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Otto Strasser’s “New Europe,” Part 2

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Part 2 of 2

“Elements of European Peace”

As with Mosley, Thiriart, and Yockey in their own manners, Strasser sought a new European accord that would eliminate fratricidal wars. He pointed out that just as tribes and clans that had warred against each other later coalesced into larger units — nations — the same process could happen in Europe as a whole.[1] However, as discussed above, he differed from Mosley, believing that Mosley’s policy of “Europe a Nation” would result in an amalgamation of different peoples and destroy the ancient diversity of European cultures. Strasser stated that the nations had ripened and that it was now time to “end any sort of intra-European imperialism — thus making both possible and indispensable a collaboration on the basis of the unconditional recognition of freedom and independence of all the national ‘personalities’ which today comprise the European family.”[2]

Strasser realized that European unity could not occur unless the fear and distrust of Germany among other European states could be eliminated. He correctly assumed that after the war there would be a push for the disintegration of the German state. He naïvely assumed, however, that nobody could possibly propose the physical annihilation of the German people; he took it as self-evident that “no man living” would contemplate the annihilation of the Germans.[3] This was written in 1940, when the war had hardly gotten underway. It is perhaps a reflection of Strasser’s own nobility of character, shaped as a frontline soldier in the First World War (the last war in which the European ethos of chivalry was manifested), that he could not imagine such baseness. For several years after the war, however, Germany suffered under the de facto implementation of the “Morgenthau Plan” for the physical elimination of the Germans.[4] He did, however, predict “hunger and bodily chastisement” “after a crushing defeat.”[5] He was also, even at this early stage of the war, aware of the aim of eliminating Germany as a geopolitical entity by dividing it among European states, with a rump of disjointed statelets.[6]

Strasser was right, however, to think that such a repressive regime could not be maintained over Germany indefinitely, and he suggested that such a barbaric interregnum might last for “seven years” after defeat. He realized that an occupation force would be needed to keep Germany down, and that should a threat from Russia emerge, the suppressed Germans might view an alliance with Russia as an opportunity to “carry on their own struggle for freedom.”[7] Here Strasser was prescient. He was predicting what became the Cold War, which, while justifying further Allied occupation of Germany for decades to come, nonetheless obliged the Allies to halt the de facto implementation of the “Morgenthau Plan” and allow the remaining half of Germany to rebuild and prosper.

Strasser’s advocacy of European “disarmament” seems unrealistic and even suicidal, what he envisioned a new European defense system, rather than a pacifist utopia precariously existing between the US and the USSR. Strasser’s aims in this regard are best understood as an expression of his desire to see an end to inter-European national rivalries. Strasser advocated “a composite European army.” The “national constituents” would contribute in their areas of specialization, Britain supplying the aviation expertise, France the heavy guns and tanks, etc. “The defensive capacity of Europe as a whole would not be in the least impaired.”[8] His use of the term “disarmament” therefore seems inappropriate.

Strasser’s references to a “renovated” League of Nations, in which the members of the European Federation would be expected to participate, would, at first reading, grate on the nerves of any Rightist. However, again, one must look at Strasser’s ideas in context.[9] The prerequisite for European participation in a League of Nations would be “the reconstruction of the latter in the sense of a worldwide representation of continental groups.” Strasser is here alluding to a geopolitical concept that that has its roots in the German theorist Karl Haushofer and the English theorist Harold J. Mackinder, et al. The concept of geopolitical blocs was advocated as an advance on the 19th Century concept of petty-statism, especially in the aftermath of World War II, by both Mosley and French President Charles de Gaulle. De Gaulle even went beyond Mosley and Strasser in advocating a Europe “from the Atlantic to the Urals.” He perceptively regarded the USA rather than the USSR as the geopolitical rival of Europe.[10]

Strasser’s “renovated League of Nations” is presumably something quite different from either the original League or the subsequent United Nations, and would seem to aim at providing a global focus for the emergence of geopolitical blocs of which a Federated Europe would be one of several. Europe would therefore constitute a “third force” in world affairs not simply an appendage of US foreign policy. It remains questionable, however, whether such a global organization — focused on geopolitical blocs rather than nation-states — would be any more plausible than the original League of Nations or the present UN.

The Slavic Question

Despite his insistence that Europe must be free of the United States, regardless of Cold War rhetoric, Strasser never did accept Russia as part of the European family or as a potential member of a European Federation: “Russia does not belong, never has belonged, and never will belong [to Europe].”[11] This view was not, however, motivated by any anti-Slavic sentiment. He saw Russia as separate from Europe because she has a distinct sense of identity and destiny, regardless of regimes. Russia, in his view, is an “Asiatic power” whether under Czarism or Bolshevism.[12] The separation between Russia and Europe was a major theme of Spengler[13] and Yockey,[14] although the latter eventually regarded a Russo-European accord as necessary for the liberation of Europe.[15]

Strasser regarded “a large and healthy Czechoslovakia to be a most important pillar of Central European order” and for establishing a friendly relationship between Germany and the Western Slavs.[16] As for the Slovak question, this was a matter for the two ethnicities to decide,[17] but he saw it as a problem that could presumably be settled by federative principles. Without healing the breach between “Germanism” and the Slavs there could be no lasting peace in Europe.[18]

While Strasser advocated concessions and reparations to Czechoslovakia and Poland that would certainly have been regarded by most Germans as treacherous at the time (1940), he was nonetheless adamant that there could be no return of Danzig and East Prussia to Poland. However, as with Czechoslovakia, Strasser regarded a “great and powerful Poland” as “the eastern guardian of Europe, particularly vis-à-vis the USSR. Poland would also be the means by which the Baltic States would be held for Europe.[19]

Bolshevik Russia remained in Strasser’s view a threat that had to be kept at bay. But Strasser did not advocate an aggressive approach toward Russia, stating that the repudiation of Bolshevism by Europe would “not infringe on the vital interests of the Russian people.”[20] Nonetheless, he hoped that Ukraine and White Russia would be enabled to align with a New Europe should they so desire.[21] Strasser thereby envisioned a more equitable “racial balance” in the New Europe between Latins, Germans, and Slavs, eschewing any notions of “racial predominance” by any single constituent of federated Europe.[22]

Strasser advocated the federalization of Germany within a federated Europe. While this would be anathema, even treason, to German chauvinists, it should be recalled that the modern nation state is a construct that emerged from the French Revolution on the ruins of the traditional order, and there is nothing sacrosanct about them from a Rightist viewpoint.[23] Strasser stated in 1929 that this statism was based on the “Liberalism” of the preceding 150 years, the “essence” of which was the mass of “atomized individuals” “dominated and directed by money.”[24]

Strasser emphasized, however, that his federalization of Germany was not a response to war, but had been formulated by him already in 1931 in the Black Front organ Die Schwarze Front.[25] His main concern was to diminish the influence of Prussia on the character of Germany.[26] This is in contrast to Spengler, who saw “Prussianism” as the basis for the ethos of the German state and equated the Prussian ethos of duty and authority with his definition of “socialism,” in contrast to the English spirit of mercantilism that gave birth to both free trade and Marxism.[27] To Strasser “Prussia” was more than a place. It was a spirit that has come to define all of “Germany”: “We Germans must ourselves overcome Prussia. We must overcome it territorially, economically, and spiritually; for only when we have done so will New Germany, will New Europe, become possible.”[28]

Strasser’s proposal for the reorganization of Germany (and of Europe) was federalization on the basis of the tribes and their ancient attachment to their lands. He cited the historical development of Germany as the federation not the merger of different tribes: “The political structure of the millenniary German Reich has been based upon this federative segmentation, upon the voluntary collaboration of all the tribes, upon the organic union of its territories.”[29] The federative principle would be similar to the Swiss system of cantons.[30] Strasser’s federative approach for Germany and for Europe is therefore neither utopian nor debilitating, and offers a better way of establishing enduring, organic unity and fraternity than forced merger based on economics or constitutionalism. In practical terms it means the re-establishment of the “Landschaften” of Prussia and the other provinces of Germany; “in a word, the territorial subdivision of Germany into about fifteen provinces representing political, cultural, tribal, and economic units. . . . The ‘German Reich’ would thus veritably become a league of substantially independent cantons . . .”[31]

A New European Colonialism: Continuing the Faustian Quest

Strasser’s vision for Europe extended beyond the Continent and included the colonial possessions in Africa. He advocated a “European Colonial Company” (ECC) that would include the European states other than those who were already colonial powers, which would jointly administer the former German colonies and the African possessions of Belgium and Portugal. The contributing states would subscribe funds to the ECC proportionate to the size of their populations, and administrative posts, investments and possibilities of settlement would be allocated accordingly. Colonial schools would be established to instruct future administrators and settlers. There would be a focus on the “advancement of the indigenes,” as the ECC would look upon itself as “guardians” of the native populations. As the native populations developed they would be included in the work of administration. Beyond the economic factors, there was a higher vision, that of “the great civilizing work that would be associated with the effective opening-up of Africa [which] would give a powerful impetus to economics and science — and would be most beneficial to the youths of Europe. Having great duties to perform makes people young, vigorous, and cheerful. That is what Europe needs.”[32]

Strasser’s “vision splendid” for a reformed European colonialism would have allowed a European empire to develop beyond the inter-European rivalries of the past and the scramble for colonies that resulted in perpetual conflict. However, it would also have blocked the entrance of American dollar imperialism that vied with the USSR to fill the power-vacuum in the aftermath of World War II. Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko was to relate long afterward that “Washington tended to view colonial empires as an anachronism and made no secret that it would shed no tears were they to be dismantled . . .”[33] Despite Strasser’s peaceful vision, the development of Africa under European auspices would have been resisted by the US, regardless of how a League of Nations, or subsequent United Nations, might be “renovated.” There was and remains an unbridgeable conflict of interests between the US and any European bloc other than one subservient to plutocracy. Hence, despite the views of Strasser and Mosley about the irreconcilability of Russian and European interests, a European understanding with the USSR vis-à-vis the USA would have been a more realistic course.

Most of all, Strasser’s European vision for Africa was an avenue by which the Faustian impulse[34] — Western man’s urge to exploration, discovery, and expansion — could be directed peacefully and constructively. Any individual with empathy looking at Black Africa today might wonder how different the situation would be if European rule had been maintained on the “Dark Continent,” developing it in the way envisaged by Strasser and Mosley. The US would not allow it, and prattle about “development aid” has never been anything other than a façade for plutocratic exploitation and debt slavery. Strasser clearly saw the possibilities of the venture as something far more than a matter of economics, as something of a fundamentally spiritual nature: a vast, undeveloped, and still largely unexplored and unsettled continent awaiting young pioneers from all over Europe. Colonialism, as Strasser said, would provide the challenges and stimulate the energies needed to reinvigorate Europe on the basis of youthful dynamism.

Oswald Mosley had a similar vision for Africa as Europe’s great Faustian venture, stating in 1947:

[I]f they linked the union of Europe with the development of Africa in a new system of two continents, they would build a civilization which surpassed, and a force which equalled, any power in the world. . . . From that union would be born a civilization of continuing creation and ever unfolding beauty that would stand the tests of time.[35]

The Decline of the West?

Strasser was deeply influenced by Oswald Spengler’s philosophy of history and culture. He explicitly accepts “the validity of Oswald Spengler’s brilliantly formulated law of the rise and fall of the cultural circle — in this instance the western cultural circle; and that we perceive therein a great law of motion of all organic life, the law of birth, maturity and death.”[36] Strasser’s view that “race” is shaped by historical forces is more akin to the views of Spengler,[37] Yockey,[38] and Evola,[39] with Spengler providing a common factor in the views of all three. Strasser referred to the race-forming processes as those of geography, climate, diet, and the impact of historical forces. Despite the ethnic differences in Europe, all share “one and the same rhythm of western culture, and have all been subjected to the same vital laws of this family of peoples.”[40]

Yet for all that, both Mosley and Strasser’s views of colonialism are evidently based on a desire to overcome historical cycles and the inevitability of decay, searching for ever-new frontiers to stimulate perpetual cultural renewal or what might be called a formula for the eternal youth of “The West.”

Notes

[1] Strasser, Germany Tomorrow, p. 51.

[2] Strasser, Germany Tomorrow, p. 51.

[3] Strasser, Germany Tomorrow, p. 54.

[4] James Bacque, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians Under Allied Occupation 19441950 (London: Little, Brown & Co., 1997).

[5] Strasser, Germany Tomorrow, p. 56.

[6] Strasser, Germany Tomorrow, p. 54.

[7] Strasser, Germany Tomorrow, p. 57.

[8] Strasser, Germany Tomorrow, pp. 104–105.

[9] Strasser, Germany Tomorrow, p. 106.

[10] K. R. Bolton, “An ANZAC-Indo-Russian Alliance? Geopolitical Alternatives for Australia and New Zealand,” India Quarterly, Vol. 66, No. 2, 2010, “Dugin’s Geopolitical Paradigm,” pp. 188–90.

[11] Otto Strasser, Germany Tomorrow, p. 120.

[12] Otto Strasser, Germany Tomorrow, p. 98.

[13] “Russia is the lord of Asia. Russia is Asia.” Oswald Spengler, 1934, The Hour of Decision (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1963), p. 213. I regard, to the contrary, Russia as historically the “white” bulwark containing Asia vis-à-vis “The West.” The BRIC alliance with China is temporary and pragmatic. See: K. R. Bolton, “Russia and China: an Approaching Conflict?,” Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies, Vol. 34, No. 2, Summer 2009.

[14] Yockey stated in 1948 that “. . . everything Western is therefore hostile and deadly to the Russian soul” (Imperium, p. 579). “Russia will, and must always remain, an enemy of the West . . .” (Imperium, p. 586).

[15] The “treason trials” against Communist party leaders in Prague in 1952, during which they were charged with being in league with Zionists, the US, and Freemasonry, had a seminal influence on Yockey’s thinking regarding Russia. He stated that Europeans, by playing Russia off against America, could bring about Europe’s “liberation.” Yockey, Prague Treason Trial, 1952, p. 8. Strasser, as mentioned, made a similar allusion.

The following year, 1953, Yockey went further, and in The Enemy of Europe, a book designed for the instruction of Maj. Gen. Remer’s Socialist Reich Party, which advocated a “neutralist” position for Germany during the Cold War, Yockey stated that the Russian occupation of Europe would be less harmful to Europe in the long-term than American occupation, and that a new “Europe-Russia Symbiosis” might develop. Yockey, The Enemy of Europe (Reedy, West Virginia: Liberty Bell Publications, 1981), p. 83.

[16] Otto Strasser, Germany Tomorrow, p. 90.

[17] Otto Strasser, Germany Tomorrow, p. 90.

[18] Strasser, Germany Tomorrow, p. 91.

[19] Strasser, Germany Tomorrow, p. 92.

[20] Strasser, Germany Tomorrow, p. 95.

[21] Strasser, Germany Tomorrow, p. 96.

[22] Otto Strasser, Germany Tomorrow, p. 97.

[23] Guillaume Faye points out that the modern nation-state, as distinct from the ancient concept of ethnos, is “Jacobin and cosmopolitan” in its conception, and has arisen from the “Jacobin nationalism” of Revolutionary France, which sought to level the regional identities of the French in imposing a statist ideology. See Why We Fight, pp. 200–201.

[24] Otto Strasser, “National Socialism, the World View of the 20th Century” (Berlin: Kampf-Verlag, 1929) in Barbara Miller Land and Leila J. Rupp, ed. and trans. Nazi Ideology Before 1933: A Documentation (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1978), p. 100.

[25] Strasser, Germany Tomorrow, p. 59.

[26] Strasser, Germany Tomorrow, p. 60.

[27] Oswald Spengler, Prussianism and Socialism, 1919.

[28] Strasser, Germany Tomorrow, p. 60.

[29] Strasser, Germany Tomorrow, p. 60–61.

[30] Strasser, Germany Tomorrow, p. 61.

[31] Strasser, Germany Tomorrow, p. 61.

[32] Strasser, Germany Tomorrow, pp. 111-113.

[33] Andrei Gromyko, Memories (London, 1989), cited in: K. R. Bolton, Building the New Babel: Multiculturalism and the New World Order (Paraparaumu, New Zealand: Spectrum Press, 2006), p. 48.

The US assumed the initiative and created its organizations for the establishing of US hegemony over Africa. The Africa-American Institute was founded in 1953 with backing from such plutocratic agencies as the omnipresent US think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations, and continues with a host of corporate and Foundation sponsors. K. R. Bolton, Building the New Babel, pp. 48-51.

[34] Oswald Spengler, The Hour of Decision, p. 44.

[35] Robert Skidelsky, Oswald Mosley (London: Macmillan, 1975), p. 481.

[36] Strasser, Germany Tomorrow, pp. 121–22.

[37] Spengler, The Decline of the West, Vol. 2, Chapter V, (B) “Peoples, Races, tongues,” pp. 113–55.

[38] Yockey, Imperium, “Race People, Nation, State,” pp. 273–91. “Subjective Meaning of Race,” pp. 292–99. “Horizontal Race vs. Vertical Race,” pp. 300–303.

[39] Tomislav Sunic, “Julius Evola on Race,” in Troy Southgate, ed., Evola: Thoughts and Perspectives, Volume One (London: Black Front Press, 2011), pp. 20–28.

[40] Strasser, Germany Tomorrow, pp. 120–21.

2 Comments

  1. Sam Davidson
    Posted May 18, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    I remember reading Strasser’s “Hitler and I” and being rather unimpressed at the time, but this was several years ago. It was particularly striking that Hitler’s men had murdered his brother and the best that Otto could do was accuse his rival of being a sexual deviant.

    On a more constructive note, I suggest that Mr. Bolton investigate the South African “Rand Rebellion” for another potential article regarding the racially conscious left.

  2. Greg Johnson
    Posted May 18, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    It is astonishing how the dubious glories of African colonies seems to have skewed the judgment of otherwise sensible men, who schemed against and even killed their fellow whites racing for the privilege of ruling over stupid and sullen savages. But then again, white men can invest immense energy and intelligence following sports, so who am I to say that developing Africa is any more intrinsically absurd than golf or basketball? The Faustian energies of the white race can expend themselves in both ridiculous and sublime ways. The only reason whites should have retained control of Africa is to replace rather than “develop” its natives. On the other hand, the exploration and colonization of space is still a worthy frontier for Faustian man, but unfortunately we are more committed to the feeding and multiplication of people with small brains and big bellies.

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