By Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Gregory Moore
This can be the 1st translation of Fichte's addresses to the German country for nearly a hundred years. The sequence of 14 speeches, introduced while Berlin used to be lower than French career after Prussia's disastrous defeat on the conflict of Jena in 1806, is broadly considered as a founding record of German nationalism, celebrated and reviled in equivalent degree. Fichte's account of the uniqueness of the German humans and his trust within the local superiority of its tradition helped to form German nationwide identification during the 19th century and past. With an in depth creation that places Fichte's argument in its highbrow and old context, this variation brings an immense and seminal paintings to a contemporary readership. all the ordinary sequence positive aspects are supplied, together with notes for additional interpreting, chronology, and short biographies of key individuals.
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Extra resources for Addresses to the German Nation (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought)
Thus far only the first volume has appeared; although it does not cover the period during which the Addresses were written, it includes a detailed discussion of Fichte’s attitude towards the French Revolution. No recent general introduction to Fichte’s political thought exists in English. In fact, the only really wide-ranging (though not always reliable) treatment is: H. C. Engelbrecht, Johann Gottlieb Fichte: A Study of his Political Writings with Special Reference to his Nationalism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1933).
Das gemeine Wesen; here and elsewhere Fichte had originally written Staat [state]. This was changed at the behest of the censor. 10 And so it comes to pass that selfishness is annihilated through its highest development, and those who willingly chose to posit no other end but themselves have imposed upon them, by an alien power, a different end such as this. No nation that has sunk into this state of dependency can raise itself by the usual means employed hitherto. If its resistance bore no fruit when it was still in possession of all its powers, then what good can resistance do now, after it has been robbed of the greater part of them?
Introduction of one’s existence in this world and not just in the world to come. Through the nation we can achieve immortality; it is the kingdom of heaven on earth. The recognition of this fact – and the affirmation of the singularity of one’s people – is what Fichte calls patriotism or love of fatherland. Love of fatherland means embracing the nation as the vesture of the eternal. It is this promise of everlasting life that inspires men to die for their country, but in the current era only the Germans are capable of such self-sacrifice and such idealistic fervour (or rather, they will be, once they have heard Fichte’s message).
Addresses to the German Nation (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought) by Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Gregory Moore