Tag: <span>Friedrich Nietzsche</span>

Alexandre Marc Rapprochement of Cultures.

Alexandre Marc: Con-federalism, Cultural Renewal and Trans-frontier Cooperation

Featured Image: Through the Russian Revolution. By Internet Archive Book Images, No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons.

Alexandre Marc ; (19 January 1904 – 22 February 2000) was born as Alexandre Markovitch Lipiansky in Odessa, Russia in 1904.  He later simplified his name by dropping Lipiansky; (which his sons have reclaimed) and modifying his father’s first name to Marc; which he used as a family name.  His father was a Jewish banker and a non-communist socialist. 

Alexandre was a precocious activist. He was influenced by his early reading of F. Nietzsche; especially Thus Spoke Zarathustra.  He started a non-conformist student journal; while still in secondary school during the Russian Revolution; asking for greater democracy and opposed to Marxist thought.  This led to death threats made against him by the Communist authorities.

Also sprach Zarathustra. Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen. In drei Theilen. By Unknown authorUnknown author, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Forerunners of the Nazi Movement

The family left Russia in 1919 for France; but not before Alexandre had seen some of the fighting and disorder of the Russian civil war.  These impressions left a deep mark; and he was never tempted by the Russian communist effort as were other intellectuals in France; who had not seen events close up. 

During part of the 1920s; Marc was in Germany studying philosophy; where intellectual and philosophical debates were intense after the German defeat in the First World War; and the great difficulties of the Weimar Republic.  He saw the forerunners of the Nazi movement. 

Anti-Nazi German Youth

Marc was always one to try to join thought and action; and he had gone back to Germany in 1932 to try to organize anti-Nazi German youth; but ideological divisions in Germany were strong.  The Nazi were already too well organized and came to power the next year. Marc; having seen the destructive power of Nazi thought; was also never tempted by Right Wing or Fascist thought.

Seeing the destructive potential of both Communist and Fascist thought and sensing the deep crisis of Western civilization; Marc was looking for new values that would include order, revolution, and the dignity of the person.

Friedrich Nietzsche, circa 1875. By Friedrich Hartmann, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

L’Ordre Nouveau

  There was no ready-made ideology; which included all these elements; though two French thinkers — difficult to classify — did serve as models to Marc and to Denis de Rougemont and some of the other editors of L’Ordre Nouveau: Charles Péguy and  J Proudhon . Marc wrote a book on the importance of Péguy at the start of the Second World War. 

Marc was living in Aix-en-Provence at the time; and the book was published in still unoccupied Marseilles in 1941. He also met in Paris Nicolas Berdiaeff, Jacques Maritain and Gabriel Marcel.  It was from these meetings that the personalist doctrine of L’Ordre Nouveau was born. The rallying cry of personalism was “We are neither collectivists nor individualists but personalists …the spiritual first and foremost, then the economic, with politics at the service of both of them”.

Denis de Rougemont. By Erling Mandelmann / photo©ErlingMandelmann.ch.

once a Jew, always a Jew

In 1943 when all of France was occupied, he was in danger of arrest both for his views and his Jewish origins. Although in 1933; Marc had become a Roman Catholic in part under the influence of intellectual Dominicans; for the Nazi occupiers — as well as for some of the French Vichy government — “once a Jew, always a Jew”. Therefore he left for Switzerland where he was able to study the working of Swiss federalism with its emphasis on democracy at the village and city level.  He was also able to meet other exiles from all over Europe who had managed to get to Switzerland.

Alexandre Marc seemed destined to use words which took on other meanings when used by more popular writers.  The name of the journal L’Ordre Nouveau was taken over after the Second World War by a French far-right nationalist movement influenced by a sort of neo-Celtic ideology and was widely known for painting Celtic cross graffiti on walls in the days before graffiti art filled up all the space. 

French writer Charles Péguy (1873 – 1914) Painted by Jean-Pierre Laurens (1875-1932).

The Jewish philosophers

Revolution, especially after the Nazi-Fascist defeat, could only be considered in the broader society in its Marxist version.  Person, which as a term had been developed by the Roman stoic philosophers could never carry the complexity of meanings which Marc, de Rougemont, and E. Mounier wanted to give it. 


The Jewish philosophers Martin Buber and Emmanuel Levinas also used the term “personalism” in the same sense as Marc; but their influence was limited to small circles.  In fact, “individualism” either seen positively or negatively; has returned as the most widely used term.  In some ways; this difficulty with the popular perception of words exists with the way Marc uses “federalism” by which he really means “con-federalism”.

Martin Buber in Palestine/Israel (1940 – 1950). By See page for author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Foundations of the European Movement and the European Federalists

Alexandre Marc and Denis de Rougemont met again in Switzerland at the end of the Second World War; when de Rougemont returned from spending the war years in the USA.  They started reconnecting people whom they knew in the pre-war years; who also saw the need for a total reformation of European society. 

Both de Rougemont and Marc were good organizers of meetings and committees; and they played an important role in 1947 and 1948; setting up the first meetings for the foundations of the European movement and the European federalists; especially the August 1947 meeting at Montreux, Switzerland; in which world citizens  and world federalists were also present.

Emmanuel Levinas. By Bracha L. Ettinger, CC BY-SA 2.5 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Cold War.

Both men stressed the need for education and highlighted the role of youth to move European unity; beyond the debates of the 1930s and the start of the Cold War; though both continued to stress the importance of the themes; which brought them together in the 1930s.

Centers for the Study of European Federalism

They were both founders of centers for the study of European federalism and an exploration of European values. It was in the context of seminars and publications of the two centers; that I worked with both in the 1970s.   Culture in the philosophical sense was crucial for both; and their efforts in Geneva and Nice were rather similar.

Marc and de Rougemont had a personal falling out that lasted nearly a decade; due, it seems, to the tensions surrounding the break up of de Rougemont’s first marriage.  But even during this break; de Rougemont always spoke to me highly of Marc and his ideas.

Distrust of European Integration

De Rougemont knew that I was seeing Marc and had an interest in the intellectual; currents of France in the 1930s.  The two men came together again later; especially after de Rougemont’s happy second marriage.  From his death be; de Rougemont spoke to Marc on the telephone concerning the need to reprint the issues of L’Order Nouveau; since the articles were still important. The reprinting has been done since.

Both de Rougemont and Marc shared a distrust of European integration; as it was being carried out within the European Community and later the European Union; Both men stressed the need for local democracy; and shared a strong distrust of the politicians prominent in the nation-state system. 

The Lobbying of Governments on Federalist Issues.

De Rougemont went on to give most of his attention to the role of regions; especially the trans-frontier Geneva area; which combines part of Switzerland and France and is an economic pole of attraction for the Italian Val d’Aoste.

Marc continued to stress what he called “global” or “integral” federalism; a federalism with great autonomy and initiative at every level as over against “Hamiltonian”; federalism which he saw as the creation of ever larger entities such as the United States; whose culture and form of government Marc distrusted.

Hamiltonian Federalism

Marc remarked that  ‘Hamiltonian federalism’; as a whole was turning its back on spiritual; cultural and social questions and devoting itself to a form of action that can be defined; as ‘political’ and underlined the contradiction that is inherent in the lobbying of governments on federalist issues.

The Future is within Us

De Rougemont was the better writer.  His last book The Future is within Us; though pessimistic; especially of political efforts, remains a useful summing up of his ideas. (2) Although Alexandre Marc wrote a good deal; his forms of expression; were too complex, too paradoxical, too filled with references to ideas; which are not fully explained to be popular. 

Marc’s influence was primarily verbal as stimulant to his students.  Having seen early in his life the dangers of totalitarian thought; he always stressed the need for dialogue and listening; for popular participation at all levels of decision-making. As with ‘order’ ‘revolution’ ‘the person’, ‘federalism’ was probably not the term he should have chosen to carry the weight  of his ideas.

A Complex Man

The other Alexander — Hamilton — has infused the word ‘federalism’ with the idea of unification of many smaller units.  ‘Popular participation’ is probably a better term for Marc’s ideas; if the word ‘popular’ could carry the complex structure; which Marc tried to give to the word ‘person’. Con-federation is probably the better term for the de-centralized administrative structures that Marc proposed.

Marc was a complex man; one of the bridges; who helped younger persons to understand the debates; which surrounded the Russian Revolution; the rise and decline of Fascism and Nazism; and the post-Second World War hopes for a United Europe.  As de Rougemont on his death bed said to Marc:

“We have been able to do nothing, start again, talk to the young and we must carry on.”


  • For the 1930s period see: Christian Roy. Alexandre Marc et la Jeune Europe: L’Ordre nouveau aux origins du personnalisme (Presses d’Europe, 1998) J. Laubet del Bayle. Les non-conformistes des années 30 : Une Tentative de renouvellement de la pensée politique francaise (Seuil, 1969) Michel Winock. Esprit : Des intellectuels dans la cité 1930-1950 (Seuil, 1996)
  • Denis de Rougemont The Future is within US  (Pergamon Press, 1983).

Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

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Alfred Adler. Pouvoir et Sentiment Social.

Featured Image: Alfred Adler By Isidoricaaa7, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.

Par Rene Wadlow.

Alfred Adler; dont nous célébrons l’anniversaire de naissance le 7 février ; croyait qu’il y avait deux forces décisives à l’œuvre dans l’histoire du monde et dans la vie de chaque individu: une lutte pour le pouvoir et un sentiment social. Les deux forces provenaient de l’effort ascendant de l’homme de l’infériorité à la perfection.Individual Psychology.

Alfred Adler (1870-1937); un psychothérapeute et médecin viennois ; faisait partie du premier cercle de Sigmund Freud. Pourtant; les deux hommes étaient en désaccord sur ce que chacun considérait comme des positions fondamentales. En 1911; Adler a quitté le cercle de Freud et a fondé sa propre approche ; qu’il appelait « la psychologie individuelle ».

Pour Adler; il y a des similitudes entre l’évolution de l’homme dans l’histoire ; et l’évolution de chacun. Dans l’histoire, l’homme; un nain physique par rapport aux animaux qui l’entourent et aux forces de la Nature ; doit compenser cette faiblesse en développant un schéma de coopération avec les autres humains qui l’entourent. Également; chaque enfant est né; un nain par rapport aux adultes qui l’entourent.

Ainsi; chaque enfant doit développer un sens du temps de soi. Si ce développement est entravé d’une manière ou d’une autre; à la suite de parents brutaux ou d’un milieu hostile ; la recherche du temps de soi peut devenir névrotique. Il peut y avoir surcompensation comme repli sur soi.

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud colorized portrait. By Photocolorization, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.


Une surcompensation peut se traduire par une quête de pouvoir. Lutter pour gagner du temps et du pouvoir est un processus naturel ; mais avec surcompensation ; la recherche du pouvoir peut devenir l’aspect dominant de la personnalité. Adler avait lu et été influencé par les écrits de Friedrich Nietzsche ; qui glorifiait la volonté de puissance. Pour Adler; un développement excessif de la volonté de puissance peut devenir une névrose profonde. Seul un équilibre sain entre les forces de coopération et la volonté de puissance individuelle ; peut créer un individu harmonieux et une société harmonieuse.

En 1897; il a épousé Raïssa Epstein; un Russe qui était également étudiant à l’Université de Vienne. Elle faisait partie des cercles marxistes russes vivant en Autriche ; et un ami de Léon Trotsky et de son milieu. Par elle; Adler a rejoint les cercles socialistes et est devenu convaincu que la société contribuait à créer la personnalité de l’individu. Donc; pour une personnalité de santé, il doit y avoir une société de santé ; libre de toute domination. Adler a également vu la nécessité d’une société basée sur l’égalité entre les hommes et les femmes; afin que la personnalité des hommes et des femmes puisse se développer pleinement. Il a été l’un des premiers féministes et un champion de l’égalité des femmes et des hommes.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche, circa 1875. By Friedrich Hartmann, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Le Pouvoir a Dominé le Sens du Social.

Son activité de psychothérapeute et d’écrivain est interrompue par le début de la guerre mondiale de 1914-1918. En tant que médecin; il a été incorporé dans l’armée austro-hongroise ; où il a pu contempler l’aspiration névrotique de l’homme vers le pouvoir. A la fin de la guerre; tant par ses observations que par l’analyse marxiste de sa femme ; il sentait que la volonté de puissance dominait le sens du sentiment social et de la coopération. En réalité; les dirigeants et les groupes au pouvoir de la Hongrie ont dégradé le sentiment social de masse en l’utilisant comme une soif de domination. Le sentiment social des soldats pendant la guerre ; a été utilisé pour des objectifs de champ de bataille avec des efforts pour exclure tout sentiment social pour l’ennemi.

Il a écrit que lorsque la violence doit être commise; cela se fait souvent en “faisant appel à la justice, à la coutume, à la liberté, au bien-être des opprimés et au nom de la culture”. Les aspirants au pouvoir transforment le sentiment social « d’une fin en un moyen, et il est mis au service du nationalisme et de l’impérialisme ».

Nationalisme, Racisme et Impérialisme.

La seule façon de contrer ce sentiment névrotique de recherche de pouvoir ; est de développer des méthodes préventives en développant le sentiment social et la coopération. Au cours des années 1920; Adler a souligné la nécessité de développer le sentiment social en développant de nouvelles formes coopératives d’éducation de l’enfance au sein de la famille et des écoles. Adler a souligné l’expérience profonde de l’unité ; une connexion intense s’étendant à travers les plus vastes étendues de l’histoire et des sociétés.

Cependant, en 1934; il a vu que le sens de l’unité en Allemagne et en Autriche; allait être utilisé à nouveau pour créer de l’unité au sein d’un petit cercle ; et subvertir l’utilisation du sentiment social en en faisant une façade pour le nationalisme, le racisme et l’impérialisme. Adler était considéré comme juif par les nazis parce que ses parents étaient des juifs hongrois ; bien que le judaïsme en tant que religion ait joué peu de rôle dans sa vie intellectuelle. Il partit enseigner à New York et mourut en 1937; lors d’une tournée de conférences en Ecosse. Il n’a pas vu les événements de la Seconde Guerre mondiale; mais il n’y aurait pas eu grand-chose pour le faire changer d’avis ; sur la façon dont le principe de pouvoir peut être utilisé par les leaders antisociaux.

Alfred Adler

Plaque commémorative pour Alfred Adler (Vienne, Czerningasse 7). By GuentherZ, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.


Pour un aperçu des vues d’Adler sur la psychologie, voir: Henry L. Ansbacher et Rowena R. Amsbacher (eds). La psychologie individuelle d’Alfred Adler (New York : Harper et Row, 1964)

Pour les vues tardives d’Adler sur la nécessité d’une société basée sur le sentiment social, voir son livre publié peu de temps après sa mort : Alfred Adler. Intérêt social ; A Challenge to Mankind (Londres, Faber et Faber, 1938)

Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

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Rapprochement of Cultures.

Alfred Adler. Power and Social Feeling.

Featured Image: Alfred Adler By Isidoricaaa7, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.

By Rene Wadlow.

Alfred Adler; whose birth anniversary we mark on 7 February; believed that there were two decisive forces at work in world history and in the life of each individual: a striving for power and a social feeling.  Both forces stemmed from man’s upward striving from inferiority to perfection.

Individual Psychology.

Alfred Adler (1870-1937); a Vienna psychotherapist and medical doctor; was part of the early circle of Sigmund Freud. However; the two men disagreed on what each felt to be fundamental positions.  In 1911; Adler left the Freud circle and founded his own approach; which he called “individual psychology”.

For Adler; there are similarities between the evolution of man within history;  and the evolution of each individual.  In history, man;  a physical dwarf in comparison with the animals around him and the forces of Nature; must compensate for this weakness by developing a pattern of cooperation with other humans around him. Likewise; each child is born; a dwarf in comparison to the adults around him.

Thus; each child must develop a sense of self-es time.  If this development is hindered in some way; as the result of brutal parents or a hostile milieu; the search for self-es time can become neurotic.  There can be over-compensation as well as a closing in on oneself.

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud colorized portrait. By Photocolorization, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.


Over-compensation can result in a quest for power.  Striving for self-es time and power is a natural process; but with over-compensation; the search for power can become the dominant aspect of the personality. Adler had read and been influenced by the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche; who glorified the will-to-power.  For Adler; an over-development of the will-to-power can become a deep seated neurosis.  Only a health balance between the forces of cooperation  and the individual will -to-power;  can make for a harmonious individual  and a harmonious society.

In 1897;  he married Raissa Epstein; a Russian who was also a student at the University of Vienna.  She was part of Russian Marxist circles living in Austria;  and a friend of Leon Trotsky and his milieu.  Through her;  Adler joined socialist circles and became convinced that society helped to create the personality of the individual.  Therefore; for a health personality, there needs to be a health society; free from domination. Adler also saw the need for a society based on equality between men and women; so that the personality of both men and women could develop fully. He was an early feminist and champion of the equality of women and men.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche, circa 1875. By Friedrich Hartmann, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Power Dominated The Sense of Social.

His work as a psychotherapist and writer was halted by the start of the 1914-1918 World War.  As a medical doctor;  he was incorporated into the Austro-Hungarian Army; where he was able to contemplate man’s neurotic striving for power. At the end of the war; both by his observations and the Marxist analysis of his wife; he felt that the will-to-power dominated the sense of social-feeling and cooperation.  In fact; power-hungary leaders and groups debased mass social feeling by using it as a thirst for dominance.  The social feeling of soldiers during the war; was used for battlefield goals with efforts to exclude any social feeling for the enemy.

He wrote that when violence is to be committed; it is frequently done by “appealing to justice, custom, freedom, the welfare of the oppressed and in the name of culture.” Power-seekers transform social feeling “from an end into a means, and it is pressed into the service of nationalism and imperialism.”

Nationalism, Racism and Imperialism.

The only way to counter this neurotic sense of power-seeking; is to develop preventive methods by developing social feeling and cooperation.  During the 1920s; Adler stressed the need for the development of social feeling by developing new, cooperative forms of childhood education within the family and schools.  Adler stressed the profound experience of togetherness; an intense connection extending across the largest reaches of history and societies.

However, by 1934; he saw that the sense of togetherness in Germany and Austria; was going to be used again to create togetherness among a small circle; and subverting the use of social feeling by making it a facade for nationalism, racism and imperialism.  Adler was considered a Jew by the Nazis because his parents were Hungarian Jews;  although Judaism as a religion played little role in his intellectual life. He left to teach in New York City and died in 1937; on a lecture tour in Scotland.  He did not see the events of the Second World War; but there would  have been little to make him alter his views; on how the power principle can be utilized by antisocial leaders.

Alfred Adler

Memorial plaque for Alfred Adler (Vienna, Czerningasse 7). By GuentherZ, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.


For an overview of Adler’s views of psychology see: Henry L. Ansbacher and Rowena R. Amsbacher (eds). The Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler (New York: Harper and Row, 1964)

For the late views of Adler on the need for a society based on social feeling see his book published shortly after his death: Alfred Adler. Social Interest; A Challenge to Mankind (London, Faber and Faber, 1938)

Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

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