What were Nietzsche's views on loyalty?

Summary of the happy Science

Wilhelm I. and Chancellor Bismarck

Towards the end of the 19th century, a feeling of superiority spread across Europe. Industrialization was in full swing in most European countries. Scientific, technical and medical advances raised the hope that the quality of life would improve significantly in the future. This was also and especially true of the German Empire. In 1871 Prussia had triumphed over France. A total of 25 federal states joined the German Empire on January 18, 1871 Wilhelm I. together at the top. First Chancellor became OttoofBismarckwho directed the domestic and foreign policy fortunes of the new state. Since he considered the empire "saturated", Bismarck pursued a moderate foreign policy that did not push for expansion. Instead, he tied a complicated network of alliances with which he secured the neutrality and loyalty of various states. Initially, Bismarck did not want to participate in colonialism, but in 1882 enabled the establishment of the German Colonial Association, which he also actively supported from 1884 and which acquired several colonies in Africa.


The winter of 1879 was one of the worst parts of his life for Nietzsche, who was plagued by stomach pains, migraines and vomiting. Because of his bad eyesight, he could hardly read or write. He scribbled down his texts in “little bits” during his walks. The restless traveler only experienced improvement in Sils-Maria in the Swiss Engadine. Here he had an inspiration during a hike in 1881: He came up with the idea of ​​eternal return, which for the happy Science and his later works became important. However, Nietzsche was not quite sure how to formulate this new thought. He was actually planning to continue his work Dawnthat he wanted to add another five books. In January 1882 he wrote to his friend Heinrich Köselitz (who published under the pseudonym Peter Gast invented by Nietzsche) that he has already completed three of the planned supplementary volumes. Until publication he wrote another book, but kept around a quarter of the material he had already accumulated in order to turn it into a scientific treatise on eternal return. the happy Science therefore contains only the first, metaphorically disguised mention of this important idea. It is formulated poetically in the following work Thus spoke zarathustra. The treatise on eternal return is never published; However, preliminary work can be found in Nietzsche's estate. Parallel to Cheerful science Nietzsche dealt with the figure of Zarathustra, whom he made the hero of some aphorisms. Except for one place ("Incipit tragoedia" - the last aphorism of the fourth book, the strong similarities with the preface of Thus spoke zarathustra Nietzsche deleted any mention of the name.

Impact history

the happy Science appeared in the middle of August 1882 in the publishing house of Ernst Schmeitzner in Chemnitz. The first edition was 1000 copies, of which only around a fifth were sold in the following four years. Nevertheless, Nietzsche attempted to revise and add to the book in 1886. The occasion was a new edition of his larger fonts in the Fritzsch publishing house. Nietzsche added the happy Science about a preface, a fifth book (“We Fearless”) and the “Songs of Prince Vogelfrei”. There is always a dispute about which position the happy Science occupies in Nietzsche's work. Some believe that it marks the end of the middle, so-called “free-spirited” creative period, and with Zarathustra would start something completely new. Others believe that both works are complementary to each other, especially since many of the themes of Zarathustra already in the Cheerful science echo. In addition, Nietzsche used, at least for the second edition of 1886, material that he was responsible for Thus spoke zarathustra and Beyond Good and Evil conceived but not used.

Nietzsche's impact was shown relatively late, but then on a broader scale. Although his work received little attention from German-speaking intellectuals during his lifetime, it had a great influence not only on philosophy, but above all on the art and literature of the 20th century. In Germany, authors dealt with such StefanGeorge, KarlKraus, Thomasman, RobertMusil and GeorgeTrakl with Nietzsche's philosophy. The Expressionists in particular found many points of contact with him. Martin Heidegger stressed the great importance of Cheerful science as a first step towards the development of Nietzsche's metaphysical basic attitude or towards the completion and overcoming of occidental metaphysics.