The Other God that Failed: Hans Freyer and the Deradicalization of German Conservatism

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Princeton University Press, 1987 - History - 449 pages
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Why did some of the "best and brightest" of Weimar intellectuals advocate totalitarian solutions to the problems of liberal democratic, capitalist society? How did their "radical conservatism" contribute to the rise of National Socialism? What roles did they play in the Third Reich? How did their experience of totalitarianism lead them to recast their social and political thought? This biography of Hans Freyer, a prominent German sociologist and political ideologist, is a case study of intellectuals and a "god that failed"--not on the political left, but on the right, where its significance has been overlooked. The author explores the interaction of political ideology and academic social science in democratic and totalitarian regimes, the transformation of German conservatism by the experience of National Socialism, and the ways in which tension between former collaborators and former opponents of National Socialism continued to mold West German intellectual life in the postwar decades.

 

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Contents

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IX
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XIII
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XV
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XXXVI
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XXXVII
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Page 11 - ... the assumption of a sole and exclusive truth in politics. It may be called political Messianism in the sense that it postulates a preordained, harmonious and perfect scheme of things, to which men are irresistibly driven, and at which they are bound to arrive.
Page 19 - When the foundations of society are threatened, the conservative ideology reminds men of the necessity of some institutions and desirability of the existing ones', Huntington suggested.
Page 11 - It recognizes ultimately only one plane of existence, the political, it widens the scope of politics to embrace the whole of human existence. It treats all human thought and action as having social significance and therefore as falling within the orbit of political action.
Page 11 - They are an integral part of an all-embracing and coherent philosophy. Politics is defined as the art of applying this philosophy to the organization of society, and the final purpose of politics is only achieved when this philosophy reigns supreme over all fields of life.
Page 11 - Thus our quarrel is not about the value of freedom per se, but stems from our opinion of our fellow men, high or low as the case may be; indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that a man's admiration of absolute government is proportionate to the contempt he feels for those around him.

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About the author (1987)

Jerry Z. Muller is professor of history at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

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