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Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Of Nazis and Nietzche

Timothy Birdnow

I've long argued that Nietzche and Schopenhaur were precursors to National Socialism (or, rather, were philosophical underpinnings that laid the foundation for Nazism). Our friend Mark Musser has gone me far better, writing an outstanding article for American Thinker illustrating that very fact.

Here is just a snippet:

"In Hitler's lesser-known second book called Secret Book, he wrote that though religious ascetics deny natural instinct, "[t]he fact of his own existence is already a refutation of his protest. Nothing that is made of flesh and blood can escape the laws which determined its coming into being. As soon as the human mind believes itself to be superior to them, it destroys that real substance which is the bearer of the mind." Such an amazing quotation from the F├╝hrer strongly reflects the existential influence of Nietzsche.

In the mid-1930s, Englishman Anthony Ludovici (1882-1971), an expert on Nietzsche and translator of many of his works, visited the Third Reich. Ludovici wrote glowingly of his visit to Nazi Germany. He gave his personal opinion on how much Nietzsche's influential philosophy could be witnessed in the new Germany. He even spoke of "Hitler's sincere and earnest admiration of Nietzsche's philosophy."

Ludovici was most impressed with the Nazi "back to the land" movement. The Nazis began setting up labor camps all over the Reich to help make Germany become more arable with a racist, local-only green farmer policy. Under the SS leadership of Heinrich Himmler (1900-1945) and Richard Walter Darre (1895-1953), the Nazis concocted a green racist collectivist program designed to re-ruralize Germany and thus root the economy into the soil of the homeland. They believed that this program would save Germany from the cultural degeneracy of the Jewified international city by developing a hearty and healthy people close to the land.

Ludovici said that the Nazis selected desirable people along strict biological lines to resettle the countryside. He pointed out that the Labor Service slowed down the great migrations to the cities. This was viewed very positively because he believed that modern city life destroyed the natural biological health of the nation. It also artificially uprooted people from the existential realities of nature and made them dependent upon the political chaos of profit and labor created by the capitalists and the socialists. Ludovici believed that urbanization, industrialism, religion, and the anti-existential emphasis of Western philosophy since Socrates (469-399 B.C.) were quickly leading Europe to biological ruin because of the impact of the Industrial Revolution. Ludovici was thus very impressed with what the Nazis were doing."

End excerpt.

Mark is the author of Nazi Oaks, a tour de force that shows the Nazis for what they were; Green zealots dreaming of a Wagnerian utopia. As such, they were the forerunners of modern environmentalists (as well as eugenics). Mark has now made the connections (explored but very loosely by scholars) between Nietzchean existential thinking and Nazism. A must read!

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