Patologia ducha w ujęciu Erica Voegelina. Refleksje nad milczeniem elit w życiu publicznym w kontekście pewnej diagnozy regresu cywilizacyjnego

Romuald Piekarski


In the early 30-ies of the 20th century, many factors existed able to spawn the creation of totalitarian regimes bound to claim a bloody toll and to prompt irrevocable decline of the civilization. E. Voegelin regarded these processes from the perspective of the German humanist tradition of the Wissenschaft des Geistes. The historical processes perceived this way contains moral, intellectual and spiritual factors as its important features. In his later, post-war output, which consists of a series of lectures published by him in 1964 and entitled Hitler und die Deutschen, as well as in his other publications, Voegelin surveyed as a philosopher and theorist of the history of civilization then spiritual transformation of social conditions of the Western world, which led to the rule of Hitler and National Socialism. The author of Order and History rejected the diagnosis of regression of civilization, connected with what he called “Gnostic” politics, and coined himself the term of the “pathology of the spirit.” The article compares Voegelin’s explanatory diagnosis with the apparent lack of significant resistance to the barbaric rule of the Nazis in the then Germany, and with the opinions of some researchers concerning the biographies and actions of Adolf Hitler.

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