Aestheticization of politics
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The aestheticization of politics was an idea first coined by Walter Benjamin as being a key ingredient to Fascist regimes. In this theory, life and the affairs of living are conceived of as innately artistic, and related to as such politically. Politics are in turn viewed as artistic, and structured like an art form which reciprocates the artistic conception of life being seen as art.
This has also been noted as being connected to the Italian Futurist movement and postulated as its main motivation for getting involved in the Fascist regime of Italy. Alternately, the term "the politicization of aesthetics" has been used as a term for an ideologically opposing synthesis, sometimes associated with the Soviet Union, wherein art is ultimately subordinate to political life and thus a result of it, separate from it, but which is attempted to be incorporated for political use as theory relating to the consequential political nature of art. The author Emilio Gentile has stressed that these two ideas are not mutually exclusive, and both regimes had a large degree of the other. Alexander Gray is a modern advocate of this theory and has two publications on it. In Benjamin's original formulation, however, the politicization of aesthetics was treated conceptually as the polar opposite of the aestheticization of politics, the former treated as a kind of revolutionary praxis, redeeming force, or 'antidote' to the corrupting fascistic influence of the latter.
- Jay, Martin (1992). ""The Aesthetic Ideology" as Ideology; Or, What Does It Mean to Aestheticize Politics?". Cultural Critique (University of Minnesota Press) (21) – via JSTOR.