Sunday, August 23, 2015

Ruins & Fountain

Giovanni Antonio Pannini
Ruins & Fountain
c. 1730

"At one time, in Western Europe, when Church and State were still important rivals, the cultural life of the people (its aspirations, moral norms, even the functions of its arts) were in the keeping of the Church, and remained in the realm of the sacred. The State progressively secularized or politicized the cultural arena, and Nietzsche foresaw the terrible dangers inherent in this development and opposed it. But he stood on the side of the Church without a church to stand beside. In the United States (that forerunner of every future) the separation of the two powers (desirable as the divorce is) has permitted commercial interests to take over culture and determine values, successfully invading and subverting both politics and religion. That conquest is what capitalism has come to signify. Politics and religion (as well as art) are now simply business by other means."

– from the essay on Nietzsche in the collection by William H. Gass called Finding a Form.(New York : Knopf, 1997)