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Thread: Herder on Nationhood

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    Herder on Nationhood

    It'd be interesting to see if anyone has opinions on this.

    "Nature brings forth families; the most natural state therefore is also one people, with a national character of its own. For thousands of years this character preserves itself within the people and, if the native princes concern themselves with it, it can be cultivated in the most natural way: for a people is as much a plant of nature as is a family, except that it has more branches. Nothing therefore seems more contradictory to the true end of governments than the endless expansion of states, the wild confusion of races and nations under one scepter. An empire made up of a hundred peoples and a 120 provinces which have been forced together is a monstrosity, not a state-body." -- Johann Gottfried von Herder, Materials for the Philosophy of the History of Mankind

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    Well, I am in two minds about this --- generally I believe that a nation be expanding and extending themselves, and of course furthering themselves within their own territory --- on the other hand I strongly believe that our folk be entitled to expansion of their living space upon potential over-population if only that is the reason to justify living space (living space and the extension thereof being necessary for the dynamic further of a people.

    So in a way I dsiagree with needless expansion, however sincerely striding for living space, including enabling as many Germanics to be able to return to essentially a rural, farming lifestyle ought to be our goal, and is thus pardoned. When we stride for living space in an over-populated world it is evident that this can make for strife and that some peoples might eventually be pushed back into less fertile environment, such as some Slavic populations eventually ending up beyond the Urals.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    For the record, Herder was pro-Slavic, opposed imperialism and colonialism, and had views on war bordering on pacifism. It's fairly interesting in itself how German nationalism in the form of the NSDAP came to diverge so greatly from him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe McCarthy View Post
    For the record, Herder was pro-Slavic, opposed imperialism and colonialism, and had views on war bordering on pacifism. It's fairly interesting in itself how German nationalism in the form of the NSDAP came to diverge so greatly from him.
    I'm not inherently anti-Slavic, as a Europeam and ultimately West-IE people they have any right to their Nationalism. However, historically and in terms of territory we are in conflict with them. IMO we can only make concessions with them where it does not at the same time mean a compromise for us - as much as I respect parts of their cultural achievements, my pro-Germanicism will mean that I will always be in partial opposition to their goals.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    Here is a very useful essay on Herder for those interested:

    http://www.freespeechproject.com/801.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe McCarthy View Post
    Here is a very useful essay on Herder for those interested:
    Quickly skim-reading the main points, I see that it is an excellent treatise, but it does not IMO adequately justify his pro-Slavic sentiment in the historical context at least, only in the political-mentality one. For the "pro-Slavic" point mentioned in essentially the first sentence, I expected more on that part of his viewpoints, TBH.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
    Quickly skim-reading the main points, I see that it is an excellent treatise, but it does not IMO adequately justify his pro-Slavic sentiment in the historical context at least, only in the political-mentality one. For the "pro-Slavic" point mentioned in essentially the first sentence, I expected more on that part of his viewpoints, TBH.
    Yes, that essay is just a basic intro on Herder, not an in depth explanation of his view on Slavs. Herder believed that Slavs would one day awaken to serve as a sort of cultural fertilization for Europe, after having lived under the Germanic heel, and he viewed them in anthropological terms in asking that their sagas, folklore, and culture be preserved. In general, Herder is characterized for his appreciation of the varieties of human experience and he regarded the use of force as unnatural and unnecessary in a truly healthy community of ethno-states.

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    Well, "the Slavs" are linguistically and ethnologically speaking amongst the most interesting of IE, essentially however there are a few mentality problems to them, if Herder believed that Germanic reign could change this, then he wasn't perhaps too off on this, as long as they wouldn't perceive our reign as a yoke.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
    Well, "the Slavs" are linguistically and ethnologically speaking amongst the most interesting of IE, essentially however there are a few mentality problems to them, if Herder believed that Germanic reign could change this, then he wasn't perhaps too off on this, as long as they wouldn't perceive our reign as a yoke.
    Perhaps I was unclear. When Herder spoke of Slavs being under the Germanic heel, he was speaking mainly of the early medieval period. He didn't favor such force being used in his time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe McCarthy View Post
    For the record, Herder was pro-Slavic, opposed imperialism and colonialism, and had views on war bordering on pacifism. It's fairly interesting in itself how German nationalism in the form of the NSDAP came to diverge so greatly from him.
    Countries always share borders with their enemies, that is, or at least was, the natural order of things. In order to have a fight there must be something to fight over. Very few countries have ever shared a border with their primary allies.

    With changing circumstances alliances also change. Just as the German states and Russia were allied in the struggle against Napoleon, so they can become allies in the new struggle against some new threat. Foreign policy should after all be based on national/racial interest and not on historical grievances or prejudices.

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