Metapolitics: From Wagner and the German Romantics to Hitler

Cover
Transaction Publishers, 1965 - 530 Seiten

More than half a century after the fall of the Third Reich, Nazism, its roots and its essential nature, remain a central and unresolved enigma of the twentieth century. During the period of Hitler's ascendancy, most attempts at explaining this unprecedented phenomenon were framed in "economic," often Marxist, sociological terms and concepts. Peter Viereck's Metapolitics, initially published in 1941, broke with this convention by indicting Hitler in terms of the Judaic-Christian ethical tradition and locating certain elements of the Nazi worldview in German romantic poetry, music, and social thought. Newly expanded, Metapolitics remains a key work in the cultural interpretation of Nazism and totalitarianism and in the psychological interpretation of Hitler as a Wagnerite and failed artist.

The term "metapolitics," a coinage from Richard Wagner's nationalist circle, signifies an ideology resulting from five distinct strands: romanticism (embodied chiefly in the Wagnerian ethos), the pseudo-science of race, Fuehrer worship, vague economic socialism, and the alleged supernatural and unconscious force of the Volk collectivity. Together, those elements engendered an emphasis on irrationalism and hysteria and belief in a special German mission to direct the course of the world's history.

Viereck analyzes nineteenth-century German thought's conflicting attitudes toward political procedures and social arrangements rooted in classical, rational, legalistic, and Christian traditions. This edition includes an appreciation by Thomas Mann and an exchange with Jacques Barzun debating Viereck's criticism of German romanticism. Viereck's essays on the case of Albert Speer, on Claus von Stauffenberg (the German officer who led the army conspiracy to assassinate Hitler), and on the poets Stefan George and Georg Heym appear here for the first time in book form.

 

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Inhalt

INTRODUCTION TO THE TRANSACTION EDITION
xiii
THOMAS MANN ON METAPOUTICS
li
NEW SURVEY FOR THE 1960s
lxiii
The German Problem
3
The Two Souls in Action
48
Father John the First Storm Trooper
63
The Metapolitics of Richard Wagner
90
Hitler and Wagner
126
The Theology of Terror
303
The Rooted German
317
Albert Speer and Steeled Romanticism
323
In Search of Stauffenberg
329
The Sullen Lyricism of
337
The Flawed Genius of Stefan George and His
358
THE OUTSIDER AS
406
Twilight of the Outward Life
454

Solution to the
178
Fichte Hegel Treitschke Hitler
189
A Different View of the German Republic
209
Part II
240
Nazi Religion versus Christian Religion
281
SYNOPSIS OF ROSENBERGS POSTS
478
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS WAGNERS
495
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY OF BOOKS BY
503
Urheberrecht

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Beliebte Passagen

Seite vi - Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.
Seite vi - Mundi Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds. The darkness drops again; but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep ' Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, 20 And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

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