NATIONALISM AND TOTALITARIANISM Mr. Fenlon APWH
19th CENTURY NATIONALISM • PATRIOTISM • ROMANTICISM • JOHANN HERDER AND THE VOLKSGEIST • THE RISE OF THE NATION-STATE AND THE DECLINE OF EMPIRES
THE “ERA OF UNIFICATIONS” • BISMARCK AND GARIBALDI • VON RANKE, NIETZSCHE, AND SCHOPENHAUER
TOTALITARIAN NATIONALISM – French Origins • Late- 19th century context: Franco-Prussian War had caused a crisis in French nationalism…Napoleon III and the monarchists (1852-70) had been discredited by the defeat, leading to the advent of the 3rd Republic • problems with the democratic approach (a multiplicity of parties, shifting coalitions, wide-ranging ideologies – known as Immobilisme resulted in an increase in monarchist influence, which was accentuated by the Boulanger Affair
1885 elections saw electoral victories on the part of the monarchists; this led the leftists (Clemenceau) to name General Boulanger to the cabinet in 1886 as Minister of War (he was a Cath./monarchist presence that the left accepted) • Bismarck saw it as a threat and began to strengthen the German army; Boulanger was thus dismissed from the cabinet as a pre-emptive measure • Boulanger was then elected as the Mayor of Paris and (still a threat), though he fled to Belgium and committed suicide on his mistress’s grave…
This conflict was exacerbated by the Panama Canal Crisis (Ferdinand de Lesseps), where French efforts were on the verge of bankruptcy • Since many involved in planning its construction were Jewish, anti-Semitic tabloids blamed Jewish politicians and engineers for apparently widespread corruption • The situation further deteriorated with the Dreyfus Affair, when a Jewish captain was accused/convicted of selling military secrets to the Germans (circumstantial evidence, scapegoatism – he was innocent); it all exemplified “les deux France”.
Charles Maurras (anti-modernist) used this atmosphere to create L’Action Francaise • he appealed to traditionalists and made use of anti-Semitism and xenophobia (many Jews had recently emigrated from Russia) • He accused them of “parasitic occupation” • This had the effect of polarizing the right and the left and helped to foster the birth of Zionism • the left had also been splintered by radical Marxism and the failure of the Paris Commune.
Into this situation, Ernst Psichari began to preach the virtues of militarism • Julien Benda also built on this theme of militant nationalism and irrationality; he came to view this as a new feature of mass Euro. politics • He saw this new political passion as a successor to religion. Anti-Semitism was a feature of this new passion, which was in turn linked to nationalism and political authoritarianism. Thus he authored The Treason of the Intellects, where he argued that it was the task of the new intellectuals to advocate nationalism to counteract this “weightlessness”.
By the 1930s, this extremism only intensified in the context of the Great Depression, Hitler’s rise to power, and the Spanish Civil War. The actions of the Vichy France government can also be explained given this context, but the WW II experience and subsequent U.S involvement helped to minimize the influence of the Fr. right…
TOTALITARIAN NATIONALISM • a form of gov’t unique to the 20th c. where absolute/total power is concentrated in the hands of dictator • assoc. w/ leaders such as Stalin, Hitler, & Mussolini, each of whom exercised unprecedented control & was able to mobilize his nation for various purposes (ex: war effort, eco. restructuring) • tot. nat’lism is a reaction to failed moderate 19th c. ideologies (esp. lib.) and is the opposite of doctrinaire Marxism (continued unstable conditions in Europe extremism)
but it is only a new era of anti-democratic gov’t in Europe, which had previously existed as CONSERVATIVE AUTHORITARIANISM (i.e absolute monarch situations) • its goals: to prevent change & maintain the old order (or status quo, therefore con.) • these monarchs were limited compared to tot. leaders, mainly b/c of the absence of 20th c. technology • Trotsky: “Stalin is Genghis Khan w/ a telescope” • CON. AUTH. leaders therefore couldn’t exercise total (mind) control over their subjects • limited freedom was often permitted as long as the status quo was undisturbed • con. auth. ultimately went into decline in early 19th c. b/c of new forces of liberalism and nat’lism
FACTORS in the rise in TOT. NAT’LISM • non-dem. tradition already present ( i.e. CON. AUTH.) • modern technology • reaction to previous ideologies • poor economic/social conditions • * tot. nat’lism is also indebted to the TOTAL WAR EFFORT first seen in WW1 • army & civilians geared to one goal: VICTORY • population as a whole forced to sacrifice & increasingly under gov’t control • ELIE HALEVY: “The varieties of modern tot. nat’lism – fascism, Nazism, and communism – may be thought of as feuding brothers with a common father, the nature of modern war.”
all this is first put to the test in Russia by Lenin, where his ideal of the VANGUARD illustrated that a determined minority could succeed in gaining control of a society • following their success in the Nov. Rev., Lenin subordinated Soviet society to the needs of the CPSU, providing the first SINGLE PARTY DICTATORSHIP • he simply took the total effort of WWI & perpetuated it into peacetime, constantly providing new goals for the people (an idea which finds its way into Stalin’s 5 year plans) • in this respect, tot. is an UNFINISHED REV.
Problem: this category includes fascism, Nazism (R) & Stalinism (L) which would traditionally would be on opposite sides of the linear political spectrum • to remedy this, various political spectrums have been devised to account for the new 20th c. ideologies • the new shapes show that while ideological differences continue to exist (ex: gov’t role in the economy, property rights), these ideologies are very similar in method (repression) • also highlights the question of reform potential - ?
FASCISM – key characteristics: • the state supersedes the individual citizen (collectivism) • emphasis on militarism • the social contract is dissolved & replaced by a dictatorship • nat’lism assumes an extreme form & is used to appeal to the emotions & motivate populations (NUREMBERGRALLIES) • because of this, fascism is unique to the individual nation
NAZISM for ex. put an emphasis on racism/anti- Semitism that was absent in Italy Nuremburg Laws, Lebensraum • Imperialism/conquest – used to glorify the nation & to express cultural superiority • EX: Italian invasion of Ethiopia (Haile Selassie) • also includes IRREDENTISM – annexing territories based on a cultural connection • used by Hitler in Sudetenland & Austria (also by Hussein & Milosevic)
HITLER’S WELTANSCHAUUNG • ALOIS SCHICKELGRUBER AND KLARA POLZL • VIENNA – KARL LUEGER • WWI AND THE VOLKISCH MOVEMENTS • GERMAN WORKERS’ PARTY
BEER HALL PUTSCH • LANDSBERG PRISON • MEIN KAMPF • “LEADER PARTY” AND THE VOLKSGEMEINSCHAFT • “GERMANY FLIGHTS” AND POLITICAL CAMPAIGNING
THE REICHSTAG • THE DAY OF POTSDAM – HINDENBURG • 1933 – THIRD REICH…
Mar 21, 1933 – staged photo of Hindenburg and Hitler (after Hitler had won the Mar 5 elecs) – • Potsdam church – where Pr. kings had been crowned • Hitler was chancellor as of Jan. but he wanted a full majority • So Hindenburg was in full uniform (= mil. tradition) • Hitler in suit/civilian clothes and slightly bowing (thus not a mil. coup) • Goebbelswanted this to create continuity and more pop. support – the fact that all this was in a church further legitimized it – and the image showed that the army was ready to accept Hitler – the army was what worried him the most • So given the symbolism, there was little resistance – legitimacy instead of a rev!
ANTI-SEMITISM AND (TOTALITARIAN) NATIONALISM • …French Revolution (1789) - Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen • All men are created equal. • No one can take away your natural rights • No one should be discriminated against because of religious beliefs. • People who are born free and live in a country must be included as citizens of the country in which they were born • …this began a semantic debate on the def. of the “nation”… the legal relationship b/n Jews and non-Jews changed at the same time – Jews were emancipated in all Euro. nations during the 19th c.
In France, it was possible to become a member of the nation by living there for a time Fr Jews could thus get equal rts. • when Nazism came around, it rebelled against the “ideas of 1789” – Nazism was thus in opposition to the Enlightenment and the Fr. Rev. • 1920 – the platform of the emerging Nazi party : • A citizen of the state can be only a member of the nation • A member of the nation must have German blood • no Jew could become a member of the nation, and so cannot become a citizen of the state. • If they are not citizens, they have no rights.
New societal forms threatened the Euro. community and social structure by allowing the Jews to mix w/ others this new openness created opportunities that were unheard of for previous generations • Industrialization added to this revolution… • Jewish ghettoes were often close to center of developing urban areas. • Already established as residents and merchants • Jews were already well educated because it had always been a high priority • They were able to join local education systems and could excel at school, demonstrating appreciation for newfound freedoms and rights • perceptions of Jews changed in the 19th c. often this created resentment as Jews entered the professions and climbed the social ladder • in some places (i.e., Vienna) the cultural life was basically Jewish, making people feel like the Jews had an unfair advantage
It was also an era of new ideologies: liberalism, socialism, and nationalism… • Jews became champions of liberalism and socialism • Liberalism – human rights, equal rights, tolerance, religious freedom, free enterprise • Driving ideology of the bourgeoisie • Fit exactly the new economy of the newly freed Jewish society • Socialism – attracted a different group of Jews • Mostly emancipated Jews who wanted to assimilate • Jews believed that socialism would do away with any kind of discrimination, allowing them to solve many of the problems they had faced - and socialism was anti-nationalist…some branches of nationalism were extremely anti-Semitic…
This extreme nat’lism/jingoism alienated Jews – they could not join in because it was very much about the “blood” relationship of citizens • Nothing Jews did could make them part of that group • accusing a person of having Jewish blood meant that that person could not be a real Pole, or German, etc… • Jews felt brotherhood to Jews in other places, and that wasn’t consistent with feeling as though they were citizens in the nation in question…
So anti-Semitism took on many facets: eco, natl, racial… • the search for social differences had been a focus of early 19th century research – an intellectual/ logical product of European and North American thinking • Darwinism – trying to understand biology, with the direct outcome of Social Darwinism...applying his methods and conclusions to the field of human society • It is possible to evade the issue of religious anti-Semitism (by converting), but it not possible to evade racial anti-Semitism (because you can’t change how you were born) • Political anti-Semitic movements had not been very strong - until mass mobilization began to occur…and that occurred at the same time that racial anti-Sem. was developing as a sideline to nationalism • so anti-Semitism was taken up as a pol platform in some areas, inc. by Karl Lueger, the mayor of Vienna
NOTE: The next 3 slides are based on the “logic” of the anti-Semite… • How did anti-Semites attempt to explain Jewish behaviour (as they saw it)? • Jews were seen as parasites so if the “other” is not there, there will be total destruction since Jews can’t live w/o a body to consume, the ultimate Jewish outcome is thus the annihilation of the world thus Jews must be destroyed to save the world the Final Solution is therefore rooted in racial anti-Semitism Jews are condemned to self-destructive behaviour and their fate is thus unavoidable • This twisted logic is the heart of Nazism: only Jews could prepare for a paradise on earth premised on equality (either the religious myth of the Bible, or Marx’s socialism) the Jew pretends to himself that he is elevating the world (their Jewish nature compels them to this goal) so anti-Semites thus saw the truth of this impending self-destruction (and they had to act on it)
Jews are living out the tragedy of Satan – this/Jewish process could only lead to self-destruction and chaos, where the world would return to primeval state of nothingness in the cosmos all of this necessitates the Final Solution • “The Jew fraudulently introduced Christianity to the modern world to destroy it” is it a coincidence that it happened in Judea? – no, it’s a Jewish conspiracy of compassion (anyone can go to Heaven, even Caesar) Jews thus penetrated the Roman Empire and destroyed it…the goal of Jews is always to destroy the est. order (thus Jesus and Marx are the same) • the destruction of Jews in Lithuania and elsewhere was rationalized, as was German brutality on the e. front …Jews invented the theological concept of Good and Evil; it must be scrapped
a dictator is needed to force people to understand the real threat so re-education is needed to create the volksgemeinschaft • Jewish/Christian/Marxist theologies of paradise all follow a dialectic pattern of conflict to achieve an ultimate paradise but the Jews invented it all – it’s a big story to promote false consciousness = the Jewish Bluff • To Whittaker Chamberlain/Bayreuth Circle, the laws of survival are always there and must be rediscovered peace is not possible and we must avoid this sedation • The logic of the anti-Semitic argument constant chain of conflict and racial struggle there is a constant purification of race… • There will always be Jews – when the Jews are killed, nature will invent another threat as part of its own cycle of natural selection • Anti-Semitism was thus seen as a “defence mechanism” – the Nazis saw it, while the “idiot” Churchill did not…Hitler decided to act to redeem the world from the curse…