Return of the Teutonic Germ Theory of History?

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One surely hopes that the Matthias Schulz article, “The Anglo-Saxon Invasion: Britain Is More Germanic Than It Thinks,” posted today at LRC is not signaling a return of the Teutonic Germ Theory of History that was so dominant among the academic and governing elites at the close of the Nineteenth Century in the United States and Great Britain. Historian Richard Hofstadter surveyed this unfortunate historiographical phenomena in his famous (but flawed) Social Darwinism in American Thought in a concise chapter entitled, “Race and Imperialism.” This was a crucial time in American intellectual history. Scholars as divergent as Murray N. Rothbard and G. William Domhoff have documented the impact of thousands of key academics such as Richard Ely, Herbert Baxter Adams, and John W. Burgess who received their graduate training in Germany during this period, dominated by the rise of Bismarck’s welfare-warfare state. They returned home imbued with these ideas, which their apt pupils such as Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson transformed into hard reality. This worship of the newly-discovered wonders of statism, combined with the influx of Darwinian evolutionary naturalism, “social imperialism” and Fabian socialism imported from Great Britain, the increasing secularization of postmillennial evangelical pietism, provided the satanic breeding ground for the incubus that emerged as progressivism — complete with its elite notions of centralized political/economic planning, aggressive nationalism, and eugenics and the idea of “race suicide.”

11:28 am on June 21, 2011