Nu eşti învins decât dacă refuzi lupta. – Mircea Eliade

sâmbătă, 20 aprilie 2024

Emil Cioran: "München Impressions: Hitler in the German consciousness" (1934)


There is no politician in today’s world who inspires a deeper sympathy and admiration in me than Hitler. There is something irresistible in the destiny of this man, a man for which every life-act is significant only to the extent to which it symbolically participates in the historical destiny of the nation. For Hitler is a man who does not have what is called a private life. From the war onwards, his life is a renunciation and a sacrifice. The only time a politician’s style of life gains a profundity is when a desire for power and an imperialistic will is paired with a great capacity for renunciation.

The mysticism of the German Fuhrer is fully justified. Even those that consider themselves devout opponents of Hitler, even those that pretend that they hate him are in fact caught in the net of a mysticism which raised the personality of Hitler to the rank of a myth. I’ve met many people who had no issues in insulting Hitler once having heard of Röhm’s purge, and before having any concrete information about it, exclaimed: “I hope nothing bad happened to Hitler”.

His speeches are inspired by a pathos and frenzy the likes of which can only be matched by the visions of a prophet. Goebbels is more refined, more subtle, more discretely ironic, he has more nuanced gestures and the appearance of a refined and stylised intellectual, but he is not capable of exploding volcanically and torrentially to the point of cancelling your critical spirit. The merit of Hitler is that he managed to annul the critical spirit of an entire nation. You cannot set something to dynamite, you cannot create a tangible effervescence unless you manage to close the distance between yourself and your listener. The fecundity of a vision is revealed by its power of seduction over you. To be able to make others abandon themselves on the path that you’ve chosen – this is the responsibility and the dramatic destiny of any visionary, dictator, and prophet.

In Hitler, the capacity for seduction is all the more impressive for it is not helped by the charm of an expressive physiognomy. His face never expresses anything else but energy and sadness. For this must be understood: Hitler is a sad man. A sadness that results from too much seriousness. This is characteristic of the entire German people, a people desperately serious, compared to which the Latin nations are nations of circus clowns.

I once had the opportunity to witness a kind of collective ecstasy before the Fuhrer in Berlin. On the date of some state solemnity or another, Hitler was parading along the Unter den Linden when the crowds came flying up to and surrounded his car and were so petrified by his presence that they were unable to speak a single word. Hitler is so deeply rooted in the German consciousness that only a very grand disappointment could change the course of the population away from his cult. It is something totally curious, the way Hitler gained even more of the people’s confidence after the recent crisis in his party.

Those that are hesitant to support Hitler often refer to his “lack of culture” – as if you need to quote Goethe in every speech in order to lead a nation! What is essential is an infinite vibration of soul, a will to absolute historical achievement, an intense exaltation bordering the absurd, an irrational drive to sacrifice your life. We must recognise that all European dictatorships have something of this great tension in them. In order to become a great power you need this kind of tension, so much so that it leads me to question if small nations are capable of making a leap forward in a form other than dictatorial.

It is however still true that dictatorships represent a spiritual crisis. Every dictatorship marks a certain void in the historical progress of a culture. This is recognised by many among the national-socialists. The defect of German culture is its lack of universality, and the illusion of universality wholly disappeared together with National-Socialism. If we judge it in a strictly political manner however, National-Socialism is a movement of a formidable scope. An extraordinary dynamism has penetrated this nation and has imprinted in it a rhythm of a terrifying intensity. In a single year, National-Socialism has created more than Fascism has in an entire decade. Mussolini might be more gifted than Hitler; but we should not forget that Hitler has battled more than he did, Hitler encountered difficulties that were incomparably greater, and the destiny of Germany is infinitely more complex and dramatic than that of Italy. Germany is suffering from a true social tragedy: normally speaking, it is presently impossible to combat unemployment in Germany. The tension in the nation is so great that the impossibility of finding immediate and concrete solutions to so many of its as of yet insolvable problems has created an atmosphere of “eternal dynamism”, the perils of which was signaled by Papen in his Marburg speech, a speech that signified a violent critique of the regime made in the name of the Catholic opposition.

The opposition from the Catholic camp is indeed great. The Pope having prohibited the Catholic youth from enlisting in Hitlerjugend lead to a pressure and reaction from the Hitlerist side that brought them into grave conflict with the Catholics. The Bavarians, who are Catholics and extremely religious, would not hesitate to choose in favour of their religious convictions if faced with an eventual alternative between Catholicism and National-Socialism.

Hitler signifies something greater for the German people than some random Pope that decided to meddle in the internal proceedings of a people in the name of a Christianity that having been trivialised by politics has come to be named Catholicism. Hitler poured a flaming passion into political battle and with his messianic soul dynamized an entire domain of values that democratic rationalism has hitherto made flat and trivial. We are all in need of a mysticism, for we are all tired of truths that do burn you with their flames.

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