Obey.  If you put them in a line, will they just keep going? Are they brought up that way? Obedience.  The question might not be centered around perverse pleasures and sadism, but of placing oneself in view of the all seeing apparatus of being governed. The society of the spectacle translated as the moral exhibitionism of fascism in all its twisted glamour and chintzy banality. Benjamin’s aesthetics of politics which meant to be is to be perceived, a phony will to meaning which helped solidify and underpin a shaky structure which both idealized and suppressed group history.

…Professor Mitscherlich points out that obedience has always played a prominent part in the formation of the German national character; at times, he says, this has clashed with an unrealistic attitude of demand. He regards the problem as one of cultural adaptation, and concludes that ‘society counts too easily on the domestication of man’. Read More:http://jnnp.bmj.com/content/32/4/365.1.full.pdf

Rebecca Horn. Painting Machine. ---Horn’s paradoxical painting machine also has important social and art-historical meanings. The properly functioning machine represents German obedience and conformity -- according to the psychoanalyst Alexander Mitscherlich, a major cause of Germany’s problems -- if also its legendary technological perfectionism. Read More:http://www.artnet.com/magazineus/features/kuspit/kuspit9-17-07.asp

It has been said to have been a bourgeois crisis of the family, what Mitscherlich defined as a choice of a narcissistic love object. Nazi bonding, to him, seemed to posit a theory of manic-depressive personality structures which oscillated between emotions of omnipotence and abject worthlessness. The leader is a primitive love goddess, superior and exalted, ” and demands a regressive obedience and the begging behavior that belongs to the behavior pattern of a child in the pre-oedipal stage.”

…Of course there is a crucial distinction: to become a ‘perpetrator’ is to move from the idea or the fantasy to the act, and this places the subject,
irrevocably, in a different position to that of the victim. Yet psychoanalysis has demonstrated again and again the psychic complexity of the place of ‘Nazi’ or ‘Jew’, the mobility of a ‘Fascist state of mind’ and of the defences against recognizing them; in short the many possible unconscious identifications and interactions that may occur in the face of unbearable suffering, guilt or responsibility.Read More:http://www.sjc.ox.ac.uk/3291/psychoanalysis%20and%20fascism%20.pdf.downloada

Helmut Middendorf. ---The Nazi epoch clearly haunts postwar German painters, who find themselves the unwilling heirs to the Nazi past. They seem to be working through it and its consequences with painterly fury and irony. But painting is not equal to history, and the problem is ultimately more personal and existential than particularly German, although being a German makes it more difficult: the problem is the meaning and place of the self in a world that is indifferent to it. It is pointless to have a self in a society that regards people as instruments, however much one must have a strong sense of self to avoid becoming an instrument. The German self is one ambiguous case in point. --- Read More:http://www.artnet.com/magazineus/features/kuspit/kuspit8-9-06.asp

Hitler, became the dutiful son, the son of a beloved mother and in the role of primary love object who could do no wrong. Messianic, and one prior to and outside of oedipal division. An inability to love? An inability to mourn? Like a child being fed the guilt of a nation, the trauma is simply overwhelming. A paralysis that finds its niche in conformity and convention. Quality and well crafted kitsch. No reaction dealing with conscience, guilt and regret after WWII that had been expected. The ego was surrendered in favor of the object. A love not rooted in feelings, or their sharing of them, as in Levinas and his face to face, but instead ego as a manner of confirming one’s own self-esteem; too emotionally addicted and starved for “the caring look” , the benign gaze from the other. The root of the voyeurism that a Fassbinder or Gunter Grass explored; the ego ideal never shattered or discarded, simply transferred to another face in a gilded frame. The narcissism of melancholia instead of gut wrenching mourning. Let the jews mourn for them. After all, what good is a dead yid anyway? It comes back to the reinforcing of an ambiguous and self-defeating strength based on an inability to love and keeping the ego ideal functioning smoothly and efficiently….


Hitler did more than just write about how to seduce masses. He thoroughly succeeded in doing it, arousing deep passions in the ‘broad masses.’ Hitler was a master in displaying emotions, his repertoire ranged from heroic pathos to passionate tears. At his mass gatherings he employed means that later became the trademark of pop-stars. He was not just a distant authority exercising patrician self-control; in his intense emotionality he was ‘one of the Volk.’ By being like them and yet at the same time at the top, he lifted them up with him. Men and women who were used to occupying a humiliatingly lowly place in German society suddenly found themselves at the summit of history alongside him. Hitler did not burden them with complicated programmes (‘… the art of all truly great national leaders at all times consists … in not dividing the attention of a people, but in concentrating it upon a single foe,’ Mein Kampf, 108); he glorified ‘the Volk’s’ supposed ability to sacrifice for the ‘Endsieg’ (final victory)….

---Already in Lüpertz's Black-Red-Gold--Dithyrambic (1974), with its Nazi helmet mounted on armor, standing abandoned in an empty field, there is a sense that the Nazi past has to be dealt with. The German war machine has been stopped and is in ruins: Lüpertz's painting is a memento mori. The psychoanalyst Alexander Mitscherlich famously argued that the Germans were unable to mourn for their destructive deeds because of their blind obedience to the state, internalized as the absolute authority and power, ---Read More:http://www.artnet.com/magazineus/features/kuspit/kuspit8-9-06.asp

…Elias writes on page 387: ‘One of Hitler’s greatest talents – and one of the main factors in his success – was his intuitive, emotional understanding of the needs which a leader of the Germans and his crew had to satisfy in a critical situation. His own emotional needs correspon

to those of his followers. He reacted, without much reflection, to their emotional signals, verbal or non-verbal, with the emotional signals which they demanded and expected of a leader if they were to trust that he would be able to save them from an apparently hopeless situation of danger and despair’ . Also Janka wrote about the collective dream, which Hitler amalgamated in his personality (Janka, 1997)

‘The Volk’ was so ‘thankful’ for being included and raised up by their ‘Führer’ that they were ready to ‘reciprocate’ by dedicating themselves to what they thought he wanted, namely the ‘Endsieg.’ ‘…Hitler, and Hitler alone, seemed in the end to stand in the eyes of many Germans between them and total annihilation’ (Elias )….

…Hitler offered the ‘little people,’ who never before in history had been taken seriously, an elite identity and a clear sense of direction. Hitler even arranged for symphony orchestra music to be played in factories, thus giving the ‘little people’ a sense of greatness. Hitler ennobled the ‘little people’ by including them in the elite Germanic Aryan race with an important national mission. The ‘broad masses’ may have paid little attention on their account to details of the national humiliations inflicted by the Versailles Treaty after World War I, – being far too with daily survival, – but Hitler ‘explained’ the situation to them and gave them a leading role to play….

…Interestingly enough, Hitler knew about the devastating effect of telling lies to the ‘broad masses’ in circumstances where they were in a position to test those lies against reality for themselves. He learned this during World War I. He writes about the devastating effect of the failure of the ‘psychology’ contained in German propaganda and contrasts this with the British success: ‘And so German war propaganda offered an unparalleled example of an “enlightenment” service working in reverse, since correct psychology was totally lacking. There was no end to what could be learned from the enemy by a man who kept his eyes open, refused to let his perceptions be ossified, and for four and a half years privately turned the storm‑flood of enemy propaganda over in his brain’ .

On … Hitler analyses the German mistakes in more detail: ‘For instance, it was absolutely wrong to make the enemy ridiculous, as the Austrian and German comic papers did. It was absolutely wrong because actual contact with an enemy soldier was bound to arouse an entirely different conviction, and the results were devastating; for now the German soldier, under the direct impression of the enemy’s resistance, felt himself swindled by his propaganda service. His desire to fight, or even to stand firm, was not strengthened, but the opposite occurred. His courage flagged. By contrast, the war propaganda of the English and Americans was psychologically sound. By representing the Germans to their own people as barbarians and Huns, they prepared the individual soldier for the terrors of war, and thus helped to preserve him from disappointments. After this, the most terrible weapon that was used against him seemed only to confirm what his propagandists had told him; it likewise reinforced his faith in the truth of his government’s assertions, while on the other hand it increased his rage and hatred against the vile enemy.’…

---For all his power and talent, Kiefer has not, I would argue, found the real truth of the human situation, and so there is a basic contradiction running through all his work. If it were actually true that everything we are and do is inevitably corruptible (including art and the artist) , and that all the fruit of human labor is but the meat and drink of corruption, why would Kiefer continue to create monuments to despair’? It is evident that despair and nihilism feed upon themselves. A supposedly meaningless world is an invitation to the next "superman" to arise and impose his own version of order upon it. Granted, Kiefer expresses loathing for Hitler. but since that very loathing is itself corruptible, why doesn’t Kiefer sink into quietism and create nothing, thus giving the inevitable corruptive process nothing with which to work? The answer is, in part at least, that Kiefer is driven by a kind of truncated, forlorn sense of hope, which nonetheless he cannot permit to surface because of his programmatic need to resurrect the horror of the Holocaust as if it were the first thing to be said about everything. --- Read More:http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=941 image:http://www.leninimports.com/anselm_kiefer_gallery_9.html

…Hitler describes how the German soldier in the end ‘rejected everything coming from this source [German propaganda] as “swindles” and “bunk”’ , and thus lost faith in the national cause. Hitler did not foresee that this was exactly what would happen to ‘his’ Germany after World War II. ‘Again to me the betrayal in this case seems more like betrayal by a parent: “He promised that if we obeyed and trusted, our future would be bright and that a future glory and prosperity would come to us that would more than justify our immediate sacrifices…But he turned out to be a liar and a swindler, who played with us and used us, and abandoned us to our fate when his schemes began to unravel.”’

It was not only the Germans felt betrayed. At the end of his life, Hitler turned his back to the German population and felt let down by them. Before he died at his own hand he made clear that the German population deserved to be destroyed, since they had obviously not lived up to his expectations. In his view They had not been good enough Aryans after all!… Read More:http://www.ideajournal.com/articles.php?id=31

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