In 1923, Hesse settled in Switzerland, where he had been living for the past ten years and remained until his death in 1962. There he adopted a stance of detachment from political struggles, which he presented as an example for Europe’s beleaguered intelligentsia. But what was the positive content of his vision, if any? Did it serve any impulse higher than an anxious need for peace and quiet? These are questions Decker does not answer.
When saying, “Did it serve any impulse...,” what is pronoun “it” referring to? Can you paraphrase the highlighted part please?