Our whodunit continues re: the fascist destruction of German modernity

Our whodunit continues re: the fascist destruction of German modernity

The German Genius: Europe’s Third Renaissance, the Second Scientific Revolution and the Twentieth Century

Peter Watson’s colossal encyclopaedia, The German Genius, might have been written for me, but not only for me. A journalist of heroic industry, Watson is frustrated by the British ignorance of Germany, or rather by an expertise devoted exclusively to Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust. Watson wonders not just why the nation of thinkers and poets came to grief between 1933 and 1945 but also how it put itself together again and, in 1989, recreated most of the Wilhelmine state without plunging Europe into war or even breaking sweat.

The New Age attack on modernity is totally misconceived: we see the effects of the modern ‘Axial Age’ in Germany, and, indeed, Schopenhauer virtually rewrote the Upanishadic philosophy (but not its practice, of course) for the modern age.

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