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From German Marxism to Heidegger's Post Modern Fascism
The Intellectual Conservative ^ | 3-4-14 | Mark Musser

Posted on 03/04/2014 3:50:06 PM PST by Olympiad Fisherman

While Cold War geopolitics has recently reasserted itself in the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, America is profoundly mired politically and culturally on the inside with a Post Modernism that accentuates multi-cultural, ethnic, and indigenous differences at the expense of the classic American melting pot ideal. Such identity politics is far more rooted in Fascism than in classic Marxism.

(Excerpt) Read more at intellectualconservative.com ...


TOPICS: History; Society
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1 posted on 03/04/2014 3:50:06 PM PST by Olympiad Fisherman
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To: Olympiad Fisherman

Interesting article.


2 posted on 03/04/2014 4:02:22 PM PST by fso301
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To: Olympiad Fisherman; wideawake; ek_hornbeck
This is a very good article.

I have also often thought that the contemporary left would scarcely be recognized by the universalist, rationalist, and fan of industrialization Karl Marx.

3 posted on 03/04/2014 4:23:39 PM PST by Zionist Conspirator (The Left: speaking power to truth since Shevirat HaKelim.)
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To: Olympiad Fisherman
But if you read The New Republic or The Nation, they don't have any use for Heidegger.

There's a difference between the political left and the more cloistered academic left when it comes to Heidegger, at least.

4 posted on 03/04/2014 4:57:33 PM PST by x
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To: Zionist Conspirator

I had not thought of that, but I think you are very correct!


5 posted on 03/04/2014 5:24:25 PM PST by Olympiad Fisherman
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To: x

Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
Who could think you under the table.


6 posted on 03/04/2014 5:25:36 PM PST by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: x

Heidegger cannot be defended, but many still do not realize how much his ideas still have had incredible influence overt the modern mindset. He was the philosophical western prophet of the 20th century.


7 posted on 03/04/2014 5:26:05 PM PST by Olympiad Fisherman
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To: x

Good point about the cloistered academic left.


8 posted on 03/04/2014 5:26:47 PM PST by Olympiad Fisherman
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To: Olympiad Fisherman
The author hints at why this conversion took place. For Marx the ONLY class delimiter that counted was economic. The international proletariat (properly imbued with class consciousness) had solidarity within itself, and so did the bourgeoisie, etc. This transcended nationality in Marxian theory.

In practice, it did not, and the advent of other class delimiters such as sex, race, ethnicity, are later grafts usually but not entirely ascribed to the Frankfurt School. Here once again only "false consciousness" leads someone to consider himself a Frenchmen or a Canadian instead of primarily a man or woman, black or white, Italian or Jewish. But Marx was correct about what this would do to his theory of classes - because people have memberships in multiple such classes (and nationality is just as much a one as the others) the solidarity is diluted and relations between the classes become muddied - as they are in practice. Whatever this is, Marxism it is not.

Marxian theory turned out to be quaint and rather old-fashioned over only a little time. By 1860, when he began Capital, the predictions he and Engels had made in the 1848 Manifesto concerning the proletariat and capitalism in general - increasing illiteracy, falling profits, etc - were demonstrably not the case. But Marxian techniques, that is, the agitation of class rivalry and the employment of amoral manipulation to break down the structure of the existing society - these turned out to be, and remain, very successful at gathering political power. It is these that so blur the distinction between classic Marxism and the neo-Fascist model in currency with the Left these days. Most classic Marxists are fine with that because they still hold that any breakdown of existing society must ineluctably result in a more socialist future - Marxian historiography "proves" the inevitable progress of history. But breakdown is possible, building a new socialist society, not so much. It doesn't stop the True Believers from trying but it cautions anyone sane against the results.

9 posted on 03/04/2014 5:44:35 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: Billthedrill

Thanks for the very interesting note.


10 posted on 03/04/2014 5:59:38 PM PST by Olympiad Fisherman
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To: Olympiad Fisherman

Nice piece but I think he may be overlooking the Left’s cynicism when it comes to their emphasis on ethnic differences and the virtues of other cultures. I think for them this is mostly tactical, a means to stymie and weaken the one traditional culture they hate (because it truly threatens their “progress”), namely that of conservative Christianity in its various forms. If they could snap their fingers and turn the whole world into snooty atheist/agnostic post-modern hipsters just like they are, they would do it without blinking.


11 posted on 03/04/2014 6:10:04 PM PST by Yardstick
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To: Yardstick

There is no question that is certainly true with some of them for sure.


12 posted on 03/04/2014 10:07:45 PM PST by Olympiad Fisherman
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To: Zionist Conspirator; wideawake
Thank you for the ping.

The principal reason this whole "US liberalism is really a form of Fascism/Nazism" meme seems like nonsense to me is that the core of Fascism isn't "big government" or economic policy, but nationalism. Fascism is all about glorification of the nation, making heroic myths of its history, and flaunting its military strength. American liberalism is the opposite of all of this. Obama and Clinton didn't glorify America's past, they go to Africa and grovel apologetically for slavery. Obama doesn't glorify America's military, he degrades it. And so forth.

It's true that American liberals support the ethno-nationalism of blacks, hispanics, and other "minorities," but the whole point of this support is to show just how opposed to American nationalism they are.

There's also the fact that Fascist movements were invariably socially conservative, as part and parcel of mythologizing national heritage and tradition.

To ignore all this and to latch onto the fact that neither US liberals or Fascists were libertarian laissez-faire capitalists is like claiming that birds and flies are exactly the same because they both happen to have wings.

13 posted on 03/05/2014 9:14:32 AM PST by ek_hornbeck
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To: ek_hornbeck; Zionist Conspirator
There's also the fact that Fascist movements were invariably socially conservative

I completely disagree on this point.

Fascist youth groups were encouraged to engage in nonmarital intercourse, to ignore Church teachings on divorce, etc.

For a long time in Germany youth groups were encouraged in to participate in deviant behavior.

Fascism utterly rejected traditional morality in Italy, Germany and Scandinavia.

Only in Vichy and Spain were Christian morals encouraged.

I would also point out that nationalism is different from patriotism and that nationalism - but especially ethnonationalism - is not conservative.

14 posted on 03/05/2014 10:35:03 AM PST by wideawake
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To: wideawake
I would also point out that nationalism is different from patriotism

Nationalism is simply patriotism taken to a greater extreme.

I would also add that nationalism/patriotism everywhere but the US is by its very nature ethno-nationalism, because the nation in most countries is defined by ethnicity to a degree that US society is not.

Fascist youth groups were encouraged to engage in nonmarital intercourse, to ignore Church teachings on divorce, etc. For a long time in Germany youth groups were encouraged in to participate in deviant behavior. Fascism utterly rejected traditional morality in Italy, Germany and Scandinavia. Only in Vichy and Spain were Christian morals encouraged.

Fascist societies were conservative insofar as they didn't tolerate feminism, homosexuality, etc. The fact that some of their leaders were secretly homosexual doesn't change this, any more than the fact that the observation that Saudi Royals live debauched lives changes the fact that Saudi Arabia has the strictest Sharia Law in the entire Middle East.

15 posted on 03/05/2014 10:52:36 AM PST by ek_hornbeck
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To: ek_hornbeck; Zionist Conspirator
Nationalism is simply patriotism taken to a greater extreme.

Nationalism is about the nation - the tribe.

Patriotism is about the country, the homeland where you live - its laws, its customs, its values.

Ethnonationalism is a nationalism that holds that only blood membership in the tribe is acceptable.

Nationalism and patriotism differ in kind, not degree.

Fascist societies were conservative insofar as they didn't tolerate feminism, homosexuality, etc. The fact that some of their leaders were secretly homosexual doesn't change this

It hasn't been a secret.

It is not a coincidence that so many fascist leaders have been open deviants.

A constant and recurring theme in Fascist literature is the creation of a "new man" who is not bound by the constraints of Christian morality.

This is part and parcel of the Nietzschean aspect of Fascism - that Christianity was founded by ethnically suspect individuals and is a religion for slaves, cowards and weaklings.

Rejection of traditional morality was a main part of the program and a strong selling point.

Again, Fascism was about forging an all-powerful centralized state controlled by a strong leader whose rule was reinforced by myth and by forging the ruled into a unified, homogenized, obedient mass.

Nationalism, anticlericalism, and amoralism are really good tools to use, because it makes the leader/party the source of all social values.

16 posted on 03/05/2014 11:21:31 AM PST by wideawake
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To: wideawake; Zionist Conspirator
From a US perspective, it's meaningful to separate country from nation/ethnicity, and to argue that ethno-nationalism and patriotism are entirely separate. This distinction isn't as meaningful for many European or East Asian countries, where country=nation=ethnicity. You can make the plausible case that an immigrant from any number of countries could become an American, I'm not so sure that the same immigrant could in any meaningful sense become a Korean or a Swede because Korea and Sweden are ethnic and linguistic entities rather than just political, economic, or ideological ones.

Moreover, ethno-nationalism is by its very nature conservative because it makes the claim that the culture and customs are a nation are often inseparable from the people who originated them.

It is not a coincidence that so many fascist leaders have been open deviants.

The only prominent Nazi who was more or less openly homosexual (or rather, more like an open secret) was Ernst Roehm, who was eliminated in 1934. Under Hitler, male homosexuality was illegal (i.e. he reversed Weimar Republic decriminalization of homosexual acts). I'm not sure whether the same was true in Mussolini's Italy, though one thing Mussolini did do (as part of his agreement with an independent Vatican) was to reverse the secularization of Italy's schools and to allow religious instruction back into curricula (contra the mandatory secularization that took place under his liberal-democratic predecessors). Again, the fact that Mussolini was himself not religious is irrelevant, what matters for the purpose of this discussion is what policies he enacted.

17 posted on 03/05/2014 1:00:01 PM PST by ek_hornbeck
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To: ek_hornbeck; wideawake
It's true that American liberals support the ethno-nationalism of blacks, hispanics, and other "minorities," but the whole point of this support is to show just how opposed to American nationalism they are.

So are Black and Hispanic nationalists who glorify their history and "nation" really fascists then? Or is post-economic, post-industrial Marxism morphing into something closer to fascism?

18 posted on 03/05/2014 1:10:48 PM PST by Zionist Conspirator (The Left: speaking power to truth since Shevirat HaKelim.)
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To: ek_hornbeck; wideawake
Thank you both for your observations on this topic, which are very useful.

Ek_hornbeck--I would remind you that as nationalistic as Fascism may be, it is nevertheless a modern and revolutionary nationalism that did not exist in the past. It was also a "mass movement" creating a one-party state and calling for the creation of "the new man." Even some traditionalist European right wingers objected to Fascism's revolutionary and "mass" tendencies. As far apart as Fascism and Communism are in ideology, these are things that are indeed held in common by the two (as is militarism, as "socialist states" have all been highly militarized and not the least bit pacifist).

Finally, ek, it cannot be denied that modern leftism, however much it continues to invoke the name of Marx, is no longer Marxist in any classical sense of the word. As the author has pointed out, it has dropped universalism, economism, and industrialism, is mystically nationalist (on behalf of the "oppressed"), celebrates "the earth" and nature, and even at times attacks science as an artificial concept used by white people to exploit the natural world and destroy the mystical cultures of "indigenous pipples" (but never of rednecks). Leftism and Fascism are still separate ideologies, but the Left is indeed coming to resemble fascism more than it did in the past. Perhaps one could say that for groups like "Blacks and Hispanics" the left is their "rightism."

Wideawake--I agree completely that nations that began as colonies (the USA, Australia, Brazil) simply cannot have the mystical "integral" ethno-nationalism of more traditonal nations as (for example) Japan, nevertheless there is a temptation even in American conservatism in this direction. Note how over the years American conservatism has ceased to invoke chrstianity as true, but rather as "the American religion." Why do so so many conservative American chrstians invoke George Washington and the Founding Fathers to defend and excuse public observance of chrstianity? Shouldn't the justification for chrstianity be that it is the true religion? Yet American conservative chrstianity is becoming more and more a national and tribal religion of white northwest Europeans (Pat Buchanan is the ultimate example of this, even going so far as to favor northwestern European Protestants to Catholics from elsewhere). And we have all noted the banning over recent years of various FReepers (most of whom I disagreed with most profoundly) whose chrstianity was a little too objective and universal, and not "American" enough.

Also note that attacks on "chrstianity" are never contested or protested by Blacks and Hispanics who are also "chrstian." There seems to be a universal understanding that the chrstianity opposed by the Left is the northwest European variety and that even public chrstianity by Blacks and Hispanics is revolutionary and to be celebrated. I am quite serious about this question. Why do militant Black and Hispanic nationalists and clergymen never say a word about Sarah Silverman's attacks on chrstianity, for example? Why did Blacks and Hispanics not protest "The Last Temptation?" Why do Blacks and Hispanics never object to the "separation of church and state?" And if Black and Hispanic communities were to merge their religions with their local governments, would any liberal object?

To both of you--With regard to morality and sexuality, I must simply point out that the only source of true morality is the True G-d. When the True G-d defines something as wrong, it is wrong. The fact that any monster of the left or right might share this position means absolutely nothing. Hence my impatience with people who argue against a position because "that's what the Nazis believed."

Again, thank you both.

19 posted on 03/05/2014 1:38:49 PM PST by Zionist Conspirator (The Left: speaking power to truth since Shevirat HaKelim.)
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To: Zionist Conspirator
My point was simply that it's ludicrous to call American liberals, who (at least the white ones) hate their country, their military, and their heritage "Fascists" simply because neither Fascists nor US Liberals support free markets. Can a picture Francisco Franco traveling the world and apologizing for Ferdinand and Isabella or the Inquisition as Bill Clinton apologized for slavery in the US? That's why people on the right who call Clinton a "Fascist" sound like imbeciles - they're just using the word as an empty pejorative (in much the same way as liberals use it, as a matter of fact).

On the other hand, I agree with you that the "Leftism" practiced by third world people (and by racial minorities in the US) has little in common with classical Marxism. You don't hear much these days about class struggle or the proletariat, nor even about Labor Unions until some politician has to pander for a few more votes in the Rust Belt. On the other hand, you hear a lot about "oppressed minorities" and "colonial exploitation," so the US and European Left wind up encouraging the nationalism of third world peoples while rejecting their own.

So perhaps you could say that today's Left prescribes militant ethno-nationalism for the Third World and multiculturalism (along with pacifism) for the First.

20 posted on 03/05/2014 3:58:42 PM PST by ek_hornbeck
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To: ek_hornbeck

And I agree with everything you have said. But I don’t think the article at the head of this thread was a typical Jonah Goldberg-esque accusation that the left is “fascist.” It is a serious look into how the left has changed from its classic form and the role Heideggerian philosophy may have played in that transformation.


21 posted on 03/05/2014 6:05:28 PM PST by Zionist Conspirator (The Left: speaking power to truth since Shevirat HaKelim.)
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To: Zionist Conspirator
I agree that this article's thinking is a lot more substantive than Liberal Fascism, etc. However, the author twists himself into knots in claiming that the Left learned its multiculturalism from Heidegger or other Nazi sympathizers. Multiculturalism came from the Frankfurt School which "updated" Marxism by incorporating Freudian mumbo-jumbo and focused the revolution on any and all groups perceived to be oppressed (women, racial minorities, homosexuals, etc) rather than the "proletariat." There's no need to invoke far-fetched Nazi or Fascist influence for an ideology that grew out of a reaction to Fascism.

Wideawake--I agree completely that nations that began as colonies (the USA, Australia, Brazil) simply cannot have the mystical "integral" ethno-nationalism of more traditonal nations as (for example) Japan, nevertheless there is a temptation even in American conservatism in this direction. Note how over the years American conservatism has ceased to invoke chrstianity as true, but rather as "the American religion." Why do so so many conservative American chrstians invoke George Washington and the Founding Fathers to defend and excuse public observance of chrstianity? Shouldn't the justification for chrstianity be that it is the true religion? Yet American conservative chrstianity is becoming more and more a national and tribal religion of white northwest Europeans (Pat Buchanan is the ultimate example of this, even going so far as to favor northwestern European Protestants to Catholics from elsewhere). And we have all noted the banning over recent years of various FReepers (most of whom I disagreed with most profoundly) whose chrstianity was a little too objective and universal, and not "American" enough.

I've said this before, but a man's religious beliefs (or lack thereof) are just one dimension to his existence. You don't really believe that a Catholic German has more in common with a Catholic in the Philippines than he does with his Lutheran countrymen just because both share a common religion? So why shouldn't an English-speaking, middle class American Catholic not have a greater sense of solidarity with his Protestant fellow Americans (who are his colleagues, friends, and possibly spouses) than with a Mexican illegal immigrant who happens to also be Catholic?

22 posted on 03/05/2014 8:35:30 PM PST by ek_hornbeck
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To: ek_hornbeck

I would only assume that the author is also saying the Left has also ditched the Neo-Marxist Frankfurt group as they continue to hurl themselves headlong further and further into Post Modernism.


23 posted on 03/06/2014 7:39:22 AM PST by Olympiad Fisherman
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To: ek_hornbeck
I've said this before, but a man's religious beliefs (or lack thereof) are just one dimension to his existence. You don't really believe that a Catholic German has more in common with a Catholic in the Philippines than he does with his Lutheran countrymen just because both share a common religion? So why shouldn't an English-speaking, middle class American Catholic not have a greater sense of solidarity with his Protestant fellow Americans (who are his colleagues, friends, and possibly spouses) than with a Mexican illegal immigrant who happens to also be Catholic?

This is what comes from the transformation of religion into a mere aspect of ethnicity.

One's religious identity is supposed to be one's supreme and highest identity. Religious identity is older than national identity (see medieval Europe). Furthermore, each and every traditional religious person in the world pays lip service to G-d being the Ultimate Sovereign and King over all other authorities. Is that all a lie? Then why utter the words?

Either G-d exists or he does not (chas vechalilah!). If He exists, then He is the ultimate King of every nation and every individual. If He does not (chas vechalilah!), then the world and we are meaningless, there are no objective evils to fight or problems to overcome, and we should all withdraw from our ideals and "goals" and be content like the cows until an asteroid obliterates this meaningless and insignificant speck of dust on which we coincidentally and accidentally live.

24 posted on 03/06/2014 8:27:56 AM PST by Zionist Conspirator (The Left: speaking power to truth since Shevirat HaKelim.)
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To: Olympiad Fisherman

Since postmodernist ethics are basically nihilistic, I never could understand why “the absence of moral absolutes” means that we have to embrace multiculturalism, “equality,” and social liberalism. If they wanted to be consistent post-modernists, they would admit that there is no great moral imperative to promote multiculturalism or “equality” either.


25 posted on 03/06/2014 11:12:40 AM PST by ek_hornbeck
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To: ek_hornbeck

Yes, an excellent point and a contradiction indeed, but one that they live because no one can live in a meaningless world. They want to have it both ways and try to use the reality of nature and the natural world to do it as their basis.


26 posted on 03/06/2014 11:52:27 AM PST by Olympiad Fisherman
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To: Olympiad Fisherman
They want to have it both ways and try to use the reality of nature and the natural world to do it as their basis.

Don't postmodernists also reject science as an artificial, fake construct of western thought or something along those lines? If so, how do they intend to derive morality from observing nature?

There are some self-styled rationalists out there who think that we can use science to derive a system of ethics, but strangely, they always wind up with ethical systems (egalitarianism, socialism) that runs completely counter to the way the natural world actually works. A bunch of rats fighting over scraps don't seem to care very much about equality.

27 posted on 03/06/2014 1:14:29 PM PST by ek_hornbeck
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To: Zionist Conspirator
One's religious identity is supposed to be one's supreme and highest identity.

Most people have close friends and even immediate family members with different religious beliefs than their own. Are they supposed to prefer a complete stranger of the same faith to their own friends and family? Similarly, why should somebody prefer a foreigner of the same faith to a countryman who speaks the same language and shares the same culture and customs as he does?

28 posted on 03/09/2014 12:32:40 PM PDT by ek_hornbeck
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To: ek_hornbeck
Most people have close friends and even immediate family members with different religious beliefs than their own. Are they supposed to prefer a complete stranger of the same faith to their own friends and family? Similarly, why should somebody prefer a foreigner of the same faith to a countryman who speaks the same language and shares the same culture and customs as he does?

Then I suppose all the statements about G-d being the Ultimate Authority for everyone is just empty ritualistic hooey?

I recommend you read the Torah. You will find in certain cases of capital punishment (when stoning is called for) that the family are called to be the first to execute sentence.

29 posted on 03/09/2014 12:41:13 PM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (The Left: speaking power to truth since Shevirat HaKelim.)
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