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The politics of civil societyBig society and small government$
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Fred Powell

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781447307150

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447307150.001.0001

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Nietzsche’s revenge: totalitarian big society

Nietzsche’s revenge: totalitarian big society

Chapter:
(p.118) (p.119) Five Nietzsche’s revenge: totalitarian big society
Source:
The politics of civil society
Author(s):

Fred Powell

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447307150.003.0006

In this chapter we analyse the co-option and penetration of civil society in Nazi Germany in the pursuit of building a totalitarian system of governance. It is contended that Nazification encompassed all aspects of civil society: charities, churches, cultural life and so on. What can be learnt from the Nazi German ‘Big Society’ project is that the dark side of modernity has the capacity to produce a totalitarian world, where terror becomes a defining social and political construct. The grim reality of the Nazification of civil society and its dystopian consequences for human welfare are analysed in terms of pogroms, anti-Semitism and the construction of a racialised welfare state that engaged in violent social exclusion from Nazi ‘Big Society’.

Keywords:   totalitarian communitarianism, communicative power, ’community aliens’, pogroms, anti-Semitism

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