The Nazi War on Western Civilization

Dec. 24 2014

Nazism, writes Daniel Johnson, is best understood as a movement to destroy Western civilization, a goal it shared with Soviet Communism. Too few Europeans understood this in the 1930s. One who did was Aurel Kolnai, a Hungarian Jew who moved to England, fleeing the rising tide of continental anti-Semitism:

Kolnai’s great achievement was to show that Nazi ideology was animated by a hatred of Western civilization. Nothing less than its total defeat would suffice. “The Western cause does not mean a nation set against another nation, not even a party fighting another party: it means the world of civilization organized in moral self-awareness versus the rebels to mankind.” He was clear that “the conflict between the West and Nazi Germany is inseparably connected with the inner problem of Western society.” Kolnai also saw that the enemies of Western civilization had already combined “in an embryonic form” during the Great War. We know that as a young man in Budapest, he ardently prayed for an Allied victory over the Central Powers, even though the defeat of his Hungarian countrymen led to the collapse of the Habsburg Empire, revolution, counterrevolution, and his own exile. He warned that “the Soul of the West is everything. There must be a spark to kindle the fire; there must be a living and active core around which to align mankind: the West aware of the menace of its Foe, and all that is Western and akin to Western essence, outside the West.”

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Read more at Standpoint

More about: Austria-Hungary, Leo Strauss, Nazism, Political philosophy, Totalitarianism, Western civilization

Will Tensions Rise between the U.S. and Israel?

Unlike his past many predecessors, President Joe Biden does not have a plan for solving the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Moreover, his administration has indicated its skepticism about renewing the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. John Bolton nevertheless believes that there could be a collision between the new Benjamin Netanyahu-led Israeli government and the Biden White House:

In possibly his last term, Netanyahu’s top national-security priority will be ending, not simply managing, Iran’s threat. This is infinitely distant from Biden’s Iran policy, which venerates Barrack Obama’s inaugural address: “we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

Tehran’s fist is today otherwise occupied, pummeling its own people. Still, it will continue menacing Israel and America unless and until the internal resistance finds ways to fracture the senior levels of Iran’s regular military and the Revolutionary Guards. Netanyahu undoubtedly sees Iran’s growing domestic turmoil as an opportunity for regime change, which Israel and others can facilitate. Simultaneously, Jerusalem can be preparing its military and intelligence services to attack Tehran’s nuclear program, something the White House simply refuses to contemplate seriously. Biden’s obsession with reviving the disastrous 2015 nuclear deal utterly blinds the White House to the potential for a more significant victory.

To make matters worse, Biden has just created a Washington-based position at the State Department, a “special representative for Palestinian affairs,” that has already drawn criticism in Israel both for the new position itself and for the person named to fill it. Advocated as one more step toward “upgrading” U.S. relations with the Palestinian Authority, the new position looks nearly certain to become the locus not of advancing American interests regarding the failed Authority, but of advancing the Authority’s interests within the Biden administration.

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Read more at 19FortyFive

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran, Joe Biden, U.S.-Israel relationship