Hitlerism

“In its essence, the National Socialist idea exceeds not only Germany and our time, but the Aryan race and mankind itself and any epoch; it ultimately expresses that mysterious and unfailing wisdom according to which Nature lives and creates: the impersonal wisdom of the primeval forest and of the ocean depths and of the spheres in the dark fields of space; and it is Adolf Hitler’s glory not merely to have gone back to that divine wisdom, but to have made it the practical regeneration policy of world-wide scope.”

“It is the acceptance of this more than human wisdom, it is this accord with the spirit of the Nature, which Hitlerism implies, or disintegration, ethnic chaos, the degeneration of man—separation from the Heart of the cosmos; damnation.”

—Savitri Devi

Published in: on June 24, 2017 at 9:14 am  Comments (3)  
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Impeachment of Man, 5

by Savitri Devi


 

Excerpted from Chapter 5: Lights in the Night

All over the world, men in general ceased offering sacrifices as their fathers had, but accustomed themselves to the existence of slaughterhouses as to that of a so-called “necessity.”

The fact is that even the most illustrious cultures of the world—including those supposed to be relatively “humane”—are in general sadly devoid of any sense of real consideration for nonhuman suffering, as well as of any serious preoccupation concerning the welfare of nonhuman beings regarded for their own sake, and not for what man can get out of them.

Of course there have always been individuals whose natural, spontaneous love for creatures transcended the general outlook of their contemporaries and coreligionists; people like St. Francis of Assisi, who used to speak of his “brother” the wolf and his “brother” the ass, in the midst of a society and of a Church that denied an immortal soul to dumb beasts.

St. Francis himself—so they say—once vehemently rejected the idea, put forward by one of his monks, of keeping up Christmas Day without meat. And doubtless many other less holy and less well-known persons, among those who have acknowledged the brotherhood of all living creatures, were not more consistent in all they did or said or tolerated without protest.

In this present-day, nightmarish world—the outcome of the victory of the Dark Powers—we cannot, unfortunately, say a single word to the glory of the greatest of all Western men of love and of vision; of the inspired Prophet (for that is what he was) who fought for the reinstallation of a world order in tune with the divine order of nature: a world order in which beautiful healthy beasts had rights, while decadent men had none.

Whatever we could say would be bitterly held against us and our brothers in faith, and against the very cause of Life which we intend to serve. Those who know will understand us without our mentioning the godlike leader’s name. Those who do not know yet, will know one day (if they have at all any wits) and admit that we were right, and place the one great vegetarian ruler the West has ever had ahead of those most uncompromising expounders of the life-centered outlook who are, at the same time, men of action.
 

Note of the editor:

In the last couple of paragraphs above, Devi was referring to Hitler. Since Impeachment of Man was written in 1945-1946, the times of the Hellstorm Holocaust, Devi was not free to speak out openly. She obviously had in mind the revolution in Nazi Germany regarding the treatment of animals, which I’ll recapitulate below:

• Goebbels mentions that Hitler planned to ban slaughterhouses in the German Reich following the conclusion of the Second World War.

• Support for animal welfare in Nazi Germany was common among the country’s leadership. Heinrich Himmler for one made an effort to ban the hunting of animals.

• After Hitler had ascended to the Chancellery and the Nazis had consolidated control of the Reichstag, the Nazis immediately held a meeting to enact the ban on vivisection. Göring announced an end to the “unbearable torture and suffering in animal experiments” and said that those who “still think they can continue to treat animals as inanimate property” will be sent to concentration camps.

• On April 21, 1933, almost immediately after the Nazis came to power, the parliament began to pass laws for the regulation of animal slaughter. On November 24, 1933, Nazi Germany enacted another law called Reichstierschutzgesetz, for protection of animals. This law listed many prohibitions against the use of animals, including their use for filmmaking and other public events causing pain or damage to health.

• In 1938, animal protection was accepted as a subject to be taught in public schools and universities in Germany.

After the Hellstorm Holocaust the triumphant Dark Powers reversed these advances and imposed a regressive Diktat of cruelty toward our cousins, the animals.

Impeachment of Man, 4

by Savitri Devi


 
Excerpted from Chapter IV: Action precedes theory

A man who has always felt an insurmountable, physical disgust for animal slaughter, and to whom the very sight of meat is nauseating, is hardly likely to force himself to become a flesh eater just because the books he was taught to consider as sacred or infallible (be they religious scriptures or “scientific” works) seem to encourage such a diet rather than forbid it, or because the founder of his faith, or the geniuses he reveres the most, obviously ate meat. He may not always have the courage to denounce the man-centered religion or philosophy in which he was educated, on the sole ground that its ethics are not high enough for him (in fact, shockingly below his own natural ethics).

From the point of view of practical behaviour, there are, properly speaking, only two kinds of people: those who really love animals (and plants) and those who do not.

We are, for instance, all acquainted with the belief, shared by many, that animals (and, a fortiori, plants) have “no soul,” or that if they have, their soul is of a nature entirely different from ours, in particular that it is not immortal. We all know that Christianity enjoins us to “love our neighbours,” including our enemies, “as ourselves,” but is completely silent about our duties towards subhuman creatures.

If one is to “love” a man who has murdered one’s parents, committed atrocities upon one’s countrymen, or robbed one of one’s livelihood, then it appears obvious that one should, a fortiori, love the lamb, the kid, the cow, and all innocent irresponsible creatures enough, at least, not to encourage the butcher’s hideous industry; and that one should love harmless frogs and guinea pigs enough to protest against the use of them in scientific experimentation.

Up till today, no creed obviously implying consistent active kindness towards all sentient beings has ever succeeded in imposing itself upon the practical life of any human society.

A great many of the town-bred meat-eaters we know, in Europe at least, are animal- lovers at heart.… although they generally express a sincere horror after reading or hearing a vivid description of a slaughterhouse, yet they do not spontaneously connect all the ghastliness of animal killing with that particular chunk of meat they see before them in a dish with roast potatoes and onions all around it.

They do not automatically picture to themselves, at the sight of it, the agony of a sheep, of a bullock, of a young calf, once enjoying the taste of fresh grass and the light of heaven, then suddenly drawing its last breath in a pool of blood . . . and for what?—for them to have some mutton, beef or veal on their menu. If they did actually imagine that, half of them would shrink in horror, and not only eat no more meat themselves, but also despise all those who refuse to give up that habit as one despises the accomplices in some hideous murder case.

But they do not. The custom of feeding on flesh and the knowledge that “men have always done so from the beginning of the world”—the reaction of daily repeated misdeeds upon one’s true sense of values—have blunted, if not completely obliterated, their power of visualizing at once that which they wish to forget. They are not obsessed by the unavoidable connection between an appetizing roast with potatoes around it and the sickening reality of the death struggle of a slaughtered beast, as we would be. A whole series of associations of ideas has been suppressed in them by an obnoxious “education,” and they have not enough imagination to revive it of their own accord.

The same could be said about all those inconsistent animal lovers who would not refuse the present of a fur coat, nay, who would not hesitate to buy one if they could afford it; who take medicine (preventive and curative) prepared at the cost of the suffering of many guinea pigs and white rats; and who hire a carnage when they are in a hurry (in places where taxis are not available) without making sure that the horse is not tired, sometimes even without paying attention whether the driver beats it or not.

A natural, spontaneous feeling of sympathy for any individual living creature, allied to a sufficiently vivid imagination, is a rare quality. And consequently real animal lovers—not merely those who keep pets, or those who burst into indignation at the thought of one form of cruelty and tolerate or even encourage another—are very few. Real plant lovers who feel for the trees themselves, and not merely for the shade, fruit or flowers they give, are equally rare.

One may also wonder whether any substantial progress has ever been made in that line, from the beginning of historical times. One may even wonder whether organized society has not deliberately worked to destroy such spontaneous brotherly feelings towards beasts as might have existed in some of the better human beings living outside its pale.

The enemy of the hunter (as well as of the butcher, of the scientist who experiments on living creatures, etc.) is an enemy of mankind.

We scorn all men who condemn “wars of aggression,” and who, at the same time, eat meat; nay, we scorn all pacifists who do not, in their everyday dealings, live up to the ideal of universal nonviolence preached by the Jains. We scorn all those, whoever they be, who have never raised their voice against scientific experimentation upon innocent animals (which can be neither for nor against any cause) and who dare condemn experimentation upon one’s dangerous—or potentially dangerous—human enemies.

We scorn all those who never were moved to indignation at the idea of man’s lasting crime against the living Realm;—at the thought of the enormous daily round of avoidable pain inflicted by man upon beasts (and even plants)—and who, yet, dare speak of “war crimes” and of “war criminals.”

We flatly refuse to condemn war,—be it a thousand times a war “of aggression”—as long as mankind at large persists in its callous attitude towards animal (and tree) life. And as long as torture is inflicted by men upon a single living creature, in the name of scientific research, of sport, of luxury or of gluttony, we systematically refuse our support to any campaign exploiting public sympathy for tortured human beings—unless the latter be, of course, such ones as we look upon as our brothers in race and faith, or people near and dear to these.

The world that exalts Pasteur and Pavlov, and countless other tormentors of innocent creatures, in the name of the so-called “interest of mankind,” while branding as “war criminals” men who have not shrunk from acts of violence upon hostile human elements, when such was their duty in the service of higher mankind and in the interest of all life, does not deserve to live.

Published in: on May 11, 2017 at 11:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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Impeachment of Man, 3

by Savitri Devi


 
Excerpted from Chapter III: Joyous Wisdom

Western Free Thought, in all its different forms, has, as we pointed out, retained Christian ethics while doing away with Christian metaphysics. It is not other-worldly at all, but it has never preached or even conceived a love more comprehensive than that of humanity. And every one of its aspects, from Descartes to Karl Marx, is as man-centered as any philosophy can be.

In other words, there have been, and there still are philosophies “faithful to this earth.” But we know of no historic civilization based upon a joyous earthly wisdom, implying active love towards all living creatures; upon a religion of this world and of this life in flesh and blood, which would be neither man-centered nor pessimistic, nor lacking truly universal kindness in the Buddhistic sense of the word. We only know of a very few individuals who have put forward such a philosophy, professed such a religion—consciously or unconsciously—from time to time.

With regard to animals—and plants—the believers in man-centered creeds seem to be governed by the mere consideration of gain and loss. They seem to be people for whom living things have a price in connection with some purpose for which they can be used, not a value in themselves. And the highest purpose they can dream of is the “service of humanity.”

Why? Goodness knows. Probably because they themselves happen to be human beings. To admit the existence of something higher and more precious than “man”—and having more “rights” than he to health and enjoyment—would be to concede that man (i.e., themselves) can be justly used in the interest of that thing.

And they do not want to reach such a conclusion—surely not. They are willing to exploit living nature; but they shrink from the possibility of being themselves exploited in their turn, even in the interest of such superior beings as, for instance, inhuman Gods, or for the greater welfare of the less exalted but more tangible master races that might appear on the international stage. The result is that the only God they can think of, if any, is a man-loving God who created no master race save mankind itself, to which he gave as a birthright domination over the whole scheme of life.

Our votaries of man-centered faiths are the last people to understand the believers in the right of the superior or more efficient races to exploit the inferior or less efficient ones. Our philanthropists, burning with partial, fanatical love, who would willingly destroy the whole of the animal world in order to save one human idiot, are the last people to understand the ardent nationalist who would, with a smile, sacrifice mankind to his own country’s pride. They have an altogether illogical yet undeniable fondness for human beings, but none at all or very little for other animal species, even for other mammals.

If, on the other hand, a man feels for humanity in general and for every one of his human neighbors in particular, why should he stop there? If he feels it is “wrong” not to treat other men as he would himself like to be treated, why does he not feel the same with regard to all sentient creatures?

The followers of man-centered creeds never think of that. They speak of human “rationality” and of the usefulness of human beings; yet they never ask whether the person whom they are about to help has actually made use of his capacity to better his surroundings or to work for others. They just help him—even if he be the most consummate imbecile, suffering the result of his own foolishness; even if he be the most useless, self-centered old bachelor, having never cared for anybody.

Hospitals and asylums are open to all. And in bad times food is distributed indiscriminately to all the distressed, without any enquiry into the life history of each one. It is just the fact that they are beings, outwardly at least, more like himself than others—specimens of the human race. The humanitarian is a fellow who has rejected the logic of racialism, but has kept all the sentimental partiality attached to every form of group loyalty. He has done away with the “white man’s burden,” and discarded the pride of the master races as too unchristian-like or too “unscientific” for him.

But he still clings—or tries to cling—to that elemental blood solidarity which is the essence of all racialism. He clings to it, after having distorted it and broadened it to such an extent that it loses all that was vital and stimulating in it, in its earlier stages, without it generously merging into the higher solidarity of all life.

Un raciste manque: that is what the humanitarian is, and nothing more, so long as he fails to transcend his man-centered ideology.

Impeachment of Man, 2


 
Excerpted from Chapter II: Pessimistic Pantheism

Unlike the previous entry in which I quote magnificent passages from the book of Savitri Devi, here I will not quote passages from the second chapter, “Pessimistic Pantheism.” I just want to say that in this chapter my disagreements begin with Devi, whose real name was Maximiani Portas (for example, Portas speaks of the Hindu religion as the most beautiful of living religions).

To be fair with Portas I must say that in Impeachment of Man this brilliant woman saw some of the great contradictions of Eastern thought. For example, she pointed to the “deep-rooted belief” among the people of India “that the creatures’ suffering in this world is nothing but the unavoidable result of their own bad deeds” in past lives, hence the title of pessimistic pantheism of the chapter. Despite her admiration for a religion that does not kill wandering cows, in this second chapter she also wrote of this “indifference to suffering, which amazes any foreigner lover of animals who happens to have read something of the Hindu Scriptures.”

Having said that, the criticism Portas makes of the Indians’ indifference to suffering animals falls short compared to my radical way of seeing the world. So radical in fact that with my ten books it seems that I wish to found a new religion. Although it is out of place in this entry to convey why I abhor old religions, I can say that whoever assumes the priesthood of the four words (and its corollary, the 14 words) must abandon all faith in otherworldly lives.

In a mere blog entry I won’t expand on this point: it is the subject of my tenth and last book that, if I am allowed to live, I’ll translate into English.

If I find myself writing about Impeachment of Man it is precisely because in the book I started to write recently I could not miss the only pamphlet of an admirer of Hitler who had, as a very high commandment, the welfare of animals.

Published in: on April 27, 2017 at 12:22 pm  Comments (3)  
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Impeachment of Man, 1

by Savitri Devi


 
Excerpted from Chapter I: Man-centered creeds

Of all moral ideas, that of our positive duties towards creatures of other species (animals, and even plants) is perhaps the slowest to impress itself upon the human mind. It seems as though it were alien to the spirit no less than to the letter of all successful international religions, save Buddhism. And one who is fully conscious of its importance—one who recognizes in it the expression of a fundamental moral truth—may as well wonder in amazement how creeds that omit to mention it altogether (let alone to stress it) have yet been able to secure themselves such numerous followings, and, what is more, how their narrow conception of love is still claiming to be “the highest,” and how that claim rouses no protest on behalf of the better men. This is, no doubt, enough to lead him to gloomy conclusions concerning the inherent coarseness, selfishness and ugliness of human nature in general.

Theoretically, the man-centered creeds and philosophies sway the whole world minus the greater part of India, Burma, Ceylon, and the countries of the Far East to the extent that these have actually come under the influence of Buddhism. That does not mean that there are no individuals in England and America, in Germany and Russia, who look upon all life as sacred, and to whom the infliction of pain upon animals is even more odious that that upon human beings. That does not mean, either, that all people who, in India and elsewhere, are catalogued in the census reports Hindus, Buddhists or Jains are, in fact, paragons of active kindness towards all living creatures. Far from it!

But we notice that, from those very civilizations in which cannibalism was generally admitted, sprang, now and then, a few individuals—an infinitesimal, powerless minority—whom the custom disgusted. And from amidst a world in which slavery was considered as a necessary evil by respectable people, sprang a few individuals who condemned it, either openly or secretly, in the name of human dignity.

And we see that it is the opinion of those better individuals that finally triumphed. One of the best among the ancient Mexicans, King Nezahualcóyotl, tried in vain, in the fifteenth century A.D. to put a stop to human sacrifices within his realm. But today, the murder of a man, be it even as an offering to a deity, is considered a criminal offence and would be punished by law nearly all over the world. The minority, in Mexico, became a majority—and would have become so, apparently, anyhow, even if no Christian adventurers had ever landed there. Minorities often do, with time, become majorities.

To those to whom the age-old exploitation of animals seems normal just because it is practically universal and as old as man, we shall say that there are today people who strongly disapprove of it—never mind if they be but a handful scattered among millions of human beings still at a more barbaric stage of evolution.

There are men and women—and the author of this book is one of them—who, at the sight of one of their contemporaries eating a beefsteak in a restaurant or a chicken sandwich in a railway carriage, feel no less a disgust than some rare Mexicans of old possibly did when they saw the cooked limbs of a prisoner of war served up on gold and silver plates at State banquets. There are men and women today, few indeed as they may be, who are as much saddened when they see a tired horse drawing a cart as certain other “queer” people might have been once, when they met a slave cutting wood or grinding corn for his owner under the supervision of a merciless taskmaster.

Those few are now “dreamers,” “eccentric folk,” “cranks”—like all pioneers. But who can tell whether their opinion will never become that of average man, and their principles the law of the world? If not… then we believe that the human race is not worth bothering one’s head about at all.

All the splendour of the material world; all the grace, strength and loveliness of millions of beasts, birds, fishes, trees and creepers; the majesty of the snow-clad mountains, the beauty of the unfurling waves—all that and much more—is not worth, in God’s eyes, the immortal soul of a human imbecile—so they say, at least.

That is why the hunting of tigers and deer, the butchering of innocent woolly lambs, so glad to live, the dissecting of pretty white guinea pigs or of intelligent dogs, are not “sins” according to the man-centered faiths—not even if they imply the most appalling suffering. But the painless chloroforming of worthless human idiots is a “crime.” How could it be otherwise? They have two legs, no tail, and an immortal soul. However degenerate they be, they are men.

I cannot help here recalling the answer of a French medical student, a member of the “Christian Federation of Students,” whom I has asked, twenty- five years ago, how he could reconcile his religious aspirations with his support of vivisection. “What conflict can there be between the two?” said he; “Christ did not die for guinea pigs and dogs.” I do not know what Christ would actually have said to that. The fact remains that, from the point of view of historical Christianity, the boy was right. And his answer is enough to disgust one forever with all man-centered creeds.

The God of the Christians, the God of Islam, and the God of most of those later Free Thinkers who are not out and out atheists, never succeeded in shaking off completely the habits he once had when he was but the patron deity of a few tribes of desert wanderers, slaves in the land of the Pharaohs. He was able to raise himself from the rank of a national god to that of a God of all humanity.

But that is all. His love seems to have been spent out in its extension from the “chosen People” of Israel to the Chosen Species of mankind. He had not in him the urge to broaden his fatherly feelings still beyond those narrow limits. It never occurred to him how narrow they were in fact and how irrational, how mean, how all-too-human that childish preference for man was, in a God that is supposed to have made the Milky Way.

The great creeds of the world west of India remained man-centered, it would seem, because they never could free themselves entirely from the marks of their particular tribal origin among the sons of Abraham. The Jews never were a race that one could accuse of giving animals too great a place in its everyday life and thoughts.

Christ, who came “to fulfil” the Jewish law and prophecies (not to introduce into the world a different, more rational, and truly kindlier trend of thought) appears never to have bothered his head about the dumb creatures.

We speak, of course, of Christ as the Christian Gospels present him to us. That Christ—we have no means whatsoever of finding out whether a “truer” one ever lived—never performed a miracle, never even intervened in a natural manner, in favour of any beast, as his contemporary, Apollonius of Tyana, not to speak of any more ancient and illustrious Master such as the blessed Buddha, is supposed to have done. He never spoke of God’s love for animals save to assert that He loved human beings a fortiori, much more. He never mentioned nor implied man’s duties towards them, though he did not omit to mention, and to stress, other duties.

If the Gospels are to be taken as they are written, then his dealings with nonhuman sentient creatures consisted, on one occasion, of sending some evil spirits into a herd of swine, that they might no longer torment a man, and, another time, of making his disciples, who were mostly fishermen by profession, as every one knows, catch an incredible quantity of fish in their nets.

In both cases his intention was obviously to benefit human beings at the expense of the creatures, swine or fish. As for plants, it is true that he admired the lilies of the fields; but it is no less true that he cursed a fig tree for not producing figs out of season and caused it to wither, so that his disciples might understand the power of faith and prayer.

Fervent English or German Christians, who love animals and trees, may retort that nobody knows exactly all that Jesus actually said, and that the gospels contain the story of only a few of his numberless miracles. That may be. But as there are no records of his life save the Gospels, we have to be content with what is revealed therein. Moreover, Christianity as an historical growth is centered around the person of Christ as the Gospels describe him.

To say, as some do, that every word of the Christian Gospels has an esoteric meaning, and that “swine” and “fishes” and the “barren fig tree” are intended there to designate anything but real live creatures, would hardly make things better. It would still be true that kindness to animals is not spoken of in the teaching of Jesus as it has come down to us, while other virtues, in particular kindness to people, are highly recommended. And the development of historical Christianity would remain, in all its details, what we know it to be.

There has been, it is true, in the West, in recent years—nay, there is, for nothing which is in harmony with the Laws of Life can ever be completely suppressed—a non-Christian (one should even say an anti-Christian) and definitely more than political school of thought which courageously denounced this age-old yet erroneous tradition, and set up a different scale of values and different standards of behaviour. It accepted the principle of the rights of animals, and set a beautiful dog above a degenerate man.

It replaced the false ideal of “human brotherhood,” by the true one of a naturally hierarchised mankind harmoniously integrated into the naturally hierarchised Realm of life, and, as a logical corollary of this, it boldly preached the return to the mystic of genuine nationalism rooted in healthy race-consciousness, and the resurrection of the old national gods of fertility and of battle (or the exaltation of their philosophical equivalents) which many a Greek “thinker” and some of the Jewish prophets themselves had already discarded—politely speaking: “transcended”—in decadent Antiquity.

And its racialist values, solidly founded upon the rock of divine reality, and intelligently defended as they were, in comparison with the traditional man-centered ones inherited, in Europe, from Christianity, are, and cannot but remain, whatever may be the material fate of their great Exponent and of the regime he created, the only unassailable values of the contemporary and future world. But it is, for the time being, a “crime” to mention them, let alone to uphold them—and their whole recent setting—in broad daylight.

The opposite ideologies, more in keeping with the general tendencies of modern Free Thought from the Renaissance onwards, have only broken off apparently with the man-centered faiths. In fact, our international Socialists and our Communists, while pushing God and the supernatural out of their field of vision, are more Christian-like than the Christian Churches ever were.

He who said, “Love they neighbour as thyself has to-day no sincerer and more thorough disciples than those zealots whose foremost concern is to give every human being a comfortable life and all possibilities of development, through the intensive and systematic exploitation by all of the resources of the material world, animate an inanimate, for man’s betterment. Communism, that new religion—for it is a sort of religion—exalting the common man; that philosophy of the rights of humanity as the privileged species, is the natural logical outcome of real Christianity.

It is the Christian doctrine of the labour of love for one’s neighbours, freed from the overburdening weight of Christian theology. It is real Christianity, minus priesthood—which Christ thoroughly disliked—and minus all the beliefs of the Church concerning the human soul and all the mythology of the Bible.

In other words, the rejection of the belief in the supernatural, and the advent of a scientific outlook upon the material world, has not in the least broadened the Westerners’ moral outlook. And, unless they be consistent Racialists, worshippers of hierarchised Life, those who today openly proclaim that civilization can well stand without its traditional Christian (or Muslim) background, stick to a scale of values that proceeds, either from a yet narrower love than that preached in the name of Christ or of Islam, (from the love of one’s mere individual self and family) or, at most, from the same love—not from a broader one; not from a true universal love.

The generous “morality” derived from modern Free Thought is no better than that based upon the time-honoured man-centered creeds that have their origin in Jewish tradition.

It is a morality centered—like the old Chinese morality, wherever true Buddhism and Taoism have not modified it—around “the dignity of all men” and human society as the supreme fact, the one reality that the individual has to respect and to live for; a morality which ignores everything of man’s affiliation with the rest of living nature, and looks upon sentient creatures as having no value except inasmuch as they are exploitable by man for the “higher” purpose of his health, comfort, clothing, amusement, etc. The moral creed of the Free Thinker today is a man-centered creed—no less than that of Descartes and Malebranche and, later on, of the idealists of the French Revolution, and finally of Auguste Comte.

We believe that there is a different way of looking at things—a different way, in comparison with which this man-centered outlook appears as childish, mean and barbaric as the philosophy of any man-eating tribe might seem, when compared with that of the Christian saints, or even of the sincerest ideologists of modern international Socialism or Communism.

Impeachment of Man

 

Preface excerpts

This book—only now printed for the first time—was written in 1945-46, i.e., fourteen years ago. It expresses the views which I have had all my life concerning animals in particular and living nature in general, and my no less life-long protest against their ruthless exploitation by man: an attitude rooted, in both cases, in a pre-eminently aesthetic and life-centered outlook on the world, in complete opposition to that utilitarian and man-centered one, which is accepted nearly everywhere.

It was inspired by the events and general atmosphere of the atrocious months during which it was written, namely, of the months immediately following the Second World War; of the time during which, even if one deliberately refused—as I did—to open any newspaper or magazine, or to listen to any propaganda on the wireless, one could not but hear, wherever one turned, more or less cleverly presented tales of “crimes against humanity” alleged to have been committed, sometimes, admittedly, by or at the orders of the Japanese so-called “war-criminals,” but mostly—practically always—by the German so-called such ones.

The one thing the propaganda did—instead of stirring in me the slightest indignation against the supposed-to-be “war criminals”—was to rouse my hatred against the hypocrisy and cowardice underlying every man-centered attitude, to harden me in my bitter contempt for “man” in general; and . . . to prompt me to write this book: the answer to it, the spirit of which could be summed up in a few lines:

A “civilization” that makes such a ridiculous fuss about alleged “war crimes”—acts of violence against the actual or potential enemies of one’s cause—and tolerates slaughterhouses and vivisection laboratories… does not deserve to live.

Out with it! Blessed the day it will destroy itself, so that a healthy élite of supermen… might again rise, and rule upon its ruins, for ever!

Savitri Devi Mukherji
Calcutta, June 22, 1959

The measure of greatness

by William Pierce

 

uncle-adolf-fans
 
April 20 of this year [this was a 1989 National Vanguard article] is the 100th anniversary of the birth of the greatest man of our era—a man who dared more and achieved more, who set his aim higher and climbed higher, who felt more deeply and stirred the souls of those around him more mightily, who was more closely attuned to the Life Force which permeates our cosmos and gives it meaning and purpose, and did more to serve that Life Force, than any other man of our times.

And yet he is the most reviled and hated man of our times. Only a few tens of thousands of men and women, in scattered groups around the world, will celebrate his birthday with love and reverence on April 20, while all of the scribblers and commentators of the controlled news media, the controlled politicians, and the controlled churchmen will pour out their hatred and venom and lies against him, and those lies will be believed by hundreds of millions.

What is the measure of greatness in a man?

Only the most vulgar and doctrinaire democrat would seriously equate greatness with popularity—although in any polling of average citizens on their choice for the greatest man of the century there are certain to be substantial numbers of votes for Elvis Presley, John Kennedy, Billy Graham, Michael Jackson, and various other high-visibility lightweights: charismatic entertainers on the stage of politics, rock concerts, spectator sports, or what have you.

More serious citizens would pass by the lightweights and choose men who have changed the world in some way. We would hear choices like Franklin Roosevelt (“he saved the world from fascism”), Albert Einstein (“he taught us about the nature of our universe”), and Martin Luther King (“he helped us achieve racial justice”), depending upon whether one’s personal inclinations lay more in the direction of politics, science, or racial self-abasement, respectively.

But if the poll asked instead for the most evil man of the century, or the most hated man, or the man having the most negative influence, at least three-quarters of the blue-collar and the white-collar pollees alike would name one man: Adolf Hitler. This, however, would be merely a reflection of the role assigned to him by the controlled mass media, rather than a truly informed and reasoned choice.

All of this raises several very interesting issues. There is, for example, the question of how we came to the preposterous state of affairs prevailing today, wherein we place the destiny of our nation, our planet, and our race in the hands of a mass of voters whose powers of judgment are manifested in such things as the type of television entertainment their preferences have pushed into prime time and the type of men they have elected to public office. And there is the equally weighty question of how, knowing the ease with which this mass is misled, we permitted virtually all of the media of mass information and entertainment to fall into the hands of a race whose interests are so diametrically opposed to our own.

Perhaps even more pertinent to a consideration of human greatness, however, is the question of how our system of values came to be turned on its head, so that Franklin Roosevelt is regarded as a hero and Adolf Hitler as a villain, not only by the stolid and stunned masses, but also by a majority of the supposedly “educated” elite, many of whom pride themselves on their intellectual independence.

Whether we judge the greatness of a man by his intrinsic qualities of character and soul or by his accomplishments, Adolf Hitler had greatness of a very high order—if we use the standards which have been traditional in our race.

We cannot, of course, make comparisons with all the “mute, inglorious Miltons” whose lack of notable accomplishment has made them anonymous, despite the sterling inner qualities they may have possessed. But when Hitler’s character is held up beside those of other 20th-century political leaders, he stands as a giant among pygmies.

At the prosaic level, we can note his ascetic personal habits, compared with Winston Churchill’s habitual drunkenness and notorious self-indulgence; or his personal loyalty to those who had been his comrades in the days of political struggle, compared with Joseph Stalin’s habit of murdering his former comrades by the dozen, as potential rivals, as soon as he no longer needed their services; or his direct, frank, and straightforward manner, compared to the cunning deviousness which was Franklin Roosevelt’s trademark.

At the spiritual level, the inner differences between Hitler and his contemporaries are even more striking. Hitler was a man with a mission, from the beginning. The testimony of his closest associates, from his boyhood days to the end of his life, agrees with the observations of more distant and impartial observers: Hitler had a mystical sense of destiny, a sense of having been singled out and called by a higher power to devote his life to the service of his race.

His childhood companion August Kubizek has related extraordinary evidence of this when Hitler was only 16 years old (August Kubizek, Adolf Hitler, mein Jugendfreund [Graz, 1953], pp. 127–35). Twenty years later, while he was in prison after an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the government, Hitler himself wrote of his motivation in a way which suggested the range of his vision:

What we must fight for is the security of the existence and reproduction of our race and our people, the sustenance of our children and the maintenance of the purity of our blood… so that our people may mature for the fulfillment of the mission allotted them by the Creator of the universe.

Every thought and every idea, every doctrine and all knowledge, must serve this purpose. And everything must be examined from this point of view and used or rejected according to its utility. Then no theory will stiffen into a dead doctrine, since it is life alone that all things must serve…

The National Socialist philosophy finds the importance of mankind in its basic racial elements. In the state it sees on principle a means to an end and construes that end as the preservation of the racial existence of man…

And so the National Socialist philosophy of life corresponds to the innermost will of Nature, since it restores that free play of forces which must lead to a continuous mutual higher breeding, until finally the best of humanity, having achieved possession of this earth, will have a free play for activity in domains which will lie partly above it and partly outside it.

We all sense that in the distant future humanity must be faced by problems which only a highest race, become master people and supported by the means and possibilities of an entire globe, will be equipped to overcome…

Thus, the highest purpose of a National Socialist state is concern for the preservation of those original racial elements which bestow culture and create the beauty and dignity of a higher mankind. We, as Aryans, can conceive of the state only as the living organism of a nationality which not only assures the preservation of this nationality, but by the development of its spiritual and ideal abilities leads it to the highest freedom…

A National Socialist state must begin by raising marriage from the level of a continuous defilement of the race and give it the consecration of an institution which is called upon to produce images of the Lord and not monstrosities halfway between man and ape…

It must set race in the center of all life. It must take care to keep it pure. It must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. It must see to it that only the healthy beget children…

The National Socialist state must make certain that by a suitable education of youth it will someday obtain a race ripe for the last and greatest decisions on this earth…

Anyone who wants to cure this era, which is inwardly sick and rotten, must first summon the courage to make clear the causes of this disease. And this should be the concern of the National Socialist movement: pushing aside all narrowmindedness, to gather and to organize from the ranks of our nation those forces capable of becoming the vanguard fighters for a new philosophy of life…

We are not simple enough to believe that it could ever be possible to bring about a perfect era. But this relieves no one of the obligation to combat recognized errors, to overcome weaknesses, and to strive for the ideal. Harsh reality of its own accord will create only too many limitations. For that very reason, however, man must try to serve the ultimate goal, and failures must not deter him, any more than he can abandon a system of justice because mistakes creep into it, or any more than medicine is discarded because there always will be sickness in spite of it.

We National Socialists know that with this conception we stand as revolutionaries in the world of today and are branded as such. But our thoughts and actions must in no way be determined by the approval or disapproval of our time, but by the binding obligation to a truth which we have recognized. (Mein Kampf)

Hitler’s opponents, Churchill and Roosevelt, were party politicians, with the minds and souls of party politicians. Great, impersonal goals, just as truth, meant nothing at all to them. The only thing that counted was the approval or disapproval of their times: the outcome of the next election, a good press claque, votes. Only Stalin shared in any way Hitler’s disdain for approval; only Stalin was motivated to any degree by an impersonal idea. But the idea that Stalin served was the alien, destructive idea of Jewish Marxism. And while Hitler served the Life Force with the instincts of a seer, Stalin served Marxism with the instincts of a bureaucrat and a butcher. A comparison of careers leads us to a similar ranking of greatness of soul. Churchill and Roosevelt were born into the political establishment. They fed at the public trough for years, in one office after another, grabbing greedily at opportunities for a bigger serving of swill. But it was circumstance, not their own efforts, which thrust them onto the stage of world history.

Stalin hacked out his own niche in history to a much greater extent than his western allies, and he was an incomparably stronger man than either of them. He was tough, ruthless, infinitely cunning, and utterly determined to prevail, no matter what the obstacles. Even so, his struggle for prominence and power was entirely within the Bolshevik party and its predecessors. He was the consummate bureaucratic infighter, not the innovator or the lone pioneer.

Only Adolf Hitler started literally from nothing and through the exercise of a superhuman will created the physical basis for the realization of his vision. In 1918, recovering in a veterans’ hospital from a British poison-gas attack, he made the decision to enter politics in order to serve that vision. He was a 29-year-old invalid, with no money, no family, no friends or connections, no university education, and no experience. Liberals, Jews, and communists ruled his country, making him and all those to whom he might appeal for support outsiders.

Five and one-half years later he was sentenced to five years in prison for his political activity, and his enemies thought that was the end of him and his movement. But less than nine years after being sentenced he was Chancellor of Germany, with the strongest and most progressive nation in Europe at his command. He had built the National Socialist movement and led it to victory over the organized opposition of the entire Establishment: conservatives, liberals, communists, Jews, and Christians.

He then transformed Germany, lifting it out of its economic depression (while Americans, under Roosevelt, continued to line up at the soup kitchens), restoring its spirit (and much of the territory which had been taken from it by the victors of the First World War), stimulating its artistic and scientific creativity, and winning the admiration (or, in some cases, the envy and hatred) of other nations. It was an achievement hardly paralleled in the history of the world. Even those who do not understand the real significance of his creation must concede that.

And what was the real significance of Hitler’s work? One of his most earnest admirers in India, Savitri Devi, has given us a poetic answer to that question. She wrote:

In its essence, the National Socialist idea exceeds not only Germany and our times, but the Aryan race and mankind itself and any epoch… it ultimately expresses that mysterious and unfailing wisdom according to which Nature lives and creates: the impersonal wisdom of the primeval forest and of the ocean depth and of the spheres in the dark fields of space; and… it is Adolf Hitler’s glory not merely to have gone back to that divine wisdom—stigmatizing man’s silly infatuation for “intellect,” his childish pride in “progress,” and his criminal attempt to enslave Nature—but to have made it the basis of a practical regeneration policy of worldwide scope, precisely now, in our overcrowded, overcivilized, and technically overevolved world, at the very end of the dark age” (Savitri Devi, The Lightning and the Sun [National Socialist World No. 1, p. 61]).

More prosaically, Hitler’s work, in contrast to that of his contemporaries, was above politics, above economics, above nationalism. He had mobilized a powerful, modern state and placed it at the service of our race, so that our race might become fit to serve as an agent of the Life Force.

Perceptive and idealistic young men from every nation in Europe—and from many nations outside Europe as well—recognized this significance, and they flocked to serve him and to fight for his cause, even at the cost of censure and ostracism from their more parochial and narrowminded countrymen. There was never before an elite fighting force to match the SS, which by the end of the Second World War had more non-Germans than Germans in it.

The war, of course, is counted as Hitler’s great failure, even as the proof of his lack of greatness, by his detractors. It merely proves that he was a man, not a god, even if a divine will worked through him, and that he could not perform miracles. He could not defend himself forever, with the governments of nearly the whole world allied in a total war to pull him down and destroy his creation, so that they and the interests they served could return to “business as usual.” Even so, he gave a far better account of himself than any of his adversaries.

And what will count in the long run in determining Adolf Hitler’s stature is not whether he lost or won the war, but whether it was he or his adversaries who were on the side of the Life Force, whether it was he or they who served the cause of Truth and human progress. We only have to look around us today to know it was not they.

Sparta – IV

This specific chapter of Sparta and its Law has been moved: here.

If you want to read the book Sparta and its Law from the beginning, click: here.

Beyond evil and tyranny

The 2011 biography authored by R. H. S. Stolfi on Adolf Hitler mentions that Caesar perpetrated a genocide of whites in Gaul, something that I discussed in my previous post. Greg Johnson’s recent review of Stolfi’s biography merits reproduction below:

Stolfi


Russell Stolfi (1932–2012)


Adolf Hitler was clearly the man of the 20th century, whose shadow grows taller as the sun of the West sinks ever lower. Sadly, though, there is no biography worthy of Hitler.

If great men are those who leave their stamp on history, then Hitler was a great man. But great men present great problems for biographers. Great men are not necessarily good men, and even good men, when they hold political power, often find it necessary to kill innocent people. Evil men do not find this difficult, but good men do. Thus a good man, if he is to be a great man, must also be a hard man. But it is difficult for biographers, who are ordinary men, to sympathize with great men, especially men who are unusually bad or hard.

But biographers must at least try to enter imaginatively into the minds of their subjects. They must feel their feelings and think their thoughts. They must feel sympathy or empathy for their subjects. Such sympathy is not a violation of objectivity but a tool of it. It is a necessary counter-weight to the antipathy and ressentiment that hardness, cruelty, and greatness often inspire. Sympathy is necessary so a biographer can discover and articulate the virtues of intellect and character necessary to achieve anything great in this world, for good or ill.

Of course, one’s ability to sympathize with great men depends in large part on one’s moral principles. A Nietzschean or Social Darwinist would, for instance, find it easier to sympathize with a human beast of prey than would a Christian or a liberal democrat. Even so, it has been possible for Christians and liberals to write biographies of such great conquerors as Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Mohammed, Genghis Khan, and Napoleon without whipping themselves into thousand-page paroxysms of self-righteous moralistic denigration.

Hitler, of course, provides even greater problems for biographers, because his demonization is a prop of contemporary Jewish hegemony, and there are consequences for any writer who challenges that consensus.

R. H. S. Stolfi’s Hitler: Beyond Evil and Tyranny is one of my favorite books on Hitler. It is not a biography of Hitler, although it is organized chronologically. It is, rather, a kind of “meta-biography,” an essay on the interpretation of Hitler’s life. Stolfi’s project has both positive and negative aspects: Stolfi critiques the existing interpretations of Hitler’s life as a whole and of specific episodes in Hitler’s life, and Stolfi sets forth his own interpretations.

Stolfi’s criticism of Hitler biographies focuses on the work of those he calls the four “great biographers”: John Toland (Adolf Hitler: The Definitive Biography, Alan Bullock (Hitler: A Study in Tyranny), Joachim Fest (Hitler), and Ian Kershaw (Hitler: 1889-1936, Hubris and Hitler: 1936-1945, Nemesis). In Stolfi’s words, “the penchant of [Hitler’s] biographers for gratuitous sarcasm, strained skepticism, and writing from preconceived heights of antipathy has left the world with a dangerously inaccurate portrait of Hitler” (p. 54). (Judging from the reception of David Irving’s Hitler’s War and The War Path, the existing establishment regards an accurate portrait of Hitler more dangerous than an inaccurate one.) Four examples of this bias will suffice:

(1) Ian Kershaw claims that outside of politics, Hitler was an “unperson,” a nullity, which completely ignores Hitler’s voracious reading, serious engagement with and understanding of philosophers like Schopenhauer, love of painting and fine art, remarkable architectural knowledge and skill, and love of classical music, including a connoisseur’s knowledge of the operas of Richard Wagner that impressed the Wagner family and other highly discerning individuals.

(2) Hitler’s biographers invariably denigrate his humble, common origins, coming off like parodies of the worst forms of social snobbery. But of course the same authors would wax sodden and treacly in describing any other man’s rise from poverty and obscurity to fame and fortune. Jesse Owens, for instance.

(3) Stolfi rebuts one of Joachim Fest’s most outrageous liberties as follows: “The great biographers all debunk Nazi theories of racial differences, which they characterize as pseudoscientific and based on unredeemed prejudice, yet one of them [Fest] could claim confidently, without hint of countervailing possibility, that the subject of his biography had ‘criminal features’ set in a ‘psychopathic face’” (p. 268).

(4) The great biographers regularly slight Hitler’s service as a soldier during the First World War, yet as Stolfi points out, Hitler won the Iron Cross First Class, the Iron Cross Second Class, and a regimental commendation for bravery. He was also seriously wounded twice. Hitler never spoke much about what he did to earn these commendations, partly out of his characteristic modesty and reserve, but also probably because he did not wish to relive painful experiences. But even this is twisted by his biographers to cast aspersions on Hitler’s bravery and character. Stolfi notes that with no other historical figure do biographers feel entitled to take such liberties.

Kershaw is the most tendentious of the great biographers, repeatedly characterizing Hitler as an “unperson,” a “nonentity,” a “mediocrity,” and a “failure.” These epithets must surely feel good to Kershaw and like-minded readers, but if they are true, then Hitler’s career is utterly incomprehensible. Stolfi is acerbic, witty, and tireless in skewering the great biographers—although some of his readers might find it tiresome as well.

In addition to offering fascinating interpretations of particular events, Stolfi argues for three overriding theses about Hitler: (1) Hitler cannot be understood as a politician but as a prophet, specifically a prophet forced to take on the role of a messiah; (2) Hitler cannot be understood as an evil man, but as a good man who was forced by circumstances and his own ruthless logic and unemotional “hardness” to do terrible things; and (3) Hitler must be understood as one of the great men of history, indeed as a world-historical figure, who cannot be grasped with conventional moral concepts.

Surely by now you are thinking that our author must be some sort of “discredited,” “marginal,” outsider historian like David Irving, or even a dreaded “revisionist.” So who was Russell Stolfi? Born in 1932, Stolfi is to all appearances an established, mainstream military historian. He was Professor at the US Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California and a Colonel in the US Marine Corps Reserve. He is the author of three other books: German Panzers on the Offensive: Russian Front–North Africa 1941-1942 (Schiffer Publishing, 2003), Hitler’s Panzers East: World War II Reinterpreted (University of Oklahoma, 1993), and NATO Under Attack: Why the Western Alliance Can Fight Outnumbered and Win in Central Europe Without Nuclear Weapons (with F. W. von Mellenthin, Duke University Press, 1983). I first read Hitler: Beyond Evil and Tyranny in May of 2012, and I was so excited that I tried to contact Stolfi for an interview only to learn that he had just died in April.


Politician or Prophet?

Adolf Hitler was a formidable political organizer who took over a minuscule Bavarian debating club and turned it into the largest political party in Germany. After being imprisoned for an abortive Putsch, Hitler decided to attain power legally, through electoral politics. To that end, he virtually created the modern political campaign, traveling tirelessly by automobile and airplane and masterfully employing the mass media of his time. When he became Chancellor, Hitler proved a formidable statesman, transforming Germany with a virtually bloodless revolution and recovering German lands and pride through a series of deft foreign policy triumphs until the British and French started a World War to stop him.

Yet for all that, Stolfi argues that Hitler’s personality, goals, and grand strategy were more like those of a religious prophet, specifically an armed prophet like Mohammed.

Politicians presuppose a common political system and climate of opinion. They generally avoid contesting fundamental principles and instead deal with essentially quantitative differences within the same political and ideological continuum, hence their ability to compromise and their susceptibility to corruption. Stolfi points out again and again that Hitler refused to behave like a politician.

Hitler never compromised on basic principles. He took dangerously unpopular stands (p. 225). He refused to soften the party’s message to appeal to squeamish and lukewarm people. He was no demagogue: “A demagogue tells his audience what it wants to hear. A messiah tells his audience what he wants it to hear” (p. 248). Hitler never worried that his radical views would “discredit” him in the eyes of the public, whose minds were mostly in the grip of his enemies anyway. Instead, Hitler was supremely confident of his ability to lend credit to his ideas through reason and rhetoric. He wanted to elevate public opinion toward truth rather than condescend to pander to ignorance and folly.

Hitler also refused to enter common fronts with enemy parties, especially the Social Democrats, even when they took patriotic stands.

Hitler was, moreover, utterly incorruptible. He refused to make special promises to businessmen and other interest groups. He just handed them the party’s platform. In the end, he was offered the Chancellorship simply because his opponents knew he could not be bought off with anything less.

Revolutionaries deal with fundamental issues of principle, which is why they seek to overthrow existing systems and begin anew. Hitler was, of course, a political revolutionary. But he was something more. He saw himself as the exponent of a whole philosophy of life, not just a political philosophy. He placed politics in a larger biological and historical perspective: the struggle of Aryan man against Jewry and its extended phenotypes Communism and Anglo-Saxon capitalism. He believed the stakes were global: nothing less than the survival of all life on Earth was in peril. And having miraculously survived four years of slaughter and two serious wounds in the trenches of World War I—including an experience that can only be described as supernatural (p. 95)—Hitler believed that he enjoyed the special protection of Providence.

Hitler had a number of heroic role models. As a child, he was transported by Germanic myths and sagas. As a teenager, he identified with the hero of Wagner’s opera Rienzi, based on the story of Cola di Rienzi, the 14th century popular dictator who sought to restore Rome to its Imperial glory but who was undone by the treachery of the aristocracy and church and finally murdered. Hitler prophesied that he would become a tribune of the people who would rise and fall like Rienzi, and he did. Hitler also identified with Wagner’s Lohengrin and Siegfried. Although Hitler himself had little use for the Bible, his later career as armed prophet brings to mind the Hebrew prophets and lawgivers as well. Stolfi’s analogy between Hitler and Mohammed is quite apposite and revealing.

Savior of Germany – and Europe

Hitler, however, apparently did not think of himself as a messiah figure, but more as a John the Baptist, preparing the way for someone greater than him. But, as Stolfi documents, many of Hitler’s closest followers—all of them intelligent men, ranging from mystics like Hess to consummate cynics like Goebbels—as well as some of his more fair-minded enemies, did see him as a messiah figure, and in the end, he was forced to take on that role. Reading Stolfi makes Savitri Devi’s thesis in The Lightning and the Sun that Hitler was an avatar of the god Vishnu seem a little less eccentric. (Savitri did not originate that thesis. It was a view that she encountered widely among educated Hindus in the 1930s.) There was something messianic about Hitler’s aura and actions, and people around the world understood it in terms of their own cultural traditions.

Stolfi does not mention it, but there is a sense in which Hitler was the savior of Germany and all of Western Europe, although his accomplishments fell far short of his ambitions, consumed his life, and devastated his nation. When Hitler launched operation Barbarossa in 1941, the Soviets were poised to launch a massive invasion of all of Central and Western Europe. Hitler pre-empted that invasion, and although he failed to destroy the USSR, the Third Reich was destroyed instead, and Stalin conquered half of Europe, the outcome would have been much worse if Stalin had been able to launch his invasion. Stalin could have conquered all of Europe. At best he would have been repulsed after unimaginable devastation and bloodshed. Thus every Western European who has lived in freedom from want and terror since 1941 owes a debt of thanks to Adolf Hitler, the German people, and their Axis partners.

(See on this site [Counter Currents] Daniel Michaels, “Exposing Stalin’s Plan to Conquer Europe” and the National Vanguard review of Viktor Suvorov’s Icebreaker; for more recent literature on this subject, see Viktor Suvorov’s definitive statement of his research has been published as The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II [Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 2008] and Joachim Hoffmann, Stalin’s War of Extermination, 1941-1945: Planning, Realization and Documentation [Capshaw, Al.: Theses and Dissertations Press, 2001].)

The Question of Evil

In today’s climate of moral relativism and rot, Adolf Hitler is probably the only human being that even liberals will denounce as evil. Hitler is the modern world’s paradigm and embodiment of evil. But of course other people can be evil if they are “like Hitler.” Thus the most radical thesis of Stolfi’s book is that Adolf Hitler was not evil.

There are many dimensions to this argument.

(1) Stolfi points out that there is no evidence that Hitler had psychopathic or sociopathic personality traits as a child. He did not torture animals or steal, for instance. He was polite, serious, and reserved.

(2) Stolfi also points out that Hitler was not primarily motivated by hate or ressentiment. He arrived at his two great enmities, namely against Jewry and Bolshevism, based on personal experience, current events, and extensive research. But when he was rationally convinced of their enormity, he naturally hated them with appropriate magnitude and intensity. As Stolfi writes, “It is difficult to imagine Hitler either as messiah or otherwise and not hating the enemy. Did Jesus the Christ or Mohammed the Prophet hate Satan or merely disapprove of him?” (p. 233).

(3) Calling Hitler evil, like calling him “crazy,” is mentally lazy, because it exempts us from trying to understand the reasons for Hitler’s actions: both his thought processes and objective events that prompted him to act. Hitler had his reasons.

(4) Stolfi argues that Hitler’s character, goals, and actions were not evil. Hitler did what he thought was right, and he was hard enough to spill oceans of blood if he thought it was necessary to advance the greater good. A Socratic, of course, would claim that it is an empty claim, as nobody does evil as such but only under the guise of a perceived good. The evil of an act is in its outcome, not its motive. We all “mean well.”

(5) Stolfi hints that Hitler may have, in a sense, been beyond good and evil, because his goal was nothing less than the creation of a new order, including a new moral order, and it begs the question to subject such men to the moral laws they seek to overthrow. This points us back to Stolfi’s thesis that Hitler has to be seen more as a religious than a political figure and forward to his third major thesis, that Hitler was a world-historical individual.

Russell Stolfi deals with a number of episodes in Hitler’s life that are adduced as evidence of evil. Stolfi argues that some of these acts are not evil at all. He others that others were necessary or mitigated evils. And he claims that still others were no more evil than the actions of other great men of history who nevertheless manage to receive respectful treatment from biographers. Finally, Stolfi argues that all of these acts, even the evil ones, do not necessarily make Hitler an evil man, for even good men can commit horrific acts if they believe they are necessary to promote a greater good.

(1) Stolfi argues that Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch and other violations of the laws of the Weimar Republic are somewhat softened by the fact that he believed that the Weimar Republic was an illegitimate and criminal regime. Hitler’s early attempts to defy it and replace it are not, therefore, “evil,” unless all acts of disobedience and revolution against governments as such are evil. In any case, after his release from prison, Hitler adopted a policy of strict legality: he pursued the Chancellorship through electoral politics, and he won.

(2) Stolfi argues that the creation of the Sturm Abteilungen (Storm Troops) was not motivated by a desire to violently intimidate political opponents and seize power. Instead, the SA was formed in self-defense against organized Communist efforts to violently intimidate political opponents and seize power, violence that had effectively suppressed the ability of all Right-wing parties to assemble. The SA did not merely assure the NSDAP’s freedom to assemble and organize, it broke the Red terror and restored political freedom to all parties.

(3) Stolfi argues that the Röhm purge was necessary because there was ample evidence that Röhm himself was plotting a coup, and, true or not, Hindenburg, the leaders of the military, and Hitler’s top lieutenants all believed it to be true. Hindenburg threatened to declare martial law and have the army deal with Röhm if Hitler would not. Hitler had to act, because if he didn’t, he would be effectively deposed: he would be abdicating the sovereign function to decide and act for the good of the people to Hindenburg and the army. Even so, Hitler temporized to the last possible moment.

Stolfi claims that Röhm’s death was a kind of apotheosis for Hitler: “By June 1934, Hitler stood poised to pass beyond friendship with any man into the realm of the lonely, distant Leader. But Hitler could never pass into that realm with Röhm alive and serving as a reminder of Hitler’s own historical mortality. Röhm had to die, and Hitler had to kill him” (p. 306). But this was not, of course, Hitler’s motive for killing him.

Ultimately, Stolfi judges Röhm’s death to be politically necessary and morally excusable. He describes it not as a cool, premeditated murder but as a “crime of passion” of a man faced with the infidelity of a sworn confidant (p. 309). Of course, the Röhm purge was the occasion for settling a number of other old scores, which complicates Stolfi’s moral picture considerably.

(4) Stolfi evidently thinks there was nothing evil at all about Hitler’s assumption of dictatorial powers—through a provision in the Weimar constitution—or his suppression of a political movement as destructive and implacable as Marxism. But he praises the relative bloodlessness of Hitler’s legal revolution.

(5) As for the concentration camps off to which Hitler packed the leaders of the Marxist parties and other subversive groups: in 1935, when the German population stood at 65 million, the concentration camp inmates numbered 3,500, most of them Communists and Social Democrats. The camp system and its mandate were expanded to house people in protective custody for being social nuisances, including beggars, drunks, homosexuals (homosexuality was criminalized under the Second Reich, remained criminalized under Weimar, and was criminalized in the liberal democracies too), gypsies, and habitual criminals—by 1939 there were 10 camps with 25,000 inmates in a country of 80 million people. That doesn’t seem quite as evil as it was cracked up to be. Furthermore, since Himmler and Heydrich certainly did not lack persecuting zeal and organizational skill, we can conclude that the camp system was exactly as big as they thought it should be.

To give some context, according to Wikipedia—where statistics about Soviet atrocities tend to be on the low end due to Marxist policing—in March of 1940, the Soviet Gulag comprised 53 separate camps and 423 labor colonies in which approximately 1.3 million people were interned out of a population of 170 million. Whatever the real size, it was exactly as big as Stalin wanted it to be.

Although I have not been able to find records of similar forms of internment in liberal democracies for political dissidents and social nuisances, these surely did take place. But even in the absence of these numbers, it seems clear that Hitler’s camps were far more similar to the prisons of liberal democracies than the Soviet Gulag to which they are always likened.

Of course, these were peacetime numbers. Under the exigencies of war, Hitler’s camp system expanded dramatically to house hostile populations, prisoners of war, and conscript laborers, which is another topic.

(6) Hitler’s anti-Semitism is often put forward as evidence of evil. Hitler himself thought that certain forms of anti-Semitism were repugnant if not outright evil: religious anti-Semitism, anti-Semitism based on ressentiment, gutter populist scapegoating, etc. His repugnance for such phenomena prejudiced him against anti-Semitism as such. But his personal experiences in Vienna, combined with serious reading eventually led him to a dispassionate, scientifically based, and historically informed anti-Semitism.

When Hitler took power, Germany had a relatively small Jewish population. His basic policy was to prevent any further German-Jewish genetic admixture, remove Jews from positions of power and influence, and encourage Jews to emigrate. By the outbreak of the Polish war, Germany’s Jewish population had been dramatically reduced. But due to Hitler’s war gains, millions of new Jews fell into his remit. More about this anon. Stolfi is somewhat circumspect in passing judgment about Hitler’s peacetime Jewish policy. But we can safely say that it was no more evil than, say, the British treatment of Boer non-combatants or the American treatment of the Plains Indians.

(7) Regarding Hitler’s foreign policy exploits as Chancellor—including rearmament, pulling out of the League of Nations, remilitarizing the Rhineland, the annexation of the Sudetenland and Austria, the annexation of Bohemia, and the war with Poland—Stolfi writes, “every international crisis that involved Hitler in the 1930s stemmed from an iniquity on the part of the Allies in the Paris Peace Conference of 1919” (p. 316). According to Stolfi, in all of these crises, morality was on Hitler’s side, and he lauds Hitler for conducting them with restraint and relative bloodlessness—at least up until the Polish war.

These were hardly the outrageous, unendurable moral provocations of Allied propaganda that justified Britain and France starting a World War because Hitler, having exhausted diplomatic negotiations, started a war with Poland to recover German lands and peoples subjected to horrific Polish oppression. The British and French simply could not grasp that, in Stolfi’s words, “a world-historical personality had marched, outraged, out of the desert of shattered Flanders fields, and the former Allies had not even superior morality to shield themselves from him” (p. 317).

(8) Stolfi interprets Operation Barbarossa against the USSR as a colonial war of conquest as well as a crusade to rid Europe of the scourge of Bolshevism. From an ethnonationalist perspective, of course, Hitler’s aim to reduce Slavs to colonized peoples was evil. Furthermore, it was more evil than British, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Belgian, American, and Russian imperialism directed at non-European peoples, because it is always worse to mistreat one’s own blood than foreigners. But it was certainly not uniquely evil in the annals of human history. If Genghis Khan and Timur the Lame can be the subjects of objective historical assessments, then Barbarossa does not disqualify Hitler.

Stolfi does not treat Barbarossa as a necessary war to preempt Stalin’s planned invasion of Europe. I wanted to ask Stolfi his thoughts about the thesis defended by Viktor Suvorov and Joachim Hoffmann in an interview, but that was not to be. If they are right, of course, then there was no evil at all in launching Barbarossa, although one can justly criticize the excesses of its execution.

(9) According to Stolfi, Hitler’s darkest deeds are the massacre of 3.1 million Soviet POWs captured in the opening months of Barbarossa and the killing of 4.5 million Jews in what is known as the Holocaust. Stolfi is certainly a Hitler revisionist, but I do not know whether he is a Holocaust revisionist or not, since I am unsure if it is legal for him to think that “only” 4.5 million Jews were killed by the Third Reich. I had not even heard of the 3.1 million Soviet POWs, which Stolfi mentions only a couple of times in passing. But of course I have heard of the Holocaust, to which Stolfi dedicates the last two paragraphs of the book (pp. 461-62). Such a brief treatment may itself constitute revisionism, at least in France, where Jean-Marie Le Pen was fined for saying that the Holocaust was only a footnote to the Second World War. Given that some footnotes are longer than the paragraphs in question, Stolfi might have gotten in trouble in the land of liberté. Stolfi’s treatment, however, is a welcome corrective to the Jewish tendency to treat World War II as merely the backdrop of the Holocaust.

Of course, just as Hitler is our age’s paradigm of an evil man, the Holocaust is the paradigm of an evil event. Stolfi does not dispute that the massacre of 7.6 million people is evil. But he does not think it is uniquely evil in World War II or the annals of history in general. Winston Churchill, for example, was responsible for the starvation of millions of Indians whose food was seized for the war effort. He was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of German non-combatants in strategically unnecessary terror bombings of German cities. He was responsible for the expulsion of 14 million Germans from their homes in Eastern and Central Europe, up to two million of whom died. Was Churchill evil? His apologists, of course, would argue that his actions were necessitated by the exigencies of war and the pursuit of the greater good. But Hitler’s apologists, if there were any, could argue the very same thing and be done with it. If Churchill, Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Julius Caesar, and other members of the Million Murder club can receive fair treatment in a biography, then why not Hitler?

Stolfi compares the Holocaust to Julius Caesar’s ten year conquest of Gaul, in which he killed more than a million armed men and reduced another million to slavery. One million civilian non-combatants were also killed or reduced to slavery. Some particularly troublesome tribes were entirely exterminated because they were “irreconcilable, menacing, and useless either as allies or slaves” (p. 38). Stolfi points out, however, that Caesar’s acts “revealed harshness of almost incredible proportion,” but his acts were “based on realism and prudence in the face of perceived danger—scarcely sadism and cruelty” (p. 38). Likewise, Stolfi argues that “Hitler took the action of pitiless massacre as a last resort in the face of a perceived irreconcilable enemy” and his actions “showed virtually nothing that can be interpreted as sadism, cruelty, or ingrained hate as opposed to temporary fury in the carrying out of the action” (p. 39).

Hitler’s massacres, terrible though they may be, do not prove that he is an evil man, since even good men might resort to such measures in direst extremity. Moreover, even if they were expressions of evil, they were not unique expressions of unique evil but all too common in the annals of history. But, again, only in Hitler’s case are they treated as insuperable objections to serious historical treatment.

In sum, Stolfi argues that Hitler cannot be seen as evil if that means that he was motivated by sadism, psychopathy, hatred, or a neurotic need for power and attention. Instead, Hitler was motivated, first and foremost, by love of his people, beyond which were wider but less pressing concerns with the larger Aryan race, European civilization, and the welfare of the world as a whole. Because Hitler believed that the things he loved were imperiled by Jewry, Bolshevism, and Anglo-Saxon capitalism, he fought them. And when the fight became a world conflagration, he fought them with a remarkable hardness and severity. But his essentially decent character and positive ends remained unchanged. Thus for Stolfi, Hitler is a good man who did some bad things as well as good things—a good man who made many good decisions and some catastrophic mistakes.

A Dark World Historical Personality

But there is a sense in which Stolfi thinks that Hitler is beyond the very categories of good and evil, at least as far as historians should be concerned. Stolfi argues that Hitler was a great man, like such great conquerors as Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Mohammed, and Napoleon. (Stolfi makes scant mention of unarmed prophets like the Buddha or Jesus.) According to Stolfi, if one were to freeze Hitler’s life at the end of 1942, he would have to be considered one of history’s greatest statesmen and conquerors. And even if one plays the film all the way to the end, Stolfi argues that the Allies did not win World War II so much as Hitler lost it, which itself underscores his greatness and the relative nullity of his opponents.

Indeed, Stolfi argues that Hitler was more than just a great man but one of Hegel’s “world-historical individuals,” who inaugurates a new stage in human history and cannot be judged or comprehended by the standards of the previous stage. Stolfi, it seems, detaches this concept from Hegel’s overall view that world-historical individuals advance history toward the Providential goal of universal freedom, a goal that Hitler, of course, rejected in favor of particularisms of race and nation. Sadly, though, Hitler may have advanced the universalist agenda in defeat, through no intention of his own.

But, as another prophetic figure once said of World War II, “the war’s not over as far as I’m concerned,” meaning that history is still unfolding, including the consequences of Hitler’s actions. So it remains to be seen whether Hitler will contribute to the victory or defeat of universalism. If racial nationalism—of which Hitler is an inexpugnable part—defeats the drive toward a homogeneous global society, then Hitler would be a world historical figure of an entirely new order: not an agent of “progress,” but of its termination; the man who ended the “end of history” and started the world anew; the man who took the ascending line of progress and inscribed it within a cyclical view of history, whether interpreted in the widely variant Traditionalist or Spenglerian senses.

Hitler: Beyond Evil and Tyranny is a remarkable book that I recommend to all my readers. Stolfi executes his audacious project with clarity and dry humor. Sometimes Stolfi seems to go a bit too far, perhaps just to test his dialectical skills. For instance, he even defends Hitler as a painter. He does a surprisingly good job, but I will still not budge from my conviction that Winston Churchill was Hitler’s superior in this—and only this—regard.

This book is even more remarkable because it is the work of a mainstream military historian, and it clears the way for other genuinely historical studies of Hitler and the Third Reich. This really is an inevitable development as the generations that lived through the war die off. Furthermore, we are now living in a multipolar world with new rising powers—Russia, China, India—that are free of Jewish cultural and political hegemony and hungry for a genuine understanding of Hitler and the Second World War.

White Nationalists should especially welcome Stolfi’s book because it works to dispel the cloud of moral hysteria and denigration that surrounds Hitler, taking some of the sting out of the inevitable accusation that we are “just like Hitler,” which turns out to be an undeserved compliment.

Original source: here and here