Ponderings XII-XV [16–17]

itself—over against itself—becomes powerless, in such a way that power is delivered up to essential incorporation into full and constant overpowering and transposes all modes of thought and representation according to the “law” of power. What is right and lawful is now only that which fits into the “order” posited by the overpowering and thus is constantly variable.

What dooms power is nevertheless not its ethical insufficiency due to an offense against the previously believed “right in itself,” but is instead its blindness to its own powerlessness or, thought in terms of the history of beyng, to its deliverance | over to the machinational essence of beyng, which deliverance power itself cannot see. The overcoming of the age of unconditional violence, an overcoming whose blessings we indeed can first survey only in their sparsest preliminary forms, cannot be carried out through moral indignation or through the deliverances provided by a threatened “culture”—because all this is of the same (metaphysical)—though not yet ventured—essence as is the unconditional violence.

To be decided is the truth of beyng itself: whether the blindness of power (taken not morally, but as an event of the history of beyng) can be experienced as the forgottenness of beyng—or whether the human being is deemed worthy by beyng to be installed beyond power and impotence, for the sake of the truth of beyng. We may suppose that meditation on this decision with respect to the history of beyng must still wander through long, and perhaps always more intermittent, times of Lasting and interrogative expectation. And we must even venture into the knowledge that broken loose masses of humanity, masses first willingly or unwillingly instituted in their movements, require from the rulers such | forms of representing and needing which exclude every capacity for decisive knowledge and surrender the attempts at such knowledge to long ridicule. This ridicule will even appear one day as an excess of the public attention which can be summoned up by the masses over and against meditation.

Nevertheless, to want to go on speaking here of a mistaking of those who question and poetize would mean to fall back into the forms of valuation proper to the already overcome pursuit of culture. That which bears in itself the essence of the preparation for decisions (a preparation carried out by leaping in advance) must not be burdened with the miserable and plaintive misfortunes of becoming misunderstood and passed over. Just as little can the brutalization of the masses (which becomes more powerful with the overpowering) still allow a valuation as “ethical” and “cultural” decline. The brutalization is in itself a no longer recognizable wild licentiousness in the form of the