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Johann Plenge

Johann Plenge
Born(1874-06-07)7 June 1874
Died11 September 1963(1963-09-11) (aged 89)
Era20th-century philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
SchoolMarxism, nationalism
Main interests

Johann Plenge (7 June 1874 – 11 September 1963) was a German sociologist. He was professor of political economy at the University of Münster. Professor Plenge was regarded a great authority on Karl Marx, and "his work Marx und Hegel marks the beginning of the modern Hegel-renaissance among Marxist scholars."[2] Later his socialist views became very nationalistic, and he is regarded one of the most important intellectual forebears of National Socialism (Nazism).

In his book 1789 and 1914 he contrasted the 'Ideas of 1789' (liberty) and the 'Ideas of 1914' (organisation). Plenge argued: "under the necessity of war socialist ideas have been driven into German economic life, its organisation has grown together into a new spirit, and so the assertion of our nation for mankind has given birth to the idea of 1914, the idea of German organisation, the national unity of state socialism".[3] To Plenge, as for many other German nationalists and socialists, organization meant socialism and a planned economy (central direction). He regarded the war between Germany and England as a war between opposite principles, and believed that the "struggle for victory were new forces born out of the advanced economic life of the nineteenth century: socialism and organization".[4]

Research Institute for Organisational Studies and Sociology

Plenge set up the Research Institute for Organisational Studies and Sociology. Ludwig Roselius, a coffee manufacturer, financed this institute in the year 1921 with 250,000 Reichsmark capital stock, 30,000 Marks for basic purchases and another 100,000 Reichsmark for the first five years of operation.[5] Plenge developed a cult of personality around himself, placing a bronze bust of himself in the institute.[6] The philosopher Josef Pieper, became his student and then his assistant, although he was threatened with dismissal when he did not show the required degree of hero worship for Plenge.[6]

Plenge was Ph. D. advisor of Kurt Schumacher and an ancestor of today's right wing tendency in SPD, the Seeheimer Kreis. Plenge had a strong influence the Marxist theorist and SPD politician Paul Lensch, along nationalistic lines.


  • Westerwälder Hausierer und Hausgänger, Duncker & Humblot (= Schriften des Vereins für Socialpolitik 78), Leipzig 1898
  • Gründung und Geschichte des Crédit Mobilier. Zwei Kapitel aus Anlagebanken, eine Einleitung in die Theorie des Anlagebankgeschäftes, Laupp, Tübingen 1903
  • Marx und Hegel, Laupp, Tübingen 1911
  • Von der Diskontpolitik zur Herrschaft über den Geldmarkt, Springer, Berlin 1913
  • Der Krieg und die Volkswirtschaft, Borgmeyer, Münster 1915
  • 1789 und 1914: Die symbolischen Jahre in der Geschichte des politischen Geistes, Springer, Berlin 1916
  • Die Revolutionierung der Revolutionäre, Der Neue Geist, Leipzig 1918
  • Durch Umsturz zum Aufbau, Munster i, Westf, 1918
  • Zur Vertiefung des Sozialismus, Der Neue Geist, Leipzig 1919
  • Die Altersreife des Abendlandes, Robert Kämmerer, Düsseldorf 1948
  • Cogito ergo sumus. Ed. Hanns Linhardt, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1964


  1. ^ [], p. 186 of 266
  2. ^ Hayek, Friedrich. The Road to Serfdom. Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1979, p. 127.
  3. ^ Hew Strachan, The First World War: Volume I: To Arms (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), pp. 1131-1132.
  4. ^ Hayek, p. 127.
  5. ^ Thymian Bussemer: Propaganda: Konzepte und Theorien. Wiesbaden 2008, S. 117. online
  6. ^ a b Schumacher, Bernard N. (2009). A Cosmopolitan Hermit: Modernity and Tradition in the Philosophy of Josef Pieper. CUA Press. ISBN 9780813217086. Retrieved 9 June 2018.