↸ Text ⌏ Ominous Parallels free download ⇨ Ebook Author Leonard Peikoff ∆

↸ Text ⌏ Ominous Parallels free download ⇨ Ebook Author Leonard Peikoff ∆ ↸ Text ⌏ Ominous Parallels free download ⇨ Ebook Author Leonard Peikoff ∆ PREFACEAs Ayn Rand indicates in her introduction, this book demonstrates how German philosophy led to Hitler and the Holocaust. The Cause of Hitlers Germany is about two thirds of The Ominous Parallels, a book of mine first published in 1982 In the book, I intended a warning If Americans continue to accept and act on the same philosophic ideas that led to the Third Reich, then America will have to follow a parallel course and suffer the same result.The book, accordingly, studied American culture and history in as much detail as that given to Germany Given our cultural state, however, I did not expect any such warning to be heeded or even heard, and it wasnt There is no improvement in the thirty years since, no change in the basic ideas ruling the United States and the West as a whole The Soviet Empire has collapsed, but the ideas of irrationalism, self sacrifice, and collectivism still dominate and fuel murderous tyrannies, primarily now in the upsurging Middle East, but elsewhere, too.Unlike The Ominous Parallels, this substantial portion of it is offered not primarily as a warning but rather as an explanation To this day, Nazism remains vivid in the public mind as the greatest evil in human history, and continues to be the subject or background of countless novels, films, and nonfiction analyses But the artists and scholars still have no real explanation they are no closer than they were in 1982 to identifying the fundamental roots of Nazism.For this reason, I agreed with the suggestion of Dr Michael Berliner that I bring out this reduced version of my book It was Dr Berliner who first thought of such a possibility, who initiated the project, and who oversaw the development of its various stages He wanted a book that would focus only on the Nazi aspects on their intellectual origins in German philosophy, and then on their manifestations in Weimar culture and, as a result, in the world of Hitler My approach to discovering the cause of Nazism is, I believe, unique and worthy of special attention I am hopeful that this time it may reach its audience If we are to survive todays world, someand ever people must come to understand that abstract theory is what produces existential consequences, both personal and social.Eleven of the sixteen chapters of The Ominous Parallels are included in this book In omitting the other five chapters, I have eliminated a great deal the material, analyzing our countrys decline into an intellectually Germanized culture, thereby showing how and why the mind of the Enlightenment gave way to religion, pragmatism, and nihilism, all of it expressed by the shrinking of Americanism in our publics attitude, and by the ever growing scale and power of our government The solution, I argued, is to replace the philosophy of Kant and Hegel with the pro reason, pro individualism viewpoint of Ayn Rand.I have made some minuscule changes to the original wording, cutting out a few lines here and there that refer to the omitted chapters.Leonard PeikoffAliso Viejo, CaliforniaFebruary 2013P.S If, after reading this book, you are interested in a broader and deeper discussion of the relationship between philosophy and culture politics, I refer you to my latest book The DIM Hypothesis Why the Lights of the West Are Going Out 2012 But this book is technical and requires some background, so read the one in your hands first.From Ayn Rands 1980 Introduction to THE OMINOUS PARALLELSIt gives me great pleasure to introduce the first book by an Objectivist philosopher other than myself.Perhaps the best recommendation I can give this bookand its author, Dr Leonard Peikoffis to say that it and he are not of todays cultural mainstream They will be part of tomorrows.It is not necessary for me to prove that something is wrong with todays world Everybodyof any creed, color, or intellectual persuasion, old and young, rich and poor, conservative and liberal, foreign and domesticsenses that something monstrous is destroying the world But no one knows what it is, and people keep blaming one anotherwith some justice.As a symptom of todays cultural anxiety, observe the unusual interest in and the deluge of books dealing with Nazi Germany Every sort of semi plausible and wholly impossible theory has been offered in futile attempts to find the cause and explain the rise of Nazism The failure of those explanations intensifies the quest men seem to sense that the collapse of what had been a civilized country into such monstrous evil must be understood if we are to make certain that it will not be repeated We dare not brush aside unexplained a horror such as Nazism, states Dr Peikoff If we do not know its causes, how can we be sure that our own country is not traveling the same road Dr Peikoff answers these questions He identifies the cause of Nazism He demonstrates that there is a science which has been all but obliterated in the modern world Yet this science determines the destiny of nations and the course of history , he writes It is the science which had to be destroyed, if the catastrophes of our time were to become possible The science is philosophy.The non modern and non old fashioned aspect of Leonard Peikoffs book is the breadth of his vision and the stunning scale of his philosophic integration He does not share the concrete bound, college induced myopia of those alleged philosophers who study the various meanings of the word but the contemporary empiricists nor does he share the foggy stumbling and the floating abstractions of their predecessors the rationalists He presents the history of Germanys philosophy, in telling essentials Then he presents the practical resultsthe way in which philosophic ideas direct the course and shape the particular events of the history of the Weimar Republic , as reflected in politics, economics, art, literature, education, etc.This last is the cardinal achievement of Dr Peikoff s book While todays philosophy departments make it a loud point to proclaim that philosophy has nothing to do with practical life or with reality which, they add, does not exist Dr Peikoff shows to their mangled victims what philosophy is, what it does, and how to recognize its influence all around us He gives a virtuoso performance of shuttling effortlessly between abstractions and concreteskeeping the first tied firmly to reality and thus illuminating the second He shows that a nation brought up to regard the principles of duty and self sacrifice as cardinal virtues will be helpless when confronted by a gang of thugs who demand obedience and self sacrifice.It is a tragic irony of our time that the two worst, bloodiest tribes in history, the Nazis of Germany and the Communists of Soviet Russia, both of whom are motivated by brute power lust and a crudely materialistic greed for the unearned, show respect for the power of philosophy they call it ideology and spend billions of their looted wealth on propaganda and indoctrination, realizing that mans mind is their most dangerous enemy and it is mans mind that they have to destroy, while the United States and the other countries of the West, who claim to believe in the superiority of the human spirit over matter, neglect philosophy, despise ideas, starve the best minds of the young, offer nothing but the stalest slogans of a materialistic altruism in the form of global giveaways, and wonder why they are losing the world to the thugs.As an example of why the cause of Nazism should be understood but is not , I would like to mention a recent television interview with Helmut Schmidt, chancellor of West Germany Asked to name his favorite philosopher, he answeredin a changed tone of voice, a stiff, solemn, deaf and blind, heel clicking toneMarcus Aurelius He taught that we must do our duty above all If he is typical of his country and I believe he is , Germany has learned nothing.The ineffable monster destroying the world is not an entity but a vacuum, an absence, the emptiness left by the collapse of philosophy In that lightless emptiness, mindless men rattle frantically, bumping into one another, seeking desperately some way to exist on earthwhich they cannot find without the tool they have discarded This leads to phenomena such as Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia, as Dr Peikoff demonstrates.If you do not wish to be a victim of todays philosophical bankruptcy, I recommend The Ominous Parallels as protection and ammunition It will protect you from supporting, unwittingly, the ideas that are destroying you and the world It will bring order into the chaos of todays eventsand show you simultaneously the enormity of the battle and the contemptible smallness of the enemy. The Ominous Parallels offers a truly revolutionary idea in the field of the philosophy of history The book is clear, tight, disciplined, beautifully structured, and brilliantly reasoned Its style is clear and hard as crystaland as sparkling If you like my works, you will like this book.As to my personal reaction, I can express it best by paraphrasing a line from Atlas Shrugged Its so wonderful to see a great, new, crucial achievement which is not mine Ayn RandNew York, November 1980 1The Cause of NazismHere is the theory It is thus necessary that the individual should finally come to realize that his own ego is of no importance in comparison with the existence of his nation that the position of the individual ego is conditioned solely by the interests of the nation as a whole that above all the unity of a nations spirit and will are worth far than the freedom of the spirit and will of an individual.This state of mind, which subordinates the interests of the ego to the conservation of the community, is really the first premise for every truly human culture The basic attitude from which such activity arises, we callto distinguish it from egoism and selfishnessidealism By this we understand only the individuals capacity to make sacrifices for the community, for his fellow men.These statements were made in our century by the leader of a major Western nation His countrymen regarded his viewpoint as uncontroversial His political program implemented it faithfully.The statements were made by Adolf Hitler He was explaining the moral philosophy of Nazism.1And here is the ultimate practice as described by William Shirer in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich The gas chambers themselves at Auschwitz and the adjoining crematoria, viewed from a short distance, were not sinister looking places at all it was impossible to make them out for what they were Over them were well kept lawns with flower borders the signs at the entrances merely said BATHS The unsuspecting Jews thought they were simply being taken to the baths for the delousing which was customary at all camps And taken to the accompaniment of sweet music For there was light music An orchestra of young and pretty girls all dressed in white blouses and navy blue skirts, as one survivor remembered, had been formed from among the inmates While the selection was being made for the gas chambers this unique musical ensemble played gay tunes from The Merry Widow and Tales of Hoffmann Nothing solemn and somber from Beethoven The death marches at Auschwitz were sprightly and merry tunes, straight out of Viennese and Parisian operetta.To such music, recalling as it did happier and frivolous times, the men, women and children were led into the bath houses, where they were told to undress preparatory to taking a shower Sometimes they were even given towels Once they were inside the shower roomand perhaps this was the first moment that they may have suspected something was amiss, for as many as two thousand of them were packed into the chamber like sardines, making it difficult to take a baththe massive door was slid shut, locked and hermetically sealed Up above where the well groomed lawn and flower beds almost concealed the mushroom shaped lids of vents that ran up from the hall of death, orderlies stood ready to drop into them the amethyst blue crystals of hydrogen cyanide.Surviving prisoners watching from blocks nearby remembered how for a time the signal for the orderlies to pour the crystals down the vents was given by a Sergeant Moll Na, gib ihnen schon zu fressen All right, give em something to chew on , he would laugh and the crystals would be poured through the openings, which were then sealed.Through heavy glass portholes the executioners could watch what happened The naked prisoners below would be looking up at the showers from which no water spouted or perhaps at the floor wondering why there were no drains It took some moments for the gas to have much effect But soon the inmates became aware that it was issuing from the perforations in the vents It was then that they usually panicked, crowding away from the pipes and finally stampeding toward the huge metal door where, as Reitlinger puts it, they piled up in one blue clammy blood spattered pyramid, clawing and mauling each other even in death.2The Nazis were not a tribe of prehistoric savages Their crimes were the official, legal acts and policies of modern Germanyan educated, industrialized, civilized Western European nation, a nation renowned throughout the world for the luster of its intellectual and cultural achievements By reason of its long line of famous artists and thinkers, Germany has been called the land of poets and philosophers.But its education offered the country no protection against the Sergeant Molls in its ranks The German university students were among the earliest groups to back Hitler The intellectuals were among his regimes most ardent supporters Professors with distinguished academic credentials, eager to pronounce their benediction on the Fhrers cause, put their scholarship to work full time they turned out a library of admiring volumes, adorned with obscure allusions and learned references.The Nazis did not gain power against the countrys wishes In this respect there was no gulf between the intellectuals and the people The Nazi party was elected to office by the freely cast ballots of millions of German voters, including men on every social, economic, and educational level In the national election of July 1932, the Nazis obtained 37 percent of the vote and a plurality of seats in the Reichstag On January 30, 1933, in full accordance with the countrys legal and constitutional principles, Hitler was appointed chancellor Five weeks later, in the last and semi free election of the pre totalitarian period, the Nazis obtained 17 million votes, 44 percent of the total.The voters were aware of the Nazi ideology Nazi literature, including statements of the Nazi plans for the future, papered the country during the last years of the Weimar Republic Mein Kampf alone sold than 200,000 copies between 1925 and 1932 The essence of the political system which Hitler intended to establish in Germany was clear.In 1933, when Hitler did establish the system he had promised, he did not find it necessary to forbid foreign travel Until World War II, those Germans who wished to flee the country could do so The overwhelming majority did not They were satisfied to remain.The system which Hitler establishedthe social reality which so many Germans were so eager to embrace or so willing to endurethe politics which began in a theory and ended in Auschwitzwas the total state The term, from which the adjective totalitarian derives, was coined by Hitlers mentor, Mussolini.The state must have absolute power over every man and over every sphere of human activity, the Nazis declared The authority of the Fhrer is not limited by checks and controls, by special autonomous bodies or individual rights, but it is free and independent, all inclusive and unlimited, said Ernst Huber, an official party spokesman, in 1933.The concept of personal liberties of the individual as opposed to the authority of the state had to disappear it is not to be reconciled with the principle of the nationalistic Reich, said Huber to a country which listened, and nodded There are no personal liberties of the individual which fall outside of the realm of the state and which must be respected by the state The constitution of the nationalistic Reich is therefore not based upon a system of inborn and inalienable rights of the individual.3If the term statism designates concentration of power in the state at the expense of individual liberty, then Nazism in politics was a form of statism In principle, it did not represent a new approach to government it was a continuation of the political absolutismthe absolute monarchies, the oligarchies, the theocracies, the random tyrannieswhich has characterized most of human history.In degree, however, the total state does differ from its predecessors it represents statism pressed to its limits, in theory and in practice, devouring the last remnants of the individual Although previous dictators and many today e.g., in Latin America often preached the unlimited power of the state, they were on the whole unable to enforce such power As a rule, citizens of such countries had a kind of partial freedom, not a freedom on principle, but at least a freedom by default.Even the latter was effectively absent in Nazi Germany The efficiency of the government in dominating its subjects, the all encompassing character of its coercion, the complete mass regimentation on a scale involving millions of menand, one might add, the enormity of the slaughter, the planned, systematic mass slaughter, in peacetime, initiated by a government against its own citizensthese are the insignia of twentieth century totalitarianism Nazi and communist , which are without parallel in recorded history In the totalitarian regimes, as the Germans found out after only a few months of Hitlers rule, every detail of life is prescribed, or proscribed There is no longer any distinction between private matters and public matters There are to be no private Germans, said Friedrich Sieburg, a Nazi writer each is to attain significance only by his service to the state, and to find complete self fulfillment in this service The only person who is still a private individual in Germany, boasted Robert Ley, a member of the Nazi hierarchy, after several years of Nazi rule, is somebody who is asleep.4In place of the despised private individuals, the Germans heard daily or hourly about a different kind of entity, a supreme entity, whose will, it was said, is what determines the course and actions of the state the nation, the whole, the group Over and over, the Germans heard the idea that underlies the advocacy of omnipotent government, the idea that totalitarians of every kind stress as the justification of their total states collectivism.Collectivism is the theory that the group the collective has primacy over the individual Collectivism holds that, in human affairs, the collectivesociety, the community, the nation, the proletariat, the race, etc.is the unit of reality and the standard of value On this view, the individual has reality only as part of the group, and value only insofar as he serves it on his own he has no political rights he is to be sacrificed for the group whenever itor its representative, the statedeems this desirable.Fascism, said one of its leading spokesmen, Alfredo Rocco, stressesthe necessity, for which the older doctrines make little allowance, of sacrifice, even up to the total immolation of individuals, in behalf of society For Liberalism i.e., individualism , the individual is the end and society the means nor is it conceivable that the individual, considered in the dignity of an ultimate finality, be lowered to mere instrumentality For Fascism, society is the end, individuals the means, and its whole life consists in using individuals as instruments for its social ends.5 T he higher interests involved in the life of the whole, said Hitler in a 1933 speech, must here set the limits and lay down the duties of the interests of the individual Men, echoed the Nazis, have to realize that the State is important than the individual, that individuals must be willing and ready to sacrifice themselves for Nation and Fhrer The people, said the Nazis, form a true organism a living unity, whose cells are individual persons In reality, thereforeappearances to the contrary notwithstandingthere is no such thing as an isolated individual or an autonomous man.6Just as the individual is to be regarded merely as a fragment of the group, the Nazis said, so his possessions are to be regarded as a fragment of the groups wealth.Private property as conceived under the liberalistic economic order was a reversal of the true concept of property wrote Huber This private property represented the right of the individual to manage and to speculate with inherited or acquired property as he pleased, without regard for the general interests German socialism had to overcome this private, that is, unrestrained and irresponsible view of property All property is common property The owner is bound by the people and the Reich to the responsible management of his goods His legal position is only justified when he satisfies this responsibility to the community.7Contrary to the Marxists, the Nazis did not advocate public ownership of the means of production They did demand that the government oversee and run the nations economy The issue of legal ownership, they explained, is secondary what counts is the issue of control Private citizens, therefore, may continue to hold titles to propertyso long as the state reserves to itself the unqualified right to regulate the use of their property.If ownership means the right to determine the use and disposal of material goods, then Nazism endowed the state with every real prerogative of ownership What the individual retained was merely a formal deed, a contentless deed, which conferred no rights on its holder Under communism, there is collective ownership of property de jure Under Nazism, there is the same collective ownership de facto.During the Hitler yearsin order to finance the partys programs, including the war expendituresevery social group in Germany was mercilessly exploited and drained White collar salaries and the earnings of small businessmen were deliberately held down by government controls, freezes, taxes Big business was bled by taxes and special contributions of every kind, and strangled by the bureaucracy Amid the Niagara of thousands of special decrees and laws, writes Shirer, even the most astute businessman was often lost, and special lawyers had to be employed to enable a firm to function The graft involved in finding ones way to key officials became in the late thirties astronomical.8 At the same time the income of the farmers was held down, and there was a desperate flight to the citieswhere the middle class, especially the small tradesmen, were soon in desperate straits, and where the workers were forced to labor at low wages for increasingly longer hours up to 60 or per week.But the Nazis defended their policies, and the country did not rebel it accepted the Nazi argument Selfish individuals may be unhappy, the Nazis said, but what we have established in Germany is the ideal system, socialism In its Nazi usage this term is not restricted to a theory of economics it is to be understood in a fundamental sense Socialism for the Nazis denotes the principle of collectivism as such and its corollary, statismin every field of human action, including but not limited to economics.To be a socialist, says Goebbels, is to submit the I to the thou socialism is sacrificing the individual to the whole.9By this definition, the Nazis practiced what they preached They practiced it at home and then abroad No one can claim that they did not sacrifice enough individuals.The question is why What could explain a system such as Nazism What permitted it to happen An evil of such magnitude cannot be a product of superficial factors In order to make it, and its German popularity, intelligible, one must penetrate to its deepest, most hidden roots One must grasp its nature and its causes in terms of fundamentals.Unfortunately, this has not been the approach of most observers As a rule, commentators have attempted to explain Nazism by the opposite method by the newspaper headlines or the practical crises of the moment.It has been said, for instance, that the Germans embraced Nazism because they lost World War I Austria lost that war also, but this did not cause it to turn Nazi it went under only when invaded by Hitler in 1938 Italy, on the other hand, one of the victorious powers at the Versailles Conference of 1919, went Fascist in 1922.It has been said that the cause of Nazism was the Great Depression All the industrial nations suffered the ravages of the Depression Few turned to Nazism.It has been said that the cause of Nazism was the weakness of the non totalitarian parties in the Weimar Republic, the pressure group warfare which they encouraged, and the governmental paralysis that followed This does not explain why or in what basic respect the non totalitarians were weak, nor does it take into account the many countries in which social clashes and governmental drifting have not led to Nazism.There is no direct causal relationship or even any approximate correlation between specific practical crises singly or in combination and the development of Nazism Practical crises confront a country with the need for action They do not determine what the action will be In the face of military ruin, economic strangulation, or governmental collapse, men may choose to investigate the disasters causes and to discover a rational course of action for the future, i.e., they may choose to think Or they may choose to hate, or to pray, or to beg, or to kill On such matters, the crisis itself is silent.There are other interpretations of Nazism, besides the practical crisis theory.Religious writers often claim that the cause of Nazism is the secularism or the scientific spirit of the modern world This evades the facts that the Germans at the time, especially in Prussia, were one of the most religious peoples in Western Europe that the Weimar Republic was a hotbed of mystic cults, of which Nazism was one and that Germanys largest and most devout religious group, the Lutherans, counted themselves among Hitlers staunchest followers.There is the Marxist interpretation of Nazism, according to which Hitler is the inevitable result of capitalism This evades the facts that Germany after Bismarck was the least capitalistic country of Western Europe that the Weimar Republic from the start was a controlled economy, with the controls growing steadily and that the word Nazism is an abbreviation for National Socialism.There are the Aryan racists in reverse, who say that the cause of Nazism is the innate depravity of the Germans This evades the fact that depravity is a moral concept, which implies that man is not predetermined but has free choice It also evades the fact that regimes similar to Hitlers, regimes differing only in the degree of brutality they perpetrated, have appeared in our century across the globenot only in Italy, Japan, Argentina, and the like, but also, in the form of communism, in Russia, China, and their satellites.Then there is the Freudian interpretation, according to which the cause of Nazism is the Germans Oedipus complex or their death wish or their toilet training, etc This evades the fact that arbitrary constructs, such as Freud is famous for, can be manipulated to explain anything, and therefore explain nothing.We dare not brush aside unexplained a horror such as Nazism If we are to avoid a fate like that of Germany, we must find out what made such a fate possible We must find out what, at root, is required to turn a country, Germany or any other, into a Nazi dictatorship and then we must uproot that root.We need to look for something deeper than practical conditions, something that dictates mens view of what constitutes the practical.In an advanced, civilized country, a handful of men were able to gain for their criminal schemes the enthusiastic backing of millions of decent, educated, law abiding citizens What is the factor that made this possible Criminal groups and schemes have existed throughout history, in every country They have been able to succeed only in certain periods The mere presence of such groups is not sufficient to account for their victory Something made so many Germans so vulnerable to a takeover Something armed the criminals and disarmed the country.Observe in this connection that the Nazis, correctly, regarded the power of propaganda as an indispensable tool.The Nazis could not have won the support of the German masses but for the systematic preaching of a complex array of theories, doctrines, opinions, notions, beliefs And not one of their central beliefs was original They found those beliefs, widespread and waiting, in the culture they seized upon them and broadcast them at top volume, thrusting them with a new intensity back into the streets of Germany And the men in the streets heard and recognized and sympathized with and embraced those beliefs, and voted for their exponents.The Germans would not have recognized or embraced those beliefs in the nineteenth century, when the West was still being influenced by the remnants of the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment, when the doctrines of the rights of man and the autonomy of the individual were paramount But by the twentieth century such doctrines, and the convictions on which they depended, were paramount no longer.Germany was ideologically ripe for Hitler The intellectual groundwork had been prepared The countrys ideasa certain special category of ideaswere ready.There is a science whose subject matter is that category of ideas.Today, in our colleges, this science has sunk to the lowest point in its history Its teachers have declared that it has no questions to ask, no method to follow, no answers to offer As a result, it is disappearinglosing its identity, its intelligibility, its students, and the last vestiges of its once noble reputation No oneamong the intellectuals or the general publicwould suspect any longer that this science could be relevant to human life or action.Yet this science determines the destiny of nations and the course of history It is the source of a nations frame of reference and code of values, the root of a peoples character and culture, the fundamental cause shaping mens choices and decisions in every crucial area of their lives It is the science which directs men to embrace this world or to seek out some other that is said to transcend itwhich directs them to reason or superstition, to the pursuit of happiness or of self sacrifice, to production or starvation, to freedom or slavery, to life or death It is the science which made the difference between the East and the West, between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, between the Founding Fathers of the new continent and the Adolf Hitlers of the old It is the science which had to be destroyed, if the catastrophes of our time were to become possible.The science is philosophy.Philosophy is the study of the nature of existence, of knowledge, and of values.The branch of philosophy that studies existence is metaphysics Metaphysics identifies the nature of the universe as a whole It tells men what kind of world they live in, and whether there is a supernatural dimension beyond it It tells men whether they live in a world of solid entities, natural laws, absolute facts, or in a world of illusory fragments, unpredictable miracles, and ceaseless flux It tells men whether the things they perceive by their senses and mind form a comprehensible reality, with which they can deal, or some kind of unreal appearance, which leaves them staring and helpless.The branch of philosophy that studies knowledge is epistemology Epistemology identifies the proper means of acquiring knowledge It tells men which mental processes to employ as methods of cognition, and which to reject as invalid or deceptive Above all, epistemology tells men whether reason is their faculty of gaining knowledge, and if so how it works or whether there is a means of knowledge other than reason, such as faith, or the instinct of society, or the feelings of the dictator.The branch of philosophy that studies values is ethics or morality , which rests on both the above brancheson a view of the world in which man acts, and of mans nature, including his means of knowledge Ethics defines a code of values to guide human actions It tells men the proper purpose of mans life, and the means of achieving it it provides the standard by which men are to judge good and evil, right and wrong, the desirable and the undesirable Ethics tells a man, for instance, to pursue his own fulfillmentor to sacrifice himself for the sake of something else, such as God or his neighbor.The branch of philosophy that applies ethics to social questions is politics, which studies the nature of social systems and the proper functions of government Politics is not the start, but the product of a philosophic system By their nature, political questions cannot be raised or judged except on the basis of some view of existence, of values, and of mans proper means of knowledge.Since men cannot live or act without some kind of basic guidance, the issues of philosophy in some form necessarily affect every man, in every social group and class Most men, however, do not consider such issues in explicit terms They absorb their ideasimplicitly, eclectically, and with many contradictionsfrom the cultural atmosphere around them, building into their souls without identifying it the various ideological vibrations emanating from school and church and arts and media and s.A cultural atmosphere is not a primary It is created, ultimately, by a handful of men by those whose lifework it is to deal with, originate, and propagate fundamental ideas For the great majority of men the influence of philosophy is indirect and unrecognized But it is real.The root cause of Nazism lies in a power that most people ignore, disparageand underestimate The cause is not the events hailed or cursed in headlines and street rallies, but the esoteric writings of the professors who, decades or centuries earlier, laid the foundation for those events The symbol of the cause is not the munitions plants or union halls or bank vaults of Germany, but its ivory towers What came out of the towers in this regard is only coils of obscure, virtually indecipherable jargon But that jargon is fatal. The Nazi death camps, notes a writer in The New York Times, were conceived, built and often administered by Ph.D.s.10What had those Ph.D.s been taught to think in their schools and universitiesand where did such ideas come from 2The Totalitarian UniverseIt took centuries and a brain stopping chain of falsehoods to bring a whole people to the state of Hitler worship Modern German culture, including its Nazi climax, is the result of a complex development in the history of philosophy, involving dozens of figures stretching back to the beginnings of Western thought The same figures helped to shape every Western nation but in other countries, to varying extents, the results were mixed, because there was also an opposite influence or antidote at work In Germany, by the turn of the twentieth century, the cultural atmosphere was unmixed the traces of the antidote had long since disappeared, and the intellectual establishment was monolithic.If we view the Wests philosophic development in terms of essentials, three fateful turning points stand out, three major philosophers who, above all others, are responsible for generating the disease of collectivism and transmitting it to the dictators of our century.The three are PlatoKantHegel The antidote to them is Aristotle Plato is the father of collectivism in the West He is the first thinker to formulate a systematic view of reality, with a collectivist politics as its culmination In essence, Platos metaphysics holds that the universe consists of two opposed dimensions true realitya perfect, immutable, supernatural realm, nonmaterial, nonspatial, nontemporal, nonperceivableand the material world in which we live The material world, Plato holds, is only an imperfect appearance of true reality, a semireal reflection or projection of it Because Platos metaphysics holds that reality is thus fundamentally spiritual or nonmaterial in nature, it is described technically in philosophy as idealism The content of true reality, according to Plato, is a set of universals or Formsin effect, a set of disembodied abstractions representing that which is in common among various groups of particulars in this world Thus for Plato abstractions are supernatural existents They are nonmaterial entities in another dimension, independent of mans mind and of any of their material embodiments The Forms, Plato tells us repeatedly, are what is really real The particulars they subsumethe concretes that make up this worldare not they have only a shadowy, dreamlike half reality.Momentous conclusions about man are implicit in this metaphysics and were later made explicit by a long line of Platonists since individual men are merely particular instances of the universal man, they are not ultimately real What is real about men is only the Form which they share in common and reflect To common sense, there appear to be many separate, individual men, each independent of the others, each fully real in his own right To Platonism, this is a deception all the seemingly individual men are really the same one Form, in various reflections or manifestations Thus, all men ultimately comprise one unity, and no earthly man is an autonomous entityjust as, if a man were reflected in a multifaceted mirror, the many reflections would not be autonomous entities.What follows in regard to human action, according to Plato, is a life of self sacrificial service When men gather in society, says Plato, the unit of reality, and the standard of value, is the community as a whole Each man therefore must strive, as far as he can, to wipe out his individuality his personal desires, ambitions, etc and merge himself into the community, becoming one with it and living only to serve its welfare On this view, the collective is not an aggregate, but an entity Society the state is regarded as a living organism this is the so called organic theory of the state , and the individual becomes merely a cell of this organisms body, with no rights or privileges than belong to any such cell.The first and highest form of the state and of the government and of the law, Plato writes, is a conditionin which the private and individual is altogether banished from life, and things which are by nature private, such as eyes and ears and hands, have become common, and in some way see and hear and act in common, and all men express praise and blame and feel joy and sorrow on the same occasions, and whatever laws there are unite the city to the utmost.As for those individualistic terms mine and not mine, anothers and not anothers The best ordered state will be the one in which the largest number of persons use these terms in the same sense, and which accordingly most nearly resembles a single person.1The advocacy of the omnipotent state follows from the above as a matter of course The function and authority of the state, according to Plato, should be unlimited The state should indoctrinate the citizens with government approved ideas in government run schools, censor all art and literature and philosophy, assign men their vocations as they come of age, regulate their economicand in certain cases even their sexualactivities, etc The program of government domination of the individual is thoroughly worked out In Platos Republic and Laws one can read the details, which are the first blueprint of the totalitarian ideal.The blueprint includes the view that the state should be ruled by a special elite the philosophers Their title to absolute power, Plato explains, is their special wisdom, a wisdom which derives from their insight into true reality, and especially into its supreme, governing principle the so called Form of the Good Without a grasp of this Form, according to Plato, no man can understand the universe or know how to conduct his life.But to grasp this crucial principle, Plato continuesand here one can begin to see the relevance of epistemology to politicsthe mind is inadequate The Form of the Good cannot be known by the use of reason it cannot be reached by a process of logic it transcends human concepts and human language it cannot be defined, described, or discussed It can be grasped, after years of an ascetic preparation, only by an ineffable mystic experiencea kind of sudden, incommunicable revelation or intuition, which is reserved to the philosophical elite The mass of men, by contrast, are entangled in the personal concerns of this life They are enslaved to the lower world revealed to them by their senses They are incapable of achieving mystic contact with a supernatural principle They are fit only to obey orders.Such, in its essentials, is the view of reality, of man, and of the state which one of the most influential philosophers of all time infused into the stream of Western culture It has served ever since as the basic theoretical foundation by reference to which aspiring and actual dictators, ancient and modern, have sought to justify their political systems.Some of those dictators never read or even heard of Plato, but absorbed his kind of ideas indirectly, at home, in church, in the streets, or from the gutter Some, however, did go back to the source Plato, notes Walter Kaufmann,was widely read in German schools under the Nazis , and special editions were prepared for Greek classes in the Gymnasium, gathering together allegedly fascist passages Instead of compiling a list of the many similar contributions to the Plato literature, it may suffice to mention that Dr Hans F K Gnther, from whom the Nazis admittedly received their racial theories, also devoted a whole book to Plato.As to Alfred Rosenberg, Hitlers official ideologist, he celebrates Plato as one who wanted in the end to save his people on a racial basis, through a forcible constitution, dictatorial in every detail.2If mankind has not perished from such constitutions, if it has not collapsed permanently into the swamp of statism, but has fought its way up through tortured centuries of brief rises and long drawn out fallslike a man fighting paralysis by the power of an inexhaustible vitalityit is because that power had been provided by a giant whose philosophic system is, on virtually every fundamental issue, the opposite of Platos The great spokesman for man and for this earth is Aristotle.Aristotle is the champion of this world, the champion of nature, as against the supernaturalism of Plato Denying Platos World of Forms, Aristotle maintains that there is only one reality the world of particulars in which we live, the world men perceive by means of their physical senses Universals, he holds, are merely aspects of existing entities, isolated in thought by a process of selective attention they have no existence apart from particulars Reality is comprised, not of Platonic abstractions, but of concrete, individual entities, each with a definite nature, each obeying the laws inherent in its nature Aristotles universe is the universe of science The physical world, in his view, is not a shadowy projection controlled by a divine dimension, but an autonomous, self sufficient realm It is an orderly, intelligible, natural realm, open to the mind of man.In such a universe, knowledge cannot be acquired by special revelations from another dimension there is no place for ineffable intuitions of the beyond Repudiating the mystical elements in Platos epistemology, Aristotle is the father of logic and the champion of reason as mans only means of knowledge Knowledge, he holds, must be based on and derived from the data of sense experience it must be formulated in terms of objectively defined concepts it must be validated by a process of logic.For Plato, the good life is essentially one of renunciation and selflessness man should flee from the pleasures of this world in the name of fidelity to a higher dimension, just as he should negate his own individuality in the name of union with the collective But for Aristotle, the good life is one of personal self fulfillment Man should enjoy the values of this world Using his mind to the fullest, each man should work to achieve his own happiness here on earth And in the process he should be conscious of his own value Pride, writes Aristotlea rational pride in oneself and in ones moral characteris, when it is earned, the crown of the virtues.3A proud man does not negate his own identity He does not sink selflessly into the community He is not a promising subject for the Platonic state.Although Aristotles writings do include a polemic against the extreme features of Platos collectivism, Aristotle himself is not a consistent advocate of political individualism His own politics is a mixture of statist and antistatist elements But the primary significance of Aristotle, or of any philosopher, does not lie in his politics It lies in the fundamentals of his system his metaphysics and epistemology.It has been said that, in his basic attitude toward life, every man is either Platonic or Aristotelian The same may be said of periods of Western history The medieval period, under the sway of such philosophers as Plotinus and Augustine, was an era dominated by Platonism During much of this period Aristotles philosophy was almost unknown in the West But, owing largely to the influence of Thomas Aquinas, Aristotle was rediscovered in the thirteenth century.Praise for The Ominous Parallels The Cause of Hitlers Germany offers a truly revolutionary ideaThe book is clear, tight, disciplined, beautifully structured, and brilliantly reasoned Its style is clear and hard as crystaland as sparklingAs to my personal reaction, I can express it best by paraphrasing a line from Atlas Shrugged Its so wonderful to see a great, new, crucial achievement which is not mine Ayn RandExtraordinarily perceptivefrightening insightsEveryone concerned with the collectivist trend in todays world should read this book Alan GreenspanA fascinating weave of German history, philosophic determinism, and Objectivist polemic Chicago Tribune The Cause of Hitler s Germany Leonard Peikoff, Ayn Rand Peikoff is the preeminent scholar writing todayHe worked closely with in New York City for thirty years and was designated by her as heir to estate He has taught philosophy at several places, including Hunter College University Leonard Wikipedia Early life career born on October Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Samuel MD, a surgeon, his wife Bessie, band leader attended Manitoba from pre med student, but Watchman World News Hope ministries THE HARBINGER BOOK Rabbi Cahn describes Eight Harbingers Judgment experienced Israel their uncanny parallels events September , insights are prodigious, overwhelming foreboding world today looks ominously like it did before Dec A backlash globalization appears be gaining strength around US politicians both right left have called curbing free trade deals they say benefit foreigners or Natural Threat Ominous Shores Walkthrough, Tips, Review Natural Who said plants harmless In this gorgeous cheesy hidden object adventure 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philosopher Objectivist close associate Rand, who him after deathHe former professor host Ayn Philosophy Objectivism AynRand Wishing won t make so philosophy, Objectivism, begins embracing basic fact existence existsReality is, quest live we must discover reality nature learn act successfully To exist something, possess specific identityThis Identity Facts facts, independent any consciousness Abortion Rights Pro Life Peikoff Abortion By week hundreds anti abortionists will demonstrate outside Buffalo abortion clinics, bookstores high schools Podcasts Dr answers questions about His podcasts focus human relationships, career, moral issues not technical Leo common English, German, Irish, Dutch masculine given name surname The originate Old High German Leonhard containing prefix levon lion suffix hardu brave hardy come mean strength, strong, hearted It may also Latin ARI Watch critical review Institute Health Care Is Not Right AFCM Health Savings Accounts HSAs important new means keep health care affordable defended efforts California Department Insurance eliminate them Foreskin John Erickson qsmd datasync send me email, omit SPAM deflecting brackets my email address Continually progress modified November Memory Sexually Mutilated Child contains many other photographs, information well Electrical Spirituality Electrical Spirituality, website spiritual teacher mystic L Ron Gardner I named Spirituality because Dharma teach write electrical every way radical demystifying correlated Ohm Ominous Parallels


    • Ominous Parallels
    • 2.2
    • 134
    • Format Kindle
    • 354 pages
    • Leonard Peikoff
    • Anglais
    • 22 May 2016

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