The 'public' is a phantom, the phantom of an opinion supposed to exist in a vast number of persons who have no effective interrelation and though the opinion is not effectively present in the units. Such an opinion is spoken of as 'public opinion,' a fiction which is appealed to by individuals and by groups as supporting their special views. It is impalpable, illusory, transient; ''tis here, 'tis there, 'tis gone'; a nullity which can nevertheless for a moment endow the multitude with power to uplift or destroy.
With the disintegration of all that [Nietzsche] had revered, existence, to him, had become a desert in which only one thing remained, namely that which had relentlessly forced him into this path: truthfulness that knows no limits and is not subject to any condition.
It has become obligatory to fulfil a function which shall in some way be regarded as useful to the masses...Even an articulated mass always tends to become unspiritual and inhuman. It is life without existence, superstition without faith. It may stamp all flat; it is disinclined to tolerate independence and greatness, but prone to constrain people to become as automatic as ants.
Man is always something more than what he knows of himself. He is not what he is simply once and for all, but is a process; he is not merely an extant life, but is, within that life, endowed with possibilities through the freedom he possesses to make of himself what he will by the activities on which he decides.