What is the secret of the fight

II. The invisibility of power Michael Zantke Machiavelli and the secret of political power The legend of Machiavelli With the name Niccolò Machiavelli, the sound of the occult and the mysterious resonates. As the first “whistleblower” in history, he betrayed the secrets of political rule and brought the truth about the immoral rulers to the public at the time. This exposed him to unrestrained public criticism, which, however, focused less on the flaked violence of political action, for the Renaissance people were familiar with it, seemed legitimate to them and even often impressed them. Instead it was the contradiction between the public appearance and the political acts of the rulers, which he had exposed, and for whose amorality his name henceforth stood. The traitor's betrayal was vehemently attacked, while the scandal of the reality of political action that he brought to light was negligible. Protestant clergy in particular have justified their condemnation against Machiavelli with the fact that he had recommended to the rulers that social virtues such as piety should be ridiculed, but in reality also act contrary to the canon of religious values. In addition, Huguenots feared and English Protestants reported the conspiracies of their Catholic opponents, whom they considered to be Machiavelli's pupils.1 However, it was the Jesuits who put Machiavelli's works on the papal index for forbidden writings in 1559, after the Pope had given them permission to print in 1531 . In turn, the critics of the Jesuit order interpreted this commitment as an attempt to conceal their own public practices of rule. The Protestants saw in Machiavelli the teacher of their Catholic enemies and evil incarnate. Regardless of Machiavelli's real intention, his betrayal of secrets had succeeded in angering both the supposed Machiavellian rulers and the ruling Machiavellians to such an extent that the number of his critics far outweighed the number of his admirers in the centuries after his death. In contrast, the number of those who saw Machiavelli's works merely as a realistic description of political action and who admitted this publicly remained manageable. 1. 1 Cf. Beck 1935. 35 It was against this background that the creation of legends about Machiavelli took place, which ensured that the author subsequently identified with his princely figure. In this Machiavellian style, it is representative of a form of rule based on violence and conspiracy. In the legend, this identification radically separates the work from the author. While the author keeps stepping back, the work is instrumentalized at will, both by the critics and the advocates of a realistic and opaque political theory of action. In his “Dialogue in the Underworld between Machiavelli and Montesquieu”, Maurice Joly lets Machiavelli have his say as a literary figure and circumnavigates the arcana of total domination, which is why Machiavelli's writings became the code of totalitarianism in the early 20th century one develops a “revolutionary Machiavellism” in the ranks of the German national revolutionaries, in which the radical left and right movements should merge and be used as intellectual weapons in the political struggle.3 The positive connections of these conservative revolutionaries to Machiavelli were based on this Patriotism, his vision of the people's army, but above all on the idea that morality, religion and - projected onto one's own time - ideologies in political struggle only create a public delusion. At this point, the difference between author and text and the constant reinterpretation or conceptual adaptation has long been completely confusing. The reason for this fuzziness is the effect of Machiavelli's theory as a political doctrine, which can be criticized, but at the same time has an impact on ongoing political action. A necessary separation is therefore difficult, if not impossible, from the perspective of political practitioners, which is why Machiavelli's critics themselves often acted Machiavellian. A well-known example of this is the Prussian King Frederick the Great. As Crown Prince he wrote an “Anti-machiavel” in which he tried step by step to refute the lessons of “Il Principe ”.4 But with the annexation of Silesia, the young king revealed himself shortly after the publication of his work already as a rational conqueror in the style of the outlawed Florentine. Nevertheless, a distinction must be made between work and author, between theory and legend, especially if the secret is to be investigated here. While in the secret doctrine of the art of government disclosed by Machiavelli, the contradiction of public appearances and the actual, secret motives of the ruler, the ambivalent speech and action as well as the instrumentalization of faith function as core elements. 2 Joly 1948. At the same time, Joly involuntarily creates a literary basis for the so-called "Protocols of the Elders of Zion". 3 Cf. Fischer 1933. 4 Crown Prince of Prussia 1741. 36 ren, in the centuries after his death the secret forms of power development were given much greater weight in the reception and further development of his writings. For Machiavelli, on the other hand, the invisible ways and means of power did not take precedence over the visible. I therefore want to show that Machiavelli's reputation as an admirer and supporter of the tyrants and as a grand master of the conspiracy arose from the creation of virulent legends. For example, Machiavelli's express distancing from conspiracy and tyranny is mostly concealed in the legend, as is his clear affinities with the republic and the constitutional separation of powers. Instead, according to my thesis, with the formation of the legends surrounding Machiavelli, there is also a change in the secret from a purely technical concept of political action to a symbolism of the occult that is open to all forms of conspiracy. First I reconstruct the position of the secret in Machiavelli's doctrine of political action. In a second step, I check whether Machiavelli's theory also contains a concept of secrecy that goes beyond immediate politics. The paper then turns to the effect of the mystery in the context of the application of Machiavelli's political theory. Here it is examined whether the technique of secrecy can also be demonstrated in the instrumentalization of Machiavelli. Only with this evidence could the status of the secret in Machiavelli be systematically elucidated and examined whether the identification of his name with the secret policy is justified. The secret in Machiavelli's theory of action First and foremost, the technical handling of political events represents the core of Machiavelli's political doctrine. Carl Schmitt based his definition of the dictatorship on this “technicality”: “This technical conception is essential for the emergence of the modern state as of immediate importance for the problem of dictatorship. From the rationalism of this technology it results first of all that the constructing state artist regards the crowd to be organized by the state as an object to be designed, as material. [...]. But if the people are the irrational, one cannot negotiate or conclude contracts with them, but must master it through cunning or violence. The mind cannot communicate here, it does not argue, but dictates. ”5 Furthermore, Machiavelli always differentiates between different scenarios that place different demands on technicality. Different techniques are needed to establish and maintain a republic than in the case of a monarchy; in 2.5 Schmitt 1921, p. 10. 37 Times of the moral integrity of the community, other means are required than in times of moral decline, etc. Machiavelli analyzed the technical feasibility of the respective scenarios and initially tried to assess them largely impartially. When he talks about the technical requirements of a tyrannical coup against a free republic, that does not mean that he regards this scenario as desirable. A nefarious political lone fighter like Cesare Borgia by no means embodies his ideal of ruler. For Machiavelli, Borgia is the contemporary political type who, in an era of moral decline, brings the people to order with cunning and violence. He is the necessary, not the ideal type. The “Principe” constructed by Machiavelli is designed for this specific scenario. Machiavelli portrays neither immorality nor tyrannical rule as the royal road of political action. He favors a free republic and a society with moral integrity. At a central point in the Discorsi he points out that religions and states, republics and monarchies are only stable if they are traced back to their moral origins: “It is clearer than the day that these bodies have no duration without renewal . The means of their renewal is, as I said, their return to their origins: because at the beginning all religions, republics and kingdoms must necessarily have something good, by virtue of which they regain their original prestige and their first growth. [...]. The laws, however, must be enlivened by the virtue of a man who has the courage to enforce them against the power of their transgressors. ”6 Machiavelli is therefore not an advocate of tyranny just because he ponders the conditions for its feasibility. He does not write any secret doctrine for tyrants, as a chapter heading makes clear: “As praiseworthy as the founders of a kingdom or a republic are, so are those of a tyrannical rule.” 7 Whether he, as Rousseau suspected, the peoples of the secret machinations of the ty‐ rannen wanted to reveal in order to free them, but this can be doubted.8 René König criticized Machiavelli as an “esthete of violence who redeems them from their unseen loneliness and gives their weapons a gold and diamond frame so that they can from now on begins to shine in strange disreputable shine and with its darkly seductive sheen draws even the most distant ones under its spell. ”9 This criticism is partly justified, especially with regard to“ Il Principe ”and the portrayal of Cesare Borgia.10 Machiavelli had here According to Marianne Weickert, 11 abandoned its typical text structure. The literary figure Il Principe grew out of a treatise, in the Borgia an essential 6 Machiavelli 2000, 3rd book, 1st chapter. 7 Machiavelli 2000, 1st book, 10th chapter. 8 Rousseau 2000, p. 101. 9 König 2013, p. 95f. 10 See Zantke 2017, p. 99ff. 11 Cf. Weickert 1937. 38 embodied the share. From an individual case to be treated - in an unstable domestic and foreign political situation, in times of moral decline - a heroic figure emerged who quickly appears to the reader as Machiavelli's prototype of the political ruler par excellence. First and foremost, this is where both the criticism and the legend of Machiavelli begin. However, Machiavelli's identifications as an admirer and promoter of political violence are based on the same isolating reading of his writings as with regard to tyranny as a form of government. However, violence is only one instrument among many that can prove useful or even necessary in certain situations. Of course, there are numerous textual references to the use of violence in Machiavelli's works, which - in isolation - could expose him as an agent of evil and as a warmonger. However, he does not give violence a fundamentally higher value than non-violent ways of political action such as cunning, religion, the law and, last but not least, virtue. He differentiates between republics, monarchies, morally intact and decadent times. Violence is cited as a necessity of political struggle. However, it is only useful and effective in certain situations. Let us compare two chapter headings in the “Discorsi” as an example: “If a state of grief has grown or if there is an imminent threat against it, it is always more salutary to wait for the time than to use force” 12; “The dictatorial power brought the Roman Republic advantage, not damage. The violence that a citizen seizes is dangerous for the life of the state, not that which is granted to him through free choice. ”13 At these points one cannot speak of an“ aestheticization of violence ”. Violence is neither a prominent element in Machiavelli's doctrine of rule nor a unique selling point of Machiavellianism. But what is the original Machiavellian secret of rule? Machiavelli formulated rules for outwitting and staging in politics. In the Principe we read about greed and generosity, cruelty and goodness of the prince: “It is good to be considered generous, but a prince who practices generosity in such a way that he is no longer feared that will have a disadvantage. [...]. All princes should wish to be considered gracious and gracious and not cruel, but they have to be very careful when granting grace. ”14 The modern variants of the anti-Machiavellian image are largely based on the polemics of the English cardinal Pole and the Huguenot Innocent Gentillet. back. Machiavelli had associated Pole with the devil. The central point of his condemnation judgment was Machiavelli's recommendation that a wise ruler should learn the 12 Machiavelli 2000, Book 1, Chapter 33. 13 Machiavelli 2000, 1st book, 34th chapter. 14 Machiavelli 1990, p. 92ff. 39 Make use of religion and, if necessary, only pretend your own religiosity.15 In addition, we read in the “Discorsi” about the religion of the Romans: “If you read Roman history carefully, you will always find how much religion is to obedience in the army, to unity contributed to the preservation of morality and the shame of the wicked. [...]. Because where there is religion, it is easy to set up a military power, but where there is a military power without religion, it is difficult to introduce it. [...]. In fact, there was never an extraordinary legislature among a people who did not appeal to God because otherwise his laws would not have been accepted at all. Because a clever man recognizes a lot of good things, but the reasons for this are not so obvious that one could convince others of it. That is why wise men take refuge in God […]. ”16 According to Machiavelli, the Romans interpreted their auspices (Latin auspicium:“ bird's eye view ”) according to considerations of political expediency. It was a kind of oracle in which chickens gave information about the divine blessing of planned campaigns based on their eating behavior: “If the chickens ate, you fought with good omens, if they didn't eat, you gave up the fight. Reason, however, dictated that something should be carried out, and even with unfavorable auspices it was carried out under all circumstances; it was just turned and interpreted so skilfully that it did not seem to be done in disregard for religion. [...]. This facility had no other purpose than that the soldiers confidently went into battle, because victory almost always springs from such trust. ”17 So here we understand an instrumental handling of faith as a central characteristic of Machiavellianism of the masses (as religion or secular ideology) for the purpose of gaining and exercising power by a political actor. Political occultism In Machiavelli's works, which are regarded as the epitome of a realistic political conception, there are also traces of a magical-occult worldview: “I don't know where it comes from, but you can see from old and new examples that in a city or in a country nothing great ever happens that has not been foretold by fortune tellers, prophecies, miracles and other signs from heaven. [...]. But it could be that, as a philosopher wants, the air is filled with spirits - 3. 15 Cf. Stolleis 1980, p. 10. 16 Machiavelli 2000, p. 53f. 17 Machiavelli 2000, p. 62ff.40 people who have the gift of looking into the future, and that these beings, out of compassion, warn people through such signs so that they prepare for defense. Be that as it may, it is certain that it really is and that after such phenomena, new, extraordinary things happen. ”18 During Machiavelli's lifetime, at the turn of the 15th to the 16th century, the idea was so magical Historical signs play an increasingly important role.19 The hidden can always be revealed through secret signs. This magical belief had its origin in practical experience. On the night of the murder of Lucerne in 1332, conspirators met to murder rich citizens - with the aim of usurping their power and property. Red clothes and items of clothing were agreed upon as secret identification marks. The conspiratorial gathering, however, was overheard, its signs revealed, and thus these became identifying marks for their enemies. In a similar way, the planned "Bundschuh uprising" was thwarted in Baden in 1513. An informant claimed to the Baden authorities that the conspirators would make themselves recognizable by a sewn “H” and a secret word mark.20 These real observations in the transition from the Middle Ages to the modern era expanded into a magical perception of political events, as was the case in the Machiavelli's remarks were expressed. Valentin Groebner states: "At the end of the Middle Ages, a new paradigm of the political and of talking about visibility and invisibility was developed in the field of tension between common good and haymaking." 21 A new term was established in German usage around the turn of the 16th century: the word "Practick". It describes covert agreements and secret manipulations. It stands for ambivalent speech and action. As with Machiavelli, heavenly signs are related to the invisible powers among people. Contemporary German authors considered the masters of “practicing” the “Welschen”, that is, Italians and French.22 Practick is becoming a synonym for the imagined invisible in politics. These threatening machinations increased in scope and speed in the perception of contemporary witnesses around the turn of the 16th century. The origins of the modern belief in conspiracies can already be seen here: “Practick is when everyone knows that there are invisible, secret, powerfully evil maneuvers, in a form that cannot be described, in a form that cannot be seen, for which there is but there are trademarks. Basically every good conspiracy theory to this day is based on this plot of invisible causality. ”23 18 Machiavelli 2000, p. 157. 19 Cf. Groebner 1999, p. 63. 20 Groebner 1999, p. 69f. 21 Cf. Groebner 1999, p. 80. 22 Cf. Groebner 1999, p. 72. 23 Groebner 1999, p. 74. 41 With regard to his belief in miracles and signs of secret powers, Machiavelli can both as a child of his time and as Harbingers of modern conspiracy belief. However, in the "Discorsi" he developed a realistic understanding of secular conspiracies, at least for his epoch. “Nothing worse can threaten the princes than a conspiracy; for it either kills them or brings shame to them. If they are happy, they will die; if it is discovered and the conspirators executed, one always believes that the whole thing was an invention of the prince in order to saturate his greed and cruelty with the blood and fortune of those killed. ”24 Machiavelli had the unmasking and smashing of the Witnessed conspiracy by Cesare Borgias mercenary leaders. As envoy of the Republic of Florence, he followed Borgia's proceedings up to the execution of the conspirators in Sinigaglia in January 1503. Borgia's political tactics, based on superior information channels, deception and rapid violence, became a main source for Machiavelli's fictional character “Il Principe”. For Machiavelli, Borgia's example showed the superiority of the determined lone fighter against a fragile alliance of convenience like that of the condotters. In the “Discorsi”, Machiavelli devoted the most extensive chapter of the book to the conspiracies.25 He distinguishes between two variants: the conspiracy against the prince and the conspiracy against the fatherland. Machiavelli names as typical reasons for a conspiracy against the prince, first, the lust for revenge of subordinates due to insults of honor and unlawful behavior of the ruler and, second, the desire to free the fatherland from tyranny. He differentiates between an individualistic striving for freedom and a patriotic impulse for freedom as the basis of possible conspiracies. In the first case, excessive benevolence of the princes can also lead to the formation of conspiracies. If a ruler showered his immediate subordinates with excessively great fortunes and honors, Machiavelli said, the door would be opened to the individual striving for fame and power of the honored. Here we find the contrastive juxtaposition of effect and means in political action typical of Machiavelli: excessive benevolence of the prince generates disdain and revolt; moderate acts of violence, on the other hand, result in the recognition of those who have been overwhelmed and the observers. Social virtues such as generosity can lead to ruin in the arena of political combat: “A prince who wants to protect himself from conspiracies must fear those whom he has done too much than those whom he has done too much has offended, because this 24 Machiavelli 2000, p. 325f. 25 Machiavelli 2000, 3rd book, 6th chapter. There is a lack of opportunity, they have more than enough. [...]. The princes are therefore only allowed to give their favorites so much respect that there is a space between them and the throne and something desirable lies in the middle [...]. ”26 Machiavelli also constructs an exceptional case that is almost necessary to conspiracy motivate against the ruler: "Related is the case where hardship forces you to do to the prince what he, as you can see, wants to do to yourself, and where this hardship is so great that it only leaves you the time, to think about your safety. ”27 During the incitement, the implementation and in the aftermath of the conspiracy the conspirators expose themselves to great dangers, says Machiavelli, which in most cases lead to the failure of the secret enterprise. In order to conspire against a prince, there must be access to his immediate environment. Servants, sexual partners, Praetorians or military commanders, as in the case of Borgias, are for this reason the optimal conspirators against a prince. From Machiavelli's point of view, there is hardly any possibility for the common man to conspire against the ruler. In the run-up to the deed, the dangers would be greatest due to the infidelity and carelessness of the co-conspirators: “You are not certain of them until you put them to the test, and that is extremely dangerous here. [...]. This is why so many conspiracies are betrayed and suppressed at the outset; yes, it is considered a miracle if a conspiracy remains secret for a long time with many participants. ”28 conspiracies involving more than four people are doomed to failure. Time also plays a decisive role. The less that passes from conspiracy to implementation, the more likely there is a chance of success. In this respect, Machiavelli advises the co-conspirators to be incited as quickly as possible: “So the matter can only be reported in an emergency and shortly before it is carried out. But if you want to confide in someone, it is only to one person who has been examined for a long time, or who has the same motives. ”29 In this case, there are two possibilities of betrayal: Either the confidant deliberately betrays or as a result of arrest and torture. In that case, you still have the means to defend yourself, through denial or violence. Against several co-conspirators, this chance disappears. Conspiratorial intentions should never be put down in writing. Machiavelli sees further foreseeable dangers for the implementation of the conspiracy, “either from changes in the orders or from the reluctance of the executor to act, or from a mistake he makes out of carelessness, or from incomplete execution, if namely, some of those to be murdered stay alive ”.30 This is why 26 Machiavelli 2000, p. 308f. 27 Machiavelli 2000, p. 314f. 28 Machiavelli 2000, pp. 309f. 29 Machiavelli 2000, p. 312. 30 Machiavelli 2000, p. 316. 43 Machiavelli for the statement on the involvement of experienced contract killers: “No matter how firm a person may be and be used to killing people and wielding the sword, he will but get a little confused. Therefore choose people who are experienced in this craft […]. ”31 According to Machiavelli, the greatest and most terrible danger for the conspirators after the successful execution is the love of the people for the murdered ruler. There is “no remedy” for this. The second variant of conspiracy differs fundamentally from the conspiracies against the prince: “The conspiracies against the fatherland [Machiavelli means the republic, MZ] are less dangerous than against the princes, because inciting them is less dangerous when executing them the same, but none after the deed. ”32 In the republic, ambitious citizens can conspiratorially come to power without the use of force and without existential risks. The conspiracy is institutionally anchored in the republic - this is how Machiavelli can be understood. However, this only applies to republics “in which there is already some moral corruption” .33 For the violent overthrow of individuals against the republic, the conspirators' own military formations serve at best. If these do not exist, a conspiracy against the republic could only be based on cunning or foreign aid. The extent of the chapter is remarkable, which clearly exceeds all other "Discorsi" chapters. This suggests that Machiavelli was particularly preoccupied with this topic. It is very likely that his imprisonment in 1513 played an important role in this. He was accused of plotting against the Medici and suffered torture, but was released. Then he retired to an estate in San Casciano, where he wrote down his books, suffering from mental illness. While Machiavelli strongly warned about the conspiracies, he developed a theory of conspiracy that is useful for both potential conspirators and their potential victims. Machiavelli - and this is typical of his political theory of action - tries to maintain a neutral standpoint that soberly and unbiasedly analyzes the various scenarios with regard to their optimal technical feasibility. However, his remarks by no means give the impression that he regards the conspiracy as the silver bullet in political struggle. His contemporary hero is Cesare Borgia, who opposes the conspirators with strength, cunning and determination, the lone fighter who does not confide in anyone. On the other hand, the most refined conspiracy pales in him. 31 Machiavelli 2000, p. 318f. 32 Machiavelli 2000, p. 323. 33 Machiavelli 2000, p. 323. 44 Conspiracy myth and legend formation In the centuries after his death, Machiavelli became the epitome of the immoral and the invisible in politics. In addition, he was denounced as a prophet of the conspiracy, which in no way corresponds to his considerations - presented here. Kurt Erich Suckert, who published a sensational treatise on the coup under the pseudonym “Curzio Malaparte”, had to absolve himself on the first page of his book of the accusation that he was a student of Machiavelli: “Despite my intention to present oneself as one a modern state and how to defend it, and although this is in a certain sense the same subject that Macchiavelli dealt with, this book is far from an imitation, albeit a modern one, that is, very distant from Macchiavelli, of the book of To be princes. ”34 The Florentine became the epitome of coup d'état and conspiracy. On this point we are dealing with another element of the virulent legend formation about Machiavelli. In addition to the countless ecclesiastical condemnation judgments, Machiavelli's literary productions in the style of Christopher Marlowe's “Jew of Malta” from 1589 were largely responsible for this. There are no variants and options for this literary figure whose technical feasibility is soberly compared. In the Übermachiavellist the worst elements from Machiavelli's doctrine of domination canalize and are mixed with new evils. Hypocrisy, intrigue and a lot of money help Barabas, the "Jew of Malta", to his power. This demonically distorted literary Machiavelli already appears here in the background from the realm of the dead. Centuries later he reappears in the fires of hell and his words echo in the world of the living. Maurice Joly wrote a polemic against Napoleon III in 1864. It is a dead conversation in the underworld between Machiavelli and Montesquieu.35 In it, the literary “Machiavelli” prophesied the rise of a totalitarian state, while “Montesquieu” conjured up the triumph of the liberal constitutional state. “Machiavelli's” position is clearly the dominant one and it actually anticipates many developments of the early 20th century. Joly's “Machiavelli” describes how a liberal constitutional system can be undermined. The modern despot only has to externally maintain the forms of legality. He will deceive the ruled that they continue to hold the sovereignty of the state. “Machiavelli” wants to keep the semblance of a liberal constitution - at least temporarily - in place. The despot would come to power through the elections in order to bring the existing institutions of state and society into a new relationship to one another. Parliaments, the press, courts and the education system are secretly placed under direct state control. The public spirit must be so weakened that it loses interest in radical ideas. In addition, the despotic power is to be secured by a comprehensive police and spying apparatus. State financial monopolies are supposed to take control of the economy. By manipulating and centralizing the political and social institutions, the ruler can first steer public opinion in a desired direction, in order then to have the political steps he intends to take plebiscitary. In this way, the appearance of national sovereignty is preserved and social tensions are nipped in the bud. The control of public opinion is the decisive instrument of rule of modernity, according to Jolys "Machiavelli": "The main secret of the art of government is to weaken the public spirit, so much so that it is no longer interested in the ideas and principles, with which one makes the revolutions today. [...]. You have to have the talent to acquire the free speeches from all parties that they need as weapons against the government. ”36 Through the tsarist secret service Ochrana and a French document forger, Joly's literary“ Machiavelli ”became around 1900 constructed the main source of modern conspiracy beliefs. The so-called "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" purport to document a worldwide Jewish conspiracy. Statements by the supposed "Elders of Zion" were copied from Joy's conversations in the underworld. With a few exceptions, it is the speeches of the literary “Machiavelli” that were put into the mouths of the Elders of Zion by the document forger Golovinsky. And in the “Protocols” too, we therefore encounter the instrumentalization of the belief of the masses as a core element of the strategy for conquering world domination: “We appear as the saviors of the working classes who have come to free them from their oppression, by designing them to join our army of socialists, anarchists and communists. [...].On the other hand, the doctrine that has become prevalent today under our influence has the effect that the people, who blindly believe in the printed word and are misled by illusions nurtured by us, are filled with hatred of every higher class, because it is the importance of the different Stands does not understand. ”37 We remember Machiavelli and his thoughts on auspices and the Roman religion. The manipulation of public opinion by a truthful 36 Joly 1948, p. 47. 37 The Protocols of the Elders of Zion 1925, p. 40f. In the transformations of Machiavellianism in the 19th and 20th centuries, adverse staging and ambivalent speech and action also play a central role. “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” sparked an explosive anti-Semitic conspiracy belief in Germany in the interwar period, which culminated in the decision to exterminate.38 It would be completely wrong to accuse Machiavelli of this. His statements on the conspiracies can be used to deconstruct the fictitious “Jewish world conspiracy”. We are dealing with two completely incompatible worlds of thought. Machiavelli assumed that conspiracies are an unpleasant fringe phenomenon, by no means the rule of political struggle and that their chances of success are rather low (if there are more than four people, they are “impossible”!). Their successful execution also depends to a large extent on minimizing the duration. The conspiracy of the Elders of Zion, on the other hand, spanned the entire world for centuries. Furthermore, this super-conspiracy was not revealed by any of the several million co-conspirators, which, according to Machiavelli, would have been the most likely outcome. The minutes pretend to be a record of the Zionist negotiations in Basel under the leadership of the Elders of Zion. Machiavelli had expressly forbidden the taking of such meetings. So we see how clearly Machiavelli's world of thought differs from the popular Über Machiavellism of the early 20th century. Nevertheless, the demonic image of the literary Machiavelli dominates the public image to this day. Machiavelli's chapter on the conspiracies clearly sets it apart from modern conspiracy beliefs. In it he describes a realistic theory of invisible and secret action in politics, at least for his time. In 2016, the physicist David Robert Grimes published a theory for determining the probability of a potential conspiracy.39 As with Machiavelli, the two key variables are the number of co-conspirators and the time of secrecy. Of course, Machiavelli's claim that more than four people could not possibly keep a conspiracy a secret is unrealistic from today's perspective. However, institutionalized forms of secret politics developed that also made larger-scale conspiracies possible, such as 38 The first German edition of 1920 appeared in six editions within one year, with a total number of 120,000 copies, due to the enormous sales success. In addition, there was Rosenberg's commentary on the protocols from 1923 and the edition of Hammer Verlag by Theodor Fritsch from 1924. When the Nazis came to power, Rosenberg's edition had appeared four editions and Fritsch's edition had already appeared fifteen. While the individual editions of Rosenberg's commentary on “Jewish world politics” amounted to 15,000 to 20,000 each, Fritsch's “Volksausgabe” of the protocols reached individual editions of up to 100,000 copies. See Zantke 2017, p. 322ff. 39 Cf. Grimes 2016. 47 in secret societies, only after Machiavelli's death, especially during the Enlightenment.40 Arcane strategies in revolutionary Machiavellism In the ranks of the Conservative Revolution, Machiavelli was viewed and staged as a role model and teacher in the 1920s and 1930s . This spiritual closeness may undoubtedly also be based on the patriotic disposition of the Florentine. However, in order to be able to understand the numerous accesses to Machiavelli's work or to the myth about his person by certain conservative-revolutionary authors, another connecting aspect must be highlighted. These German Machiavellians of the early 20th century sympathized, at least temporarily, with national Bolshevism. The synthesis of Machiavellianism and national Bolshevism is most clearly expressed in Hugo Fischer's Lenin book.41 Fischer stages national Bolshevism as the most modern form of Machiavellianism. With a view to Russia, Bolshevism and the imminent conclusion of the Versailles peace negotiations, the German national law professor Paul Eltzbacher already quoted Machiavelli: “When it comes to being or not being home, one must not ask whether it is fair or unjust, compassionate or compassionate cruel, praiseworthy or disgraced, but all considerations must be withdrawn completely before the decision to save the fatherland's life and preserve freedom. ”42 In April 1919 the newspaper“ Der Tag ”published a series of articles by Eltzbacher: Um der To avoid “enslavement” and expropriation by the Versailles tribunal, one must support the spread of Bolshevism to Germany in the national interest. He called for extensive nationalization of the productive forces and the government of the councils, that is, Bolshevization for the good of the nation. Eltzbacher was a member of the German National People's Party (DNVP), a party whose members largely sympathized with the Kapp Putsch, especially since Kapp was also a member of the DNVP. In this context, Machiavelli's opening quotation used by Eltzbacher in the context of the Versailles Treaty is to be interpreted as follows: Wherever it comes to being or not being home, the political right must also be ready to deal with the ideological enemy, the Bolsheviks. 40 Cf. Koselleck 1973. 41 Fischer 1933. “Lenin the Machiavell of the East” was printed in the Hanseatische Verlagsanstalt Hamburg, but then destroyed because the publisher had to publish the manuscript, which had already been submitted in the previous year, as a result of the National Socialist Takeover of power seemed too "delicate". The book was first published in 2018 by Steffen Dietzsch and Manfred Lauermann. 42 Eltzbacher 1919, p. 2. 48 to enter the alliance. Doctor Hans von Hentig, also initially a right-wing nationalist, joined the national Bolshevik advance of the Munich KPD leaders Otto Graf and Otto Thomas in 1921, who were also supported by the Freikorpsführer Josef Römer. In the course of his transformation to a national Bolshevik, the lawyer von Hentig wrote a criminological study of Machiavelli's theory of the state.43 In it he emphasizes the elasticity of the use of force in Machiavelli's work. The dictatorship was presented as a necessary transitional stage for the establishment of a new "criminal order" which would serve to secure national freedom and unity. With von Hentig and Eltzbacher, the sympathies for national Bolshevism overlap with positive commitments to Machiavelli's work. For these first national Bolsheviks, Machiavelli's doctrine of rule was obviously a theoretical as well as an aesthetic point of reference. The radical left largely interpreted the “national Bolshevik” initiatives in the first years of the Weimar Republic as deceptive maneuvers of the ruling class. An exception here was the influential communist Karl Radek, who recognized Eltzbacher and other national Bolsheviks as "honest" nationalists. Radek traveled to Germany in 1918 as an emissary of the Bolsheviks - with the aim of gaining supporters for the revolution. From February 1919 to January 1920 he was imprisoned for allegedly participating in the Spartacus uprising and "secret grouping". Former employees of General Ludendorff, who sought an alliance with Bolshevism, visited Radek while he was imprisoned in Berlin.44 They also included Baron Eugen Freiherr von Reibnitz, whom Radek described as the “first national Bolshevik”. Baron von Reibnitz managed to get Radek to serve his imprisonment in his private apartment in Berlin-Moabit. There he also received Colonel Max Bauer, who tried to win over Radek and the communist leadership to support the planned coup of Kapp and Lüttwitz. Bauer formulated a “dictatorship of work” as a common goal. Radek and the Moscow leadership did not accept this offer. However, since his arrival in Germany, Radek remained open to the idea of ​​an alliance between the revolutionary workers and the revolutionary petty bourgeoisie (the “German fascists”). In 1923, after the death of the free corps fighter Leo Schlageter, Radek formulated an appeal for fraternization to the “circles of German fascists who honestly want to serve the German people” .45 In April 1932, under Stalin, he became head of the “Offices for international Information "appointed. According to Michael David-Fox, Radek and other parts of the Soviet leadership were still convinced of the possibility of using conservative-revolutionary intellectuals against the Western im- 43 See Hentig 1924. 44 Gutjahr 2012, p. 390. 45 Moeller van den Bruck 1932, p. 75. 49 to be able to fight perialism and possibly also against Hitler. This two-armed strategy of the Soviets was reflected in the support of the “Working Group for the Study of the Soviet Russian Planned Economy” (Arplan). In 1932, leading left and right intellectuals gathered under the direction of the economist Friedrich Lenz: Karl Wittfogel, Georg Lukács, Jürgen Kuczynski, Friedrich Pollock represented the Left, Ernst Jünger, Ernst Niikisch, Hugo Fischer, Hans Zehrer, Josef Römer, Ernst Graf zu Reventlow the extreme right.46 Arvid Harnack, later a member of the so-called Red Orchestra, was the managing director of Arplan. The Soviets made contact with Arplan through the All-Union Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries (VOKS). Alexandr Giršfel'd played the decisive role in recruiting right-wing German intellectuals. In October 1932 Giršfel'd spoke to the People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union on his strategy “to penetrate deep into radical and right-wing opposition intellectual circles of political weight in order to expand our sources of influence and information [...]”. However, this strategy must be hidden from public propaganda, “secretly and reliably behind the scenes” .47 Such strategies were untenable in the public sphere, both in the moderate sections of society and on the part of the radical masses. They propagated anti-fascism on the one hand and anti-Bolshevism on the other. The attractiveness of a national Bolshevik strategy remained limited to sections of the radical intellectuals and small circles in the military apparatus. One can rightly speak of an arcane strategy here. In the case of the national Bolsheviks and Arplan member Ernst Niekisch, we find clear commitments to Machiavelli in the 1920s. He used the pseudonym “Niccolo” in the magazine “Resistance”. On the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the Florentine's death, an article was published in his honor: “Everyone who understood politics adored his master in the great Florentine. It was not always thought a good thing to say out loud and to admit it to someone else besides yourself. [...]. Machiavellianism is the natural form of expression of state vitality; wherever it moves without being based on an elementary connection with the fate of the state, it is a perverse villainy. The law of politics applies only to the state; the individual, however, is hard and relentlessly subject to the law of morality. ”48 46 Cf. David-Fox 2009, p. 120. As a result, Carl Schmitt was also a member, but this cannot be proven based on currently known lists of members . In addition to the above, a total of almost fifty members of the Arplan are known to date. 47 David-Fox 2009, p. 122. 48 Niekisch 1927, p. 66f. 50 Machiavelli and Niekisch are united by the longing for imperial greatness: "Our entire domestic policy [...] has become too modest to be only a means to this highest end." 49 Machiavelli distinguished between an order for the establishment of a new system of rule should exist within fixed limits and an order aimed at expansion. The latter case is clearly Machiavelli's favorite, as is the case with Niekisch. Niekisch seems to have taken the following idea from Machiavelli: In the case of an imperial order, according to Machiavelli, one must “take Rome as a model and put up with revolts and general disputes; because without a large number of people and military capabilities, a state can never grow, if it grows, assert itself ”.50 Niekisch also wanted to preserve the internal tensions of society in order to maximize the state's ability to act in foreign policy. For this reason he refused to force the class struggle, as this ultimately meant the negation of the social tensions. Hugo Fischer most clearly formulated the synthesis of Machiavelli and national Bolshevism in 1932. In the initially unpublished book “Lenin the Machiavell of the East”, he projected Machiavelli's doctrine of rule into the totalitarian age.51 “In the revolution, the politician must try to steer the wheel while driving with the current, with a certain tendency. In the sea of ​​events, he can only keep his main direction by using different, sometimes opposing, directions of current. [...]. The norms are all in flux, that is the paradox of the revolution. ”52 […]. “As a revolutionary, you have to understand that you also act in a non-revolutionary way, that you stand above your own cause. One must be able to deviate from one's own principles; [...] one is not obliged to act according to the ideals of the revolution in front of the others or in front of oneself. [...]. At the given moment Lenin even demands that the economy be run according to the principle of profitability, the recipe of the devil, and the communist must understand how to reform in such a way that he overshadows the most experienced reformist. ”53 […]. “Lenin is no more a communist than Richelieu was a monarchist; Both played through a political theme of their time in all its variations, and they got everything they could get out of the theme without ever shrinking from sacrificing property and blood. ”54 Niekisch, too, attested that the communists were Machiavellian of ideology: “The peculiarity of communism is based on elementary instincts. For him, Marxist theory is not an inviolable doctrine of salvation, but a mask here, a weapon there. The decisive factor for him is not his ideology, but 49 Niekisch 1926. 50 Machiavelli 2000, p. 35f. 51 See Zantke 2017, pp. 81-97. 52 Fischer 1933, pp. 98f. 53 Fischer 1933, p. 100f. 54 Fischer 1933, p. 19. 51 the fact that he is an elementary movement. ”55 In the case of Ernst Jüngers, who also belonged to Arplan and the Resistance Publishing House, we see that he too is a machiavellist handling of the nationalistic and Marxist ideologies, as his friend Hugo Fischer put it in “Machiavell des Ostens”: “The word nationalism, an extremely useful standard to clearly define the peculiar fighting position of a generation during the chaotic years of transition , is by no means, as many of our friends - and also our opponents - think, the expression of a supreme value. Our prerequisite lies in these values, but not our goal. ”56 In the endeavor to turn the nation into a“ religion ”, he saw a wrong path. The enmity between communists and nationalists had to be overcome - from Jünger's point of view. In relation to Marxism, Jünger also took an instrumental standpoint: Marxism was understood as a necessary stage in the process of bourgeois disintegration. Its “corrosive” effect appeared useful to Jünger in this respect. To stand against him would be pointless, since he was doomed with the bourgeois epoch. Rather, it was a matter of positively reversing its revolutionary moments. Jünger emphasized the similarities between communism and nationalism and attributed their hostility to the still effective “bourgeois” forces in their ranks.Jünger saw the unifying goal between the “anti-bourgeois” extremes in the total state, which the nation is available to serve: “I confess that in this penetration, which is at the same time an enormous concentration of forces, I am the stone the wise man whom the master of modern politics has to find. ”57 Carl Schmitt was also one of the admirers of the Florentine in the 1920s and 1930s. Although it is difficult to count Schmitt among the representatives of national Bolshevism, he did maintain friendly contacts with the “resistance” group. Hugo Fischer's letters to Schmitt have survived.58 In them he talks about the work on his Lenin book. Between Schmitt and the national Bolshevik circle around Niekisch, Jünger and Fischer, at least sympathies and intellectual exchanges seem to have existed in the early 1930s, even if Schmitt resisted the extremely radical conclusions of the circle. One thing in common, however, was undoubtedly the admiration of Machiavelli. Schmitt praises Machiavelli's knowledge of human nature in a diary entry from 1914.59 He refers to the “Discorsi” 55 Niekisch 1930, p. 130. 56 Jünger 1928. 57 Dupeux 1985, p. 260. 58 Cf. Tommissen 1990, p. 90ff. 59 Cf. Hüsmert 2003, p. 163. 52 on the constitutional definition of dictatorship. 60 Central here is the concept of the technicality of state power. On the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Machiavelli's death, Schmitt published a short essay.61 In it he stated that, from the perspective of the 20th century, his teaching did not appear original or demonic. However, he thinks it is up-to-date: “It has been decried as particularly immoral because of some passages about the political necessity of breaking treaties and feigning pious attitudes. But even this immorality does not show itself up and does not make itself morally important, it remains modest and objective and has nothing enthusiastic or prophetic like Nietzsche's immoralism.62 [...]. A Russian Bolshevik will probably regard the passages that have been criticized as immoral as harmless banalities and explain the moral indignation as bourgeois swindles. ”63 Schmitt also referred to the Florentine in later writings. In his criticism of Hobbes' “Leviathan” he contrasts Machiavelli: “Machiavelli, on the other hand, with his name and his political writings as a whole became a myth.” 64 After the end of the Second World War, however, Schmitt distanced himself: “That What is miserable about Machiavelli is the half-measure that consists in speaking of power in general, in making it the subject of talk. Power is and remains a secret. Public power is the most impenetrable secret. ”65 Towards the end of his life, Schmitt signed his letters“ Plettenberg, San Casciano ”and thus established an emotional closeness to the aging Machiavelli in the rural exile. Machiavelli was evidently an important benchmark for these conservative revolutionaries in the Weimar Republic, as well as for their opponents. The conservative historian Gerhard Ritter criticized Schmitt and other decisionists during the war. Ritter saw in them the “radical Machiavellians who only accept the combative, who equate the political with the friend-enemy relationship, deny all validity of bourgeois morality in this sphere and thus ultimately the sense of the state as establishing law and order Destroy or endanger community-creating power ”.66 In 1939, René König wrote a commentary on the Machiavelli book previously published by Hans Freyer in Germany.67 King's criticism of Machiavelli, which was published a year later in 60 Schmitt 1921, P. 6f. 61 Schmitt 1995, pp. 102-107. 62 Schmitt 1995, p. 103. 63 Schmitt 1995, p. 104f. 64 Schmitt 1938, p. 128f. 65 Schmitt 1991, p. 49. 66 Ritter 1943, p. 181. 67 Freyer 1938. 53 was written down in a book of his own, 68 was also expressly directed against representatives of the Conservative Revolution: “Such aesthetic floating, such fin de siècle and decadence -Immoralism, however, underlies a large part of current German speculation about the state (Carl Schmitt), where it is paired with the dashing Rodomonts of sparkling aperçus of the late-awakened romantics (Ernst Jünger), […]. After all, the massive occurrence of such teachings obliges us to express our opinion. ”69 The National Bolsheviks made it clear that they wanted to instrumentalize the modern ideologies of nationalism and communism as Machiavelli had once recommended to the princes with regard to religion. The belief of the masses should serve the purposes of state reasons or revolutionary overthrow. This is where the anti-Machiavellian image of the national revolutionaries and national Bolsheviks began: the ideological dogmatists from the left and right saw the national Bolshevik initiatives as “blasphemous” as Cardinal Pole once said Machiavelli's statements regarding the handling of religion by the rulers. Closing words Machiavelli sees a need to separate the politician's public appearance and his true or secret actions. In this way an original arcane doctrine was actually formulated, the essential element of which is Machiavelli's plea for an instrumental use of religion. The access to this element of its doctrine of rule can be illustrated using the example of German national Bolshevism. Just as Machiavelli had once recommended the instrumental use of religion, his students among the ranks of the national Bolsheviks tried to use modern ideologies instrumentally in political struggle. The transformation of Machiavelli's work into Machiavellianism can be illustrated by the conception of the status of the secret. While in the work of the Florentine the political invisible is treated only as a part of different domains, in Machiavellian and anti-Machiavellian the secret techniques of the development of power dominate. In contrast to the legend about his work, the conspiratorial forms of power by no means have priority in Machiavelli's doctrine of rule. 6. 68 König 2013. 69 König 2013. 54 Bibliography Beck, Hans, 1935: Machiavellism in the English Renaissance. Duisburg. David-Fox, Michael, 2009: Approaching the Extremes. The USSR and the right-wing intellectuals before 1933. In: Osteuropa, 59, H.7 / 8, pp. 115-124. Dupeux, Louis, 1985: National Bolshevism in Germany 1919-1933. Munich. Eltzbacher, Paul, 1919: Bolshevism and the German future. Jena. Fischer, Hugo, 1933: Lenin the Machiavell of the East. Hamburg. Freyer, Hans, 1938: Machiavelli. Leipzig. Grimes, David Robert, 2016: On the Viability of Conspirational Beliefs. At: https://doi.org /10.1371/journal.pone.0147905, download on January 26th, 2016. Gutjahr, Wolf-Dietrich, 2012: There must be a revolution. Karl Radek. A biography. Cologne, Weimar, Vienna. Hentig, Hans von, 1924: Machiavelli: Studies on the psychology of the coup and the founding of the state. Heidelberg. Joly, Maurice, 1928: Conversations in the underworld between Machiavelli and Montesquieu. Hamburg. Jünger, Ernst, 1928: At the turn of the year. In: The advance, No. 8. Kittsteiner, Heinz Dieter, 1999: Geschistorzeichen. Cologne, Weimar, Vienna. Klausnitzer, Ralf, 2007: Poetry and Conspiracy. Relationship Sense and Sign Economy of Conspiracy Scenarios in Journalism, Literature and Science 1750-1850. Berlin, New York. König, René, 2013: Niccolò Machiavelli. For the crisis analysis of a turning point. Wiesbaden. Koselleck, Reinhart, 1973: Critique and Crisis. Frankfurt a.M. Crown Prince of Prussia, Friedrich, 1741: Anti-Machiavel or examination of the rules Nic. Machiavell's of a prince's art of governance. Goettingen. Machiavelli, Niccolò, 1990: Political Writings. Frankfurt a.M. Machiavelli, Niccolò, 2000: Discorsi. Frankfurt a.M., Leipzig. Malaparte, Curzio, 1932: The coup. Leipzig, Vienna. Moeller van den Bruck, Arthur, 1932: The right of the young peoples. Berlin. Niekisch, Ernst, 1926: Revolutionary Politics. In: Resistance, No. 1. Niekisch, Ernst, 1927: Machiavelli. On the 400th anniversary of his death. In: Resistance, No. 5/6. Niekisch, Ernst, 1930: Decision. Berlin. o.A., 1925: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The world conquest program of the Jews. Vienna. Ritter, Gerhard, 1943: Power State and Utopia. Munich, Berlin. Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, 2000: On the social contract. Frankfurt a.M., Leipzig. Schmitt, Carl, 1921: The dictatorship. From the beginnings of the modern idea of ​​sovereignty to the proletarian class struggle. Munich, Leipzig. Schmitt, Carl, 1938: The Leviathan in the theory of the state of Thomas Hobbes. The sense and failure of a political symbol. Hamburg. 55 Schmitt, Carl, 1991: Glossarium. Records from 1947 - 1951. Berlin. Schmitt, Carl, 1995: State, Greater Area, Nomos. Works from the years 1916 - 1969. Berlin. Schmitt, Carl, 2003: Diaries. October 1912 to February 1915. Berlin. Stolleis, Michael, 1980: Arcana imperii and Ration status. Goettingen. Tommissen, Piet, 2001: Schmittiana, Vol. 1, Brussels. Weickert, Marianne, 1937: The literary form of Machiavelli's Principé. A morphological study. Wurzburg. Zantke, Michael, 2017: Armed Intellectuals. The importance of Machiavelli for National Socialism and the Conservative Revolution. Potsdam. 56