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Weltanschauung, in German, literally means "world view". It was used by Hegel and Nietzsche, is often used with respect to Adolf Hitler, and is used in philosophy as a meaning of paradigm

In terms of leadership, especially that of Hitler, the Weltanschauung was the set of ideas that he, as a charismatic leader, was destined to realize.[1] When part of authority in governance, it is almost invariably intertwined with a specific leader, with "supernatural, superhuman, or at least specifically exceptional powers or qualities"[2] that entitle him to rule according to his conscience? It certainly does not imply popular sovereignty, but there is typically some sharing of ideals between leader and led.


  1. Joseph Nyomarkay (1967), Charisma and Factionalism in the Nazi Party, University of Minnesota Press, p. 10
  2. Max Weber, The Theory of Social and Economic Organization, Oxford University Press, 1947, p. 358, quoted by Nyomarkay, p. 10