A Birth of Tragedy, by Alastair Crooke

Just because someone says he is for liberty and freedom for individuals doesn’t mean he’s not a totalitarian at heart. From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:

Alastair Crooke continues to explore the origins of concealed totalitarianism within European culture.

(Part One of these two articles traced the origins of this concealed totalitarianism within European culture. This second piece takes the story and its implications further)

For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see,
Saw the Vision of the world, and all that would be.

(Alfred Lord Tennyson)

The Birth of Tragedy (Friedrich Nietzsche, 1872) defined the twin leaves of human Nature – its polarity – as comprising the (supposedly) Apollonian virtues of reason and order being in violent psychic opposition to the (Dionysian) chaotic forces of unleashed, primal human energy (symbolised as fire).

In Nietzsche’s view (as well as for the Ancients), both poles were necessary for balance and harmony in human affairs. However, the secular erasure of transcendency, by which humankind could find meaning through uplift to a different level of ‘understanding’, simply punched the ‘on’ button to a conveyor-belt, ending in Tragedy.

The tragedy then – Nietzsche’s ‘vision of the world, and all that would be’ – was that Rationality, absent a Dionysian ‘undoing’ of its sharp destructive edge, would tend to capsize into a tool which can be used for the sake of chaos and barbarism, as much as order and civilisation.

He discerned that the seemingly triumphal march of European progress was heading for a cataclysmic fall. He feared an era of great wars, which – as he himself drifted into madness – may have come with the realisation that, like his illness, the madness that he diagnosed for the World was fated to run its course.

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