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4.0 von 5 Sternen An important intellectual tradition reconsidered!, 6. November 1998
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Reactionary Modernism: Technology, Culture, and Politics in Weimar and the Third Reich (Taschenbuch)
Herf's book on "Reactionary Modernism" is important because it brings up an intellectual tradition that has been unjustly neglected since the end of WWII. Herf's "paradigm" consists of the right-wing intellectuals, Spengler, Junger, Sombart, Freyer, Schmitt and Heidegger whose main philosophical preoccupation was the impact of technology on modern civilization and the radical shift in human relations that technological progress has caused. Herf locates the peculiarity of this tradition to its love/hate relationship with modern technology. All the aforementioned thinkers realized the tremendous potential of technology but sought to integrate it within the German quasi-romantic GEIST in order to safeguard it from Bolshevism and Americanism. This analysis is complemented by a brilliant chapter on German engineers and their idea about technology and politics. Despite the original contribution of the author to the history and sociology of ideas, his analysis raises some doubts especially in relation to the chapters on Sombart and Spengler. In addition, the author neglects to point to the fact that the "suffocating" state of technology was also pointed out by Marx. Having said that, all credit to Herf who was bold enough to throw light into the "politically incorrect" aspects of German social theory and philosophy. Such attempts are useful and valuable since they put things on perspective shattering one-dimensional views about the current state of civilization. Essential reading for all those who are not afraid to search for the truth even when this is against the current!
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Worth the Read, 7. Juli 2000
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Reactionary Modernism: Technology, Culture, and Politics in Weimar and the Third Reich (Taschenbuch)
If you are attempting to understand what happened in interwar Germany then this book is worth reading. The main philosophy is that Germany attempted to combine the beauty of modernization with the romanticization of a mythological past. This book helps to explain the foundations of the Nazi regime and why it became so appealing on a mass level. At times the reading gets tough and little on the dry side, but if you can get thought that part of it, you will find the book worth your time.
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