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The Disintegration of Modern Culture: Nietzsche and the Information Age

The Disintegration of Modern Culture: Nietzsche and the Information Age HAT NIETZSCHE’S PHILOSOPHY has contributed significantly to the widespread use and abuse of the term culture throughout the last century is everywhere apparent. His critique of modernity helped ring in the “golden twenties” of cultural philosophy1 and the not-so-golden thirties and forties of mono-cultural politics and propaganda. In the decades following the Second World War, Nietzsche’s critique of modernity was reassessed from two competing positions: one argued that Nietzsche’s critique of Enlightenment values had played into the hands of totalitarian ideology and its desire to create its own “culture”; the other saw in Nietzsche a prophet of sorts whose philosophy had predicted the failure of the Enlightenment ideology to provide the West with a sustainable, unified, and unifying culture.2 Although this particular debate is still played out today as part of the modernity/post-modernity discussion, the concept of culture took a seemingly different turn in the 1980s and 1990s, when an increased interest in multiculturalism initially shifted attention away from a critical examination of Western culture to a focus on foreign, “primitive,” suppressed, or otherwise marginalized cultures. Proponents of multiculturalism turned to Western culture primarily to investigate its colonialist tendencies, the political and cultural mechanisms that allow it to http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Literature Duke University Press

The Disintegration of Modern Culture: Nietzsche and the Information Age

Comparative Literature , Volume 57 (1) – Jan 1, 2005

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2005 by University of Oregon
ISSN
0010-4124
eISSN
1945-8517
DOI
10.1215/-57-1-25
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

HAT NIETZSCHE’S PHILOSOPHY has contributed significantly to the widespread use and abuse of the term culture throughout the last century is everywhere apparent. His critique of modernity helped ring in the “golden twenties” of cultural philosophy1 and the not-so-golden thirties and forties of mono-cultural politics and propaganda. In the decades following the Second World War, Nietzsche’s critique of modernity was reassessed from two competing positions: one argued that Nietzsche’s critique of Enlightenment values had played into the hands of totalitarian ideology and its desire to create its own “culture”; the other saw in Nietzsche a prophet of sorts whose philosophy had predicted the failure of the Enlightenment ideology to provide the West with a sustainable, unified, and unifying culture.2 Although this particular debate is still played out today as part of the modernity/post-modernity discussion, the concept of culture took a seemingly different turn in the 1980s and 1990s, when an increased interest in multiculturalism initially shifted attention away from a critical examination of Western culture to a focus on foreign, “primitive,” suppressed, or otherwise marginalized cultures. Proponents of multiculturalism turned to Western culture primarily to investigate its colonialist tendencies, the political and cultural mechanisms that allow it to

Journal

Comparative LiteratureDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2005

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