[ What a hideous thing ]Notes on poetics and ethics
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What a hideous thing these new philosophical concepts are, of heartlessness, of the rightful supremacy of the strong, of the supposedly beneficial work of the struggle which will eradicate the small and weak, etc. etc. Since we have to live in society, since civilization derives from this fact, since it was by this means that we were able to withstand the harsh living conditions that first afflicted mankind – what is all this madness about heartlessness, supremacy and the like. If we were really to apply them, we would see that they would lead us to obliteration. One strong person will destroy – directly or indirectly– ten weak ones here; another ten more weak ones somewhere else, and so forth. Only the strong will remain. Out of these, some will be less strong. These –when the past weak ones will be forgotten or extinct– will be the weak; they will have to be destroyed, ten by ten, or five by five, or two by two –until the strongest remains alone, or the few equally strong. But how will they live, this way? No, not heartlessness; but Pity, Sorrow, Concession, Kindness (these of course with prudence and measure) are both the Power and the wisdom.

10 September 1910

Translated by Manuel Savidis


- Original Greek Text