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American Greatness / amgreatness.com

American Greatness

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Robert Curry, I am sorry to be so harsh, but I stand by my comment. The most extraordinary thing about our times is the collective suicide of whole cultures. Hitler at the end of the war wanted the “Volk” to perish with him. The Jihadists are no different, except that they create a theater of horror with the intent of destroying our will to fight (think of human shields in Gaza). The jolly, sensible, rational British, the Burkes and Humes, know nothing of this: it is the Germans who looked into the abyss. Rosenzweig is particularly important because he addressed the issue of extinction of peoples and their willingness to fight to the death while clinging to a failing culture. See http://www.atimes.com/the-30-solution-when-war-without-end-ends-spengler/.
Never mind that the great issues in mathematics and physics are all a debate among Germans: Einstein vs. Heisenberg, Goedel vs. Hilbert (and Carnap), Husserl vs. Hermann Cohen. What is consciousness? What is identity? What is perception? What are time and space?
What is wrong with the Germans is that they idolatrized their own culture, rather like Feanor in Lord of the Rings. But that is another story.

2017-09-12T19:30:00 davidpgoldman

In “The Closing of the American Mind,” Allan Bloom warned us that we couldn’t entertain a serious thought without inadvertently quoting a dead German. Now comes Robert Curry at American Greatness, who asks, “What’s the matter with Germany?” There is plenty the matter with Germany, but the same warning applies that Heinrich Heine gave to the townspeople of Duesseldorf about the broken-down hotel porter who used to be a drum-major in Napoleon’s army: He just might be your father, on your mother’s side. It is impossible for us to reflect on how we think without tripping over the “German problem.” To dismiss it is self-lobotomy. Some years ago I reviewed Peter Watson’s gargantuan survey, “The German Genius,” in “First Things.” It’s hardly an adequate treatment, but might serve as an introduction. Full disclosure: Lionel Trilling, one of the great influences on the Neo-Conservatives, was still teaching at Columbia when I was an undergraduate there. I didn’t other to sign up for his classes; I studied German and read the original sources (mainly Schiller) that Trilling got second-hand via Matthew Arnold. It isn’t just the children of Nietzsche (as in Bloom’s account) who speak pidgin German, but also the vast majority of conservative intellectuals. Find me a serious Catholic thinker who is not in awe of Urs v. Balthasar (or perhaps Karl Rahner). That is why Robert Curry’s essay is pernicious. We are in the mess we are in because we remain intellectually dependent on the Germans. Churchill’s aide Sir Ian Jacob joked that we won the war because “our German scientists were better than their German scientists.” I argue that we need to enlist our German intellectuals (e.g., Franz Rosenzweig) against their German intellectuals (e.g., Heidegger and his devotees Leo Strauss and Hannah Arendt).

2017-09-12T13:48:00 davidpgoldman
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American Greatness / amgreatness.com

American Greatness

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Robert Curry, I am sorry to be so harsh, but I stand by my comment. The most extraordinary thing about our times is the collective suicide of whole cultures. Hitler at the end of the war wanted the “Volk” to perish with him. The Jihadists are no different, except that they create a theater of horror with the intent of destroying our will to fight (think of human shields in Gaza). The jolly, sensible, rational British, the Burkes and Humes, know nothing of this: it is the Germans who looked into the abyss. Rosenzweig is particularly important because he addressed the issue of extinction of peoples and their willingness to fight to the death while clinging to a failing culture. See http://www.atimes.com/the-30-solution-when-war-without-end-ends-spengler/.
Never mind that the great issues in mathematics and physics are all a debate among Germans: Einstein vs. Heisenberg, Goedel vs. Hilbert (and Carnap), Husserl vs. Hermann Cohen. What is consciousness? What is identity? What is perception? What are time and space?
What is wrong with the Germans is that they idolatrized their own culture, rather like Feanor in Lord of the Rings. But that is another story.

2017-09-12T19:30:00 davidpgoldman

In “The Closing of the American Mind,” Allan Bloom warned us that we couldn’t entertain a serious thought without inadvertently quoting a dead German. Now comes Robert Curry at American Greatness, who asks, “What’s the matter with Germany?” There is plenty the matter with Germany, but the same warning applies that Heinrich Heine gave to the townspeople of Duesseldorf about the broken-down hotel porter who used to be a drum-major in Napoleon’s army: He just might be your father, on your mother’s side. It is impossible for us to reflect on how we think without tripping over the “German problem.” To dismiss it is self-lobotomy. Some years ago I reviewed Peter Watson’s gargantuan survey, “The German Genius,” in “First Things.” It’s hardly an adequate treatment, but might serve as an introduction. Full disclosure: Lionel Trilling, one of the great influences on the Neo-Conservatives, was still teaching at Columbia when I was an undergraduate there. I didn’t other to sign up for his classes; I studied German and read the original sources (mainly Schiller) that Trilling got second-hand via Matthew Arnold. It isn’t just the children of Nietzsche (as in Bloom’s account) who speak pidgin German, but also the vast majority of conservative intellectuals. Find me a serious Catholic thinker who is not in awe of Urs v. Balthasar (or perhaps Karl Rahner). That is why Robert Curry’s essay is pernicious. We are in the mess we are in because we remain intellectually dependent on the Germans. Churchill’s aide Sir Ian Jacob joked that we won the war because “our German scientists were better than their German scientists.” I argue that we need to enlist our German intellectuals (e.g., Franz Rosenzweig) against their German intellectuals (e.g., Heidegger and his devotees Leo Strauss and Hannah Arendt).

2017-09-12 13:48:00 davidpgoldman
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American Greatness / amgreatness.com

American Greatness

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Robert Curry, I am sorry to be so harsh, but I stand by my comment. The most extraordinary thing about our times is the collective suicide of whole cultures. Hitler at the end of the war wanted the “Volk” to perish with him. The Jihadists are no different, except that they create a theater of horror with the intent of destroying our will to fight (think of human shields in Gaza). The jolly, sensible, rational British, the Burkes and Humes, know nothing of this: it is the Germans who looked into the abyss. Rosenzweig is particularly important because he addressed the issue of extinction of peoples and their willingness to fight to the death while clinging to a failing culture. See http://www.atimes.com/the-30-solution-when-war-without-end-ends-spengler/.
Never mind that the great issues in mathematics and physics are all a debate among Germans: Einstein vs. Heisenberg, Goedel vs. Hilbert (and Carnap), Husserl vs. Hermann Cohen. What is consciousness? What is identity? What is perception? What are time and space?
What is wrong with the Germans is that they idolatrized their own culture, rather like Feanor in Lord of the Rings. But that is another story.

2017-09-12T19:30:00 davidpgoldman

In “The Closing of the American Mind,” Allan Bloom warned us that we couldn’t entertain a serious thought without inadvertently quoting a dead German. Now comes Robert Curry at American Greatness, who asks, “What’s the matter with Germany?” There is plenty the matter with Germany, but the same warning applies that Heinrich Heine gave to the townspeople of Duesseldorf about the broken-down hotel porter who used to be a drum-major in Napoleon’s army: He just might be your father, on your mother’s side. It is impossible for us to reflect on how we think without tripping over the “German problem.” To dismiss it is self-lobotomy. Some years ago I reviewed Peter Watson’s gargantuan survey, “The German Genius,” in “First Things.” It’s hardly an adequate treatment, but might serve as an introduction. Full disclosure: Lionel Trilling, one of the great influences on the Neo-Conservatives, was still teaching at Columbia when I was an undergraduate there. I didn’t other to sign up for his classes; I studied German and read the original sources (mainly Schiller) that Trilling got second-hand via Matthew Arnold. It isn’t just the children of Nietzsche (as in Bloom’s account) who speak pidgin German, but also the vast majority of conservative intellectuals. Find me a serious Catholic thinker who is not in awe of Urs v. Balthasar (or perhaps Karl Rahner). That is why Robert Curry’s essay is pernicious. We are in the mess we are in because we remain intellectually dependent on the Germans. Churchill’s aide Sir Ian Jacob joked that we won the war because “our German scientists were better than their German scientists.” I argue that we need to enlist our German intellectuals (e.g., Franz Rosenzweig) against their German intellectuals (e.g., Heidegger and his devotees Leo Strauss and Hannah Arendt).

2017-09-12 13:48:00 davidpgoldman