Thursday, January 31, 2013


I also really, really, really need to and want to read Sasse.  If I don't live long enough to finish all the reading, I'll at least get to talk to them in heaven.  What a comfort.

But in heaven we have the lamb of God.  I have got a feeling that a good chunk of this won't matter there, anymore.  Or maybe, it will.  It will give us some things to talk about over dinner, the troubles we faced that are no more--the joy our Lord was all along.

Chesterton on Blake

I just want to hang on to this link on G.K. Chesterton writing about William Blake.
There is a link in the link to a book which is only available on Kindle.

I am finding that I am hugely interested in Chesterton, though I also think that he is sometimes very wrong.  Still, I feel like I want to read the entire corpus.

Two videos by missionary Hicham Chehab / Love your Enemies

Two short videos:  The dynamite of God.  The Word of God. -- In the Middle East, and here and everywhere and in my heart.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

How could it happen? / 12 / Polygenists?

Because the French Revolution and its major thinkers had much influence in Europe, including Germany and Heinrich Mann,  I had a look at Voltaire and Rousseau.

There I came across a term I had not heard:  Polygenists.

Voltaire, according the Wikipedia paragraph (currently under dispute), was also a "polygenist".  If we go to the polygenist entry we can find many more interesting connections.

Basically, a polygenist does not believe that mankind came down from one original pair of human beings, but rather different races arose separately.  Thus different races could be seen in this "voelkisch" kind of National Socialist view, that they were of different traits and quality.  You can now proclaim the black person ugly and inferior.  You can claim the white person softer, more beautiful and more "spiritual".  This hardly seems to fit in with the ideas of the Rights of Man espoused by the Revolution.  How did Voltaire really understand this question of the so-called races?

One of the other questions I have is:  how did the eugenics movement develop and become a world-wide phenomenon?  This polygenetic idea would just fit into their program.

Here, in Canada, too, we have home-grown intellectuals with liberal ideas who were firmly in the eugenics camp.  In my home province we had eugenics programs until fairly recently.  The government has been compensating victims of forced sterilization until not long ago.   But here it did not have so much to do with race.

From Wikipedia. / Polygenism

Sunday, January 27, 2013

How could it happen? / 11 / changing ideas

We are still reading "Heinrich Mann.  Ein Leben wird besichtigt", biography of Heinrich Mann, by Dr. Ringel, my cousin's husband, whom I haven't talked to about this yet.  We shall have to make a list of questions for him, and try our best to sound intelligent.

Last post, we highlighted Heinrich Mann's work with the paper "The 20th century" and were shocked by the aims and guidelines of the publication.   We noted that later Heinrich Mann kept his involvement with this paper a secret.  With his living in France and Italy and moving in the circles of actors and artists, his views became considerably more liberal, citing love as the overarching principle of life, personal as well as political.  The brotherly, humanitarian view needed to guide society and the average citizen needed to have his consicousness raised to more lofty views of spirit and intellect ("Geist"  in German;  I never know what's the best way to say it in English.  "Geist" sounds very lofty.  It is so lofty that the average person can hardly aspire to have any or much of it.  It is the realm of the Uebermensch, the academic, the recluse, the philosopher, the very holy cleric, someone not quite in touch with reality, but living in a higher realm.)  (In any case, you and me could hardly aspire to it with our every day existence.)

So, in this regard, we have an interesting observation on page 174 about Thomas Mann, the famous brother of Heinrich Mann, on the occasion of the breaking out of World War 1:

Still Thomas Mann is suspended between hope and fear.  He even admits to himself that he may not be wanting to accept the seriousness of the situation in order to flee from the 'pressure of reality'.  Until this day, reality had been only the play material for his novels and stories.  Detached from reality, he had been able to hover over it, he the god-like poet, over these profane matters and had created for himself a world in his own works.  Now, however, reality dared to exhibit its own dynamic, through what it was no longer the play material of the poetic fantasy.  

The emotions in the country at the beginning of the war seem strange to us.  It seems like a pent up steam was let out and war had a aura of necessity and new hope about it.  If they had been able to foresee the disasters of the 20th century, none would have been jubilant.  But apparently there was jubilation.

The enthusiasm in the Reich is unimaginable:  the citizens cheer the soldiers.  The general dreaminess is difficult to explain: 'The firm conviction of the German population that its leadership was in no way to be faulted for the outbreak of hostilities... cannot be the full explanation of the often documented joy... rather the enthusiasm of August 1914 is founded much more decisively in the confidence that the nation which had broken into so many various warring factions, has now reached a new unity.  (p. 175)  

Even many artist and intellectuals were pro-war.  Even Hermann Hesse, later a pacifist, enlisted in a first wave of enthusiasm.  Thomas Mann described the mood thus:  "How could the artist, the soldier in the artist, refrain from praising God for the collapse of the world of peace, which he was so sick of, so very disgusted! War!  It was a cleansing, a freedom--which we felt--together with a great hope."  (p. 175).

The hope apparently was that the war would close the "great ditch" which "separated the esoteric work of the literary and artistic elite from the feelings of the broad mass of people".  Some hoped for a new and more original art, rooted more deeply in the totality of the people. (p. 175).

It seems to me unfathomable that war was supposed to be able to clear the air, bring unity and such clarity, that it was to usher in reform of the people and their relationship to art.  Something seems to be really misfiring here.  If they had had any idea of what was to come.  If they had had an idea.  They were sick of this peace.

This business with the totality of the German people did not work for Heinrich Mann, however.  He saw himself more connected to the totality of western civilization as a whole, as he saw it.  In his essay "Geist und Tat"  (spirit/intellect and deed) in 1910, he had confessed his affinity to the ideals of the French Revolution.  The theme had been Rousseau and his importance to the French Revolution.  Thus the French Revolution was not mainly about lack of necessities but the people had been denied a justice.  They had been treated as wild animals.  Rousseau had convinced them that they had "Geist" (spirit/intellect), and that they were capable of true humanity and what was good. Man was not to be like a wolf to another but as a human being.  (p. 178)

He critiqued German literature because it had instituted the monarchy which is an organization of human emnity.  The "Geist" had withdrawn into the ivory tower, in Germany.  The separation between "Geist" and "Tat" (deed) is said to be a fundamental law in Germany.  The good in man had been denied completely.  The intellectuals had failed completely because exactly they should have promoted true humanity.  But no.

The German thinkers had missed their calling and had come into the service of "power" and become denigrated thus.  "For several decades already, Germany had seen the cultus of the "unspiritual", for the sophist justification of injustice, for the dread enemy, "power".  What strange disaster has brought him thus far?  How can you explain a Nietzsche, who is the very type of this kind of genius?  And all those who follow him?"  (p. 179)

Heinrich Mann probably had something there.  How can you explain a Nietzsche?

Anyhow, the essay gets more complicated in explaining all this.  We can't cover it here.  One of the excuses of the intellectuals is the "disgust of nihilism"...

Heinrich Mann then wrote another essay on Voltaire and Goethe.  He is trying to see if their work contributed towards the hopes of democracy.  He believes that the goal of literature is democracy.  No doubt, that should be it.  He cites Goethe as a problem, or rather the intellectual who tries to emulated, or copy him.  "In Germany, Goethe is the huge idol.  The intellectual tried to copy his 'deedless life'" (p. 180)  Voltaire is said to have been a bad man, but he was a person of "Geist", who raised the consciousness of the people against injustice.  The passion of the "Geist" is what let Voltaire become the defender of humanity.  Goethe, on the other hand, is about the laws of nature.   He accepts suffering and happiness as law of nature.   But Voltaire stands up and fights for a better world.

The emancipation of the masses must lead to democracy. His novels must serve this purpose.

Because of the need for deeds, Heinrich Mann can also justify the deeds of Robespierre and
Danton of the Reign of Terror.  Mann recognizes the dilemma here.   What does one do with the guilt?  Ja, well,  it is a problem but to do nothing brings guilt, too.

Thomas Mann sees himself criticized by his brother.  We noted Thomas' attitudes earlier.  He writes a book against the "Civilisationsliterat", the civilization writer, a detestable type of writer.  Thomas Mann confesses his conservative attitudes, but yet calls himself "unpolitical".  Nature is his highest sovereign.  He denies the love of man among the political. The unpolitical understands the plight of man and helps him bear it, instead.

Kant gets brought into this fight among the brothers.  Kant would certainly insist that good thinking would also insist on acceptable means.   Heinrich thinks that you can't be too timid in choosing your means, lest you miss the deed.

While Thomas and Heinrich were fighting literary wars, another brother was actually fighting in the war.  (Page 191)

--Ok, why this entire excursus?  I am still thinking about the Chesterton quote from the last post.  What good is all this doing the man in the factory?  What good all this intellectual wrangling?  What good all this "who is more spiritual than another"?  I don't find either Thomas Mann's or Heinrich Mann's positions very consistent or convincing.  Here we have them bouncing off each other, but would others combine them by adopting both the will to power and deed, the idea of the total German people full of literary and cultural "Geist", adoring nature as sovereign.

We have men dying in ditches for no good reason at all.  That's the cold reality of it all.  And so many more atrocities were committed in cold blood by cultured people.  Atrocities beyond the wildest imaginations.  Timothy Snyder lays them bare in "Bloodlands".  14 million civilians killed in cold blood for the higher values of different "movements". We will get to that.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

How could it happen? / 10 / Intellectuals and changing Ideologies

"BUT THE MAN we see every day--the worker in Mr. Gradgrind's factory, the little clerk in Mr. Gradgrind's office--he is too mentally worried to believe in freedom. He is kept quiet with revolutionary literature. He is calmed and kept in his place by a constant succession of wild philosophies. He is a Marxian one day, a Nietzscheite the next day, a Superman (probably) the next day; and a slave every day. The only thing that remains after all the philosophies is the factory. The only man who gains by all the philosophies is Gradgrind. It would be worth his while to keep his commercial helotry supplied with skeptical literature. And now I come to think of it, of course, Gradgrind is famous for giving libraries. He shows his sense. All modern books are on his side. As long as the vision of heaven is always changing, the vision of earth will be exactly the same. No ideal will remain long enough to be realized, or even partly realized. The modern young man will never change his environment; for he will always change his mind."

~G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)

What interests me, here,  is the idea of the changing ideologies which change nothing.  The man in the factory is fed them, he is even nourished by them to some extent, but nothing changes except for the ever-changing ideologies.

There are many ways to look at this.

One of them is this:  in researching Heinrich Mann, Nietzsche, Wagner, Schopenhauer, etc.--all these people who sought to influence in a total kind of way--we can see that they changed their minds over time in radical ways, and kept changing their positions and opinions of each other, also.  Since we have the biography of Heinrich Mann in front of us, we will examine him in a bit of detail, but also Nietzsche, for example changed his mind on many fronts over time.  For example his devotion to Schopenhauer and to Wagner took 180 degree turns with time.  The only guiding thought is, that they themselves have to make themselves heard in order to educated the imbecilic masses, or else change the "bourgeois" culture.   They having been called to be guiding lights to the world of those whose spirit  ("Geist") seems to be lacking in higher qualities.

In as far as capitalistic oppression, neglect and deriding of workers and their families was a crime against humanity, we can go along with them all. Industrialization was a brutal process and often wrong and unfair in relation to the environment and human beings. In as far, however, as that these poor oppressed must  now submit to the new metaphysical schemes of writers and philosophers, or else must be fixed through eugenics and other kinds of new oppression, we cannot go along with them.  I always wonder how eugenics came up into the mix.  Certainly we saw already with Fichte we had a nationalism based on race and superiority of the blood and language. Perhaps we moved from language to blood, to tribes and genetics, as "science" allowed.

Genetics and Darwinian natural selection do seem to have a place in Nietzsche's idea of the "Uebermensch"  or the Superman.  The Superman is someone who has developed or evolved further than the regular human being.  The regular human being is to the Superman, as the monkey is to regular human beings.  Society needs to get stretched somehow into this superior race.  I haven't read enough Nietzsche to know how he proposes this happens.  However, we do know it has to do with unburdening ourselves of the Christian worldview which supposedly supports slavishness instead of evolving superior people.

From Chesterton we can learn an awful lot.  He shows up the fallacies in a lot of bad thinking.  We can also see that Christianity stands outside of all the fads and even how it could serve as a corrective in all these ideologies.  Full power Capitalism, where Mammon reigns supreme, certainly isn't the answer either.  Jesus warned about that most consistently and sternly.  Marxism says one thing but oppresses most ferociously with a new elite.  This is pure hypocrisy and lies.  All man-made philosophies can be fun and can make you feel superior and smart, and a called leader, but they most certainly only have their day and pass away to be critiqued by the next batch who also keep changing their minds.  They say it is a game and it sure looks like a game.  And all who don't like to play are stick-in-the-mud's, obviously in need of having their spirit or consciousness improved.  Here comes in the "decadence" perhaps, we looked at yesterday.  The guy in the factory feeding his family is not having a game.  And the guy in the factory is maybe not the one who needs to evolve into a higher human being.

Alright, let's look, as a study and example, at our dear Heinrich Mann.

In his youthful days, he edited a newspaper that catered to the most "conservative" ideas of his time.  This is really quite shocking.  I will quote from "Ein Leben wird besichtigt" and translate myself as I go.

There is in the beginning a strange episode   He becomes the editor of the paper "The 20th Century".  This paper, with the subtitle "German National Monthly for Social Life, Politics, Science and Literature", had been in existence since 1890.  The first editor was Erwin Bauer, who created the introduction of the pertinent guiding principles.  He established the goals for which the paper was to work.  "1.  Support for the Monarchy and 'every foreign and inner politics, which further the strengthening and increase in the Reich'; 2.  Support the unity of the German People, 'as far as the German language reaches';  3.  Propagating of a 'economic real politics', the goal of which is to strengthen the Reich, lifts its common wealth and distributes its  burdens, responsibilities and goods in the most just way; 4.  The 'main  concerns' of an 'energetic social policy' must be established by the needs of the 'middle classes', but not the 'demands of the so-called workers';  5.  Fight for 'truth in public and social life', which means 'Return to the particular German tribal qualities which have got lost due to the influence of other races;  a return to the simple, national 'Volkstum' [Germaness] ; 6.  Promotion of the 'true evangelical Christianity' and 7.  Promotion of a 'healthy and modern Realism in art and literature';   (p. 81)

We see here the alliance of various ideas:  monarchy plus expansionism plus "Realpolitik", middle-class vs. workers, plus German-ness cleaned up of other race's ideas, religion, art and literature.  I, personally, am shocked that such a mix could exists in some minds in 1890.  Somehow, it seems to foreshadow both world wars.  For one thing the true evangelical message was never to be aligned with power politics and differences in race or language.  My heart just fell into my pants, as we say in German ("Das Herz ist mir in die Hose gefallen.")  When Luther made a plea for the dealing with Jewish problems, he never appealed to race or language.  This cultural religious idea or ideal has other sources, as we have already seen.  The concerns seem to however overlap in problems associated with financial clout and exploitation.  This has always been a problem in anti-semitism.  Luther also saw the poor, lowly Christian exploited by Jewish charging of interest on loans, in cahoots with the emperor of the time.  But this is still cited as a problem.

Thus agitates Heinrich Mann:

From the East, Russia, with its tumbled together mix of inferior races, is threatening western culture and civilization.  Civilized Europe should bind itself together as the United States of Europe, so that this danger can be met militarily, if necessary.  Whoever, in this state of affairs is sticking to ideas of inactive Pacifism, is putting into danger the great achievements of western culture.
But not only lurk these dangers to western culture from outside the country, Heinrich Mann, believes to also discern many dangers from inside.  A dangerous influence against culture, is said to emanate from the Jews.  ... The orthodox Jews are hardly to be feared.  They are said to be simply poor people  who exist in the eastern areas of the Reich and live by begging.  Mann's attacks concentrate on the Jewish high finance and academia.  The Jewish high finance is building its economic might on the backs of the middle classes, which they are ruining with their cartels.  The powerful people accept ever only one 'god':  money.  Within their primitive materialism there is said to be no recognition for the accomplishments of the 'Geist' ['spirit', 'intellect'], which should be striven for, for their own sake [not monetary gain].  The true, western culture rests upon accomplishments of this spiritual/intellectual nature.
... An even greater danger for culture than the Jewish high finance is presented by the academic Jews.  In their circles one can always find the representatives for theoretical materialism, which attempts to subjugate western philosophy with its theses. Theoretical materialism is said to deny that every product of culture must be understood to be a bringing forward of the deep and true emotions.   In this connection, he mentions the deep feelings of the Romantic movement as a German cultural achievement.  Next to the Germans, according to him, also the French have a deep emotionality.  In the firm knowledge of the value of their cultures, these two nations should join forces against the Jewish conspiracy ('Komplott').

As long as these demands are not fulfilled, Mann sees a very dark future for art and culture.  (pp. 83,84)

There are many more shocking things here, also regarding social Darwinism and the victory of the stronger over the weaker.

The contrasting of cultural achievements of Romanticism vs. Materialism, and lining the former up with German-ness and the second with Jewish-ness is something I want  to note, here.  Together with expansionist ideas we get the oft-heard saying:  "Am Deutschen Wesen soll die Welt genesen."  (The world will be saved by the German way of being.)

Heinrich Mann later on tried to keep secret his involvement with this said newspaper. (Ringel, p. 85).  A certain small percentage of society, perhaps 10%, was said to be represented by its views.

(to be continued)

(PS:  People ask, how could such a thing happen in a country with such a high culture? --  For some the high culture was the first stepping stone to a misanthropic view of the world.  Any myth will do, to promote the right feeling, even the myth of the superior (spiritual, cultural)  people to whip up pride, nationalism and militarism.  By the way, I have nothing against the music.  I sing the Schubert/Goethe songs myself.

This psalm 131, is reading for the Treasury of Daily Prayer, for today. )

1 LORD, my heart is not haughty,
nor mine eyes lofty:
neither do I exercise myself in great matters,
or in things too high for me.
2 Surely I have behaved and quieted myself,
as a child that is weaned of his mother:
my soul is even as a weaned child.
3 Let Israel hope in the LORD
from henceforth and for ever.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

How could it happen? / 9 / "Decadent Liberals".

In reading about the fears and problems during the Weimar Republic, there was something mentioned which I did not understand.  Some people abhored a "decadent liberalism" which seemed to go together with democracy in their minds. --  We have democracy now.  I have lived in a democracy all my life.  They have not been particularly decadent.  Everyone works hard and tried to get ahead.  There has been freedom of speech, religion, etc.  The freedom has not ruined things.  After finishing the book on Heinrich Mann, I think I may have an inkling how democracy was linked to "decadence".
The Kaiser, the monarch, was no more after the first world war.  He who had been the bastion of continuity, Prussian discipline and diligence.   Together with Bismarck we had had a kind of superior and forceful leadership that made things happen, keeping matters mostly fairly intelligently on the straight and narrow.  The next William had had it with Bismarck and those with more expansionistic, less cautious, grandiose ideas came to the fore.  Jewish emancipation had been a bone of contention;  with the entry of Jews into guilds and other professions, other Germans experienced a kind of new competition, one that might disadvantage them in the age of increasing industrialization. Knowledge of finance was a definite asset to the initiated.  Leaders had always availed themselves of this expertise while keeping the Jews out of the business.   There were all sorts of fears and all sorts of ambitions. 
So who are the decadent liberals?  I am thinking they might possibly have called Heinrich Mann one of them.  His novels dealt with sex and not usually the marital kind;  love was to be the byword for politics.  As we love each other, we should let this love flow into the life of the state.  A kind of hope for the ideals of the French Revolution, even if they involve bloodshed, should inspire those of higher spiritual life.  The "masses" needed educating into this higher spiritual life, which was definitely not a Christian spiritual life and it certainly was not according to "bourgeois values".  It did turn out in the end that the "liberal" had sympathies with the communists, as the conservative and catholic blocks always feared.  All of this is true about Heinrich Mann.  At first he contrasted Rousseau with Goethe but later on he managed to bring them together.  Heinrich Mann was ever attempting to educate the public.
The fear of Communism was paramount and pervasive.  Russia had been taken over by the revolutionaries.  During the Weimar Republic the Communists gained power in Munich for a while but were beaten back by militias together with the limited army.  All sorts of armed groups operated at the time.  Various parties shot each others leaders.  There were 400 assassinations during the Weimar Republic.  Communism did not only threaten industry and its owners but also was always atheistic.  Liberalism, perhaps was more aligned with some vague spiritual ideals of brotherhood, which worked for some perhaps in alignment with liberal Protestantism or cultural Protestantism.  But really, Liberalism was not necessarily distanced from Communism or atheism.  It could accommodate itself either way or no way.  It was therefore not really trustworthy. 
Heinrich Mann was very incensed later on,  that it was simply the fear of liberalism and communism which had led the conservative center to allow Hitler to participate, as it seemed to him.  The whole disastrous course of events was predicated on keeping Communism down.  There was a choice between devils and Heinrich Mann's side was not chosen to keep Hitler out.
It was likely a great detriment, also, that the conservative side was so uncomfortable with democracy.   How many pined for the strong hand of the monarch and his system, stability and faith?  Or perhaps "bourgeois values", in some people's terms? -- I can't come up exactly what "bourgeois values" means, but I am thinking that Heinrich Mann did not approve of them.  The opposite would be the "liberal decadence", supposedly.
Personally, I am not a big reader of big novels, such as Heinrich Mann wrote.  The other day, when looking at the Christmas book I wrote about, there was a lovely excerpt of Thomas Mann's "The Buddenbrooks", which described the Christmas customs of his culture.  I was drawn in by this magnificent writer, but certainly, there were many ironies in what he said.  Thomas Mann seemed to be ever ironic but Heinrich Mann was said to be ever satirical.  That sort of thing hurts and not everyone is amused.   Another sign of "liberal decadence"?  
I did read a long novel the other month.  It was Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina".  Was it "decadent liberalism"?  There is a certain element in restraint in Tolstoy but institutional religion did not come off too well, nor those in bureaucratic positions,  nor those who were turning to Protestantism,  nor was atheism quite the thing.  The hero comes in the end to a position of doing the best he can do in his sphere, appreciating that there are higher things than he can know.  It was some sort of spiritual revelation but it was not Christian, in that Christ would have been superfluous in the system, or lack of system.  "Decadent liberalism?" -- What do I know about novelists and poets?-- No doubt changes had to happen, but why throw over the entire apple-cart.   You will have too many reasonable people against you, and neither Communism, state-atheism or Fascism showed helpful.  The spirit of a people cannot be raised in a willy-nilly way, or simply by lecturing by a set of intellectuals.  Maybe creeds not deeds should have been the motto rather than deeds instead of creeds.
Just one hint more, perhaps.  The below quote came from something in my FB links.  It makes a general statement about novelists.  They seem to feel that orthodoxy hems them in.    It has seemed to me lately what has hemmed "creative" people in, is their dislike for the creed and their desiring to do as they please sexually.  Sexual issues certainly came to the forefront in the 19th century.  Maybe it is all a bit "decadent".  I don't want to toe a total Pharisaical line.  We know that we always make mistakes, but the "decadent" don't want to call it a mistake or a sin. 
Prior, whose scholarly work centers on the novel, reminds us that as a form, the novel has always been about unbelief. She writes that the novel “was the outgrowth of the passing of the age of belief into the age of unbelief…. It is the form of an unbelieving epoch, even if it took a few centuries for that latent feature to surface.”
In other words, the kind of search for meaning that the novel offers has, over time, naturally and understandably drifted away from religious ways of understanding who were are and why we are here, just as the culture has.

Heinrich Mann was buried by a Unitarian Minister in California after he was exiled in 1933.  He was on the first list of people Hitler decided to exile as he came to power.   Against Thomas Mann there was an order for taking into custody but he was already out of the country. 

The brothers Mann.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Opening your heart / Munsch / Women

In looking up some famous men from the 19th century, yesterday, I came upon this little sentence regarding Edvard Munch, painter from Norway.  He painted  "The Scream", for example.   

Munch was highly influential, particularly with the German Expressionists, who followed his philosophy, "I do not believe in the art which is not the compulsive result of Man's urge to open his heart."

He was having something of a breakdown when he painted "The Scream".  He also painted Nietzsche, whom I feel I need to perhaps read in primary source material, fairly soon. 


We see here, Nietzsche with a nice little village in the background featuring even a church.  What baffles me ever again is that men of the 19th century felt so much that art and the expression of feelings had to exist in contradiction to the church and "bourgeois values".

I like Munch's saying--"I don not believe in art which is not the compulsive result of Man's urge to open his heart"-- but I am beginning to think that men who struggle so much with this emotionality or lack of it in their world or in art have some trouble seeing where it exists.  A kind of blindness or deafness, all the while trying to see and hear.

Women come by it more naturally or easily, I think.  Was Munsch married.  It does not look like it from the Wikipedia.  Nietzsche wasn't.  His flame was also a revolutionary and refused to get into the yoke.

This below, is a thing I wrote for my women friends, and attached is a note one of them sent back to me.

Women Friends, Pearls of Great Price

Old friends are the most precious pearls,
grown splendid through the years,
with time and patience,
in the womb of friendships’ stresses and comforts,
in coffee gatherings and baby showers,
aerobics class and Bible study,
where the beauty and the grime of life was laid bare,
and analyzed, held up to the light and laid back down or put to rest,
all while our children flourished, and sometimes not,
our marriages matured, or sometimes died,
our households kept on top of, or not so much,
our careers, the moving targets in the mix,
squeezed in barely—though we were supposed to be
modern women(—what the heck).

Whatever  all happened, great and small,
we  became wiser, dearer, polished for each other 
and through each other.
We have no people who have stood by us so long
and  steadfastly,
who did not shrink
from our blood and tears,
our disasters and triumphs. 

After our own mothers and fathers,
no human beings have had this much compassion for us.
You are incomparable.
Jesus is the pearl of great price,
the very best companion
and most important possession, 
God of compassion and sacrificial love.
But you come soon after him.
You are exquisite, each in your own way.

Brigitte, Dec., 2012

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.”  Isaiah 49:15.

A woman friend sent this note in reply: 
They Teach It at Stanford

In an evening class at Stanford the last lecture was on the
mind-body connection - the relationship between stress and disease. The
speaker (head of psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other things, that one
of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a
woman whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her
health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends. At first
everyone laughed, but he was serious.

Women connect with each other differently and provide support
systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life
experiences. Physically this quality “girlfriend time" helps is to create
more serotonin - a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can
create a general feeling of well-being. Women share feelings
whereas men often form relationships around activities. We share from our
souls with our sisters/mothers, and evidently that is very GOOD for our
health. He said that spending time with a friend is just as important to
our general health as jogging or working out at a gym.

There's a tendency to think that when we are "exercising" we are
doing something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out with
friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively
engaged—not true. In fact, he said that failure to create and maintain
quality personal relationships with other humans is as dangerous to our
physical health as smoking!

So every time you hang out to schmooze with a gal pal, just pat
yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for doing something good for
your health! We are indeed very, very lucky. Sooooo let's toast to our
friendship with our girlfriends. Evidently it's very good for our health.

Forward this to all your girlfriends 
 and stay in touch! Thanks
to all the girls in my life who have helped me stay healthy, happy, and
feeling very loved.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

How could it happen? / 7 / German Idealism / Hans Grimm

"German" is taking on a whole set of new meanings, as I continue my readings.  Until recently, I had zero idea what was meant by "German Idealism", though I took a full-year course in "German Classicism" at the University of Alberta.  We studied works by Goethe, Schiller and Lessing.   These writers are not said to define German Idealism, but German Idealism and Fichte's and other's nationalism keep coming back to praising the heights of German accomplishment in all these thinkers and poets.  In fact even in my generation, Germans like to say that Germany is the land of thinkers and poets (Dichter und Denker--it alliterates in German).  We are proud of our metaphysical accomplishments as a culture.  We are smart and diligent.

Everybody has something to say about Kant, and I am not even going to pretend to be able to say anything inelligent about him.  I don't remember much about the Classicism course, except that it was conducted in German with only four students in it.  One was my pastor's wife, and so we made two Christians in the class, together.  There was a young man, who was struck by some female in Germany and returned to Europe during the second semester.  The fourth was a flamboyant, tall young blond, who loved to talk about skiing and wore fur coats.  As you can see it was an intimate class, and surly the University was not breaking even by putting it on.  No doubt some German foundation helped pay for it.

The professor was thoroughly imbued with the material he was teaching, and this is the point I want to make:  it seems to me that Idealism could be classified as a kind of religion.   While the professor did not show much antagonism against Christianity, he did make much of the problem of pain.  If there is a "God", why is there all this suffering in the world. ??? (i.e. there can't be a loving and omnipotent God.)  I was so naive as to give him a booklet I had on the subject, but I think  he liked me for giving him a little push-back.

But the great Goethe was truly a prophet to him, if not "god",  and the most sacred writing of all was  "Iphigenie auf Tauris".  Goethe towers over the wrecks of time.  Goethe the Great Spirit. --  And Others of course. -- But Goethe above all. -- I made the mistake of writing my paper on this favorite play of his, and having run out of time at the end of the semester, giving it only a moderate effort, spending only one afternoon in the library.  I remember receiving a 7 out of 9 on it, which is the worst mark I ever received on a paper.  Usually, I wear myself out looking up things and the papers all get good grades, even getting remarks that I am adding to the field of research with my opinions and conclusions.  (Obviously, I got addicted to these comments and keep on blogging crazy things, as you see. )  But the "Iphignenie auf Tauris" somehow did not receive the required fanaticism, by me. This I remember.

[One thing that has disturbed me in the past decade, is that my daughter in getting her first degree did not have to write any papers, at all.  What is the meaning of this?  How can you go through University and do no research?  They can even go to University without going to University.  They print out notes from the internet, and skip lectures.  There were more group projects and more interdisciplinary functions.  These were of disputable value.  I tried to defend them to her, but the group projects seemed doomed sometimes by the difficulty of a group effort by people of various abilities and nobody having any time to get together. Or else certain people out of quota faculties looked down on people in other quota faculties or those in non-quota faculties.  It seemed like a hierarchy was always looked for or needed.]

So much about paper writing, then and now.  I loved writing papers and it gave me a kind of high and a let-down when I was finished.  But, yes, there was the "Iphigenie auf Tauris."  I don't remember the significance of her except that she was significant.

File:Goethe Iphigenia in Tauris 1803.jpg

As little as I understand about Kant, remember about German Classicism or wrap my head around the concepts of German Idealism, we can see that in the 19th century the impact of it all was widely felt.  In reading about American authors last year, I saw that many of them were inspired by these writers, as well as by Napoleon's audacity and brilliance.  Certainly, also Napoleon keeps coming up as a touch-stone.  The German culture was said to be the highest in the world by some Americans, too, and some wanted to come live in Germany and immerse themselves in this high culture.  Lacking the German language skills several were deterred from their plans, though many Americans did come to Germany over the years and learned from the liberal attitudes in culture and religion.

Karla Poewe, as a religious anthropologist, argues in her book that National Socialism was a political religion.  The religiosity of it seems to me, now, to begin much earlier than in the Weimar Republic and its post-war difficulties.  The fact that German Culture was becoming deified and becoming a spiritual confession in opposition to Christian confessions, was a factor in moving people from a Biblical understanding, toward the feelings of Romanticism, the sublime "feelings" of which became a substitute for traditional religion.  This began much before the 20th century. (!)

As a result, those people with the means and leisure to indulge in creativity and exploration of the sublime and aestetics, might aspire to being genuises.  Whereas, the common man, who had to dedicate himself to work and family and found his spirituality in the written word of the Bible and church community became viewed as something lesser.  And certainly, also, peoples of other countries were becoming viewed as something lesser. Inspiration was now to come from tough, hero figures or heroines.  These figures did not come from biblical sources, they came from various mythologies.

To summarize, we cannot blame Goethe for National Socialism, nor can we totally lay it at the doorstep of any of the other thought systems.  However, we can see how some of the ideas contributed to the rise of National Socialism, racism, and a kind of religious ideology.  For proof we bring in one more individual to quote from Karla Poewe.  He is the author  Hans Grimm.  (We see that Wikipedia doesn't have too much material on him, unfortunately.)

Grimm wrote hugely popular stories and thus greatly influenced people in the pre-WW II period.  He even organized annual conferences for national poets.  He was an agnostic from the start and never tried to combine Christianity with Nationalism.  Poewe says he wrote with an "amazing psychological efficiency."  "According to Grimm, human fortunes are determined by luck, time, fate, and, above all, by the country (that is, its history and its imperial reach) into which one was born."  (p. 144)  "... German salvation [after Versaille] was to come, however, not from God but from the 'fount of the power within the Volk' (Grimm 1931).  That is what 'Third Reich' meant--a fount of power expressed by its best poets.  He meant from poets and writers like him.   Grimm's merciless pessimism, which he expresses in all his books, is intended to inspire people, as perculiar as it might seem to fight the fight that fate has thrown at them. "  (p. 145, Grimm in Poewe.)

He had spent time in Southern Africa and was distressed by the fact that Germans overseas lived in other people's colonies but did not have their own space to develop themselves.  In addition we read this in Poewe:  "The English attitude toward Germany, perceived as it was as an unwelcome rival that must be elimitated, shocked him to the core, and he remained pathetically obsessed with English-German relations throughout his life." (p. 146)

As an aside, Grimm wrote against Thomas Mann, as the Mann brothers were considered to be writing for "civilization", as opposed to "culture".  "Grimm regarded Thomas Mann as a civilization-writer (Zivilationsliterat) rather than a 'voelkisch' writer.  With the term Zivilisationsliterat Grimm accused Thomas Mann of the same thing of which Thomas Mann had accused his brother Heinrich Mann after the First World War.  At that time Thomas Mann was in fact a Conservative Revolutionary while Heinrich Mann was liberal  [--I pick this up here because we are also examining the life of the Mann brothers.]  Because the goal of civilization-writers was the democratization and thus de-Germanization of Germany, Thomas Mann in effect accused his brother and others who wrote in his vein of being against nationalism and anti-German.  Hans Grimm accuses Thomas Mann of insensitivity and an inflated sense of self-importance that he could only have acquired in America.  With this in mind, and in the context of his usual litany of worries related to the protest years (1918-1932), Hans Grimm also listed the 'clumsy self-importance of Jews'... and the 'intrusion of Jews into key intellectual positions'. "  (Poewe, p. 151).

"One of Grimm's most self-aware ideological statements about what Germans in the 1920s and 1930s were up to was given in 1935 before a German-American audience in new York.  Grimm started his talk by raising a question that he thought Americans might ask, namely:  what was the nature of the belief in humanity that Germany, in an uncertain time, was trying to turn into a useful and duty-inspiring reality?  The belief was, said Grimm, 'that the competent have more right than the incompetent, that the orderly have more right than the disorderly  that the healthy have more right than the sick, that the gifted have more right than the ungifted, that the innovator has more right than the imitator... that these rights come from a man's gifts, achievements, and duties.'  And what is the other faith, the one opposed to the above, asks Grimm.  'The other faith puts the masses before the Volk, class before nation, the dull before the gifted, the weak before the strong, the ignorant before the learned, the tired before the energetic...'  Then Grimm asks a third question that he imagined German-Americans might wish to have answered, namely, why Germans, who were once renowned for their universalism, had come to this new belief.  His answer is revealing. 'My listeners, when we Germans in Germany lost the Word War, when the guilt for the war was put solely on us without trial, when no state in the world had pity on us, when Wilson's fourteen points were ignored, when the hunger blockade was continued, when Versailles came, when the stupid injustice of Memel happened and the heavy injustice of Upper Silesia, when the Ruhr occupation occurred, then the other faith became attractive to the masses.'  The other faith was clearly Communism.  It even won over some achievers (Leitungsmenschen) who were by nature deeply opposed to it... in Germany today under difficult circumstances we are leading the battle for the mind [Geisteskampf] in the direction of emphasizing the responsibilities of achievers but also their privileges, responsibilities of the healthy but also their privileges, and responsibilities of the gifted but also their preferential rights'.  Grimm considered this elitism to be part of Nordic nature or of the rights of gentlemen (Herrenrecht) [Brigitte says:  I might not say "rights of gentlemen" for "Herrenrecht".  A gentleman connotes something benign.  A "Herrenrecht" is more assertive, something like what Grimm is saying here:  the right of the superior or stronger to lord it over the inferior.]  Beyond his untranslatable rhetoric, Grimm simply showed that Communism was warded off by National Socialism and the latter was but a form of hard-nosed social Darwinism.  Grimm recognized the motive of revenge and destruction in Communism but not in National Socialism."  (Poewe, pp. 152,153)


Hans Grimm.

(In checking the internet for Hans Grimm, I co-incidentally came upon an Alois Grimm, another Roman Catholic victim of National Socialism, a priest and patristic scholar.  He was killed in 1944.

On 12 August 1944, Roland Freisler stripped Father Grimm of all civil rights and privileges damnatio memoriae and sentenced him to death for two counts of undermining the fighting spirit of the German Wehrmacht and for defeatism. Reflecting on his sentence, Grimm wrote: "The hour has come, I am going home into eternity. In a few hours, I will stand in front of my Judge, my Redeemer and my Father. It is God’s will, to be done everywhere. Don’t mourn over me, I am returning home, you have to wait. I give my life for the kingdom of God, which knows no end, for the society of Jesus, for the youth and religion of our home land".[3] Father Alois Grimm was hanged at the age of 57 on 11 September 1944 in the Brandenburg-Görden Prison.

The horror of it all is hardly fathomable.)

It seems we have strayed somewhat from the point, but perhaps this is the point.  From Kant, via Lessing and Goethe, to Fichte and Grimm, we have an assertion of a "German" spirit, which borders on the religious, and which competes with Judeo-Christianity.  In fact, it is irreconcilable with Christianity and as with Lessing's famous dastardly ditch, there is no common ground, even though some people struggled for it.  We shall know them by their fruits.  And certainly National Socialism was the most evil fruit that anyone hardly could have imagined beforehand. 

The pride of race, nation and culture, philosophy, language of poetry, heroes and sagas, over and against other human beings, resulted in a cult of  "Germanism" vs. a worship of the Lord and King of the Universe, laid in a humble manger.  It is obviously not a wholesome affair.  Germanism did see some parallels in Jewish history and the Old Testament.  However, the Old Testament always foreshadlowed the redemption of all nations. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

How could it happen? / 6/ Theologians

Those Lutheran pastors who today emphasize pious sentiment over true doctrine, who stress subjective religious experience over-against the truth of the Gospel, drive people to "other gospels," to self-deification, to a new kind of Christianized paganism. They've gradually forgotten, writes Hermann Sasse, "what the Reformation had emphasized: the profound seriousness of truth."

-- from someone's Facebook thread.  

It appears imperative to also read some Sasse.  

Of course, these "Lutheran" pastors are not real "Lutheran" pastors, they are the pastors of the united State Church infected with liberalism. 

Neo-orthodoxy's distinction between faith in Christ and faith in statements, or 'faith in a book,'  is artificial and contrary to reason.  By rejecting "propositional revelation" and making the Bible only a "record of" and "witness to" revelation, the neo-orthodox theologians drain faith of its intellectual content.  They make it little more than an emotional response to a "divine self-disclosure"  which takes place not through the words of Scripture, though possibly in conjunction with them.
Emil Brunner, for example, says that:  "faith means to be gripped by the Word of God [by this he does not mean the words of Scripture];  it means that a person submits in the very center of his being, in his heart, to Him to whom he belongs, because He has created him for Himself....  But this does not mean an intellectual understanding, but a personal encounter." [emphasis added]
The false antithesis which Brunner sets up here is one against which we must always be on our guard.  In positing such a sharp distinction between "intellectual understanding" and "personal encounter" (as some call it "total commitment"), neo-orthodoxy betrays its Calvinistic and Zwinglian roots.

The Formula of Concord teaches that the assurance of our faith is to be based on the fact that God's grace and the promise of the gospel are universal and that this promise is made in all earnestness by God.  Since Calvinism rejects the universality of the gospel promise, a consistent Calvinist can never find assurance in that promise.  Instead, he seeks it within the experience of his conversion, or, in neo-orthodox terms, in his "personal encounter" with God, who speaks directly to the heart.  

From Becker "The Foolishness of God." 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

How could it happen? / 5 / Fichte and Nationalism

In the meantime, I've read up some more on the Weimar Republic which I will not all recapitulate here.  The reader may google it for himself.  The mixture of difficulites, unrest and changes:  putsches, strikes, issues of currency, money and reparations, etc., communism, socialism, democracy, republic vs. monarchy, the roaring 20's, shows up an astounding time, which we could learn to try and understand better as a whole.

The book by Stefan Ringel on Heinrich Mann is truly fascinating.  I will gladly read it all the way to the end.  We gain much insight into the man and his times.  So far I am still in the 1890's, where Heinrich and Thomas Mann have their youthful developments and first publications of novels and newspaper articles.  Heinrich Mann's early involvement was quite shocking to me and completely contrary to his later views.  The opinions he espoused, and  changed his mind on, where likely the opinions of about 10-20% of the population at the time, judging by some kind of votes for political parties (there were political parties under the Kaiser?  I am so ignorant.)  In any case these opinions show up a great deal of anti-Semitism, Nietzschen assertiveness to do something drastic to get your will done.  The anti-Semitism was caused by several factors, such as the Jewish involvement in high finance, academe and communism.  Communism was dreaded most seriously by many.  Jewish predominance in finance had set them up to profit more than others from increasing international trade.  But this dislike of things Jewish, as well as French (due to Napoleon and his occupation), and also the having fallen behind in the acquiring colonies (the rational for these also being of racial excuses), had now taken on a tone of nationalism and racial superiority.  This is the fatal new ingredient.

Some very prominent people such as Fichte, a certain Chamberlain (son-in-law of Richard Wagner), also Wagner and his pamphlet on Jews in Art--eventually developed Darwinian Survival of the Fittest into the right to displace lesser peoples for the further flourishing of more superior cultures.  The German culture was declared to be the highest and best and the German genetics therefore the highest and best and they must triumph in the race for space and room to live.  Salvation was to come to human kind from the German nation of German blood and German culture.  But what is this salvation for human kind?  The lesser races need displacement and domination.

Let us look briefly at this Fichte.  I will translate from Stefan's book, p.87.

"German Nationalism was birthed in the year 1806.  The collapse of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation let to an intensive occupation with one's own roots, reinforced by the French occupation and its resultant bad feelings toward France and the ideas of the French Revolution.  The philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte became the prophet of the German national consciousness.  In his 'Speeches to the German Nation', held in the winter of 1807/ 1808 in Berlin, he certified the German people that they had been called to free (save) all of humanity.   The reason for this was that the speech and culture of the Germans had not been broken by civilization.  Instead German language and culture are said to express the still living connection of the German people to the healing natural world.  The French language, however, had accommodated itself to the Latin, and had therefore lost its natural roots.  Without natural roots it is impossible to accomplish any cultural achievements.  Germany must free itself from the French yoke, in order to create a free channel for its own culture and true nature [I am thinking that "nature" should perhaps be capitalized in translation.  Nature has taken on a god-like status.]  Fichte is convinced, that the other nations will then be compelled to turn toward the German way because they can find in it their own salvation."  

What can we say:  this is truly disturbing--though, however, people in other countries had some similar ideas about their own cultures and reasons for empire building.  Let us not forget the idiodicy of the great, little man Napoleon.  He was also brilliant, as we know, but the swelled head seems to have at least the dimensions of the German swelled head, we read about here.

Many of the theories, such as Fichte's possibly, were in those days considered "scientific".  "Wissenschaft" and "science" in translation carried different meanings than our strict empirical sciences of today.  In a way, Darwin's origin of the species contributed to this confusion.  His book should really be considered philosophy rather than science.  To this day we have no evidence for evolution from one kind of animal into another and logically it makes no sense that all the information carried in the genetic code just somehow appeared, yet Darwin's time had come.  All his speculations carried weight with those who wanted change in society.  So Marx, for example, jumped on it, though he complained about the "crude English method".  He found it highly useful for his ends.  And here German nationalism found it useful for its ends.  Germans are superior.  German must prevail.  German romantic feeling for nature brings salvation to the entire world.  But lets use some strength to get it done.

No wonder G.K. Chesterton belittles the "Prussian Professors" here and there.  Surely, there are also "English Professors", such as maybe Darwin (I don't know if he was a professor), etc.  In summary, though , what happened was that certain kinds of academics sat themselves down, or traveled the world  or their neighborhood to observe nature, and simply came up with some kind of literature or speeches, which then is to be regarded as science or revelation.  Chesterton also speaks against this "science".  Science is never finished and keeps on changing its mind.  It is not a reliable guide for some things.  Certainly, it is tragic that it comes into service of bellicose individuals and their needs for justification.

File:Johann Gottlieb Fichte.jpg

The picture is of Johann Gottlieb Fichte from Wikipedia, which also states:

                  Historian Robert Nisbet thought him to be "the true author of National Socialism"

We can see how Nisbet comes to this conclusion. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

How could it happen? / 4 / Weimar Republic

In trying to see some of the ingredients in the witches brew that caused such a disaster as National Socialism, we hear various things about the problems of the Weimar Republic, including that some people despised decadent liberalism.  Personally, I must confess to not knowing anything about it.  I believe we had one history lesson on it in grade 9.  In viewing the summary on Wikipedia, I see that I know the names mentioned mainly from postage stamps which we used to collect. -- I had no idea that Rosa Luxemburg was shot dead, for example.

We need to add one more book into the reading mix, here, therefore.  It's author is my cousin's husband;  therefore the book sits on the shelf in the exercise room. The subject is the life of Heinrich Mann, brother of Thomas Mann.  The Mann brothers were very much involved with the Weimar Republic, resulting in Heinrich Mann's exile in 1933, at the rise of Hitler.  If we have any questions about the book, we can go skype with my cousin's house.

We find a link to the book on   But my copy has a different cover.  It looks like this.

The time has come to read the book thoroughly, since I've only got to reading up to the year 1894 before.   At the next visit, God willing, I should be able to do my relatives the honor to be able to  speak about the book intelligently.  

It seems that the Weimar Republic days were extraordinarily tumultuous.  My grandfather told me about the inflation money and bequeathed some of it to me.  The cheaply made coins are denominated in the millions of Marks and bear the picture of Prometheus.  The choice of Prometheus for an image seems to bespeak a kind of melodramatic mood, and  likely had something to say about how people felt at the time--a nearly hopeless situation where radical solutions became attractive to some. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

How could it happen? / 3 / This is how you treat information and your opposition.

How could it happen? / 2 / Swastika

After reading Karla Poewe's book I find that I have questions.  There is much there that I don't know or hadn't heard about because it seems that whenever we talk about WWII we talk about military, war, and atrocities, but not so much about thinking.  What on earth were they thinking? What were the ideas that moved them?  How did this "voelkisch movement" arise?  How did it gain traction?  How did get into academic circles?  

At the moment, I just want to see how the Swastika of Far East symbolism made it onto the Nazi flag.  The following entries from Wikipedia mentions the same kind of movements, thinking, writing and poets, as Poewe discusses in more detail.  In the mix of ideas at the time, there also figured the theosophical societies, those who felt themselves full of creative genius, especially German genius, as well as those who thought it important to show that German nation is descended from Far East cultures not Near East and Jewish.  I am interested to note that the famous Schliemann comes into this, who after discovering Troy then connects the swastika with religious symbols of our "remote ancestors".  

We will see that everything to do with "ancestors" becomes hugely important in rejecting the Jewish-Christian tradition of Germany's religious and intellectual heritage.  National Socialism was not just anti-Semitic, it was against the entire intellectual and religious heritage and history of the nation, including Christianity that relied on Old or New Testament or confessional standards.  Some of them were alright with a Jesus who could be reshaped into a hero and fighting brave, nothing how the church had presented him over centuries.  The truth, instead, is made to lie in the indo-germanic past.  To the Nazis it needed to be unearthed and re-birthed just like the ruins of Troy.  The Aryans are the master race which needs to triumph in the struggle for survival, along the lines also of Darwin's thinking.  

We can see from this entry that Schliemann had correspondence with a Emile-Louis Burnouf, who was the founder of Buddhist studies in the West and claims to have rediscovered the early Aryan belief system. He was a leading 19th century Orientalist and racialist whose ideas influenced the development of theosophy and Aryanism. 

Burnouf claimed that swastika originated as a stylised depiction of a fire-altar seen from above, and was thus the essential symbol of the Aryan race. The popularisation of this idea by Schliemann and Burnouf was mainly responsible for the adoption of the swastika in the West as an Aryan symbol.

He claimed that Aryians are really pantheist, as a race, and says that this is proved by science (!), but that Semites are monotheist and clinging to a certain creation account.  So therefore, Christianity does not fit into the Aryan race unless Jesus becomes a kind of Aryan.  (Or something like that.  One would have to read Burnouf to get his opinions straight, but I believe we have heard quite enough, already, to make a judgement.)

The battle of survival and the search for honor for the fittest and best became especially cogent after the defeat in WWI and the humiliations associated with it.  The Aryan should assert himself and his belief system.

The Swastika really stands there instead of the cross, trying to replace the cross.  The cross had to go.  The Jesus of the Bible had to go. 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Quotes below from Wikipedia on entries about the Swastika symbolism adopted by National Socialism. 

Besides the use as a religious symbol in Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, which can be traced to pre-modern traditions, the swastika is also used by a number of new religious movements established in the modern period.
  • The Theosophical Society uses a swastika as part of its seal, along with an Om, a hexagram or star of David, an Ankh and an Ouroboros. Unlike the much more recent Raëlian movement (see below), the Theosophical Society symbol has been free from controversy, and the seal is still used. The current seal also includes the text "There is no religion higher than truth."[99]

In the Western world, the symbol experienced a resurgence following the archaeological work in the late 19th century of Heinrich Schliemann, who discovered the symbol in the site of ancient Troy and associated it with the ancient migrations of Proto-Indo-Europeans. He connected it with similar shapes found on ancient pots in Germany, and theorized that the swastika was a "significant religious symbol of our remote ancestors", linking Germanic, Greek and Indo-Iranian cultures.[50][51] By the early 20th century, it was used worldwide and was regarded as a symbol of good luck and success.
The work of Schliemann soon became intertwined with the völkisch movements, for which the swastika was a symbol of the "Aryan race", a concept that came to be equated by theorists such as Alfred Rosenberg with a Nordic master race originating in northern Europe. Since its adoption by the Nazi Party of Adolf Hitler, the swastika has been associated with Nazism, fascism, racism (white supremacy), the Axis powers in World War II, and the Holocaust in much of the West. The swastika remains a core symbol of Neo-Nazi groups, and is used regularly by activist groups.

Since World War II, the swastika is often associated with the flag of Nazi Germanyand the Nazi Party in theWestern world.
In the wake of widespread popular usage, the Nazi Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP) formally adopted the swastika (in German: Hakenkreuz (hook-cross)) in 1920. This was used on the party's flag (right), badge, and armband.
In his 1925 work Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler wrote that: I myself, meanwhile, after innumerable attempts, had laid down a final form; a flag with a red background, a white disk, and a black swastika in the middle. After long trials I also found a definite proportion between the size of the flag and the size of the white disk, as well as the shape and thickness of the swastika.
When Hitler created a flag for the Nazi Party, he sought to incorporate both the swastika and "those revered colors expressive of our homage to the glorious past and which once brought so much honor to the German nation." (Red, white, and black were the colors of the flag of the old German Empire.) He also stated: "As National Socialists, we see our program in our flag. In red, we see the socialidea of the movement; in white, the nationalistic idea; in the swastika, the mission of the struggle for the victory of the Aryan man, and, by the same token, the victory of the idea of creative work."[64]
The swastika was also understood as "the symbol of the creating, acting life" (das Symbol des schaffenden, wirkenden Lebens) and as "race emblem of Germanism" (Rasseabzeichen des Germanentums).[65]
The use of the swastika was incorporated by Nazi theorists with their conjecture of Aryan cultural descent of the German people. Following the Nordicist version of the Aryan invasion theory, the Nazis claimed that the early Aryans of India, from whose Vedic tradition the swastika sprang, were the prototypical white invaders. The concept of racial purity was an ideology central to Nazism, though it is now considered unscientific. For Alfred Rosenberg, the Aryans of India were both a model to be imitated and a warning of the dangers of the spiritual and racial "confusion" that, he believed, arose from the close proximity of races. Thus, they saw fit to co-opt the sign as a symbol of the Aryan master race. The use of the swastika as a symbol of the Aryan race dates back to writings of Emile Burnouf. Following many other writers, the German nationalist poet Guido von List believed it to be a uniquely Aryan symbol.

Indische Legion and swastika, 1942
Before the Nazis, the swastika was already in use as a symbol of German völkisch nationalist movements (Völkische Bewegung). In Deutschland Erwache (ISBN 0-912138-69-6), Ulric of England (sic) says:
[...] what inspired Hitler to use the swastika as a symbol for the NSDAP was its use by the Thule Society (German: Thule-Gesellschaft) since there were many connections between them and the DAP ... from 1919 until the summer of 1921 Hitler used the special Nationalsozialistische library of Dr. Friedrich Krohn, a very active member of the Thule-Gesellschaft ... Dr. Krohn was also the dentist from Sternberg who was named by Hitler in Mein Kampf as the designer of a flag very similar to one that Hitler designed in 1920 ... during the summer of 1920, the first party flag was shown at Lake Tegernsee ... these home-made ... early flags were not preserved, the Ortsgruppe München (Munich Local Group) flag was generally regarded as the first flag of the Party.
José Manuel Erbez says:
The first time the swastika was used with an "Aryan" meaning was on December 25, 1907, when the self-named Order of the New Templars, a secret society founded by [Adolf Joseph] Lanz von Liebenfels, hoisted at Werfenstein Castle (Austria) a yellow flag with a swastika and four fleurs-de-lys.[66]
However, Liebenfels was drawing on an already established use of the symbol. On March 14, 1933, shortly after Hitler's appointment as Chancellor of Germany, the NSDAP flag was hoisted alongside Germany's national colors. It was adopted as the sole national flag on September 15, 1935 (see Nazi Germany).