"No one would strive for education if they knew how unbelievably small the number of truly educated people actually was, or ever could be. But it is impossible to achieve even this small quota of truly educated people unless a great mass of people is tricked, seduced, into going against their nature and pursuing an education. As a result, we must never publicly betray the ridiculous disproportion between the number of truly educated people and the size of our monstrously overgrown educational system. That is the real secret of education: Countless people fight for it, and think they are fighting for themselves, but at bottom it is only to make education possible for a very few."
“Custom represents the experiences of men of earlier times as to what they supposed useful and harmful - but the sense for custom (morality) applies, not to these experiences as such, but to the age, the sanctity, the indiscussability of the custom. And so this feeling is a hindrance to the acquisition of new experiences and the correction of customs: that is to say, morality is a hindrance to the creation of new and better customs: it makes stupid.”
“That is how education always proceeds: one tries to condition an individual by various attractions and advantages to adopt a way of thinking and behaving that, once it has become a habit, instinct, and passion, will dominate him to his own ultimate disadvantage but “for the general good.” … If this education succeeds, then every virtue of an individual is a public utility and a private disadvantage.”
“Sexual love has been glorified and deified so much in all ages—indeed, that this love has furnished the concept of love as the opposite of egoism while it actually may be the most ingenuous expression of egoism.”
“Mistrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful. They are people of a low sort and stock; the hangman and the bloodhound look out of their faces. Mistrust all who talk much of their justice! Verily, their souls lack more than honey. And when they call themselves the good and the just, do not forget that they would be pharisees, if only they had — power.”
“Where the poor power of the eye can no longer see the evil impulse as such because it has become too subtle, man posits the realm of goodness; and the feeling that we have now entered the realm of goodness excites all those impulses which had been threatened and limited by the evil impulses, like the feeling of security, of comfort, of benevolence. Hence, the duller the eye, the more extensive the good. Hence the eternal cheerfulness of the common people and of children. Hence the gloominess and grief—akin to a bad conscience—of the great thinkers.”
“The distinction that lies in being unhappy (as if to feel happy were a sign of shallowness, lack of ambition, ordinariness) is so great that when someone says, "But how happy you must be!" we usually protest.”
“Perhaps Asians are distinguished above Europeans by a capacity for longer, deeper calm; even their opiates have a slow effect and require patience, as opposed to the disgusting suddenness of the European poison, alcohol.”