In my opinion, Eric Voegelin conducted the most thorough investigation into what we call the “Western crisis.” Voegelin drew heavily from both Plato and Aristotle, and made the greatest contribution to awakening us to the reality that, in a democracy, the government is only a reflection of the population.
As Voegelin stated in his three-volume work, Order and History, that we have the false idea that political change can come from electing new political leaders or political parties, when in reality this new leader or party will be recruited “from the very people whose moral confusion is the source of disorder.”
Here’s a short reading on Voegelin that I did, with my recommended Voegelin book list: A Reading: Our Western Crisis – Eric Voegelin
1. The New Science of Politics (easy to read)
2. Science, Politics & Gnosticism (easy to read)
3. Hitler and the Germans (not-so easy to read)
4. Plato & Aristotle (extremely difficult to read)
5. The Ecumenic Age (extremely difficult to read)
6. In Search of Order (extremely difficult to read)
7. Eric Voegelin – Michael Federici (The book I’m reading from in the video)
In one of the most gripping and honest books that I have read on the history of the Nazi era, Eric Voegelin, the premier political philosopher of the past century, in his Hitler and the Germans, draws the following conclusion:
“So, the conclusion [referring to a letter of Wilfried Wiegand who was looking for an out]: If Hitler was stupid or a criminal, and the people voted for him in droves, then they too must have been stupid and criminal. But this is not possible [according to Wiegand], so Hitler was not stupid and no criminal. The other possibility, the point that is being resisted, is that perhaps a very great number of Germans, perhaps the overwhelming majority, were in fact extraordinarily stupid, that in political matters a very great number still are, and that what we see here is a situation of intellectual and ethical rottenness, which in fact supported the rise of the phenomenon of Hitler.”
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