Tolkien vs Hitler

“I have in this War a burning private grudge—which would probably make me a better soldier at 49 than I was at 22: against that ruddy little ignoramus Adolf Hitler (for the odd thing about demonic inspiration and impetus is that it in no way enhances the purely intellectual stature: it chiefly affects the mere will). Ruining, perverting, misapplying, and making for ever accursed, that noble northern spirit, a supreme contribution to Europe, which I have ever loved, and tried to present in its true light.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien

 One thing I have observed about the far right is that it seems to often admire both Tolkien and Hitler, two men who clearly had disagreements. So what is one to make of this paradox?

If you asked me personally what I thought of Hitler, I would say that the German people were initially supporting him for the right reasons, namely to make their country financially independent, but the ideology of Nazism itself was not the perfect banner to rally around. In my opinion, National Socialism, is, at best, an emergency ideology to prevent one’s nation from being destroyed in a time of crisis. All this said it is rather amusing to watch Hitler on Youtube waving his fists around yelling about the “roootlesch internatchional clique!”.

What Tolkien seems to be criticizing, however, has more to do with the spiritual ideology pervading German National Socialism. Hitler and (perhaps more) edit: Rosenberg and Himmler used Germanic myth as a source of philosophical themes to be mixed with the occult. The end result was that Hitler edit: Hitler’s philosophers were synthesizing a new spiritual philosophy from traditional Germanic and newer theosophical spiritual elements, not for the purpose of creating something not genuinely Germanic, but to justify a totalitarian regime. This is what Tolkien correctly saw as a perversion of Germanic cultural material.

One place one finds Tolkien and Hitler converging is in a wariness of subversive internationalist conspiracies. Tolkien incorporated this into his literary corpus through the story of the rings, forged in deceit to mind-control the kings of men, dwarves, and elves, and enslave all middle earth to the darkness of Sauron bound up in his One Ring. Hitler was a bit blunter in his condemnation the international elements who use finance to control governments and the media. Tolkien, however, was not anti-Semitic per se and seemed to believe that the nature of the globalist problem is far larger than *them*, that it also hinges on malicious spiritual forces at play, and on the plain weakness of man.

When you understand the Indo-European origins of the spiritual order of Tolkien’s novels, as well as what he is speaking against, the ugliness, greed, and kingless state of the current era, you see that he is speaking from the vantage point of a radical traditionalist. Perhaps he is not an Evola, but I would say that his traditionalism and glorification of monarchy places him farther to the right than Hitler, which something for Tolkien fans (myself included) to think about.

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4 thoughts on “Tolkien vs Hitler

  1. “What Tolkien seems to be criticizing, however, has more to do with the spiritual ideology pervading German National Socialism. Hitler and (perhaps more) Rosenberg used Germanic myth as a source of philosophical themes to be mixed with the occult.”

    It’s pretty well known that Hitler loathed the occult. And if you believe Speer’s Inside The Third Reich, Hitler mocked Himmler for his obsession with ancient Germania and Nordic myths. Pretty clear though that Hitler the artist with a love for Wagner liked the semi-mystical iconography that NS used.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well perhaps Tolkien was mistaken in blaming Hitler then and should have blamed Himmler and Rosenberg. Remember, Tolkien was not living in Germany at the time and may not have had the information we do today about the quarrels inside the Third Reich.

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