Thursday, 16 July 2009

Fatherless Generations

In an entry from Monday, The moral development of women, Female Misogynist discusses the integral moral and ethical blindness from which the female sex is suffering. In the comments section she pointed me at yet another entry's comments with the following information regarding German history:
In his Back to Patriarchy, Daniel Amneus said:
"One cannot help thinking of George Kennan's theory that the enormous number of fatherless families created in Germany by the slaughter of World War I was a principal cause of the rise of Naziism, a system satisfying the fatherless child's pathetic search for a father-surrogate with whom he could find himself in sympathetic resonance."
Item: if anyone knows where in George Kennan's work he presented this theory, please let me know.

So in Europe between the World Wars, we had a generation growing up without fathers, a circumstance which consistently leads to delinquency, and a couple of dictators playing father figure to the masses who had been deprived of real fathers. And we all know where that led.
This is a challenging thought, and, no doubt, explains a lot of the woes we are discussing here. But can it be applied 1:1 to German history?

Some data first: Wikipedia has the following figures for WWI-casualties. My brief exerpt below covers the deaths shown as the percentage of the population (military and civilian) and it is everybody's own guess how many male deaths it includes. Apart from one notable exception, which I will discuss below, the figures for the relevant countries are more or less within the same range. Notabene that in the theatre-of-war-countries the civilian losses were much higher and would thus lower the male contingent within the allover percentage.

United Kingdom 2.19%: The United Kingdom stayed safely clear from all dictatorial temptations. How much other woe was caused by the absence of so many men is beyond the scope of this entry.

France 4.29%: Well, France is France. No dictatorship, BUT...

Italy 3.48%: VERY second rate dictatorship, I'd say, and: Italy is Italy...

Bulgaria 3.41% / Romania 9.07% / Kingdom of Serbia 16.11%
The Balkan:
The same applies basically to the Balkan. The overproportional number of civilian deaths in Serbia and Romania was due to food shortages and epidemics. Would all those countries have fared better without the loss of so many men? Certainly. Decisively better? I am not sure.

Russian Empire 2.08%: I do not think that the rise of Communism had much, if anything, to do with the losses of male lifes in WWI, but with the fact that Russia was a huge, backward country with a population still deeply steeped in the Middle Ages.

Ottoman Empire 13.72%: The overproportionally lage percentage comes from the huge civilian losses caused by famine, disease and the Armenian Genocide. Still, the military casualties were, with 771,844 deaths and 400,000 wounded, huge. Yet the Ottoman Empire developed later into the only country within the Islamic world that adopted, even if only partially, some modernism, Western values and institutions. Why that is so certainly calls for further questioning.

Austria-Hungary 3.05% / German Empire 3.82%
Nazi Germany:
It shouldn't just be asked why Germany adopted a dictatorship, but why Germany adopted a dictatorship whose singular goal was the destruction of the Jewish people. I know that some Jews are deeply offended by the following, although I fail to see why and it's nothing but a fact: Germany would very probably have won WWII had it not invested its main resources into murdering the Jews of Europe. But then, WWII would have made no sense without that goal. It was only ostensibly about righting the (real or perceived) wrongs following WWI. Germany's way to the Holocaust was not a freak of history. In his epochal book "Ideology of Death. Why the Holocaust happend in Germany" John Weiss (a gentile, by the way) bursts that bubble.
The Holocaust happened in Germany, historian Weiss argues, because "the special nature of German and Austrian history" gave an utterly racist form of anti-Semitism "immense power." Weiss examines anti-Semitism's "Christian legacy" in Europe; the role of Martin Luther; the weakness of countervailing Enlightenment ideas in Germany and Austria-Hungary; and the central fact that, throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, "racism was increasingly used by upper-class reactionaries, middle-class nationalists, and lower-class populists as a weapon against the growing influence of democratic liberalism, economic modernization, and calls for social reform." Weiss reviews the rise of the Nazi movement and its fuhrer, Hitler's relationships with German elites, German (and Austrian) involvement with the death camps, and the postwar efforts of many German leaders (often with Allied support) to hide their prewar racial attitudes.
(From a Booklist review at Amazon.)

I do not think that a fatherless generation could have caused all that. Furthered it? Certainly. But caused? No.

However, I agree thoroughly with the last part of Female Misogynist's quote:
And now we have a large percentage of Americans and Europeans without fathers. And it seems that the Islamic world is willing to offer father figures, ones with a sinister agenda that is nonetheless at least not weak and feminine.
But then, post-Sixties lawlessness or better: prostitution of the law and general moral decline in the West has played a major role here. If I think of all the many German war-widows, many of them destitute refugees from the former German Eastern provinces, who have brought up their children, now in their Sixties and early Seventies, to be functioning, stable and upright citizens, I can not believe in a DECISIVE role of fatherlessness pre-Sixties. But then, those women had still internalized the values of the patriarchal society and were not spoilt rotten -- rather the reverse.

Of course, one can discuss now how many of the leading figures of the so influential and so destructive "68"-movement, who are of exactly that generation, had been fatherless, but that would be fodder for yet another entry.

This entry ends here and the picture below has only marginally to do with it. I happened to find it while I looked for WWI-casualty figures at Wikipedia:

A German prisoner helps British wounded make their way to a dressing station near Bernafay Wood following fighting on Bazentin Ridge, 19 July 1916, during the Battle of the Somme. Yep, evil white men oppressing helpless womyn.


Female Misogynist said...

Thank you for that fascinating post!

You're right, fatherlessness couldn't have done it alone. Just as feminism couldn't have, on its own, caused the destruction of our culture; for one thing, first men had to be corrupted enough to allow feminism. If the first suffragettes had been firmly dealt with by police, husbands and fathers, the movement would have evaporated, but instead, men were too chivalrous to treat them as their conduct required.

Feminism is not the root cause, but it certainly accelerates the collapse.

The_Editrix said...

The following is a comment reader Math Mathonwy let me have by email. Let's hope this will post:

I get an error message when attempting to comment on the blog.

Thanks you for the well-researched post. Your characterization of the Nazi regime as a "dictatorship whose singular goal was the destruction of the Jewish people" is not borne out by any historical fact, however. National Socialism was what it says. In other words Nationalism, effected through Socialism. Following WWI the German nation was diminished; people of German blood lived under foreign rule. (Not unlike the situation which gave rise to WWI.) The goal of the Nazi's was to restore the German nation to glory - with which many Germans presumably agreed, since they elected Hitler.

Not only Jews were killed in the Holocaust, and the common reference to only Jews being murdered demeans the memory of all who died. And this was a means to an end, not a goal. Nazi socioeconomic theorists advocated price and monetary controls in order to boost the German economy and to deal with huge unemployment. (These same theories were admired by FDR and his cronies, who cribbed much of the New Deal from the Nazis. Note that in both cases, the unemployment problem was only solved by a massive increase in military enlistment.)

Like FDR's brilliant policy of destroying crops in order to drive up the price of food and thereby save the economy from deflation, the brilliant Nazi economists worked out the math and decided that if there were fewer non-Germans (and fewer imperfect Germans, such as the mentally retarded), there would be more resources to go around for everyone else. Jews, Romani, and other outsiders were easy scapegoats. True, there was significant popular advocacy against such outsiders - Hitler didn't invent the "blame it on the Jews" speech, he merely jumped on the fastest horse and rode it to power. However, this was merely one part of the plan to build the ideal German Socialist utopia. The Holocaust was a means, not an end.

Also, while it is impossible to say definitively what "would have happened if," it's highly unlikely that the Holocaust had anything meaningful to do with Germany losing the war. Relatively few resources were used in the mass internment and murder - which is why conditions in the camps were so horrible and why Nazi guards invented labor-saving technological means of mass murder. It is improbable that the Nazis under any circumstances could have held out against the combined resources of the U.S. and Russia. Top German military commanders recognized that victory was impossible after the U.S. became committed to the European theater. Documentary evidence suggests that Hitler planned only to retake those areas of Europe which were largely believed (by the Nazis) to be "German" but under foreign rule, and had no intention of becoming embroiled in a war with the UK (and certainly not with the USA.) After the counterinvasion of Germany spearheaded by the U.S., the main reason the war went on so long as it did was the joint FDR-Churchill-Stalin policy of peace only through unconditional surrender (each for his own reasons). The Germans would have been happy to agree to a peace that left their cities un-carpet-bombed.

All that said, again well done and well said. Feminism's was not a virgin birth, but a symptom of the general decay of the ordered bonds of society. From this entropy, no longer opposed by human endeavor, rise the beasts which devour civilization.

Bruce Church said...

Here's a start on the George Kennan quote on Hitler and fatherlessness. See pages 167 and 170:"george+kennan"+hitler+"father+figure"&btnG=Search+Books

Identity's architect: a biography of Erik H. Erikson‎ - Page 167
by Lawrence Jacob Friedman - Biography & Autobiography - 2000 - 592 pages (book costs 1 cent at Amazon)

Although his fellow passenger, George Kennan, had urged him to translate it and
... Like Freud on the leader, they characterized Hitler as a father figure ...

Bruce Church said...

It would be interesting to hear your comments on this new TV series coming out (see the promo here):

ABC's 'Cougar Town': 'Under-dressed Divorcées Prowling for Younger Men'

beakerkin said...

Hatred of Jews is a force multiplier for fringe movements. Thus it is possible to have a deluded Buchananite echoing the positions of Code Pink. The rise of Nazism and its hatred of Jews certainly has that
dimension as well.

The common view is that Communism, Fascism and Nazism were polar opposites. However, Falachi and Goldberg point out that Communism and Nazism were rivals. Mussolini was a Socialist at one point in his career.

The problem is feminism has been corrupted by an anti Western element. What was once a movement
about equal pay for equal work has prostituted itself into a Leftist cliche. It is clear what side in the Middle East respects women but you will hear a pin drop before the obvious is stated.

Was that the same Gator of BE I saw in some of the comments?

The_Editrix said...


My comments? REALLY, Bruce? Alright. Give me some time to edit the too vulgar expletives.

The_Editrix said...

"Was that the same Gator of BE I saw in some of the comments?"

Indeed the same, Beak! I don't know any other saurians.

Z said...

how fascinating and way over my head this conversation is (though English IS MY first language!)

I think that fatherlessness fostering Nazis is definitely worth consideration. I believe, the more I lived in Germany and France and traveled a LOT to Italy, the more I saw that people ARE different in these countries even while they're obviously human beings with the same needs and personalities, etc. Something IS different in a German Gausthaus versus a French coffee house...let's face it. Different, yet again, is an Italian place. There's a different TONE, a different 'busy-ness', a difference one senses more than sees the minute one walks in, no?

So, as the same as we are , we are different...did fatherlessness impact some societies more or less? Probably.

Odd that my own America is slipping more into ugly and, for US, unchartered territories (with euthanasia calmly 'hinted at' in the new health care plan, racism becoming MORE pronounced since we elected a Black pres than before!?, more and more children joyfully being born without fathers as if that were normal, etc etc.) and IS becoming far more socialist in its governing these days........electing a man with such leftwing policies even though knowing socialism has NEVER WORKED in ANY country.

Less men make it easier for a society to lose its bearings.......I totally believe that. I worry that we don't HAVE the men to step up and BE MEN anymore; lead their families, lead their communities in being self-reliant, independent, hard working etc etc......

I think fatherless generations will not prosper. but, that's just me and this is certainly not 'my' subject. Thanks for listening. Und bis spater, ich hoffe.
Oh...minute! I also think the secularism of socialism lends itself to a fatherless going families tend to be father-oriented on the micro and macro, if you get my drift!

The_Editrix said...

Z welcome here! I am glad I discovered your blog. I am always glad to see a truly intelligent discussion about Germany in the Internet.

Without doubt, my country is different, but I doubt that fatherlessness plays a major part in this.

Z said...

I'm very happy to have found your blog, too, Editrix...

Z said...

by the way, why is your web page in LATIN?

The_Editrix said...

It isn't really. I have decided to do something entirely new with the URL (maybe some commercial effort) and it is still in its construction stage. "Lorem ipsum" is a widely used placeholder text. It has no meaning and is just supposed to demonstrate the graphic elements of a document or website. I have read somewhere that is is a hacked version of a text by Cicero. As it is, it's a non-sensical list of (sortof) Latin words.

That's me, always honest, when I should have stressed the highbrow-content of that page! ;-)

Z said...

I'm so glad for that information because a congressman whose site I'd checked into also had that 'text' and I wondered what was going on!
Danke schon, Herr Editrix! Vielen dank.

The_Editrix said...

Actually, it's Frau Editrix! :-)

My name is Nora.