One more point. One often has said that Luther has something to do with Nazism. I think this is completely wrong. Nazism was possible in Germany, because of this positivistic authoritarianism, because of Luther’s affirmation that the given prince is given forever and cannot be removed. This was, of course, a tremendous inhibition against any German revolution, if it had been possible at all which I don’t believe in modern totalitarian systems. But an additional spiritual cause was the negation of any revolution, and therefore the acknowledgment of the given authority as authority by everybody. When we say that Luther, is responsible for the Nazis, then we say a lot of nonsense. When we, for instance, think of the ideology of the Nazis, then it is quite clear that this ideology is almost the opposite of Luther’s.
He had no nationalistic ideology; he had no tribal ideology, no racial ideology. He praised the Turkish state for its good state administration. .. From this point of view, no Nazism is in Luther. There is perhaps another point of view: the conservatism of his political thinking. That’s true, but it also is nothing except a consequence of the basic presuppositions.
So don’t make this mistake, even if you hear it very often from seemingly expert people. It’s only true in one thing: namely, Luther has broken the back of the revolutionary will, in the Germans. There is no such thing as a revolutionary will in the Germans, but that is all we can say, and nothing beyond it.
And let me add here: some say often that it was first Luther and then Hegel who produced Nazism. This is equally nonsense, because Hegel, even if he said that the state is God on earth, didn’t mean the power state: he meant the cultural unity of religion and social life, organized in a state. And if this is done, he indeed would say that there is a unity of state and Church. But “”state” is for him not the party movement of the Nazis, the relapse to tribal systems; state is. for him organized society, repressing sin.