The war for the mind of the West: Rationality, culture, geography, history, and the German problem

Reeves, Eric.   Carleton University (Canada) ProQuest Dissertations Publishing,  2006. NR16673.

Abstract (summary)

The "German problem," a pathology of political culture which caused two world wars and a holocaust, was an example of extreme "spiritual cultural polarity," which was in turn caused by the long-term "geocultural" position of Germany on a steep "cultural gradient" in Europe. More specifically, the thesis of this work is that Germany developed an extremely "spiritual" reaction against material rationality because of a reaction to a severe "cultural gradient" between the Rhine and the Elbe, which was caused by the pattern of urbanization, commerce, and ethnic interactions established during the Roman Empire.

The "German problem," a somewhat problematic label, is the problem of the peculiar development of Germany and its culture of "reactionary modernism," to use a paradoxical term common in the literature. In this work, the causes are found in the long-term evolution of Germany from the defeat of Roman legions on the Rhine in 9 CE to the beginning of the Second World War in 1939. The place the Romans called "Germania" was from the inception a "divided nation," even before it became a nation or a nation-state, because of its position on the steep "cultural gradient," between the Rhine and the Elbe, created by the natural shape of Roman expansion into Europe. This geographic "cultural gradient" caused an analogous cultural division or "polarity," an antagonism of antithetical forces in German culture. The culture of "reactionary modernism" was not a manifestation of modernity, as has become fashionable to believe, but a reaction against it. This is a reaction which continues in the 21 st Century with the misunderstood "clash of civilizations," which is not only a war against the West, but also a war within the mind of the West itself. The German problem was only the most extreme manifestation, so far, of this war for the mind of the West.

Indexing (details)

Political science;
European history
0615: Political science
0335: European history
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; Culture; Geography; German problem; Rationality; Reactionary modernism
The war for the mind of the West: Rationality, culture, geography, history, and the German problem
Reeves, Eric
Number of pages
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 67/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Carleton University (Canada)
University location
Canada -- Ontario, CA
Source type
Dissertation or Thesis
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL