ABSTRACT

Absolutized irrationalism, not tolerating other views beside itself, least of all reason, had to have a disastrous effect on the political development of Germany. This was so because it did not acknowledge the realization, based on rational thought, of the limitations of its own potential and prepared and respectively countenanced the national hybris. Much more dangerous, however, was that the irrational was during the course of the nineteenth century brought down from the summits of metaphysics to the level of the instinctual drives. Darwinism stimulated this. But only selected thoughts of Darwin were used, those that corresponded to or justified the self’s urge to primitivity – such as the thesis that ‘man hailed from a four-footed hairy animal that, equipped with tail and pointed ears, pursued the life of a tree animal’. Backed by such observations one could comfortably live in the modern jungle!