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Fascism and aesthetics


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The logical result of Fascism is the introduction of aesthetics into political life. The violation of the masses, whom Fascism, with its Führer cult, forces to their knees, has its counterpart in the violation of an apparatus which is pressed into the production of ritual values.  --Walter Benjamin, "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction"

When a book and a head collide and a hollow sound is heard, must it always have come from the book? -- Lichtenberg

 

 

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On 7/9/2019 at 7:06 AM, Gord Barentsen said:

The logical result of Fascism is the introduction of aesthetics into political life. The violation of the masses, whom Fascism, with its Führer cult, forces to their knees, has its counterpart in the violation of an apparatus which is pressed into the production of ritual values.  --Walter Benjamin, "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction"

Hogwash.

DOnt we already have aesthetics everywhere in life? rituals?  i can think of a million things wrong with this perspective which seems to take a narrow view on what "aesthetics is!

Not everyone who has daily "rituals" is succumbing to a fascist will.

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We need to teach children how to think rather than what to think. – Margaret Mead

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I don't know a lot about Benjamin,  but I suspect that by "aesthetics" he means the poeticization of the political.

So by that I think he has in mind the massive rallies in Nazi Germany with thousands of troops marching in unison, the swastikas everywhere, the uniformity of the architecture and so forth.

When a book and a head collide and a hollow sound is heard, must it always have come from the book? -- Lichtenberg

 

 

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I'm also wondering about Benjamin's relationship to Romanticism...I know some writers on the political left have traditionally criticised Romanticism for being (at best) apolitical and (at worst) supporting fascist ideologies which tend to be about blood and soil (nice organic Romantic things 😉).

Of course this is a pretty radical reduction of Romanticism, but...

When a book and a head collide and a hollow sound is heard, must it always have come from the book? -- Lichtenberg

 

 

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