Glad this doesn’t happen to anyone we know

“Poor, happy and independent!—these things can go together; poor, happy and a slave!—these things can also go together—and I can think of no better news I could give to our factory slaves: provided, that is, they do not feel it to be in general a disgrace to be thus used, and used up, as a part of a machine and as it were a stopgap to fill a hole in human inventiveness!  To the devil with the belief that higher payment could lift from them the essence of their miserable condition—I mean their impersonal enslavement!  To the devil with the idea of being persuaded that an enhancement of this impersonality within the mechanical operation of a new society could transform the disgrace of slavery into a virtue!  To the devil with setting a price on oneself in exchange for which one ceases to be a person and becomes a part of a machine!  Are you accomplices in the current folly of the nations—the folly of wanting above all to produce as much as possible and to become as rich as possible?  What you ought to do, rather, is hold up to them the counter-reckoning: how great a sum of inner value is thrown away in pursuit of this external goal!  But where is your inner value if you no longer know what it is to breathe freely? if you no longer possess the slightest power over yourselves? if you all too often grow weary of yourselves like a drink that has been left too long standing? if you pay heed to the newspapers and look askance at your wealthy neighbour, made covetous by the rapid rise and fall of power, money and opinions? if you no longer believe in philosophy that wears rags, in the free-heartedness of him without needs? if voluntary poverty and freedom from profession and marriage, such as would very well suit the more spiritual among you, have become to you things to laugh at?  If, on the other hand, you have always in your ears the flutings of the Socialist pied-pipers whose design is to enflame you with wild hopes? which bid you to be prepared and nothing further, prepared day upon day, so that you wait and wait for something to happen from outside and in all other respects go on living as you have always lived—until this waiting turns to hunger and thirst and fever and madness, and at last the day of the bestia triumphans dawns in all its glory?”– Friedrich Nietzsche, Daybreak (emphasis in original; trans. Hollingdale)

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