[Marxism] Wagner, Hegel and ISIS.

Paddy Hackett paraichackett at gmail.com
Sun Oct 16 14:04:14 MDT 2016


It would seem that Wagner promoted German nationalism through his music. Through his music he promoted romantic nationalism. Much of his music created the folk myth that there existed a pure Germanic folk. This is, it would seem, evident in his famous composition the Ring. His anti-semitism may tie in with this too. He also, I believe, moved closer to Christianity in his musical creativity. As I understand it this was one of the developments causing Nietzsche to break with him.

Hegel's idealisation of the Prussian state was another form of the promotion of German nationalism. He promoted the Prussian state as the (Protestant) Christian state manifesting the Christian God. This was to be the "exceptional" state that is to be universalised spreading out in all directions --a proto-imperial state.

This legacy may have been a significant factor leading to Germany's role in both the 1st and 2nd world wars. Bismarck's realpolitik, the significance of the monarch, may have played a part too in the emergence of Hitler --redemption by the individual hero. The Nazi belief in the master race may have been a legacy from these developments.

We see how history impacts on the present. This legacy may have existed because, in a sense, Germany was, in a sense, an artificial nation. To create this nation state as an ethnic community a powerful ideology in the form of the music of Wagner and the philosophy of Hegel was required. Fichte, a nationalist, may have played an ideological role in this development too. However ultimately it was the needs of the emergence of Prussian industrial capitalism that was the fundamental dynamic underlying these developments. 

At the expense of over-stretching reality the ISIS phenomenon may be, in a sense, analogous to the above historical process.

Take Care

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