Modern Barbarism: Notes on the Fiftieth Anniversaries of Auschwitz and Hiroshima

Authors

  • Michael Löwy

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.14452/MR-047-04-1995-08_3

Keywords:

History

Abstract

The fiftieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War should be less an occasion for patriotic commemorations than for serious reflection on the moral and historical meaning of certain events of this war, which seriously call into question the very nature of modern civilization. The opposition between civilization and barbarism is very old. It found a new claim to legitimacy in the philosophy of the Enlightenment, and will be the lasting heritage of the socialist left. Even a revolutionary like Rosa Luxemburg, at the moment when she coined her slogan "socialism or barbarism," considered the "relapse into barbarism" to be the "decline and fall of civilization," a decadence like unto that of ancient Rome.

Published

1995-09-03

Issue

Section

Articles