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German Civilization (Lesson 5: Hitler and the Aestheticization of Politics)

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Benjamin admits that in early 20th century there were two dominate tendencies: willing to destroy everything unique, because it was associated with bourgeoisness and willing to bring things closer to everyone (Benjamin). That was the demand that reasoned mass culture rise. An original object has its aesthetic value, but reproduction loses a lot during the processing, especially when it’s done by a machine. Benjamin names the thing reproduced object lose “an aura” of the object and explains: “We define the aura of the latter as the unique phenomenon of a distance, however close it may be” (Benjamin).

It’s impossible to reconstruct the Roman Empire with all its cultural complexity within Germany of 20th century, so most of the idea is missing; it’s impossible for Hitler to explain his ideas to every person in Nazi Germany, so simplified image of his ideas and himself was created and pressed to shape to transmit to mass auditory. A thing that has been made to cater mass auditory is always simplified according to mass auditory characteristics, so a part of the original aura is always missing. Mass auditory communicate with the censored image of the real thing, not with the real thing itself.

And the emptiness formed by simplifying process, points Benjamin, can be replaced by someone’s view (Benjamin). For example, politics’ view. Critics call Benjamin’s statement about aestheticization of politics a “cryptic” one and argue that Hitler’s fascistic regime was not the first case when politics “employed” art – a part of a culture responsible for aesthetic values formation. But in his essay Benjamin has already given an answer to such critics. He says: “For the first time in world history, mechanical reproduction emancipates the work of art from its parasitical dependence on ritual” (Benjamin).

Indeed, there was a deep cultural tradition, which reasoned Roman’s army orders and whole Roman Empire civilization; Nazi Germany “woke up” only that part of the Aryan culture which regime was needed. Images, separated from the origin can be widely used. Population in the Nazi Germany wanted to be like Hitler, but rarely ever contacted with “original” him and complex of his ideas. And media development (especially, cinematography) played a great role in such a popularization.

Edition process, even in originally documentary films

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preview essay on German Civilization (Lesson 5: Hitler and the Aestheticization of Politics)
  • Pages: 3 (750 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: History
  • Level: Masters
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