The War Against the West
Published in 1938, The War Against the West is a critical study of German National Socialism written by Aurel Kolnai. It describes German National Socialism as diametrically opposed to the [classical] liberal, democratic, Constitutional, and free-enterprise "Western" tendencies found mainly within Britain and the United States.
During the twenties and thirties, Kolnai, born a Jew who converted to Catholicism under the influence of G.K. Chesterton, read extensively in the German language fascist and national socialist literature. The book compiles and critiques the anti-Enlightenment works of national socialist writers themselves. Kolnai's study was the first comprehensive survey in English of German national socialist ideology as a counter-revolution against, what German thinkers saw as, the materialistic, rootless civilizations dominated by comfort-addicted, money-and-security-centered, liberal bourgeois and rootless cosmopolitan Jews; the antithesis of the heroic model of more vital civilizations, prepared to risk their lives, to die for ostensibly "higher" ideals. It is a devastating critique that argues that national socialist ideology is alien to the West and profoundly disturbing and dangerous.
Kolnai described the war against the West as, in essence, a war of paganism against Christian civilization. In citations from Hitler, Goebbels, and others, Kolnai sought to expose what he saw as "the obsessive German national socialist effort to replace Christianity with a crude and barbaric form of pagan religion, to twist the cross of Christ into a swastika."
|Preface||Define's German national socialist totalitarianism as a conscious, deliberate revolt of "Germanism" against the freedom of the human personality alike in its religious, social, and political forms. It [German national socialism] is the onslaught of a reborn pagan barbarism upon the spirit and ethics of [classical] liberal Christendom.|
|Author's Foreword||Identifies the two outstanding figures who have contributed to the rise of National Socialism as a creed, as Friedrich Nietzsche ("perhaps the greatest Satanist of all times") and Stefan George.
Notes the similarities between German national socialism and Italian fascism as anti-democratic, hostile to Western Constitutionalism, paganistic, and totalitarian.
Notes the inheritance of Central European Imperialism from the Middle Ages as a feature "beyond even the ideological identity" along with a correlation to "degenerate", (i.e. neo, non-classical) liberalism's cult of "relativism" and "indifferentism".
The Central Meaning of the National Socialist Attitude
|1. Tribal Egoism versus Humanity and Objective Standards.|
|2. The National "Being" versus Mankind.|
|3. The Intellectual Height of Anti-Intellectualism.|
|1. Community beyond Personality.|
|2. The "We" Experience.|
|3. The Eros of Militarism.|
|4. The Universe of the Particular.|
|5. Unity and Inequality.|
|1. The Revolt against Liberty.|
|2. The Emancipation of Tyranny.|
|3. The Vice of Democracy.|
|4. Creative Enmity.|
|5. The Mystery of Leadership.|
|6. The Totalitarian State.|
|7. All-Politics, and No-Politics.|
Human Nature and Civilization
|1. The Essence of Man: Heroes and Daemons.|
|2. "Leib" and Life.|
|3. The Revival of Elemental Forces.|
|4. The Superstitions of Civilization.|
|5. At the Gates of Death.|
|6. Male Supremacy and Feminine Undertone.|
||1. The Relativity of Value — the Absoluteness of Power.|
|2. The New Paganism.|
|3. Christianity Heathenized.|
|4. The God that is Ourselves.|
|5. The Call for Mythology.||Alfred Rosenberg's calls for a "future church", a Volkskirche [People's Church] that is intended to be a "nucleus" protected by the National Socialist State; in due course the "new church" will drain away the influence of the "Roman Haruspex" as well as of the "Old Testament Superintendents" of the fossil called Protestantism.|
Morals, Law and Culture
|1. The Expropriation of Reason and Ethics.|
|2. The Morals of Greatness and Ruthlessness.|
|3. The Romance of Activity.|
|4. The Lawless Law.|
|5. Irrational Science.|
|6. Education for the Nationalist State.|
Society and Economics
|1. The Socialist Phrase.||Among others, Sombart's "essentially regulated planned economy" as a definition for the German "blood and soil" socialism characterized by anti-capitalism and stark opposition to the classical liberalism of life, liberty, and property found primarily in Great Britain before WW II.|
|2. The Revival of Class-Rule.|
|3. Inequalitarian Socialism.||What remains of socialism is an essentially vague ideology of "planning", discipline instead of liberty, dictatorial state interference instead of economic freedom, and a generous grant of "honour" to workers, or more especially to "work".|
|4. The Economics of State-Power.||It is a feature of Fascism that "Capitalism" no longer fends for itself on the open battlefield of economic argument, but takes a concealed stand behind the showy and new-fangled hierarchy of popular dictatorship, which is at one a hireling in its pay and its overlord taking toll from it.|
|5. The Servile Society.||The notion of a "new ethic" of commerce in which the business owner issues orders of work to his henchmen workers, while both operate together as one cell of an organic economy. The power of these cell is counterbalanced by public factors such as Labor Trustees and appointed (national) socialist party organizers.|
Nation and Race
|1. The Creed of Nationalism.|
|2. The Sacrament of War.|
|3. The Ethnic Idol.|
|4. The Secret of Race.|
|5. Racial Purity.|
|6. Racial Hierarchy.|
|7. Breeding the Nation.|
|8. The Meaning of Anti-Judaism.|
The German Claim
|1. The Category of "Germanhood".|
|2. The Prussian Drive.|
|3. The Central Nation.|
|4. Fighting Rome and the West.|
|5. The "Master Race".|
|6. Nation or Empire.|
|7. The Road to Hegemony.|
Nazi Germany and the Western World
|1. The Failure of the West.|
|2. The Fields of Resistance:
|3. The Soul of the West.|
- Kolnai, "The War Against the West", Page 5
- Kolnai, "The War Against the West", Page 14
- Transcript of remarks on the book Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of Its Enemies by Ian Buruma, on 8 April 2004, at the Carnegie Council Books for Breakfast.
- Kolnai's Political Memoirs, reviewed by Lee Congdon of James Madison University. Discusses The War Against the West
- 1938: Literature, World from Collier's Year Book.
- The Spirit of Nazism, a review of The War Against the West by Hans Kohn, in The Nation, Vol. 147, 1 October 1938.
- Aurel Kolnai and the Metaphysics of Political Conservatism by John P. Hittinger.
- The War Against the West Chapter V: Faith and Thought, The War Against the West, Aurel Kolnai