Hitler as Philosophe: Remnants of the Enlightenment in National Socialism

By Lawrence Birken | Go to book overview

fits into the larger Enlightenment project of securing a secular substitute for salvation without destroying the notion of salvation itself. Wagnerism. harked back to the Jacobin dream of creating a national religion founded on the cult of Nature. It was thus no accident that Wagner's ideas were so offensive to Bismarck and Nietzsche alike, both of whom were in their own way "good Europeans" hostile to the nationalist implications of volkish thought. 25


NOTES
1.
See Lawrence Birken, "What Is Western Civilization"?," 25:4 ( August 1992) pp. 51-61.
2.
Elie Kedourie, Nationalism ( New York: Praeger, 1960), p. 9; also quoted in John Breuilly, ed., The State of Germany: The National Ideal in the Making, Unmaking and Remaking of a Modern Nation-State ( London and New York: Longman, 1992), p. 2.
3.
For the distinction between "transcendent" and "immanent," see Lawrence Birken , Consuming Desire: Sexual Science and the Emergence of a Culture of Abundance, 1871-1914 ( Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1988), pp. 3-11.
4.
James A. Vann, The Making of a State: Württemberg, 1593-1793 ( Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1984), p. 19; and see Mary Fulbrook, The Divided Nation: A History of Germany, 1918-1990 ( Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), pp. 4-5, for a general warning against reading German history backward.
5.
Marvin Perry, Western Civilization: A Brief History, 2d ed. ( Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1993), p. 253; Thomas Greer and Galvin Lewis, A Brief History of the Western World, 6th ed. ( Ft. Worth: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1992), p. 316.
6.
Ernst Nolte, Three Faces of Fascism: Action Française, Italian Fascism, National Socialism ( New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1966), p. 301.
7.
William Carr, "The Unification of Germany"," in Breuilly, ed., The State of Germany, pp. 88-89; Carr himself makes this point in his History of Germany, 1815- 1945 ( New York: St. Martin's Press, 1979), p. 48.
8.
Carr, History of Germany, p. 50.
9.
Bismarck, The Memoirs ( New York: Howard Fertig, 1966), pp. 2:50-51.
10.
Herbert Michaelis in Otto Pflanze, ed., The Unification of Germany: 1848- 1871 ( New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1970), p. 113.
11.
David Calleo, The German Problem Reconsidered: Germany and the World Order, 1870 to the Present ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980), p. 11.
12.
Ibid., p. 17. The problem here may be that Calleo tends to conflate the grossdeutsch and Mitteleuropa options delineated by Carr.
13.
See Breuilly, ed., The State of Germany, p. 12.
15.
George Mosse, The Crisis of German Ideology: Intellectual Origins of the Third Reich ( New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1964), pp. 4-5, 8-10.
16.
See Calleo, German Problem, pp. 3, 146-57, esp. p. 153; Mosse, German Ideology, pp. 4-5.
17.
Perry, Western Civilization, p. 425.

-31-

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Hitler as Philosophe: Remnants of the Enlightenment in National Socialism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Introduction: Hitler and the History of Ideas 1
  • Notes 9
  • 1 - Hitler as Philosophe 11
  • Notes 20
  • 2 - Volkish Nationalism in Perspective 23
  • Notes 31
  • 3 - Hitlerism in Historical Context 33
  • Notes 42
  • 4 - Fascism and the Mixed Economy 45
  • Notes 54
  • 5 - Race: The Metaphysics of the Mixed Economy 57
  • Notes 65
  • 6 - Anti-Semitism 67
  • Notes 77
  • 7 - Creators, Preservers, Destroyers: Hitler's Geopolitics 81
  • Notes 93
  • Epilogue 97
  • Notes 107
  • Selected Bibliography 109
  • Index 115
  • About the Author *
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