By Alexander Anievas
Contributors are: Alexander Anievas, Shelley Baranowski, Neil Davidson, Geoff Eley, Sandra Halperin, Esther Leslie, Lars T. Lih, Domenico Losurdo, Wendy Matsumura, Peter D. Thomas, Adam Tooze, Alberto Toscano, and Enzo Traverso
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Additional info for Cataclysm 1914: The First World War and the Making of Modern World Politics (Historical Materlism)
The resulting political logic was common to the wider politics of the German right, whether among the governmental allies of Bülow, Tirpitz, and the rest, or among the radical nationalist campaigners of the pressure groups. 32 Whether or not such hard causal dependence of foreign policymaking on anti-democratic calculations by dominant societal elites can be shown, the wider global coordinates of thinking about German nationhood and German national interests under the Kaiserreich – pervasively, axiomatically, urgently – have become ever harder to ignore.
That might mean everything from family socialisation and educational backgrounds to particular generational experiences and knowledge of philosophy and the arts. 15 It remains surprising how few studies of this kind we still possess. 17 One possible direction for such work lies in tracking the intellectual formation of key individuals or networks whose ideas and influence the war years brought to fruition, whose careers produce a coherence that spans the rupture of 1914, or provide genealogies for the decisive departures that came in wartime.
Each was marked by an intensive concentration of public discussion across the press, associations, universities, and wider publicistic activity, intersecting with the business and government worlds, while finding powerful resonance among the parties and in the Reichstag. 55 Inside this consensus were some important fissures, the most serious involving the presence of an increasingly noisy and virulent radical nationalism, or so-called ‘national opposition’, which first emerged in the more radical wing of the colonial movement of the 1880s before regrouping into the Pan-German League during 1890–4.