What are anti-war ideas

81 6. The intellectual debates of the 1920s If the term “the great twenties” has become commonplace in France for the first post-war decade, it merely captures the exuberant mood in the capital's glamorous circles, where one can see the privations of the war years wanted to forget as quickly as possible. The high number of war victims, especially among the young soldiers, led them to describe themselves as the 'sacrificed generation'. Wiped out villages, destroyed landscapes, ruins along the front lines, but also numerous war invalids in the country reminded of war. Spontaneous pacifism and the founding of the Communist Party The memory of the murderous conflict also determined the intellectual debates of the twenties. It was by no means the case that the war was interpreted as a defeat for the intellectuals who had formed an overly idealistic picture of the relations between the nation-states. Pacifism gained momentum precisely because of the high number of war victims. The older generation in power or who had perceived opinion leadership through the press - in the safe Paris offices - fueled the enthusiasm for the war with their propaganda, without worrying too much about the fact that the younger generation in particular was paying the blood toll had to. The instinctive pacifism of the young generation was also a generational phenomenon and an expression of a generational conflict, a resentment against the 'desk criminals' who didn't have to risk anything themselves. At the Ecole 82 normal supérieure, where up to half of the academic classes fell in the war, a very strong pacifist tendency developed, an anti-militarist tendency that was also expressed in the refusal of many graduates to train as reserve officers an attitude that had also characterized the Dreyfusards: anti-militarism. A second important factor was then the Russian Revolution, which was perceived in France as a distant echo of the French Revolution, to whose values ​​the Dreyfusards also referred. The fall of the tsarist regime was compared to the abolition of the monarchy, and Lenin himself had referred to Robespierre explicitly. The founding of the French Communist Party at the famous Tours Party Congress in 1920 also had far-reaching consequences for the morphology of the intellectual field. The party did not limit itself to the political territory, but intended to change all areas of society by means of its own cultural policy, which could endanger the (relative) autonomy of the intellectual field. On the other hand, writers could believe that they found universal values ​​in the communist worldview that did not appear incompatible with those of the literary field. As a class embodying a new universality (with the aim of a classless society), the proletariat was to become a new emblem for certain writers.2 If the Communist Party defined itself as a workers' party, it was not negative towards the intellectuals when it was founded set. Most of the members of the First Central Committee were intellectuals. Paul Vaillant-Couturier, a former combatant at the front, but also a poet and communist from the very beginning, was entrusted with the intellectual dossier by the party. In the newspaper L’Humanité, which had become the party newspaper of the PCF in 1920, there was a separate section "Intellectual life". Nevertheless, 83 communism remained a phenomenon of very limited appeal in the French intellectual milieu in the first post-war decade.3 Barbusse and the 'Clarté' intellectual movement Barbusse was the only well-known writer to join the PCF in 1923, three years after it was founded. It was not so much the ideological orientation that drew him under the spell of the CP: it was rather its internationalism and the advocacy of the principle of equality that were perceived by him and others. In November 1917, together with Raymond Lefebvre, who had also emerged as a novelist (Le sacrifice d'Abraham), and Paul Vaillant-Couturier, who both shared anti-war sentiments with him, he founded the left-wing Republican Front Fighters Association (Association républicaine des Anciens Combattants) founded. Barbusse was enthusiastic about the October Revolution and attributed almost messianic virtues to the Soviet Union. He joined the initiative of Raymond Lefebvre, who wanted to create an international of intellectuals who sympathized with the Russian Revolution on the basis of their hostility to war. In 1919 this became the intellectual movement “Clarté”; From 1921 a magazine with the same name appeared - an international anti-militarist platform in which, in addition to partisans of the communist revolution, pacifist intellectuals of liberal observance such as Anatole France, Georges Duhamel, Jules Romains, Heinrich Mann and Stefan Zweig had their say. 4 Barbusse had the task defined by the group ›Clarté‹ with the duty of a committed attitude. The writer, who does not concern himself with the great social and political ideas, betrays his humanitarian mission; The current problematic situation can only be changed with political measures 84.5 Here, intellectual intervention is no longer legitimized through the specific authority and (relative) autonomy of the intellectual, but, as Michael Einfalt writes, through "the right political awareness." 6 But the international orientation was also important; the group was called Ligue de Solidarité Intellectuelle pour le Triomphe de la Cause Internationale. In the first issue of Clarté, Barbusse outlined the movement's goal: the revolution in the realm of the mind. The material revolution should thus be accompanied by the spiritual revolution; Important principles were to be hammered into the masses still moving in the dark in order to prepare the ground for the change of the institutions.7 Barbusse here by no means assumed a Marxist view of the primacy of socio-economic conditions, but rather saw communism as a continuation of the Enlightenment, as implementation of the "eternal principles of reason and consciousness". After Clarté's hope for an international orientation did not really materialize, the magazine became closer to the Communist Party. Above all, the group of younger employees around Vaillant-Couturier oriented itself more towards revolutionary action. Clarté, initially a newspaper, became a magazine in 1921; already in the second issue there was a polemic against the supporters of Romain Rolland. The younger employees of the magazine took a more radical position than Barbusse, who initially wanted to maintain a certain independence from the party. In 1923 there was a break with Barbusse. The magazine becomes a platform for young militants who are betting on revolutionary upheaval in France and who polemicize in a radical way against bourgeois culture, for example with a special issue against Barrès after the writer's death. Anatole France also died in 1924, who was attacked just as harshly by Clarté in the number Contre Anatole France as 85 representative of a bourgeois culture, although he expressed his sympathy for the Russian Revolution and, when receiving the Nobel Prize in 1921, expressed his admiration for Lenin would have . Barbusse had still tried to win Anatole France for the Patronage Committee of Clarté. He then joined the party in 1923, became head of the literary side of Humanité in 1926 and was one of the few first generation writers who remained loyal to the party until his death in Moscow in 1935. The Barbusse - Rolland dispute was next to Barbusse Romain Rolland the second important exponent of pacifist internationalism. His great novel Jean Christophe and then Au dessus de la mêlée had made Romain Rolland a conscience of Europe for many intellectuals, as was later the assessment of André Malraux, a role that Voltaire, then Victor Hugo, but hardly Anatole France had taken on .8 Immediately after the war, Rolland's “Déclaration de l'indépendance de l'esprit”, published in the Humanité on June 26, 1919, met with a great response.9 Romain Rolland once again recalled the fateful consequences of the war, the led to the failure of intellectuals; these would have placed science and art at the service of nationalist passions. The lesson to be drawn from this is that intellectuals should unite and place themselves in the service of peace. “The spirit is nobody's servant. We are the servants of the spirit. We have no other master. [...] We no longer know any peoples. We only know the people, the only universal one. «10 The text that was signed by numerous intellectuals, by Barbusse, Duhamel, Jules Romains, but also Albert Einstein, 86 Heinrich Mann, Stefan Zweig and Hermann Hesse, came across There was a great response, but also to resolute rejection, especially from Action française.11 Romain Rolland had considered a revolution to be inevitable during the war. When the Russian Revolution broke out, he nevertheless kept his distance because a separate peace with Germany could endanger France. But what he mainly rejected was violence as a means of politics. "I couldn't throw away my old gods, which were part of my life, humanity and freedom, just to serve the revolution." 12 Socialism and Bolshevism, he wrote to a friend in 1918, were doing necessary work in the material field on a spiritual level they are insufficient because they do not guarantee inner freedom and independence.13 Barbusse and the 'Clarté' group had repeatedly courted Romain Rolland to expand their base. This probably also refused to join the group because he did not share their assessment of the violence. The anti-war movement split more and more into a class struggle wing around Barbusse, which did not reject violence as a political means ("Whoever wants the goal must want the means. Today violence is the reality of justice." 14), and a non-violent one A tendency embodied by Romain Rolland - which in 1921/22 culminated in the famous debate between the two protagonists about the relationship between means and ends, a debate that was repeatedly carried out by every generation of committed intellectuals. Barbusse situated his active position within a political group, while Romain Rolland saw himself as less militant, less political and defined the position of intellectuals as an expression of a moral conscience. When Barbusse and Clarté got closer to the party, he attacked Romain Rolland as a non-partisan warning. In an essay published in December 1921 in Clarté 87 ("A propos du Rollandisme"), Barbusse accused Romain Rolland and his friends that their role as moralists was purely negative, they failed to recognize that the violence in Russia was only temporary be; they should step out of their ivory tower and give up their useless liberalism and pacifism. As a mere critic, one can only ensure that the existing conditions will continue to exist. Romain Rolland replied in the Brussels magazine L’Art libre in January 1922 that humanity, freedom and truth had been sacrificed for reasons of state in Russia; the end could not justify the means, and the best service the intellectual could render to the cause of the revolution was free criticism. Barbusse said in Clarté (February 1, 1922) that the Rollandists had said goodbye to the revolutionary movement with their selfishness and narcissism. "Party thinking, church thinking, caste thinking - the instrument of all oppression," 15 replied Romain Rolland, who was now increasingly committed to the non-violent ideal of Gandhi. As a result of the Bolshevikization of the PCF from 1923 onwards, more and more intellectuals alienated themselves from the party. In 1924 one of its most important representatives, Boris Souvarine, up to then editor-in-chief of the Humanité, was expelled from the party, and with him a number of members who were also close to the Trotsky line resigned. A strong anti-intellectual tendency developed in the party; the rubric ›The intellectual life‹ disappeared from the Humanité and tirades against the ›intellectual arrogance‹ (the Trotsky supporters) appeared more often. The isolation of the PCF was reinforced by the directives of the VI. Congress of the International of 1928, at which the tactics of the united front were given up at the end of the NEP period and the social democrats were declared enemy number 1 as 'social fascists'. The dogmatic and oeuvreous tendency within the PCF gained the upper hand; the party was more interested in purges than in broadening its party base; the number of members had fallen from 130,000 in 1921 to 20,000 in 1929. The Rif War: the commitment of the Surrealists and the group ›Philosophies‹ A political event will then play an important role in the mobilization of intellectuals: the Rif War (1923-1926). France and Spain had declared Morocco their protectorate since 1912. In 1921 a revolt broke out in the rural Rif area in Morocco, Spain, around Abd el-Krim, which spilled over into the French zone in 1924. The Général-Résident Lyautey was recalled and Pétain was entrusted with the suppression of the revolt, which he only succeeded in 1926 with at times more than 100,000 French soldiers in the area.16 The self-image of France as a colonial power was not questioned at all, all the more since that Land after the war could still take over the former German colonies in Africa. However, in 1925 the first anti-colonialist campaign, which was controlled by the CP, manifested itself. The text was written by Henri Barbusse and was published in the Humanité on July 2, 1925 under the title "Les travailleurs intellectuels aux côtés du prolétariat contre la guerre au Maroc". The title reveals the communist diction with the idea of ​​an alliance between the 'intellectual workers' and the proletariat. In the text itself, however, only writers and all those who exerted an influence on public opinion are addressed. The tenor of the manifesto is mainly determined by the anti-war idea, but also by the reference that all peoples, regardless of race, have the right to self-determination.17 Over a hundred intellectuals signed the appeal. The alliance of intellectual groups that became visible here in 89 was characteristic. The first to sign was the editorial staff of the magazine Clarté, from which Barbusse had separated in 1923, then the group of Surrealists with 19 representatives, including Antonin Artaud, Louis Aragon, André Breton, Paul Eluard, Michel Leiris, Philippe Soupault; then the group ›Philosophies‹ with Henri Lefebvre, Pierre Morhange, Georges Politzer and individual intellectuals such as Georges Duhamel, but also Romain Rolland. We will come back later to the counter manifesto, which was published in Figaro with even more signatories. It was significant, however, that at a time when most intellectual partisans had resigned from the PCF (or had been expelled), two groups of young intellectuals came under the spell of the Communist Party. The main purpose of the appeal against the Rif War was to bring young avant-garde groups into contact. The group ›Clarté‹, which had lost some of its momentum, was able to establish contact with the very dynamic Surrealists; Both groups were not so happy with Barbusse's formulations in his appeal, and in August they wrote a joint manifesto La Révolution d’abord et toujours, which was also supported by the ›Philosophies‹ and ›Correspondance‹ groups and which was much more aggressive. Significant here was the orientation towards the signal term ›Orient‹, which expressed a radical opposition to the Occident, which the Surrealists had already articulated in their open letter to Paul Claudel. Breton then joined the Communist Party in December 1926, and in May 1927 all the Surrealists who had joined the party - Louis Aragon, André Breton, Paul Eluard, Benjamin Péret - made this move public in the manifesto Au grand jour. The main aim of the Surrealists was to signal the 'revolutionary' character of their movement by joining. Breton insisted on his right to criticism and refused any external control, even a Marxist one.The accession of the Surrealists, however, was by no means enthusiastically celebrated by the party, which was then dominated by dogmatic tendencies and which had hitherto seen the concept of intellectual revolution as a manifestation of petty-bourgeois anarchism - the Surrealists, who were close to Trotsky, stepped into the moment KPF when the Trotskyists left the party. Pierre Naville, who was the first surrealist to join the PCF and who in a pamphlet Ce que peuvent faire les surréalistes (1926) urged his friends to accept party discipline, and who then went to Clarté and La lutte des classes, who was close to Trotsky The organ of the communist opposition that had attacked Barbusse was expelled from the party as a left-wing deviator as early as 1928. The Surrealists were in fact unwilling to submit to party discipline unconditionally, and so the party leadership later closed these uncomfortable comrades out of the Party out.18 The second group that joined the KPF at the end of the twenties (1928/29) was the group ›Philosophies‹ with Georges Politzer, Pierre Morhange, Henri Lefebvre, Norbert Guterman, who like the Surrealists made an appeal against the Rifkrieg had signed. What prompted these young philosophers to join the party was initially a radical opposition to the official idealistic philosophy as taught at the Ecole normal supérieure, the philosophy of Brunschvicgs and Bergson, which Paul Nizan later wrote in Les chiens de garde (1932) as an ideology that supports rule attack. Nizan joined the group after his stay in Aden. It was more the revolt against the bourgeoisie than solidarity with the working class that motivated the commitment of these young intellectuals to the Communist Party, which Nizan self-critically noted in his novel La Conspiration (1938). These young philosophers were looking for a doctrine that could provide a global explanation for the world as well as a justification for its revolt. That is why they were among the first communist intellectuals to systematically work through Marxist philosophy, which had hitherto been almost completely neglected in France both by the party and by the university. The intellectual interventions in the left camp were largely determined by the new element of the existence of a Communist Party. The orientation towards the party or the greater or lesser distance from it undoubtedly determined the different groups. If the pacifist or internationalist orientation was shared by most left-wing intellectual groups, the assessment of the Soviet Union varied. The nationalist camp: Action française Daniel Rops wrote at the time that most of the young intellectuals who were fed up with the old ideologies moved around communism or Action française.19 After the war, right-wing extremist Action française met with its greatest response. When the otherwise strictly anti-democratic league took part in the parliamentary elections in 1919, the results were disappointing. In Paris, only 3.2 percent of voters voted for the neo-royalist league. They elected Léon Daudet as MP, who consistently represented the position of extreme nationalism in the Chamber. However, this low political response should not deny the fact that the league exercised a broad intellectual influence precisely because of its intransigent ideological system, which no longer developed. Around the mid-1920s, Maurras was considered a pioneer by some of the intellectual youth. In these 92 years, Action française had a relatively large influence on high school students, but also at universities.20 A whole network of publications emerged around the historian Jacques Bainville that disseminated the ideas of the movement, such as the weekly newspaper Candide or die Series ›Les Grandes Etudes Historiques‹ published by the well-known Arthème Fayard publishing house, through which their view of history was spread. The fact that Action française had taken over the opinion leadership in the nationalist camp became apparent in the public war for direction in the summer of 1919, in the wake of the "Déclaration d'indépendance de l'esprit" initiated by Romain Rolland in the Humanité on June 26, 1919, which was for an international alliance of intellectuals advocated peace. The action française man Henri Massis responded with the counter manifesto "Pour un parti de l’intelligence," which was published in Figaro on July 19, 1919.21 The title was clever; Massis pretended to speak in the name of the intelligentsia, and with that he also pleaded for the primacy of an intellectual over a purely economic reform. In the text itself it becomes clear that the clear reference point - against the intellectuals - is the nation: "The national intelligence in the service of the national interest, that is our first principle." want to tear ", the" party of the intelligentsia "formulates the goal of" restoring a common sense in France via the royal road of the intelligentsia and the classical methods, an intellectual union of Europe and the world under the aegis of the victorious France, the guardian of every civilization. " 22 The word is spoken of a nationally anchored culture, and Catholic thought is also assigned an important role in this process. 54 intellectuals signed the manifesto, which was shaped by the spirit of Maurras; In addition to Massis, Maurras and Bainville, but also Jacques Maritain, who joined Action française after his conversion to Catholicism, Henri 93 Ghéon, who before the war was one of the founders of the N. R. F. was, including right-wing intellectuals who were not members of Action française, such as academician Paul Bourget, and Daniel Halévy, the well-known 'Dreyfusard' and former employee of Péguys Cahiers de la Quinzaine. The program that Massis had formulated in the Manifesto led to the establishment of his own intellectual magazine, Revue universelle, in 1920, with Massis as editor-in-chief and the well-known historian Jacques Bainville as director. The link to Action française was obvious. The magazine's program took up the basic ideas of the manifesto. Since the "attack" comes from an international corner, the defense can only take place from a national perspective. France is assigned a leading role because of the universal conception of its culture: That is why the magazine is called Revue universelle or, to put it more brutally: universal here means French. The aim is to present "authentic French ideas" which have the weight of a long tradition, but which have been undermined by "fashions" such as the revolution and romanticism since the turn of the century, but which have regained their "eternal power" through the war The backward-looking historical interpretation of Action française shines through immediately. Even in the first issue, Maurras had his say, who advocated a return to the traditional order of hereditary property; It is important to make the victory over Germany permanent. The columns of the magazine were also opened to Barrès, the republican nationalist. Barrès advocated the promotion of natural sciences in France. If France followed the German model in promoting science, it would distinguish itself through a more humane and moral approach to the results of science.24 As Michael Einfalt emphasized, the above-mentioned articles represent the two main themes of the Revue universelle: the 94 nationalistic duties of intellectuals and the mobilization against the German danger.25 Germany was the focus of the magazine again and again. Action française was based on an essentialist conception of nations. In contrast to many other interpreters of Germany, the authors of the Revue universelle did not start from the thesis that there were two Germanys, a good cultural one and an aggressive militaristic one, but saw in Prussian militarism no wrong track, but rather the expression of a German ›essence ‹. From the perspective of integral nationalism, France was the 'natural' leader of Europe, but had lost this position since the French Revolution because of its internal weakness. It is a matter of restoring the primacy of the country. "Nationalism is a defensive stance that was made necessary by the weakness of the French state," Bainville noted in his diary.26 This nationalism opposed every internationalist conception, but also the idea of ​​a Europe that hardly existed in the Middle Ages, and if so, then only as a trace of the idea of ​​the Roman Empire. "Europe? What is it? ”Asked Maurras. "What common point of view can one suspect between a Dutchman who plants his tulips and a Macedonian lost in his mountains?" 27 In contrast to Bolshevism, the representatives of integral nationalism are already propagating the idea of ​​a transnational unity, that of the West. Léon Daudet and Jacques Bainville agreed with the idea of ​​the West, which Henri Massis had put forward in his work Défense de l’Occident (1927), that of a West that is threatened by the ever-increasing forces of the East. The West was reduced to a very narrow area for Massis. For him, the Orient began on the other side of the Rhine. For him, Browning, Blake, 95 Nietzsche and Dostojevsky belonged to the "Asian" philosophy that undermined Greco-Roman civilization. Above all, he accused the German cultural psychology of Spengler and Keyserling for having opened the way to Asia. Against these ideas of Massis, Malraux had launched his little text La Tentation de l’Occident (1926), which was based on a much more complex idea of ​​the East. In August, Cardinal Andrieu, the Archbishop of Bordeaux, wrote relatively suddenly that the ideas of Action française were incompatible with the teaching of the Catholic Church, and in December Pope Pius XI announced that Catholics could not follow a movement that religion for one party capture. After that, numerous books and the newspaper Action française were placed on the index. The condemnation of the Maurras movement threw many Conservative Catholics, who saw anti-modernist tendencies of the Church in line with the counter-revolutionary orientation of Action française, into great trouble. Maurras' movement was now severely weakened; for the French Catholics it was a liberation manifested in the creation of numerous groups more open to the modern world and social issues, such as the Dominican magazine La Vie intellectuelle (1928), the Jeunesse ouvri ère chrétienne (JOC) ( 1927), the Jeunesse étudiante chrétienne (JEC) (1929) and the Semaines sociales de France. Plea for the ›civilizational mission‹ in the colonies If the colonial question, more specifically the Rif War, had led to a broad mobilization of left intellectuals in 1925, there was relatively broad support on the right, far beyond the ranks of the Action française by intellectuals of this camp for the colonial enterprise in the counter manifesto "Les intellectuels aux côtés de la Patrie", which was published in 96 Figaro of July 7, 1925.28 Here, the signatories of the protest formulated by Barbusse were initially denied legitimacy, in the name of the "French thinking" to intervene. If a few intellectuals professed their support for the revolution, but did not protest against the persecution of thousands of intellectuals in the Soviet Union, a large majority of the intelligentsia were on the side of the "fatherland". They defended colonization as a "great and generous duty" to bring "progress and humanity" to Africa. The uprising in the Rif, which had come from an "adventurer" at the head of an "army of looters", threatens to destroy France's "civilizing task". The text classifies the declaration of protest by Humanité as "anti-French propaganda" and shows solidarity with the army that defends "law, civilization and peace" in Morocco. Among the signatories were of course Jacques Bainville and Henri Massis, but also eminent representatives of the Académie, the Paris University, especially the law and medical faculties, but also well-known writers who really could not be assigned to the right-wing extremist camp, such as André Maurois, Paul Valéry, François Mauriac, even former 'Dreyfusards' like the literature professor Gustave Lanson and Daniel Halévy. Roger Martin du Gard questioned any connection between the colonial conflict and the polarization at the time of the Dreyfus Affair: To condemn every colonial enterprise a priori means to question the historical development and what is called the ›civilization process ‹.29 Der Philosopher Alain, ›Dreyfusard‹ from the very beginning, supported individual independence, but not the right of an “unorganized people” to independence. The so-called ›civilizing mission‹ of the French colonial enterprise is thus supported by a large majority that goes beyond the right-wing camp. The number of those who signed the appeal in Figaro outnumbered those who signed the protest: 175 intellectuals signed the declaration on July 7th and after a few days it was more than 400. Only a tiny minority of intellectuals who invoked the revolution, questioned colonization. The intellectual debates of the 1920s were determined by the two - extreme - positions of integral nationalism on the one hand and pacifist internationalism on the other. Above all, the attitude towards Germany was the central issue after the First World War. For some it was a matter of drawing a lesson from it, in the sense of a pacifist internationalism; for the others it was important to act in the spirit of national interests so as not to fall victim to aggression again. This debate also went to the representatives of the ›third way‹ of the N group. R. F. not passed without a trace. The N. R. F. - Neither nationalistic nor internationalistic The Nouvelle Revue Française did not appear again until 1919 with Jacques Rivière as the new director. In the programmatic editorial of the first post-war issue, he wrote that the founding fathers wanted to stick to the 'pure' literature program. But at the same time Rivière turned against those who believed that the war was over and that one could now deal exclusively with aesthetic issues. He developed the concept of "the autonomous writer who, in addition to his purely literary activities, publicly intervenes in current social debates." 30 The form and content of this intervention prevailed within the N. R. F .- group that had grown very much, no unanimity; This led to a real dispute over the direction that was analyzed in detail by Michael Einfalt.31 This dispute was sparked by the already mentioned manifesto "Pour un parti de l'intelligence" by Massis in response to Romain Rolland's call for the independence of intellectuals . On the side of the N. R. F. Group there was a tendency that Massis was at least not hostile. The Alsatian Jean Schlumberger would have signed the Massis Manifesto if it had not contained an explicit reference to Catholicism. A certain discipline is necessary because Germany is still a danger. For Henri Ghéon, another founding father of the N. R. Q., national discipline was not just a requirement in a crisis situation, but a permanent imperative. He had converted to Catholicism, signed the Massis Manifesto and now adopted the backward-looking worldview of Action Française. Jacques Rivière did not share Jean Schlumberger's fears. He had been to Germany as a prisoner of war and had discovered there a certain complementarity between German and French thinking. He didn't think of taking the line of the N. R. F. to orient in the sense of a national moralism. Opposite the nationalists, who upheld the national interest as a moral value, Rivière saw in the principle of truth a universal moral value, which is more important than the national interest.32 According to Rivière, the intellectual can only remain committed to an uninterested truth which is only in can be universal to the extent that it is not based on a particular order of values.Rivière thus falls back on the 'Dreyfusards' principle of truth, but also on the concept of individualism, which at the time of the Dreyfus affair had made Durkheim strong through an argument based on human rights; in the case of Rivière, however, the concept is slightly colored by ethnic psychology. The French, with their pronounced individualism, are predestined for an uninterested truth, which guarantees them a civilizational supremacy.33 Rivière thus invokes principles that had developed during the Dreyfus affair, rejected politicization in the narrower sense and supported himself to (universal) ethical values ​​according to a dichotomy that Péguy had developed. To Ghéon, who tried to bring a political point of view to the magazine, he explained: »My whole temperament is opposed to it. I am a mystic of the truth. I am a Dreyfusard. ”34 Rivière's point of view will vary within the N. R. F. push through. It is no longer just a literary magazine, but also a forum for intellectuals that put the relationship with Germany up for debate. André Gide already commented on this in the first post-war issue with his contribution "Réflexions sur l’Allemagne", 35 which was based on his dialogue with Jacques Rivière and the reading of his book L’Allemand. With the Germans he misses the ability to articulate oneself as individuals and to break away from the crowd. As I said, this implicit plea for individualism ties in with the tradition of the Dreyfus camp and sets itself apart from the nationalists who assert the primacy of the nation and tradition. But at the same time Gide is not speaking out for internationalism. Especially when a work emphasizes something special, when it is anchored in the respective national culture, it is an important contribution to the concert of nations. In this way, Gide drafts the concept of a European culture that cannot do without cooperation with Germany - a position that Gide confirmed a little later, in 1923, in an article published in the Revue de Genève: “The true European spirit opposes the presumptuous one Even the pleasing of nationalism, it also opposes the depersonalization that internationalism strives for. «36 He opposed the nationalism of a Barrès and the internationalism of Barbusse in equal measure - a position fully shared by his German correspondent Ernst Robert Curtius. 100 In the N. R. F. As a result, there were numerous contributions to German culture; Jean Schlumberger, too, was no longer far from the idea of ​​Franco-German cooperation; he represented the group of N. R. F. in the Comité franco allemand de documentation et d’information of the Luxembourg steel industrialist Emil Mayrisch. Together with Gide, he will also play an important role at the Pontigny Colloquia, another forum for Franco-German dialogue. Jacques Rivière condemned the occupation of the Ruhr in 1923 and at the same time advocated stronger economic cooperation with Germany, from which France would also benefit. For his part, Jean Schlumberger was very skeptical of the Versailles Treaty, which maintained a disguised state of war through the humiliation of Germany. In his eyes, public opinion is settling into a state of xenophobia. If the N. R. F. gave no statements on concrete political questions, so in the context of the Ruhr occupation Jean Schlumberger did not hold back from recalling some principles. In an essay entitled "Le sommeil de l’esprit critique", he wondered how little public opinion in France had expressed itself about the occupation of the Ruhr. As in 1919, he no longer recalls the imperative of discipline, but the necessity of a critical attitude that calls for courage. Problems cannot be solved with violence; it is high time that reason set the tone. Julien Benda's essay La trahison des clercs (1927) In 1925, Jean Rivière, director of the N. R. F., Unexpectedly from typhoid fever. His successor Jean Paulhan put (pure) literature at the center of the magazine again. This was partly due to the fact that, with the takeover of the Cartel des gauches (1924), Franco-German relations had improved and were no longer the subject of intellectual debates. The N. R. F. But did not say goodbye to the intellectual question. On the contrary, between August and November 1927 it published the main part of Julien Benda's essay La Trahison des clercs - the first comprehensive reflection on the role of intellectuals - in four sequels. It is therefore not surprising that Julien Benda became such a central figure - similar to Barrès before the First World War - and that his book La Trahison des clercs (1927) met with such a great response, this book in which the writers were not one They are accused of lack of political commitment, but rather by warning them not to live too much in history and thus to become unfaithful to timeless values. In this book - which is particularly worth mentioning because it systematically reflects on the relationship between intellectuals and politics - Benda is by no means swimming against the current, but is at least in harmony with the distinctive writers of this decade, no matter how polemical he is liked to give. The main thrust of the writing was directed against the intellectuals who were the actual spokesmen of their generation before and during the First World War and who had completely devoted themselves to the nationalist political passions. The patriotic fanaticism had emanated from Germany, from Mommsen and Treitschke. For France, Benda names Brunetière, Lemaître, Barrès, Maurras and Péguy, d’Annunzio in Italy and Kipling in England. Benda does not just ascribe an aesthetic function to the writer; he obliges him to the universals of freedom, justice, truth and reason. The intellectual betrays his office if he contributes to the triumph of the "realistic" passion of the class, race or nation. A Voltaire who criticizes national passion or who campaigns for Calas therefore finds Benda's approval, as does Zola as a lawyer for Dreyfus; for these two acted in the name of an abstract principle (justice). Even the intellectual who keeps himself completely away from the ›worldly‹ things of politics is, for Benda, more loyal to his office than someone who places himself uncritically at the service of a specific political group. Undoubtedly, an elitist understanding of the role of the intellectual, the ›clerc‹, manifests itself here. According to Benda, this has to move only in the abstract realm of absolute (ethical) principles; he must not "descend" into the arena of immediate politics (the repeated term "descend into the arena" is quite significant here); the low ('dirty') business of politics should be done by the 'laypeople' who betrayed their role if they in turn followed abstract principles. In Benda, Andreas Gipper points out the contradiction between the rigorous moralism of the ›clercs‹, who do not have to take practical considerations into account, and the idea of ​​the necessary amoralism of politics, which is accepted as long as it does not regard itself as right and Truth disguised.37 If Benda's critical theses are quite equal to the phenomenon of intellectuals who put themselves unhesitatingly in the service of national passions, the author in no way considers that forces threatening freedom and justice cannot be dealt with on the purely spiritual level; yes, that the intellectual becomes an accomplice of oppression if he does not confront these forces on their own territory - the political-social. But Benda's theses were already in the N. R. F. even been discussed. Gabriel Marcel's objection that Benda preaches the universal, actually only means the general and abstract and evades any concrete application, was also found in a similar form with Walter Benjamin. Ramon Fernandez rejected a retreat of the intellectuals into an area of ​​abstract truth, just like Gabriel Marcel. Benda is the aristocratic philosopher with clean hands; but sometimes you have to get your hands dirty, i. H. intervene specifically to save the universal values.38 The employees of N. R. F. but raised only gradual, not fundamental objections to Benda's theses. In the face of the attacks of the nationalist thinkers who were in the sights of Benda's writing, they knew they were in agreement. Because Benda had articulated only one basic principle of the group, the priority orientation towards a universal concept of truth and independence from individual social interests in a radical form, while the nationalist intellectuals denied a contradiction between national and universal values. The widespread debate that Benda's essay sparked shows that the N. R. F. Not only in the field of literature but also within the intellectual field occupied a central position, which met with a broad response. The magazine had 17,000 subscribers in 1931, which was a very high number for the times; a response with which neither the nationalist nor the internationalist intellectual camp could keep up.