A View of the Future and the Social Tradition

The following paper was presented at the conference “After the End of Revolution: Constitutional Order amid the Crisis of Democracy,” co-organized by the Telos-Paul Piccone Institute and the National Research University Higher School of Economics, September 1–2, 2017, Moscow. For additional details about the conference as well as other upcoming events, please visit the Telos-Paul Piccone Institute website.

Today is the time when we get to discuss our future together. This is a rare occasion that may or may not occur every hundred years. For once, we now have Russians, Americans, and Europeans sitting in one boat and considering together how to pass the rapids without capsizing. Steering out of the impasse where we have been driven by the global crisis requires clear thinking and direct, candid dialogue, i.e., the return to the “direct statement” culture. And this is exactly the way in which I will take the liberty to speak. I term the manner of speaking plainly in scientific discussions as “intellectual diplomacy.” And there are times when it is capable of achieving greater results than the combined efforts of the foreign ministries of a number of countries of the world.

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Nazism in the Middle East

Writing in the journal Contemporary European History, Mia Lee reviews a group of recent books that focus on the historical connections between Nazism, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the rise of al-Qaeda. Included in the review is Matthias Küntzel’s Jihad and Jew-Hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11, published by Telos Press. Purchase your copy in our online store, and save 20% by using the coupon code BOOKS20. An excerpt from the review:

Küntzel begins his narrative with the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928, which became the largest mass organisation in Egypt in the 1930s. During the war the Brotherhood was stridently anti-British, anti-foreigner and increasingly anti-Jewish. Its leader, Hassan al-Banna, had ties to al-Husaini. Once the war was over al-Banna was one of the most prominent Arab leaders to petition the Allied authorities for al-Husaini’s release from detention, and when the Mufti escaped from France in 1947 al-Banna personally welcomed him in Cairo. On the evidence of these ties, as well as his study of the Brotherhood’s ideology, Küntzel argues that the Brotherhood was the key point of transference of anti-Semitism from National Socialism to the Arab world. . . .

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A New Special Path for Germany

As far as the willingness to accept refugees is concerned, Germany is the lonely leader in Europe. No other European country is behaving similarly, nor does the United States. Evidently there is a new special path for Germany. How can this be explained? First of all: Germany is prosperous; we’re doing quite well. If we had southern European unemployment rates or the scarcity of East European countries, we would be less hospitable. Furthermore, influential industrial associations early on argued for the generous reception of refugees and continued to oppose the reestablishment of national border controls, on the basis of economic interests. Human rights activists and capitalists are promoting the same policy, and not for the first time. The left-wing critique of capitalism generally overlooked this affinity, but right-wing capitalism critics understand this very well: for them capitalism is not sufficiently national—it is too universalist.

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Germany and Iran by Matthias Küntzel

It’s a “special relationship.” But unlike the one embraced and enjoyed by the US and the UK, the nature of the relationship between Germany and Iran seems clandestine and sinister, and evokes strong feelings of suspicion and fear. In the new book, Germany and Iran: From the Aryan Axis to the Nuclear Threshold, respected political scientist and historian Matthias Küntzel examines the special connection between the “problem” countries of the past and present, and confronts the key issue of Iran’s achieving nuclear weapons capability and the real threat of danger that reality poses for Israel and the United States.

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The Contradictions of Power

In November 1939, gangs of German civilians and Nazi operatives stormed Jewish stores, synagogues, and homes, killing or arresting those who could not escape. The Nazi leadership had carefully planned the assault—Kristallnacht would become only one among many instances of unimaginable horror. In the coming years, the Nazis proceeded to murder thousands of disabled Germans; when Germany invaded Russia, groups of special units—known as Einsatzgruppen—followed closely behind the German army, liquidating Jews, Communists, and Roma.[1] By 1942, the Nazi death camps had initiated yet another gruesome and terrifying phase of the Reich’s program of anti-Semitism and racial purity.[2]

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Benjamin Martin on European Culture against European Civilization

In this video from the 2014 Telos in Europe Conference, Benjamin Martin talks about his research on the idea of European culture, arguing that its emergence among intellectuals after World War I and its subsequent embrace by the Nazis and Italian Fascists serves as a cautionary historical lesson.

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