Florian Znaniecki’s Culturalism
11 Crisis, Conflicts and the Possibility of a Creative Development of a New Civilization / 171
chapter 11 Crisis, Conﬂict and the Possibility of a Creative Development of a New Civilization Znaniecki’s Culturalism In 1900 Friedrich Nietzsche, a great ‘master of suspicion’ ( Ricoeur 1975: 80) of the ﬁn de si¯cle period, died. The Nietzschean motif of decadence – of the fall of Western culture had to be voiced fully in the reﬂection of the twentieth century thinkers and emphasized by the tragic chords of history: by the outbreak of the First World War, the Russian Revolution and the revolutionary wave in Europe in 1918, the fascist move- ments in Europe in the thirties, the Second World War and the division of Europe and the world into antagonistic political blocs. The reﬂections upon civilization by Oswald Spengler, José Ortega y Gasset, Arnold Toynbee and Pitirim A. Sorokin are well known to the cultural public of Western Europe. In Europe, however, common perspectives of historical experience have never been held, and looking into the ‘gulf ’ of contemporary civilization was to become a speciﬁc privilege of the East ( Mi∏osz 1980). This is where in the end Auschwitz took place – the anus mundi – to use the words of Heinz Thilo, an SS physician ( K´piƒski 1973: 5) – the place of the ‘clearing’ the world for the fascist Übermensch, a caricature of the Nietzschean creative ‘man of the future’. ( Kuderowicz 1979: 139) Only a small portion of classical East-European attainments in the social sci- ences has been assimilated in the West: for instance, some...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.