477. The clinging (X)
There is definitely such a thing as a “Hitler-worshipper” in a way there just is not a “Lenin-worshipper” or a “Stalin-worshipper” or even a “Napoleon-worshipper”, in other words Hitler founded a religion—not, admittedly, a very popular religion but a religion nonetheless; it is popular enough, and, indeed, the Christians were none too popular for many centuries after Christ’s death; they were seen as quite perverse and had to be driven, quite literally, underground—into the catacombs.
There are several reasons why there is such a thing as a Hitlerian religion: Hitler was an artist first and foremost—initially a painter, then he found his true métier: mass political poetry. The artist is shamanic; to use modern vocabulary, he hacks consciousness—and Hitler did just that. He let the German people—their unexpressed resentments and frustrations—speak through him, so he was not a man but a nation; he contained legions—he was possessed. Stalin was also a poet, but only in his native Georgian; he could not govern Russia as a poet—he stayed quiet, he was a traditional strong man; hence, though venerated, his veneration never takes on Hitler’s quasi-religious aura. Hitler was playing with consciousness and he rearranged Germany to please his vision; Stalin worked with Lenin’s legacy—Hitler used his own imagination, as activated by Wagner, to turn the entire country into his personal vision. Stalin was secondhand, Hitler worked directly from his own consciousness: art and religion are more or less synonymous—Hitler turned Germany into an extended opera for about a decade, an extended religious experience.
Despite the vogue for the “Nazi occult” in the 1970s, Hitler just does not seem to have really been that into religion per se—then again, an initiate into the esoteric Thule Society would not want you to think so, no? Hitler ridiculed Himmler’s esoteric pursuits and neo-Paganism; he seems to have been a Machiavellian in religion, prepared to use Christianity or neo-Paganism as it suited him—he believed in Providence, but this was his Will projected upon the universe. In many ways, he was a commonsensical member of the lower middle class with a Victorian faith in science: “Survival of the fittest, the weak to the wall—stands to reason, don’t it?”
People in the know—esotericists like Guénon and Evola—and even conventionally religious people, popes and cardinals, tended to see Hitler as a Machiavellian; he had a materialist faith that he adorned with hierarchical and vaguely mystical ideas, but he manipulated consciousness in the same spirit as Wagner—it was a creation for its own sake, it was not about a “real” beyond.
Yet, despite this, there was something different about Hitler—the avatar of death, an immediate reminder as to your own mortality; even his suicide seems like a planned act, a means to activate his “true work”—his religion—just as a sigil can be activated by sex, or as a pop musician’s premature death activates his catalogue. Of the three powers in the 20th century—the Soviets, the liberal democracies, and the Axis—it is the Axis, the axis, the vital centre, that retained a mystical or religious sensibility, even if the swastikas and esotericism were “just for show”; just aesthetically pleasing stage props for real-life opera.
So I see Hitler as a crooked shaman; not in a moral sense, so much as religion is as much like a sport, a practice, as it is an ethical affair. The Christian legacy means that we see religion as linear and moral: there is “one” truth, a good truth—all else is deviation that must submit. What if religion is more like a technology to be developed, elaborated, and spun off? What if there are many possibilities in the religious realm? It is artists who freestyle in this area, perhaps even unconsciously; perhaps the conscious Hitler was Machiavellian and secular, but the real desire was the operatic death—the mystery and the cult. No faith without sacrifice, the founder’s blood.