Aeronautics Astronautics

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By Fernando Esposito

Flying and the pilot have been major metaphors of fascism's legendary modernity. Fernando Esposito strains the altering meanings of those hugely charged symbols from the air exhibit in Brescia, to the sky above the trenches of the 1st global conflict to the violent ideological clashes of the interwar interval.

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146 The answers to the questions of what I can know, what I should do and what I may hope lose their supposed clarity. Ambivalence and contingency become more widespread, calling forth disorientation and resistance. The need for meaning grows, and that means the need for order. 147 The order-dissolving spirit of modernity becomes ordergenerating. The open horizon of expectation gets closed and the shape of the future defined. The present becomes the site of the conscious realization of the vision of order, of the overcoming of ambivalence and of the generation of a new clarity.

81 and 104. Introduction 25 liberty, equality and fraternity, the American historian Jeffrey Herf took as his starting point a necessary unity of means and ends. His widely accepted interpretation of “reactionary modernism” based itself upon a normative conception of modernity:114 antimodernist or even reactionary were those who rejected the ideals of the French Revolution and the social-economic results of the Industrial Revolution, and so too were the Romanticism, antimaterialism and antirationalism of the “conservative revolutionaries” and National Socialists; modernist, on the other hand, was their incorporation of technology.

94–113, here p. 98. ” 117 Bauman, Modernity and the Holocaust, t p. 12. 118 Ibid. 119 In any event, the rules of instrumental reason could not prevent such a phenomenon as the Holocaust: there is nothing in those rules which disqualifies the Holocaust-style methods of “social engineering” as improper or, indeed, the actions they served as irrational. 121 The genocidal side of the fascist “gardening state” will not be considered in the present study, but it should be noted here that the construction of the new man was only the other face of the modern Janus head.

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