Archiv für März 2007

Extract IV from „Entschwörungstheorie“

According to their political program, German workers of the post 1871 era struggled for an international workers revolution as Social Democracy propagated it. But the imprinting of Prussian military education on several generations had already left its traces on these plans. Still, Social Democrats referred to Marx but with a strong tendency they selected from his ideas.

Because of the escalated situation in 1848, Marx had written about a special urgency for a victorious social revolution in Germany. This urgency now changed into a necessity in the popular understanding of Social Democrats. The indicated hurry and the special circumstances transformed into a certainty that the revolution would have to happen anyway and that everything was going according to a historical plan. The thought that the workers would have to make the revolution because they suffered the most and were therefore most interested in change metamorphosized into a workers cult glorifying the life of those wage-related to be an anticipation of the new social order to come. Marx‘ dictum of the „German condition“ being „below all criticism“ was lost with the establishment of the more and more religiously appearing idea of the historical mission of the proletariat.

From this mixture of national liberation and social salvation the ideological mélange emerged that later caused the bellicism of the German workers in World War I as well as the development of the Leninist variety of Marxism stressing class war, iron disciplin, historical necessities and national liberation. The glorified proletarian self-depiction also laid grounds for the conspiratorial thinking that became dominant in the Stalin era as it identified the good, strong, unified nation with the working class.

Extract III from „Entschwörungstheorie“

As counter-concept to the „disquietude“ of revolt and revolution the late 18th century conservatives drew a picture of the „quiet“ of a seemingly harmonic order of subjects. This picture had previously not been there at all, Bieberstein describes it as „über-sharp elaborated image of world and man“ and as a „conscious antithesis to the human rights firstly made a political program in the Declaration of Independence.“ In a certain way this process looks like simple fronting, as moving together in the face of the same enemy. But this enemy didn‘t exist as such. Though the Illuminati and a minority of Freemasons did their share in accelerating social change there is no doubt that the revolution was a product of the social order to which alternatives had not been thinkable, it was not the result of something invading from the outside.

This tendency of outsourcing though is typical for late 18th century German propagandists of the conspiracy thesis. From reading Abbé Le Franc (Paris 1792) Bieberstein concludes „that in French counter-revolutionary circles the origin of the revolution was, other than among Germans, definitely located in France. This circumstance alone suggests that the anti-Freemason conspiracy thesis was developed in Germany.“

But Germany? Haven‘t the two most infamous and influential conspiracy theories about the Illuminati been written by the French Catholic Barruel and the Scottish Protestant Robeson? No, by accepting this version we already adopted the conspiracy fans‘ story as this is merely the self-display of later days‘ believers. The actual story of the formation of modern day conspiracy theory, as far as we can reconstruct it, asks completely different questions than ones about the possible continuous existence of the Illuminati order. It asks questions about the preconditions that made German counter-revolutionaries the constructors of modern conspiracy ideology.