Some Quotations About Adolf Hitler, National Socialism, and Racism,
From The Recent Writings of David Myatt
“As a result of experience, a pathei-mathos, I have come to reject racism, National-Socialism, hatred, and all forms of extremism, having developed a personal weltanschauung, a non-religious numinous way, centred around empathy, compassion, fairness, and love.”
Ethos of Extremism: Some Reflexions on Politics and A Fanatical Life, Part One (2012)
It seems to me, as a result of both my experience of various religions and my reprehensible four decades as an extremist (infandum renovare dolorem), that extremists – of whatever extremism – lack or scorn the virtues of empathy and humility. Thus they, and the extremisms they uphold or represent or believe in or bring-into-being, are hubriatic, unbalanced, intemperate, and devoid of humility and that appreciation of the numinous which is or which can be the genesis of humility.
As I mentioned in Pathei-Mathos – A Path To Humility:
” The discovery and knowing and thus the appreciation of the numinous by individuals, in a life-changing and thus often reformatory way, is frequently the result of pathei-mathos, and which pathei-mathos can incline individuals toward their own uncertitude of knowing and thus toward a certain personal humility. A personal humility which I personally believe manifests – which is – the essence of the numinous and thus the essence of our humanity, of our nature as human beings capable of reason, compassion, love, honour, and gentleness; human beings who have the ability to choose not to commit the error of hubris; the ability not to do what is harsh, dishonourable, hateful, violent; the ability to refrain from inflicting suffering on other humans and other living beings; the ability to be empathic and thus appreciate the connexion we are to all Life, to ψυχή.”
National-Socialism and fascism are classic examples of extremism, and of the barbarism extremism perpetuates, because (a) they enshrine, promote, incite – and their followers do – what is harsh, dishonourable, hateful, violent, intolerant, bigoted, and thus inhuman, and (b) they are devoid of, and actively discourage and scorn, the personal virtue of humility and thus the gentleness and the compassion and the uncertitude-of-knowing that marks those possessed of or who strive to cultivate the virtue of humility. Hence the masculous posturing of nazis, fascists, and racists; hence their militarism; hence their hubriatic belief in kampf as a basic and necessary principle of human life; and hence their barbarism.
” There is, based on applying the moral criteria of The Numinous Way, [...] an understanding of Hitler as a flawed individual who caused great suffering and whose actions and policies where dishonourable and immoral [...]
Do his actions – manifest for example in the Nürnberger Gesetze and their consequences, in his use of krieg in pursuit of some supra-personal aim, and in the use of the abstractions of race and nation – reveal a man of compassion, of balanced judgement, of fairness? Someone who feels and understands the error that is ὕβρις and is therefore circumspect, in touch with and respectful of the numinous? Who knows the limits of appropriate human behaviour? No.
For example, there is nothing honourable in the Nürnberger Gesetze and their consequences; in the personal suffering, the deaths, they caused, in the prejudice and the hatred they engendered and codified. Nothing good in the use of krieg in pursuit of some supra-personal aim; in the suffering and the deaths caused. Nothing good or honourable in the demand for obedience and in the manipulation of people’s emotions by rhetoric and propaganda; nothing good or honourable in the punishment of those who were inclined, as is morally right and justified, not to surrender their individual judgement and who thus refused to be obedient in such supra-personal matters, especially in relation to certain ‘political’ abstractions, such as ‘race’, nation, and the führerprinzip. ”
“My personal conclusion, now, in respect of Hitler is not a favourable one. For it is of him as a tyrannos par excellence: someone with such an extreme hubriatic certitude of knowing that he excessively overstepped the limits, and – like Oedipus and Creon but more excessively – brought misfortune, retribution, suffering, upon himself and those around him. Someone lacking in compassion, empathy, humility and humanity, and who – both directly and indirectly – caused and sanctioned a plethora of dishonourable deeds. Someone – perhaps because of an arrogant belief in his own destiny reinforced, and made extreme, by his success for so many years – who became rotten inside [...]
The Numinous Way – philosophically, ethically – has no affinity whatsoever with National-Socialism just as those striving to live by the ethics of empathy have no συμπάθεια with that particular causal form and the immoral abstractions that make it what it is. There is thus a reasoned judgement of National-Socialism, based on personal honour, pathei-mathos, and an understanding of the error of ὕβρις. And which judgement is that National-Socialist Germany was a manifestation of the ὕβρις of a tyrannos, and thus – perhaps for others as well as for those of the Western tradition – was a cultural πάθει μάθος; an opportunity for us to learn and so avoid making that error again. For that period of history, and that man Hitler, should lead us to ask, as an ancient Greek once did, the important question: τίς οὖν ἀνάγκης ἐστὶν οἰακοστρόφος. To which my own reply, as his, isΜοῖραι τρίμορφοι μνήμονές τ᾽ Ἐρινύες.”
“I regard National-Socialism – of whatever variety – as an immoral set of beliefs, an example par excellence of hubris, with the Allied victory over NS Germany being a moral necessity, worthy of remembrance and celebration.
As for the indignity of racism, it is abhorrent – redolent of hubris – based as racism is on the dishonour of prejudice and the divisive abstraction of ‘race’. For now, for me, what is important – the understanding wrought via my pathei-mathos – are personal love, compassion, humility, kindness, tolerance, and wu-wei; virtues which are the essence of our humanity and virtues which are anathema to racists, to National-Socialists, and to fascists.”
In Response To Some Questions Recently Asked (March 2012)
“Race is a causal ideation, an abstraction, and, as a manifestation of the causal separation-of-otherness, it contradicts empathy and the intuitive knowing of and sympathy with the living other that individual empathy provides or can make us aware of.
In essence, the notion of race separates, divides, human beings into manufactured lifeless categories which nullify the empathic knowing of individual human beings.
Such assignment of individuals to a posited abstract category – some assumed ‘race’ or sub-race – is irrelevant, since individual human beings are or have the potential to be unique individual human beings, so that such an assignment, whatever the alleged reason, is a dehumanizing of those individuals. For our humanity is expressed by an individual and personal knowing of individuals, by a personal interaction with others on the basis of respect, tolerance, reason, and honour, and which personal knowledge of them renders their alleged or assumed ethnicity or ancestry irrelevant.
In addition, to ascribe some value or some worth – how/low, civilized/uncivilized, evolved/primitive – to these abstract categories termed ‘race’, and thence to the individuals alleged or assumed to belong to such categories, is immoral because value and worth are themselves lifeless un-numinous divisive abstractions which cannot, should not, be applied to human beings, or to any living being. Which in essence means that all life is numinous, worthy – and cannot and should not be sub-divided into categories of value or worth.
Similarly, to judge – prejudge – individuals or some group on the basis of the assumed or the alleged ‘character’ or generalized nature assigned to some ‘race’ is immoral because dehumanizing, usurping as such prejudice does the personal knowing of individuals that is the human, the empathic, the honourable, the moral, the right, thing to do.
In practical terms, this means: (i) that the concept of ‘race’ is not only irrelevant but an immoral aberration; (ii) that the alleged or the assumed ethnicity of a person is irrelevant; and (iii) that treating/mistreating people, hating people or causing suffering to people, on the basis of their alleged or assumed ‘race’ is immoral, reprehensible.
For what matters is the person, the individual as an individual human being who is unique or who has the potential to be unique. What matters, what is human and moral, is a personal knowing of individuals and treating others with fairness, and tolerance, on the basis of equality.”
For The Numinous Way, National-Socialist Germany is judged in diverse ways. For instance:
(1) In respect of the use of particular ideations and causal abstractions – such as the ideations of State and Nation, and the immoral abstraction of race. That is, by the use of such forms to try to constrain or limit or impose boundary conditions upon (to usurp) the numinous, and also upon the individual (to usurp, or to demean, the empathy, and the pathei-mathos, of individuals).
The use of the abstraction of race (or any abstraction) – codified by abstract laws – to judge others, and interfere in and with their lives, personal and/or professional, is contrary to both empathy and honour.
(2) In respect of the use or the threat of the use of force to stifle dissent, encourage cohesion and enforce policies, with the threat or the reality of imprisonment/death for dissenters. This is a dishonourable, an uncompassionate, an unempathic, thing to do.
(3) Because National-Socialism and thus NS Germany, became synonymous with the will, the judgement, the instinct, of one man – and human beings are mortal, and one man, however gifted he may appear to be or believes himself to be, is fallible, can and will make mistakes, and sooner or later will suffer death or be defeated by his enemies, especially if those enemies be legion. Sic Transit Gloria.
(4) Because the use and the ignoble acceptance of a particular abstraction – kampf – as an embodiment and expression of human nature, and which acceptance and use was not only a rejection of thousands of years of culture (of our collective, human, pathei-mathos) but also led to immense suffering for millions of human beings as the result of the Second World War, a war that Hitler – because of his ὕβρις - began, expanded, and continued, even when it was obvious that Germany could not win.
Thus, National-Socialist Germany was inherently flawed, ignoble, and transient, due to the use of abstractions, such as race, State; [due to] abstract dishonourable laws enforced by threat of imprisonment and death; due to the notion of a supra-personal and a arrogant destiny; and due to using war as a means of trying to resolve conflicts and implement the hubris that masqueraded as the ‘destiny’ of the Volk, as the ‘destiny’ of Hitler, and as the ‘destiny’ of National-Socialism itself.