Printer Friendly

The Nazis and the German metaphysical tradition of voluntarism.

GEORGE SANTAYANA, a one-time Harvard professor, possessed an intimate knowledge of German philosophy and wrote a book originally entitled Egotism in Germany (1915). In this work, he expresses concern about some of the trends in German philosophy and tries to warn others about the dangers lurking in its ideas for the sake of world peace. The work shows particular concern about the spirit of self-assertion and the metaphysical conceit that induces philosophers like Fichte and Hegel to exalt the German nation and find no higher tribunal of right and wrong beyond the egotistic prejudices of their state. (1) He sees danger in the post-Kantian tendency to reduce everything in life to the mere prejudices of pure subjectivity or the exertion of force and to lose all sense of external authority, whether it is found in an objective world, a heaven of ideas, or the revelation of God. (2) He calls Gottfried Leibniz the first German philosopher because he followed this egoistic voluntarism, seeing each individual enclosed within a self-constrained circle and driven by inward forces. (3) Arthur Schopenhauer developed the theme further, emphasizing the "will to live" as the one metaphysical truth. Friedrich Nietzsche soon converted Schopenhauer's idea into the "will to power," living beyond reason and morality, throwing childish tantrums throughout his life, and showing the end result of an egoistic, voluntaristic philosophy, led by ceaseless and capricious cravings. (4) Santayana thinks these philosophers have oversimplified the multifaceted nature of humanity and provide a pretext for German militarism in their egotism or will to

power. (5) No example serves his point and shows his prescience better than the later work of Martin Heidegger, who finds the metaphysical essence of the German spirit in voluntarism and joins the Nazis through his own personal belief in this emphasis upon power. (6)

Gottfried Leibniz. Both Santayana and Heidegger think of Gottfried Leibniz as providing the impetus toward voluntarism in German metaphysics. While Leibniz works within the intellectualist or rationalist tradition, viewing the world and our reason as a reflection of divine wisdom, he provides a pretext for voluntarism by letting God withdraw from creation and giving to each "monad" its own autonomy or force (entelechy). This concept is much different from the typical view of theism within the intellectualist tradition, where God relates to the world through ongoing, providential dealings--holding, sustaining, and perfecting its existence as the one true power of life and the basis of its unity. Instead, Leibniz thinks of God establishing a harmony in the act of creation and then leaving the world by making each monad fit within the experience of all others and act according to the best possible plan for all involved. (7) "Every individual substance of this universe expresses in its concept the universe into which it has entered." (8) Thus, the universe develops its harmony and purpose without receiving any outside interference to violate the internal principle of power, without God intervening, and without objects pushing or pulling, interacting or influencing each other. (9) Leibniz remains committed to theism and rationalism throughout his presentation, but it does not take a great deal of imagination to see how an atheist might take the forces of nature in Leibniz's system and allow them to interact with one another in an autonomous and secular state of affairs, letting God withdraw completely from the process and developing a voluntaristic view of life as a power play between irrational forces. This Nazi-like concept could develop from Leibniz, given the right set of circumstances and a few necessary changes to the overall theistic ideology.

II

Arthur Schopenhauer. The most noteworthy philosopher in making the transition is Arthur Schopenhauer. He thinks of the will as the key to understanding the innermost mechanism of our being, and through this understanding, the innermost nature of the world around us. (10) This will is found outside our perception. It is outside of time and change, beyond the principle of sufficient reason and individuation, without knowledge or conscience in its essence and origin, without any rhyme, reason, or purpose--at least according to our inability to ascertain any ultimate direction. (11) The will is the original and metaphysical; the intellect only a secondary and Visible manifestation of it. (12)

In all this, Schopenhauer is following the basic concept of Leibniz by seeing an invisible will or force acting apart from the rational orchestration of God or a heaven of ideals. He assumes that all other objects act like our own body through a determined and irrational will or motivation in their innermost being. (13) They serve as a mirror of the will, which only provides a limited manifestation within us and reveals itself to exist outside of reason. The world is reduced to nothing more than a gradation of groundless and endless struggles engendered by the will and its blind impulses, encompassing organic and inorganic objects and reaching an apex in the rational striving of humanldnd. (14) Like Leibniz, nature is best explained through the concept of force, not through etiological discussions or the law of causality. (15) Schopenhauer thinks the concept of cause and effect is the one, all-encompassing category of our understanding but represents nothing more than an illusion. (16) He follows Kant's basic concept of causality as an a priori function of understanding or way of reconstructing the world but proceeds toward a more agnostic reading of the great philosophers in saying this category has no reference to reality or the thing-in-itself. (17) Causality is an attempt to provide subjects and objects with "sufficient reason" by creating an illusion about their interaction through thrusts and counter-thrusts, (18) but it does not speak to the true nature of reality, which is grounded in force. (19)

This view of the will becomes dark at many moments in his work, because he sees no clear rationality behind its desiderata. He sees life as a "struggle of competing forces" with animals eating each other and men warring against their own species. (20) He speaks of the incessant and irrational "will-to-live" as nature's being, driving individuals to procreate and maintain the species, often at the expense of their own personal welfare. The "will-to-live" makes sexual relationships the central point of all action, causing individuals to develop maternal instincts and sacrifice their own well-being for the health and vitality of the offspring, (21) and Schopenhauer finds no joy or reason for continuing the constant struggle. (22) He recommends that his followers escape the insatiable appetites of life through contemplating eternal ideas in art or taking up an ascetic religious practice, which tries to negate the things of this world (23)--instructions that often fell on deaf ears. (Many of his disciples chose to disobey their mentor and affirm the process of life in some positive way; the Nazis chose to turn the "will-to-live" into an imperative and affirm its sacrifice of the individual for the sake of creating a superior race.)

III

Richard Wagner. Among the disciples of Schopenhauer was Richard Wagner, the great German composer. He fell under the spell of Schopenhauer's metaphysics in the 1850s and remained a faithful disciple of its voluntarism thereafter. He describes Schopenhauer's work in his writings as the "most lucid of all philosophical systems" and commends it as the "basis of all further mental and moral culture ... in its every walk of life." (24) Wagner exalts the system because of its basic insight into the true, voluntaristic essence of the world and follows its subsequent demand to negate the blind or irrational impulses of life through works of art. Like Schopenhauer, he thinks music should express the appetites of life and then turn around and find liberation from the "headstrong blindness" of the will by transporting us into a time-less, space-less realm of peace, which expresses faith, hope, and love. (25) In this way, he expresses an understanding of the Christian gospel and its mandate to deny the things of this world and the desires of the flesh (1 Jn. 2:15, 16). He wishes to deny the "will-to-live," which makes individuals sacrifice their individuality for the mere continuation of the species, nullify the phenomenal world and its appetites, and find release through Christ's "will-to-redeem," interpreting true Christianity as the ultimate act of asceticism or nihilism, much like Schopenhauer. (26) This dialectical movement produces a tension in his music, which Friedrich Nietzsche, his most eloquent disciple and interpreter, sees as a contest between Dionysus and Apollo, the two divine forces of Greek mythology that produced the same tension in their music and tragedies. The former represents the formless and intangible essence of life, and the latter represents the longing for clarity, order, and reason, which produces the tension of all great art, even though Nietzsche (and Hitler) end up reducing the strain in their own respective ways by negating the Apollinarian element and deifying the will to power. (27)

IV

Friedrich Nietzsche. Nietzsche ends up following Schopenhauer's metaphysics but in a much more critical way than Wagner. Most often Nietzsche finds his sense of nobility in those who act with passionate instincts that arise above reason and the petty understanding of the masses. (28) He finds more life within the sovereign instincts of an earthly existence, which contains real blood flowing through its veins, than the old idealism and its contemplation of eternal truth or amor intelletualis dei (Spinoza). (29) He prefers to affirm this world in all its profundity and mystery, rather than crucify its life-giving energies for the sake of some higher reality. (30) In The Birth of Tragedy, he credits Schopenhauer for resurrecting this Greek spirit among the German people, overcoming the boundaries that would dissolve all riddles of life through an optimistic rationality or triumph of science, (31) but elsewhere he criticizes him for speaking too pessimistically about Greek tragedy and not providing a "strong enough" affirmation to life that could constitute a "new yes." (32) Nietzsche rejects Schopenhauer's pessimistic attempt to negate the appetites of life through ascetic and nihilistic practices, although the overall voluntaristic philosophy of Schopenhauer has a major impact upon his belief that a blind, driving force constitutes the essence of reality. (33)

Nietzsche defends his voluntaristic program against the dialectics and metaphysics of Socrates. He prefers the stupidity of the skeptical mind to the rational, metaphysical tradition of Socrates and the whole western tradition, which finds answers in a heaven of ideas. (34) The whole metaphysical question of truth is called into question because God does not exist and life has no intelligent origin. (35) The world is not a machine with a purpose; it is completely lacking in "order, arrangement, form, beauty, wisdom, and whatever other names there are for our aesthetic anthropomorphisms.... None of our aesthetic and moral judgments apply to it." (36) The world is aimless. It does not obey laws. (37) There is no necessity in "the shape of an overreaching, dominating total force or that of a prime mover," providing it with a final intention or meaning. (38)

This leads Nietzsche to make a startling announcement, mentioned in the Gay Science for the first time that "God is dead!" (39) The gravediggers have done the deed and buried the transcendent tyrant of old, performing the greatest service ever in the history of humankind, and yet the news takes some time to travel throughout the kingdom. With the death of God, humankind can rid the world of old categories like "good and evil," "true and false," and finally look to themselves and their own resources to determine whatever they want to pursue in the future. (40) They can "revaluate values," calling into question traditional values of the past and creating a new way through the will to power. (41)

Nietzsche despises the traditional type of herd instincts that seeks the praises of the multitudes and lives according to the same standards of good and evil. Like Soren Kierkegaard, he wants radical individuals, who live above the petty virtues of the masses and develop their own authentic existence. (42) He wants "supermen" (Ubermenschen), those who overcome the present stagnation of the world and create a new humanity with a new set of values. (43) The Ubermensch has no specific form or determination in the work of Nietzsche and ever remains an act of creation, (44) but the image becomes most Nazi-like when it takes on the form of a "blond beast" or "master"--images used throughout his works. (45) According to Twilight of the Idols, Christianity hunted down the blond beast and caged this noble German in monasteries in the early Middle Ages out of its contempt for "intellect, pride, courage, freedom, [and] intellectual libertinage," (46) but it is time to let strength express itself. "Great birds of prey" find nothing "more tasty than a tender lamb." (47) When the blond beasts obtain freedom from their protracted confinement in social constraints, they can fulfill their monstrous nature with innocence, conducting murder, torture, and rape as if these deeds involved no more than a childish prank. (48) The blond beast of prey should possess no guilt or afterthought in subduing others and imposing their form of freedom and instinct upon the plebes. (49) The Darwinian forces of life dictate the destruction of the "ill-constituted, weak, [and] degenerate" at the hands of the strong. (50) A healthy aristocracy should follow the dictates of its "will to life" and suppress, enslave, sacrifice, and exploit a whole legion of weak individuals as instruments belonging to its will. They should "do unto others" as it seems good to themselves, the "creators of values." (51) In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche expresses this philosophy in detail and introduces the famous distinction between a "master-morality" and a "slave-morality" to encourage his blond beasts in their war with inferiors. (52) In Will to Power, he encourages "pride, pathos of distance, great responsibility, exuberance, splendid animality, the instincts that delight in war and conquest, the deification of passion, revenge, of cunning, of anger, of voluptuousness, of adventure, of knowledge." (53) He wants Europeans to destroy "morality as the instinct to deny life" and live by the forces and drives that liberate life and its growth. (54) He wants them to embrace their unconditional naturalness, even its darker side, instead of creating an artificial moral nature like Rousseau's "noble savage." (55) This might lead to a more complex set of virtues, which include love and hate, gratitude and revenge, existing together, living without scruples, and using unholy means; (56) and it clearly leads Nietzsche to speak in an unseemly, Nazi-like way at times--commending the old Teutonic spirit of war against "liberal progressives," demanding the elimination of the weak, preventing the dissemination of inferior seed, and developing a stronger race of people. (57)

Above all, the basic theme and texture that connect Nietzsche with the Geist of Nazism and German metaphysics are embodied in his overall emphasis upon the will to power. It is no surprise that Elisabeth, his sister, and many of the Nazis peddled the posthumous book, collected under the title Will to Power, as Nietzsche's crowning systematic representation of his ideas. (58) This dominant, Nazi-like theme first comes to the forefront in Zarathustra's speech "On the Thousand and One Goals," where he hopes to overcome the table of virtues existing among the masses. (59) Zarathustra is striving against a life of "submission," which looks outside oneself to a transcendent power and thereby weakens one's own will to overcome and command. (60) Life consists of "dynamic quanta" that struggle with each other's power (dynamis), striving to exert their force and master one another, serving as the source of change or Becoming (dynamis) in the world. (61) There is nothing outside the tension of will upon will, nothing more than the will to incorporate, expand, grow, and dominate. (62) "The world is the will to power--and nothing besides! And you yourselves are also this power--and nothing besides!" (63) It underlies all human activities, reducing our thoughts, feelings, and purposes to a mere reflection of what is transpiring on a deeper level as the fundamental force of nature. (64) Even our will to life or our attempt to preserve and enhance its pleasures serves as little more than an epiphenomenal effect of a more essential struggle to increase and overcome one's self and one's neighbor. (65) All of life is reduced to voluntarism or the will to power as the one metaphysical truth.

V

Adolf Hitler. Hitler was a product of this type of metaphysical thinking. He might represent an extreme and brutal expression of it, but his voluntaristic appetites clearly work within the anti-Semitic/anti-Christian spirit of the times, especially as it was exemplified and embodied in the writings of Arthur Schopenhauer and Friedrich Nietzsche. While it is difficult to know the extent of his philosophical studies and personal examination of specific sources, there is no doubt that he was influenced by these philosophers and the basic voluntaristic spirit of the time, which permeated the culture and Hitler's ideas though the enormity of their reputation in Germany and influence upon numerous secondary sources. (66) In the Table Talk, Hitler speaks of Kant, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche as the "greatest of our thinkers"--Kant because of his destruction of the "dogmatic philosophy of the church," Schopenhauer because of his annihilation of "Hegel's pragmatism," and Nietzsche because he "surpassed ... Schopenhauer's pessimism" with his more positive will to life. (67) Along with this testimony, certain anecdotal evidence appears to indicate some direct interest and engagement within the tradition. In regard to Schopenhauer, Hitler says he "carried Schopenhauer's works with [him] through the whole of the first World War," (68) and acquaintances like Ernst Hanfstaengl and Leni Riefenstahl say he was enamored with Schopenhauer and often referred to his ideas. (69) In fact, he makes references to him in Mein Kampf, Table Talk, and his speeches on several occasions, and his study at Berkhof boasted a bust of the great philosopher. In regard to Nietzsche, it appears he owned a first edition of his works and actually made the sacred pilgrimage to the center of the Nietzsche cult in Weimar, where he conversed with his sister at the archive, posed beside his bust, and brought home the dead philosopher's walking stick. (70) As a member of the Nazis, he was more than familiar with the cult-like status that Nietzsche and his ideas obtained within the group, starting from its earliest days, and must have experienced some of this influence from the mere association with many of Nietzsche's disciples, whether directly or indirectly. (71)

More than all this anecdotal evidence, there is the continual testimony of Hitler's own words, which speak of a legacy steeped in the tradition. He constantly refers to himself as following an abstract force behind nature, which he describes through a variety of voluntaristic terms like "Fate," "Providence," the "innermost will of nature," and the "supreme" or "creative force." (72) It is the "will of God" or "Providence" to follow the aristocratic forces of nature and its law of strength and survival rather than destroy its appetites through a transcendent concept of the deity, which informs our conscience and lives in contradistinction to the ways of this world. (73) The belief in God should be retained, but only as a concrete force of power that humans incarnate and experience within their innermost being. (74) We should live through our own passionate instincts and create our own myths to benefit the nation, rather than look to a universal standard of right and wrong inscribed in our conscience and supplied by a heaven of ideas. (75) "We must distrust the intelligence and the conscience, and must place our trust in our instincts.... A new age of magic interpretation of the world is coming, of interpretation in terms of the will and not of intelligence." (76) Hitler plans on inculcating this voluntarism in the youth by instructing them in the need for willpower and determination, using the rigors of physical and military exercises to toughen them up. (77)

He believes that "will and "power" are more important to a leader in directing the masses than appealing to objective intelligence. (78) The great leader must be a "psychologist," not a "theoretician," (79) a "man of little scientific education but physically healthy, with a good, firm character, imbued with the joy of determination and will-power" rather than a "clever weakling." (80) Intellectual appeals to objective truth and fairness have little effect in swaying the masses when compared to the art of propaganda, which incites emotion and stirs conviction through the constant repetition of its half-truths. (81) Along with propaganda, the leader should use grand symbols and rites, impressive monuments of architecture, (82) and powerful oratory as effectual means of inflaming "human passions and emotional sentiments," finding the sole criterion of value in the "effect [they] exert on the people." (83)

In all his activities, the leader is the law (rex lex). Once elected the leader assumes the "ultimate and heaviest responsibility" in ruling the nation and possesses "unconditional authority" over all aspects of society and government to unify the people into one will and spirit through the "genius and energy of [his] personality." (84) There is no objective standard, law, or morality to constrain the leader in calculating what is best for the people. The laws of society are based on their utility in producing what is good for the public welfare, and "all means used to this end are justifiable." (85) There are no eternal laws or inalienable rights given by God in nature serving as the basis of society and means of restraining the appetites of power to seize more power. There are no property rights to guarantee one's holdings against the wantonness of others or a leader who deems certain possessions essential to the ultimate welfare of a nation.
   This earth is not allocated to anyone, nor is it bestowed on anyone
   as a gift; however, it is given as destiny's grant to those people
   who [possess] have the courage in their heart to [conquer] take
   possession of it, the strength to preserve it, and the diligence to
   till it. (86)


Force is "the only way to increase power," and its exercise involves acts of "terror," "persecution," "annihilation," and "extermination." (87)

VI

Alfred Rosenberg. This voluntarism was an important aspect of Nazi ideology in general. Among Hitler's associates, Alfred Rosenberg exercised as much influence as anyone in shaping the direction of the party's ideology, and he clearly exhibited and propagated the same tendency as the head of the Office for the Supervision of the Total Intellectual and Ideological Schooling and Education of the NASP (Nazi party). (88) In his Myth of the Twentieth Century (1930),

Rosenberg follows the same metaphysical propensities that inspired Wagner, Nietzsche, and Hitler to accentuate the will and its appetites. He considers Leibniz an "intuitive and brightly conscious herald" of this voluntaristic point of view, in which being is understood in the process of becoming and the soul strives toward "self-realization" rather than searching for some goal outside of itself. (89) Of course, Schopenhauer is honored as a leading spokesman of the tradition and a favorite author of Rosenberg in general. (90) Schopenhauer captured "our fundamental outlook on the world" in The World as Will and Representation, which depicts the will as the thing-in-itself and life as a universal struggle for existence. (91) Rosenberg takes this monistic vision of the will in the pitiless direction of Nietzsche, who is lauded for promoting voluntarism in the nineteenth century, along with Wagner and Lagarde. (92) Like Nietzsche, he rejects the Christian emphasis upon love, sympathy, sin, and grace as destructive to the self-confident will of a superior people and indicative of the inferior mentality of plebes from which the religion arose in the first few centuries. He prefers the heroes of German legend with their courage, pride, honor, and freedom to the martyrs of Christendom, who passively submit to the principalities and powers of this world and die out of pity on the cross for others. He believes the German race should forge a "new mythos" out of its will to power, rather than look to the authority of the church or strive for fidelity to some eternal or heavenly truth existing outside one's own "creative strength." (93)

All schools were required by government decree to make continuous use of it. Viereck, Metapolitics, 216, 252, 257; McGovern, From Luther to Hitler, 654; Peter Peel, introduction to The Myth of the Twentieth Century, by Alfred Rosenberg, trans. Vivian Bird (Newport Beach, CA: The Noontide Press, 1982), lxi.

VII

Alfred Baumler. This type of emphasis upon Nietzsche and voluntarism was promoted in academia during the times of the Third Reich. After Hitler arose to power, Alfred Baumler was appointed a professor of philosophy in Berlin. His fundamental academic credential was an apologetic work, entitled Nietzsche: der Philosoph und Politiker (1931), which promoted Nietzsche as a central figure in developing an early form of the new Nazi ideology. Official organs of the Nazi party portrayed Nietzsche as a significant forerunner of their movement before 1933, but now they possessed the political power to propagate their Nietzschean philosophy, and Baumler was just their man to do it. (94)

According to Baumler, Nietzsche is a voluntarist, first and foremost. Nietzsche wants to abandon all belief in a transcendent God for the sake of human beings, so they can trust once more in their own power, pride, strength, and decisiveness. "God is dead" was the original Geist of the Germanic people before Christianity invaded and destroyed their simple way of life through a transcendent, outside commentary, bringing condemnation and guilt to an innocent form of becoming and emasculating their efforts on earth as human beings. (95) Truth is not a consciousness of something that resides outside of us in a permanent realm of heavenly ideas, but remains within us as a deep-felt human experience, related to our creative powers. We are the ones who create laws and purpose out of a world of flux and struggle. (96) Our life consists of a continuous state of war with its victories and defeats, masters and slaves, without any hope of resolving the conflict, assigning guilt or responsibility, and securing an everlasting peace. (97) This view of life is capture by Nietzsche's expression "will to power"--a phrase that illumines his entire thought and serves as the basic metaphysical truth for the world around us. (98) It serves as the title of his magnum opus, which is cited by Baumler throughout the study, and serves to describe the essence of the Germanic spirit, as well as human beings in general. (99) The will to power represents a decided break with the Christian philosophical tradition and its emphasis upon the conscious soul and rational metaphysics. Nietzsche (and Baumler) hopes the Ubermenschen will defeat the "last men" of this Judeo-Christian tradition, but there is no guarantee. Life is a game of chance or contest between individual forces (monads) struggling for existence and played without any determined outcome. (100)

VIII

Martin Heidegger. The voluntarism of Nietzsche and the Nazis was characteristic of German metaphysics during the era and included the highest levels of academia. Perhaps no one exhibited this general influence more than Martin Heidegger, the most renowned philosopher of the Nazi era, a member of the party, and the self-appointed herald of the new ontological reality in Nazism. (101) The seeds of voluntarism began to germinate early on in his famous work Sein und Zeit (1927), even if there is little development and no clear Nazi message at this point.

In Sein und Zeit, he understands the concept of Being in voluntaristic terms as possessing a generative power, which is ever arising or becoming. (102) He thinks of this concept of Being and Becoming as a development of ancient Greek thought and prefers it to what is found in the scientific community of the day, which attempts to eliminate temporality in life and treat entities, especially a human being or Dasein, as a static object. (103) Time is the horizon in which we understand Being; this temporality finds its locus of revelation in Dasein, which is most related to Being and reveals its essence. (104) Dasein has a potentiality for "becoming;" (105) it lives and moves within the ecstasies of a temporal horizon, uniting the past, present, and future in its existential structure and recognizing through its anxiety over death the possibility and freedom of choosing, which makes the future present. (106) Dasein provides the call to its own potentiality-for-Being or resoluteness apart from any specific injunctions or universal conscience that would dictate a specific course of action. (107) The call is indefinite, "solely absorbed in summoning us to something," without any foundation within a heaven of ideas, (108) containing no specific exhortation to become a part of a cause--only the recognition of discovering human potential or the will to power, which lives just like the Nazis--beyond good and evil.

During the Nazi era, Heidegger brings this theme to the forefront and emphasizes the metaphysics of voluntarism as the basic object and interest of the western philosophical tradition in general and the Germanic spirit in particular. In his lectures on Nietzsche, he traces the voluntarism back to Aristotle and his usage of terms like potentia, actus, and energia (entelechy), then discovers it anew in Leibniz's vis primitiva activa, and also finds a reflection in the rational will (Vernunftwille) of Kant, Fichte, Hegel, and Schelling. Of course, Schopenhauer is mentioned as a part of the history and finds special honor for extending the program farther in his great work, The World as Will and Representation. He exerts a special influence in the latter half of the nineteenth century in figures like Nietzsche and Wagner, but Nietzsche is exalted above all others as the one who brings the process to a "consummation" or final result. (109)

Nietzsche serves Heidegger's purposes in the 1930s and 1940s as a means of promoting the basic philosophical orientation of the leading proto-Nazi thinker and promoting his own deconstruction of the ideology, often blurring their ideas together, ingesting Nietzsche into his own heady metaphysics. (110) Heidegger depicts Nietzsche as understanding the legacy of western metaphysics better than anyone else and reaching the zenith of the development through his famous phrase "will to power," which Nietzsche first develops as his leading concept in 1884. (111) Like Heidegger, he understands Being as the guiding concern of all philosophy and offers the phrase "will to power" as the closest approximation he can afford in broaching its essence. (112) For Nietzsche (and Heidegger), "being is in its very ground perpetual creation (becoming);.... it becomes being and is becoming," ever existing as a "creative transfiguration." (113) This will to power permeates and enhances all beings, creating a higher culture through exerting force and making each one move out of the present realm of current stagnation and fight to gain strength, power, dominion, and mastery. (114) Even if these struggles contain no ultimate meaning, values arise when creating the intended configuration out of the will to power as "constructs of dominion." (115) It is our valuation that decides to preserve certain things and so posit what lasts as necessary or essential to the preservation of our lives. (116) Truth is merely an "estimation of value," which sees what is valuable for life's preservation and growth. It represents something as stable, "holding [it]-to-be true," making something useful and permanent for its own sake. (117) Knowledge does not copy a preexisting form of reality, bur actively subsumes, stabilizes, and commands the chaotic world around us in forwarding our utilitarian perspective and practical needs. (118) History is manufactured in the midst of "propaganda wars," where victory reverses the old set of values and establishes a new order of truth. (119) A new sense of justice arises as it "constructs, excludes, and annihilates" what is defeated through the will to power in estimating the advantage of the victor and opening up a new vista or image of humanity. (120)
   Justice is a passage beyond previous perspectives, a passage that
   posits viewpoints. In what horizon does this 'constructive way of
   thought' posit its points of view? It has a 'broader horizon of
   advantage.' We are startled. A justice that looks out for advantage
   points shamelessly and crudely enough to the regions of utility,
   avidity, and experience. Furthermore, Nietzsche even underlines the
   word advantage in his note, so as to leave no doubt that the
   justice meant here refers essentially to it.... Justice looks
   beyond to that sort of mankind which is to be forged and bred into
   a type, a type that possesses essential aptitude for establishing
   absolute dominion over the earth. (121)


For Nietzsche (and Heidegger), "the struggle for world domination" is conducted in the "name of fundamental philosophical doctrines." (122) In the Introduction to Metaphysics, Heidegger follows the same general understanding of the Kampf or Struggle--this time speaking of the Spirit as a principle of domination, which spurns all appeals to world-reason and mobilizes the power of Being through its resoluteness and decisiveness. (123) Here he disparages the egalitarian principles of American and Russian culture for producing a dreary sameness among the people and destroying "all rank and world-creating impulse of the Spirit." (124) As rector in Freiburg he would go on and use his authority to persecute "Americanized" professors like Adolf Lampe and Eduard Baumgarten, declaring his contempt for the mediocrity of democratic ideals and those who follow its teachings, while expressing loyalty to the National Socialism and the decisive measures of the Nazi regime during times of economic hardship. (125) Just before the war, he represents the imminent conflict as a struggle to reach beyond the present course of western culture and its history, or remain mired within the status quo of its mediocre policies, decadent tastes, and bourgeois economics. (126) Of course, after the hostilities ended, Heidegger's elitist and authoritarian attitudes drew intense criticism during the denazification process; even Karl Jaspars felt compelled to testify that the "mode of thinking" in his long-time friend was "fundamentally unfree, dictatorial," and unfit for educating a new generation of students, who were still vulnerable and impressionable in post-Nazi Germany. (127)

Heidegger was at the very least an integral part of a metaphysical tradition that resonated in the Geist of his nation and led to the atrocities of the Nazis as an expression of its will. His emphasis upon the will was not unusual for the times and represented a pervasive metaphysical tradition that was burgeoning in the philosophical community for some time. It had a precedent among the medieval scholastics, reaching a theological apex in the voluntaristic speculations of Wilhelm Ockham and his denial of any reason or purpose behind the divine decree in creation, (128) but became associated with the work of Gottfried Leibniz in the modern German way of thinking. Leibniz created an impetus for German voluntarism by removing the presence of God from the world and providing each monad with its own inward force. Later German philosophers like Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Heidegger just decided to proceed farther than Leibniz and deny the existence of God altogether. Schopenhauer displayed the atheistic ramifications of voluntarism by depicting the world as a groundless and irrational struggle of competing forces, which exist outside of any human or divine intelligence, and inspiring Nietzsche to reject the Socratic program of rational inquiry and moral living once and for all. Life was reduced to an exertion of power, which no longer possessed a code to inhibit its will or defend its victims. The pure groundless leadership of Hitler was a fulfillment of German "self-assertion" (Selbstbehauptung), based on the voluntaristic tradition of their leading philosophers and the zealous exercise of their will to power. Heidegger chose this term to embody the historical mission/determination of the German people in his infamous rector address at Freiburg, hoping to become the Fuhrer-Rektor of the university and the philosopher-king of the Nazi party. (129)

Christopher Newport University

(1) George Santayana, The German Mind: A Philosophical Diagnosis (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1968), xv, 20, 74, 85, 88, 96, 178-80, 190, 191. The title of the earlier work is changed in this later edition.

(2) Ibid., 12, 13, 92, 93.

(3) Ibid., 33.

(4) Ibid., 108, 109, 114, 115, 124, 141, 142, 156, 157, 164.

(5) Santayana, The German Mind, xv, 103.

(6) Martin Heidegger, Nietzsche, trans. David Farrell Krell, 4 vols. (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1991), 1.62-4, 87, 120, 121, 128; 2.222, 223; 4.147, 180-8, 237.

(7) Leibniz: Discourse on Metaphysics/Correspondence with Arnauld/ Monadology, trans. George R. Montgomery (La Salle, IL: The Open Court Publishing Company, 1973), 14, 27, 33, 69, 93.

(8) Ibid., 109, 110.

(9) Ibid., 30-6, 214, 216. Paul Janet, introduction to Leibniz: Discourse on Metaphysics/Correspondence with Arnauld/Monadology, ed. cit., vii, xi, xii.

(10) Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, trans. E. F. J. Payne, 2 vols. (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1969), 1.100; Samtliche Werke (Leipzig: F. A. Brockhaus, 1938), 1.119. Hereafter, the German edition is cited in parentheses.

(11) Ibid., 1.82, 83, 120, 128, 162, 163, 274, 296; 2.277, 530, 642 (1.98, 99, 143, 152, 193, 194; 2.313, 314, 607, 738, 739).

(12) Ibid., 2.213 (2.238).

(13) Ibid., 1.105, 110 (1.125, 126, 131).

(14) Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, 1.108; 2.259 (1.129; 2.292, 293). While the will remains a mysterious force, its motivations are manifested in certain instances, when its hunger becomes teeth and gullet, its lusts genitalia, its will-to-walk feet, and its will-to-know the brain. In humans, the will often works outside our own consciousness through functions like digestion, secretion, circulation, and reproduction. In animals, pure instinct drives them to build nests and webs apart from any understanding or foresight into the basic purposes and underlying principles. In plants, creative powers work incessantly throughout their lives apart from any knowledge or perception whatsoever. Ibid., 114, 115, 160; 2.335, 342, 345, 346 (1.136, 137, 191; 2.382,390, 394).

(15) Ibid., 2.290, 291, 295, 310, 311(2.329, 330, 333, 334, 352-4).

(16) Ibid., 1.122-4 (1.145-8).

(17) Ibid., 1.3, 352, 419 (1.3, 4, 416).

(18) Ibid., 1.435 (1.515, 516). He prefers the first edition of the Critique of Pure Reason, which is more idealistic like George Berkeley.

(19) Take for example gravity. This force emerges from the true inner nature of bodies and their longing for union. Gravitation is an "inclination and desire" (will) peculiar to certain bodies, making its appearance under the right set of circumstances. A stone always possesses a force like gravity (along with other properties), but it only acts in accordance with the force of gravity on certain occasions, just as a wicked man exhibits his wickedness in different ways depending on the external conditions. The force provides us with no reason to justify its activity; it simply describes the will or activity of a body in a certain way under a certain condition and that is all. Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, 1.127, 131-8; 2.300 (1.151, 155-65; 2.340).

(20) Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, 1.147 (1.175).

(21) Ibid., 1.276; 2.335, 345, 346, 351-4, 512-14 (1.325, 2.382, 394, 400-5, 587-9).

(22) Ibid., 2.312, 313, 318-21,357-9 (2.354-6, 361-5, 407-9).

(23) Ibid., 1.36-40, 184, 185, 196, 388-90; 2.615, 616, 620, 627, 633, 643 (1.43-5, 217, 218, 231, 232, 459, 460; 2.707, 708,712, 721, 728, 729, 740).

(24) Richard Wagner's Prose Works, trans. William Ashton Ellis, 8 vols. (New York: Broude Brothers, 1966), 6.257; Peter Viereck, Metapolitics: From Wagner and the Romantics to Hitler (New Brunswick, NJ and London: Transaction Publishers, 2004), 104, 107, 109.

(25) Richard Wagner's Prose Works, 4.14; 6.245, 246, 250; Viereck, Metapolitics, 123.

(26) Richard Wagner's Prose Works, 6.217, 218, 222.

(27) Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy, trans. William A. Haussman (New York: Barnes & Noble, 2006), 3, 4, 16, 40, 65, 95. Ricky Antony Furtak, introduction to The Birth of Tragedy, ed. cit., ix. Schopenhauer and Wagner exert a decided influence upon Nietzsche in leading him toward a philosophy of voluntarism. Early on, Nietzsche displays "equal reverence" for these two mentors and considers them "spiritual brothers." "To Richard Wagner" (May 22, 1869), in Selected Letters of Friedrich Nietzsche, ed. and trans. Christopher Middleton (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1969), 53. "All that is best and most beautiful is associated with the names of Schopenhauer and Wagner." "To Carl von Gersdorff' (March 11, 1870), in Selected Letters, 65. See also Selected Letters, 11-13, 18, 52; Walter Kaufmann, Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist (Princeton, N J: Princeton University Press, 1974), 24, 30, 31; Joachim K6hler, Nietzsche and Wagner: A Lesson in Subjugation, trans. Ronald Taylor (New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, 1998), 20; The Nietzsche-Wagner Correspondence, trans. Caroline V. Kerr (New York: Liverright, 1921), 219; Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy, 62, 66-8, 87, 102, 105, 106.

(28) Nietzsche, The Gay Science, trans. Walter Kaufmann (New York: Vintage Books, 1974), 78 (book 1, section, 3).

(29) Ibid., 236, 333 (4.294, 372); Thus Spoke Zarathustra, trans. R. J. Hollingdale (New York: Penguin Books, 1969), 61, 102.

(30) Nietzsche, The Will to Power, trans. Walter Kaufmann and R. J. Hollingdale (New York: Vintage Books, 1968), 542, 543 (section 1052); Dennis Sweet, introduction to Twilight of the Idols by Friedrich Nietzsche, trans. Anthony M. Ludovici (New York: Barnes & Noble, 2008), xxxi; Kaufmann, Nietzsche, 223.

(31) Nietzsche, Birth of Tragedy, 75, 76, 84, 87, 102, 105, 106 (sections 1820, 23, 24).

(32) Will to Power, 521 (paragraph 1005); Twilight of the Idols, ed. cit., 52 (14).

(33) Furtak, introduction to Birth of Tragedy, x.

(34) Nietzsche, The Antichrist, trans. Anthony M. Ludovici (New York: Barnes & Noble, 2006), 56-8 (sections 51, 52). Of course, the truth that God does not exist presents Nietzsche with a paradox. He announces both the end and the beginning of truth, often in the same work! Ecce Homo, in On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo, trans. Walter Kaufmann (New York: Vintage Books, 1989), 236, 237, 244, 314, 326.

(35) Genealogy of Morals, 151-3 (essay 3, section 24).

(36) Gay Science, 167-9, 258 (n. 54) (108, 109, 327, 328).

(37) Will to Power, 46, 47, 337 (69, 634).

(38) Ibid., 297, 377, 378 (552, 708).

(39) Gay Science, 167, 181, 182, 279 (108, 125, 343); Zarathustra, 14. Zarathustra uses this phrase to mock the God of Christianity, who suffocated from his own excessive pity and com-passion on the cross for the lowly. Ibid., 249, 272, 273; Beyond Good and Evil, trans. R. J. Hollingdale (Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1973) 68-70 (paragraphs 61, 62).

(40) Will to Power, 18 (25).

(41) Ecce Homo, 258, 261, 270, 283; Beyond Good and Evil, 40, 87, 88 (34, 149, 154); Twilight of the Idols, 33 (1); Zarathustra, 218, 219; Kaufmann, Nietzsche, 110-12.

(42) Zarathustra, 229, 298; Gay Science, 175, 238 (117, 258); Kaufmann, Nietzsche, 162, 163.

(43) Zarathustra, 41, 42, 52, 297, 302; Beyond Good and Evil, 201 (260); Kaufmann, Nietzsche, 307-9.

(44) Steven E. Aschheim, The Nietzsche Legacy in Germany 1890-1990 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), 9.

(45) Kaufmann says the blonde Bestie does not refer to the Nordic race. Nietzsche sees the Ubermenschen through an elite example of certain artists, philosophers, and saints (for example, Shakespeare and his great work Hamlet). This means that Nietzsche considers most humans no different than beasts, much like the Greeks. Nietzsche, 150-2, 162, 225, 285. And yet, Nietzsche does speak of creating a master race in Will to Power, 504. In Genealogy of Morals, 42-4 (1.11, 12), he uses the image of gold in reference to a golden age of heroes and demigods, which might provide a clue to his concept of a blond beast.

(46) Antichrist, 19.

(47) Genealogy of Morals, 44, 45 (13).

(48) Genealogy of Morals, 40-5 (1.11-13); Twilight of the Idols, 34 (2); Antichrist, 19 (21).

(49) Genealogy of Morals, 39, 40, 86 (1.11; 1.17).

(50) Steven E. Aschheim, "Nietzsche, Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust," in Nietzsche and Jewish Culture, ed. Jacob Galomb (London and New York: Routledge, 1997), 14.

(51) Beyond Good and Evil, 198-200 (258, 259).

(52) Ibid., 202-4 (260).

(53) Will to Power, 129 (221).

(54) Ibid., 189 (343).

(55) Ibid., 74 (120).

(56) Ibid., 190, 198 (347, 365, 366).

(57) Will to Power, 33, 142, 356, 389, 458, 467, 477, 478, 493, 494 (53, 246, 674, 675, 734, 859-61, 872, 898, 936); Genealogy of Morals, 30, 154 (1.5; 3.25); Twilight of the Idols, 63, 68 (36, 38); Gay Science, 338 (377); Furtak, introduction to Birth of Tragedy, xxiv; Aschheim, The Nietzsche Legacy, 48, 49; Hubert Cancik, "Mongols, Semites and Pure-Bred Greeks," in Nietzsche and Jewish Culture, 60, 61. At times, he can approve of the growing militarism in Europe, and think of military and physical education as an essential aspect of schooling, much like Hitler. Will to Power, 78, 482, 483.

"That which does not kill me makes me stronger." Twilight of the Idols, 2 (8). Nazi advocates of eugenics understood Nietzsche in this way. Richard Weikart, From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), 46; Aschheim, Nietzsche Legacy, 244.

(58) Dennis Sweet, introduction to Antichrist, by Friedrich Nietzsche, ed. cit., xvi; Walter Kaufmann, introduction to Will to Power, by Friedrich Nietzsche, ed. cit., xii. After her anti-Semitic husband died, Elisabeth made it her life-long mission to help promote the work of her brother. In 1894, she founded the Nietzsche Archive, which moved to Weimar a couple years later and became a rival to the Wagner cult in Bayreuth, building monuments, composing liturgy, organizing rituals, and serving as the official editor and disseminator of his works. In the First World War, Elisabeth promoted her brother as a patriotic, militaristic Prussian and placed his great work Zarathustra in the rucksack of many German soldiers. During the Nazi era, she and the Archive enthusiastically supported the regime and promoted Nietzsche as a proto-Nazi. Aschheim, Nietzsche Legacy, 18, 30-33, 45, 46, 142-45, 239, 240; Kaufmann, Nietzsche, 4, 5, 8, 9, 22.

(59) Zarathustra, 84, 136-39; Kaufmann, Nietzsche, 189, 211.

(60) Zarathustra, 190, 191; Gay Science, 189 (3.137).

(61) Will to Power, 339, 340 (635, 636); Kaufmann, Nietzsche, 186.

(62) Will to Power, 346, 347 (656-8); Kaufmann, Nietzsche, 255, 262.

(63) Will to Power, 550 (1067).

(64) Will to Power, 350, 354, 356 (664, 665, 671, 675); Zarathustra, 62; Kaufman, Nietzsche, 193.

(65) Gay Science, 292 (5.349); Will to Power, 373 (702); Kaufmann, Nietzsche, 261.

(66) Timothy Ryback, Hitler's Private Library (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2008), 104. Hitler had an insatiable appetite for books. During his early days in Linz and Vienna, he was a great patron of lending libraries and brought home "reading material by the kilo" on a wide-variety of subjects. From 1919-1921, he borrowed a number of books from the National Socialist Institute in Munich, which display some breadth and depth of intellectual reading, as well as a burgeoning interest in anti-Semitism. Even during the busy days of leading a country and conducting a world war, he amassed a large amount of reading material and spent late nights devouring it, often staying up until the wee hours of the morning to complete his reading. Ibid., 50, 51, 69, 115, 116; Weikhart, From Darwin to Hitler, 216; Hitler, Mein Kampf, trans. Ralph Manheim (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1999), 34 and following; Hugh R. Trevor-Roper, introduction to Hitler's Table Talk 1941-1944: His Private Conversations, trans. Norman Cameron and R. H. Stevens (New York: Enigma Books, 2008), xxxvii.

(67) Hitler's Table Talk 1941-1944: His Private Conversations, ed. cit., May 16, 1944, 546, 547.

(68) Ibid., 547. One of his confidants, Hans Frank, confirms this account. Ryback, Hitler's Private Library, 104.

(69) Trevor-Roper, introduction to Table Talk, xxxvii; Ryback, Hitler's Private Library, 106, 107.

(70) Ryback, Hitler's Private Library, 104-7.

(71) Theordore Abel, Why Hitler Came Into Power (London: Harvard University Press, 1986), 134, 135.

(72) For example, Mein Kampf, 29, 258, 259, 383 (29, 283, 421); Table Talk, Oct. 24, 1941, 68 (105). The pages of the German editions are in parentheses: Mein Kampf (Muchen: Zentralverlag der NSDAP, F. Eher Nachf., 1941) and Monologe in Fuhrer-Hauptquartier 1941-1944 (Hamburg: Albrecht Knaus, 1980).

(73) Table Talk, 104 (143); Mein Kampf, 65, 562, 563 (69, 70, 630).

(74) Ibid., 49 (85).

(75) William M. McGovern, From Luther to Hitler (London: George G. Harrap & Co. LTD, 1946), 625, 630. Alfred Rosenberg's Myth of the Twentieth Century is a good example of Nazi myth-making. Rudolf Bultmann, the New Testament scholar, laid the foundation for the positive usage of myth by refusing to eliminate the miracles of the Scripture as false or unhistorical and finding a positive message in them.

(76) Hermann Rauschning, The Voice of Destruction (New York: G. P. Putnam, 1940), 184; Leonard Peikoff, "Nazism versus Reason," The Objectivist 8, no. 10 (Oct. 1969) 3, 4, 7, 8; Viereck, Metapolitics, 9. The authenticity of the citation from Rauschning might be questioned, but it certainly summarizes Hitler's basic point of view.

(77) Mein Kampf, 409-14 (454-60).

(78) Ibid., 49, 338, 349 (52, 371, 372, 384); Trevor-Roper, introduction to Table Talk, xxxi.

(79) Mein Kampf, 580 (650-1).

(80) Ibid., 408 (452, 453).

(81) Mein Kampf, 176-86, 341-3, 468-77 (193-204, 375-7, 524-34).

(82) Ibid., 264-6, 494-7 (290-2, 553-6).

(83) Ibid., 107, 477 (116, 117, 534). Of course, Hitler considered himself a great orator and provides a how-to manual in Mein Kampf, 468-77 (525-34).

(84) Ibid., 91, 344, 345 (99, 100, 378, 379).

(85) Table Talk, Aug. 20, 1942, 484; Weikart, From Darwin to Hitler, 210, 211, 275.

(86) Hitler's Second Book: The Unpublished Sequel to Mein Kampf, trans. Krista Smith (New York: Enigma Books, 2003), 18, 19; Hillers Zweites Buch (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1961), 54, 55.

(87) Hitler's Second Book: The Unpublished Sequel to Mein Kampf, 108, 125 (Hitlers Zweites Buch, 124, 128); Mein Kampf, 44, 170, 171 (46, 187). Heinrich Treitschke is a good example of this type of political voluntarism. He was the editor of the Preussische Jahrbucher and Historischer Zeitschrift, important and prestitigious publications, and the Proto-Nazi leader of Berlin's Bewegung gegen das Judentum at the end of the nineteenth century. In his Politics, he sees the state as the "source of all authority" and each citizen owing it "unconditional obedience." A person has no right to rebel against the government by appealing to natural law, individual conscience, or religious scruples. Teitschke cites Machiavelli and separates the church and any other moral standard from prejudging the state and condemning its activities. In fact, he proceeds toward a voluntaristic explanation that sees "will" as the "essence of the state" and exalts in the capricious use of power as a sign of true greatness. He says that great nations seldom justify their activity by appealing to the intellect or rational order of things, but they exercise force like Sparta, Rome, and Venice--nations not "rich in mental endowment." War and conquest are absolutely essential to the vitality of a nation and its people. A nation is born when an individual or group imposes its will on the whole body politic; and a nation finds its true greatness by expanding its dominion over others. Treitschke rejects the notion of establishing a nation through a social contract and has little use for international rules that inhibit the expansion of imperialistic power. His concept of power leads him to exalt leaders that are filled with "will-power, strong ambition, and a passionate desire for success" as a necessary means of accomplishing the mission of the state. He hopes Germany will follow the manifest destiny of American expansionism and British imperialism and take a leading role in the colonization of the world by the white race. Politics, ed. and trans. Hans Kohn (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Ward, Inc., 1963) 8, 11-16, 33, 46, 47, 51, 55, 58, 62-5, 105-8, 123, 139, 145; Hans Kolm, introduction to Politics by Heinrich Treitschke, ed. cit., xi, xii, xxi; Jacob Katz, From Prejudice to Destruction: Anti-Semitism, 1700-1933 (Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1980), 245-47; McGovern, From Luther to Hitler, 372, 375.

(88) After fleeing the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, Rosenberg came to Munich and joined the German Workers Party, helping to mold its ideology in the early days before it became the party of Hitler and the Nazis. He soon gained a reputation as the official trustee of Nazi ideology, editing the Volkischer Beobachter, introducing Hitler to the Wagner Circle, and accepting the leadership of the party while Hitler served in prison. During the Third Reich, he was able to promote his great work, The Myth of the Twentieth Century, making it a staple in German life and selling over two million copies.

(89) Alfred Rosenberg, The Myth of the Twentieth Century, ed. cit., 435, 436.

(90) Peel, introduction to The Myth of the Twentieth Century, xv.

(91) Ibid., 197, 200. Despite the obvious influence, Rosenberg, Nietzsche, and other disciples have their own specific interpretation and criticism of Schopenhauer. See, for example, ibid., 196-210.

(92) Ibid., 332.

(93) Ibid., 33, 81, 83, 125, 126, 176, 242, 246, 252, 253, 442.

(94) Monika Leske, Philosophen im 'Dritten Reich' (Berlin: Deitz Verlag, 1990), 213, 214; Ashheim, The Nietzsche Legacy in Germany, 234; Kaufmann, introduction to Will to Power, xiii. Of course, not all Nazis were so enamored with Nietzsche. Some considered him less than orthodox on issues like anti-Semitism and Germanism. Baumler will try to defend him against these charges. See Rudiger Safranski, Martin Heidegger: Between Good and Evil, trans. Ewald Osers (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999), 42; Aschheim, The Nietzsche Legacy in Germany, 253.

(95) A. Baumler, Nietzsche: der Philosoph und Politiker (Leipzig: Phillip Reclam, jun., 1931), 17-19, 54-7, 98, 105.

(96) Ibid., 16, 20, 23-5. Baumler finds the "eternal return of the same" (ewigen Wiederkunft) difficult to reconcile with Nietzsche's emphasis on Becoming and the will to power. At one point, he says that Nietzsche is not sharing his own view through this doctrine but expanding the religious ideas of Zarathustra. At another point, he says that Nietzsche is only trying to show the lack of purpose and meaning in life. Ibid., 80-2. See Heidegger, Nietzsche, 2.6, 75; 3.272; 4.270.

(97) Baumler, Nietzsche: der Philosoph und Politiker, 56, 64-68. Baumler was a strong advocate of "total war" in his writings, as an indelible aspect of human nature. Leske, Philosophe im 'Dritten Reich', 176, 177.

(98) Ibid., 74.

(99) Ibid., 46, 49, 52; Heidegger, Nietzsche, 3.270, 271.

(100) Ibid., 5, 12, 13, 26, 31, 36, 37, 44, 45, 48, 52, 71, 114, 115, 172, 173. There is no preset harmony as Leibniz suggested. Each monad has its own, separate power. Ibid., 161.

(101) For his relation to the Nazis, see Victor Farias, Heidegger and Nazism, trans. P. Burrell and G. R. Ricci (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1989); Safranski, Martin Heidegger: Between Good and Evil; and T. Rockmore, On Heidegger's Nazism and Philosophy (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1992).

(102) See also Martin Heidegger, An Introduction to Metaphysics, trans. Ralph Manheim (New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, 1987), 63, 64, 96-8.

(103) Rockmore, On Heidegger's Nazism and Philosophy, 150.

(104) Martin Heidegger, Being and Time, trans. John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson (New York: SCM Press Ltd., 1962), 19, 402, 428 (1, 351, 376); Rockmore, Heidegger's Nazism and Philosophy, 148. For Being and Time, the page number from the eighth German edition is given in parentheses. Sein und Zeit, 8th edition (Tubingen: M. Niemeyer, 1957).

(105) Being and Time, 287 (243).

(106) Ibid., 41, 185, 186, 232, 236, 393, 394, 401,402, 416, 426, 427, 479 (19, 20, 145, 146, 187, 188, 191, 192, 342-4, 350, 351, 365, 374, 375, 426, 427); Jean-Francois Lyotard, Heidegger and "the jews", trans. Andreas Michel and Mark S. Roberts (Minneapolis, Minn.: University of Minnesota Press, 1990), 69. Dasein is not the victim of fate but makes and constitutes time. Farias, Heidegger and Nazism, 64.

(107) Being and Time, 318, 322, 333, 334, 340, 345 (274, 275, 278, 287, 288, 294, 298, 299); Rockmore, Heidegger's Nazism and Philosophy, 44-6.

(108) Being and Time, 319, 320 (274, 275); Safranski, Martin Heidegger, 166, 167, 219. If there is an exhortation, it concerns the respect in oneself and others for this freedom to choose.

(109) Heidegger, Nietzsche, 1.62-4, 87, 120, 121, 128; 2.222, 223; 4.180-8, 147, 237; Dietmar Kohler, Won Schelling zu Hitler? Heideggers Schelling-Interpretation von 1936 und 1941," in Schelling: Zwischen Fichte und Hegel, ed. Christoph Asmuth, Alfred Denker, and Michael Vater (Amsterdam/Philadelphia: B. R. Gruner, 2000), 313-316.

(110) Aschheim, Nietzsche Legacy in Germany, 267.

(111) Heidegger, Nietzsche, 3.6, 8, 10, 18, 19, 105, 259; 4.71, 72, 205. He finds Nietzsche's doctrine of eternal recurrence forming a fundamental unity with the will to power and the revaluation of values. The eternal return "constitutes the ground and essence of the will to power," and will to power "alone allows us to recognize what eternal return of the same means." Ibid., 2.165. The doctrine finds an eternal displacement of the goal in life, accepting the inescapable and inevitable fact of suffering. (Nietzsche is never able to replace the "last man.") The present "moment" is the collision of the past and present, determining how everything recurs and recognizing that the idiocy of the last man will recur over and over. Ibid., 1.18, 2.6, 30-2, 57, 60, 75, 81, 165, 168, 199, 245, 246, 281; 3.171.

(112) Heidegger, Nietzsche, 1.4, 233; 2.190.

(113) Ibid., 2.200; 3.161, 162.

(114) Ibid., 1.60, 61, 234; 3.152, 173, 174, 194-6, 199.

(115) Ibid., 3.209; 4.66.

(116) Ibid., 3.60, 61.

(117) Ibid., 3.52, 62-64, 235.

(118) Ibid., 3.72, 88, 89, 116.

(119) Ibid., 3.56. See Ibid., 1.241-3.

(120) Ibid., 3.143-45.

(121) Heidegger, Nietzsche, 3.245.

(122) Ibid., 3.190.

(123) Introduction to Metaphysics, 46-50.

(124) Ibid., 46.

(125) Safranski, Martin Heidegger, 226, 227, 336-42, 373; Farias, Heidegger and Nazism, 210, 211, 327.

(126) Heidegger, Nietzsche, 3.91.

(127) Safranski, Martin Heidegger, 340, 341. Heidegger was unable to lecture again until 1951.

(128) The Schoolmen emphasized a distinction between the potentia Dei absoluta (the absolute power of God) and the potentia Dei ordinata (the ordained power of God). Duns Scotus, Ordinatio (Ed. Vat.), I, d. 44, q. 1; Reportata Parisiensia (Ed. Paris) IV, d. 1, q. 5, n. 5; Heiko Oberman, The Harvest of Medieval Theology (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1963), 36; Grane Leff, Gregory of Rimini: Tradition and Innovation in Fourteenth Century Thought (Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 1961), 91. Leff finds an early usage of the distinction in Peter Damian during the eleventh century. The works cited from Duns Scotus are in Opera Omnia (Paris: L. Vires, 1891-95); Opera Omnia (Civitas Vaticana: Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, (1950-); Opera Omnia (Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1968-). Ockham will create an exhaustive "Als-ob" theology filled with unrestrained speculation about the many possibilities within the absolute power of God. For Ockham, God could damn the righteous and exonerate the guilty, overturn the entire Decalogue and demand the opposite, accept or reject our merit, justify or condemn us, with or without Christ, with or without atonement, and with or without grace, even created grace. Life no longer contained a direct and simple revelation of divine purposes in Christ, making Ockham wonder a fortiori whether life in general contains any reason or purpose or evidence of God at all. Sententiarum I, d. 17, q. 1, E, T; q. 5, E, F; d. 47, q. 1, D; II, q. 19, O, P; IV, q. 3, F, Q; Quodibeta, VI., VI, q. 1, a. 2, c. 1, 2. At one point, Ockham thinks God could command us to hate him, but later on, he overturns this possibility, saying it would involve a contradiction to fulfill a command to hate because it takes love to do God's will. Sententiarum, II, q. 19, O; III, q. 5, G. The works cited from Ockham are in Opera Plurima (Lugduni, 1494-96; Repr. in London: Gregg Press, 1962); Opera Philosophica et Theologica (St. Bonaventure, NY: St. Bonaventure University, 1967-82).

(129) Heidegger, "The Self-Assertion of the German University," trans. Karsten Harries, in Review of Metaphysics 38, no. 3 (1985): 470-80; David Farrell Krell, introduction to Nietzsche by Martin Heidegger, ed. cit., x, xi; Aschheim, Nietzsche Legacy in Germany, 262; Farias, Heidegger and Nazism, 86, 87, 96-103, 134, 140; Rockmore, On Heidegger's Nazism and Philosophy, 57-65, 69. He later claims that his rectoral address was merely a defense of the university, but the Germanism and voluntarism are more than apparent. Rockmore, On Heidegger's Nazism and Philosophy, 118.

Correspondence to: Stephen Strehle, Christopher Newport University, 1 University Place, Newport News, VA 23606-2998
COPYRIGHT 2011 Philosophy Education Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Strehle, Stephen
Publication:The Review of Metaphysics
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Sep 1, 2011
Words:10189
Previous Article:The hermeneutic circle versus dialogue.
Next Article:Balaguer, Mark. Free Will as an Open Scientific Problem.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters