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: If ever there was a thinker who swam against the social and ethical tide of his day, it was Nietzsche. Nineteenth-century Europe was for him a moral wasteland filled with false altruism, duplicity, double standards, and, worst of all, moral complacency. Nietzsche shocked his readers to the core by openly speaking their innermost thoughts: morality serves the social good, which for him meant fostering the best possible society - one that strives for excellence and abhors the herd mentality. By rejecting the "standards" of contemporary morality, Nietzsche thought, one stood a chance of going beyond good and evil to a community in which superior moral agents who understand human nature would rise above vacuous egalitarianism and the dominant schools of ethical theory to construct a moral aristocracy that would spearhead a new social renaissance. Nietzsche is at once unsettling, compelling, and provocative.