Homo Mythicus: Volume II of The Nihilist Order

Homo Mythicus: Volume II of The Nihilist Order

by David Ohana
Pub. Date:
Sussex Academic Press

Hardcover - Rent for

Select a Purchase Option
  • purchase options

Temporarily Out of Stock Online


Homo Mythicus: Volume II of The Nihilist Order

In the turbulent period between 1870 and 1930, the contours of modernity were taking shape, especially the connections between technology, politics, and aesthetics. The trilogy The Nihilist Order traces the genealogy of the nihilist-totalitarian syndrome. Georges Sorel (1847-1922) was the first political philosopher to develop a systematic theory of political myth: one that had profound impact on radical leaders and totalitarian movements of the 20th century. While he was a highly respected by early political sociologist, his writings transcended disciplinary boundaries in their creation of a modern political mythology. Believing that ideology was too abstract, general, and ineffective to be instrumental in the political mobilization of the masses, Sorel formulated the myth of the general strike. According to his theory of social psychology, people are socialized not by means of ideology, but through a common experience of action. This idea was adopted to great effect in the following years by revolutionary syndicalism, fascism, and bolshevism. Sorel's problem was one that is well understood by the social thinkers of today: that of revitalizing a political arena and a social structure which he felt to be dominated by an inauthentic degenerate search for a tranquil bourgeois existence. The myth of violence, he believed, would reinvigorate the militancy of both socialism and nationalism and spur these on to a new and dynamic course of action. Sorelian myth should be understood in a new way, not as a means to some ideological purpose, but to a mobilization of heroic action, seen as an end in itself. This is the focus of Homo Mythicus: Volume II of The Nihilist Order.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781845192907
Publisher: Sussex Academic Press
Publication date: 05/01/2009
Series: Nihilist Order Series , #2
Pages: 187
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Preface vi

Part 1 Georges Sorel and the Rise of Political Myth

Chapter 1 The Role of Myth in History 3

Chapter 2 The Origins of Sorelian Thought 11

Chapter 3 The Birth of Civilization out of Myth 20

Chapter 4 The Illusions of Harmony 32

Chapter 5 Marxism in Nietzschean Dress 41

Chapter 6 Violence and Force, Myth and Utopia 58

Chapter 7 The Dreyfus Revolution 71

Chapter 8 The Sorelian Order 82

Part 2 Mythology Reconstructed

Chapter 9 Walter Benjamin, Ernst Bloch and the Fascist Myth 95

Chapter 10 Ernst Cassirer and the Rise of "Myth-Leader" 106

Chapter 11 Camus, Sartre, Arendt and the Myth of Violence 116

Chapter 12 Marshall McLuhan, Technology and Myth 134

Chapter 13 The "Anti-Intellectual" Intellectuals as Political Mvthmakers 141

Notes 151

Bibliography 172

Index 184

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews