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The reinstatement of the Germanic peoples

Posted August 7th, 2018 at 02:52 PM by Maoistic

When it comes to ascertaining the level of civilisation of a people, one of the first, if not the first, thing that it is pointed to is monumentalism. Did the people in question build massive monuments? Did they have pyramids of Giza, Parthenons or Colosseums?

Monumentalism has been the measuring stick used to beat cultures and peoples for their supposed "backwardness". For a long time it was used to beat the Germanics of Northern Europe, as they lacked the great monuments of the Greeks and Romans as well as those of the "rediscovered" Egyptians. Where were their palaces, temples, theatres and grand cities? While the Greeks were building Dorian columns and the Egyptians a thousand years before them had already sculpted the massive Sphinx, those primitive Germanic tribes were still living in huts and wooden houses until they converted to Christianity in the early Middle Ages when they finally learned civilisation.

Indeed, Germanics, whether Goths, Vandals, Lombards, Anglo-Saxons, etc., were thought to be so inferior that Petrarch in the 14th century used the term "Gothic" in reference to them as virtually an insult to denigrate the non-Hellenic architectural styles of medieval cathedrals that he considered inferior to his Ionic and Dorian columned pagan temples of antiquity, also giving origin to the myth of the "Dark Ages" as a result of the "barbarianism" of the Germanic conquerors that swept the Western Roman Empire.

This was until the 19th century, when Northern Europeans speakers of Germanic languages finally had enough of this denigration and began to reinstate the Germanics. This was aided by the fact that they were, unarguably, the dominant nations of the world at that time. The British Empire was soon already close to ruling 1/4th of the Earth's landmass, Prussia was on its way of becoming the most powerful state of continental Europe, Holland had carved its own massive colonial empire, and the Scandinavians were ascending economically while colonising the massive territory of Greenland. Not only that, but the United States, a breakaway of the British Empire and ruled by British descendants, was also on its way of becoming a major superpower.

The line of argument of 19th century Northern Europeans was basically this: how is it that these primitive Germanics were capable of creating the most powerful states in the world and even in all of history? The answer was because these Germanics weren't primitive in the first place, contrary to what centuries of European thought, even within Northern Europe itself, had said. They instead were just as advanced and as sophisticated as the Romans that they conquered it, and they were going to prove that.

The main methods of reinstating the Germanics were through linguistics and archaeology. Linguistics had proven the existence of an "Indo-European" original language, and Northern Europeans were quick to to utilise this connection to argue for one with Egypt and also with India. They would argue that the civilisation of India as described in the Vedas and Indian epics like the Mahabharata was created by the ancestors of the Germanic conquerors, a link proven by the Indo-European language.

Given how these texts described massive monuments, many of which were still visible in the 19th century, this would refute the idea that the Germanics were living in nothing more than wooden huts and were basically in a state of savagery. They would further add that Egypt was nothing more than a "colony" of these original Aryan Germanics that would later go on to migrate to Northern Europe.

Archaeology was the other method, leading to the invention of the "three age system" by Danish archaeologists in order to measure the level of civilisation of a given people. They would go on to argue that the nations of Scandinavia and Northern Europe in general were on the same level as the Greeks and Romans because they both were in the "Iron" age, both using iron tools and weapons that had been dug, and having both progressed from a "Bronze" age, also confirmed by bronze artefacts that were dug, at around the same time. This was yet more confirmation of their equality with the Greeks and Romans, further refuting the idea that Germanics needed to be civilised by Hellenism and Christianity.

But what turned out to be the most successful argument for the reinstatement of Germanics was the Germanic conquest of the Western Roman Empire, with its most famous advocate being Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, the most influential thinker of the 19th century, who argued that the current dominance of Northern European nations over the rest of the world was due to that Germanic civilisation that brought with itself "Germanic freedom" in its conquests. The act of conquest itself became the defining element of this Germanic freedom, proving without a doubt its superiority over the Roman civilisation that was conquered.

Basically, Hegel's argument was that Germanics couldn't have been inferior to the Romans because they conquered the Romans. Not only that, but they also successfully resisted the Roman attempts at conquering them. This shows how the Germanic drive for freedom had created a kind of civilisation that earned the right to rule over the Romans who had created a despotic form of government as a result of Oriental decay. Not only that, it also proves the superiority of the Germanics over the other peoples that were conquered by the Roman Empire, showing how their drive for freedom and their general level of civilisation was just inferior to that of the great Germanic nations.

Hegel only used a cultural argument but we can already see a similar racist rhetoric that would later go on to be developed by Arthur de Gobineau, who used the same argument as Hegel only he gave a purely racial explanation. Germanics conquered the Romans, and everyone else for that matter, because they were racially superior.

He adopted William Jones's linguistics and converted it to a racial division of humanity where the Sanskrit-speaking Aryans of the Vedas became the original Germanics that spread over the rest of Europe and Asia and civilised it, with the Germanics retaining the purest element of this Aryan super race, unlike the "Latin" Romans whose heritage became diluted and corrupted by mixing so much with conquered populations, especially those of the Middle East and Northern Africa that had elements of "Semitic", "Turanian" and even "Negroid" elements in their blood.

Basically, Germanics were reinstated into the family of civilised nations of Europe alongside Greeks and Romans by arguing that any conquered people must be inferior to the conqueror, whether culturally, technologically, racially or all of them, and since the Greeks got conquered by the Romans and the Romans got conquered by the Germanics, that means that Germanics were not only as civilised as them but even superior to them. This argument would go on to be used for all colonised peoples of Earth, saying they must have been colonised because the colonisers were utterly superior to them, an argument that survives to this day.
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