highest values, however, have already devalued themselves now by coming to understand that the ideal world is not, and not ever, going to be reali1.ed within the real world. The compulsory nature of the highest values begins to falter. The question is raised: what is the purpose of these highest values if they do not also secure the guarantee for, as well as the ways and means of, realizing the goals they set?

If, however, it were now our intention to understand Nietzsche's definition of the essence of nihilism according to its wording (that the highest values are in the process of becoming valueless), an interpretation of the essence of nihilism would ensue which has meanwhile become current and whose currency is sustained by the label "nihilism" : that the devaluing of the highest values obviously means decadence. Yet in no way for Nietzsche is nihilism only a phenomenon of decadence; rather, nihilism, as the fundamental process of Western history, is also and above all the intrinsic law of this history. For that reason, even in his observations about nihilism, 􀃤ietzsche cares rather little about describing the course of the process of devaluation historically and at the end deriving from it the decline of the West; instead, he thinks nihilism as the "inner logic" of Western history.

In this way Nietzsche recognizes that, even with the devaluation of the hitherto highest values for the world, the world itself remains; and above all that the world grown value-less is inevitably impelled toward a new dispensation of value.a After the hitherto highest values have lost their validity, the new dispensation of value is changed, in regard to the former values, into a "revaluation of all values." The no to the former values is derived from the yes to the new dispensation of value. Since (in Nietzsche's view) this yes neither negotiates nor compromises with the previous values, an absolute no is part of this yes to the new dispensation of value. In order to secure the absolute character of the new yes against a regression to the former values, i.e., in order to ground the new dispensation of value as a countermovement, Nietzsche calls even the new dispensation of value "nihilism," namely, a nihilism which, through devaluation, completes itself in a new and exclusively normative dispensation of value. This normative phase of nihilism Nietzsche calls "fulfilled," i.e., classic nihilism. By nihilism, Nietzsche understands the devaluation of the hitherto highest values. Yet at the same time Nietzsche finds himself affirming nihilism in the sense of a "n:valuation of the highest values." The name "nihilism" is therefore ambiguous;

a First edition, 1950. Under what assumption? That "world" means beings in their entirety, the will to power in the eternal return of the same.