Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Hans Bluher and the Wandervogel

Text of HANS BLUHER AND THE WANDERVOGEL talk from sixth New Right meeting in London, February 2006.

Good afternoon comrades,

This afternoon I will be talking about the neglected figure of Hans Bluher, a little about his life, the intellectual tradition from whence he came, how he revolutionized that tradition, and finally a little on his influence and potential influence.

Hans Bluher championed the cultural significance of homosexuality and the Mannerbund. He won a widespread following, first with readers of Adolf Brand’s DER EIGENE and the nascent German youth movement, notably the Wandervogel, then later with the State.

Bluher was born in Freiburg in Schlesien in 1888. His birthday was yesterday, 17 February, when he would have been 118 years old. In 1912 he was the first man to write a history of the Wandervogel – the contemporary German youth movement. His history was published as a series of three pamphlets, the third of which was called DIE DEUTSCHE WANDERVOGELBEWEGUNG ALS EROTISCHES PHANOMEN. In 1913 he set up the Jung Wandervogel with Wilhelm Jansen, which, unlike most of the rest of the Wandervogel, was male-only. In 1917 he wrote the first volume of his most important book, outlining his masculinist theory in DIE ROLLE DER EROTIK IN DER MANNLICHEN GESELLSCHAFT: Eine Theorie der Menschlichen Staatsbildung, followed two years later with the second volume. As Bluher said at the time, “Before this book the idea of basing man's existence in the State on Eros has never been coherently pursued”. During the Nazi period he was subject to a Schreibverbot, and died peacefully in Berlin in 1955.

Bluher is generally though of as within the masculinist, or men's movement tradition of thought, but in fact he represents a major break, or development. In Germany at the turn of the last century, there were three main groupings within the men's movement:

Firstly, the intellectual tradition derived from Otto Weininger and the teaching tradition from Dr. Gustav Wyneken, which Bluher was to revolutionize.

Second, the Gemeinschaft der Eigenen (Community of the Self-Owners/ Special) founded officially by Adolf Brand in 1902 and which published its own magazine, Der Eigene, from 1899-1931. Brand and Der Eigene championed the anarchism of Max Stirner, as well as Bluher's theories about the decisive role of the Mannerbund – ancient warrior-band – in the creation of the State. Of course, no-one ever argued that these Mannerbund were exclusively homosexual, simply that homosexuality was not the moral issue it was to become with the arrival of Judeo-Christianity. Wilhelm Jansen, who co-founded the Gemeinschaft with Brand, was introduced to the Wandervogel by Bluher, where he later became an important leader.

The third part of the men's movement was grouped around the romantic poet Stefan George's Cosmic Circle in the Schwabing suburb of Munich, and included such figures as Ludwig Klages and Alfred Schuler. They idealized the Emperor Hadrian's lover Antinous and took their view of history from Johann Jakob Bachofen's Mutterrecht, espousing a prehistoric, matriarchal society. The Cosmic Circle was to have an international impact via D.H. Lawrence.

In the men's movement intellectual tradition, Otto Weininger was the first of these masculinists, whose influential book GESLECHT UND CHARACTER (SEX AND CHARACTER) was written as a reaction against Bachofen’s DAS MUTTERRECHT. Bachofen, like anthropologist Marija Gimbutas more recently, had proposed an original matriarchal pre-historic culture in Europe. Instead, Weininger ascribed gender characteristics from Absolute Manhood to Absolute Womanhood to different nations. Weininger also suggested a complimentary/ supplementary theory of desire which ultimately derived from Plato; he develops the idea of an algebra of sexual attraction. Weininger killed himself in Beethoven's house the same year that his book was published, in 1903, while his book gained in notoriety. Ford Maddox Ford remembers SEX AND CHARACTER as one of the most sensational books of the early Twentieth Century, which was still being discussed under hushed breaths in the polite salons of European capitals three years after publication. It was studied by Dietrich Eckart, ended up on Hitler's bookshelves, and Julius Evola provided an introduction to the 1956 Italian edition. A rather unusual audience for a Viennese Jew! SEX AND CHARACTER provoked Evola to write his own METAPHYSICS OF SEX two years later. Weininger’s views can be summed up in his following quote, “for true sexual union it is necessary that there come together a complete male and a complete female”.

Heinrich Schurtz, author of the best-seller ALTERKLASSEN UND
MANNERBUNDE (1902) was a major contributor to the men's movement.
In this comparative cultural study Schurtz expounded his theory of the dual primary impulses in man, the sexual and the social drive.

Weininger was followed by Benedict Friedlaender, whose most important book DIE RENAISSANCE DES EROS URANIOS (1904) condemned Plato for the separate categorizations of homosexual and heterosexual, as well as the “erotic monopoly of women and the priesthood”. Friedlaender represents the last, failed attempt to reconcile patriarchy and the bourgeois family with homo or bi-sexuality, as in the Hellenic ideal.

Bluher’s significant break with previous Masculinists and sexologists was on two major fronts, partly as a result of the men's movement's encounter with Freud, and partly a result of his re-interpretations of Heinrich Schurtz. Bluher unsurprisingly was highly critical of Freud, with whom he corresponded, and declared in answer to Freud’s theory of repression that, “The repression of sexuality does not result from culture, but the reverse, culture results from the repression of sexuality. To be human and to have culture are identical.” According to Andrew Hewitt’s POLITICAL INVERSIONS, it was this encounter with Freud, and not Bluher’s on-going involvement with political philosophy, that proved decisive.

Hans Bluher abandoned theories of sexuality based on either biology, or on complimentary or supplementry mathematics grounded in the male-female duality. Instead, Bluher went back to basics and insisted on a single unified consciousness as being the source of sexuality.

For Bluher, it is sexuality – the putative biological origin – that is an abstraction, and eros – the cultural facts of desire – that proves the sole concrete ground for analysis. Of course, this approach disarms the objection that homosexuality is “against nature.” To quote Bluher:

“It is not something that needs to be explained, but rather something that – as eros – makes explanation and meaning possible.”
“Eros is a meaningful and meaning-constitutive phenomenon that can be reduced neither to mere symptom, nor to biology.”
“Whenever sexuality makes itself noticed in man it has already been taken up into the workings of eros and thereby acquired a meaning.”
“Sexuality creates (indeed must create) two fully developed, originary and indestructible types of man; one desires men, the other, women.”
“Eros is the philosophy of the particular.”

This assertion of the supremacy of culture stresses the first major gap that had opened up between Bluher and previous Masculinists, and at the same time, brings Bluher into line with modern European New Right thinking, especially with the philosophical anthropologist Arnold Gehlen’s notion of the individual as being bio-cultural, an inseparable mix of race and culture. Bluher rejected previous biological theories from liberals like Karl Ulrichs, and Magnus Hirschfeld's Scientific Humanitarian Committee as well as Masculinists like Weininger and Friedlander

Hans Bluher versus Fred Flintstone

Bluher’s second break with previous sexologists and political philosophers was his privileging of the Mannerbund: by undermining the accepted male/ female polarity he destroyed the foundations of the liberal state, wedded as it was (and is) to domestic bourgeois respectability. For convenience, I like to refer to the liberal view of history and evolution, where the rational liberal individual springs fully-formed as if from thin air as the “Fred Flintstone” argument.
According to social contract theory, and Hanna-Barbera cartoons, individuals in the original State of Nature are rational, autonomous and self-interested. So Fred decides to form a Social Contract with his equally rational neighbours, including Barney Rubble. [The analogy isn't quite exact, in that Fred is a worker in a quarry rather than as an agrarian worker-owner, but Fred still lives in a market society much like our own.] It is this grotesque cartoon figure from the fetid imaginations of Jean-Jaques Rousseau, John Locke and Adam Smith that has been the target of successful pot-shots by anti-liberals from Charles Maurras to the New Right, but only Hans Bluher has the audacity and logic to target both Fred AND Wilma.
Bluher rejected this notion that Aryan culture was created spontaneously by domestic individuals and nuclear families like Fred and Wilma, Betty and Barney or Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm. Instead he advanced the idea of the Mannerbund – the warrior band – as the principle catalyst for the formation of societal structure and the State. Further, Bluher declared that the State was an expression of “Objective Will”. As he said, “The State is not simply the the social construction placed on nature, but rather the political phenomenon which itself defines a specifically human nature.”

However, he did accept that other, non-Aryan civilizations, notably the Semitic, may have originated from the domestic nuclear family, and have been stamped accordingly. Julius Evola was to take this idea and run with it.

For proof of his argument, Bluher cited Sparta, the sacred Seven Hundred of Thebes and chivalric knights, squires and Templars, whose echo across the centuries can be heard in Wagner's PARSIFAL. Since his time, and especially since WW2, research and information about the Mannerbund has expanded considerably. In 1934 Otto Hofler (Hoefler) published KULTISCHE GEHEIMBUNDE DER GERMANEN (Frankfurt/ Main 1934) about the Herulians and Wotan's warrior-bands, then after the War Indo-Europeanist scholars such as Georges Dumezil with his three-function-theory, Jan de Vries and Alain Danielou lifted Indo-European studies to still greater heights. More recently French historian Bernard Sergent with his books HOMOSEXUALITE INITIATIQUE DANS L'EUROPE ANCIENNE and HOMOSEXUALITY IN GREEK MYTH, Alby Stone, Kris Kershaw, Steve Pollington, and Connell O’Donovan have all shed light on the significance of the Mannerbund. I’ve written about this separately in my Mannerbund essays, save to say the evidence for the Mannerbund origins of Aryan culture is increasingly overwhelming, and makes sense logically. Bluher emphasized the Mannerheld – the male hero who holds the band together, a leader who in Max Weber's categorization exercises charismatic authority, and is represented as an archetype in such semi-divine figures as Hercules, “Through the force of his attraction, which he exerts on young and old among his warriors, he can obtain the greatest sacrifices, the most tremendous efforts, and the most splendid successes.”

Influence on Wandervogel

The first modern youth movements started before 1896 as entirely autonomous from adults, necessarily so because they were largely motivated as a reaction against the gross materialism of the Kaiserreich. Groups of youngsters would meet up at each others' houses before taking hikes into the woods or mountains, to discuss how to make Germany and Europe a better place. Only later did adults like Hans Bluher in Germany or Baden-Powell in England become involved.

The Wandervogel name, which was adopted collectively from 1896, is most likely taken from Book 17 of Walt Whitman’s LEAVES OF GRASS, titled “Birds of Passage”. This was not Whitman's only contribution to German thought at the time; Adolf Brand's men's movement was called “Gemeinschaft der Eigenen” - the Community of Self-Owners – which although taken from the philosophy of Max Stirner, has a distinctly Whitmanesque resonance. Bluher himself refers to the Wandervogel as a “confederation of friendship” - a direct quote from Whitman .

Bluher introduced Adolf Brand's colleague Wilhem Janssen (1866-1943) to the Wandervogel at the turn of the last century, and in 1910 they together formed Jung Wandervogel, which unlike most of the rest of the Wandervogel never admitted girls as members.

Carl Jung gave a vivid account of the early Wandervogel in his famous 1936 essay Wotan. Jung argued that each race had its own collective unconscious and archetypes, and for the Teutons Wotan was in charge: “We have seen Wotan come to life in the Jungendbewegung (youth movement), and the blood of several sheep was shed in the sacrifices which celebrated the very dawn of his rebirth. Armed with Rucksack and lute, blond youths, and sometimes also girls, were to be seen as restless wanderers on every road from the North Cape to Sicily, true servants of the roving god...The German youths who celebrated the solstice were not the first to hear a rustle in the primeval forest of the unconscious. They were anticipated by Nietzsche, Shuler, Stefan George, and Klages. The literary tradition of the Rhine and the country south of the Main has a classical form that cannot be easily shaken off. Every interpretation that comes from that region, therefore, is inclined to return to a classic model, to antique intoxication and exuberance, i.e. to Dionysus, the peur aeternus and the cosmogonic eros.” [NB: On the Cosmogonic Eros . Ludwig Klages 1922].

The most important event in the history of the Wandervogel was 11 October 1913 when the Jungendbewegung Free German Youth Movement was summoned to a mass-meeting on the Meissner Heights outside Kassel. A manifesto was issued, which stated in part, ”German Youth no longer intended to remain a dependency of the older generation, excluded from public life and relegated to a passive role. It seeks, independently of the commands of convention, to give shape and form to its own life. It strives after a lifestyle, corresponding to its youth, which will make it possible to take itself and its activities seriously and to integrate itself as a special factor in the general work of culture.” Ludwig Klages from the Cosmic Circle composed “Mensch und Erde” (Man and Earth) for the occasion, while others sang from Hans Breuer's youth movement songbook published the same year. What was called the “Meissner Formula” strove “to shape life through self-responsibility and wholehearted sincerity”.

After World War One the Wandervogel lost little of it's early idealism, but its cohesiveness was tested. [St. Ch.] Waldecke wrote in Der Eigene in 1925 that it had now condensed into 4 distinct streams, comprising of:
1. Free German, often Anarchist. It was this bunch that descended directly from the Meissner Heights meeting in 1913, and these were the most direct inheritors of the initial Wandervogel inspiration. This group was bolstered by an influx from Dr. Gustav Wyneken's Free School Communities. This branch of the Wandervogel was closely associated with Der Weisse Ritter house in Berlin, from 1921 publisher of The White Knight newspaper for the youth movement.
2. Proletarian-identified leftist movements, whether Anarchist, Marxist or later Stalinist, with the emphasis on class war rather than learning.
3. Christian youth movements that were more Catholic and Protestant youth social work groups than youth movements. These Christian missions were the last to be absorbed into the Hitler Youth.
4. Der Jungdeutsche Orden or Jungdo. The Young German Order was founded by Artur Mahraun at around the same time as the Kapp Putsch in May 1920. It appealed to younger elements on the right and promised to revive the pre-War Wandervogel spirit. Based in Kassel, it had expanded to 70,000 when it was banned in early 1921 whereupon it expanded to almost a third-of-a-million (300,000). It's fate, as with most of the other groups, was to be assimilated into the Hitler Youth.

Influence on State
Apart from individuals from the Wandervogel and groups such as Jungdo, the Young German Order becoming involved in nationalist politics, the movement was absorbed almost in its entirety into the Hitler Youth after 1933. Journalist Ludwig Lewisohn of the left-wing American publication NATION wrote in 1933 that the Wandervogel was “the youth movement from which thousands of storm-troopers came...The entire movement is in fact and by certain aspects of its avowed ideology drenched through with homoerotic feeling and practice”.

Alfred Baumler of the Institut fur Pedagogik at the University of Berlin from 1933 initiated some of Bluher and Wyneken's teaching techniques, and at the same time was won over from Bachofen's Mutterrecht to Bluher's Mannerbund hypothesis. After World War Two, Bluher's main theories of Eros and the Mannerbund were decisively rejected in favour of Magnus Hirschfeld's bizarre notions of intermediate sexes and minority rights.

Influence on Julius Evola
For Evola's theories of desire, Otto Weininger's complimentary mathematics is the obvious direct inspiration for the METAPHYSICS OF SEX, and not Bluher's idea of Eros creating meaning. For Evola, as for Carl Jung, the meaning of sex is the spiritual Hieros Gamos – the sacred marriage within the psyche. But in other books, notably REVOLT AGAINST THE MODERN WORLD and MEN AMONGST THE RUINS, Evola was happy to accept the broad outline of Bluher’s Mannerbund hypothesis, and indeed elaborates upon it.

Influence on Yockey
When American activist Francis Parker Yockey was arrested by the FBI in 1960 he was carrying a copy of Weininger's SEX AND CHARACTER in his suitcase. Yockey was such an admirer of Bluher that ten years earlier, in March 1950, he had translated the entire second volume of THE ROLE OF THE EROTIC IN MALE SOCIETIES. No copies remain, although the FBI did get their hands on one in 1952, but his partner of the time, Elsa Dewette, was able to record a few choice snippets:

“The LEAGUE is the proselyte for that way if life that the GREEKS called ETHOS. This word has something to do with the MAN. It gives notice that the man has already pledged his best to the man. Our most essential, super-abundant, purest, and as they say, most selfless performances are, in one way or another, born in the light of a superior man who gave the stimulus to them. Whoever is in the League cannot sink: All are sustained by this utter certainty.

Women strive constantly, WHOLLY to possess a man. That trap-door to oblivion which lies hidden in a well-guarded secret place in her being, demands a sacrifice: In this way, most men go to ruin through their wives.”

According to Dewette, Yockey then commented “I have always said this. My phrase was and remains: Nearly all women bring out the worst in men: the economical and the social.”

Bluher for the Future

Amongst Indo-European scholars, the Mannerbund is now a familiar landmark on the scene, but now is the time for the Mannerbund to emerge from the pages of history and become a vital political force once again. The so-called gay community will be first in the firing line in the coming war between Aryan ideals and those of the monotheists. Unfortunately, they have been especially weakened by cultural Marxism and multiculturalism over the past thirty years; they were targeted for propaganda earlier than the general population (I remember political correctness firmly established throughout the gay community by the very early 1980s), and since then the propaganda from the gay press, academia etc. has been overwhelming and relentless.

I also reckon there are lessons from Jung's Wotan essay. Here's another quote about Wotan, the Germanic god of battle and poetry, “Later, toward the end of the Weimar Republic, the wandering role was taken over by thousands and thousands of unemployed who were to be met everywhere on their aimless journeys. By 1933 the people no longer wandered, they marched in their hundreds of thousands. The Hitler movement brought the whole of Germany to its feet, from the five-year-olds to the veterans, and produced the spectacle of a great migration of people marking time. Wotan the wanderer was awake.”

French Post-modernist Paul Virilio has called this process “Dromology” and considered it vital to the success of the French Revolution, as well as the 1933 German Revolution. I believe our European civilization, which has been stupefied for sixty years, is about to march along that road again, and vital to those young marchers will be the organizational flair and heroic inspiration of the Mannerbund.

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Blogger Monkey Brothers Playing said...

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