Silvio Vietta

  • Power
  • A cultural history of mankind
  • Lecture

Man begins where he is endowed with intellect and language. This gives him power over nature and inspires his spread over the earth. With the power thus a cultural history of mankind forms: The agrarianization, formation of property, invention of the writing, imperial expansion of the power zones. Today’s world society of industrialization, mechanization and economization is an end result of this history of power expansion. Power is an ambivalent concept. It includes both the military and economic, as well as the controlling, social, contractual form of power, from extreme brutality to the “power of love”. Yet the history of power vis-à-vis nature has been unsustainable. What is crucial for the present is: that it becomes sustainable.

Silvio Vietta is professor emeritus of literary and cultural history at the University of Hildesheim and lives in Heidelberg.

Foto: Sarina Chamatova

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