By A. Dirk Moses
This ebook examines West German highbrow debates concerning the Nazi previous by way of explaining why they have been so relentlessly polarized. Germans argued in regards to the viability in their very nationality: was once it stigmatized, stained, or polluted by means of crimes of the 3rd Reich? Or used to be it rather like every different state? The booklet examines how German intellectuals both defended nationwide traditions or condemned them and in its place encouraged replacement traditions. even if the booklet proceeds chronologically, it differs from different works, that are event-based narratives, by way of highlighting this underlying constitution of identification and dispute.
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Additional info for German Intellectuals and the Nazi Past
The “German spirit” had continually struggled opposed to Western liberalism and its technological spirit, so it was once essential to maintain this competition, with out, in fact, taking the deadly direction of its conservative innovative representatives. on the very second while German philosophers and scientists began to “eradicate” this background, the profound ambivalence that so eerily coloured the darkish floor of the ¨ German spirit was once printed as a threat of barbarism for everybody. Ernst Junger, Martin Heidegger, and Carl Schmitt are representatives of this spirit in its grandeur, yet in its perilousness in addition. That they spoke as they did in 1930, 1933, and 1936 is not any twist of fate. And that this perception has no longer been discovered 1 / 4 of a century later proves the urgency of a discriminating form of pondering the entire extra. This should be one with the deadly German spirit and but break up with it from inside of to such an quantity that it may well relay an oracle to it: it mustn't ever move the Rubicon a moment time. If there have been now not extant a German-Jewish culture, we might need to become aware of one for our personal sakes. good it does exist; yet simply because we have now murdered or damaged its physically providers, and since, in a weather of an unbinding reconciliation, we're within the technique of letting every thing be forgiven and forgotten too (in order to complete what couldn't were comprehensive greater by way of anti-Semitism), we're now pressured into the ancient irony of taking on the Jewish query with no the Jews. eighty one Habermas made it his undertaking to include this spirit, to pose the Jewish query in a Germany mostly bereft of Jews, and to safeguard it opposed to its enemies, seventy nine eighty eighty one ¨ Jurgen Habermas, “The German Idealism of the Jewish Philosophers,” in his PhilosophicalPolitical Profiles, trans. Frederick G. Lawrence (Cambridge, Mass. , 1983), 39. Ibid. , forty two. Ibid. P1: SBT 0521864954c05 126 CUNY998/Moses 978 zero 521 86495 four August four, 2007 German Intellectuals and the Nazi prior the previous conservative revolutionaries and their postwar successors, the positivists. There will be no compromise with those that had as soon as adversarial this spirit and its ancient objective. Habermas’s epistemological claims replaced after he learn Dialectic of Enlightenment and joined the institute. He now not claimed precise wisdom in response to own, quasi-religious adventure. The dialectic confirmed the best way ahead. therefore, he now defended Schelling opposed to the accusation that his pondering used to be “gnostic” or contaminated by means of the “spirit of magic” through emphasizing his affinities with the historic instead of existentialist different types. “Do we now not locate accurately in Schelling and Hegel,” Habermas rejoined, “some beginnings of a 3rd, dialectical entry to ‘transcendence,’ greater than in simple terms ‘enlightening,’ and but no longer ‘gnostic’? ”82 waiting for Herbert Marcuse’s One Dimensional guy of 1964, he spoke back the query in regards to the nature of this entry via arguing that the matter with positivism and know-how used to be their failure to acknowledge the potential for replacement social preparations by means of concerning the present order superficially because the finish of historical past.