Sunday, March 21, 2021

On Nietzsche’s Pessimistic View of Civilization

Nietzsche was filled with doubts about the future of civilization. In The Anti-Christ, he writes: “Mankind does not represent a development toward something better or stronger or higher in the sense accepted today. ‘Progress’ is merely a modern idea, that is, a false idea. The European of today is vastly inferior in value to the European of the Renaissance: further development is altogether not according to any necessity in the direction of elevation, enhancement, or strength.” In his Twilight of the Idols, Nietzsche laments: “Nothing avails: one must go forward—step by step further into decadence (that is my definition of modern ‘progress’)."

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