Please read chapters eleven, twelve, and thirteen for this week as we range from the volk movement (tied to the earlier Romanticism), to Marxism, to psychoanalysis, to fascism, and communist movements. This is a week of intellectual history, with an emphasis on the ideas that lead us to political and social changes. Please remember, I am looking for your main post to be a minimum of 400 words.
Option A: What is volkism and how is it an outgrowth of Romanticism? How did it help give shape and form to Hitler and the Nazi ideology?
Option B: Discuss the development of psychoanalysis. What was Freud’s theory of human behavior? What role did dreams and the unconscious have in his ideas?
Option C: Germany is often cast as the â€œbad guyâ€ in the story of World War I. Assess the validity of this concept. What was the role and failures of the other Great Nations in the road to war?
Option D: (Links to an external site.)What is fascism? What about Communism? For this option, please compare and contrast the two systems, looking for points of commonality as well as difference.
You also respond to one other student during the same time period.The response should be a minimum of 150 words. I do not want you to simple agree or disagree, but rather comment on why you agree or disagree, raise more points, indicate commonalities or differences, discuss the issue in relation to our readings, and/or raise new questions about which we can all think.
Volkism, in my own wording, is the populist ideology popular in Nazi era Germany that contained elements of ethnic and tribal identity. In 1976, James Webb wrote that Volkism had strong German linguistic overtones of race and nationhood (The Occult Establishment, Webb). This is important to understand, considering volkism doesn’t really present itself much in America and might be harder to grasp if not set in context. Largely an emotional ideology, it bears strong resemblance to today’s populism that has reared its head in American politics recently. Where it differs from today’s populism however, is that it was more of an anti-urban movement encouraging individuals to return to their home communities. It is an outgrowth of Romanticism as it holds its roots in Romantic Nationalism, expressed by and written about by Romantic authors such as Johann Fichte. Because of its impression from Romanticism, Volkism held very folkloristic ideals. Often the Romantic folklore views discussed a “pure” Germanic people and past. Throughout Chapter 11, Clements presented a pretty good summary of what Volkism was and how it influenced Hitler and Nazi Germany (Clements, Ch. 11). I think it helped give shape to Hitler and the Nazi ideals because its belief in a pure Germanic past virtually justified their reason to ethnically discriminate against the Jewish people. In addition, the nationalistic tendency of Volkism likely influenced Hitler’s decisions to seek military conquests and speak with such anti-globalization language. His desire to have a pure Germany is nothing like we have seen since, although many wrongly and inappropriately compare the attitudes of Hitler in this time period with recent presidents America has seen. I think the main difference comes down to a system of checks and balances. Whereas the Nazis and Hitler had no system establishing checks and balances, granting them the ability to do literally anything they saw necessary in the Volkist and nationalistic pursuit of a pure Germany, democracies like the United States would never be able to successfully implement any Nazi-like measures. So although populism might be becoming increasingly popular, even that ideology exists within a framework of limitations, thus ensuring and sustaining diversity within America in all forms, intellectual, racial, ethnic, linguistically, etc.