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This work is both an unrestrained attack on Christianity and a further exposition of Nietzsche’s will-to-power philosophy so dramatically presented in Zarathustra. Christianity, says Nietzsche, represents “everything weak, low, and botched; it has made an ideal out of antagonism towards all the self-preservative instincts of strong life.” By contrast, Nietzsche defines good as: “All that enhances the feeling of power, the Will to Power, and power itself in man. What is bad?–All that proceeds from weakness. What is happiness?–The feeling that power is increasing,–that resistance has been overcome.” In attempting to redefine the basis of Western values by demolishing what Nietzsche saw as the crippling influence of the Judeo-Christian tradition, THE ANTICHRIST has proved to be highly controversial and continuously stimulating to later generations of philosophers.
—Let us look each other in the face. We are Hyperboreans—we know well enough how remote our place is. “Neither by land nor by water will you find the road to the Hyperboreans”: even Pindar,
Cf. the tenth Pythian ode. See also the fourth book of Herodotus. The Hyperboreans were a mythical people beyond the Rhipaean mountains, in the far North. They enjoyed unbroken happiness and perpetual youth. in his day, knew that much about us. Beyond the North, beyond the ice, beyond death—our life, our happiness… We have discovered that happiness; we know the way; we got our knowledge of it from thousands of years in the labyrinth. Who else has found it?—The man of today?—”I don’t know either the way out or the way in; I am whatever doesn’t know either the way out or the way in”—so sighs the man of today… This is the sort of modernity that made us ill,—we sickened on lazy peace, cowardly compromise, the whole virtuous dirtiness of the modern Yea and Nay. This tolerance and largeur of the heart that “forgives” everything because it “understands” everything is a sirocco to us. Rather live amid the ice than among modern virtues and other such south–winds!… We were brave enough; we spared neither ourselves nor others; but we were a long time finding out where to direct our courage. We grew dismal; they called us fatalists. Our fate—it was the fulness, the tension, the storing up of powers. We thirsted for the lightnings and great deeds; we kept as far as possible from the happiness of the weakling, from “resignation”… There was thunder in our air; nature, as we embodied it, became overcast—for we had not yet found the way. The formula of our happiness: a Yea, a Nay, a straight line, a goal…