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German National Socialism This paper will examin

Central to the philosophy of the German romantics was the idea of "volk," the union between the German people, their culture, and their state. This idea transcended the typical conceptions of nationhood and nationality, for the idea of "volk" applied only to the German peoples. At its most extreme, this idea of "volk" and the German "volk-nation" imbued the German culture and state with a sense of eternity, giving them a mystical unity and virtue extending beyond mere intellectual conception. Such ideas of German uniqueness were probably a response to the Napoleonic Wars, in which the German states were forced to subjugate themselves to the cultural and military might of France. As a result, a cult of German nationalism emerged which sought to break out of a mass inferiority complex by proclaiming a superior German culture.

Among the ideas rejected by the romantics was the economic theory of Adam Smith. According to the romantics, production and trade should not be regulated by the "market" but by the state, in order to promote national self-sufficiency; the liberal economic ideas of Smith advocated virtually unrestricted world trade which devalued the importance of nations. Naturally, the unique German volk-nation had to maintain its superiority without being diluted by the effects of free world trade. It would be demeaning to the German state to be governed by the economic needs and dictates of foreign countries; it would eventual


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