Nietzsche: 40 (March-June 1888) The concept of decadence.

On the State of the World:

— Waste, decay, elimination need not be condemned: they are necessary consequences of life, of the growth of life. The phenomenon of decadence is as necessary as any increase and advance of life: one is in no position to abolish it. Reason demands, on the contrary, that we do justice to it.

There are those who suppose there could be circumstances— social combinations— in which vice, disease, prostitution, distress would no longer grow — But that means condemning life. — A society is not free to remain young. And even at the height of its strength it has to form refuse and waste materials. The more energetically and boldly it advances, the richer it will be in failures and deformities, the closer to decline.

Age is not abolished by means of institutions. Neither is disease. Nor vice.


—Fredrich Nietzsche, Notebooks