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The Weimar CenturyGerman Émigrés and the Ideological Foundations of the Cold War$
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Udi Greenberg

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691159331

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691159331.001.0001

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Individual Liberties and “Militant Democracy”

Individual Liberties and “Militant Democracy”

Karl Loewenstein and Aggressive Liberalism

(p.169) Chapter IV Individual Liberties and “Militant Democracy”
The Weimar Century

Udi Greenberg

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on the theories of Karl Loewenstein. In the 1950s, German liberal politicians, intellectuals, and jurists welcomed the theory of militant democracy and claimed that political rights were dependent on loyalty to democratic institutions. They became ardent advocates of limiting rights and energetically supported Germany's participation in Cold War anti-Communist suppression. The transformation of German liberalism and the rise of militant democracy drew from older experiences. They were deeply shaped by the resurrection of a Weimar-era theory promulgated by Loewenstein, the liberal émigré who coined the term “militant democracy.” After the war, Loewenstein resumed his campaign to build a militant democracy in Germany, with the backing of U.S. occupation authorities. American officials, who believed that his plan would promote democratization and strengthen anti-Communist sentiments, sponsored his writings, lectures, and speeches.

Keywords:   militant democracy, liberalism, German liberals, Germany, anti-Communism, German liberalism, Karl Loewenstein

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