Furthest Right

Between the Gods and the Titans (Alain de Benoist)

Alain de Benoist considers the achievement of the writer Ernst Juenger and his ideal of the Worker in the context of the Conservative Revolution.

This article first appeared as part of the central theme in Nouvelle Ecole No.40 (41, rue Barrault, 13 arr. 75 Paris) under the title Ernst Juenger: La Figure du Travailleur entre les Dieux et les Titans. We have translated it and are reprinting it in two parts in considerably abridged form with acknowledgements. Ernst Juenger is arguably the most provocative of all the writers of the Conservative Revolution. (Among other remarks attributed to him is the one that the abolition of torture is an indication of decadence in a society.) Even his most provocative utterences have the intellectual virtue, however, of forcing his opponents to articulate their opposition to him in an intelligent manner. Scorpion readers able to read French may be interested to know that Alain de Benoist is the general editor responsible for the publication of a new series of French translations of the writers of the Conservative Revolution, published by Pardes, (B.P. 47, 45390 Puiseaux 45390 France).

FOR ARMIN MOHLER, author of the classic manual on the German Conservative Revolution (Die Konservative Revolution in Deutschland), Ernst Juenger’s Der Arbeiter was one of those which he “still could not pick up without his hands shaking”. For Mohler Der Arbeiter is more than a philosophy, it is a work of poetry. The word is apt, above all if we consider that all poetry possesses an incipient quality: it simultaneously penetrates the world and unveils the divine. Der Arbeiter possesses a metaphysical quality which takes it far beyond the historical and political context in which it was written.

Ernst Juenger was born on 28th March 1895 in Heidelberg, the son of Ernst Georg (1868-1943), a chemist and assistant to research chemist Viktor Meyer. He had one sister and five brothers, two of whom died very young. Juenger went to school in Hannover and Scwarzenberg, later in Brunswick and finally in Hannover again, as well as having attended Scharnhorst Realschule (secondary school). In 1911 he joined the Wunstdorf section of the Wandervogel and in the same year published his first poem, Unser Leben, in their local journal. In 1913 he left home to sign up at Verdun for the French Foreign Legion. After a few months, when the young man had already begun training in Algeria, his father was able to persuade him to return to Germany, where he attended the Hannover Guild Institute. It was at this time that he became familiar with the works of Nietzsche.

The First World War began for Germany on August 1st 1914 and Juenger signed up on the first day. He rose in the ranks to become lieutenant, was wounded three times before being awarded the Iron Cross First Class on December 16th 1916. In February 1917 he became Stosstruppfuehrer (leader of an assault battalion). This led to the experience of hand-to-hand fighting in the trenches. Juenger was decorated with the Ritterkreuz of the Order of the Hohenzollerns. He finished the war in hospital, having been wounded fourteen times. Juenger was also awarded the Cross Pour le merite, the highest award in the German army. Only twelve subalterns in the German army received this award during the First World War, among the other eleven the future Marshal Rommel.

Between 1918 and 1923, in the barracks at Hannover, Juenger began to write in earnest, inspired by his experiences at the front. In Stahlgewittern (In Hurricans of Steel), first published in 1919 and reedited in 1922, was an immediate success. There followed Der Kampf als inneres Erlebnis (1922) Das Waeldchen 125 (1924) and Feur und Blut (1925) (The Fight within, Copse 125, Fire and Blood). Juenger also wrote on specialist military themes in Militaer-Wochenblatt and became known as something of an expert on military matters; but he did not feel at ease in a peacetime army. In 1923 he left the Reichswehr and entered Leipsic University to study biology, zoology and philosophy. In 1925 he married the 19 year old Gretha von Jeinsen. His political views developed rapidly in the political tumult of the time. In the space of a few months Juenger had become one of the principle representatives of the so-called national-revolutionaries of the Conservative Revolution. In September 1925, a former commando leader, Helmut Franke, launched the review Die Standarte which set out to “contribute towards a spiritual deepening of the Front mentality”. Juenger was on the editorial board along with another “nationalist soldier”, Franz Schauwecker. The journal began life as a supplement to the magazine Der Stahlhelm, which was the organ of the Stahlhelm movement. (This was an active association of former combatants opposed to the Treaty of Versailles. In 1925 it had 250 thousand members. After the national socialists came to power in 1933, the association was forcibly amalgamated with the regime’s official old combattants’ organization (NSDFB) and by 1935 no trace of Der Stahlhelm remained.) In Die Standarte Juenger immediately adopted a radical tone, quite different to that of most of the Stahlhelm adherents. In an article published in October 1925, he criticised the theory of the “stab in the back” (Dolchstoss), which was accepted by almost all nationalists, namely that the German army was not defeated at the front but by a “stab in the back” at home. Juenger also pointed out that certain revolutionaries of the far left had fought in the war with distinction. This caused an uproar in Die Stahhelm and the movement distanced itself from the young writer. In March 1926 it closed down Die Standarte. Juenger started the magazine again a month later however with the same name, but dropping the “Die“. Nevertheless, not all lines had been severed and Standarte was supported financially by several members of Der Stahlhelm. In the pages of Standarte on June 3rd 1926, Juenger made an appeal to all former soldiers to unite for the creation of a “Nationalist Workers’ Republic”. In August, Otto H<148>rsing, co-founder of the Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot Gold, the Social Democrats’ security force, proposed to the government that the journal should be banned, which it was, but for only five months. Franz Seldte, the leader of Der Stahlhelm and still proprietor of the journal, took the opportunity to sack its leading editor, Helmut Franke. Juenger went with him. With Wilhelm Weiss the two launched another review, called Armenius. (Standarte, under different editorship, continued until 1929.) In 1927 Juenger moved from Leipsic to Berlin, where he made contact with the Buendisch youth. The Bunds were an attempt to unite the romantic spirit of the Wandervogel with an organization more permanent and hierarchical. Juenger became the leader (Schirmherr) of one of these youth groups. In 1927 Juenger was associated with the launching of yet another publication, Der Vormarsch (Advance) which was the brain-child of Captain Ehrhardt.

“Losing the War to Win the Nation”

At this time Juenger was subject to several literary and philosophical influences. There was a French fin de siecle influence in his early works, notably Der Kampf als innere Erlebnis also a kind of Baudelairian dandyism in Sturm, a very early work. Mohler draws a comparison between Juenger and the Barres of Roman de l’Energie nationale: in the works of both writers nationalism is a substitute for religion, a manner of enlargening and strengthening the soul, the result of a conscious choice, a factor which emerged as a result of the destruction of old norms in the wake of the Great War. The influence of Spengler and Nietzsche is also evident. In 1929, in an interview given to an English journalist, Juenger defined himself as a “disciple of Nietzsche”, stressing with approval the fact that Nietzsche was the first to challenge the fiction of an abstract universal man, by dividing mankind into the strong and the feeble. In 1922 Juenger read the first volume of Der Untergang des Abendlandes with great passion, but he was no passive disciple of Spengler, as we shall see. The experience of war, however, remained the strongest influence in Juenger’s writings. He distinguished between the Gegner (opponent) andFeind (enemy); it is because there was not an absolute enemy but only the opponent of the moment, that the Great War and war as such has something “holy” about it.

Another lesson which Juenger claimed to have learned was that “life is nourished by death” and that life, in its essence, is “indestructable”. The war had been lost but this defeat had a potentially positive aspect, according to Juenger. Formal defeat or victory is not the “bottom line” in war. The aim is not the be all and end all of struggle. The war had not been so much a war between nations as between a certain kind of man. As an epigraph to his book Aufbruch der Nation (National Reveille) published in 1930, Franz Schauwecker wrote “we needed to lose the war in order to win the nation”. Juenger had written in a similar vein. For Juenger after the Great War there could be “no going back”. The old roads led nowhere. He called the Great War an Umbruch, an irreparable break with the past. The war had provided a model for the peace. War has a profound significance and the sacrifice of millions must have a meaning but the meaning can not be so much rationalised as felt (geahnt). From 1926 onwards, Juenger appealed incessantly for a united front of nationalist groups and movements. At the same time he tried, without notable success, to change them. Nationalism should become revolutionary. From this perspective the crux of the national struggle was the struggle against liberalism. In Armenius and in Der Vormarsch he attacked the humanists who favoured an “anaemic” society, the cynics who wished to see the Great War as nothing but futility and madness. At the same time he opposed the sentimentality of conservative nationalism (“the cult of museums”) and distinguished between healthy neo-nationalism and the sentimentality of what he called “grand-daddy nationalism”. The nation is more than a country, it is an idea and Germany exists there where the idea of Germany fires the spirit.

In the April issue of Arminius Juenger took a nominalist position: for him there is no universal truth, no universal moral, no universal man with a just claim to equal rights. Value is found in the particular. While Voelkisch groups sought a return to the soil, Juenger on the contrary exalted the power of technics and repudiated the individual. Born of bourgeois rationality, technology was now going to turn on the spirit which had engendered it. As technology advances, so the individual will disappear. In the meantime the town had become the “front” in the national struggle and in Berlin representatives of many different currents of the Conservative Revolution met around Juenger, including the writer Ernst von Saloman, the Nietzschean Friedrich Hielscher, who was editor of Das Reich, the neo-conservatives August Winnig (whom Juenger met through Alfred Baeumler) and A.E. Guenther, co-editor with Wilhelm Stapel of Deutsches Volkstum, the national-Bolsheviks Ernst Niekisch and Karl Paetel and of course his own brother Friedrich Georg Juenger, who had become quite well known in his own right.

In April 1928 Juenger handed over editorship of Der Vormarsch to Hielscher, who was a close friend of his. (Among other things Hielscher was the coordinator of a European regionalist movement and the founder of a neo-Pagan church. In the Third Reich he was to hold an important position in the Ahnenerbe while maintaining contact with the “internal immigration”. He was arrested in September 1944 and thrown into prison and only escaped execution thanks to the special pleading of Wolfram Sievers, (most of whose writings, apart from an autobiography, have never been published.) In 1930 Juenger became, with Werner Lass, the editor of Die Kommenden, a point of contact with national-Bolsheviks, as these wrote regularly for the paper. He also wrote for Widerstand (Opposition) edited by Ernst Niekisch, whom he knew personally. For Niekisch the future man was collective man, who alone would be able to face up to the “murderous consequences” of technological discovery. The national movement and the communist movement had the same enemy: the bourgeois West. Although fascinated by Bolshevism, Juenger was at no time a national-Bolshevik. He and Lass left Die Kommenden in July 1931, Lass to found an out and out national-Bolshevik publication: Der Umsturz (Overthrow), but Juenger had not the least inclination to take part in this project, nor in the national-socialist movement. In an article written for Suedeutsche Monatshefte in September 1931 he included national-socialism among the nationalisms which were inspired by the past and therefore, according to him, tainted with liberal and bourgeois ideas. As Marcel Decombis noted in his work on Juenger published in 1943, “Juenger, the perfect Prussian officer, who subjects himself to the most intense self-discipline, could never submit again to a collectivity.” His brother evolved politically in much the same direction. At that time they went on a number of voyages to Southern Europe together. From 1929 onwards, Juenger spent less time writing for publications and more on writing books. In 1929 the first version of Das abenteurliche Herz (Adventurous Heart) was published, followed by Die totale Mobilmachung (Total Mobilisation) in 1931 and Der Arbeiter (The Worker) in 1932.

The Worker

The first part of the book revolves around the notion of what the writer called Gestalt (form, figure). This Gestalt is seen as a global type, of which the totality includes characteristics which can not be found in any of the separate constituent parts. It is at the root of sense, a supreme reality which gives sense to phenomena. Sense is not here intended to have exactly the meaning we associate with cause and effect, rather it is sense in being an imprint which marks a period in time and gives that period in time.. sense. Man here is the measure of all things. Gestalt is the “pre-formed power” (vorgeformte Macht) which only accedes to being to the extent that it is willed into being by man who feels its appeal. The Gestalt is not dependent on man to be what it is, but it does depend on man to assume the status of existence, which it endows with the dimesion of profundity. It can only be understood dialectically, for it encompasses many different aspects. It is at once unchanging and localised. Its relationship to history is complex: it is not so much the product of history as what permits history to take place. It determines historical movement. History does not bring forth historical types but is transformed through its interaction with them. (Juenger noted elsewhere that our epoch was rich in types but poor in great men.) History is the metaphysics of being. The Gestalt is beyond Good and Evil. Not only is it not subject to a morality, it alone makes morality possible. The same goes for Truth and Beauty. The role of the theorist is not therefore to judge a figure but instinctively to recognise it. To identify with it is to commit a revolutionary act.

What is the dominant form of our time? Work, according to Juenger. It is therefore in the figure of the Worker that Juenger claimed to see the Gestalt of the generation to come. Juenger does not mean work as the key to economic activity or work as the “law of humanity”, nor work as the consequence of original sin, nor does work here represent an “alienation”. Juenger uses the term “work” to describe all creation which aims at giving form in the world; it is the affirmation of power, the deployment of energy. Work is the means by which the modern world is totally mobilised, the expression of a special form of being. Science, love, art, faith, culture, war: all is Work; Work too the vibration of molecules and the force which drives the stars and planets. Work is not so much an activity as the will which is “at work” within an activity, the “will to will”, which is the creative force of history. The notion of the Worker as an economic creation is too restrictive and betrays the bourgeois reference frame of whoever sees Work in such a restrictive light. The Worker is not be confused with the proletariat, unless we conceive him as a “proletarian” within all classes. Juenger thus distinguishes sharply between the Worker’s State as he saw it and the Marxian notion of “the workers’ state”. Against the Marxist Arbeiterschaft (work force), Juenger opposed theArbeitertum, identification with work, the community of those dedicated to work. (This distinction was also made by August Winnig, notably in his Der Glaube an das Proletariat and Vom Proletariat zum Arbeitertum, but his stress was much more political in the practical sense of the word than Juenger’s.) But Juenger himself stressed that his work was not anti-Marxist. Marx had his place in an understanding of the concept of the Worker, but that place should not be exclusive. Marxism, “useful because corrosive”, had to be surpassed. Marx limited the notion of work to the economic field, but for Juenger work had a breadth which extended “from the atom to the galaxies”. Marx believed that the worker would one day be transformed into an artist. Juenger believed that the artist was being transformed into a worker.

The worker reveals himself by virtue of his power. He will dominate by virtue of his Will to Power, which is expressed through work, a work which succeedes in mobilising. The Gestalt represents the spirit of the world at a given period. The key to all is power, for behind the representations of spirit in the world are not pure ideas but matter. Contrary to what Hegel claimed, theory does not determine reality but on the contrary reality engenders ideas. Economy plays a secondary role for Juenger, as he underlined in an interview given to Le Monde (2oth June 1978). The figure of the Worker is metaphysical and in its fundamental character is not transformed. Juenger called the Worker a “titanic personage”. The antithesis of the Worker is the Bourgeois; for Juenger, to be anti-liberal is to be first and foremost anti-bourgeois. The Bourgeois too is a Gestalt which encapsulates a mode of life and thought, a scale of values, a state of mind, which can be found in all classes, not just the middle-classes. The Bourgeois has no metaphsical worth, he only reasons in a utilitarian manner. The Bourgeois wants to take as much as possible from life and give as little as possible. Above all else the Bourgeois is worried about safety. The Bourgeois is represented by the type of person who is afraid of life and is who is incapable of acting historically. The Bourgeois avoids all commitment to the decisive, the creative act. War and love, nature and death, all the elementary forces are “irrational” to him and do not belong to his society, for society, as he sees it, is the result of a voluntarily made and rationally conceived contract based on the principle of equality for all. Worker and Bourgeois are as different as dawn and dusk.

The advent of the figure of the Worker is linked to a new state of society which Juenger calls “total mobilisation” (totale Mobilmachung). This expression was clarified by Juenger in a long essay which served as a kind of preface to Der Arbeiter. It is the effects of the evolution of the techniques of war which heralds, in the most characteristic manner, entry into the era of total mobilisation. Since Clausewitz described the condition of “total war”, the situation had rapidly evolved. Especially from 1916, the spirit of progress and the development of the techniques of war went hand in hand. Technology dominates the scene more and more. The Great War thus marked the end of the era of chivalry and traditional heroic values. From his own experience in the trenches, Juenger had seen the evolution of war into the pitting of abstract material force against abstract material force. The troops become canon fodder. War is impregnated with the same spirit as that which created the machines. Technical instruction becomes more and more crucial for every soldier. “…the men who march at the head, the tank drivers, the pilots, the U-boat captains, are all accomplished technicians.” (Waeldchen 125) The technician then represents the modern state at war. The question must then be raised: in such a situation what meaning does the soldier’s sacrifice have? The answer lies in the notion of total mobilisation. At the same time as war becomes a technical undertaking, the traditional distinction between combattant and non-combattant breaks down. Even the notion of war and peace gives way to the reality of permanent global conflict. Even the pacifist has to be ready to fight for his beliefs! The decisive aspect of the new state of affairs is the fact that all are potentially involved in war and all are available for mobilisation. The capacity to mobilise becomes increasingly the key factor in the destiny of peoples. Modern war has become an aspect of Work. The world as we know it is transformed into a universal factory, a “Vulcan’s forge”. The world is now mobile and mobilised. The Great War therefore exceeds the French Revolution in historical importance, for it has brought forth a new man, the man with a hammer in his hand. Worker and Soldier become one and the same. The military front and the industrial front are the same. The Great War also witnessed the emergence of the collectivist era (Wirzeit) as opposed to the individualistic one (Ichzeit). The rural world is in decline, motorways are built, leisure becomes an industry, political parties blossom, the screen takes precedence over the stage, the photograph over the portrait, national planning becomes very important, the value of money is controlled, production is standardised, statistics and typologies abound, the “metallic” (male) or “cosmetic” (female) fixidness of the face, the restrictions on individual liberty brought about by automation, the convergence of effort towards economic objectives which exceed their own frame of reference, the collaboration of state and industry: these among other factors accompany the replacement everywhere of the individual by the uniform and typical. In Juenger’s eyes these factors are positive. His tone in evoking the power and importance of machines sometimes recalls Italian Futurism. The critic Henri Plard called Der Arbeiter “the richest and most provocative of his works”, in which is allied “an effectively and passionately reactionary ideology with a modernism which clears all the dead wood of whatever is not 100% up-to-date.” (Etudes Germaniques July-September 1979). The standardisation or uniformation of the world is taken as the bearing of a uniform. This is not a sign of decadence but a promise of the future and the precondition of the destruction of the Bourgeois type. The Worker must accelerate this process. The Worker arises as a result of the death of the individual. Only decomposition allows for recomposition at a higher level. The individual whose demise Juenger so joyously proclaims is not altogether identical with the individual person; rather it is the bourgeois individual, the Individuum, born of the philosophy of the Enlightenment, a creature struck from its roots, from its heritage, is in contrast with the Einzelne, the individual person, whose identity is situated in an “organic environment”. The Individuum is “most charming invention of burgeois sentimentality..a part of the mass, which is the contrary of a people.” So the individual is just “mass” in smaller letters. Work is indissociable from Liberty. Man puts most energy into something at a command. Liberty is a voluntary adhesion to a Gestalt in service to which the full capacity of the Worker is able to express itself. To be free means to take part, the will to be free is the will to work. Liberty presupposes a life filled with sense, an attachment rather than freedom from restraint. As a result of attaining liberty the Worker is able to realise his integration (Eingliederung) in the general structure of society through which the Worker is fully realised. Man is not to be considered as an individual but as an incarnation of Gestalt and attains liberty through participation in the attainment of the figure of which he is, as individual person, a representation. In the future society envisaged by Juenger, each person’s place will not be determined by birth, fortune, or rank, but by the degree of adhesion to the type of the Worker.

Clearly Juenger’s thought has gone way beyond drawing from the experience of war. When he speaks of the war of material forces he is not only making an observation concerning the technological evolution of war, he is pointing to the idea that the technical transformation of war has produced a rupture which affects the entire planet. This rupture marks the end of the rule of man or gods made in the image of man, and the emergence of the titanic force of the elemental in daily life. Ancient religions tell us that at the origin of civilizations there was a struggle between Gods and Titans. For millennia the Titans held the Gods in awe and kept their distance but now it is the Twilight of the Gods and the Giants are returning. They are returning by means of the immense force which technology has unleashed. Confronted with the unchaining of the elemental, all the old defences, old attitudes, old doctrines are withered. Anachronistic too are the traditional forms of political action. Defeat must be turned into victory. Life must be intensified and the Worker will prevail.

According to Julius Evola, “Juenger should be credited in this first stage of his thought, with having recognised the fatal error of thinking that all could be restored to what it was before, that the new world which was looming could be mastered or halted on the basis of a vision of a bygone era” (Oriente e Occidente Arche, Milan 1982 p.69) and, “man must become the instrument of the mechnical and yet at the same time master it, not only in the physical sense, but also spiritually. This is only possible in the context of a new human type…a being more the subject than the object, one who accepts those aspects of destruction which lead to a surmounting of individualism in favour of a new active impersonalism, towards a “heroic realism”.” (Il cammino del cinabro, Arche, Milan 1983 pp. 99 191-192). What is important for man, according to Juenger, is neither happiness nor wealth. It is to enter into a state of resonance with respect to the Figure which is the way to achieve determination, destiny, a discovery which endowes sacrifice with a meaning. The Worker considers the military esprit de corps as nothing exceptional: for him it is the discipline on which he bases his whole life and therein lies his innate superiority. The great force of heroic realism is to be able to face anything, even the certainty of failure with equananimity: nothing can shake the resolve of the Worker. This equananimity is not to be confused with fatalism, it does not preclude the will to action. On the contrary, it provides a lucidity which stimulates action. The key notion of movement, of not being passive, recalls Nietsche’s amor fati or Evola’s “riding the tiger”. Not life in itself is important but the nobility of life, that we can lead a life in the “grand style”. The Worker givesform to a chaotic world. The Worker is a demi-urge.

Whether one welcomes it or not, the Worker’s day will come. For Juenger force will solve many future problems and will resolve, in the most radical way, many of the tensions of society. The Worker must mobilise, that is to say, be prepared to act forcibly and to be mobile, swift to take advantage of the technical opportunities opening up, the source of the creation of the modern Worker in the first place. Only the Worker is capable of an authentic rapport with the “totalistic character of work”, of a genuine relationship with the machine. Being as revealed in the Worker as Gestalt and the essence of the machine is The Will to Power. Technics constitute not only the “symbol of the figure of the Worker” but also the “manner in which that figure mobilises the world”. And technology is not here to accelerate progress but to intensify power. Not only progress, but also the notion of the “infinite possibilities of technological development” are illusions. Technology will reach a point of perfection which will mark the furthest stage it can reach, and as with all form, its perfection is reached at the point that it is used to the maximum extent of its inherent potential. At this point there is a difference to be noted between Ernst Juenger and his brother, Friedrich Georg Juenger. The idea of technical perfection in the sense of achievement and fulfillment (Vollendung), is one which the latter examines critically in his writings but which Ernst Juenger sees in a positive light, arguing that one day technology, reaching its amplitude, its perfection, will be able to dominate the entire world, but that this can only be realised by the coming to power of the non-individualist Worker.

By rejecting the “myth of Progress”, Juenger denies that technology is neutral, at the service of everyone, or that it is either intrinsically liberating or intrinsically oppressive. Technology enslaves those who are not adequate to cope with it and the form of life which it ushers in. The bourgeois mentality, on the other hand, is terrified of the Golom which it has created but is unable to master. Technology has its own langauge which the Worker is equipped to speak, but not the Bourgeois. Technology is a formation of the elementary forces of the world. This is the end of individualism. The “individual” will become a slave to the machine. The question, already posed by Juenger inFeuer und Blut, is whether man will dominate or be dominated by, his own inventions. Although Juenger rejects the notion that biologicallyrace is important, but metaphysically technology calls forth a new elite and the will to form a new race (Wille zur Rassenbildung) and this new race must be “prudent, strong, shorn of equivocation, drunk with energy”. Art will then become the “putting into form” (Gestaltung) of the world of Work. The advent of the Worker will herald the end of individualism and of proletarianism. It will reject the utopias of the materialists and the idealists and will interpret the world in its own image. Marxism and the old religions will all disappear.

Just as technology can not be neutral, nor can the state. The supposed neutrality of the liberal bourgeois state is a sham. In opposition to parliamentary democracies and democratic socialists, Juenger opposes the “democracy of the state”, a society with a pyramidal structure founded on the Prussian principles of command and obedience, but in which the leader is not a despot but the “first servant, the first soldier, the first worker”. For the Worker liberty and obedience are one. This notion of the “total state” was distinguished by Evola from that of the “totalitarian state”, the first being supple, living, organic and marking the beginning of a cycle, the second being moribund, inflexible, mechanised, petrified and representing the end of a cycle. Juenger’s state was to be tripartite: the first level with an economic funtion and passively reflecting the Gestalt of the Worker; the second level with an administrative and instructive function and activelyreflecting the Gestalt of the Worker; the third level being the sovereign level, whose action would directly reflect the totality of Work and whose imperial authority would represent the Gestalt in its “pure” form. This tripartite system appears to be an adaption of an ancient model of a social scheme which to a certain extent was also reflected in the old German tripartite system of Staende.

In his work Die Totale Mobilmachung (Total Mobilisation) Juenger’s perspective was essentially national: only the German people was capable of “affronting” itself, of undertaking a mobilisation of itself. It is in this sense that Juenger saw something positive emerging from the war for Germany: it gave Germany the opportunity to “realise itself”. Mobilisation was to be mobilisation of everything which was German “and nothing else”. In Der Arbeiter, on the other hand, Juenger abandoned the typical nationalist position in favour of a universal perspective. In the future the nations would become “planning areas” later to be followed by the rule of the Worker over the entire planet. The instauration of the Worker would signal the end of Western nihilism, for which the bourgeois system was responsible. The sovereignity of the “grand style” could only be realised on a global level. Man has reached the point where he must choose between mastering the world or renouncing his humanity.


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