chapter  2
18 Pages

Aurel Kolnai’s comparison of National Socialism and communism in the context of contemporary comparisons of dictatorships

WithUwe Backes

This chapter discusses the kind and importance of comparative reflections that are presented in The War Against the West. It shows that Aurel Kolnai identifies in Nazism the principal enemy of the West, while Bolshevism appears to him as a movement that is intellectually more akin to the West. The chapter considers how Kolnai’s position should be situated in the broad spectrum of the time between the extreme poles of anti-Bolshevism and philo-Bolshevism. Kolnai’s pro-Western orientation provides the ethical and political system of coordinates in which his analysis of National Socialist ideology can be found. Kolnai’s comparative observations are limited to a few remarks. At the beginning of the section on the ‘Totalitarian State’, for example, he states that, in contrast to ‘communism’ and ‘Collectivism’, Fascism and National Socialism in no way claim ‘to regulate all social, or even private, life of the citizens’.