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Friday, May 12, 2017

Hans Günther : The Religious Attitudes of the Indo-Europeans (3)


CHAPTER SEVEN


THE greatest ideas of mankind have been conceived in the lands between India and Germania, between Iceland and Benares (where Buddha began to teach) amongst the peoples of Indo-European language; and these ideas have been accompanied by the Indo-European religious attitude which represents the highest attainments of the mature spirit. When in January 1804, in conversation with his colleague, the philologist Riemer, Goethe expressed the view that he found it “remarkable that the whole of Christianity had not brought forth a Sophocles”, his knowledge of comparative religion was restricted by the knowledge of his age, yet he had unerringly chosen as the precursor of an Indo-European religion the poet Sophocles, “typical of the devout Athenian . . . in his highest, most inspired form”,41 a poet who represented the religiosity of the people, before the people (demos) of Athens had degenerated into a mass (ochlos). But where apart from the Indo-Europeans, has the world produced a more devout man with such a great soul as the Athenian, Sophocles? 

Where outside the Indo-European domain have religions arisen, which have combined such greatness of soul with such high flights of reason (logos, ratio) and such wide vision (theoria)? Where have religious men achieved the same spiritual heights as Spitama Zarathustra, as the teachers of the Upanishads, as Homer, as Buddha and even as Lucretius Carus, Wilhelm von Humboldt and Shelley? 

Goethe wished that Homer’s songs might become our Bible. Even before the discovery of the spiritual heights and power of the pre-Christian Teuton, but especially after Lessing, Winckelmann and Heinrich Voss, the translator of Homer, the Indo-European outlook renewed itself in Germany, recalling a world of the spirit which was perfected by great German poets and thinkers during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. 

Since Goethe’s death (1832), and since the death of Wilhelm von Humboldt (1835), the translator of the devout Indo-European Bhagavad Gita, this Indo-European spirit, which also revealed itself in the pre-Christian Teuton, has vanished.
Goethe had a premonition of this decline of the West: even in October 1801 he remarked in conversation with the Countess von Egloffstein, that spiritual emptiness and lack of character were spreading — as if he had foreseen what today characterises the most celebrated literature of the Free West. It may be that Goethe had even foreseen, in the distant future, the coming of an age in which writers would make great profits by the portrayal of sex and crime for the masses. As Goethe said to Eckermann, on 14th March 1830, “the representation of noble bearing and action is beginning to be regarded as boring, and efforts are being made to portray all kinds of infamies”. Previously in a letter to Schiller of 9th August 1797, he had pointed out at least one of the causes of the decline: in the larger cities men lived in a constant frenzy of acquisition and consumption and had therefore become incapable of the very mood from which spiritual life arises. Even then he was tortured and made anxious, although he could observe only the beginnings of the trend, the sight of the machine system gaining the upper hand; he foresaw that it would come and strike (Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre, Third Book, Chapter 15, Cotta’s Jubilee edition, Vol. XX, p. 190). In a letter to his old friend Zelter, on 6th June 1825, he pronounced it as his view that the educated world remained rooted in mediocrity, and that a century had begun “for competent heads, for practical men with an easy grasp of things, who . . . felt their superiority above the crowd, even if they themselves are not talented enough for the highest achievements”; pure simplicity was no longer to be found, although there was a sufficiency of simple stuff; young men would be excited too early and then torn away by the vortex of the time. Therefore Goethe exhorted youth in his poem Legacy of the year 1829:
Join yourself to the smallest host!


In increasing degree since approximately the middle of the nineteenth century poets and writers as well as journalists — the descendants of the “competent heads” by whom Goethe was alarmed even in the year 1801 — have made a virtue out of necessity by representing characterlessness as a fact. With Thomas Mann this heartless characterlessness first gained world renown. Mann used his talent to conceal his spiritual desolation by artifices which have been proclaimed by contemporary admirers as insurpassable. But the talent of the writers emulating Thomas Mann no longer sufficed even to conceal their spiritual emptiness, although many of their readers, themselves spiritually impoverished, have not noticed this. 

The freedom of the Press, which was introduced through the constitution of May 1816 into the Duchy of Weimar and which had already been demanded by Wieland with his superficial judgment would, Goethe declared, do nothing more than give free rein to authors with a deep contempt of public opinion (Zahme Xenien, Goethes Sämtliche Werke, Cotta’s Jubilee edition, Vol. IV, p. 47; Annalen (Annals) 1816, same edition, Vol. XXX, p. 298). In the Annalen of 1816, he remarked that every right-thinking man of learning in the world foresaw the direct and incalculable consequences of this act with fright and regret. Thus even in his time, Goethe must have reflected how little the men of the Press, were capable of combining freedom with human dignity. 

When the descendants of the competent heads of the beginning of the nineteenth century rose, through their talents, to the upper classes, where due to a lower birthrate their families finally died out, the eliminating process of social climbing in Europe seized hold of less capable heads and bore them away into the vortex of the time. Their culture has been described most mercilessly by Friedrich Nietzsche in his lectures of the year 1871-72: Concerning the Future of Our Educational Institutions (Pocket edition, Vol. I, 1906, pp. 314, 332-333, 396). Nietzsche above all concentrated on famous contemporary writers, “the hasty and vain production, the despicable manufacturing of books, the perfected lack of style, the shapelessness and characterlessness or the lamentable dilution of their expressions, the loss of every aesthetic canon, the lust for anarchy and chaos” — which he described as if he had actually seen the most celebrated literature of the Free West, whose known authors no longer mastered their own languages even to the extent still demanded by popular school teachers around 1900. These vociferous heralds of the need for culture in an era of general education were rejected by Nietzsche who in this displayed true Indo-European views — as fanatical opponents of the true culture, which holds firm to the aristocratic nature of the spirit. If Nietzsche described the task of the West as to find the culture appropriate to Beethoven, then the serious observer today will recognise only too well the situation which Nietzsche foresaw and described as a laughing stock and a thing of shame. 

In the year 1797, Friedrich Schiller composed a poem: Deutsche Grösse. Full of confidence in the German spirit he expressed the view that defeat in war by stronger foes could not touch German dignity which was a great moral force. The precious possession of the German language would also be preserved. Schiller (Das Siegesfest) certainly knew what peoples had to expect of war:
For Patrocles lies buried
and Thersites comes back;

but he must have imagined that the losses of the best in the fight could be replaced. The dying out of families of dignity and moral stature (megalopsychia and magnanimitas), had then not yet begun in Europe. 

In the year 1929, just a decade after the First World War had ended, that Peloponnesian war of the Teutonic peoples, which caused both in England and in Germany excessively heavy losses of gifted young men, of officers and aristocrats, Oskar Walzel (Die Geistesströmungen des 19. Jahrhunderts, 1929, p. 43), Professor of German literature at the university of Bonn, gave it as his opinion that after this war the trend to de-spiritualise Germany had gained ground far more rapidly than hitherto: “Is there in German history in general such an identical want of depth in men to be observed as at present?” But for the Germans it is poor consolation that this “de-spiritualising” is just as marked in other Western countries. Another sign of this trend is that today many famous writers are no longer capable of preserving the precious possession of the German language. Other Western languages are also neglecting their form and literature, but this again is poor consolation for the Germans. Such neglect is considered by many writers today as characteristic of, and part of the process of gaining their freedom and liberation from all traditional outlooks. Goethe criticised this as a false idea of freedom (Maxims and Reflections, Goethes Sämtliche Werke, Cottas Jubiläumsausgabe, Vol. IV, p. 229) in the following words:
“Everything which liberates our spirit, without increasing our mastery of ourselves, is pernicious.”

Thus, by freedom Goethe also understood the dignity of the freeborn, not the nature and mode of life of the freed slave. 

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CHAPTER EIGHT

QUINTUS Horatius Flaccus (Carmina, III, 25, 27) has described the task of all art, especially of poetry, as being to create “nothing small and in a low manner” (nil parvum aut humili modo). Yet the most popular literature of the free West, and the culture of mass media, today emphasises the unimportant sexual experiences of unbridled men, often in a degrading and unclean manner, and this is described by many newspaper critics as “art”. The churches also patronise such forms of art for the masses and attempt to secure the attendance of youth by offering religious Jazz and Negro rhythms. The best examples of pure sexual experience, as accomplished in the nil parvum aut humili modo of Horace, may be found in the truly Indo-European Homer. According to C. F. von Nägelsbach (Homerische Theologie, third edition, edited by G. Authenrieth, 1884, p. 229) Homer always represented sensuality without lust and without prudery and never enticingly and seductively or with sensual excitement in mind; he was one of the most innocent poets of all ages and even in describing sexual scenes, he never used a word which exceeded artistic requirements. This is yet another example of how the Indo-European linked freedom with dignity. 

In Europe and North America, individuals who were still capable of their own religiosity — of which the Commonplace Book of Thomas Jefferson, the distinguished third President of the United States of America, is an example — have been replaced by masses who by religiosity only understand an appendage to a confession useful for personal advancement. There is no possible hope, under these circumstances, that the great spiritual and religious heights which were reached by the Indo-Europeans living between Europe and India at various times from the Bronze Age up to the nineteenth century will ever be matched again. For a world culture such as progressives seek to construct, an elevation of the spirit above and beyond the entertainment needs of the masses — above Jazz and Negro rhythm — is no longer to be hoped for, since what Europeans and North Americans have to offer today to the “undeveloped” peoples (who, however, should have been able to utilise the 10,000 to 20,000 years which have passed since the end of the Old Stone Age for their own development), is nothing more than the spiritually vacuous “culture” of a welfare state governed by a hundred soulless authorities. In such societies the Press, literature, radio, television and films and other media provide the masses with a controlled “tensioning” and “de-tensioning” by alternately playing up this or that belief or unbelief. With the further extinction of families capable of spiritual independence, and the further disappearance of talents,42 particularly amongst the peoples of North America and Europe capable of spiritual leadership, no alternative to the disappearance of the last remaining elements of the Indo-European peoples and their culture can be expected. 

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), one of the founders of the free state of Virginia, author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), Governor of Virginia, ambassador in Paris, Foreign Minister under George Washington, and from 1801 to 1809 President of the United States, sought to see his people as a nation of Teutonic yeomen and distrusted trade and the upcoming industry of the cities, which he regarded as foes of freedom. Jefferson sought to protect the freedom and dignity of the individual man from the state, to which he therefore wished to allow only a minimum of power. To preserve this farmer aristocracy enjoying Indo-European freedom43 he sought to avoid a centralised state in favour of a loose federation or association of the former English colonies. But after the agricultural era, the urbanisation and industrialisation of the industrial era brought into being the city masses whose need for security became greater than their real or pretended urge to freedom. Security against (in the Indo-European sense) destiny — cowardly security against all difficult situations of life — can only be achieved in a state based upon bureaucracy, a state which is therefore, of necessity, inhuman. The excessive number of patronising departments and repressive laws, as well as the large number of officials in dependent positions, gradually stifles the freedom of any individuals still capable of a dignified and courageous conduct of life. (Tacitus: Annals, XXXVII: corruptissima in re publica plurimae leges.) 

In the winter of 1791-92, Wilhelm von Humboldt, the friend of Schiller, and like Schiller one of the last great Indo-Europeans, wrote a book: Ideen zu einem Versuch, die Grenzen der Wirksamkeit des Staates zu bestimmen (An attempt to determine the limits of the effectiveness of the State). In this work he sought to safeguard the humanitas and dignitas, the dignity of man, from patronisation by governmental welfare states. Yet with the twentieth century, more and more countries, including the once so free English, and now in their wake, North America, have become “socialised”, bureaucratic welfare states, whose masses, encumbered by thousands of officials and organisations, have begun to forget freedom and dignity through the de-tensioning offered them. With the loss of freedom and dignity in political and social life, how is the preservation of traditional spiritual values possible? 

One of the first to recognise that the era of the free individual, capable of self-determination, was coming to an end, and that with the displacement of this free, self-reliant man, human dignity would vanish from public life, was the Norman Count Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859), the friend of Count Arthur Gobineau (1816-1882). His work L’Ancien Régime et la Révolution (7th edition, 1866) and the Souvenirs de Alexis de Tocqueville (1893), which were not published until thirty-four years after the death of the author, were only heeded in Germany when it was too late to save the freedom of the individual; de Tocqueville studied the nature of the democracies as displayed in their land of origin, in North America, and afterwards wrote his work De la Démocratie en Amérique (1835), a warm-hearted and richly informative description of the North American free state, in which he also warned of the dangers facing democracies which fell under the domination of the spirit of the masses. He feared that the rise of an era of the masses, with state capitalism and state-controlled enterprise, would pervert the democracies into repressing the freedom of the individual man of dignity — to him the highest human good — so that democracy would lead to a suppression of freedom in the Indo-European sense, the freedom still demanded by Jefferson and by Wilhelm von Humboldt. 

The last men who — without investigating its origins — defended Indo-European freedom, namely the democracy of the free and mutually-equal land-owning family fathers, were the English philosophers John Stuart Mill (Michael St. John Packe: The Life of John Stuart Mill, 1954, pp. 488 et seq.) and Herbert Spencer. J. S. Mill wrote a book On Liberty in 1859. With almost incomprehensible far-sightedness Mill recognised the threat to the dignity and freedom of independent and self-reliant individual thinking men which was embodied in the “freedom” of the masses gathering in the cities. Mill feared the tyranny of the majorities in the popular assemblies, the repression of those capable of judgment by the mass of alternating public opinions. He feared the Chinese ideal of the sameness of all men and saw — like Goethe in his tragedy Die natürliche Tochter (I, 5) — that all contemporary political trends were aiming to reshape the era by raising the depths, and debasing the heights. When men had been made “equal” by law, every deviation from this uniformity would be condemned as wicked, immoral, monstrous and unnatural (John Stuart Mill: Die Freiheit, 1859, translated into German by Elsa Wentscher, Philosophische Bibliothek, Vol. CCII, 1928, pp. 7, 100 et seq.). Hence in the year 1859, when England was still free, that very conformity was already predicted against which even the newspaper writers and literateurs of unhindered mass circulation today complain. 

To John Stuart Mill the freedom of the individual was the highest good. He started with the viewpoint of Adam Smith and David Ricardo and inclined to socialism, but feared that the abuse of freedom by parties and majorities would lead to the rule of the masses, to the end of competition and to the abolition of individual possessions, which would favour the stupid and lazy, but rob the clever and industrious. For this reason Mill also advocated Malthusianism and family planning, because families with many children whom they were economically incapable of supporting would endanger the state. 

Herbert Spencer found the highest degree of freedom within the state in England in the middle nineteenth century, the highest degree of freedom for men of independent judgment and independent conscience. But when he wrote his Principles of Sociology in 1896, he recognized that this freedom was already threatened by socialism. Socialism he said, would appear in every industrial society and would repress every freedom; socialism itself would become only another form of subjection, simply another form of the bureaucratic regime, and thus it would become the greatest misfortune that the world had ever experienced; no one might ever again do what he pleased, each would have to do what he was ordered to do. A total and absolute loss of freedom would result. Herbert Spencer might have added that only a minority of men capable of independent thought would regret the loss of freedom in a bureaucratic, patronising state, while the solid majority (Ibsen: An Enemy of the People) would prefer state care to freedom, being unable to understand the freedom of Jefferson or Wilhelm von Humboldt, or Mill or Spencer (Herbert Spencer: Principles of Sociology, Vol. III, 1897, pp. 585, 595).

In two contributions to his Essays (Essays: Scientific, Political and Speculative, Vol. II, 1883, pp. 48, 56, 66, 94, 100, 104; Vol. III, 1878, pp. 181, 186) Herbert Spencer the Liberal summarised how socialism — when it finally penetrated all parties — would repress the freedom of the individual to voice independent judgment; through a flood of laws there would arise, supported by the blind faith of the socialist masses in enactments, and in government machinery, a stupid and ponderous bureaucratic state; the state would discourage its citizens from helping themselves, and no one would be permitted to withdraw from the national institutions, as they may from private ones, when they broke down or became too costly; the blind belief in officialdom, above all in the Fascist and National Socialist form, has given rise, as Spencer feared, to a blind faith in government, to a political fetichism. But wherever socialist governments have been able to rule uncontested for decades, officialdom, state control and state fetichism have set in, and with them a further repression of the freedom of the individual, of that Indo-European and above all Teutonic freedom emanating from the spirit of the land-owning family heads, equal among one another, with which Spencer and the liberals of his day were concerned — even though they did not realise that the roots of this freedom were historically Indo-European. 

One may describe the Teutons as born democrats, if by democracy one understands the self-conscious freedom and equality of rural yeomen. Democracy of this kind will always follow the command, found in the Edda (Grogaldr, VI, Der Zaubergesang der Groa, Edda, Vol. II, 1920, p. 178): “Lead thyself!” This freedom, a dignified freedom found only in the man capable of self-determination, was maintained in Iceland, whence Norwegian freeholders removed themselves to avoid forcible conversion to Christianity at the hands of the newly-converted Norwegian kings, with such resolution, that the present day observer must doubt whether the Icelandic free state could in general be called a state. 

Likewise Eduard Meyer (Geschichte des Altertums, Vol. I, 2, 1909, p. 777) has alluded to the individualism and self-determination which characterises the Indo-Europeans, to the individuality of the self-determining man, hostile to every kind of leadership, even to the extent of frequently proving a danger to his own nation or state. Bismarck himself bore witness to this individuality when he said that he was less concerned with giving commands than with punishing disobedience. Such an outlook is expressed in the motto, valid earlier in Germany, Selbst ist der Mann — Rely on yourself — and this outlook refuses charity from every other, even from the state. It corresponds to a truly Indo-European remark of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (Observations, III, 5): “You shall stand upright, and not be supported by others!” In the Agamemnon (755) of Aeschylus, the king of the Hellenic army, first among equals, expresses the view that he has his own convictions, apart from those of his people. With Sophocles (Aias, 481) the Chorus confirms to Aias, who has freely chosen death, that he never spoke a word which did not proceed directly from his own nature. 

But such attitudes have tended to disappear lately amongst Indo-European speaking peoples — corresponding to the disappearance of men capable of independent thought and opinion, the truly free-born. Recently, through an accumulation of men incapable of independent thought, city masses have come into existence which wish to be led: it is no longer “lead yourself — yourself!” but “Leader, command and we will follow!” In such periods true Indo-European freedom vanishes. Marcus Tullius Cicero (de officio, I, 112-113), imbued with the traditional freedom of an aristocratic republic and acquainted through Panaetius with the Hellenic thinkers’ doctrines of freedom, still risked praising Julius Caesar’s dead opponent Cato Uticensis, during the former’s dictatorship. After the battle of Thapsos, many Romans accepted the sole rule of a conquering leader of the city masses (consisting predominantly of freedmen), the dictator perpetuus, Julius Caesar. Not, however, Cato Uticensis, one of the last freeborn men of the aristocratic Roman republic: Cato’s love of freedom taught him to choose death rather than live under tyranny. 

The historical work of Tacitus, which has already been mentioned above, reveals that Indo-European freedom (libertas) is only possible in a society of individuals capable of independent judgment, who rely on their own resources and who do not need to be supported. Herbert Spencer had already seen, towards the end of the nineteenth century, that such freedom would no longer be practicable in industrial societies. 

Indo-European spiritual freedom and human dignity have been represented with the utmost beauty by the classical art of the Hellenes and this spirit speaks with irrepressible vigour and clarity from the sculptures which represent Hellenic thinkers and poets (K. Schefeld: Die Bildnisse der antiken Dichter, Redner und Denker, 1943) — sculptures which could not have been created had not the artists themselves been conscious of this freedom and dignity. A great part of the present day, highly-praised “art of the free West”, expresses in word and image a disgust which is perhaps pardonable — with the genus Man, often even a disgust with the “artist” himself, and it is obvious that as such, it no longer belongs to the spirit of the West, first expressed to perfection by the Hellenes. The present day West, insofar as it is represented by “famous artists”, is no longer capable of grasping the totality of the world phenomenon or of the human picture. It is content to produce distorted fragments which are then regarded with astonishment by the Press as assertions about “essentials”. Writers, painters, sculptors and designers depict — after their own image creatures which fall far short of the nobility of man, ranking culturally with lemurs — “semi-natures” pieced together from ligaments, sinews and bones (Goethe: Faust, II, Act 5, Great Courtyard of Palace), “semi-natures” whose microcephaly or even headlessness, seem to symbolise the rejection of reason, logos, ratio by the “artists” of the present era. As for present day lyrics, Hugo Friedrich (Die Struktur der modernen Lyrik, 1961) has made a most penetrating anaylsis of them from Baudelaire to the present day and delineates a downward trend in lyricism which reflects the decline of the West, even though he does not attempt to evaluate the artistic level of modern lyricism or discuss the question whether it may in fact still be regarded as Western. 

The decline of human dignity and freedom through socialism, which would demand as much state power as possible was also feared by Friedrich Nietzsche, who, like Jefferson and Wilhelm von Humboldt, recommended as little of the State as possible, and finally called the state the coldest of all cold monsters (Also sprach Zarathustra: Von neuen Götzen). Today such an opinion would incur disciplinary action against its author — not only in eastern European states. Socialism, according to Nietzsche (Taschenausgabe, Bd. III, pp. 350-351), coveted “a fullness of state power such as only despotism had enjoyed indeed it surpassed all the past because it strove for the formal annihilation of the individual.” From a World State or a World Republic, which today is regarded by “progressive” believers as the desired goal of humanity, Nietzsche expected nothing other than the final disappearance of all remnants of freedom and human dignity: “Once the earth is brought under all-embracing economic control, then mankind will find it has been reduced to machinery in its service, as a monstrous clockwork system of ever smaller, more finely adjusted wheels.” (Nietzsches gesammelte Werke, Musarionausgabe, Bd. XIX, 1962, p. 266; cf. also Charles Andler: Nietzsche, Sa Vie et sa Pensée, Vol. III, 1958, pp. 201 et seq.). 

The decline of freedom and human dignity under socialism was also foretold by Gustave Le Bon in his books Psychologie des Foules (1895) and Les Lois psychologiques de l’évolution des Peuples (1894). Le Bon was afraid that the masses would readily accept every subjection under strong-willed leaders, and dissolve the age-old cultures of Europe, and that in their delusion that freedom and equality could be achieved by ever-increasing legislation, they would legally whittle it away, especially as they regarded freedom as an external lack of restraint. From Caesarism, the despotism of leaders, the masses expected not so much freedom, which they were not really striving after, as equal subjection for all. The Socialism of our time (1895) would have the effect of state absolutism, especially as the socialism of the masses would appear as a new religion and would compel uniformity. Later the state would become almighty God. The race soul of the peoples represents their cultural condition; the mass soul of the population represents a condition of barbarism and of decline. 

Theobald Ziegler, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Strasburg, stated in his work Die Soziale Frage (1891), a study of the socialist ideas of his time, that the equal subjection of everyone under state patronage, was a predominantly German tendency. Ernst Troeltsch, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Berlin (Das 19. Jahrhundert, Gesammelte Schriften, Vol. IV, p. 640), wrote in 1925, that “the pressure of universal state power weighed ever-increasingly on the people”. This was and is without doubt also true for those peoples who live in democracies, for, as Eduard Schwartz, the historian (Charakterköpfe der Antike, 1943), has stated, the civic courage of personal opinion, the courage of independent judgment, was neither a self-evident nor a superfluous virtue in democracies. The freedom of independently thinking men becomes more and more restricted in the era of the legally “liberated” masses, departmental orders and public opinion. 

Into what lack of dignity and lack of freedom, into what abysses of official, spiritual and moral life, Socialist governments can lead a once noble and free people, is illustrated by the outstanding example of modern Sweden. Witness of this is the Swedish socialist Tage Lindbom, director of the Stockholm Archives for the History of the Working Class Movement, a most competent expert in his book Sancho Panzas Väderkvarnar (1963). 

The abuse of the freedom of rural communities by hybrid city masses was responsible for decay in Hellas as well as in Rome. For Plato (Theaitetos, 172-173), freedom was the dignified independence of the noble man. In his work The State (Politeia, VIII, 550, 557-558, 562-564), he criticised freedom as a slogan for city masses; an excess of such freedom would hand over the state as well as the individual to an excess of slavery. To a man of dignified freedom the guiding factor is merely truth (Plato: Theaitetos, 172-173), which is always simple; to the unworthy man, the guiding factor in freedom is gossip, slyness, flattery and persuasion by means of confused and false proofs. 

In this way freedom vanished towards the end of the aristocratic Roman republic, with the extinction of the freeborn (ingenui); under the Emperors the freedom of the freedman (liberti), which was nothing less than self-restraint, started in the capital and spread to all the cities of the Empire, a freedom from which the last freeborn Romans could only withdraw, exchanging their earlier tradition of participating in state life for one of isolation. The wiseman — Cicero once wrote (de legibus, I, 61) — holds that what the masses praise so highly is worth nothing. Horace (Carmina, I, 1; 2, 16, 39, 40), who had experienced the transition from the aristocratic republic into the Caesarism of the Emperors, favouring the masses, spoke of an evil-willed crowd (malignum volgus). The behaviour of the freedmen in flattering the Emperors has been described with contempt by Petronius, who originated from a family of the nobilitas, the official nobility, in his Cena Trimalchionis. In this satire one of the last freeborn Romans expresses his disgust, with the superior calm of a man who looks towards decline without hope. In the year 66, Petronius, hitherto popular at his court, was condemned to death by Nero.
The literature of the “free West” celebrated and praised by the reviewers and critics of today’s newspapers, would probably be regarded by Petronius as a literature of freedmen for freedmen. In particular it is just those authors who are most praised today who promote with boring repetition nothing less than the further decomposition of the spiritual and moral values of the Indo-European. The newspaper writers praise the “freedom” of these “artists” in contrast with the “aesthetic backwardness” of isolated doubters. To be regarded as aesthetically backward is also the admonition of Horace: “Nothing small and nothing in a low manner!” 

After the ending of colonial rule it must be feared that the populations of wide regions of the earth will behave as freedmen, all the more so as colonial rule has destroyed what remains of the ancient ethical and social orders of these populations; in other words, they will imitate large sections of the youth of “cultured peoples”. 

After every constitutional alteration and every upheaval since the middle of the nineteenth century, the peoples of the west have lost more of the freedom of the individual originally peculiar to their nature, and have had to bear instead more subjection, more of “the insolence of office” (Shakespeare: Hamlet, III, 1). Since this process took place gradually, the loss of the freedom which was inherent in the spirit of Indo-European yeomen, the loss of that freedom which although weakened and distorted, was still effective in the political liberalism of the nineteenth century, has proceeded unnoticed, while calculating opportunists have readily learned how to exploit officialdom or have themselves obtained high appointment in government offices. As a result there has been a gradual but powerful growth of authoritarianism in both the state and political parties, and in the influence, exercised either openly or in secret of moneyed people behind them. 

The poet Paul Ernst (1866-1937), in his enthralling Jugenderinnerungen (completed in 1929 and published in 1959), has described the transition of his homeland from a land of rural craftsmen to an industrial state accompanied by fearful losses in uprightness, solidarity and mutual regard and confidence between men — a transition bringing with it an increasing loss of freedom in which the younger men became more or less willingly entangled. The father of the poet was obliged even at the age of nine, to work in a mine in the Harz mountains as a “Pochjunge” with a weekly wage of 60 pfennigs. When twenty-two years old, he earned 2.40 marks per week; and from 1856, when he was in his twenty-third year, one Taler. The poet, his son, succumbed just as little as did his father to the blandishments of Marxism which appeared in his time; rather, he gave a warning of the universal subjection to which socialist states would be reduced as had John Stuart Mill and Herbert Spencer. The poet saw in Marxism a “path leading to a more terrible slavery than the world had ever known” (pp. 289-290). He expressed the view that today a man who wishes to avoid the embraces of such slavery, must so adapt his life that he must place himself as far as possible beyond contemporary society, and must remain completely isolated from contemporary influences. 

The solitude of the individual was rejected in Germany by mass-minded (Ochlocratic) National Socialism in favour of a Folk community of urban masses, which also revealed the end of the Indo-European era in Germany. But the person with understanding will realise, like Herbert Spencer, that the loss of the freedom of the individual is unavoidable in all industrial societies. 

It is unfortunately true that amongst the peoples of the west, the number of men who prefer freedom to a high standard of living has become very small, and that men who are naturally freeborn (eleutheros, ingenuus) and Paul Ernst was one, suffer from increasing patronisation. In his Jugenderinnerungen (Memories of Youth, p. 312) Paul Ernst wrote that his father had always been a free man despite his poverty, and his mother a dignified woman, as befitted the wife of such a man.
There is a great need for men of the calibre of Paul Ernst, of the kind of human breed whose dying out is being hastened today, if the loss of freedom is to be noticed at all. Walter Muschg, Professor of Basle University, in an address on the occasion of the Schiller celebrations, entitled Schiller: The Tragedy of Freedom (1959), emphasised that freedom had “not only vanished under dictatorships, but also in the so-called free countries. Everywhere new power factors had formed which controlled the existence of men and had produced invisible forms of slavery, before which our liberal forefathers would have shuddered. . . . We are surrounded by Gessler hats, at which no one takes aim. Present day man no longer knows what freedom is and furthermore he no longer desires it. He wishes for comfort, for an effortless enjoyment of life at the price of bureaucratic control for which he willingly pays. The will to freedom has been succeeded by the longing for domination, for release from self determination. From this longing . . . arise both open and veiled forms of dictatorship.” 

M. T. Vaerting, who went to North America, a land of apparent freedom, when the National Socialist state in Germany became more and more totalitarian to the extent, finally of mistrusting even the private sphere of individuals who were incapable of mass existence — eventually came to the conclusion, which she expounded in two books,44 that gradually all states in Europe and North America were following the example of Soviet Russia, and that they were on the road to the totalitarian mass state which can lead one way only, to a super state under which freedom and human dignity are oppressed. 

Thus she sees everywhere an increase in the power of the state which will bring about the decline of man. Such a decline effected through the increasing control of man by the State, will not be felt by the masses, who demand security, but will be completed through the further extinction of freeborn families, exactly as described and predicted by Walther Rathenau45 in The Tragedy of the Aryan People, which Rathenau saw as the greatest tragedy of the whole of human history. However, this expiring race was, and is still, the race of Heraclitus and Sophocles, of Titus Lucretius Carus, of that same Cato Uticensis, who preferred death to life under the dictator perpetuus Julius Caesar; it was and is still the breed of Giordano Bruno, Thomas Jefferson and Wilhelm von Humboldt, a breed which through its inherited qualities is still capable of a brave, undaunted struggle for dignity and freedom. Selbst ist der Mann: Rely on yourself! 

Socrates once walked round the market in Athens, looking at the quantity of goods on display, the luxury articles indicative of the high standard of living of the Athenians — who were otherwise spiritually impoverished — and he turned to his friends and said: “How many things there are, which I can do without!” 

The products of the mass media of our age, which will soon be brought within reach of the remotest peoples on earth, at the cost of distorting and replacing their native cultures by the spiritually-destructive technology known as “world culture” will be renounced by the last true Indo-Europeans in just the same way as Socrates renounced the wares displayed for sale in the market place at Athens.

But to Indo-European man himself, the historic creator of cultures from Benares to Reykjavik, we may truly apply the words of Hamlet:
“We shall not look upon his like again!”


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39. HILDEBRECHT HOMMEL
Der Himmelsvater, Forschungen und Fortschritte, Year 19, 1943, Sp. 94 ff.
GIACOMO DEVOTO
Origini Indoeuropee, 1962, pp. 251-52.
40. MAX SCHNEIDEWIN
Die antike Humanität, 1897.
Humanitas, Realencyklopädie der klassischen Altertumswissenschaften, Supplement-Band V, 1931, Sp. 282 ff.
HANS F. K. GÜNTHER
Humanitas, Führeradel durch Sippenpflege, 1941, pp. 158 ff.
41. WILHELM NESTLE
Griechische Religiosität vom Zeitalter des Perikles bis auf Aristoteles, 1930, p. 85.
42. BERTRAND RUSSELL
The Conquest of Happiness, 1953, p. 113.
LUDWIG WINTER
Der Begabungsschwund in Europa, 1959.
43. CLAUDIUS FRHR. VON SCHWERIN
Freiheit und Gebundenheit im Germanischen Staat, Recht und Staat in Geschichte und Gegenwart, No. 90, 1933.
44. M. T. VAERTING
Europa und Amerika: Der Entwicklungsweg des Staates zum Überstaat, 1951.
Machtzuwachs des Staates — Untergang des Menschen, 1952.
45. HARRY GRAF KESSLER
Walther Rathenau, 1928, p. 43.

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