Othmar Spann

Othmar Spann (1 October 1878 – 8 July 1950) was a conservative Austrian philosopher, sociologist and economist whose radical anti-liberal and anti-Socialist views, based on early 19th century Romantic ideas expressed by Adam Müller et al. and popularized in his books and lecture courses, helped antagonise political factions in Austria during the interwar years.

Othmar Spann
Born1 October 1878
Died8 July 1950 (aged 71)
Neustift bei Schlaining, Austria
Era20th-century philosophy
RegionWestern Philosophy
Main interests
Notable ideas
Corporate statism

Early life

Othmar Spann was the son of Josef Spann, a manufacturer and inventor. Spann grew up in Altmannsdorf, a suburban area of Vienna, Austria which is 15 minutes outside of the central city. Spann attended a Bürgerschule (citizen school) and graduated in 1898. After that he studied philosophy in Vienna, followed by Political Sciences in Zürich, Bern, and Tübingen. He received his doctorate in Political Science in 1903.

From 1904 to 1907, Spann worked for the "Center for Private Welfare Service" in Frankfurt am Main. He was responsible for empirical studies of this population of workers. By the end of 1904 Spann, along with Hermann Beck and Hanns Dorn founded a newspaper called "Critical Pages for the whole Social Sciences."

In 1907, Spann wrote his "Habilitation in Political Economy" for the Hochschule in Brünn. From 1907 to 1909 he was given the position of "privatdozent" which allowed him to teach and collect fees from students. As early as 1908 Spann began working as the full-time imperial-royal vice-secretary of the statistic central commission in Vienna. He was given the position of creating a new census for Austria between 1909 and 1910.

From 1914 to 1918, during the First World War, Spann was a first lieutenant of the reserve. He was hurt during a conflict in Lemberg, Ukraine on 27 August 1914. When he recovered he was first a commander of a company of Russian prisoners and then until later in 1918 he was given a position on the "scientific committee for wartime economy" with the war Ministry in Vienna.

In 1919, Spann was appointed to a position at the University of Vienna, where he taught until 1938.

Spann was popular with students, not only for his lectures which would spill out into the hallways at the University, but also for mid-summer festivals which he would hold in the woods where he would teach that "the ability to intuit essences was nurtured by jumping over the fire..." (Caldwell 2004, 138-9)


Repeatedly, Spann tried to draw the ruling powers' attention to his authoritarian theory of a corporate state, which he thought be introduced immediately for the benefit of all. In 1928. he joined the Militant League for German Culture. Around 1930, he also joined the Nazi Party.

Notable students

Removal from teaching

Although to a large degree in tune with the Zeitgeist, he repeatedly met with disapproval until, in 1938, right after the Anschluss, he was briefly imprisoned by the Nazis and eventually barred from his professorship at the University of Vienna, which he had held since 1919. Living as a recluse till the end of the war, Spann tried to get his university post back in 1945, aged 67. However, he was not allowed to resume his teaching and died in 1950, disappointed and embittered.

Major works

  • Der wahre Staat (1921).
  • Kategorienlehre (1924).
  • Der Schöpfungsgang des Geistes (1928).
  • Gesellschaftsphilosophie (1932).
  • Naturphilosophie (1937).
  • Religionsphilosophie auf geschichtlicher Grundlage (1947).


  • Caldwell, Bruce. Hayek's Challenge: An Intellectual Biography of F.A. Hayek. The University of Chicago Press. 2004
  • Giovanni Franchi (a cura di), Othmar Spann. La scienza dell'intero, Edizioni Nuova Cultura, Roma 2012. ISBN 9788861348042
  • Sebastian Maaß, Dritter Weg und wahrer Staat. Othmar Spann - Ideengeber der Konservativen Revolution. Regin-Verlag, Kiel, 2010.

External links



was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar, the 1878th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 878th year of the 2nd millennium, the 78th year of the 19th century, and the 9th year of the 1870s decade. As of the start of 1878, the Gregorian calendar was

12 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.

Adam Müller

Adam Heinrich Müller (30 June 1779 – 17 January 1829; after 1827 Ritter von Nitterdorf) was a German publicist, literary critic, political economist, theorist of the state and forerunner of economic romanticism.

Conservative revolutionary movement

The German conservative revolutionary movement (German: Konservative Revolution, lit. 'Conservative Revolution') was a German national conservative movement, prominent in the years following World War I. The German conservative revolutionary school of thought advocated a nationalism that was specifically German, or Prussian in particular. Like other right-wing movements in the same period, they sought to put a stop to the rising tide of liberalism and communism.

Corporate statism

Corporate statism, state corporatism, or simply corporatism, is a political culture and a form of corporatism closely related to fascism whose adherents hold that the corporate group which is the basis of society is the state. The state requires all members of a particular economic sector to join an officially designated interest group. Such interest groups thus attain public status, and they participate in national policymaking. The result is that the state has great control over the groups, and groups have great control over their members.As with other political cultures, societies have existed historically which exemplified corporate statism, for instance as developed by Othmar Spann and Benito Mussolini.

Corporate statism most commonly manifests itself as a ruling party acting as a mediator between the workers, capitalists and other prominent state interests by institutionally incorporating them into the ruling mechanism. Corporatist systems were most prevalent in the mid-20th Century in Europe and later elsewhere in developing countries. According to this critique, interests, both social and economic, are so diverse that a state cannot possibly mediate between them effectively through incorporating them. Social conflicts go beyond incorporated dichotomies of labor and capital to include innumerable groups. Furthermore, globalization presents challenges, both social and economic, that a corporate state cannot sufficiently address because these problems transcend state borders and approaches. It therefore differs from Corporate nationalism in that it is a social mode of organization rather than an economic nationalism through private business corporations.

Delfim Santos

Delfim Pinto dos Santos (Oporto, Portugal, 1907 – Cascais, Portugal, 1966), was a Portuguese academic, philosopher, educationist, essayist and book and movie reviewer.

Gottfried Haberler

Gottfried von Haberler (German: [ˈhaːbɐlɐ]; July 20, 1900 – May 6, 1995) was an Austrian-American economist. He worked in particular on international trade. One of his major contributions was reformulating the Ricardian idea of comparative advantage in a neoclassical framework, abandoning the labor theory of value for an opportunity cost concept.Haberler was born in Austria-Hungary in 1900, and was educated in the Austrian School of economics. In 1936 he moved to the United States, joining the economics department at Harvard University. There he worked alongside Joseph Schumpeter.

Haberler's two major works were Theory of International Trade (1936) and Prosperity and Depression (1937).

He was President of the International Economic Association (1950–1953).

In 1957 the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade commissioned a report on the terms of trade for primary commodities, and Haberler was appointed Chairman. The report found that there was a decline in the terms of trade for primary producers, since 1955 commodity prices were said to have fallen by 5%, while industrial prices rose by 6%. Haberler's report seems to prefigure the report written by Raúl Prebisch for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in 1964, but when Prebisch's report came out Haberler denounced it. His particular disagreement was with the idea that there was a systematic long-term (secular) decline in the terms of trade.

In 1971, Haberler left Harvard to become a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

Hans Oehler

Hans Oehler (18 December 1888 – 7 January 1967) was a Swiss journalist and a sympathizer of Nazism.

Initially a journalist, Oehler turned his attention towards producing pro-German material. Later he was one of the founders of the Schweizerische Monatshefte für Politik und Kultur (SM) in 1921. This very quickly became the mouthpiece for the Popular League for the Independence of Switzerland, a group he had participated around the same time which opposed the League of Nations. He briefly met Adolf Hitler when Hitler visited Switzerland in 1923 and became an sympathizer of both Fascist Italy and Othmar Spann.

Although the Popular League proved to be short-lived, Oehler continued to publish SM as an outlet for his political ideas until, in 1932, he joined the New Front. 1934 he had to resign as an editor of SM because of his pro-nazism mindset. With the launch of the National Front in 1934 Oehler took charge of editing the new party's paper Nationale Front, as well as being appointed foreign affairs spokesman. Ousted from SM by the Front he founded a new paper, Nationale Hefte and by 1938 had split from the Front altogether. After the split he joined with Rolf Henne in forming the hardline Nazi Bund Treuer Eidgenossen Nationalsozialistischer Weltanschauung, another minor group which was absorbed by the Nationale Bewegung der Schweiz in 1940.

Oehler's profile fell as World War II neared its conclusion and he became very much a marginal figure in post-war Switzerland. Having attended a meeting in Munich in 1940 organised to bring together pro-Nazi Swiss leaders, Oehler was tried for treason by a federal court in 1957 and sentenced to two years in prison. Upon his release Oehler became a leading member of the Volkspartei der Schweiz and headed up the Swiss branch of Nation Europa, an international neo-Nazi journal. He also adopted the pseudonym Hans Rudolf to translate works into German, notably Nuremberg ou la Terre Promise of Maurice Bardèche, as well as writing for the far right journal Turmwart. Oehler continued his political activity until his death at Dielsdorf.

July 8

July 8 is the 189th day of the year (190th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. 176 days remain until the end of the year.

Kameradschaftsbund (Czechoslovakia)

The Kameradschaftsbund (KB) was a Völkisch organization, founded in 1920s Czechoslovakia. It was a meeting ground of Sudeten German intellectuals, preparing them for taking up leadership roles in a possible future independent Sudetenland.

Walther Heinrich and Heinz Rutha were founders of the movement, and drew heavily on the theories of Othmar Spann. At the end of the 1920s, the movement became also political active; one of the strategies used was the infiltration of the Turnverband, by Konrad Henlein, one of the earliest KB members. Many Kameradschaftsbund members would later obtain top positions in the Sudetendeutsche Partei (SdP), under them Karl Hermann Frank and Walter Brand. After Rutha was charged with homosexual activity in 1937 (he later committed suicide), the KB gradually lost its influence on the SdP; Heinrich was sent to a concentration camp in 1938, and the SdP itself had to openly embrace German National Socialism.

List of Austrian scientists

This is a list of Austrian scientists and scientists from the Austria of Austria-Hungary.

List of philosophers (R–Z)

Philosophers (and others important in the history of philosophy), listed alphabetically:

Note: This list has a minimal criterion for inclusion and the relevance to philosophy of some individuals on the list is disputed.

Militant League for German Culture

The Militant League for German Culture (German: Kampfbund für deutsche Kultur, KfdK), was a nationalistic anti-Semitic political society during the Weimar Republic and the Nazi era. It was founded in 1928 as the Nationalsozialistische Gesellschaft für deutsche Kultur (NGDK, National Socialist Society for German Culture') by Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg and remained under his leadership until it was reorganized and renamed to the National Socialist Culture Community (Nationalsozialistische Kulturgemeinde) in 1934. Its aim was to make a significant imprint on cultural life in Germany that was based on the aims and objectives of the inner circles of the Nazi Party. Upon its reorganization, it was merged with the Deutsche Bühne (German Stage), connected with the establishment of the official body for cultural surveillance, the "Dienstelle Rosenberg" (DRbg) and was later known as the Amt Rosenberg.

October 1

October 1 is the 274th day of the year (275th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. 91 days remain until the end of the year.

It is the first day of the fourth quarter of the year.

Oskar Morgenstern

Oskar Morgenstern (January 24, 1902 – July 26, 1977) was a German-born economist. In collaboration with mathematician John von Neumann, he founded the mathematical field of game theory and its application to economics (see von Neumann–Morgenstern utility theorem).Companies he served as founder/co-founder included Market Research Corporation of America, Mathematica and Mathematica Policy Research Inc.


Othmar, also spelled Otmar or Ottmar, is a masculine German given name, derived from the Germanic name Audamar, from the elements aud "wealth, prosperity" and mar "fame".

Notable people with the name include:

Saint Othmar

Othmar Ammann

Otmar Emminger

Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer

Otmar Hasler

Ottmar Hörl

Ottmar Hitzfeld

Otmar Issing

Othmar Karas

Ottmar Liebert

Ottmar Mergenthaler

Othmar Schoeck

Othmar Spann

Othmar Zeidler

Otmar Szafnauer

Othmar Gispert

Robert Tobler

Robert Tobler (December 23, 1901 – June 17, 1962) was a Swiss far right politician.

Born in Zürich, he followed his father by studying law at University of Zurich and working as a lawyer. Initially attracted to liberalism, he came into contact with Hans Oehler and soon helped to found the New Front in 1930. As chairman of the new group he was heavily influenced by Othmar Spann, although fascism quickly became more important for the Front.He served as Gaufuehrer for Zürich in the National Front and ran the party paper Die Front, which was funded by Nazi Germany. Tobler was elected to the Swiss parliament in 1935, becoming the only member of the National Front (or indeed any pro-Nazi group) to hold a parliamentary seat in the country. He took over as Front leader in 1938, leading to his predecessor Rolf Henne splitting the movement. Tobler attempted to find a common ground with the government, although by this time it was too late as the movement already had a reputation as firmly pro-Nazi. He was imprisoned in 1940 as a fifth columnist and the Front fell into decay. After his release he led the Eidgenössiche Sammlung and Schaffhausen Nationale Gemeinschaft, although both these groups were outlawed in 1943 as part of a wider ban on the National Front and its offshoots. Tobler took no further role in politics and died in his home town.


Spann is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Alexi Spann, American breaststroke swimmer

Antwain Spann, American football player

Gloria Carter Spann, sister of former American president Jimmy Carter

James Spann, American meteorologist

Johnny Micheal Spann, Central Intelligence Agency paramilitary operations officer

Joseph E. Spann Jr., American Historian and Genealogist, author of Spann's Guide to Gibson 1902-1941

Othmar Spann, Austrian philosopher

Otis Spann, American blues musician

Scott Spann, American swimmer

Silvio Spann, Trinidad and Tobagan footballer

Sudeten German Party

The Sudeten German Party (German: Sudetendeutsche Partei, SdP, Czech: Sudetoněmecká strana) was created by Konrad Henlein under the name Sudetendeutsche Heimatfront ("Front of the Sudeten German Homeland") on 1 October 1933, some months after the First Czechoslovak Republic had outlawed the German National Socialist Workers' Party (Deutsche Nationalsozialistische Arbeiterpartei, DNSAP). In April 1935, the party was renamed Sudetendeutsche Partei following a mandatory demand of the Czechoslovak government. The name was officially changed to Sudeten German and Carpathian German Party (Sudetendeutsche und Karpatendeutsche Partei) in November 1935.

With the rising power of Nazi Party in Germany, the Sudeten German Party became a major pro-Nazi force in Czechoslovakia with explicit official aim of breaking the country up and joining it to the Third Reich. By June 1938, the party had over 1.3 million members, i.e. 40.6% of ethnic-German citizens of Czechoslovakia. During last free democratic elections before the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, the May 1938 communal elections, the party gained 88% of ethnic-German votes, taking over control of most municipal authorities in the Czech borderland. The country's mass membership made it one of the largest fascist parties in Europe at the time.

Victor Kraft

Victor Kraft (4 July 1880 – 3 January 1975) was an Austrian philosopher, best known for being a member of the Vienna Circle.

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