The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism

The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism

The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism

The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism

Excerpt

In the spring of 1888, Friedrich Nietzsche sketched the Preface of his last book, The Will to Power, which he planned to be his magnum opus, as follows:

What I relate is the history of the next two centuries. I describe what is coming, what can no longer come differently: the advent of nihilism. This history can be related even now; for necessity itself is at work here. This future speaks even now in a hundred signs. . . . For some time now our whole European culture has been moving as toward a catastrophe, with a tortured tension that is growing from decade to decade: restlessly, violently, headlong, like a river that wants to reach the end, that no longer reflects, that is afraid to reflect.

The source of this nihilism for Nietzsche was rationalism and calculation, a temper of life whose intention was to destroy "unreflective spontaneity." If there was a single symbol for him which summed up the force of nihilism, it was modern science.

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