Earlier, in , Schlegel had said that he wished 'to derive everything from the immense peculiarity of our nation 5. And he led where others were to follow in stressing the relation between national peculiarity and historical con- tinuity. Schlegel held that 'the state comprises a coexisting and successive continuity of men, the totality of those whose relation to one another is determined by the same physical influence; for instance all inhabitants of a country or des- cendants of one tribe 5 ; this tribal aspect of the nation was of particular significance since according to Schlegel 'the older, purer and less mixed the stock is, so also are its customs, and the more that this is so as regards customs and true persist- ence in an attachment to them, so much the more will it [the stock] be a nadon 5.
But Schlegel, like others, went beyond the nation. In the early period, while still under the influence of democratic theories of natural law, he held that 'the idea of a world- republic has practical validity and characteristic importance 5. In this connection the nation which, through the empire, exercises a fixed overlordship over the neigh- bouring peoples is presumed to be a strong one, if not the strongest.
The idea of the empire is much more powerfully adapted than is that of a union of nations to the introduction of a moral relation between nations. This is already demonstrated by the comparison of the Middle Ages with more recent times. Furthermore this system is much better suited to the natural relation in which the nations stand to each other in respect of the great difference of their cultures. This fashionable theorist had a friend who experienced a change of outlook somewhat similar to his own, and who was to deliver a series of lectures of even greater renown.
Johann Gottlieb Fichte stands next after Herder as the second great figure in the line of German national thought. In Upper Lusatia this son of a poor Saxon linen-weaver was born in the same year that Herder first went to Konigsberg. The diligently pious youth, later to be accused of atheism, used to listen with such attention to the sermons of the local pastor that he could afterwards repeat them by heart.
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This accomplishment attracted the attention of a neighbouring patron, who set him in the way of learning. Fichte had begun, significantly enough, as an opponent of the enlighten- ment and defender of the edicts of the obscurantist Prussian minister Wollner. But in the early seventeen-nineties Fichte, influenced by Kant and the French revolution, devoted his attention in the field of social theory to such concepts as the liberty of the individual, natural law, and a cosmopolitan order, which were reflected in Die Grundlage des Naturrechts nachPrincipiender Wissenschaftslehre, published in It is not here possible to trace in detail how Fichte, from being a disciple of Kant, gradually evolved a romantic philo- sophy of his own, and became the metaphysical precursor of Hegel.
But since Fichte, like so many of his German contem- poraries, worked out his social and political theories in close relation to his metaphysical tenets, it is pertinent to note the main issue which parted him from Kant. He formulated a transcen- dental philosophy, proclaiming the identity of the knowing mind and the process of knowing and the known reality. He thus perfected the subjective system of knowledge according to which all is flat before the ego.
The subjective unity is complete. Within this unity discord and opposition may in- deed arise, but that is only the ego surpassing itself, goading itself to finer exertion. The ego creates the world, which is non-ego. The ego realizes itself by producing the world of objects.
Non-ego is enveloped by ego. Logical idealism crows in exultation.galaxyadv.com/components/vigo/sulef-titan-gel-maroc.php
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The ego is creation, being, fulfilment, totality. In the face of such colossal egotism it is hardly surprising that Fichte was charged with atheism. In this connexion in he made an unnecessary exhibition of himself at the university of Jena and was forced to seek refuge in Berlin. Fichte described the first work which he produced on Prus- sian soil as a link in the chain of the system which he was gradually forging.
Nevertheless its importance is very con- siderable. In the light of contemporary economic development in Prussia and France and of his metaphysical concept of totality Fichte worked out his ideal economic ordering of national society. In this treatise, published less than twenty-five years after The Wealth of Nations , Fichte deliberately denied almost everything that Adam Smith had taught. At present attempts are still being made to construct them. The deeper-lying duty of the state has been overlooked ; this is to install each [citizen] in the possession suitable to him.
It is only possible to achieve this last, however, if commercial anarchy is removed in the same way as the political is being gradually removed, and if the state encloses itself as a commercial state in the same way as it has been en- closed with regard to its legislative and judiciary functions. In accordance with the above the state is to institute a rigidly planned corporate economy wherein all uncontrolled individual enterprise is made impossible. Fichte was somewhat worried that the state could not control good and bad harvests.
The commercial house can even compel this sale 5. The economic basis of the state is, as far as possible, com- plete autarchy. Fichte clearly perceived that the necessary complement to internal economic control was accordingly the most rigid supervision over foreign trade. Absolutely done away with is only that which has been made impossible.
Direct traffic by the citizen with any foreigner must be made impossible. Consequently the solu- tion of our problem would be as follows: All world-currency, i. Fichte discussed the possibility of a purely paper currency, but, with the recent warning of the French repub- lican assignats evidently in mind, dismissed it as unlikely to command general confidence. He proposed that the govern- ment should mint its internal currency from some quite new unspecified substance the value of which could be fixed at will by the government without fear of popular suspicion; he only stipulated, first that "the new money should.
The new money must have as little true inner worth as possible. This trade is from now on conducted not by the private person, but by the state. The import and use of goods, of which the estimation rests only upon [public] opinion, can even be forbidden on the spot. In measure as the internal produc- tion and manufacture, conducted according to plan and calcula- tion and no longer left to blind chance, steadily increases, so are foreign goods replaced by those produced in the country.
In order to complete the commercial isolation of the state Fichte correspondingly envisaged an almost total elimina- tion of exports.
Machines are bought abroad and copied in the country. Almost every climate has its own substitutes for every foreign pro- duct, the only point being that the first cultivation does not repay the pains. He took as a concrete instance the case of a northern country which set out to produce a substitute for cotton. But he went on to detail grimly the power of the absolute autarkic state to prevent such persons from taking anything but a very small fraction of their pro- perty out of the country. Fichte rightly saw that his system, in order to be fully suc- cessful, must be operated as an indivisible whole.
Through such a procedure there would arise insecurity of property and a mon- strous disorder whereby the people would soon be driven to despair and to revolt against the thoroughly dishonest government.
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By abandoning an economy of maximization and reverting to the medieval concept of an economy of sufficiency the chief cause of war would be removed. Fichte, however, did not neglect what later German theorists might have called the geopolitical imperative. In the fourth section of the sixth chapter of the third book of 'the treatise Fichte gave a most illuminating glimpse of the reverse side of the picture which he otherwise kept dark.
By the first means the new citizens would be most fordefully bound to the mother-country in that the means of trading with others would be ' torn from them. According as the occupation is completed, there would appear a manifesto from the government to all states, in which it would render account of the grounds for this occupation, according to the principles advanced here, and, according to these principles themselves, which as far as the government is concerned are henceforth no further.
German romantics were, as has been shown already, claiming that only national standards were applicable to national affairs. It might, of course, be rather inconvenient for other nations if the government of the enclosing state were from time to time to revise its opinion as to what con- stituted the necessary extent of a portion of the earth designed by nature to form a political whole and of a territory contain- ing within itself a complete and enclosed system of necessary production. And indeed perhaps such adjustments on the part of the enclosing state were almost to be expected in view of the novel and intensified form of nationalism which it would nurture within its confines.
For according to Fichte e it is clear that very soon a higher level of national honour and a distinctly more decided national character would arise among a nation so enclosed, whose members only live among each other and extremely little with foreigners, who by those measures main- tain their peculiar way of living, arrangements and customs, who love with attachment their fatherland and everything pertaining to the fatherland.
It becomes a different, entirely new nation. The words are different: Lebensraum and Gleichschaltung do not appear; it is as yet not ersatz but stellvertretend , not Einmar- schierung but Occupations zug. But the ideas are the same. This embryonic German socialism is national-socialism. Fichte fully appreciated the revolutionary nature of his proposals. In his dedication to the cautious Prussian bureau- crat Struensee he said that 'the author resigns himself to the fact that this project too will very likely remain a mere school exercise without success in the real world 5.
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Struensee said he thought so. And so it did; but not for ever. Fichte closed his economic treatise of by perfunctory and rather unconvincing tribute to the idea of a society of closed commercial states enjoying intellectual and scientific co-operation on an international basis.
But the whole tenour of the argument is such that it is not surprising to find that by the summer of Fichte was proclaiming his belief 'that really no cosmopolitanism can exist at all, but that in reality cosmopolitanism must necessarily become patriotism 5. Between these two dates Fichte established himself as a popular lecturer in Berlin. His great series of lectures culmi- nated in those delivered in the winter of Here again the development of German thought is indissolubly linked to the course of political events. While the German romantics were exploring new ways of thought the French armies had been conquering new territories.
In came the clash with Prussia.
Napoleon and his Marshal Davout destroyed the Prussian army at Jena. The French swept over the country from west to east, right up to Tilsit on the river Niemen. There in the summer of was concluded the treaty by which Prussia was dismembered territorially, bled financially, forbidden to maintain an effective army, and subjected to French military occupation. Before the war of Prussia had comprised approxi- mately 5, square miles and 9! More than half had gone. The exact figure may, indeed, be questioned, but not the general scale of depredation which it indicates.
In the winter of , when the fortunes of Prussia were thus at their nadir, Fichte, who had lately studied Machia- velli with approval, delivered in Berlin his celebrated Reden an die deutsche Nation. Addresses to the German Nation , which he gave to Germans for a new sign of the greatness of the nation, of their nation. For him The difference.
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