Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The gay fascist architect

Famed Architect Philip Johnson’s Hidden Nazi Past | Vanity Fair

It's a little hard these days imaging a gay rich American of the 1930's getting enamoured of Hitlerian fascism via Nietzsche, but as this rather fascinating article explains, it did indeed happen.  (I suppose a similar thing can be said of upper class gay English academics and communism.)  

Can't say I knew anything of the anti-Semitic conspiracy mongering of one Father Charles Edward Coughlin before I read this article, either.

This delivery of religion via media pop star has been a big thing in a America for a long time, hasn't it?  (I wrote about it in my discussion of "Anything Goes", too.)


Jason Soon said...

Nietzsche didn't approve of vulgar anti-semites.
Gay Nazis aren't that hard to imagine though - remember Rohm etc. The night of the long knives was when the gay nazis got purged but they weren't anti-gay to start with.

I think there is something in the idea that societies and sub-groups that reverse a certain idea of masculinity end up not being averse to homosexuality e.g. the Spartans, the samurai, the Nazis, etc.

Steve said...

I assume you meant "revere" instead if "reverse" in the second paragraph, and yes, it seems a valid point. But while it may be that German gays could get ahead within (at least early) Nazism, my surprise is more that a well connected, rich gay outsider with a background in arts and high culture would be attracted to it too.

Steve said...

I wonder if it is patronising of gay men to suggest that the sharp uniforms and the Nazi emphasis on the body beautiful might have helped convince Johnson. (Yes, probably!)