Tuesday, 23 March 2021



The first and most obvious item in the program of Nihilism is the destruction of the Old Order. The Old Order was the soil, nourished by Christian Truth, in which men had their roots. Its laws and institutions, and even its customs, were founded in that Truth and dedicated to teaching it; its buildings were erected to the glory of God and were a visible sign of His Order upon earth; even the generally "primitive" (but natural) living conditions served (unintentionally, of course) as a reminder of man's humble place here, of his dependence upon God for even the few earthly blessings he possessed, and of his true home which lies beyond this "vale of tears," in the Kingdom of Heaven. Effective war against God and His Truth requires the destruction of every element of this Old I Order; it is here that the peculiarly Nihilist "virtue" of violence comes into play.

Violence is no merely incidental aspect of the Nihilist Revolution, but a part of its essence. According to Marxist "dogma," "force is the midwife of every old society pregnant with a new one"; [41] appeals to violence, and even a kind of ecstasy at the prospect of its use, abound in revolutionary literature. Bakunin invoked the "evil passions" and called for the unchaining of "popular anarchy" [42] in the cause of "universal destruction," and his "Revolutionary Catechism" is the primer of ruthless violence; Marx was fervent in his advocacy of "revolutionary terror" as the one means of hastening the advent of Communism; [43] Lenin defined the "dictatorship of the proletariat" (the stage in which the Soviet Union still finds itself) as "a domination that is untrammeled by law and based on violence." [44] Demagogic incitement of the masses and the arousing of the basest passions for revolutionary purposes have long been standard Nihilist practice.

The spirit of violence has been most thoroughly incarnated, in our century, by the Nihilist regimes of Bolshevism and National Socialism; it is to these that there have been assigned the principal roles in the Nihilist task of the destruction of the Old Order. The two, whatever their psychological dissimilarities and the historical "accidents" which placed them in opposing camps, have been partners in their frenzied accomplishment of this task. Bolshevism, to be sure, has had the more " positive" role of the two, since it has been able to justify its monstrous crimes by an appeal to a pseudo-Christian, messianic idealism which Hitler scorned; Hitler's role in the Nihilist program was more specialized and provincial, but nonetheless essential.

Even in failure--in fact, precisely in the failure of its ostensible aims--Naziism served the cause of this program. Quite apart from the political and ideological benefits which the Nazi interlude in European history gave to the Communist powers (Communism, it is now widely and erroneously believed, if evil in itself, still cannot be as evil as Naziism), Naziism had another, more obvious and direct, function. Goebbels explained this function in his radio broadcasts in the last days of the War.

The bomb-terror spares the dwellings of neither rich nor poor; before the labor offices of total war the last class barriers have had to go down.... Together with the monuments of culture there crumble also the last obstacles to the fulfillment of our revolutionary task. Now that everything is in ruins, we are forced to rebuild Europe. In the past, private possessions tied us to a bourgeois restraint. Now the bombs, instead of killing all Europeans, have only smashed the prison walls which kept them captive.... In trying to destroy Europe's future, the enemy has only succeeded in smashing its past; and with that, everything old and outworn has gone. [45]

Naziism thus, and its war, have done for Central Europe (and less thoroughly, for Western Europe) what Bolshevism did in its Revolution for Russia: destroyed the Old Order, and thus cleared the way for the building of the "new." Bolshevism then had no difficulty in taking over where Naziism had left off, within a few years the whole of Central Europe had passed under the "dictatorship of the proletariat"--i.e., Bolshevist tyranny--for which Naziism had effectively prepared the way.

The Nihilism of Hitler was too pure, too unbalanced, to have more than a negative, preliminary role to play in the whole Nihilist program. Its role, like the role of the purely negative first phase of Bolshevism, is now finished, and the next stage belongs to a power possessing a more complete view of the whole Revolution, the Soviet power upon which Hitler bestowed, in effect, his inheritance in the words, "the future belongs solely to the stronger Eastern nation."  [46]

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