Why Wittgenstein was a better fit to the Nazi’s

Why Wittgenstein was a better fit to the Nazi’s

As a moth breeder, one finds oneself intimately close to death, for your favorite pet lives only six days. Our first atlas moth, an early-emerging male, never experienced the company of other moths, rendering his existence a certain tristesse. Thankfully, he gifted me his wing dust. The second moth, a female, moved even less than the male, seemingly waiting for companions. Veer claimed she existed only partially in this dimension, seeing an entire universe beyond it. After taking her on my finger for a ride, she became excited, and the next morning we witnessed a miracle: eggs were scattered everywhere, though no male had been near.

This phenomenon is known as parthenogenesis, where a female produces offspring without fertilization by a male. In most moth species, including the atlas moth, eggs laid without fertilization usually do not develop into viable offspring. Usually? So it can happen? We must wait and see. What other creature on this planet feeds on clothing? That alone makes the moth an angelic being, in my opinion.

Arden Wezenberg writes to me. That young man works himself to the bone just to survive in Amsterdam. People of my generation sometimes talk about millennials or Generation X, but they have no idea how difficult it is for those people to merely survive in this world. Arden wrote that the beginning of the book reminded him of Ludwig Wittgenstein, who had to flee a village because of his behavior as a teacher. Wittgenstein worked as a schoolmaster in various villages in Austria during the 1920s. His time as a teacher was marked by a strict and sometimes violent approach to discipline, which led to complaints from parents and ultimately his resignation.

Specifically, in the village of Otterthal, where he taught from 1926 to 1928, his methods were seen as particularly harsh. There are reports that he physically punished some students, which was not uncommon at the time, but his approach was considered extreme. This culminated in an incident where he severely injured a student, leading to an investigation and his dismissal. After this incident, Wittgenstein left the village and ceased teaching, turning his attention back to philosophy.

Is it not remarkable that this man became an icon for the art-house left? How could such a person become a revered figure in certain circles? Was Wittgenstein already popular in leftist circles before Derek Jarman’s film “Wittgenstein”? If so, it can never be due to Wittgenstein’s work alone.

This book will perhaps only be understood by those who have themselves already thought the thoughts which are expressed in it – or similar thoughts.

Thus begins that work. It is not only a colossal cop-out to say this, but it is also utterly non-committal, with those ‘or similar thoughts’. This book can only be understood if you have already conceived the same thoughts, or other kinds of thoughts. One immediately sees that we are not dealing with a writer. And in the next sentence, it does not improve:

It is therefore not a textbook. Its object would be attained if there were one person who read it with understanding and to whom it afforded pleasure.

It is therefore not a textbook. Because it ‘may’ be understood by people who already had the same thoughts, or simular ones? And then, to top it all off, the whole thing turns out to have a ‘goal.’ Namely, reproducing Wittgenstein himself as a trauma always reproduces itself. The choice of words here betrays the predator: the pleasure his book brings to the lone reader is ‘affordable.’

No, a philologist will only derive the wrong kind of pleasure from Ludwig. And then follows ‘the masterpiece’ itself, which is mainly a manual for psychopathy, as I read it:

The world is everything that is the case.

I cannot recall a more psychopathic opening to a philosophical document. The world is everything that is the case—what do you mean ‘the case,’ as if listening to a gossipmonger who knows ‘what’s going on,’ and that is all that can be called ‘the world,’ and nothing else. Wittgenstein knows what’s going on, and thus he is the world. Then the next sentence:

The world is the totality of facts, not of things.

Oh yes, it had to have a scientific veneer too. We were, as my important poetry collection “Het zijn maar Bergen” shows, in the heyday of Spitzenforschung. The world, consisting of what Ludwig knows is going on, also comprises hard facts and certainly not things.

What spoke here? Something striving earnestly to declare itself lord and master. I would call it ‘the machine mind,’ but at the time, one believed oneself to be an avatar of ‘scientificity,’ a mechanistic and reductionist approach to the world, reducing everything to measurable and controllable elements. During Wittgenstein’s time, and in the period leading up to and during World War II, there was a strong emphasis on scientificity and objective knowledge, often accompanied by a neglect of human and ethical aspects. And we saw in WWII how this Spitzenforschung played out: psychiatry, which had already developed various gruesome methods, closely collaborated with Hitler. During the Nazi regime in Germany, a substantial part of the psychiatric and medical community cooperated with the authorities under Adolf Hitler. This was especially visible in the execution of the infamous T4 euthanasia program and other racist and pseudoscientific practices.

The T4 program, named after its headquarters at Tiergartenstraße 4 in Berlin, was a systematic murder campaign aimed at eliminating those deemed “unworthy of life” by the Nazis. This included people with mental and physical disabilities, psychiatric patients, and others considered a burden to society. Doctors and psychiatrists played a crucial role in selecting patients for this program and carrying out the killings, often disguised as medical treatments.

When only facts exist and no people, such excesses can quickly develop. Foucault’s lethal analysis after the war of the entire psychiatric consensus was quietly swept under the rug. Apparently, the T4 program was almost instantly forgotten after the war, and in 1949 the Nobel Prize for the invention and application of the lobotomy was even awarded to the Portuguese neurologist António Egas Moniz. He received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine “for his discovery of the therapeutic value of lobotomy in certain psychoses.” Therapeutic value, you read that correctly. Twisting a knife in someone’s brain has therapeutic value. The silent genocide of people who were murdered because they were ‘different’ is never used as a moral imperative in discussions: the rightless deserve no representation.

The world is determined by the facts, and by these being all the facts. For the totality of facts determines both what is the case, and also all that is not the case.

The facts in logical space are the world.

And so our fact machine drones on for a few more pages, and this masterpiece of Spitzenforschung comes to an end. What I find interesting is that Heidegger was often accused of being a Nazi, understandably because he was a member of the Nazi party, but there lies the rub: essentially, Wittgenstein’s work fits better with the Third Reich. Those German idiots of the T4 program believed themselves to be incredibly scientific, and Ludwig’s psychotic masterpiece would have suited them like a glove, whereas the mystical, almost inscrutable work of Heidegger is much harder to build such a utopia upon.

(Of course, I am also aware that the entire Nazi ideology had a sort of dimension full of quatschmystique – but the problem with Heidegger is mainly that the bulk of his texts are so impenetrable that you don’t know whether you should classify them as quatschmystique. I would say, definatly not. But that would be subject for a new analysis…)

I believe the true reason Wittgenstein is so popular with the art-house left lies in the idea of the ‘mad genius.’ You rarely hear anyone talk about Wittgenstein’s brilliant ideas: gossip prevails about his eccentric behavior. For intelligence is, on the working-class flank, mainly something for the mad; after all, ‘madness’ is almost the only state in which one no longer has to toil, it is the holy exit from the entire system. Precisely that, in my opinion, is the reason behind the whole ‘canonization of the mad,’ symptomatic of the normalization cramp.

But no, I am not a great admirer of Wittgenstein. Meanwhile, my censored poetry collection is still for sale for those who wish to know more.

It can be bought here, for example

About the author

Martijn Benders has published twenty-six books, eighteen of which are in Dutch. Critics such as Komrij and Gerbrandy have hailed him as one of the greatest talents of his time. He has also written three philosophical works, one of which is in English and focuses on the Amanita Muscaria, the Fly Agaric. Publishing on the international platform of The Philosophical Salon, he has also gained international recognition as one of the most remarkable thinkers from the Netherlands.

Books

There exists a considerable group of leftist individuals who vigorously opposed the prevailing coronavirus narrative, including some of the world’s leading philosophers, such as Agamben and Kacem. However, this stance was heavily censored and vilified by what is referred to as ‘neocon-left’ or ‘woke-left’, as something associated solely with what they deem ‘far-right’. In my book, I discuss the reasons behind these actions, the underlying motives, and how this is emblematic of a new form of fascism aimed at seizing power permanently.

The middle section of the book is dedicated to poetry. It features a beautiful selection of poems from the Mediterranean region, by poets from Turkey and Greece, who have been imprisoned and tortured by the regime.

The final part of my book is a manifesto against literary nihilism, as manifested in the Literature Fund. It reveals how this fund is dominated by a group of Christians and ‘wokies’, which is undesirable in a free society.

Amanita Muscaria – The Book of the Empress is an exceptional work that sets a new benchmark in the realm of mycophilosophy. While one might be tempted to classify the book within the domain of Art History, such a categorization would fail to capture its true essence. 

Amanita Muscaria – The Book of the Empress – De Kaneelfabriek, 2023

You don’t have time to read this, but that’s because you are no longer human. If anything remained of the original person within you, the old mycelia of childhood, you would learn a great deal from this book. In fact, its magical knowledge might become your most valuable possession. This is a book about human imagination and how it fell into the iron grip of transdimensional cockroaches. Additionally, it offers magical tips to significantly improve your life and time acceleration. M.H.H. Benders also takes a light-hearted yet scathing look at the entirety of Dutch literature. What more could you want?

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