Monday, September 18, 2017

Fascism started earlier than I had thought

Interesting:
General Lundendorff had absorbed (even more than Kaiser Wilhelm II had) the moral relativism and historicism that had become fashionable in the German elite in the decades running up to the First World War – ideas that can be traced all the way back to (in their different ways) such philosophers as Hegel and (far more) Fichte, whereas General Falkenhayn still clung to concepts of universal justice (morality) and rejected such things as the extermination or enslavement of whole races, and the destruction of historic civilisations such as that of Russia. Lundendorff, and those who thought like him, regarded Falkenhayn as hopelessly reactionary – for example thinking in terms of making peace with Russia on terms favourable to Germany, rather than destroying Russia and using the population as slaves. In the Middle East Falkenhayn came to hear of the Ottoman Turk plan to destroy the Jews (as the Armenian Christians had been destroyed), and he was horrified by the plan and worked to frustrate it. Advanced and Progressive thinkers, such as Ludnedorff, had great contempt for Reactionaries such as Falkenhayn who did not realise that ideas of universal justice and personal honour were “myths” only believed in by silly schoolgirls. Falkenhayn even took Christianity seriously, to Lundendorff this was clearly the mark of an inferior and uneducated mind. And Falkenhayn, for his part, came to think that his country (the Germany that he so loved) was under the influence of monsters – although while their plans to exterminate or enslave whole races and to control (in utter tyranny) every aspect of peacetime (not just wartime) life remained theoretical, he never had to make the final break.
We are taught that something went horribly wrong under the Nazis, where they corrupted the Germany of Beethoven and Schopenhauer.  It seems that the corruption was complete decades earlier.

6 comments:

Michael Egan said...

As did most university students, I took courses on 20th Century European history. My ROTC professor suggested that I take some 19th century history as well to see a longer span.

What I realized is that Germany attempting to take over the rest of Europe was a National sport for them. Occurring about every 10 years, going back to the early 1800's, Germany or a Germanic state, attempted to conquer everyone else.

If I remember correctly the second longest period of European peace was between WWI and WWII, only because Germany was so restricted.

And people wonder why we still have troops in Germany.

Will Brown said...

The reason we are all (not) taught this is because Lundendorff was enacting the principles of the Progressive school thought, within the political environment of traditional supremacist Germanic assumptions. Without the ameliorating influences of traditional Germanic religiosity, the horrors of Progressivism were laid bare.

And what would that make of John Dewey and his cohorts?

matism said...

Someone probably ought to look at Great Britain as well. One might then find that they were no better than the so-despised Germans...

Borepatch said...

Will, the victims of the Dresden and Tokyo fire bombing attacks could not be reached for comment ...

And your point (and Matism's) is well taken, that the progressive assault on traditional religion was not an accident. I think this is what Michael Eagen was getting at as well.

Goober said...

Yeah, pretty much everybody sucked back then. Germany was just more boisterous about it.

I always thought it odd to see the leaders of Great Britain threatening to attack the Germans with Indian troops, if Germany didn't stop with this whole "imperialism nonsense"

And don't even get me started on Belgium. If you never want to sleep again, read up on Belgian imperialism, specifically in africa.

It was definitely self-preservation for them to fight the Nazis, but barring the eventual discovery of the holocaust, they had very little moral standing on which to criticize the Germans in any way.

Goober said...

My previous was on reply to matism...