YDS: The Clare Spark Blog

February 16, 2010

Nazi sykewar, American style, part two

Against Decadence, collage by Clare Spark

Readers of my blogs or my book on Melville and his sometimes crypto-fascist revivers (with special emphasis in the blogs on Henry A. Murray) will remember my use of the terms “organic conservatism” or “socially responsible capitalists.” Or they may recall the blogs on Roy R. Grinker’s preference for “stability” over the search for truth. Here are some quotes from German Psychological Warfare that contains all three key words: “organic,” “responsibility,” and “stability.”  And obliterated is the conception of “natural civil rights.”

[From their annotated Bibliography:]

“12. Forsthoff, E. Der totale Staat. Hamburg: Hanseatische Verlangsanst., 1933.

THE TOTAL STATE: An apologist of the totalitarian state maintains that the German Republic eventually had to give way to the philosophy and organization of a totalitarian regime which is held to be more suited to economic progress, social tendencies, and military necessities of the 20th Century. The philosophy of the totalitarian state is described as being total responsibility in which the freedom of the individual can only be considered as a gift of the state.

“210. Wieneke, F. Charakterziehung und Nationalsozialismus. Soldin, 1936.

THE BUILDING OF CHARACTER AND NATIONAL SOCIALISM: The greatest problem of pedagogy in the Third Reich is the education and upbringing of German youth. Nazism has changed the whole conception and ideals of education. Instead of egoism and individualism which Wieneke claims led to a complete decline of German culture and morality [see 212, below], a new ‘organic’ system is emerging which will be closely related to to the national consciousness of responsibility. The author believes that all education, whether physical or mental, should be dedicated entirely to the formation of character, because national stability in the present and future can be maintained only through the decisive, firm, and strong-willed character of a nation’s individuals.”

“212. Ziegler, H.W. Wehrerziehung im neuen Geist. Erfurt: Stenger, 1935.

MILITARY EDUCATION IN THE NEW SPIRIT: The author attributes the ‘decadence of the German youth spirit’ to Republican political education. He allots to the Nazi Reich the task of raising German youth with a deeply-imbedded sense of ‘loyalty, comradeship, brotherhood, and esprit de corps.’ This will be accomplished by training Germans in ‘inner-able-bodiedness.’”

 Readers of my blog on Arne Duncan’s statism, part two (https://clarespark.com/2009/10/05/arne-duncans-statism-part-two/) with reference to Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences will find this item unsurprising:

“92. Becker, F. Die Intelligenzpruefung unter voelkischem und typologischem Gesichtspunkt. Ein Beitrag zum Problem der Auslese. [they then cite a lengthy article from 1938]

INTELLIGENCE TESTING FROM THE RACIAL AND TYPOLOGICAL POINT OF VIEW: A disciple of Jaensch criticizes intelligence test methods devised by American and German-Jewish psychologists. The American system is held to be too rigid and standardized, while pre-Hitler German psychologists overestimated the value of “pure intellect.” The author denies the existence of a homogeneous form of intelligence and maintains that intelligence is dependent on “types” and racial character. In the strident language of a pamphleteer, he demands the adaptation of typology and racism to intelligence testing.”

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10 Comments »

  1. Just taken a closer look at your illustration for this post. Interesting. I wonder, though, are you tarring everyone with the same brush – everyone who might think that we lack a more positive ethic? Murray might have been a statist. I agree with you that statism of the one-sided sort seen in fascism is bad. Surely, though, there are ways of calling for a more positive ethic which are not statist? Is Neil Postman on your hit list? I recently came across a lovely video of an interview with him about the end of education, calling for one such positive ethic in the field of education to inspire both teachers and students. It is not statist (which is unfortunately probably why it came to nothing). The video is here: http://youtu.be/GslzLHrve2M

    While looking for articles on education I also found a post about a Jewish summer camp for teenagers, describing activities aiming to cultivate a sense of social responsibility and a sense of the children’s power to do good in the world. Is this bad?

    Comment by Torn Halves — August 27, 2012 @ 6:47 am | Reply

    • Postman was a great favorite with the young New Left, many of whom adopted his anti-television, anti-technology beliefs, then on to postmodernism and other reactionary tics. As for “social responsibility” that is a buzz word for Keynesian economics, which you perhaps prefer to supply side economics. Or I should say “pseudo-Keynesian” economics, for Lord Keynes never meant his demand stimulus to be deployed except in the direst of circumstances. Read Skidelsky, if you wish.

      Comment by clarespark — August 27, 2012 @ 2:13 pm | Reply

      • I thought I was a guy who was sensitive enough to feel that there are some holes in contemporary Western culture – Western life – but now I know what I really am. I am a New Left postmodernist pseudo-Keynsian with a reactionary tic. A diagnosis is not a cure, but I guess it is a step forward.

        Comment by Torn Halves — August 28, 2012 @ 5:43 am

      • As Herman Melville once wrote, “We throw ourselves so helplessly open when we write.”

        Comment by clarespark — August 28, 2012 @ 6:07 am

  2. As much as I admire the scholarship involved in these posts, I can’t help feeling that the psychological battlefield has long been elsewhere than in odd sections of the political elite. How much was actually done in the US to persuade people that their beloved freedom could “only be considered as a gift of the state”? Much, much more was being done elsewhere using techniques springing from the same scientific sources to persuade people that their freedom could only be considered as a gift of the economy, and thus of the corporation. Personally, I find the occasional echoes of statism much less of an issue than the concerted drive to constitute everyone as a happy shopper (who must also be made to feel unhappy) from the pre-school years.

    Comment by Torn Halves — August 27, 2012 @ 6:25 am | Reply

    • It is one of the chief precepts of the progressive movement, much of it covertly antisemitic, that consumerism was the bane of America, indeed that the working class had been bourgeoisified with the illicit desire for THINGS. Of course such comforts were not part of the apparatus of our major writers who sympathized with the working class and fled the (Jew-ridden?) cities as well. These sykewar blogs are hugely important, were not just a dalliance with German philosophy, even Nazism, by the progressive elite, but the very heart of high culture in America.

      Comment by clarespark — August 27, 2012 @ 2:09 pm | Reply

  3. This information is off the hizool!

    Comment by Heaven — October 28, 2011 @ 1:14 am | Reply

  4. Organic=compost and all the rotten filth it implies.

    Comment by Scott Lloyd — June 12, 2010 @ 12:56 pm | Reply


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