Civilization

Civilization

Product details

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  • Full Title: Civilization
  • Autor: Regis Debray
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Verso; Translation edition
  • Publication Date: March 19, 2019
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1788734033
  • ISBN-13: 978-1788734035
  • Download File Format | Size: epub | 561.62 KB

 

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Description

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American civilisation’s dominance over Europe – and what to do about it

‘Civilization’ — a hard term to define. But while every society has a distinctive culture, authentic civilizations must offer those they subjugate an attractive way of life. Their imprint outlasts their imperium.

A century ago, Debray argues, there was a European civilization of which America was an outlying culture; but today the relationship is reversed. ‘In 1900, an American of taste was a European in exile; in 2000, a trendy European is a frustrated American – or one waiting for a visa’. Characteristic of American civilization is its three overarching fetishes: space, image and happiness. America is a civilization of space and image, whereas Europe was one of time and writing. And its kitsch infantilism blinds itself to the tragic complexities of human life. A measure of America’s success is how its ‘globish’ jargon has so successfully infiltrated European languages.

For Debray, the dominance of American civilization is a historical fait accompli, yet he sees a model for Europe in Vienna after its exclusion from the German Reich. For decades to come, Europe can still offer a rich cultural seedbed. ‘Some will call it decadence, others liberation. Why not both?’
 

About the Author

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Régis Debray is the author of many books, including Media Manifestos, Critique of Political Reason and God: An Itinerary.

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