Leading Israeli Left academic Scholomo Avineri claims that Jacob Fries was an Anti-Semite, and a forerunner of the Nazis. Peter Myers,

Added to this site because there is now a revival of Friesian philosophy, albeit transformed by an unlikely fusion with Hayek's economic fundamentalist laissez-faire economics.

Write to me at contact.html.

You are at http://mailstar.net/fries.html.

The main "Friesian" site: http://www.friesian.com/

Philosophy of Fries: http://www.friesian.com/fries.htm

Note the advocacy of Free Trade, contrary to Fries & Nelson: http://www.friesian.com/econ.htm

John Locke, philosopher of the "Glorious" English Revolution of 1688, which first put Britain in the clutches of the bankers (up to then, based in Amsterdam, after their expulsion from Spain), is a major "mentor" of the "Free Trade" movement and "English Parliamentianism", and a favourite of the above "Friesian" site. Here's the real Locke: locke.html

Schlomo Avineri, Hegel's Theory of the Modern State, Cambridge University Press, London 1972. Transcribed by Peter Myers, Jan 12, 2001.

{p. 119} Hegel's attack centers on the philosophy and actions of Jacob Fries, and it has brought upon Hegel a great deal of criticism because of the highly personal nature of his polemic.10 {note 10: see below} The immediate cause of Hegel's wrath was Fries' participation in a student festival in Wartburg. Because the student fraternities, the Burschenschaften, which organized the Wartburg festival, were later ruthlessly repressed by the German governments, their actions received a posthumous halo of sanctity in the eyes of latter-day liberals. The truth of the matter is that in their ideology and actions these fraternities pre-figured the most dangerous and hideous aspects of extreme German nationalism. To present their aim as merely agitation for German unification is simple-minded: they were the most chauvinistic element in German society. They excluded foreigners from their ranks, refused to accept Jewish students as members and participated in the anti-semitic outbursts in Frankfurt in 1819; at the Warthurg festival they burned a hnge pile of books by authors to whose work they objected. Finany, one of their members, Karl Sand, murdered the poet Kotzebue whom the students suspected of being a Russian agent. The anti-rationalism, xenophobia, anti-semitism, intolerance and terrorism of the Burschenschaften present thc same syndrome which, under different circumstances, theNazis were to institutionalize.11 {note 11: see below}

Fries went along with the student movement. His address at the Wartburg festival was a typical example of romantic enthusiasm and obscurantism, and it was for this address that Hegel took him to task in the preface to the Philosophy of Right. Fries also published a violent anti-semitic pamphlet, 'On the Danger Posed to the Welfare and Character of the German People by the Jews'. In it he accused the Jews of being the bloodsuckers of the people who contaminate the purity of life in Germany. He advocated the suppression of Jewish educational institutions, encouragement of Jewish

10 Even the admiring Rosenkranz felt uncomfortable about this (Hegels Leben, p. 337) 11 See Marcuse, Reason and Revolution, pp. 179-81; Eleonore Sterling, 'Anti-Jewish Riots in Germany 1819: A Displacement of Social Protest', Historia Judaica XII (1950), 105-42. On the history of the Burschenschaften, see H. Haupt, Quellen und Darstellungen zur Geschichte der Burschenschaft und der deutschen Einheitsbewegung (Heidelberg, 1911).

{p. 120} emigration from Germany and prohibition of Jewish immigration into Germany. Laws should be enacted, Fries further suggested, to prohibit Jews from marrying Gentiles; no Christian servants and especially no maids, should be allowed to work for Jews, and Jews should be made to wear a distinctive mark on their clothes.12 {note 12: see below}

In attacking Fries, Hegel pointed to the fact that in him the rigour of Kantian philosophy degenerated into an ethic of mere subjective intentions - a danger which Hegel always discerned in Kantianism:

Besides, this self-styled philosophy has expressedly stated that 'truth itself cannot be known', that that only is true which each individual allows to rise out of his heart, emotion and inspiration about ethical institutions, especially about the state, the government, and the constitution. In this connexion, what a lot of flattery has been talked, especially to the young!13 {note 13: see below}

Hegel does give subjective beliefs their due place in consciousness, but argues that any attempt to base political allegiance on such foundations leads necessarily to dangerous consequences:

This is the quintessence of shallow thinking, to base philosophic science not on the development of thought and the concept but on immediate sense perception and the play of fancy; to take the rich, inward articulation of ethical life, i.e. the state, the architectonic of that life's rationality ... - and confound the completed fabric in the broth of 'heart, friendship and inspiration'. According to a view of this kind, the world of ethics . . . should be given over . . . to the subiective accident of opinion and caprice. By the simple family remedy of ascribing to feeling the labour, the more than millenary labour, of reason and its intellect, all the trouble of rational insight and knowledge directed by speculative thinking is of course saved.14 {note 14: see below}

This subjectivism, Hegel argues in the body of the Philosophy of Right, was responsible for the frame of mind of those who condoned the murder of Kotzebue because the assassin Sand had, after all, 'pure intentions', whatever the nature of his deeds. When the

12 J. F. Fries, 'Uber die Gefahrdung des Wohlstandes und Charakters der Deutschen durch die Juden' (Heidelberger Jahrbucher, nos. 16-17 (1816) ). Fries' latter-day apologist, Sidney Hook, admits (in Kaufmann's volume p. 104) that Fries, whom he otherwise characterizes as a liberal, did publish a tract against the Jews 'but not on religious or racialist grounds'. One may charitably surmise that Hook had never read Fries' pamphlet, otherwise his statement would be quite incredible: Fries' program reads like a draft version of the Nazi Nuremberg laws. On Hegel's relationship to the Burschenschaften and his possible influence on the decision of the Heidelberg fraternity to admit Jews (the only one to do so), see my 'A Note on Hegel's Vlews on Jewish Emancipation', Jewish Social History xxv (1963), 145-51. 13 Philosophy of Right, p. 5; see also HegelÕs letter to Hinrichs, November 1819 (Briefe von und an Hegel, II, 222). 14 Philosophy of Right, p. 6; see also Hegel's article on Hinrichs' philosophy of religion (Berliner Schriften, p. 60).

{p. 121} theologian de Wette wrote to Sand's mother in such a vein, Hegel attacked him, pointing out that such a moral subjectivism can be used to justify any crime.15

The theoretical consequences of this moral subjectivism are, according to Hegel, firstly, an aversion to any objective, codified system of laws and, secondly, moral relativism. The opposition to codified law characterizes for Hegel all those who are ultimately opposed to rational criteria, be it Wurttemberg advocates of the 'good old law' or student enthusiasts:

But the special mark which [this school] carries on its brow is the hatred of law. Right and ethics, and the actual world of justice and ethical life, are understood through thoughts; through thoughts they are invested with a rational form, i.e. with universality and determinacy. This form is law; and this is it which the feeling that stipulates for its own whim, the conscience that places right in subjective conviction, has reason to regard as its chief foe. The formal character of the right as duty and a law it feels as the letter, cold and dead, as a shackle . . . Hence law . . . is par excellence the shibboleth which marks out these false friends and comrades of what they call the 'people'.16

Comparing Fries to the sophists, Hegel notes the relativist consequences of his views:

The result . . . is that the concepts of what is true, the laws of ethics, likewise become nothing more than opinions and subjective convictions. The maxims of the worst of criminals, since they too are convictions, are put on the same level of value as those laws; and at the same time any object, however sorry, however accidental, any material however insipid, is put on the same level of value as what constitutes the interest of all thinking men and the bonds of the ethical world.17

The nationalist, populist, romantic and anti-rationalist student movement troubled Hegel deeply: 'I wish that those who shout loudest would busy themselves more with concepts,' he remarks to a correspondent.l8 When he reacts to student riots in Berlin, one hears in Hegel's complaint a fear lest the time of upheaval, which he thought had ended by 1815, was not yet over: 'I shall soon be 50 years old, and 30 years out of it I spent in continually

15 Philosophy of Right, ## 126, 140. In a letter to Creuzer of 30 October 1819 (Briefe von und an Hegel, II, 218-19), Hegel says that Fries, de Wette and others are responsible for student extremism bccause of their advocacy of subjectivist ethics. 16 Philosophy of Right, p. 7; cf. p. 6: 'With godliness and the Bible, however, it has arrogated to itself the highest justification for despising the ethical order and the objectivity of the law.' 17 Ibid. p. 9. As carly as 1811, Elegel characterized Fries' views as 'pettyfoggery' (Seichtigkeit); see Elegel to Niethammer, 10 October 1811 (Briefe von und an Hegel, I, 388). 18 Hegel to Rabow, 30 March 1831 (ibid. III, 337).

{p. 122} unquiet periods of fear and hope. I had hoped that those fears and hopes would be over.'19

The forces unleashed by the student fraternities and their academic mentors were those same forces that ultimately culminated in the victory of Nazism in Germany more than a century later.

19 Hegel to Creuzer, 30 October 1819 (ibid. II, 219).

See also, Avineri's study of the Intellectual Origins of the Zionist State: avineri.html

Write to me at contact.html.