by Denyse O'Leary
Hitler's Mein Kampf is pretty famous, even among people who are not allowed to read it. (Hitler, of course, was the architect of the Holocaust, which murdered most Jewish people in Europe (about 6 million), along with some hundreds of thousands of others.)
I got into trouble when I was 15, because I wanted to read Mein Kampf. It was 1965, and I lived beside the Christie Pits in Toronto, where anti-Semitic riots had occurred in the 1930s.
The local librarian wanted to know why I wanted to read it. I said simply and truthfully that I was the daughter of a World War II veteran and I wanted to understand the history. I had already read William Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich several times, and had a fairly good grasp of the basic dates and such. I had also listened to many World War II reminiscences from my father and one of his brothers, but none of that got to the root of the war.
The librarian was satisfied that I did not represent some hate organization, and she gave me a copy.
Well, I spent about two hours reading Mein Kampf one summer morning and quickly formed the impression - from the prose style alone - that the author was a boring egotist. I quickly returned the book.
Here is one of Ben Wiker's comments:
... Hitler took himself to be that rarest of things, the union of philosopher and king, political philosopher and practical political leader, program-maker and politician in one. Put this way, Hitler seems almost noble, until we realize that, the philosophy to which he ascribed was an amalgam of Machiavelli, Darwin, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche (as mixed with the racial theories of the Frenchman Joseph-Arthur, comte de Gobineau). We might say that whatever hesitations to action one finds in Darwin, Schopenhauer, or even Nietzsche, Hitler casts aside with the ruthlessness of Machiavelli. (p. 152)All this said, of course, Wiker quite appropriately reminds us that Hitler was not a person of original ideas. He was always borrowing from more original minds, and seeking power to enact the ideas. As for what he thought about the spiritual heritage of Europe, this must suffice:
Of course, Hitler's moral outlook on life was a quasi-Nietzschean form of spiritualized Darwinism. Christianity was useful as long as it supported Hitler's program. Liberal Christianity, with its flexible doctrine and morality and emphasis on curing social ills, could be particularly useful. But conservative Christianity - with its dogmatic claims and moral commandments, as expressed in such actions - was to be attacked whenever it contradicted the regime. The real religion of the Reich was not Christianity but the Wagnerian mystical Germanism that so entranced Nietzsche. (p. 160)Mysticism gone wrong can do an appalling amount of evil.
Next: Ten Worst Books 8: Sigmund Freud's The Future of an Illusion (1927)
Toronto-based Canadian journalist Denyse O'Leary (www.designorchance.com) is the author of the multiple award-winning By Design or by Chance? (Augsburg Fortress 2004), an overview of the intelligent design controversy. She was named CBA Canada's Recommended Author of the Year in 2005 and is co-author, with Montreal neuroscientist Mario Beauregard, of The Spiritual Brain: A neuroscientist's case for the existence of the soul (Harper 2007).
No Pingbacks for this post yet...
|<< <||> >>|
Evolution has become a favorite topic of the news media recently, but for some reason, they never seem to get the story straight. The staff at Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture started this Blog to set the record straight and make sure you knew "the rest of the story".
A blogger from New England offers his intelligent reasoning.
We are a group of individuals, coming from diverse backgrounds and not speaking for any organization, who have found common ground around teleological concepts, including intelligent design. We think these concepts have real potential to generate insights about our reality that are being drowned out by political advocacy from both sides. We hope this blog will provide a small voice that helps rectify this situation.
Website dedicated to comparing scenes from the "Inherit the Wind" movie with factual information from actual Scopes Trial. View 37 clips from the movie and decide for yourself if this movie is more fact or fiction.
Don Cicchetti blogs on: Culture, Music, Faith, Intelligent Design, Guitar, Audio
Australian biologist Stephen E. Jones maintains one of the best origins "quote" databases around. He is meticulous about accuracy and working from original sources.
Most guys going through midlife crisis buy a convertible. Austrialian Stephen E. Jones went back to college to get a biology degree and is now a proponent of ID and common ancestry.
Complete zipped downloadable pdf copy of David Stove's devastating, and yet hard-to-find, critique of neo-Darwinism entitled "Darwinian Fairytales"
Intelligent Design The Future is a multiple contributor weblog whose participants include the nation's leading design scientists and theorists: biochemist Michael Behe, mathematician William Dembski, astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, philosophers of science Stephen Meyer, and Jay Richards, philosopher of biology Paul Nelson, molecular biologist Jonathan Wells, and science writer Jonathan Witt. Posts will focus primarily on the intellectual issues at stake in the debate over intelligent design, rather than its implications for education or public policy.
A Philosopher's Journey: Political and cultural reflections of John Mark N. Reynolds. Dr. Reynolds is Director of the Torrey Honors Institute at