Friday, November 7, 2008

German Footnotes in NRH

Here are German translations for select passages of NRH:

p4 nt2: "The claim is utterly meaningless that there is no order of law in despotism, but rather the whim of the despot rules... even the despotically governed state does represent some order of human behavior... This order is precisely the order of law. To deny it the character of law is but a natural law naiveté or arrogance ... That which is interpreted to be arbitrary whim is only the legal prerogative (Möglichkeit: alternatively and more literally "possibility") of the autocrat to appropriate every decision to himself, to determine the activity of the subordinate institutions unconditionally, and to abrogate or alter established norms at any time which have either general or particular validity. Such a condition is a condition of law, even if it is perceived to be disadvantageous. But it also has its good side. The appeal for the dictator, not at all seldom in the modern Rechstsstaat (generally rendered "constitutional republic"), makes this quite evident." [From Hans Kelsen, Allgemeine Staatslehre Berlin, 1925.]

p94 nt 17: "... if one rejects the existence of a personal Creator and Ruler of the World, natural law can no longer be sustained." [From Victor Cathrein]

p176 nt 10: Here we have two citations, one from Engels' Feuerbach piece, and the second from Bachofen. Engels: "... nothing exists [for dialectical philosophy] but the incessant process of coming to be and passing away, of ascending *without end* from the lower to the higher... We do not need to deal with the question here, whether this point of view [for Anschauungsweise] accords completely with the current state of the natural sciences, which predicts for the earth itself a possible, but for its inhabitability a *rather sure end*, which therefore concedes to human history not only an ascending, but also a descending branch." -- Bachofen: "The orient does homage to the standpoint of nature [Naturstandpunkt, just as justifiably the "natural standpoint"], the occident replaces this with the historical [standpoint]... One might be tempted to recognize in this *subordination of the divine to the human idea* the last stage of decline from an earlier more elevated [erhabeneren, also "more sublime"] standpoint... And yet this step back contains the seed for a very important step forward [literal for Fortschritt, or "progress"]. For as such [i.e., as progress] must we consider that liberation of our spirit from the paralyzing fetters of a cosmic-physical view of life... Where the Etruscan fretfully believed in the finitude of his tribe, the Roman rejoices in the eternity of his state, in the which to entertain any doubts he is utterly incapable." (Strauss says here "the italics are not in the original".)

p279 nt 47: "In a lower abstraction, infinity is indeed given prominence as the absoluteness of the subject in the theory of happiness in general, and in natural law, particularly in those systems which are called anti-socialist and which stipulate the being of the individual as the first and highest, but not in the pure abstraction, which it has obtained in the Kantian or Fichtean idealism."

p313 nt 97: "Constitutions can simply not be made, but, like works of nature, they must shape themselves through a gradual development... This truth is the most precious, perhaps the only [one] which is really new (because it was previously only divined, but not fully recognized), with which the French revolution has enriched the higher science of the state [Staatswissenschaft, alt.: "political science"]."

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