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N. 35 (2019)

Attilio Bruzzone

Kultur versus Zivilisation.
La nuova «ideologia tedesca» e la prima guerra mondiale

PP. 95-169

1. Contenuto e metodo, p. 95; 2. Incubazione, p. 99; 3. Esplosione, p. 106; 4. Il «caso» Thomas Mann, p. 115; 5. Consacrazione, p. 124; 6. I «casi» Georg Simmel e Siegfried Kracauer, p. 143; 7. Implosione, p. 160.

Kultur versus Zivilisation. The New «German Ideology» and World War I
This essay is a wide critical analysis of the position of those German authors who have introduced, developed, exacerbated, consecrated and, in some rarecases, rejected the conflicting polarization of
Kultur and Zivilisation, their fetish concepts ideologically risen to the rank of metaphysical essences. In the World War I context, the paper deals with all those intellectuals who, in the field of the so-called Geisteswissenschaften, have used this alleged antithesis with the primary aim of legitimizing, celebrating and, even, sacralizing the ongoing war. What is at stake here is the intention to deconstruct and unveil, as objectively as possible, the social, psychological, cultural and economic aspects that substantiate the false opposition between Kultur and Zivilisation, tirelessly propagandized by the new «German ideology». In doing so, due account has been taken of both aspects, spiritual and material, maintained and presented in their actual dialectical relationship of mutual action. Consequently, it has been avoided the hypostatization of a partial point of view, be it psychologism or economism, always insufficient in itself. Ultimately, the purpose of this essay is to offer, from a broader and more fluid perspective, a decisive contribution to the understanding of Germany’s aporetic intellectual situation during World War I.

Keywords: World War I, Kultur, Zivilisation, Dichotomy, Ideology, Mystification, Blinding, Kriegsbegeisterung, German Intelligencija.


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