake and mine alone. and " love " my object, myproperty.
Religious or romantic love is distinguished from Only as one of my feelings do I harbor love ; but as
sensual love by the difference of the object indeed, but a power above me, as a divine power (Feuerbach), as
not by the dependence of the relation to it. In the a passion that I am not to cast off, as a religious and
latter regard both are possessedness ; but in the moral duty, Iscorn it. As my feeling it is mine ;
former the one object is profane, the other sacred. as a principle to which I consecrate and " vow " my .
The dominion of the object over me is the same in soul it is a dominator and divine, just as hatred as a
both cases, only that it is one time a sensuous one, principle is diabolical; one not better than the other.
the other time a spiritual (ghostly) one. My love is In short, egoistic love, i. e., my love, is neither holy
my own only when it consists altogether in a selfish nor unholy, neither divine nor diabolical.
and egoistic interest, and when consequently the ob- " A love that is limited by faith is an untrue love.
ject of my love is really my object or my property. I The sole limitation that does not contradict the es-
owe my property nothing, and have no duty to it, as sence of love is the self-limitation of love by reason,
little as I might have a duty to my eye; if neverthe- intelligence. Love that scorns the rigor, the law, of
less I guard it with the greatest care, I do so on my intelligence, is theoretically a false love, practically a
account. ruinous one."* So love is in its essence rational!
Antiquity lacked love as little as do Christian So thinks Feuerbach ; the believer, on the contrary,
times ; the god of love is older than the God of Love. thinks, Love is in its essence believing: The one in-
But the mystical possessedness belongs to the moderns. veighs against irrational, the other against unbeliev-
The possessedness of love lies in the alienation of ing, love. To both it can at most rank as a splen-
the object, or in my powerlessness as against its alien-
ness and superior power. To the egoist nothing is * Feuerbach, " Essence of Chr. ," 394.
392 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 393
didum vitium. Do not both leave love standing, even But the feeling to which I have determined and
in the form of unreason and unbelief ? They do not condemned myself from the start is a narrow feeling,
dare to say, irrational or unbelieving love is nonsense, because it is a predestined one, of which I myself am
is not love; as little as they are willing to say, irra- not able to get clear or to declare myself clear. Be-
tional or unbelieving tears are not tears. But, if even cause preconceived, it is a prejudice. I no longer
irrational love, etc., must count as love, and if they show myself in face of the world, but my love shows
are nevertheless to be unworthy of man, there follows itself. The world indeed does not rule me, but so
simply this: love is not the highest thing, but reason much the more inevitably does the spirit of love rule
or faith ; even the unreasonable and the unbelieving me. I have overcome the world to become a slave of
can love; but love has value only when it is that of a this spirit.
rational or believing person. It is an illusion when If I first said, I love the world, I now add likewise
Feuerbach calls the rationality of love its " self-limita- I do not love it, for I annihilate it as I annihilate
tion " ; the believer might with the same right call myself; I dissolve it. I do not limit myself to one
belief its "self-limitation." Irrational love is neither feeling for men, but give free play to all that I am
" false " nor " ruinous "; it does its service as love. capable of. Why should I not dare speak it out in
Toward the world, especially toward men, I am to all its glaringness ? Yes, I utilize the world and
assume a particular feeling, and " meet them with men ! With this I can keep myself open to every
love," with the feeling of love, from the beginning. impression without being torn away from myself by
Certainly, in this there is revealed far more free-will one of them. I can love, love with a full heart, and
and self-determination than when I let myself be let the most consuming glow of passion burn in my
stormed, by way of the world, by all possible feelings, heart, without taking the beloved one for anything
and remain exposed to the most checkered, most acci- else than the nourishment of my passion, on which it
dental impressions. I go to the world rather with a ever refreshes itself anew. All my care for him ap-
preconceived feeling, as if it were a prejudice and a plies only to the object of my love, only to him whom
preconceived opinion ; I have prescribed to myself in my love requires, only to him, the " warmly loved."
advance my behavior toward it, and, despite all its How indifferent would he be to me without thismy
temptations, feel and think about it only as I have love! I feed only my love with him, I utilize him for
once determined to. Against the dominion of the this only: I enjoy him.
world I secure myself by the principle of love ; for, Let us choose another convenient example. I see
whatever may come, Ilove. The uglye.g.makes how men are fretted in dark superstition by a swarm
a repulsive impression on me; but, determined to love, of ghosts. If to the extent of my powers I let a bit
I master this impression as I do every antipathy. of daylight fall in on the nocturnal spookery, is it per-
394 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 395
chance because love to you inspires this in me? Do I other nothing, for what I seem to owe you I owe at
write out of love to men ? No, I write because I want most to myself. If I show you a cheery air in order to
to procure for my thoughts an existence in the world; cheer you likewise, then your cheeriness is of conse-
and, even if I foresaw that these thoughts would de- quence to me, and my air serves my wish; to a thou-
prive you of your rest and your peace, even if I saw sand others, whom I do not aim to cheer, I do not
the bloodiest wars and the fall of many generations show it.
springing up from this seed of thought,I would One has to be educated up to that love which
nevertheless scatter it. Do with it what you will and founds itself on the "essence of man," or, in the
can, that is your affair and does not trouble me. You ecclesiastical and moral period, lies upon us as a
will perhaps have only trouble, combat, and death " commandment." In what fashion moral influence,
from it, very few will draw joy from it. If your weal the chief ingredient of our education, seeks to regulate
lay at my heart, I should act as the church did in the intercourse of men shall here be looked at with
withholding the Bible from the laity, or Christian egoistic eyes in one example at least.
governments, which make it a sacred duty for them- Those who educate us make it their concern early to
selves to " protect the common people from bad break us of lying and to inculcate the principle that
books." one must always tell the truth. If selfishness were
But not only not for your sake, not even for truth's, made the basis for this rule, every one would easily
sake either do I speak out what I think. No understand how by lying he fools away that confidence
in him which he hopes to awaken in others, and how
I sing as the bird sings correct the maxim proves, Nobody believes a liar even
That on the bough alights ; when he tells the truth. Yet, at the same time, he
The song that from me springs would also feel that he had to meet with truth only
Is pay that well requites him whom he authorized to hear the truth. If a spy
I sing becauseI am a singer. But I use * you walks in disguise through the hostile camp, and is
for it because Ineed ears. asked who he is, the askers are assuredly entitled to
Where the world comes in my wayand it comes inquire after his name, but the disguised man does not
in my way everywhereI consume it to quiet the give them the 'right to learn the truth from him ; he
hunger of my egoism. For me you are nothing but tells them what he likes, only not the fact. And yet
my food, even as I too am fed upon and turned to use morality demands, "Thou shalt not lie! " By moral-
by you. We have only one relation to each other, ity those persons are vested with the right to expect
that of usableness, of utility, of use. We owe each the truth; but by me they are not vested with that
* [ gebrauche] [brauche]
396 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 397
right, and I recognize only the right that I impart. If he denies, he lies andremains unpunished; if he
In a gathering of revolutionists the police force their confesses, he is candid andis beheaded. If truth is
way in and ask the orator for his name; everybody more than everything else to him, all right, let him
knows that the police have the right to do so, but they die. Only a paltry poet could try to make a tragedy
do not have it from the revolutionist, since he is their out of the end of his life; for what interest is there in
enemy; he tells them a false name andcheats them seeing how a man succumbs from cowardice? But,
with a lie. The police do not act so foolishly either if he had the courage not to be a slave of truth and
as to count on their enemies' love of truth; on the sincerity, he would ask somewhat thus: Why need
contrary, they do not believe without further cere- the judges know what I have spoken among friends?
mony, but have the questioned individual " identi- If I had wished them to know, I should have said it to
fied " if they can. Nay, the State everywhere pro- them as I said it to my friends. I will not have them
ceeds incredulously with individuals, because in their know it. They force themselves into my confidence
egoism it recognizes its natural enemy ; it invariably without my having called them to it and made them
demands a " voucher," and he who cannot show my confidants; they will learn what I will keep secret.
vouchers falls a prey to its investigating inquisition. Come on then, you who wish to break my will by
The State does not believe nor trust the individual, your will, and try your arts. You can torture me
and so of itself places itself with him in the convention by the rack, you can threaten me with hell and
of lying ; it trusts me only when it has convinced itself eternal damnation, you can make me so nerveless
of the truth of my statement, for which there often re- that I swear a false oath, but the truth you shall not
mains to it no other means than the oath. How press out of me, for I will lie to you because I have
clearly, too, this (the oath) proves that the State does given you no claim and no right to my sincerity.
not count on our credibility and love of truth, but on Let God, " who is truth," look down ever so threaten-
our interest, our selfishness: it relies on our not want- ingly on me, let lying come ever so hard to me, I have
ing to fall foul of God by a perjury. nevertheless the courage of a lie ; and, even if I were
Now, let one imagine a French revolutionist in the weary of my life, even if nothing appeared to me more
year 1788, who among friends let fall the now well- welcome than your executioner's sword, you neverthe-
known phrase, "the world will have no rest till the less should not have the joy of finding in me a slave
last king is hanged with the guts of the last priest." of truth, whom by your priestly arts you make a
The king then still had all power, and, when the ut- traitor to his will. When I spoke those treasonable
terance is betrayed by an accident, yet without its be- words, I would not have had you know anything of
ing possible to produce witnesses, confession is de- them ; I now retain the same will, and do not let my
manded from the accused. Is he to confess or not? self be frightened by the curse of the lie.
398 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 399
Sigismund is not a miserable caitiff because he missionaries and priests still go around every day to
broke his princely word, but he broke the word be- bring Jews, heathen, Protestants or Catholics, etc., to
cause he was a caitiff'; he might have kept his word treason against the faith of their fathers,for his
and would still have been a caitiff, a priest-ridden sake ? And that should be worse with the for my
man. Luther, driven by a higher power, became un- sake ? What then does on my account mean ? There
faithful to his monastic vow : he became so for God's people immediately think of " filthy lucre." But he
sake. Both broke their oath as possessed persons: who acts from love of filthy lucre does it on his own
Sigismund, because he wanted to appear as a sincere account indeed, as there is nothing anyhow that one
professor of the divine truth, i. e. of the true, genuinely does not do for his own sake,among other things,
Catholic faith ; Luther, in order to give testimony for everything that is done for God's glory; yet he, for
the gospel sincerely and with entire truth, with body whom he seeks the lucre, is a slave of lucre, not raised
and soul; both became perjured in order to be sincere above lucre; he is one who belongs to lucre, the
toward the " higher truth." Only, the priests ab- money-bag, not to himself; he is not his own., Must
solved the one, the other absolved himself. What else not a man whom the passion of avarice rules follow
did both observe than what is contained in those the commands of this master ? and, if a weak good-
apostolic words, " Thou hast not lied to men, but to naturedness once beguiles him, does this not appear as
God "? They lied to men, broke their oath before simply an exceptional case of precisely the same sort
the world's eyes, in order not to lie to God, but to as when pious believers are sometimes forsaken by
serve him. Thus they show us a way to deal with their Lord's guidance and ensnared by the arts of the
truth before men. For God's glory, and for God's " devil"? So an avaricious man is not a self-owned
sake, abreach of oath, a lie, a prince's word broken ! man, but a servant; and he can do nothing for his
How would it be, now, if we changed the thing own sake without at the same time doing it for his
a little and wrote, A perjury and lie formy sake ? lord's sake,precisely like the godly man.
Would not that be pleading for every baseness? It Famous is the breach of oath which Francis II
seems so assuredly, only in this it is altogether like the committed against Emperor Charles V. Not later,
" for God's sake." For was not every baseness com- when he ripely weighed his promise, but at once, when
mitted for God's sake, were not all the scaffolds filled he swore the oath, King Francis took it back in
for his sake and all the auto-da-fes held for his sake, thought as well as by a secret protestation document-
was not all stupefaction introduced for his sake? and arily subscribed before his councillors; he uttered a
do they not to-day still for God's sake fetter the perjury aforethought. Francis did not show himself
mind in tender children by religious education? disinclined to buy his release, but the price that
Were not sacred vows broken for his sake, and do not Charles put on it seemed to him too high and unrea-
400 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 401
sonable. Even though Charles behaved himself in a jail built about the mind of man by religion: he sent
sordid fashion when he sought to extort as much as him back to France locked fast in invisible chains,
possible, it was yet shabby of Francis to want to pur- what wonder if Francis sought to escape and sawed
chase his freedom for a lower ransom ; and his later the chains apart ? No man would have taken it amiss
dealings, among which there occurs yet a second of him if he had secretly fled from Madrid, for he was
breach of his word, prove sufficiently how the huckster in an enemy's power ; but every good Christian cries
spirit held him enthralled and made him a shabby out upon him, that he wanted to loose himself from
swindler. However, what shall we say to the re- God's bonds too. (It was only later that the pope
proach of perjury against him? In the first place, absolved him from his oath.)
surely, this again: that not the perjury, but his sor- It is despicable to deceive a confidence that we vol-
didness, shamed him ; that he did not deserve con- untarily call forth; but it is no shame to egoism to
tempt for his perjury, but made himself guilty of let every one who wants to get us into his power by an
perjury because he was a contemptible man. But oath bleed to death by the unsuccessfulness of his
Francis's perjury, regarded in itself, demands another untrustful craft. If you have wanted to bind me,
judgment. One might say Francis did not respond to then learn that I know how to burst your bonds.
the confidence that Charles put in him in setting him The point is whether I give the confider the right to
free. But, if Charles had really favored him with confidence. If the pursuer of my friend asks me
confidence, he would have named to him the price that where he has fled to, I shall surely put him on a false
he considered the release worth, and would then have trail. Why does he ask precisely me, the pursued
set him at liberty and expected Francis to pay the man's friend? In order not to be a false, traitorous
redemption-sum. Charles harbored no such trust, but friend, I prefer to be false to the enemy. I might cer-
only believed in Francis's impotence and credulity, tainly, in courageous conscientiousness, answer " I
which would not allow him to act against his oath ; will not tell " (so Fichte decides the case) ; by that I
but Francis deceived only thiscredulous calculation. should salve my love of truth and do for my friend as
When Charles believed he was assuring himself of his much asnothing, for, if I do not mislead the enemy,
enemy by an oath, right there he was freeing him he may accidentally take the right street, and my love
from every obligation. Charles had given the king of truth would have given up my friend as a prey,
credit for a piece of stupidity, a narrow conscience, because it hindered me from thecourage for a lie.
and, without confidence in Francis, counted only on He who has in the truth an idol, a sacred thing, must
Francis's stupidity, i. e. conscientiousness: he let him humble himself before it, must not defy its demands,
go from the Madrid prison only to hold him the more not resist courageously ; in short, he must renounce
securely in the prison of conscientiousness, the great the heroism of the lie. For to the lie belongs not less
402 THE EGO AND HIS OWN THE OWNER 403
courage than to the truth : a courage that young men why should I not do it entirely and without reserva-
are most apt to be defective in, who would rather con- tion (reservatio mentalis) ? If I once lie, why then
fess the truth and mount the scaffold for it than con- not lie completely, with entire consciousness and all
found the enemy's power by the impudence of a lie. my might? As a spy I should have to swear to each
To them the truth is "sacred," and the sacred at all. of my false statements at the enemy's demand ; deter-
times demands blind reverence, submission, and self- mined to lie to him, should I suddenly become cow-
sacrifice. If you are not impudent, not mockers of ardly and undecided in face of an oath? Then I
the sacred, you are tame and its servants. Let one should have been ruined in advance for a liar and
but lay a grain of truth in the trap for you, you peck spy; for, you see, I should be voluntarily putting into
at it to a certainty, and the fool is caught. You will the enemy's hands a means to catch me.The State
not lie? Well, then, fall as sacrifices to the truth too fears the oath of necessity, and for this reason does
and becomemartyrs! Martyrs!for what? For not give the accused a chance to swear. But you do
yourselves, for self-ownership? No, for your god- not justify the State's fear; you lie, but do not swear
dess,the truth. You know only two services, only falsely. If, e. g., you show some one a kindness, and
two kinds of servants: servants of the truth and ser- he is not to know it, but he guesses it and tells you
vants of the lie. Then in God's name ser