By Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Gregory Moore
This can be the 1st translation of Fichte's addresses to the German kingdom for nearly a hundred years. The sequence of 14 speeches, added when Berlin was once below French career after Prussia's disastrous defeat on the conflict of Jena in 1806, is extensively 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 id during the 19th century and past. With an intensive advent that places Fichte's argument in its highbrow and historic context, this variation brings a massive and seminal paintings to a latest readership. all the ordinary sequence gains are supplied, together with notes for additional analyzing, 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)
A similar emphasis on cultural autonomy underpins the Addresses. Humanity, Fichte writes, is the product of the simultaneous but independent self-realisation of discrete cultures: its essence is expressed only in the natural and inevitable differences between individuals and agglomerations of individuals – of nations, in other words. 21 Educating the nation The renewal of the nation will not be achieved by political means alone. Modern humanity is so thoroughly corrupt, Fichte believes, that we must start all over – this really is a year zero – and create an entirely new order of things.
Fichte exploits to the full the syntactic elasticity of German; since this is such a dominant feature of his style here, I have tried, as far as English will allow, to reproduce his sinuous periods and not to carve up his sentences into separate units, which would inevitably give the whole a more halting and less fluid feel than the original. A word of explanation about some of the renderings of Fichte’s vocabulary. Fichte uses two sets of terms to describe his project for reform of German society: bilden/Bildung and erziehen/Erziehung.
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).