The Formal Philosophy of Monsters

A lot of intellectuals contributed to the current situation, and even though many of them are changing sides, nobody has discussed where all these dangerous ideas first came from. Now before you read this, you may want to crack a cold one and cue up the theme music from the Twilight Zone. Which is appropriate because we are going back to 1962.

In 1962, WWII had been over for less than 20 years. The famous scientific historian Karl Popper wrote a history of the early Prussian empire in the 1820s, and how it used Greek philosophy, and how it would later give birth to Facism. It's call "The Open Society and Its Enemies." It also gives Marxism a big smack down.

After the American and French Revolutions, the role of monarchy was in doubt, so the Prussian princes hired Hegel to cobble together an offical philosophy that could be used the address the "problem of the Constitution" - the reforms that the public was demanding.  So Hegel obliging came up with a plan that the "king could use to purge his government of reformers and national liberals who had contributed to his success." Hegel dusted off Plato to create a policy of worship for the State, a winner-take-all world view where success was clearly an expression of God's will. Using Aristotle's concept of "essence," Hegel said that a state only defines itself interms of warfare with its neighbors. Popper points oput that these ideas were not original, just waiting to be dusted off, and that if we are to prevent the rise of totalitarian states, we should never forget that they have a playbook ready to pull out, and that there are students always being indoctorinated with this philosophy.


Philosophically, Hegel used dialectics to "prove" that what people thought they would get from a Consitution was completely the opposite of what they wanted, and that clearly a monarch was far better protection than a Constitution. Schopenhaur would later describe this an "intelligence destroying pseudo philsophy" and a "mischevious and criminal misuse of language." (p 63) to justify a totalitarian state


Here are the specific points:


One nations "spirit" must dominate the world (v2 p 62) so it "must ultimately aim at world domination." (v2 p63)


Pre-emptive war is the moral equivalent of defense (v2 p 76)


War is not only inevitable, it is a logical imperative (v2 p65)


War is what defines a nation and reveals its true potential (v2 p 65). Apparently the phrase "War President" had not been invented.


Success in war is the only standard for success of a nation, "History is sole judge." (v2 p 62, 66)


The State is exempt from any moral obligation (v2 p 62), and it is above the law of man since its fate is an expression of God's will.


War is essential to unite the population (v2 p 69)


The State must permeate "art, laws, religion, and science" (v2 p63)


The country must be lead by a Great Man who is "gripped by superior powers of Fate" (v2 p72,73)


The Great Man "knows how to despise public opinion" (v2 p 73)


The Great Man is motivated by "passions, private aims, and the satisfaction of selfish desires." (v2 p74)


The Great Man has the "philosophy of a gambler" (v2 p78). "For it is an attack on the idea of civil life itself; this is denounced as shallow and materialistic, because of the idea of security that it cherishes. Live dangerously! is its imperative." (v2 p75) (Can you say "ownership society?")


"Their power lies in the fact that they respect none of the limitations that justice and morality would imposse on them." (v2 p74)


Propaganda is always justified, and since (philosophically) belief is the same as reality (v2 p 41, 68), propaganda IS reality. The only "bad" propaganda is propaganda that is not strong enough.


Truth becomes whatever you believe, or what the Great Leader tell the people to believe (v2 p73)


Traditional Christian and Jewish moral law must be ignored or replaced with an Apocalyptic vision in which "any attempt to improve the human condition is a petty rebellion against God." (v2 p 63,67,76)


"There is a neurotic, an hysterical element in this exaggerated stress on the importance of the stress between the self and the collective.... (v2 p276 And who is Fox News calling a traitor this week?)..the secret of the strong emotional appeal of the ethics of hero-worship, of the ethics of domination and submission." (v2 p276)


"It is the morality of those who, being polical or intellectual aristocrats, have a chance of getting into the textbooks of history." (v2 p277)


"This absolute nihilism...is not a popular creed. It is a confession characteristic of an esoteric group who have surrendered their reason, and with it their humanity." (v2 p76)


Now if someone had written this today, some critics would say this was "sour grapes" but this was written in 1962.

Tags: Bush, conspiracy, policy (all tags)

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