In thinking about what worldviews are broadly contending for the human future, it occurs to me that Germany, over the past 500 years, has basically passed through the three key ones:
- The religious civilizational vision. This is embodied today by contemporary fundamentalists Christians and traditionalist Muslims, and was represented in Germany 450 years ago by Martin Luther.
- Herderian nationalism. This vision is promoted by a broad mix of 21st century forces, each with their own reasons for doing so. On the left, it’s promoted by multiculturalists and postmoderns enamored of Heidegger and Messianism. On the right, it’s promoted by plutocrats and intellectual Straussians, as well as other Machiavellians and Nietzscheans happy to manipulate the masses for elite advantage. In Germany, it was given over a decade’s calamitous run under Hitler.
- The Habermasian social democratic vision (post-1945 Germany to the present). Jurgen Habermas’s Germany is so obviously preferable to the other alternatives that it gives me hope for the future. What future, other than Habermas’s, is really worth working for?
Luther, Hitler, or Habermas. Is there, broadly speaking, a viable fourth option?
What’s your vision for the future?
Image source: Wikipedia Commons.