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Dieter Just


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Ich denke - also bin ich nicht    Summary in English

The doctrine prevailing in anti-Semitism research today, as put forward by Jacob Katz (From Prejudice to Destruction, Anti-Semitism, 1700-1933, 1980) for instance, says: it is the Christian religion which is to blame even for modern anti-Semitism, which has begun around 1870 in Germany and Europe. I want to make a point for a much more plausible thesis: Modern anti-Semitism results from the German idealism, from which the German political Right developed a national ideology or Weltanschauung during the 19th century. In this process it deliberately eliminated the moral character from Kant’s pacifistic philosophy. To be precise, the loss of moral contents already begun with Kant’s successors - and here we have to name even big names such as Fichte, Schopenhauer, Feuerbach, Marx and Nietzsche.
Only Schopenhauer, Hitler’s favourite philosopher, was an anti-Semitic. Yet, all the thinkers named above developed aversions against Jews. Why?
The German philosophy - as the young Marx has seen most clearly - can be interpreted as an intellectual revolution against God, i.e. against the - originally Jewish - creator of the world and the supreme moral legislator. This intellectual revolution took place in the 18th and 19th century in the whole of the occidental world, the Anglo-Saxon philosophy included, but nowhere was it as radical as in Germany. This is why the decisive thought of German philosophy, that „the will is autonomous in the field of morality“, cannot be adequately expressed in the English language, because it says: It is neither God nor society, but das Ich which imposes on itself the general moral law. There is no equivalent for das Ich in the English language - the I or the me or the ego would be utterly artificial constructs and not identical with das Ich. The German language possesses a higher ability of abstraction than the English language - but in this there is also a danger, which we will se in just a moment.
Fichte, who put his philosophy at the service of the wars against Napoleon, has laid the foundation for the völkische Ideology of the German political Right as early as 1808, in his Reden an die deutsche Nation - a foundation which was to remain alive through the Alldeutscher Verband up to Hitler. Yet Fichte - disregarding a few sins of his youth - was not an anti-Semitic. But with Nationalism on the rise a fatal development started in Germany - probably unrecognised to a large extend by most intellectuals. Central theses of the German idealism were „tuned up“ by obscure thinkers, and their ideas would not remain without resonance in the public. The result: Kant’s original intentions were twisted by 180 degrees. Eugen Duehring, the first Rassenantisemit, was the first to put a spin on the „metaphysical“ freedom of will in the Kant sense - changing it to imply that the will of the teutonic Germans would break every resistance. And the Rassenantisemit H.St. Chamberlain has deleted in his Grundlagen des XIX. Jahrhunderts the word general from Kant’s teaching, which maintain, as stated before, that it is das Ich which imposes on itself the general moral law. What was left, now reads: The wild Teuton, whose ancestors have spread fear and terror (furor teutonicus) in the Roman Empire as early as 100 BC, should create his own barbaric „moral“ law.
This is what enabled Goebbels to announce in his well known speech Do you want total war? on February 18th of 1943, i.e. after the capitulation of Stalingrad, that the wild (with which he means: barbaric, criminal) will of the German would break any resistance - if it is not undermined by the Jew, that is.
Why it was „The Jew“ who appeared as the one subverting the German will, was evident:
Jews were considered cowards - in spite of all statistics about soldiers killed in WWI. According to Treitschke, who took up a prejudice from Kant, Jews represented a people which had not yet gathered the moral power of founding a state, i.e. was not ready to go to war.
Jews stood for moral scruples - for instance, to kill „inferior life“ - this can be gleaned from a warning in a 1937 edition of the SS newspaper „The Black Corps“. After all, the commandment Thou shall not kill! originates from the Hebrew Bible.
The fact that all those connections have not been recognised until today has mainly two reasons: First, German Philosophers, for fear of being censored by their Christian governments (among other motives), have called their anti-Christian doctrines „Christian philosophies“ - this holds true for Kant, Fichte, Schelling and Hegel. This is a reason why Jews as non-Christians have - automatically, in a sense - been segregated from the Volksgemeinschaft even by anti-Christian German publishers, who declared the „Christian“ German idealism as the German Staatsphilosophie.
Secondly, the social consequences of the German philosophy have not been discussed until today.

Translated by Dr. Herbert Renz-Polster

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