Gregor Anthony James - National Socialism and race


Author : Gregor Anthony James
Title : National Socialism and race
Year : 2009

Link download : Gregor_Anthony_James_-_National_Socialism_and_race.zip

Archive Note: This piece, published in 1958, was an early contribution by an academic now acredited as a significant author upon the subject of fascism. This essay does not discuss certain peculiar German Nazi race doctrines which survived into the war period and which conditioned the movement for eastern expansion. The present text however has advantages in unravelling the official 'positions' of Nazism at various points. Enough time has elapsed since the cessation of hostilities against Germany to permit the inspection of one of the theoretical components of the National Socialist Movement; the element which, of all the heterogeneous elements, made National Socialism what it was: the theory of race. An inquiry of this nature can either, like almost all previous criticisms, muster external objections from anthropological, sociological and historical sources against what are conceived (often incorrectly) to be critical facets of the National Socialist theory on race; (1) or it can venture upon an immanent criticism; that is, it can pursue the inquiries of National Socialist theoreticians themselves, trying to understand the theory of race as it was, as it came to be, rather than as one conceives it to have been. The latter course, the course chosen for this exposition, has much to recommend it. One does not dissipate one's energies harassing a straw man. The National Socialist theory of race was dynamic, ever-changing. This, indeed, must be the case with any theory which even pretends to be scientific. Furthermore, it is necessary to distinguish between the bona fide subject of inquiry and existing misconceptions. One need not resort to external sources to refute aspects of the theory which were rejected in the course of its development by National Socialist theoreticians themselves. No theory, whether scientific, ethical or metaphysical, develops in a vacuum. It would be incredibly naïve to believe that any of these disciplines develops independently of the social milieu in which it arose. In order, therefore, to understand the nature and evolution of National Socialist speculations on race one would have to be conversant with the prevailing psychological, economic, scientific and social (cultural and political) forces prevalent throughout the period. Even were I fully informed as to these conditions, which I am not, space would not permit the introduction of such data into an essay of its length. What I shall attempt to do, however, is to indicate, in passing, the most compelling forces, tactical and theoretical, which, it seems, in general directed the rapid growth and transformation of the National Socialist theory of race. ...

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