Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Tragic and non-tragic cultures
Thinking in Nietzschian terms about one element defining tragic cultures, where the highest ideals will not always be gained by sacrificing heroes, the Evolutionary Christian Church is a tragic religion in having the worldview of evolving all the way to Godhood in the cosmos.
This is not the case with most modern religions which have become more Socratic than tragic, even if they didn't start out that way. Islam and Judaism seem to be more tragic, at least in their more extreme forms, in fighting against odds for dominance in the world.
Modern politics seems Socratic or commercial and not tragic in spirit. The modern military is usually under the control of commercial interests where it loses much of its old tragic ethos.
Tragic cultures can more readily poeticize their mythological images, which can lead to much greater art than Socratic or commercial cultures.
Is the antithesis of tragic cultures barbarism as early Nietzsche thought? It does seem that a trans-valuation has taken place where Socratic and commercial cultures are now considered higher than tragic cultures.
Perhaps it would be more politically correct to speak of “adventurous cultures” rather than tragic culture, as Raymond Cattell did, but I like the more poetic old term.