The Culture & Anarchy Podcast
About This Show
The Culture & Anarchy Podcast brings you the best in freethinking criticism on contemporary issues, libertarianism, Austrian Economics, anarchocapitalism, religion, atheism, and literature. No issue is off limits. No topic is too profane. Prepare yourself for perfection: "The best that has been thought and said."
Most Recent Episode
36. LIBERTY OR EQUALITY: PART 5.1--ROMANTIC NATIONALISM: FICHTE'S ADDRESSES(1&4)& CHILDE HAROLD
PART 5.1: Diagnosing Romantic Nationalism
This week we extend our survey of German Idealism away from its radically individualist incarnation in America in the thought of Ralph Waldo Emerson and towards the birth of romantic nationalism in 1800s Germany. Johann Gottlieb Fichte, a student of Kant, pushed Idealism towards radical subjectivism, and he sought to create a German Nation as the sublimation of a class-type ideal. As Germany smoldered under the yoke of Napoleon Bonaparte in the early 1800s, Fichte imagined that only a unified German people, bonded by a nationalist ideal--, with a racial, ethnic, and linguistic uniformity, --could cast off Napoleon's rule and become an eternal unity.
Around the same time (1813), Lord Byron penned the work that made him a romantic figurehead in Britain--Childe Harold's Pilgrimage. Childe Harold, a disillusioned young man without a sense of homeland or purpose, sets himself adrift through the Mediterranean and surveys a decimated Europe in the midst of the Napoleonic Wars and occupation by the Ottoman Turks. As the voice of a lost generation, alienated by ceaseless war, Byron's hero exemplifies not only what Fichte feared would become of an occupied Germany, but he also reveals to the reader the horrors that would inevitably result from Fichte's divine conception of the German ethnostate--war, war, and more war ("murder unrestrained").
Featuring music by Enrique Granados (https://musopen.org/music/226/enrique-granados/twelve-spanish-dances-op-37-arabesca-guitar-arr/) & Pietro Locatelli (https://musopen.org/music/2445/pietro-locatelli/cello-sonata-in-d-from-12-sonatas-op-6/), courtesy of musopen.org.
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