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Re: <nettime> Political-Economy and Desire
Newmedia on Mon, 5 Mar 2012 18:57:42 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> Political-Economy and Desire


Keith:
 
Thanks for your thoughtful and generous reply.
 
My fascination with the Germans is certainly driven in part by my inability to read the language (plus some potential ancestral linkage) and, alas, my French isn't proficient enough to read Dumont in the original but I'll gladly look to him in translation.  Mandeville and Marx sound like fascinating bookends for an understanding of "classical" political-economy.
 
The history of "ideas" is certainly inadequate, for the simple reason that much of the history of industrialism(capitalism) was never expressed publicly but rather persisted in "secret" protocols.  Georg Simmel's  1906 "The Sociology of Secrecy and Secret Societies" is a welcome (albeit quite incomplete) companion to Weber's "Protestant Ethic," describing aspects of these developments that Weber likely didn't have the "courage" to discuss.
 
 
As best I can tell, the "robber barons" got their *occultism* from the Germans (rather than the English/Scots) and given the apotheosis of German "masonry" in the intertwined 20th-century expansion of the SS and the invention of LSD (by the rival Anthroposophists), I find myself asking what exactly Hegel and his roommate Schelling were "taking" in those heady late 18th-century days of "idealism."  By the time we get to Nietzsche, there can be no doubt that powerful psychotropics were involved -- likely starting in his early student days in Leipzig and culminating on the streets of Turin.
 
Given what we now know about the hallucinogenic origins of the Athenian DEMOS, you do have to wonder if the Illuminati (yes, a critical, if fleeting, group of German "Freemasons") were also interested in replicating the Mysteries, as their code-naming of their headquarters in Ingolstadt as Eleusis might indicate.
 
I was hoping that my mention of MAGIC would have stimulated some recollections and Binswanger is certainly a fruitful place to start.  Yes, money is magic.  And, the "secular" is often a disguise for the "gnostic truth."
 
At least two books appeared in the effort to better understand the "origins" of Nazi "ideology" which focus on 18th-century German "masonry" -- Ronald Gray's fascinating 1952 Goethe The Alchemist: A Study of Alchemical Symbolism in Goethe's Literary and Scientific Works (Cambridge) and Heinrich Schneider's 1947 Quest for Mysteries: The Masonic Background For Literature in the 18th Century (Cornell).
 
As a fan of Hegel (and Marx) you might also benefit from John Milbank's 1990/2006 Theology and Social Theory: Beyond Secular Reason (particularly Chapters 6 and 7, respectively for-and-against each of these two Germans), which is, alas, one of the few recent treatments I could find that tries to critically examine the assumptions of political-economy, as well as sociology.
 
Yes, by initiating this thread, I was trying to find a few more.  And, hopefully, this acquits me of some measure of error for not telling people something they don't already know. <g>
 
Mark Stahlman
Brooklyn NY
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