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L. Neil Smith's
Number 507, February 22, 2009

"Things are crazy and getting crazier all the time."

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The New Idol
Section XI of Thus Spake Zarathustra
by Friedrich Nietzsche

Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

Somewhere there are still peoples and herds, but not with us, my brothers: here there are states.

A state? What is that? Well! open now your ears unto me, for now will I say unto you my word concerning the death of peoples.

A state, is called the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it also lies; and this lie creeps from its mouth: "I, the state, am the people."

It is a lie! Creators were they who created peoples, and hung a faith and a love over them: thus they served life.

Destroyers, are they who lay snares for many, and call it the state: they hang a sword and a hundred cravings over them.

Where there is still a people, there the state is not understood, but hated as the evil eye, and as sin against laws and customs.

This sign I give unto you: every people speaks its language of good and evil: this its neighbor understands not. Its language it has devised for itself in laws and customs.

But the state lies in all languages of good and evil; and whatever it says it lies; and whatever it has it has stolen.

False is everything in it; with stolen teeth it bites, the biting one. False are even its bowels.

Confusion of language of good and evil; this sign I give unto you as the sign of the state. Verily, the will to death, indicates this sign! Verily, it beckons unto the preachers of death!

Many too many are born: for the superfluous ones was the state devised!

See just how it entices them to it, the many-too-many! How it swallows and chews and re-chews them!

"On earth there is nothing greater than I: it is I who am the regulating finger of God"—thus roars the monster. And not only the long-eared and short-sighted fall upon their knees!

Ah! even in your ears, ye great souls, it whispers its gloomy lies! Ah! it finds out the rich hearts which willingly lavish themselves!

Yea, it finds you out too, ye conquerors of the old God! Weary ye became of the conflict, and now your weariness serves the new idol!

Heroes and honorable ones, it would fain set up around it, the new idol! Gladly it basks in the sunshine of good consciences,—the cold monster!

Everything will it give you, if you worship it, the new idol: thus it purchases the luster of your virtue, and the glance of your proud eyes.

It seeks to allure by means of you, the many-too-many! Yea, a hellish artifice has here been devised, a death-horse jingling with the trappings of divine honors!

Yea, a dying for many has here been devised, which glorifies itself as life: verily, a hearty service unto all preachers of death!

The state, I call it, where all are poison-drinkers, the good and the bad: the state, where all lose themselves, the good and the bad: the state, where the slow suicide of all—is called "life."

Just see these superfluous ones! They steal the works of the inventors and the treasures of the wise. Culture, they call their theft—and everything becomes sickness and trouble unto them!

Just see these superfluous ones! Sick are they always; they vomit their bile and call it a newspaper. They devour one another, and cannot even digest themselves.

Just see these superfluous ones! Wealth they acquire and become poorer thereby. Power they seek for, and above all, the lever of power, much money—these impotent ones!

See them clamber, these nimble apes! They clamber over one another, and thus scuffle into the mud and the abyss.

Towards the throne they all strive: it is their madness—as if happiness sat on the throne! Ofttimes sits filth on the throne.—and ofttimes also the throne on filth.

Madmen they all seem to me, and clambering apes, and too eager. Badly smells their idol to me, the cold monster: badly they all smell to me, these idolaters.

My brothers, will ye suffocate in the fumes of their maws and appetites! Better break the windows and jump into the open air!

Do go out of the way of the bad odor! Withdraw from the idolatry of the superfluous!

Do go out of the way of the bad odor! Withdraw from the steam of these human sacrifices!

Open still remains the earth for great souls. Empty are still many sites for lone ones and twain ones, around which floats the odor of tranquil seas.

Open still remains a free life for great souls. Verily, he who possesses little is so much the less possessed: blessed be moderate poverty!

There, where the state ceases—there only commences the man who is not superfluous: there commences the song of the necessary ones, the single and irreplaceable melody.

There, where the state ceases—pray look there, my brothers! Do ye not see it, the rainbow and the bridges of the Superman?—

Thus spake Zarathustra.

From: Thus Spake Zarathustra, by Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 - 1900)
First published 1883-1885
Translated by Thomas Common (spelling updated by Ye Olde Editor)
December, 1999 [Project Gutenberg Etext #1998]

[Yes, Your Humble Editor has been reading one of his favorite books again for the first time in some long decades. And came across this libertarian screed against government and decided to share it with you, the Reader.

You can get your own paper copy at
Translated by Walter Kaufmann (the best)
Translated by R. J. Hollingdale (very good too).]


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