Somewhere there are still peoples and herds, but not where we live, my brothers: here there are states.
State? What is that? Well! Now open your ears to me, for now I shall speak to you about the death of peoples.
State is the name of the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it tells lies too; and this lie crawls from its mouth: "I, the state, am the people."
It's a lie! It was creators who created peoples and hung a faith and a love over them: thus they served life.
It is destroyers who lay traps for the many and call them "state": they hand a sword and a hundred cravings over them.
Where there is still a people, there the state is not understood but hated as the evil eye and as the sin against laws and customs.
This sign I give to you: every people speaks its tongue of good and evil: and the neighbor does not understand it. It has invented its own language of customs and rights.
But the state lies in all the tongues of good and evil; and whatever it says it lies - and whatever it has it has stolen.
Everything about it is false; it bites with stolen teeth, this biter. Even its entrails are false.
Confusion of tongues of good and evil: this sign I give to you as the sign of the state. Truly, this sign signifies the will to death! Truly, it beckons to the preachers of death!
All-too-many are born: for the superfluous the state is invented!
See just how it entices them to it, the all-too-many! How it swallows and chews and rechews them!
"On earth there is nothing greater than I: it is I who am the ordering finger of God" - thus roars the monster. And not only the long-eared and the shortsighted fall to their knees!
Ah, even in your ears, you great souls, it whispers its dark lies! Ah, it detects the rich hearts that like to squander themselves!
Yes, it detects you too, you vanquishers of the old god! You have grown weary of fighting, and now your weariness serves the new idol!
It would surround itself with heroes and honorable ones, the new idol! It basks happily in the sunshine of good consciences - the cold monster!
It will give you everything if you worship it, the new idol: thus it purchases the luster of your virtue and the look of your proud eyes.
It would use you as bait for the all-too-many! Yes, a hellish artifice has here been devised, a death-horse jingling with the trappings of devine honors!
Yes, a dying for many has here been devised, which glorifies itself as life: truly, a great service to all preachers of death!
State, I call it, where all drink poison, the good and the bad: state, where all lose themselves, the good and the bad: state, where the slow suicide of all - is called "life."
Just see the superfluous! They steal the works of the inventors and the treasures of the sages for themselves: "education," they call their theft - and everything becomes sickness and trouble to them!
Just see the superfluous! They are always sick; they vomit their bile and call it a newspaper. They devour one another and cannot even digest themselves.
Just see the superfluous! They gather riches and become poorer with them. They want power and first the lever of power, much money - the important paupers!
See them clamber, these limber monkeys! They clamber over one another and thus tumble one another into the mud and the deep.
They all want to get to the thrown: it is their madness - as if happiness sat on the throne! Often mud sits on the throne - and often also the throne on mud.
Madmen they all seem to me, clambering monkeys and overeager. To me their idol smells foul, the cold monster: to me they all smell foul, these idolaters.
My brothers, do you want to suffocate in the fumes of their snouts and appetites? Rather break the windows and spring for freedom!
Escape from the bad smell! Escape from the idolatry of the superfluous!
Escape from the bad smell! Escape from the steam of these human sacrifices!
The earth is free even now for great souls. There are yet many empty seats for the lonesome and the twosome, wafted by the aroma of the still seas.
A free life is even now free for great souls. Truly, whoever possesses little is that much less possessed: Praised be a little poverty!
Only where the state ends, there begins the human being who is not superfluous: there begins the song of necessity, the unique and inimitable tune.
Where the state ends - look there, my brothers! Do you not see it, the rainbow and the bridges of the Superman?