One of Nietzsche's best prophecies, from Thus Spake Zarathustra, 1:11, The New Idol. He gives a "confusion of language of good and evil" as the sign of the false, lying nature of the State.

The People, he says, have a language of "good and evil", it is what governs them; their law is their concept of right and wrong. The State, on other hand, is a great liar, and its greatest lie is its claiming to be the People...or in our time, to be "the will of the People".

Nietzche points out that in every place where a People still exists, the State is seen as a great evil, a lie and a sin against laws and customs. This is true today--go check out a tribe in Africa and see what they think of government. The State is created for the superfluous; thus under State rule many are born and few can really LIVE. This is much better seen in America than Africa; sure, we have a lower death-rate, but ninety percent of our populace are--sadly--pretty much worthless.

Thus Spoke Zarathustra is, unfortunately, filled with great wisdom that, thanks to our average of a 7th-grade reading level, most people are immune to. No amount of paraphrasing can have the impact of a quote, I think; but a quote is full of thuses and thees and yeas and loads of confusing commas. (Though thanks go to r4v5 for pointing me to the Kaufmann translation, which is a bit more readable.) Neitzsche's description of the State as the idoltry of the superfluous, that which offers everything in exchange for obedience and thus purchases our virtue, making us richer outwardly but poorer inside, is I think extremely applicable today. It speaks directly to the spiritual and mental poverty of the suburban masses teeming around our quote-unquote-richer continents, consuming like mad and yet emptier every day. Or as The Man Himself says, "They devour one another, and cannot even digest themselves."

And how can we argue that the giant, malformed States we all live under do not warp our soul's definitions of good and bad? That America has not undone more tradition, more family, more simple love and charity than all the wars and demons the world has ever seen? "It is a lie!" Zarathustra cries; "Creators were they who created Peoples, and hung a faith and a love over them; thus they served life." I may not be Nietsche or Zarathustra, but I have a soul and nothing in it sees The State--any State--serving Life, or embracing that love and faith that were "hung" the highest; No, Zarathustra was right again. The State, as he puts it, hangs a "sword and a hundred cravings" over the people; denying our souls, making us into little more than idolatrous worshippers of gain.

I don't know what to do about it either; the Monster that is the State is gaining unjustified popularity every day. Nietzsche's answer, I think, lies in a quote from a chapter earlier:

Man is something that is to be surpassed.

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