Pan-Germanic Socialism and the English-speaking World (Pt. I of II)


How are you doing lately? It has been a while since I last wrote something on the ARPLAN Blog, but I had been preoccupied this month and I did not write anything worthy of posting here. While the topic of this comment is not necessarily related to the latest ARPLAN post, I thought I should bring something to your attention regarding Pan-Germanic Socialism.

If I have not said it before, I should address it here. There are some valid arguments to be made that Pan-Germanic Socialism’s influence, if it were not for the Second World War, could have expanded beyond the boundaries of the German-speaking world. The ideology’s relevance in the English-speaking world does warrant a reevaluation without the specter of Hitlerism.

To begin, how familiar are you with UK history and its influence on US history? I ask because most articulations of UK history, including those taught by British schoolchildren, are a Tory interpretation of history. The UK is a national union that developed from England’s successful unifications of the British Isles during the 17th and 18th centuries, incorporating Wales, Scotland, and Ireland (up until the early 20th century) into its dominion. The British people became a Volksgemeinschaft by the English, who themselves emerged from Feudalism, the English Reformation, and the civil wars and revolutions of the 17th century. That is the officially recognized understanding of UK history.

What many people in Britain and elsewhere do not realize is that the Whigs (the predecessor of today’s Liberal Democrats) did at one point adhere to an alternate interpretation. Historians refer to it as the “Whig interpretation.” It gets its name because of the fact that the Whigs once touted that interpretation during the Georgian Era before abandoning it sometime between the Victorian and Edwardian Eras. This topic came to my attention after reading an insightful research article, entitled “The English Radical Whig Origins of American Constitutionalism.”

Like the Tory interpretation, the Whig interpretation also maintains that the British Volksgemeinschaft was developed primarily by the English, but it deviates by insisting that the English represent the consolidation of two Germanic peoples, namely the Normans and the Anglo-Saxons. The Normans and Anglo-Saxons originated from the German-speaking world and became the English, with the former becoming the Tories and the latter the Whigs. Parliamentary Democracy is an ancient tradition among the Anglo-Saxons, stemmed from primordial ideas that existed at one in the German-speaking world, and was later usurped by the Feudalism of the Normans. The Anglo-Saxon qualities of the English later manifested themselves in the Magna Carta and the English Bill of Rights in a centuries-long effort to revive that ancient tradition.     

This interpretation of UK history was once espoused by the Whigs in order to argue that the English were always Liberal and that the British Volksgemeinschaft, which includes the Welsh, Scottish and Irish, should become heirs to that ancient legacy. Even though British Liberals no longer adhere to that interpretation, the interpretation continues to be invoked in US political-economic discourse to justify Liberal Capitalism as the “American Experiment.” That America was always meant to be “Exceptional” for never having to become anything other than a Liberal Capitalist Parliamentary Democracy.  

Yet something tells me that Pan-Germanic Socialism would try to revisit this Whig interpretation of UK history, reinterpreting it in a manner palatable to its own purposes. If the British Volksgemeinschaft was molded by the English, who themselves originated from the Normans and Anglo-Saxons, then one could argue that Britain should be included in the German-speaking world. After all, their ancestral legacy did originate from the German-speaking world.

Since the British, like the Germans, originated from the Germanic tribes that toppled the Roman Empire, it is also tenable to make similar arguments about the French, the Spanish, the Italians and other Western European Volksgemeinschaften. It does tie in neatly with this argument posited among certain Right-Hamiltonians on the American Right that Europe in the early 20th century was confronted with the choice of a Pan-European Germany or a Pan-Germanic Europe. We already know that a “Pan-European Germany” is today’s West Germany, a Liberal Capitalist Parliamentary Democracy and member-state of the EU/NATO. A “Pan-Germanic Europe” could imply one of two things:

  • An area of Europe demarcating the German-speaking world and its sphere of influence.
  • A Europe under the leadership and influence of the German-speaking world.      

Both possibilities presuppose that the German-speaking world is governed by Pan-Germanic Socialism and has some working relationship with Britain and the rest of Europe. This Germanic Federalism that I mentioned about in the preceding ARPLAN post would serve as the catalyst for a federation. The German-speaking world, Britain, and the rest of Europe will retain their Sovereignty, but such a federation is definitely going to be more than just a simple trade agreement or a military alliance against the Soviets or the Americans. Whatever the latter possibility might entail, I am convinced that it will not be a “European superstate” or a pale imitation of one operating out of Brussels.   



Categories: Philosophy

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