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Edward Veith's Modern Fascism : A Review





“Those who ignore history, are condemned to repeat it.”
George Santayana

 

Edward Veith (1993) Modern Fascism:


Paul Gosselin (Sept. 2022)

Edward Veith (1993) Modern Fascism: Liquidating the Judeo-Christian Worldview. Concordia Scholarship Today 187 p.

Veith's main thesis here is that fascism is, beyond it's crudest symbols (the Gestapo, it's fanatical soldiers - the SS, the swastika and Hitler himself), a little known ideology. Media and academia typically present a view of fascism that is largely a caricature... Veith forces us to go beyond the crude pop-culture symbols and examine what fascism is as a system of beliefs and ideas. While it should come to no surprise that the general population has a hazy idea of what the fascist belief system involves, even academia, except for a few specialists, typically has a superficial view of fascism. Even university professors understanding of fascism rarely looks beyond the crude pop-culture symbols. As Veith points out, few remember that Nazis for example were zealous environmentalists (p. 39) and health food fanatics.

Veith does an effective job of exposing the ideological and philosophical currents that gave birth to and fed fascism. It must be understood that Nazism was more than a mass movement drawing in workers or soldiers frustrated by the defeat in WWI, but was viewed as a progressive movement in German academic, in intellectual circles and among doctors. As the French biologist P.-P. Grassé pointed out, Nazism had massive and enthusiastic support in German universities (1980: 44):

After the [1933] triumph of National Socialism, German science provided massive unconditional backing to the Fuehrer. Anthropologists, geneticists, economists and lawyers began zealously serving their new master. [Grassé adds in a footnote at the bottom of the page [2] – PG]: German intellectuals' support to their Fuehrer was substantial. During the 1933 referendum, statements by university professors were collected in one volume. Among the authors of these texts one encounters the famous philosopher Martin Heidegger, which is both surprising given the idealism that permeates his work and revealing of the mind-set that gave Hitler such a victory.*

In the 1930s, most Western nations had fascist movements. For example, in 1933, before he became a renowned Canadian media theorist, Marshall McLuhan wrote admiringly about Italian fascist Benito Mussolini's social initiatives in an article “Is Fascism the Answer?". Even Quebec had its own Fuehrer wanna-be in the 1930s, Adrien Arcand. In the Dirty Thirties, fascism was the progressive thing...

As further evidence of the appeal Nazism amongst intellectuals, the first pages of Veith's book come with a photo of the well-known literary figure and Nazi sympathizer, the American poet Ezra Pound. Living in Italy during WWII he appeared on radio supporting Mussolini and Hitler and attacking US war efforts. As Veith points out, in the years after the war, Pound had access to revelations of Nazi Final Solution atrocities, yet nonetheless remained a dedicated Nazi. As an explanation one must rule out Pound, the naïve utopian fanatic, which leaves us with a morally corrupt convinced Nazi indifferent to the deaths of millions... For his war crimes Pound was not sentenced to prison or executed like many others, but rather interned in a psych ward. But worse still are the Western academics that stepped up to rehabilitate him and get him out of the psych ward...

Further into his book Veith examines the motives for Pound's anti-Semitism. Veith observes that fascists preferred relativistic ethics based upon the “common good” and the assertion of the human will. Such an ethic could override the uncompromising command "Thou shalt not kill", thus opening the door to Holocaust.... Pound admired the ethical flexibility of polytheistic cultures, but complained that Jewish monotheism was intolerant. Veith adds (in green, p. 46)

The irony of a fascist attacking intolerance becomes most grotesque in Mein Kampf. Hitler has been arguing that opposing positions must not be tolerated; he then backpedals, remembering the notion that intolerance comes from the Jews:

The objection may very well be raised that such phenomena in world history [the necessity of intolerance] arise for the most part from specifically Jewish modes of thought, in fact, that this type of intolerance and fanaticism positively embodies the Jewish nature. This may be a thousand times true; we may deeply regret this fact and establish with justifiable loathing that its appearance in the history of mankind is something that was previously alien to history- yet this does not alter the fact that this condition is with us today.

In other words, the Jews with their absolute morality invented intolerance; therefore, they shall not be tolerated.

Isn't it rather ironic that the term "intolerance" was originally a favourite fascist meme? Makes you think...

Regarding Nazism generally, university professors often trot out another tired meme that sets up an obstacle to any serious understanding of this variant of fascism. I am talking about the "Hitler was a moral monster" meme. For my part, I draw the conclusion that the this meme is a very convenient strategy allowing it's user to pre-empt any serious analysis of fascism as a worldview as well as any serious reflection on the real-world implications of this worldview. For if such an analysis were made, then one could draw the same conclusion as Veith, namely that much of the fascist worldview is alive and well in 2022, with a pathetic marketing make-over perhaps[1], but alive and well nonetheless. The resurgence of anti-Semitism (repacked as anti-Zionism...) among postmodern[2] elites is further evidence of this link and fits in VERY well with the fascism of the 1930s... A further parallel between Nazis and postmodern elites is that both do not hesitate to use intimidation, threats and violence against those with opposing or critical views. With the Nazis, this took the form of the Brown Shirts/SA paramilitary group while postmodern elites have their AntiFa shock troops using the same tactics to intimidate and shut down any opposition or critics. While Nazis were open about the link between the Nazi Party and the Brown Shirts, postmoderns have learned a few lessons from the failures of 20th century totalitarian regimes and are more hypocritical and admit to no such explicit link to the AntiFa, which implies that when the AntiFa will have served their purpose or begin to be represent a liability to their handlers, then they will be cut loose and sacrificed...


Fascism and Churches

Veith covers a lot of VERY interesting material, including (around the middle of the book) a matter of critical importance to our present situation, that is how the Nazis corrupted German Protestant churches. Some of the corruption began before the Nazi movement, with the Higher Criticism school of thought, which is basically repackaging the Bible from an Enlightenment perspective, excluding all miracles. Veith examines (p. 33) contributions from philosophers such as Nietzsche to Nazism, and provides a number of serious observations to chew on. For example, Veith points out that only churches and individuals who had a high concern for their confession of faith and for dogma put up any serious resistance to Nazi ideological pressures. Churches and individuals more concerned with tradition, the church as a social club or with the preoccupation of going along with the “current thing” in the general culture inevitably bowed to Nazi ideological pressure (thus providing more soldiers for Hitler's armies and guards for the concentration camps of the Final Solution). Nazi ideological pressure on churches took various forms. One of these was the "German Christian" movement (or Deutsche Christen) which was basically Nazism repackaged for Christians. Another pressure point was the Nazi Bible (complete with an "Aryan Jesus”) which attempted to cut out all Jewish influence in the Bible...

In chapters 3 and 4 Veith describes how the Nazis corrupted the German Church. Part of the work had already been done for them in the 19th century by Higher Criticism scholars. One of these, the Assyriologist and Anti-Semite Friedrich Delitzsch made claims about the Old Testament (namely that our understanding of the Old Testament must be viewed through the filter of Babylonian culture and mythology), a concept that appears to have been cut and pasted by John Walton for his own “new” theory appearing in his book The Lost World of Genesis 1 - 2009[3] (though avoiding Delitzsch's anti-Semitism...). Walton also claims that our understanding of the Old Testament (particularly Genesis) must be viewed through the filter of Ancient Near Eastern culture and mythology.

In his publications Delitzsch promoted the (typical Enlightenment) view that the Old Testament is an unreliable document, full of deceptions - a hodgepodge of erroneous, incredible stories, set in an undependable chronology; a text full of misleading interpolations, revisions, and transpositions and anachronisms. Here is an excerpt from Veith's book discussing Delitzsch's theories... (pp. 53-54)

It soon becomes clear, however, that the reason Delitzsch believes the Old Testament is "a very dangerous book" is because it is Jewish. (...) The Old Testament therefore, he [Delitzsch] argued, should have no place in the education of Protestant pastors. Although it might still be taught in an Oriental studies department or as part of the history of religion, the Old Testament should be banished from the schools of theology. As Raymond Surburg summarizes the Delitsch position,

The New Testament should be studied without consulting the Old Testament, and teachers should teach New Testament courses in such a way as to show students the errors ofJewish evangelists who found Christ foretold in the Old Testament. Delitzsch argued for freeing the New Testament from the embrace of the Old Testament and further recommended that Jesus' teaching should be reduced to its original purity for the blessing of the Christian church.

Thus Delitzsch appears to have been a proto-Nazi. Though he died in 1922 and likely had little interaction with the Nazi Party[4] one would expect that Nazi-sympathizing theologians would have found Delitzsch's views quite useful...

While one can see many parallels between the fascism of the 1930s and the neo-totalitarian narrative pumped out by Davos puppets in 2022, there is a marked difference that Veith fails to point out (he was writing in 1993 after all...). It is clear that fascists of the 1930s were zealous nationalists, whereas postmodern elites and the Davos puppets currently in power in the West have nothing but contempt for nationalist or popular movements. This explains the deluge of contempt from postmodern elites for all expressions of nationalism such as 'Make America Great Again' in the US, Brexit in England, State and mainstream media contempt for the French “gilet jaunes”, or for Dutch famers resisting State oppression or Justin Trudeau's contempt for Canadian truckers (and their grass-roots supporters)[5]. And when mainstream media deals with such isuses, the expressions "right wing", "extremists" or other such labels are often on their lips. This is a significant pattern...

But the contempt of the Davos puppets (presently in power in most Western nations) for nationalism strikes me as even more sinister than the fanatical nationalism of the fascists of the 1930s because it is rooted in an increasingly obvious desire to corrupt, destabilize and overthrow existing nations-States and, from this chaos, erect a GLOBAL power. In their hands, the Super Powers of the 20th century are quickly becoming an outmoded (and discarded) thing of the past... In Europe the objective of overthrowing nation-States appears to be pushed forward by means of massive and disruptive immigration while in the US it is pushed forward both by disruptive immigration, quick release of violent criminals and by a divisive racist ideology that would stoke hatred and put whites and blacks at each other's throats[6]. Power over one nation is clearly not enough for the Davos puppets[7]... They are working for a return to the Tower of Babel...

In my view, Veith's book is more hard-hitting than when originally published. I highly recommend it...


A Side Note

What happens when civilizations embrace the materialistic origins myth (neo-Darwinism) which leads to the rejection of the Judeo-Christian imago dei concept? Well here is a surprising meditation from a man heavily involved in the Nazi regime.

A couple of years ago in used bookstore I picked up a book titled: Life and Death of the Luftwaffe by Werner Baumbach. Now Baumbach was an aviator and joined the Luftwaffe before the war as pilot, but soon rose up in the ranks to eventually become the general of Luftwaffe bomber command. He saw a good deal of action during the war and in the last years of the war was in regular contact with Nazi higher ups. Now Baumbach doesn't say much about his initial joining up with the Luftwaffe except to say that he wanted to fly a plane. He portrays himself just as a patriotic German and says nothing about carrying a Nazi party membership card... Maybe we can believe him about that... Now this memoir was first published in 1949, a few years after the war was over and a few years into the Cold War. And in his conclusion I was rather surprised to bump into the comments below by Baumbach, which give his final perspective on the events of WWII and on the early years of the Cold War (1949/1967: 250)

It may be that only the Russians themselves can put an end to Bolshevism, as it is a Russian disease. But as a danger to humanity it can only be rooted out by a spiritual conquest of atheism and nihilism. These two are the pillars of aggressive power politics. Generally speaking, the recognized Christian religions have put up only a divided and unsystematic resistance to them. Judging by past experience, nihilism cannot be conquered solely by an economic system (socialism) or by a spiritual force (religion), but only by a complete penetration of our whole moral, intellectual and economic life by the spirit of Christ. Will the West be capable of assimilating such a novel, awe-inspiring idea? It is certain that the next ten years will establish the mental and moral complexion of the world, for a long time to come.



References

Baumbach, Werner (1949/1967) Life and Death of the Luftwaffe. Ballantine Books New York 270 p.

Cox, Gavin (2019) The Lost World of Walton: Why John Walton's Lost World books are a lost cause. (CMI- 14/3/2019)
https://creation.com/lost-world-walton

Grassé, Pierre-Paul (1980) L'Homme en accusation_: De la biologie à la politique. Albin Michel Paris 354 p.

McLuhan, Marshall (1933) The Manitoban, a student newspaper of the University of Manitoba. Published December 1, 1933

Zins, Robert (2019) Don't be Tricked !: Thoughts on discerning Genesis scholarship. CMI Update - November pp. 1-3



Notes

[1] - Which is more hypocritical and manipulative than openly coercive and brutal...

[2] - For some reason Americans still love the outdated and inappropriate expression: “ The Left ” despite the fact that 21st century elites (or their AntiFa minions) have no interest whatsoever in the dictatorship of the proletariat nor in the overthrow of capitalists... This is in fact lazy thinking as we are facing a new form of neo-totalitarianism. A high-tech, manipulative and much more hypocritical form of neo-totalitarianism.

[3] - A book which happens to be endorsed by the discredited (and pro-LGBT) BioLogos founder Francis Collins... Robert Zins, in an article published in 2019 [(cf. bibliography) points out that Walton's interpretation of the text of Genesis claims that it is insufficient to read the translated text of the Genesis (in an English, French or German translation...) and even if one can read the original Hebrew text, this is still not enough for him, as Walton insists that Genesis must be reread in the light of the ancient Middle Eastern culture. This amounts to placing this pagan culture as an authority ABOVE the Scriptures. This is a VERY serious matter... Implicitly, Walton's claims places a small clique of scholars who have studied the culture and literature of the Sumerians, Akkadians, Egyptians, Ebblaites, Babylonians, Hittites, Assyrians, etc. in the position of being the ONLY ones who can "correctly” interpret Genesis... This is basically a neo-Gnostic view of Scripture. As a result, Walton makes our understanding of the Bible dependant of our understanding of ancient Near Eastern culture and archaeology... But the rub is that seeing that archaeological evidence for ancient Near Eastern culture has expanded in the 20th century, it would be entirely predictable that this evidence should continue to expand in the 21st century, which has the potential to render all of Walton's (now popular) theses obsolete. Our understanding of ancient Near Eastern culture is NOT complete nor set in stone...

[4] - The Nazi Party (or National Socialist German Workers' Party) was founded by Hitler in 1920. It appears that Delitzsch had connections to the occult proto-Nazi Thule Society and in December 1919 participated in a meeting with the medium Maria Orsitsch in a cabin near Berchtesgaden that involved Thule Society and Vril Society members.

http://www.thezurvanclub.com/a_nazis_sumer/a3_nazis_sumer.html

[5] - Which Trudeau described in 2022 as 'intolerable racists and mysogynists that take up space" and a "small fringe minority".

[6] - As well as The 1619 Project which encourages hatred of the American State and Constitution...

[7] - The mindset of the Davos puppets strongly echoes that of the fictional NICE (National Institute for Co-ordinated Experiments) which appears in C.S. Lewis' sci-fi novel That Hideous Strength (1945). One should note that this is very early science fiction closer to Jules Verne and HG Wells than to Star Trek or Star Wars. One should not expect light sabres, teleportation stations or hyper drives...