The Disenchantment and Rebirth of Western Society According to Nietzsche and Kandinsky

1665 Words Nov 14th, 2011 7 Pages
From 1870 to 1920 several intellectuals came into prominence and formed critiques on the ways western society was conducting itself. Leading this group of intellectuals was Friedrich Nietzsche. In Nietzsche’s views he felt society had become degenerate and insipid. With the lack of modern myth there was nothing for society to live for and would soon collapse on itself. Thus, Nietzsche felt western culture was disenchanted. However, Nietzsche saw a glimmer of hope with German music that was being created at the time. Through German music, western society would become re-enchanted and bring the tragic myth back into western culture. Another important thinker of the time was Wassily Kandinsky. Kandinsky had similar views to Nietzsche …show more content…
Kandinsky wrote, “Color...when mixed with form...[becomes] expressions of the inner need”.8 The inner need must be satisfied in order for the soul to become free. Nietzsche believed society was disenchanted, which would lead society to become degenerate. Nietzsche saw modern culture consumed by a desire for knowledge, but still unsatisfied. Modern culture, “no matter how much it consumes, remains insatiable”.9 Socratic doctrine as a basis for culture is fundamentally unsatisfying because those who depend only on rational thought are never fully satisfied. Society was not listening to the irrational Will, which encompassed society’s real desires. Society’s captivation with science was hurting western culture. Nietzsche felt this disenchantment was bad for society because without the enchantment of myths man’s creativity is lost and society becomes degenerate. Once culture begins to comprehend itself historically and to destroy the myths at its base, it experiences secularization with great ethical consequences.10 Society begins to fall apart on itself. Kandinsky also felt society had become degenerate because of disenchanting forces in modern western culture. Similar to Nietzsche, Kandinsky also believed society had become disenchanted because

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