The Ominous Parallels - Tranche II

Posted by mshupe 7 months, 1 week ago to Education
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Chapter One, Excerpt 2 of 2
The Cause of Nazism

Religious writers often claim that the cause of Nazism is secularism or the scientific spirit of the modern world. This evades the facts that the Germans, especially in Prussia, were one of the most religious in Western Europe; that the Weimar Republic was a hotbed of mystic cults, of which Nazism was one. The Lutherans counted themselves among Hitler’s staunchest followers. This evades the fact that arbitrary constructs can be manipulated to “explain” anything, and therefore, nothing.

Criminal groups and schemes have existed throughout history. They have been able to succeed only in certain periods. Something made so many Germans vulnerable to a takeover. Something armed the criminals and disarmed the country. By the 20th century . . . the doctrines of the rights of man and the autonomy of the individual . . . were paramount no longer. Germany was ideologically ripe for Hitler; the intellectual groundwork had been prepared.

Philosophy is the study of the nature of existence, of knowledge, and of values. Metaphysics studies the nature of the universe as a whole. The branch that studies knowledge is epistemology. Ethics defines a code of values to guide human action. The branch that applies ethics to social questions is politics. Men cannot act without some kind of basic guidance; philosophy will affect every man. The death camps were conceived, built, and administered by PhDs. Where did such ideas come from?


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  • Posted by 7 months, 1 week ago
    The first paragraph suggests the influence of the pre-Enlightenment era. The second paragraph alludes to the magnificent achievements of the Enlightenment, culminating in 19th century breakthroughs in science, economics, and the arts, and dismissed. The third paragraph refers to the post-Modern era of nihilism, subjectivism, and pragmatism.
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  • Posted by VetteGuy 7 months, 1 week ago
    "philosophy will affect every man"

    Very true! Unfortunately very few will understand how, why, or even what philosophy it is, that affects them.
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    • Posted by 7 months, 1 week ago
      Oh yes, no doubt about it. That was the premise of Rand's book Philosophy: Who Needs It. One of her great achievements was to educate us about the source of all our random ideas.
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