NS Leadership IQ

10 posts

Bob Dylan Roof
Niccolo and Donkey

Good find Roland:

Hjalmar Schacht (143)


Bob Dylan Roof

At least two geniuses, and a couple of TTTs

This kind of half-baked sentiment was common to era, and it finds an enduring voice in the polemic of a lot of historians.

Keitel, Jodl, Donitz, Goering, and Rader are the only military men I identify on a cursory glance of that list - unless you count Kaltenbrenner but Kaltenbrenner's post wasn't really a military command in any traditional sense.

Donitz was actually considered a brilliant naval commander even by his enemies - the English at Nuremberg actually behooved the tribunal to afford him leniency because they considered him to have been a man who scrupulously abided the laws and customs of naval warfare. Keitel and Jodl were careerists of a sort, and certainly not the top talent of the OKW; however, they, along with Goering, were often held out as an example of ''Prussianism'' gone haywire.

I suppose where I am going with this is that one the one hand, the traditional European critique of the NSDAP regime seems to rest on Betrand Russell's claim about it - that it was an apocalyptic revolt of petty bourgeois and radicalized proletarians led by rabble rousing and vulgar enlisted men; or as Joachim Fest seemed to allege, it was a conspiracy of a waning Prussian officer corps to secure its historical legacy and permanence by undertaken a massively homicidal mission of sonderweg .

The American claim that the NSDAP viewed themselves as ''supermen'' has always struck me of the kind of proudly dumb perspective of Yankee types, aroused by misplaced moral fervor, that was largely informed by things like newsstand magazines that specialized in gruesome war atrocity tales and War Department dispatches about the intrinsic cultural militarism of the ''Hun''.

You'll find I believe that the sociology of the 19th and early 20th century in America, and to a lesser degree in Britain, was quite a bit more oriented towards elaborate theories of supermen and rigidly biological descriptions of the world's races than anything that enjoyed mainstream acceptance in Europe (with the exception perhaps of Gobineau and Houston Stuart Chamberlain).

One thing that can be discerned from Lothrop Stoddard's book on the Third Reich (he was a guest of the regime and actually met with Hitler, in addition to visiting a eugenics court as it was in session) was the competing viewpoints on the racial question between Europeans and Americans - the German impetus for the race laws was very much politicized and inextricably bound up with what they viewed as the political challenges of the day. It was in a sense, pragmatic - as pragmatic and these kinds of things could be at least. Stoddard's view on the other hand was quite a bit more global, and apparently premised on a grave anxiety that the ''superior'' racial stock of the world was coming under threat by way of unchecked breeding and a relegation to complacency of White peoples that undermined racial hygiene generally.

I don't want to hijack the thread, but let it suffice that the Americans had a far more all encompassing view of ''White'' superiority than the Germans did - the NS view of it was that the distilled and corporeal essence of the nation and all of its creativity, beauty, and vitality, could be identified in biological terms, and that this purported fact had profound political implications. The American view, then as now - although at present the moral dimension of it has been inverted, has always viewed race qua race as a characteristic of global significance, unrelated to any discrete political or historical problem. If any people ever believed themselves to be ''supermen'' (whatever that means), it was the American White man of 1945.
Bob Dylan Roof
Could you elaborate on this more? I'm familiar with the white supremacism of American millenialism, exemplified in the writings of historical figures like Teddy Roosevelt, as well as the unsavory fact that Eugenics was essentially invented in and promoted by the U.S. But how was America's exceptionalism more oriented toward creating "supermen" than programs like the Lebensborn ? (keep in mind that my knowledge of such programs comes from the History Channel/Ice Road Truckers).

Additionally, why do you think American supremacism declined so rapidly after WW2?
America viewed its population in concrete racial terms for the entirety of its history IMO - when this racial consciousness came about full bore is complicated, because its not really possible to discern when a cultural idea or sympathetic orientation or a founding myth came about specifically in any historical place or circumstance.

One thing we do know is that King Phillips War was in fact an explicit race war - that isn't a historical interpretation, the combatants themselves on all sides viewed it that way. So we could probably determine that Northerners developed a stark racial consciousness when they started becoming embroiled in genocidal wars with the red Indians that constituted actual wars, and not tit for tat raids or low intensity hostilities. In the South it was different - there were lords and vassals who identified as Englishmen and who emulated in direct ways the social structuring of the Ulster Plantation, but with the added dyad of potential civil strife with the comparatively huge presence of Negro slaves. I don't want to run with this tangent but I'll qualify the statement by saying that my research on early America indicates that this claim (the South was simply an imperial model of plantation labor) isn't just Marxist revisionism - its apparently true.

So, in short, the American political identity until the Second World War and the fall of Europe was that of White men establishing dominion over a historically recent discovery and collectively defending against their colored enemies and guarding their own national existence and posterity from racial aliens among them.

I think in contrast, Lebensborn , and the concomitant idea that German racial stock had to be cultivated towards relative perfection was, as I indicated, generated in the European mind by two different but related tendencies. First and foremost, every theory of the state in the modern era, save for dissident reactionary perspectives and fledging Romantic cultural movements, was premised on claims that statecraft was ''scientific'', and that science in the service of history was unimpeachable. Germans in the 1930s and 40s didn't interpret the ''science'' of the day in radically different terms than did the USSR or the United States - in fact, I'd suggest it had less fascination over the German mind than it did the Russian or the American, simply b/c the NS idea was simply to augment the political community and better prepare it for survivial, warfare and prosperity. It wasn't tailored to eradicate anti-social tendencies and liberate people from poverty and social vices (as Galton and Stoddard seemed to believe was possible) nor did it aim to create a ''New Man'' who wasn't burdened by history and thus could usher in an era of ahistorical utopia (as was the underlying mythos of Soviet anthropology and sociology). So, the NS view could be thought of as posing a question - ''How does eugenics better serve our (now total) politics?'' American eugenics was always, in contrast, premised on a postulate that all manner of disease and dysfunction was simply biological and thus eugenics should be implemented as an end in itself.

Because the only way America could combat Stalinism amidst the colored revolt was to temper its institutionalized brutality to non-Whites and incentivize cooperation with a new world order that was patently inimical to their political interests. ''Anti-Nazism'' is really just a highly aggressive and propagandized anti-Europeanism - and anti-Europeanism is the ethical basis of post-Nuremberg international order.
Bob Dylan Roof
Do you mean that the purpose of German Eugenics, as opposed to the purposes of the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. Eugenics movements, was more functional and oriented toward its political conflicts? I.e., German euthanasia of invalids and the Lebensborn were not tailored toward the creation of superior types but rather toward a nation that would be successful in impending political conflicts.
Germany's modern national consciousness was always crisis-oriented; from the formative and catastrophic experience of the final creedal wars in the 17th century, to the formal inception of the unitary German state in the 19th century -partly in response to the burgeoning democratic absolutism of France - through the Great War (punctuated by the defeat in 1918) and dramatically exascerbated by the truly ominous events in Russia that occurred simultaneously.

A lot of the mythos of German/Prussian ''militarism'' can be attributed to the fact that the German lands were (for the people that populated them) unfortunately situated geostrategically, but were also of massive significance as an axial pivot of European power generally. So the Germans were essentially beleaguered perpetually by the eastern Slavs )whose presence always loomed large in the European mind) and France, which was a great land and maritime power that had no anxieties about its own Western flank once it finally made a permanent peace with England in the wake of Waterloo.

To the German statesman, from Arminius to Adolf Hitler, the strategic landscape was always characterized by the existential risk of being devoured by comparatively great powers to both East and West who coveted the entirety of the European component of the 'world island' land mass. So it was always incumbent upon German states to strike first, and strike aggressively when possible. Not to digress to far but this tendency is clear in the ancient Germans aggressive pushing outward to the Rhine, the river ultimately becoming their first frontier across which their enemies would after a while no longer attempt trespass. In the East in the medieval and modern eras, we see it with the creation of Prussia by blatant appropriation of land from the aboriginal Wends - make no mistake, Prussia was essentially barren of any exploitable resources and its land was comparatively arid. The conquest of it was an exclusively geopolitical imperative.

So when we extrapolate these formative and perennial circumstances of the German people to the 20th century, National Socialism and its guiding ideas become quite a bit less opaque. Germany's orientation was by necessity one of hyper-aggressive (and often pre-emptive) defense of the realm. They didn't view themselves as a ''new Israel'' in a land of plenty where they had become the unchallenged masters of a continent (as the American White man saw himself) - thus, they were not oriented towards social hygiene as a proposition in itself. The T4 program was actually abandoned when public opinion came out against it. The Germans overwhelmingly supported the Nurermberg Laws but they were appalled by T4 - this tells us something. Nor did the Germans wish to break with history or set about to end its processes through armed struggle and civil war as the Soviets did - they wanted to utilize science and technics to an opposite purpose, as was very much on Heidegger's mind.
Bob Dylan Roof

I find your argument to be compelling. Obviously there was an ideological component at work here, but I find it plausible that Germany's historical and geographical position forced its national hand in a variety of ways. I assume your interpretation of Lebensraum and Grossraum follows the same trajectory.

I still have trouble with the notion that German ethno-nationalism, nordicism, and exceptionalism were not tinted by an air of elitism and formed by more than just an impulse to protect Europe (albeit an impulse formed by the historical and geostrategic constraints forced onto Germany.) Perhaps the media places too much emphasis on the manic wanderings of ideologues like Rosenberg and LARPers like Himmler, but it nevertheless seems like your argument belies the role of some other powerful impetus, like a northern European-centric sense of destiny - a philosophy. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Hitler admire the Anglo-Saxon conquest of North America and justify the eastern expansion in analogous terms?

Indeed. Hitler saw the writing on the wall and he fully intended to conquer the Caucausus and the Ukraine and ethnically cleanse the eastern Slavs and replace them with German racial stock - and he was entirely conscious of the need to compete in the future on an equal footing with America. This was also bound up with Europe's historical crisis of civilization - but both of these things were historically reactive, not ends in themselves.

Spengler, Heidegger, Nietzsche, Fitche, et. al. were ''crisis philosophers'' - NS eugenics was ''crisis science''. That's different IMO than Hugo Black wringing his hands over looming imbecility and the dirtying of racial hygiene as open-ended social problems that must be addressed progressively.