Grundtvig and Marx

sparta2To build a society with harmony between nature and man, you have to be a master architect, yes you may even have to be a philosopher. There is an aura of respect surrounding the philosophers of history, we remember them; Plato, Rousseau, Marcus Aurelius, Kirkegaard. Why, because they studied the intricate design of human beings and their relationship to nature, and gave us guiding lines to follow. Now, the level of thinking has been reduced to almost babble today. Philosophy is not, as in ancient times, seen as a source of clarity, the philosophers of today tend to obscure their thoughts behind a veil of strange words. This is really the times of obscurity and corruption. Look at the young, they worship pimps and prostitutes through their love of hip hop. How low have we fallen here in the West? The society tries to kill the philosopher and worships the pimp. This is truly a time of embarrassment and decadence.

Now there are two great figures of thought here in Denmark, competing; Karl Marx and Grundtvig. We even have a party who mix the thoughts of the two great thinkers; Socialistic Folkparty. Let us have a look at the two, and see if we can somehow understand the commonalities of the two intertwining ideas.

Firstly, let’s have a look at Marxism. It is an idea of no real relevance today, nobody support it anymore. It does not work, and I have a pretty good idea why. Communism is Sparta in a new form. Marx did not clearly design a system, but he left some clues. If you look at the marxist manifest, you notice different ideas; the states supreme rule over the family, the abolishment of money and private property, the communal idea. These principles are the same as in Sparta. The working communist state also have the pro and cons of Sparta. It only works if the citizens are all loyal to the state, therefore you have to build a very strong secret police. They called it Kryptea in Sparta, they called it KGB in Soviet Russia. Now to understand Sparta, you have to learn the principles of the philosopher Lycurgus who founded Sparta. One of the principles he coined was the closedness of Sparta to foreigners, he knew that a stiff system could not work with too much external influence. Here we have the fault of Marx, he did not understand that in order to copy the spartan system, he had to make it national not international. This is what Hitler understood, and that is why national socialism really was a much stronger system than international socialism, if it had ever prevailed. Luckily it did not, because it would have swallowed the entire world, it almost did. The inner core of the system was not good, it was bad. And here is the real difference between both international socialism, national socialism and Sparta. Because Sparta was a just system. The kings of Sparta were extremely respected for their just ways, and they really observed the principles of law as a foundation of the Spartan state. Justice and courage were the principles of the spartans.

Now Grundtvig is another tale. He is the founder of modern Denmark, at least until the socialist revolution in the seventies. The depth and scope of his ideas are not really understood by most danes. There is even a lot of doubt about the status of his thoughts. Can he really be called a philosopher, or was he unsharp in his thoughts? Well the more I read about Grundtvig, and the more I understand the depth of his thinking the more I am struck by awe. His is not a philosopher, he is a master philosopher. The precision of his ideas are grounded on an enourmous knowledgebase, he knew so much about the history of mankind and the danes, that the ideas he had, always came through to the people of Denmark. And the beliefsystem he build, was not ment to be an imposing structure of thought, but ment to be a tool for the danish people to educate and understand themselves. He also had his priorities right, the crown upon the extravagant palace of thought, was the folk enlightentment. Enlightentment is the most important principles of all, and Grundtvig wanted this principle to be the very foundation of the daily life of the danes. He also supported democracy, freedom, christianity, judaism, philosophy, the nordic gods, poetry and the idea of community. He had all build in his complex of thought, except perhaps the idea of justice, and this is where Marx trumphs Grundtvig. Or rather this is where Sparta trumphs Grundtvig.

Now, we have to find new, or rather old principles to guide us after the fall of socialism. Grundtvig is such a place to search for something to base our state on and our beliefsystem.

Actually the intellectual life left Grundtvig in the seventies, but the people never left him, so a renewed focus on Grundvig by the ruling elite could make a bridge between the people and the elite again. He gave us that gift, Grundtvig, something we are all a part of, a place to meet, all danes and descendants of the danes. And we should meet there again.

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