Friedrich NietzscheFriedrich Nietzsche, (1844-1900) German philosopher, cultural critic, poet, philologist

Friedrich Nietzsche Quote

“The state is the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it lies, too; and this lie creeps from its mouth: `I, the state, am the people.'... Everything about it is false; it bites with stolen teeth. ”

Friedrich NietzscheFriedrich Nietzsche
~ Friedrich Nietzsche

from "Thus Spake Zarathustra"

Ratings and Comments

J. B. Wulff, Bristol

We all know these things about government(s). The history of the ages shows us again and again. The Who have an epic cut entitled "We Won't Be Fooled Again." The closing line says it all, "Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss." Our problem is the fact that the vast majority need to be led. At the same time, the vast majority's choice of leaders falls to the egotistical fools who want the job. I started reading the volume of Ronald Reagan's diaries when it was published. I quickly learned that the presidency is an impossible task in terms of time, details, schedule, protocol, etc. So we are mostly blessed that good people get this job often enough to keep the great floating crap game going. That is, after all, what Western Civilization and probably the rest of the world is. It's the thing we do while waiting to learn if there is a God. I believe the latter and know I am a player in the game. And so it goes.

Homer Simpson, Nashville

There is definitely no law and order or anything remotely resembling justice in the entire land. Just corrupt power which always ends up in the hands of corrupt individuals who pervert it's "noble" intentions" with selfish and greedy criminal corruption played out on the ignorant and naive masses. This is the only card these corrupt individuals hold in their hands. How hypocritical is it that they pretend to be that which they are diametrically opposed to. That makes them the worst of all evils and criminals. And being there is no God for any fantasy ultimate justice, there is no justice in the entire universe, but for the universe itself, which is the only and ultimate supreme power which always seeks out balance and symmetry in every single atom within it. Other than that, the ONLY justice lies in whatever the TRUE noble singularly powerful illegally and unjustly injured party can take it upon himself to do, in the one and only name of TRUE justice! It will never be in the mostly naive masses, but in the singularly intelligent and knowing heroic individual.

Mike, Norwalk

'I, the state, am the people.' is a complete and absolute lie exposed most clearly by the Warren Court.

jim k, austin

I suspect that the people who lived in the Soviet Union and who lived under Soviet rule in Eastern Europe would agree.

Waffler, Smith

I Nietzche is considered the father of the Nazi State. Go figure! (First "the State" is only a concept, it does not really exist. It is a straw man set up to give us something to rail at. Have you ever met "a state" or conversed with "a state". There are laws within our cities, counties, state and federal government which we choose to enact and enforce within some geographicla jurisdiction but to rail against a concept or spectre as ephermal as "the state" is some sort of madness for narrow minded men.

jim k, austin

Waffler, are you nuts. Under Communism if you utter one negative word you will be declared an"enemy of the state". To make it easier for simpletons like you, substitute the word Government for the word State. Now go stand in the corner.

A.WOODS, Gloucester

"It bites with stolen teeth." Nice.

Waffler, Smith

There are an awful lot of negative words utter here, so I guess there is no :"state" in these 50 territories.

E Archer, NYC

This is the line in the sand between the collectivists and the sovereigntists. Waffler isn't crazy, just a victim of his own double-think. Hey, Waffler, I thought you refrained from ad hominum arguments? Hypocrite, too (in another post today, he says, "We are the Government, the Government is us. Hate your government, hate yourself!"). Hitler used Nietzsche's 'superman' theory as the narcissist he was. When no distinction is made between the government/rulers and the nation, you have despotism. The nation is NOT the government, it is the People.

warren, olathe

Nietzsche was not the father of the Nazi state. He was the creator of the idea that God is dead. The superman concept came from Darwin as much as from Nietzsche. The "cleansing" of society was to create what was Hitler's vision of a "Superman" by helping evolution along a bit. His idea of a superman was not just a perfect physical specimen but an individual that had no morals to inhibit him from being ruthless and cruel. With out a conscience (Hitler believed) a man could accomplish anything

Waffler, Smith

You are correct Warren but the Nazi's kind of claim him as the father. I agree that he would have rejected them. Nietzsche said that we each have "the will to power" or the will to live. For a philosophy to be true it must be universal, thus one persons will to power or to life is not for the purpose of obstructing or ending anothers as the Nazi's did. Anyway Nietzsche went nuts in the end.

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    Anonymous    1/17/10

    Nietzsche was also extremely upset that the anti-semites of his time quoted him without understanding his point, and wrote an angry letter to his sister for having married an anti-semite. --MrGrendel

    Arash, Utrecht

    "Our problem is the fact that the vast majority need to be led [...] So we are mostly blessed that good people get this job often enough to keep the great floating crap game going. That is, after all, what Western Civilization and probably the rest of the world is. It's the thing we do while waiting to learn if there is a God." I think this is a dangerous myth. Imagine if slave owners would say that they would keep the crap game going until God showed up. I would rather submit that free people self-organize under their own volition.

    Mann, Kalamazoo

    Zarathustra also 'sprach': "There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness." Nietzsche's confounding genius is to leave his admirers and detractors alike in limbo, irretrievably caught between two conflicting concepts simultaneously emanating from a shared central locus. Defending one concept at the expense of the other is useless. When I look at today's quote and perceive the state as potentially being "the coldest of all cold monsters", and especially its lie, the first thing springing to my mind is the being I've come to identify as Nihillary Clinton, a single tool of the state. That's quite a feat, Madam Secretary. In hard fact I wonder how much of Nietzsche's "state" is where Power is truly and most jealously held, in his day as well as ours: in the bloody hands of the bloody few Financial Powers.

    Mann, Kalamazoo

    FWIW, the following comment comes courtesy of a friend of mine, a professor emeritus and Nietzsche scholar, late of Western Michigan University. His first sentence rekindled some of the doubts I have regarding the true purpose of this site. My friend's opinion follows: The quotation is probably altogether bogus. Like the rest of Nietzsche's texts, THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA is divided into chapters--80 in all--most of which are divided into sub-sections--e.g. 79.12. If the quotation is simply jazzed up a bit (which is the submitter's privilege in my opinion), I would be able to check it out far more easily in the original text--either German or English. Nietzsche was fond of ZARATHUSTRA, as I was as a high school junior. At this point, however, I don't think it should distract one from Nietzsche's more provocative arguments in his other texts, especially JOYFUL WISDOM and THE ANTICHRIST.

    Waldo, New Jersey

    What exists today is the equivalent of a modern kinetic sculpture. We can see it moving and cannot see what is making it move. The questions remain as to whether God or Nietzsche is really dead. I started reading his works forty-five years ago and to this day, I only begin to get a clue.

    Patrick Henry, Red Hill

    Temporal centers of power, administrative/bureaucratic hierarchies, are loveless by their unnatural natures.


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