Wednesday, February 27, 2008

GODS AND MONSTERS. Book review of D. Sklar, The Nazis and the Occult.

Dusty Sklar's The Nazis and the Occult, Dorset, 1977, appeared at a time before such a thesis as hers was likely to be popular or credible, and one even now many will dismiss as unlikely: That many top-ranking Nazis were occultists; that many millions of people died at the hands of the Nazis because some high-ranking Nazis thought they were in touch with the spirits from beyond; that the Nazis were doing the work of the gods against the devolved masss who inhabit the world: the Jews, the Slavs, the degenerate "other"; Nazis leading a battle between gods and monsters.

It's hard for the average reader to accept that the madness of Germans could have been unleashed for the simple sake of satisfying a lust for the arcane and the occult among a clique of bored philistine German upper-class middle-aged losers in the hope of restoring Germans' former glories as a nation of warriors rather than languishing as the defeated and riven beggars they were in 1918 and onward. The German nation that brought us Beethoven, Kafka, Rilke, Einstein is a nation we see as rational, sophisticated, and orderly; and then we see simultaneously the madness of the Nazis and the German people lapping up murder as their daily bread soaked in blood, terror, and genocide. How can one nation be both so good and so utterly and irredeemably evil? Look, and we look, and we try to puzzle it out, and there is nothing much to find but the occasional wisp of blame against the French and their demands on the Germans for war-reparations, a thin gruel no better than today's anti-American blame-mongering. Not all Germans were Nazis, to be sure, but it is from Germany and its blood and soil from which sprang Naziism. There is no one else to look to for the fact of Nazis. But that doesn't cover the problem rightly, and Sklar does us a service, if we will, by making some insight possible. If we demand a rational explanation based on reason to explain the Nazis, then we will forever be lost. The Nazis were not rational, and we cannot expect to find the Nazis' motives in Reason and Rationality. It is not all, of course, but it is much in the realm of the occult that we can find the truth of the reasons for the Nazis.

Some 5,000 years ago a few people staged a revolution in Human affairs that continues to enrage and incite to violence many people to this day, that being the Agricultural Revolution. The Human animal, being an animal, wandered and hunted and gathered, "at one with Nature" and "authentic". That is the natural and perhaps the real manifestation of Humanity at its most plausible. Just another animal among many. Those few who lived in agricultural settlements had to build walled enclosures to protect themselves from nomads who hunted and gathered, breaking into walled cities the way they'd break into anything shell-covered and defended. Those outsiders, the marauding bands of killers and eaters were the norm, the way it was, the way it had always been. And they faced a rich and tasty prize inside the walls of cities. A city rose, a city fell, and the devouring horde would settle in their place in turn to be eaten by others coming along to eat the spoils of cities. The nature of Man: Greed and Fear.

There is nothing new in anything the Nazis did, only in how they did what they did. The Nazis: a hybrid of primitive nomads and industrialized city-sackers-- post-modernists, as it were.

Sklar, in her book on the occultist clique who created Hitler, and then the occultist clique who continued with Hitler after the first wave were diminished, shows the genesis of the Nazi Party in a small group of rich fools who dabbled in the occult, giving themselves and each other fantastic titles and awards, making a reality of a fantasy that only isolated children could be excused for, a group of upper-class dilettantes who had the money to engage in politics in post-war Germany, and who, like many of the 1930s, were ready to use violence to gain political power. Sklar details the lives and doings of these now-obscure figures and shows clearly how they took a penniless and hopeless Adolph Hitler and groomed him to be their orator, their front-man in a theater of the absurd politics of racist and genocidal pan-Germanism in a post- Weimar Republic.

Sklar and others of this field of history show clearly and convincingly that Hitler was not a Right wing conservative Christian, as so many Leftards would have us believe, but that he and many of his followers at the higher echelon, were occultists who delved into Irrationalism as philosophy, turning to utterly stupid ideas for the sake of furthering their mad dreams of becoming world-rulers.

What, though, is strange about people acting out rituals in the forest, dancing naked in the moonlight, celebrating the sacredness of the soil? It's ordinary. It's normal. It's the same old thing that has been the nature of Man for time uncountable. The Nazis did little out of the ordinary. They adorned themselves with costumes, gave themselves fancy and arcane titles, and they sacrificed millions and millions and more millions to the savagery of life as a brutal contest between Man and Nature, a play, a theater of the mind of the primitive. A game of deliberate rejection of Reason, the Nazis played with life the way any savage would; and the Nazis did nothing others didn't do and wouldn't do had they the means today. Blood-lust, cruelty, Human sacrifice, violent triumphalism, these are the things of Man as he is. The Nazis weren't different. There was no root cause in capitalist economics or oppressive social paradigms that pushed the Germans into the realms of Nazi madness. It as a choice to abandon Modernity in favor of laughing rage and uninhibited exultation in the primitive, in the most base of Human behavior, the only strangeness in any of it being the German addition of industrialized primitivism. The Dionysian Death Machine.

We will never understand the Nazis if we look for rational explanations. If we look at them as like us but unhappy, then we will have missed the whole point: that it is we who are revolutionary and beyond the life of Man in his bloody and horrible history. We are the strange ones in the world, not the Nazis. Sklar shows it clearly in the biographies and details of the background figures of Hitler's rise to power and his later fellow pagans indulging in the ordinary madness of Mankind. More than 30 years later, Sklar's thesis is still unloved, unliked, generally dismissed.

None of this would matter if Man had changed fundamentally in the past 60 years, if the innate violence of Man were gone with the defeat of the Nazis, if social engineers could just make the exactly right calculations to turn us all into happy beings at peace with all and Nature. But Man is still the same animal, still looking for the meat in the nut, still conquering, still roaming the wilderness in search of that which to eat. Man still hears, in the distance at times, sometimes here and now, the call of the wild and the lure of the battle between gods and monsters. Nazis are not removed from us. We, by the grace of God, as it were, merely resist the normal.


VinceP1974 said...

I would love to see a book that did a full examination of Islam's relationship with the NAZIs

Dag said...

Vince you're up early enough to find it if it exists. You might start small by looking int the life and times of Yasser Arafat's uncle, Haj Amin. Look at th Hanschar division of Bosnia, and do a search of "Islam Nazis" for more than the average person could read in a lifetime. The minute details of the Nazi/Muslim axis are clear and indisputable to all but the neo-Nazi loonies such as the one we encountered last day at the library. But as far as a single volume, I can't think of one off-hand. It would be a nice catch to find something legitimate.

Good to see you again.

maccusgermanis said...

I've never gotten around to it, but I wonder if you've ever read the account of Louis Spence?

BEAJ said...

Hitler also used Catholicism to his advantage. There was a phrase about "God" on the belt buckles of the soldiers.
But he did seem to have leanings into the supernatural.
The Nazis spent money on weird theories like the first Aryans came from the center of the earth.
One thing that the Christian Right likes to bring up falsely is that Nazism and Hitler are strongly tied into Godlessness and atheism. Posts like this one, show that to be completely false.

maccusgermanis said...

Nazism and Hitler were strongly tied to whatever they might bind to the cause of the state. I doubt many were true believers, but rather invoked religion in utilitarian ways. Hence the wide belief that they were "Godless," but perhaps "atheist" is untrue, in that they tried all on for size.

Dag said...

No matter what people say today, in this atmosphere of "trendy atheism", Hitler and the Nazis were not Christians, Naziizm was not a Cristian movement. I never cease to be surprised by the ignorance of some people one would think would know basic facts of history; and I never cease to be surprised by those who know and who deliberately lie for effect without concern for anything other than effect. Hitler was a Catholic in the same way I am a Presbyterian: "Once, in a galaxy far, far awy...." Those who make the claim that Nazis are the Christians Christians all want to be but can't show themselves as openly as yet are simply fools, of which our world is not short at all. Hitler, like the Romantics generally, was a Nature worshiper, seeing Nature as the most profound force in existence, one that only supermen could live authentically in for a short period, destined to be crushed by Nature; hence the death worship, the Blood and soil mystique, the nudism, the vegetarianism, the Irrationality, and so on through the whole range of things today we would consider Hippie ideals. Not Christian.

I've written elsewhere on this topic many times in some detail, so I won't go over it again here except to remind us all that Hitler and the Nazis are profoundly anti-Christian in the same way as were many of those of the French Revolution. That is not to say they weren't religious. The were occultists rather than formalists. To say: Occultists revel in the hidden and the special; formalists are humble in the acceptance of the revealed and the mediated. Hitler to an extent, and to a great extent Himmler, were involved in opportunistic magic for the sake of power-grabbing. They were of a time and among a people who were dabblers in the occult, a milieu easily seen, though difficult for an adult to suffer through, in the fiction of Herman Hesse.

What so many naive and so many outrightly ignorant people accept without thought as Nazi Christianity is no different from Stalin being Orthodox, Trotsky being Jewish, from me being Protestant. Yes, but no.

My point in raising this issue again is to show that the steps we take individually can take us to places over the course of time that we will be very happy to avoid if only we have some idea where they end. Looking at Nazi occultism shows where Nazi occultism leads and ends. Looking at things going in similar directions doesn't mean all will end up as Nazis, but they will end up in the same area, inevitably. The area is broad, but it is also close to Naziism. Why do that if it's not something one would avoid in a state of non-commitment? Look at the similarities between the Left today and the Nazis of yesteryear. There are too many similarities to go naively and in good faith down that old and bloody road again. But it is the nature of Man to do certain things as Man, and thus we must be careful to pick our paths carefully, pushed as we might be to side with another not knowing exactly where he goes while we go in the same general direction, though not willing to end in the same destination.

My concern here is not that the Nazis were so evil and why; my concern is how we are so beautiful and how can we gather the rest of the world to follow us into our beautiful Modernity while leaving behind the worst of the past and embracing the best of our good. A return to the "authentic" is a reactionary fascism, one that appeals deeply. The occultist will return willingly. It is not our Modernity he seeks to improve upon.

I'll return to this more coherently (I hope) in a day or so.

Rob Misek said...

A blurb on the feminazi.

I recently became aware that in the year 1973, homosexuality was removed from the "official" mental disorders list and abortion was legalized in the Roe vs Wade case.

Believeing as I do that both of these issues are at the heart of our social decay, a little research showed 1973 to be one peak of the feminist movement.

In 1966 the National Organization of Women was founded.

42 years later it is still the heart of the feminist movement today. Look at their website to see the social injustice (yes injustice) they are still fighting for today.

It is only a coincidence that they justify their persecution of people (the male sex, fetuses) by rejecting morality as a political perspective that they don't share?

Feminists are responsible for abortions killing 50 million souls. That's 10 times the holocaust.

Calling them feminazis is unfair to Hitler.

No man, no conservative and generally no good person could support feminism today.

RDatta said...

Herr Schikelgruber advised the Germans to commit suicide before he did so himself. They ignored him individually, but a look at the demographics shows that Mother Nature is complying with his behest.

Dag said...

Funny you should comment on this just now. I wrote about it today again for the first time since the original post. Some things can be so disturbing they never let go.

Some things, I venture to guess, would be like family, those one might like to hold on to for a life time, however loosely. Yes, abortion is a suicide. Too bad some don't do it first before taking others with them before they go.