Monday, March 12, 2012
European understanding of Americanism, from Pakistan's Dawn.
A disciple of Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger proposed the concept of Amerikanertum (Americanness) which was to be “not geographically but spiritually understood”. Americanness is “the decisive step by which we make our way from a dependence on the earth to the use of the earth, the step that mechanises and electrifies inanimate material and makes the elements of the world into agencies of human use”.

The philosopher Martin Heidegger offered an explanation of Americanism removed from the concept of the American nation state as an attitude, a worldview. Americanism is “still unfolding and not yet full or completed essence of the emerging monstrousness of modern times”. For Heidegger, America was katestrophenhaft, the site of catastrophe.

Heidegger espoused a way for Europe so that it had to find an identity in being in ‘the middle’; it would necessarily have to be in a state of a ‘pole of opposition’ to America.
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