The New Idol
Somewhere there are still peoples and herds, but not with us, my brethren; 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 lieth it also, and this lie creepeth 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 speaketh its language of good and evil; this its neighbour understandeth not. Its language hath it devised for itself in laws and customs.
But the state lieth in all languages of good and evil; and whatever it saith it lieth, and whatever it hath it hath stolen.
False is everything in it; with stolen teeth it biteth, 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 indicateth this sign! Verily, it beckoneth unto the preachers of death!
Many too many are born; for the superfluous ones was the state devised!
See just how it enticeth them to it, the many-too-many! How it swalloweth and cheweth and recheweth them!
On earth there is nothing greater than I: it is I who am the regulating finger of God thus roareth the monster. And not only the long-eared and short-sighted fall upon their knees!
Ah, even in your ears, ye great souls, it whispereth its gloomy lies! Ah, it findeth out the rich hearts which willingly lavish themselves!
Yea, it findeth you out too, ye conquerors of the old God! Weary ye became of the conflict, and now your weariness serveth the new idol!
Heroes and honourable ones it would fain set up around it, the new idol! Gladly it basketh in the sunshine of good consciences, the cold monster!
Everything will it give you, if ye worship it, the new idol; thus it purchaseth the lustre of your virtue, and the glance of your proud eyes.
It seeketh to allure by means of you, the many-too-many! Yea, a hellish artifice hath here been devised, a death-horse jingling with the trappings of divine honours!
Yea, a dying for many hath here been devised, which glorifieth 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.
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