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After Utopia : On the Post-war Debates on History and Ideology

Svenungsson, Jayne LU (2015) In Storiografia 18. p.203-218
Abstract
The article engages in the critical debates over the utopian aspects of the Western heritage that took place in the wake of the Second World War. A striking feature of these debates is how thinkers from the entire political spectra – from Georg Lukács to Isaiah Berlin and Eric Voegelin – made very similar analyses, although they draw quite different conclusions. Hence all of them blamed German Romanticism for sowing the seed to the “irrationalism” that eventually turned into the madness of fascism and Nazism (and according to Voegelin, even communism), yet they had quite different ideas as to where rationalism resided in the present time. At a second stage, the article brings Karl Löwith into the discussion, who, it is argued, offered a... (More)
The article engages in the critical debates over the utopian aspects of the Western heritage that took place in the wake of the Second World War. A striking feature of these debates is how thinkers from the entire political spectra – from Georg Lukács to Isaiah Berlin and Eric Voegelin – made very similar analyses, although they draw quite different conclusions. Hence all of them blamed German Romanticism for sowing the seed to the “irrationalism” that eventually turned into the madness of fascism and Nazism (and according to Voegelin, even communism), yet they had quite different ideas as to where rationalism resided in the present time. At a second stage, the article brings Karl Löwith into the discussion, who, it is argued, offered a more compelling analysis than the politicized analyses of Lukács, Berlin and Voegelin. Finally, and despite the virtues of his analysis, it is argued that even Löwith ultimately was driven by the the illusory “end of ideology” ideal that pervaded the era in question. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
end of ideology, eschatology, German Romanticism, ideology, secularization, theology of history, utopianism
in
Storiografia
volume
18
pages
203 - 218
publisher
Istituti editoriali e poligrafici internazionali
ISSN
1128-2339
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
6086646b-f149-4284-af0b-8181b74f4e1c (old id 8625648)
date added to LUP
2016-02-12 16:04:29
date last changed
2016-04-15 17:01:30
@article{6086646b-f149-4284-af0b-8181b74f4e1c,
  abstract     = {The article engages in the critical debates over the utopian aspects of the Western heritage that took place in the wake of the Second World War. A striking feature of these debates is how thinkers from the entire political spectra – from Georg Lukács to Isaiah Berlin and Eric Voegelin – made very similar analyses, although they draw quite different conclusions. Hence all of them blamed German Romanticism for sowing the seed to the “irrationalism” that eventually turned into the madness of fascism and Nazism (and according to Voegelin, even communism), yet they had quite different ideas as to where rationalism resided in the present time. At a second stage, the article brings Karl Löwith into the discussion, who, it is argued, offered a more compelling analysis than the politicized analyses of Lukács, Berlin and Voegelin. Finally, and despite the virtues of his analysis, it is argued that even Löwith ultimately was driven by the the illusory “end of ideology” ideal that pervaded the era in question.},
  author       = {Svenungsson, Jayne},
  issn         = {1128-2339},
  keyword      = {end of ideology,eschatology,German Romanticism,ideology,secularization,theology of history,utopianism},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {203--218},
  publisher    = {Istituti editoriali e poligrafici internazionali},
  series       = {Storiografia},
  title        = {After Utopia : On the Post-war Debates on History and Ideology},
  volume       = {18},
  year         = {2015},
}