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Othmar Spann

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Othmar Spann

Othmar Spann (October 1, 1878 - July 8, 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. Repeatedly, Spann tried to draw the ruling powers' attention to his authoritarian theory of a corporate state which, as he saw it, could, and should, be introduced immediately for the benefit of all.

However, 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.

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