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German philosopher, political journalist as well as a critic of bourgeois society and of classical national economics. He is reckoned to be the most influential as well as controversial theoretician of communism, who strove to reach a particularly scientific analysis and criticism of capitalism.

Marx and the movement of Marxism were particular targets of Schenker's polemics, most notably in "The Mission of German Genius," Der Tonwille 1 (1921).


  • Marko Deisinger

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  • DLA 69.930/4 Handwritten letter from Schenker to Halm, dated December 9, 1918

    Schenker recounts to Halm how Sofie Deutsch had set up a trust for needy artists, leaving Schenker to identify beneficiaries. Schenker offers to transfer 1,600 Kroner to him from this trust.

  • DLA 69.930/10 Handwritten letter from Schenker to Halm, dated September 25, 1922

    Acknowledges OJ 11/35, 20 and composition; expects to be able to comment on Halm's Klavierübung in Tonwille 4; reports Leipzig University's decision not to appoint him; speculates on the impact of Kontrapunkt 2 and Der freie Satz; public difficulty in accepting Urgesetze. — Aristide Briand: The importance of being well-read on a topic before commenting in public: Schoenberg and Reger; newspapers. — Maximilian Harden: although faithful to Schenker, Harden had not mastered the topics on which he wrote. — National Govenment: Schenker's publishing plans, including "The Future of Humanity": man's anthropomorphic thinking is a delusion, he needs to adapt to nature, to return to a primitive state, to abandon "development" and "progress" and return to primordial laws; inferior man wants to "govern" (bowel wants to become brain); Schenker deplores "artifice" (French) as against nature (German). — Things French: praises German superiority over French in its joy of work. — Higher Plane: the German should not abase himself before the Frenchman.

  • DLA 69.930/11 Handwritten letter from Schenker to Halm, dated November 2, 1922

    Schenker acknowledges receipt of two booklets on youth and the new republic, returns them, comments on them critically: idealistic German democrats desire maximal remuneration with minimal work; illustrates point by difficulties with maids in Schenker household; German democrats naively overestimate social and intellectual status of non-German commoners (French, British, American); Schenker decries cosmopolitanism and those Germans who advocate individuality at the expense of society; Schenker praises the fascists as countering communism and social leveling, compares Mussolini's Italy favorably with present-day Germany.

  • OJ 6/7, [35] Handwritten letter from Schenker to Violin, dated August 5, 1927

    In a wide-ranging letter, Schenker underscores the importance of his friend's taking a holiday, and tries to persuade him to visit him in Galtür. There he was visited by Reinhard Oppel, who has been appointed to a theory post at the Leipzig Conservatory, where he will teach from Schenker's texts. He comments at length on the decline of society, as exemplified by the July Revolt. The second Meisterwerk volume has gone to the bookbinders; until it is published, he will be working on Der freier Satz.