General information Friedrich Nietzsche, Nazism

It's odd how many secular humanists use Nazism to trash Christianity, yet are in denial on how this atheist that went insane had everything to do with Nazism. Nazism is a mostly secular philosophy in my view, so I'll let the reader decide. L. Loflin

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) not only stands today as one of the greatest modern philosophers, but similarly as one surrounded by turmoil and controversy. Most of this controversy arose in the 1930's with the rise of the Nazi party in Germany. Nietzsche's philosophy thus developed the reputation of being quite taboo as the Nazis used and abused his words in order to suit their own personal agendas. Included in his masterful oeuvres were his theory of the "superman" or "new philosopher" , the decadence of the masses, the necessary unification of the European states under one will and one goal, the innate cruelty to the human condition, and of course his most acclaimed and notarized view of the death of God.

Specifically abused by the Nazi party were his views on the "superman" which was twisted to support the Aryan race, and his goal of European unification which thus justified the German occupancy of territories during the Second World War. Aside from this, Nietzsche quite successfully and amazingly found the ability to maintain a rationalist standpoint in an age of emerging empirical views of the world. His adherence to the relative consciousness and more over the relative moral system of the individual destroyed the presupposed western ideal of absolute universal ethics. His similar distaste for any notion of religion or God brought atheism into the forefront of discussion for the 20th century philosopher.


'God is dead'

Nietzsche first made this existentialist claim in The Gay Science (1882) via that old literary standby, the truth-speaking madman. Nietzsche opposed the idea of a single, all-knowing God, and wanted to focus people's attention on earthly life only.

He thought the notion of a better life after death furnished the grounds for the deprecation of this life. Nietzsche takes strikingly different attitudes toward the Old Testament, which he respected, and the New Testament, which he detested. He believed the New Testament didn't improve upon the Old or show any progress. To an extent, Nietzsche respected Jesus of Nazareth, the man, and wrote: "In truth there was only one true Christian, and he died on the Cross."

"For Nietzsche, the legacy of Jesus was basically a practice of holding the kingdom of God within you and being the kingdom of God in your daily life, and he believes that this practice - this original Christianity - is possible at all times, but rare." "Nietzsche sees himself here as flying in the face of Luther's belief that Christian faith will produce Christian charity and Christian works. For Nietzsche, with respect to men like Paul, Luther, Knox, Torquemada and Loyola, faith served as a screen for their inability to perform Christian works - a mask for fanatical cruelty."

Nietzsche in the 20th and 21st centuries

On the morning of Jan. 3, 1889, he was in Turin, Italy, and saw a coachman whipping a horse in the Piazza Carlo Alberto. Nietzsche threw his arms around the horse and collapsed. He spent the last 11 years of his life in a catatonic state under the care of his sister, Elizabeth, before dying in 1900.

His sister was taking fascist, editorial liberties with his unpublished work. (Earlier, she had married a man named Bernard Forster, and they had worked to establish an Aryan, anti-Semitic colony called New Germany in Paraguay.) Nietzsche would have been horrified to discover his name associated with Hitler's movement. On the other hand, Elizabeth was delighted. She took editorial control of her brother's literary estate and established a Nietzsche archive, where she once entertained Hitler.

Nietzsche's reputation was further tarnished by the Nazis, whose sympathizers did all they could to appropriate his writings. But doing this was not easy; it necessitated pulling statements out of context and playing other textual games of Twister. There have even been books, such Richard Oehler's Friedrich Nietzsche und die Deutsche Zukunft (1935), which attempt to identify Nietzsche with Nazi goals. (Walter Kauffman, the late Nietzsche translator, called Oehler's book "one of the most unscrupulous books ever to have come from a writer with some scholarly pretensions.")

Selected Readings

The Birth of Tragedy (1872)
Untimely Meditations (1873-6)
Human, All Too Human (1878)
Assorted Opinions and Maxims (1879)
The Wanderer and his Shadow (1880)
The Dawn (1881)
The Gay Science (1882)
Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883-5)
Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
Ecce Homo (1887-8)

Karl Lueger

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Born in Vienna, he graduated in law from the University of Vienna (receiving his doctorate in 1870). He founded and led the Christian Social Party which took political power from the German Liberals in Vienna and combated the Social Democrats. A faction in the Austrian parliament, the Christian Social Party won Vienna city council in 1895 and subsequently helped Lueger win mayoralty. After three refusals, pro-Jewish Emperor Franz Josef (who allegedly loathed him as a person) finally sanctioned his election in 1897. He was the mayor of Vienna from 1897 to 1910.

Anti-Semitic Policies

Known for his anti-semitism, Lueger was credited by Adolf Hitler as an inspiration for his own virulent hatred of anything Jewish. He also advocated racist policies against all non-German speaking minorities in Austria-Hungary. He voted, in 1887, for Georg Ritter von Schonerer's proposed bill to restrict the immigration of Russian and Romanian Jews. He was an admirer of Edouard Drumont.

He also overtly supported the Guido-von-List-Society (Guido-von-List-Gesellschaft), an occult nationalist society of highly dubious intellectual standing.

Edouard Drumont

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Edouard Drumont (1844-1917) was a French journalist and writer, known for his anti-semitic ideas.

His book 1886 La France Juive (Jewish France) attacked the role of Jews in France and argued for their exclusion from society. In 1892 Edouard Drumont founded the newspaper the La Libre Parole which became a platform for virulent anti-semitism. This newspaper also came out against 'Diana Vaughan', an invention of Leo Taxil, before Taxil admitted that his anti-masonic protegee did not exist in 1897. La Libre Parole preferred the 'seeress' Henriette Couedon.

Edouard Drumont was sued for accusing a parliamentary deputy of having taken a bribe from the prominent Jewish banker Edouard Alphonse de Rothschild to pass a piece of legislation the banker wanted.

Drumont was superstitious and used to carry a mandrake root around with him and attacked Georges Boulanger on the basis of palmistry. Drumont attracted many supporters and was one of the primary sources of anti-semitic ideas that would later be embraced by Nazism. He exploited the Panama Company Scandal and reached the peak of his notoriety during the Dreyfus Affair, in which he was the most strident of Dreyfus' accusers.

Christian Social Party

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Christian Social Party (CS) was an Austrian political party from 1893 to 1933 and is a predecessor of the contemporary Austrian People's Party.

It was founded in 1893 by Karl Lueger and developed from the Christian Social Movement and the Christian Social Club of Workers. It was oriented towards the bourgeoisie and clerical-catholic; there were many priests in the party, including Chancellor Ignaz Seipel. This attracted a large amount of voters from the conservative rural population. Its support of Austro-Hungarian Monarchy also gave it considerable popularity among nobles.

From 1907 to 1911 it was the strongest party in the Lower House of the Reichsrat, but it then lost this position to the Social Democratic Workers' Party. During World War I, it supported the government, but after the end of the monarchy in 1918 it voted for the creation of a republic and Austria's accession to Germany.

From 1918 to 1920 it formed a coalition with the SDAPO. In 1920, as the strongest party, it entered into a coalition with the Greater German People's Party and the Landbund. All Chancellors of Austria from 1920 were members of the Christian Social Party, and so was the president from 1928 to 1938. From 1929 onwards, the party tried to ally with the Heimwehr movement. However, this coalition turned not to be stable, which is why the party leadership decided to form a coalition with the Landbund and the Greater German Party again.

In the process of establishing the so-called Austro-fascist dictorship, Christian Social Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss merged the Christian Social Party into the Patriotic Front in 1933. After the Anschluss of Austria to Nazi Germany, the party was banned in March 1938 and ceased to exist. After the Second World War, the party was not founded anew. Most of its supporters and politicians thought the name was too closely knit to Austrofascism, they founded the OVP party, which can be regarded as the inheriting party of the CS.