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"The neoist's 'Green Anarchism Exposed' leaflet is trying to con us into treating fascism as an ideology which can be argued with. What futility. Did Stauffenberg argue with Hitler? - No, he tried to blow him up with a bomb .... " @narchist Lancaster Bomber #11 July 1995.

Beyond dealing with @LB's ridiculous 'Lesson from History', here we review "Secret Germany: Stauffenberg and the Mystical Crusade Against Hitler" by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, two of the authors who penned The "Holy Blood and The Holy Grail. "

Count Claus von Stauffenberg was an aristocratic career army officer who was involved in a plot to kill Hitler in July 1944. Baigent and Leigh dress him up as some sort of hero. He was an upper class militarist who only acted against Hitler when his distaste for the Nazi regime was compounded by certain military defeat with the D-Day landings. Those who want to make him a hero apologise for a romantic militarism that tolerated Nazism while it offered the prospect of military glory, and only turned on Hitler to save the German war machine. In truth Stauffenberg was the sort of upper-class scum ready to slaughter the working class in warfare, even if his elitist, mystical ideology was not rooted in racist biological determinism.

The military coup he plotted utilised Operation Valkyrie, which had been endorsed by Hitler himself. It involved mobilising and deploying more than four million people in the Reserve Army. Baigent and Leigh point out its anti-working class nature, in that it was to deal with such emergencies as 'an uprising of foreign workers, for instance' (p 31). Party officials and civil servants would be subordinate to the army and it used'chains of command which bypassed the SS and the Nazi Party. Baigent and Leigh link Stauffenberg's plot to a mystical group drawn around the poetry of Stefan George - "For George, the real classical antecedents of his circle were the schools associated (at least according to esoteric tradition) with Pythagoras. [ ... ] The schools were generally seen as mystically and magically oriented precursors of, say, Harrow and Eton, preparing and grooming hand-picked cadres of young men for active roles of service in public life, in government, administration, the military and other spheres of civic responsibility". (p 274).

However, they fail to link this to other failed Pythagorean plots, particularly those to dispose of Napoleon. These were influenced by Charles Nodier, who they fingered as Grand Master of the Priory of Sion in their best-seller "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail". Nodier set up the Philadelphians in 1797 and used a system of five person cells, the pentagon being a symbol for universal love. They built up a secret network within the army fostering a return to republicanism. One attempt was made in 1808 - it's failure lead to over 500 arrests and possibly the mysterious death of Colonel Oudet at the Battle of Wagram in 1809. General Malet led the second in 1812. Following its failure he was tried and executed. When asked who his collaborators were, he told the judge "You yourself, sir, and all of France if I had succeeded." Malet had circulated romours that Napoleon had died in France, but failed to disarm the police. 1,500 were arrested as conspirators.

"A single melodramatic hero leading a simple oganisation" this is how James Billington summed up the Philadelphian fantasy -"the radical sublime simplification that would lead to revolution" ("Fire in the Minds of Men", New York 1980). While the men of action plotted, Nodier set his Pythagorean principles in "Apothesis de Pythagore. Imprecations de Pythagore". Published in 1808, the book claims its provenance as Crotona, a small town in Southern ltaly where Pythagoras organised his fIrst mystery school. Nodier applied this name to his home town of Besancon.

The same military romanticism motivated Stauffenberg. Baigent and Leigh talk of the war in North Africa as a "clean" war, and make much of the notion of military honour. But here we see the liberal perspective embrace militarism. They write as if the success of the Stauffenberg plot would have saved millions of lives without analysing the roots of war within capitalism, and whether their proposed separate peace with the Western allies would have lead to further war against the 'Soviet' Union. It is quite clear Stauffenberg was an elitist ­ in a text they were preparing as an oath the following sentiments are revealed:

"We want a new order which makes all Germans responsible for the state and guarantees them law and justice; but we despise the lie that all are equal and submit to rank ordained by nature. We want a people with roots in their native land, close to the powers of nature, finding happiness and contentment in the given environment and overcoming, in freedom and pride, the base instincts of envy and jealousy. We want leaders who, coming from every section of the nation, are in harmony with the divine powers and set an example to others by their noble spirit, discipline and sacrifice." (p. 276)

Such fantasies of a new order free of the compromise and corruption which are essential for the functioning of the state, offer succour to such Pythagorean gangs who nest in the upper reaches of its apparatus. No doubt such 'lofty' sentiments motivated people like Anthony Blunt, reconciling romanticism with oiling the machinery of death and destruction. Stauffenberg only moved from fantasy to action when military defeat was certain. Contrary to attempts by Baigent and Leigh, or even Green Anarchist, to make such men into heroes, we see only our class enemy.

Richard Essex

The Green Apocalypse (publication where this appeared)

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